Category Archives: Science

ICR Is Labeled a Junk News Website

Wikipedia defines Fake news as:

a type of hoax or deliberate spread of misinformation, be it via the traditional news media or via social media, with the intent to mislead in order to gain financially or politically.

As we’ve reported recently, creationists have been attempting to use the phenomenon to their advantage — see Klinghoffer Says Evolution Is ‘Fake News’, followed not long thereafter by Ken Ham Is a Victim of ‘Fake News’.

Now we have a new development, reported by the creation scientists at the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom. Their headline is ICR Falsely Placed on False News List, written by Brian Thomas. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

A Harvard library website that offers ways to spot “fake news” links to a non-Harvard Google doc with “Tips for analyzing news sources.” The doc lists hundreds of “False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and/or Satirical ‘News’ Sources,” and as of this writing the list includes the Institute for Creation Research.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Then he says:

As soon as we learned of it, we contacted the assistant professor behind the list, a Harvard journalism web resource that linked to the list, and the Harvard library that also linked to the list. Our respectful requests for removal from the list — after all, ICR.org does not report false news, misleading news, clickbait, or satire — brought a variety of results.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Can you imagine the reaction of the fake news list folks at Harvard? Well, what were the results of ICR’s protest? Brian tells us:

After our request, the list manager specified ICR.org as “junksci,” as though ICR purveys junk science. Junk science describes conclusive-sounding statements with no support from experiment or observation. Examples of junk science include flat earth theories, manipulated climate reports, and a variety of unproven health-related claims.

“Junksci” — that’s beautiful! Brian continues:

ICR actually tries to expose some junk science. … ICR.org contains thousands of science articles that painstakingly reference original technical science sources. … Should those who read the “fake” list consider the hundreds of secular science journals that our articles reference as junk, too?

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! If a creationist website quote-mines or otherwise misrepresents the actual research reported in a legitimate science journal, should the science journal also be considered junk? Let’s read on:

ICR.org clearly and repeatedly promotes and describes good, referenced science. So, why are we on this “false” list? What’s really going on?

Why is ICR on the junk list? It’s so unfair! Another excerpt:

Our scientists believe the Bible. When we report on the good science behind stunning ingenuity in DNA repair enzymes, for example, we feel free to credit the Creator. When we report on the good science behind preservation of short-lived tissues still persisting in dinosaur and other fossils, we feel free to include the Bible’s recent Flood as a reasonable explanation. Today’s anti-Creator, anti-Bible attitudes clearly clash with this biblical history.

The way Brian explains it, the creation scientists at ICR are the good guys. Here’s how the article ends:

We challenge readers to search for legitimate junk on ICR.org, having confidence that peering into ICR.org’s nearly half-century worth of content similarly reveals a long trend of good science — conclusions based on experimental results and reliable eyewitnesses.

Okay, dear reader, you’ve been challenged. Can you find any “legitimate junk” on the ICR website? Well, can you?

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

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A Classic Rant from Ken Ham

We love to blog about Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia, because there’s no other place on the internet where you can find entertainment like his latest post: Secularists Are Afraid for Children to Learn the Truth about Creation. Isn’t that a great title? We’re afraid that children will learn The Truth. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Secularists fear when Answers in Genesis overcomes censorship and exposes school kids to evidence for creation and against evolution. You could even say these secularists throw tantrums when myself or our AiG scientists expose the lie of evolution and millions of years to the world and teach the truth of creation.

We always imagine that when Hambo is ranting like this, he’s red in the face, foaming at the mouth, and rolling around chewing the carpet. But here he’s saying that we’re the ones who throw tantrums. You gotta love it! Then he says:

Christians are happy to teach children about the various views of origins, but many atheists want children taught naturalism to the exclusion of all other views. My kids know more about evolution than most evolutionists — we’re not afraid to teach them about how to understand different views.

We don’t want to think about what goes on in the minds of Hambo’s kids. After that he tells us:

Atheists are afraid for people to think critically about origins since people would then understand that evolution is a religion.

[*Groan*] Not that again. See Hambo Says Evolution Is a Religion. By the way, Hambo uses the words “secularist,” “atheist,” and “evolutionist” interchangeably. It’s all the same to him. The rant continues:

Notice how insecure atheists are? They can’t have their belief critically analyzed, so they legislate to protect it in public schools. Atheists are so insecure that they don’t want anyone seeing nativity scenes, crosses, or any other Christian symbol for fear that people might start thinking for themselves.

