Category Archives: Intelligent Design

Creative Challenge #37: How To Say ‘Get Lost’

At some point in your life you’re going to be introduced to a creationist. For our purposes, assume that it’s not some stranger with pamphlets knocking at your door, or some raving maniac who approaches you on the street. No one needs to be polite in such cases.

For today’s challenge, the encounter could be at a university, or maybe at some social occasion. The creationist may politely approach you, or be introduced to you, and before long he will announce that he’s a creationist. It may be in the form of a question (“Why do you believe X?”), or it may be something more confrontational (“I’m a creation scientist, not a Darwinist!”) However the encounter occurs, there you’ll be, face to face with one of the incurable droolers — and the circumstances don’t permit you to say: “Get away from me!”

Today’s challenge assumes that: (1) you’re not interested in a futile debate; and (2) you don’t want to be confrontational. You must decide how to disengage from the encounter as rapidly as possible, with as little discord as you can manage.

The form of today’s challenge is that you must tell us, with reasonable brevity:

How do you swiftly and peacefully disengage from a creationist encounter?

You know the rules: You may enter the contest as many times as you wish, but you must avoid profanity, vulgarity, childish anatomical analogies, etc. Also, avoid slanderous statements about individuals. Feel free to comment on the entries submitted by others — with praise, criticism, or whatever — but you must do so tastefully.

There may not be a winner of this contest, but if there is, your Curmudgeon will decide, and whenever we get around to it we’ll announce who the winner is. There is no tangible prize — as always in life’s great challenges, the accomplishment is its own reward. We now throw open the comments section, dear reader. Go for it!

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

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AIG Asks: Why Aren’t You a Creationist?

The deep thinkers at Answers in Genesis (AIG) — the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia — are asking a very important qustion: Why Aren’t People Convinced by Facts?

It was written by Avery Foley. AIG says she holds a masters of arts in theological studies from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, which certainly qualifies her to discuss this subject.

Avery begins by referring to this article in Scientific American: How To Convince Someone When Facts Fail: Why Worldview Threats Undermine Evidence, written by Michael Shermer. She quotes Shermer:

Have you ever noticed that when you present people with facts that are contrary to their deepest held beliefs they always change their minds? Me neither. In fact, people seem to double down on their beliefs in the teeth of overwhelming evidence against them. The reason is related to the worldview perceived to be under threat by the conflicting data.

[…]

Creationists, for example, dispute the evidence for evolution in fossils and DNA because they are concerned about secular forces encroaching on religious faith.

Then Avery cleverly says, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Well, let’s turn this thinking around on him. What about those who hold to evolutionary ideas? Do evolutionists listen to facts when they are presented by creationists? Or do they “double down on their beliefs” and “dispute the evidence?” Of course they dispute the evidence because it goes against their deeply held worldview.

Great question! Do you, dear reader, disregard the facts and evidence presented by creationists? After that she tells us:

Shermer argues that facts fail to convince people because of their deeply held beliefs. But he doesn’t apply this same thinking to himself. He doesn’t acknowledge that his interpretation of the facts could be wrong, but just assumes the other group is obstinate and wrong.

Aha — Shermer is a fool! He merely assumes the creationists are wrong. Avery continues:

In reality it is not about the facts. When it comes to creation vs. evolution, the age of the earth, or climate change, the issue is not the facts because these facts (just the observable evidence) don’t speak for themselves. They must be interpreted. Because we were not there at the beginning of the universe, we must interpret the evidence from the past to determine what happened. And we interpret the evidence through our worldview.

She’s right, dear reader. Were you there? Let’s read on:

Evolutionists start with man’s ideas about the past and assume everything is the result of natural processes over time (even though they cannot directly observe, test, or repeat such an idea). Biblical creationists start with God’s Word, the eyewitness account of creation, and use the history provided in God’s Word as a framework for interpreting the past.

Are you feeling a bit less secure, dear reader? Avery isn’t done with you. Here’s another excerpt:

Creationists don’t ignore facts. We interpret them in light of the history from God’s Word. Because we have a different starting point, we come to conclusions different from those of evolutionists looking at the same evidence. And, because God’s Word is true, the evidence we see in the world confirms God’s Word.

