Category Archives: Hurricane

AIG: Your Perfectly Designed Body

Our title may have surprised you, because we previously gave our coveted Buffoon Award to the Intelligent Designer — blessed be he! — for doing such a sloppy job of designing us. We declared the designer to be “a slob, an incompetent, and virtually an imbecile.”

Creationists, however, see things differently. Herewith we present the view of Dr. Tommy Mitchell, a medical doctor who is now a full-time, speaker/writer with Answers in Genesis (AIG), the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia.

Yes, he likes to be called “Tommy” — see AIG’s bio page on him: Dr. Tommy Mitchell. His new article at the AIG website is All Systems Go. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

With around two hundred types of cells, nearly eighty organs, and a dozen or so organ systems, the human body is wonderfully complex. But its enormous complexity becomes even more apparent when we see the intricate relationships between its organ systems. Each organ system plays a role in supporting and maintaining the body, but ultimately all the systems must work together.

Ideally, yes. But sometimes, things go awry. For example, there are tragic cases where the brain and the colon battle for dominance, and when the colon prevails, the result is creationism. But Tommy doesn’t talk about that. He says:

The body is designed to maintain a state of balance, or equilibrium, among its many systems. It already “knows” what is a safe range and how to respond if this range is exceeded. … You see, our body has trillions of cells and multiple types of tissues, organs and organ systems. The internal environment of the body must be kept within strict ranges in order for each part to operate correctly. Our bodies are designed with many, many control systems that help maintain the balance necessary to create stable internal conditions.

He goes on like that for several paragraphs, which we’ll skip. Finally he gets around to his big message:

To maintain so many variables within very narrow ranges demands a web of complex and precise interacting mechanisms. How likely is it that all these interactive controls could arise by chance? Not likely at all, is it?

Gasp! It’s not likely! After that astonishing revelation, Tommy tells us:

Something as incredible as this can only be the work of the Master Designer, by whom we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

That’s it. That’s the whole article. Stunning, isn’t it? But we’re left with one question: If we are so “fearfully and wonderfully made” by a “Master Designer,” then why is there any need for physicians?

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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ICR: An Interview with Jason Lisle

Our readers remember Jason Lisle. He’s the the creationist astrophysicist who used to be employed by Answers in Genesis (AIG), ol’ Hambo’s online ministry. For reasons which have never been explained, he left AIG a couple of years ago to become director of whatever it is that they call research at the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom.

Back when he was at AIG, we wrote several times about Jason Lisle’s “Instant Starlight” Paper. That was Jason’s solution to the Distant Starlight problem. The problem — for young-earth creationists — is that the light we see from distant sources required literally billions of years to reach earth, yet the creationist’s universe is only 6,000 years old.

Jason hasn’t written much at ICR, so many of us have been wondering what he’s doing there. We have some answers from the latest post from ICR: Planetarium Unlimited. It begins with this introduction:

The following are excerpts of an interview with ICR’s Director of Research and astrophysicist Dr. Jason Lisle about ICR’s plans to build a new creation science museum and state-of-the-art planetarium.

Wowie — ICR is going to build a creation science museum and a planetarium — just like Hambo! That’s big news!

We’re not told who conducted the interview — the questions and answers only have initials preceding them. Jason’s answers start with JL, of course, and the questions come from someone identified only as BT. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

BT: We’re here to talk with Dr. Jason Lisle about this museum, but let’s first get to know him. What got you started on space stuff?

JL: I’ve loved outer space since I was a little kid. I remember seeing these beautiful images…of star fields, stunning colors of these nebulae, it’s artwork of God. There’s something kind of spiritual about it. My dad had an interest in astronomy and his dad before him, so they kind of paved the way for me.

Isn’t that lovely? From now on, we’ll substitute “Question” for the unknown BT, and we’ll use “Jason” instead of JL. Let’s read on:

Question: Was there a challenge to your Christian faith as you prepared academically?