You’re insecure, dear reader. Let’s read on:

Many secularists demand that no one acknowledge God in public places so they can impose their atheistic religion on the culture instead of allowing the free exercise of religion. The “separation of church and state” nonsense is nothing but a ruse by secularists to impose atheism on the education system and the culture. Where is the phrase “separation of church and state” in the First Amendment?

[*Groan*] We’ve pointed out a few times before that “checks and balances” doesn’t appear in the text of the Constitution either, nor does “limited government,” or “federal republic,” or “popular sovereignty,” or many other phrases that are nevertheless routinely used to accurately describe the Constitution. So it is with “separation of church and state.” When Hambo raised that same issue earlier, we wrote Ken Ham Unhinged: Creationism & Theocracy Too, in which we quoted letters from James Madison, the man who drafted the First Amendment, stating that the absolute separation of ecclesiastical and civil authorities was the Amendment’s purpose. But Madison’s opinion is nothing compared to Hambo’s. Here’s another excerpt from his rant:

Atheism is a faith that doesn’t make sense of the world and is not supported by observational science. It’s a blind-faith religion. For Christians, we believe “by faith,” yes, but it’s a faith that makes sense of what we observe and is confirmed by observational science. Those who reject creation are without excuse because God has made it evident to all that He created the universe and all life [scripture reference].

Hambo’s faith makes sense, and it’s confirmed by science. But you, dear reader, are an idiot. Here’s more

When you ask a secularist to list their evidence that the laws of nature arose by natural processes, they have no answer! These laws were created by God.

[*Groan*] The laws of nature are descriptions of the natural world, based on observation. They didn’t “arise” by some process. Things exist. They are what they are and behave as they do, rather than miraculously being what they are not and behaving some other way. It’s the creationist’s world of miracles that can’t be explained.

Hambo goes on with still more things secularists can’t explain:

Ask evolutionists for the best evidence for evolution — they’ll give you some story and will usually point to speciation (which is not evolution!). Try to get a secularist to explain how life with its DNA could have arisen by natural processes — they’ll give you some story, but they can’t explain it. Actually most evolutionists don’t really know why they believe what they do; they just regurgitate what they were indoctrinated in at school.

But Hambo can explain everything. The explanation is Oogity Boogity! You gotta be an idiot not to see it. Here’s one more excerpt:

Do you notice how irrational, illogical, inconsistent, and emotional many secularists get on social media when confronted with God’s infallible Word? That’s because it’s a spiritual battle!

Okay, that’s enough. We thank ol’ Hambo for a very entertaining Sunday rant.

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Rev. David Rives Rebuts Criticism

A week ago we wrote Rev. David Rives — New Stars Are Never Seen. The rev said that that according to “cosmic evolution,” stars formed after the Big Bang, but he claimed that there has never been a sighting of a new star forming.

We mentioned some easy-to-find evidence to the contrary. Does the rev read the Curmudgeon’s blog? Maybe he does, because we’re not aware of anyone else who bothers to write about him. Anyway, he has a new video at WorldNetDaily. The Drool-o-tron™ didn’t call to us us with its sirens and flashing lights. Instead, it made what seemed to be a laughing sound.

The rev’s new video is heralded by WND with this headline: The problem with so-called ‘stellar nurseries’. The actual title of the video is “A Star Is Born.”

The rev discusses stellar nurseries, which we mentioned as evidence for the formation of new stars. The rev disagrees. He says — in less than one minute — that stars aren’t born in what astronomers call stellar nurseries. They’ve always been there, since Creation. Take a look at his video, and then make up your own mind.

The rev still hasn’t changed his clothes, but who cares? He’s the cutest rev you’ve ever seen! As we always do with the rev’s videos, we dedicate the comments section for your use as an Intellectual Free Fire Zone. You know the rules. Okay, the comments are open. Go for it!

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

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Discoveroids: We’re Still Alone in the Universe

Everybody knows about the recent astronomical discovery which PhysOrg wrote about here: Temperate earth-sized worlds found in extraordinarily rich planetary system (Update).

The discovery has had a depressing effect on creationists, who still cling to the Genesis model of the universe, in which Earth is the only habitable world, and there is no life — certainly no intelligent life — anywhere else.