Perfectly reasonable! Here’s more:

We’re often asked why more people, especially scientists, aren’t creationists since the evidence confirming a young earth and creation, as described in Genesis, is overwhelming. The Bible even tells us that creation itself testifies to the Creator (Psalm 19) so that “[we] are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). So why don’t more people believe the Bible and creation?

Another good question! Avery’s answer is provided in several bible quotes, including: “Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man — and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.” (Romans 1:18–23).

This is our last excerpt:

One thing Shermer doesn’t acknowledge is that, at its core, this is a spiritual problem. The facts aren’t the problem at all. The real issue is that man is at enmity with God and suppresses the truth in unrighteousness. That’s why, ultimately, facts don’t convince anyone, though those who do seek the Lord and truth will be rewarded [scripture reference].

The problem is you, dear reader. The only reason you’re not a creationist is because you’re evil.

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

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ICR Rejoices — No Habitable Extra-Solar Planets

One of the many nightmares that plague creationists is the fear that life will be found on planets other than the Earth. We’re written about this several times before — see NASA Has More Bad News for Creationists. As we said there:

The universe described in the bible is a cozy arrangement, with the Earth created as the only world in existence, in the center of what seemed to be a rather limited universe, consisting of the Sun and the Moon, with the stars as lights set in a presumably solid firmament rotating around us, just below the glorious realm of Yahweh.

[…]

Until very recently they insisted that ours was the only planetary system in existence, so they could still believe that Earth was specially created for us as the focus of divine attention. But in recent years, to their increasing horror, other planetary systems have been discovered, and more are constantly being sighted. The total of verified extra-solar planets is now over 3,000, of which over 500 are rocky planets like Earth, and more than 20 of those are in their star’s so-called Goldilocks zone, or rather, the Circumstellar habitable zone.

Even the Discoveroids, who pretend not to be influenced by Genesis, nevertheless insist that Earth is The Privileged Planet.

But with more potentially habitable worlds being discovered all the time — see NASA Reports: Proxima b May Be Habitable — the creationists live in a state of constant fear that the cosmos imagined 30 centuries ago when Genesis was written will be completely discredited. So what do they do to keep up their confidence and that of their drooling followers? You’re about to find out.

But first the actual news. A month ago, PhysOrg reported Astronomers search for signs of life on Wolf 1061 exoplanet. A few excerpts will be sufficient. They say:

Is there anybody out there? The question of whether Earthlings are alone in the universe has puzzled everyone from biologists and physicists to philosophers and filmmakers. It’s also the driving force behind San Francisco State University astronomer Stephen Kane’s research into exoplanets — planets that exist outside Earth’s solar system.

As one of the world’s leading “planet hunters,” Kane focuses on finding “habitable zones,” areas where water could exist in a liquid state on a planet’s surface if there’s sufficient atmospheric pressure. Kane and his team, including former undergraduate student Miranda Waters, examined the habitable zone on a planetary system 14 light years away. … “The Wolf 1061 system is important because it is so close and that gives other opportunities to do follow-up studies to see if it does indeed have life,” Kane said.

What has he found so far? We’re told:

Since Wolf 1061c is close to the inner edge of the habitable zone, meaning closer to the star, it could be that the planet has an atmosphere that’s more similar to Venus. “It’s close enough to the star where it’s looking suspiciously like a runaway greenhouse,” Kane said.

Okay, maybe that one isn’t habitable. This is the reaction of the creation scientists at the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom. Their headline is Earth Remains the Only Goldilocks Planet, written by Brian Thomas. He’s described at the end of his articles as “Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.” This is ICR’s biographical information on him. We’ll give you some excerpts from his article, with bold font added by us:

Brian begins by describing the work of Stephen Kane, and then he says:

[E]xcitement dwindled when they overlaid the likely orbital track of planet Wolf 1061c onto the Goldilocks zone, they discovered that the planet orbits so close to its star that any water there would likely cause a runaway greenhouse effect. It would be a hellish sauna, like Venus. Basically, they just crossed Wolf 1061c off the list of exoplanets that might have liquid water.

That thrills the creationists. Brian says:

Now it [Wolf 1061c] seems to be another dead end, like everywhere but Earth, so far as we know. Of the hundreds of exoplanets targeted for faint hints of distant life, so far none meet the most basic requirement: liquid water.

Hurray — Earth is still unique! Brian continues:

However, if some astronomers ever do verify liquid water on a distant planet, they will almost certainly take it as a sign of life even though water destroys the very chemicals that make cells operate. Water facilitates the right chemistry inside already-living cells, but terminates those same chemicals when exposed outside the protective membrane of a cell.