Jason: I went through the secular program all the way through …. There currently are no Christian schools that will give you a truly biblical six-day creation view of astronomy. So I had to go through a secular program if I was going to get a degree in astrophysics.

Most of astronomy, a lot of it is really just good science. Sometimes they’ll get into the storytelling aspect of it, “We think that millions of years ago this star formed.” Well, once you’ve talked about that you’ve left the realm of science, and I knew that — I recognized that it’s not something we can observe and test and repeat in the present. That really didn’t bother me — I could distinguish the storytelling from the genuine science.

Psychologically, it’s a little bit of a drain because you’re with a group of people, and most of them have a very secular worldview. And so the way they interpret the evidence is somewhat consistent with their worldview — and there’s a pressure to conform to what other people believe. But that’s a psychological pressure.

We’ve often wondered what goes on in the minds of creationists when they somehow get science degrees, so that’s an interesting insight. The interview continues:

Question: I hear from the world that some of the strongest arguments against biblical creation’s timeline come from the stars. If the stars are so far away — and they are — and the light travels at this speed — and we assume it does — then they have to be billions of years old in order for that light to have reached here. Is there a quick way to answer that or not?

Jason: One assumption … is that light travels the same speed in all directions … . The bottom line is: the speed of light, when it’s directed toward an observer, can be as fast as infinite. Using that definition, which Einstein agreed was one acceptable definition, it takes no time at all for the light from distant galaxies to reach the earth. So of course it can happen in the biblical timeframe. It’s hard to explain that in a quick soundbite answer. The fact is, physics — as we understand it — does allow for instantaneous light travel.

[*Groan*] It’s true that the One-way speed of light can’t be measured, but for Jason to be correct, either we’re in the center of the universe, toward which light always travels at an infinite speed (for some reason), or else light somehow knows when it’s coming our way. We’ve discussed all that before, so we won’t mess with it this time around. Here’s more:

Question: Wow, that’s a real game changer. [Hee hee!] Will you be able to incorporate that kind of information in our new museum and especially in the new planetarium? First of all, what is a planetarium?

Jason: A planetarium is basically a hemispherical dome where you can project images, generally images of the night sky; and in the past that’s all they could do. They could project images of the star field. The old-style approach was quite limited. Today, there are no limitations on what we can do. Modern projection systems are digital, which means we can project anything on our planetarium dome. We can leave the earth and travel into outer space, visit these other planets — and it looks like you’re there because it’s surrounding you on all sides. It’s really exciting.

Jason’s planetarium can do anything! That should make creationism shows a lot easier. Moving along:

Question: What other features would you want to put in those planetarium shows?

Jason: A lot of stuff that confirms biblical creation. There are many issues that demonstrate the universe can’t be anywhere close to the secular age of billions of years. For example, the internal heat of some of these planets. Most planets actually give off more energy than they get from the sun. Some of the big planets, like Jupiter, they’re made … mostly of hydrogen and helium gas, and yet Jupiter gives off twice as much energy as it gets. That’s also true for Saturn and Neptune. That’s a big problem in the secular view, and most people aren’t aware of that. That’s something that we’ll showcase in the planetarium.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! It’s going to be a young universe planetarium. Another excerpt:

Question: Who cares if the stars are billions of years old or just thousands of years old — what difference does it make?

Jason: If the whole universe is thousands of years old then it means the Big Bang cannot be true. It means evolution cannot be true in terms of … molecules-to-man evolution. It blows away the secular worldview. If it could be demonstrated that the universe were billions of years old then it means the Bible’s not true. These issues do matter — they affect our worldview.

No problem. Jason’s fantasy planetarium show will “prove” that the bible is true. On with the interview:

Question: And if the Bible’s right about history, then it’s right about important other matters.

Jason: Jesus made that point in [scripture quote]. He’s making the point that if we don’t trust the Bible on earthly matters — things we can in principle test scientifically — if the Bible got those details wrong, why would we trust it on how to inherit eternal life?