The Discovery Institute has been especially negative in their reactions — see Discoveroids: A Means Not-A. They insist that the intelligent designer — blessed be he! — made Earth as The Privileged Planet to be a home for us (whom he also created), and there’s nothing else of any importance out there, anywhere.

It’s not surprising that their outlook is consistent with that of the more traditional creationists, who cling to the concept of the universe described in the bible — 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.

The more planets we discover orbiting other stars, the more depressed they get, but they’re temporarily comforted by the the fact that we can’t yet examine the atmospheres of those worlds, so we don’t yet know if there’s any life out there. They hope there isn’t, because if there is, then something’s wrong with their Earth-centered cosmos, and — gasp! — maybe those secular Darwinists are right.

The Discoveroids imagine that they’ve just received some good news, and it’s reported at their creationist blog by Klinghoffer. His headline is Remember Those Exciting “Earth-Like” Planets of the TRAPPIST-1 System? The Honeymoon Is Over . Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Do you recall the hubbub only one month ago about TRAPPIST-1, a dim red dwarf star some 40 light years from Earth? This star has seven planet [sic], three of which, roughly Earth-sized, were announced as being potentially habitable. This led to excited speculation about alien evolution: [list of headlines].

Those were depressing times for creationists. But maybe the crisis is over. Klinghoffer says:

Well, not so fast. Much of the breathlessness about the system stemmed from a thoroughly imaginative artist’s rendering courtesy of NASA. … Today, the TRAPPIST-1 bubble looks to have popped, with 3D computer climate modeling showing major problems with the system.

Whoopie — except for Earth, the universe is a lifeless desert! Klinghoffer is thrilled! He tells us:

According to Eric T. Wolf of the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, the inner three planets would be barren, the outer three frozen. And the middle, planet e? In NASA’s rendering, it looks the most Earth-like. However, in a system like this centering on a dim red dwarf, planet e would need to have been stocked, to start, with seven times the volume of Earth’s oceans.

He refers to this article which discusses Wolf’s work: Trappist-1: Hopes for life dwindle. It says:

At least three of the planets looked like they were within the star’s “habitable zone” – the region in which water will remain liquid. On that level, at least, the trio seemed like very good candidates for hosting life.

Now, however, 3D climate modelling is dampening expectations, suggesting that at most only one of Trappist-1’s satellites could support life. The modelling has been completed by Eric Wolf from the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado, Boulder. In doing so, he made the assumption that the seven planets are – or had once been – ocean-covered, with atmospheres comprising nitrogen, carbon-dioxide and water vapour. Orbital and geophysical properties were derived or deduced from collected data. When Wolf ran the numbers, the results were rather depressing.

This is what Klinghoffer quotes from that article:

However, even one habitable planet may turn out to be a forlorn hope. Ultracool dwarf stars, Wolf says, may take as long as one billion years to settle into a stable system, during which orbiting planets are exposed to intense solar radiation, producing extreme greenhouse conditions. If this was the case with Trappist-1, then for the middle planet to retain abundant water today it would have to originally held seven times the ocean volume of Earth.

He was careful not to quote the very next paragraph, which says:

Wolf, however, is not the only scientist investigating the possibility of life in the Trappist-1 system. Also lodged on arxiv during March was a paper by Harvard astrophysicists Manasvi Lingam and Abraham Loeb, in which they explore the idea that life may have arisen on a single planet orbiting the star, then spread to “multiple” others by a process known as panspermia.

[…]

Lingham and Loeb contend that because the seven planets in Trappist-1 are very close together – the distance between adjacent ones being far less than the distance between Earth and Mars – then microbial panspermia is likely to be robust.

After his quote-mining — or model-mining — Klinghoffer continues:

Materialists must have alien life, to assure themselves that Earth’s biology is nothing special, easily replicable by unguided evolutionary processes many other places in the cosmos. It seems unlikely the planets around TRAPPIST-1 support life, which means they cannot support evolutionary speculation, either.

[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] Darwin is doomed again! Klinghoffer smugly ends his little essay with this:

Now it’s time to sit back and wait for the next half-baked “Earth-like” exoplanet to be wheeled out onstage by the popular science media. Don’t worry, it won’t be long.

So there you are. The cozy creationist universe seems secure — for the moment. But they’re worried. Very worried. As they should be.

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

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