Wow — even if those godless astronomers actually do find a planet with water, it won’t mean anything. The whole field of Astrobiology is a waste of time. This is how Brian’s essay ends:

With Wolf 1061c too close to its star to reasonably expect liquid water, and with water’s power to destroy biochemistry, the idea of life somewhere out there goes from a hope without reason to a hope against reason.

Those astronomers are fools! Why do they keep wasting their time? Creationists know that there’s no place like Earth. Nothing like it has been found out there yet, so they can keep on promoting the truth of Genesis a while longer.

What will happen when we eventually discover life on some extra-solar planet? Or when we create life from lifeless chemicals in the lab? That will be the creationists’ ultimate crisis, and it’s coming. They know it, and they’re frightened.

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

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Discovery Institute — Desperate in South Dakota?

You already know about the South Dakota Creationism Bill for 2017, and you’re aware of its progress through the state legislature — see South Dakota Senate Passes Creationism Bill. You’ve also seen that the Discoveroids Support S. Dakota Creationism Bill.

Although the Discoveroids appear to be on the fast track to their third legislative victory (after Louisiana and Tennessee), they seem to sense that their South Dakota bill may be in trouble. They just posted two more times about the situation. The first new post at their creationist blog is Activist Group Spreads Falsehoods About South Dakota Science Education Bill, and it has no author’s by-line. That was yesterday.

Today they posted South Dakota Science Education Controversy Gets Surreal as Anti-Censorship Group Demands Censorship, by Klinghoffer. We’ll give you some excerpts from each, with bold font added by us for emphasis. First, in yesterday’s post, they say:

Dogmatic activists are trying to derail a proposed science education bill in South Dakota. The language of the bill is aimed at supporting critical thinking by allowing students to learn how scientists debate scientific issues, according to John West, Associate Director of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture.

Wow — we’re the “dogmatic activists.” Then they say:

South Dakota legislators are currently considering [yeah, we know what they’re considering]. Since the bill was introduced, Darwin-only lobbyists with the national group Americans United for Separation of Church and State have been attacking SB 55 and circulating misinformation about it. Notably, they falsely claim that SB 55 would authorize the teaching of “intelligent design.”

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Of course it allows the teaching of intelligent design. Why else would the Discoveroids support the thing?

The rest of that post is a few paragraphs of blather, claiming that the bill isn’t what it obviously is. We’ve explained all that before — see Curmudgeon’s Guide to “Academic Freedom” Laws.

Let’s get to the Klinghoffer article. He says:

We have patiently explained why the current academic freedom bill in South Dakota, SB 55, cannot possibly be construed in any reasonable manner as seeking to inject teaching intelligent design into public schools.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! After that he tells us:

But with evolution proponents, such distortions are absolutely routine. It’s bizarre. It’s farcical. But this tops it. In a surreal move, a group called the National Coalition Against Censorship has plunged into the South Dakota situation to demand continued restraints on teachers and their academic freedom — in other words, censorship.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Keeping creationism out of public school science classes, as the Constitution demands, is censorship! Klinghoffer continues:

They complain that SB 55 would “remov[e] accountability in science education.” “Accountability” there would seem to mean instructors being vulnerable to career retaliation for teaching critical thinking skills to science students. These “anti-censorship” proponents advocate retaining the option of punishing biology teachers for going off message on Darwinism.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Teachers should have the freedom to do what was quashed in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District. Let’s read on:

The bill, they say, “may encourage teachers who object to the scientific consensus on evolution and climate change to bring their opinions into the classroom,” instead of sticking slavishly to a uniform Darwin-only script. The teachers should stick to their script.

How unfair! The teachers would have to teach science, and wouldn’t be allowed to teach Oogity Boogity! Another excerpt:

They conclude by comparing exploring mainstream debate about evolutionary theory with, yes, denying the Holocaust. And that is where they transition from absurdity to obscenity.

The Discoveroids, in contrast, never indulge in obscenity — not even when they insist that Darwin inspired Hitler.

Okay, that’s enough. We’re not sure if this is a sign that the Discoveroids’ bill is in trouble in South Dakota, but they obviously think it is. We’ll find out soon enough. Meanwhile, it’s fun to watch them squirm.

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

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