A lot of Christians don’t realize they have a double standard. They’re rejecting the Bible on some issues, and they’re accepting it on others. Their children see that inconsistency, and then they walk away from the church. And then people ask, “Why are our children walking away from the church?” Well, they can see that Mom and Dad don’t really believe the Bible in some areas, and that leads young people to think it’s not really trustworthy. Why should I trust it in matters of salvation if it can’t be trusted in matters of Earth history?

Jason’s right — it’s all or nothing! There’s more to the interview, but that was the fun part. It’s good to see Jason putting his education to productive use.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Eugenie Scott: Why Is Science Controversial?

That video is only a minute and a half long. It features Eugenie Scott, who, until recently, was head of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE). We wrote about her retirement a couple of years ago — see Eugenie Scott Retiring from the NCSE.

The video isn’t new, but it’s certainly worth a look. Scott discusses the controversy over evolution and climate change, and says that it’s not about the science, it’s about ideology. She’s got a good point, but we think there’s more to it than that.

As far as we’re aware, evolution and climate change are only two scientific subjects that arouse heated passion among the general public. Well, to a far lesser degree, there’s also the Big Bang, but the public usually ties that together with evolution. What is it about evolution and climate change that gets people so worked up?

There are science topics that are far more controversial — among scientists. Some say that string theory isn’t a scientific theory at all, as it seems to be resistant to testing. Dark matter and dark energy are hotly debated. You can probably think of others. Although those topics are genuinely controversial, the public seems content to let scientists work it all out.

In contrast — despite the silly claims of creationists and climate change skeptics — there’s virtually no scientific controversy about evolution and climate change — except for details. Is Scott right in saying that the public uproar about those two topics is because of ideology?

In our opinion, she’s partly right. Evolution is a hot topic in education. Creationists would love to ban it, or at least “balance” it with their religious views. Politicians and school board officials are often sufficiently ignorant (or crazed) that they try to accommodate their constituents’ religious preferences. As for climate change, again there’s a political dimension. Legislators are always trying to implement their “solutions” to the problem by imposing taxes and controls on activities they deem to be harmful. That is what generates opposition.

But politicians have — so far — kept their slimy hands off of things like dark matter and string theory. If they could figure out a way to tax and regulate somebody in the name of those ideas, they’d certainly try to do it — and then the public would get involved. If you think creationists’ letters-to-the-editor are crazy, wait until the public starts screaming about string theory.

Anyway, Scott is correct. Yes, the public uproar is ideological. But it’s triggered by politics.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Creationist Wisdom #603: God and the Big Bang

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Rockford Advocate, about which we know nothing other than the fact that they’re located in Rockford, Illinois, that state’s third-largest city. It’s titled God can be found if you know where to look . They have a comments feature.

Technically, what we found isn’t a letter-to-the editor. It’s a column, written under the byline of the “City Scribbler” — whoever that is. We’ll treat it as a letter. Excerpts from the Scribbler’s column will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

Once upon a time, close to 14 billion years ago, this massive ball of high-density material began to expand. With a flash of light, it got hot — like really hot. Then it cooled. This process, known as inflation, continued, and the ball left remnants we know today as the cosmos. There you have it. That’s how our universe began. Thank you for reading.

Aaaargh!! Unlike the Genesis account, according to the Big Bang theory the universe didn’t begin with a “flash of light.” The universe didn’t become sufficiently transparent for light to be observed until millions of years after the expansion began — see Chronology of the universe. As for inflation, that is suggested as an extremely brief moment after the beginning, when the expansion was faster than light — see Inflationary epoch. And then there’s that claim of a “massive ball,” which we’ll overlook.

The Scribbler isn’t off to a good start, but that’s okay, we’ll stay with it. Then he says:

Not so fast. That’s just the short version. We aren’t here to debate the Big Bang anyway. But the beginning is usually a good place to start, especially when many atheists claim that no scientific evidence exists to prove the existence of God. … What is generally accepted among nonbelievers is that measurable proof must exist to claim something as fact. “If you can’t show it, you don’t know it,” they say. Without anything demonstrable, the idea that some “supernatural being” who “magically spoke things into existence” is patently absurd. Now, God is not a “supernatural being,” per se. But, let’s not digress yet. For the sake of argument, let’s stick to the Big Bang.

Yes, the Scribbler is doing so well with the Big Bang, he should continue. Let’s read on:

The Scribbler is not a physicist. [We’re shocked — shocked!] But, it is clear that the theory transcends anything scientific. At the end of the day, it defies what physics can explain. Sure, there were black holes and this ball is believed to have formed from a singularity inside one of them. Still, there is no way to know what there was before the big ball, or the black hole for that matter, came into existence. Nothin’ from nothin’ leaves nothin.’… except when a somethin’ just appears out of nowhere for no apparent reason and without a catalyst.

There’s that “ball” again. The Scribbler thinks it existed along with some black holes, and then came the Big Bang. He continues:

Again, stick to science for now. That’s what devout atheists (excuse the paradox) do when debating creationists. Science, after all, has determined the origin of thunderstorms and how cancer attacks healthy cells. But, look out. This is where the debate hits a brick wall at 90 mph. It is a when a Christian finds himself scratching his head.

Then he gives us an imaginary debate between a Christian and a scientist. This should be good:

“Where do you think science came from?” “Who do you think gave doctors the ability to identify cancer?”

God, of course. There’s the dagger that pokes a giant hole in the atheistic argument, right? Wrong.

“Yeah, but the Bible says…”

Forget it. Save it. It doesn’t matter what the Bible says to a nonbeliever armed with assertions like, “You can’t use the Bible to prove the Bible,” or “There is no evidence to prove God gave us science.”

“So, we can’t use the Bible to prove the Bible?”

That was a bit chaotic, but it ends with a good question. Here’s the Scribbler’s response:

Of course we can. But, start with this: Atheists are right. We won’t find God at the end of a telescope, in an equation, under a microscope or in the hip pocket of our favorite blue jeans. Why? Because God can’t be measured. Thousands of scientific experiments have proven that. Yet Christians still bask in fallacy when debating atheists.

Did you get that? Thousands of experiments have proven that you can’t measure God. We’re not aware of even one attempt at such a measurement, but that’s not important. The Scribbler moves along:

X must be true because you cannot prove X is false. In structured debate, this is called an argument from ignorance (ad ignorantium). It happens when one assumes a conclusion is fact based on the lack of contrasting evidence.

Wikipedia has an article on the Argument from ignorance. The Scribbler’s Latin has a grammar error — it’s argumentum ad ignorantiam. The fallacy an attempt to shift the burden of proof: “If you can’t prove I’m wrong, then I’m right!” Anyway, the Scribbler is close enough — except he says that scientists use that fallacy. Here’s another excerpt:

The existence of God — the true creator of the universe — can’t be proven using the same method that shows 6+6=12, or the reason frogs can breathe in and out of water. When science attempts to do so, it’s left with the conclusions and philosophical anecdotes that erroneously claim evolution is true, and that the universe sprung from some spontaneous, yet still fully unknown atomic phenomena.

Aaaargh!! We’ve never even heard of a scientist who claims that because God’s existence can’t be proven, evolution and the Big Bang are therefore true. The Scribbler is imagining things. All that science does is say is this: We have evidence to support our theories, and our theories lead to useful results. So we’re sticking with what works. Your claims are interesting, and when you have some evidence to support them, we’ll be happy to look at it. End of argument.

We’re only about halfway into the Scribbler’s column, but the rest is all bible stuff about God. You can click over there to read it, if you like, but we’ve already discussed his claims about science, so this is where we’re going to stop. It’s a nice addition to our collection.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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