Rev. David Rives Interviews Jason Lisle

If you have 25 minutes to spare, and you remember the several times we wrote about Jason Lisle’s “Instant Starlight” Paper, then this video is for you.

This is about 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 is the the creationist astrophysicist who used to be employed by Answers in Genesis (AIG), but for never-explained reasons 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.

The title of this video is Distant Starlight In A Young Universe. Jason doesn’t show up until shortly after the first three minutes, so to save time you might want to zoom to that point. Then be prepared to be amazed. We’ve never seen Jason speak before, and he’s surprisingly articulate. He gives a good presentation. Rev Rives spends most of the time saying nothing except: “Wow, that’s amazing!”

If the subject interests you, you’ll want to watch this. If not, we’ll certainly understand. We enjoyed it. We’re certainly not convinced by Jason, but the point he’s making isn’t actually wrong. Nevertheless, it’s irrelevant except for young-Earth creationists. It’s difficult to imagine that Jason is devoting his life to creationism.

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Creative Challenge #21: Knock, Knock

This has been a supremely dull weekend for our kind of news. It is therefore up to you, dear reader, to provide the entertainment. We offer the following challenge, for you to complete in two places, each with reasonable brevity: (1) as if you were a creationist knocking on a sane person’s door; and then (2) give us the sane person’s response. This is the setup:

Creationist: Knock Knock.

Sane person: Who’s there?

Creationist: The Truth™!

Sane person: What truth?

Creationist: ____________________

Sane person: ____________________

You know the rules: A successful entry should be self-explanatory. 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 probably won’t 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!

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How Did the Snake Lose Its Legs?

We weren’t going to mention this until we had a good creationist reaction to it, but that may never come, and it’s something we ought to discuss anyway. The news is at the Nature website: Four-legged fossil snake is a world first. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

The first four-legged fossil snake ever found is forcing scientists to rethink how snakes evolved from lizards. Although it has four legs, Tetrapodophis amplectus has other features that clearly mark it as a snake, says Nick Longrich, a palaeontologist at the University of Bath, UK, and one of the authors of a paper describing the animal in Science.

This is the paper they’re talking about: A four-legged snake from the Early Cretaceous of Gondwana. The abstract is all you can see without a subscription, so we’ll stay with the article in Nature:

The creature’s limbs were probably not used for locomotion, the researchers say, but rather for grasping prey, or perhaps for holding on to mating partners. Such speculation inspired the snake’s name, which loosely translates as ‘four-legged hugging snake’.

Awwwww — that’s cute. Let’s read on:

Tetrapodophis was originally found in the fossil-rich Crato Formation in northeastern Brazil several decades ago. But its legs can be difficult to see at first glance, and it languished in a private collection after its discovery, assumed to be unremarkable.

That was a well-written sentence. We continue:

“I was confident it might be a snake,” says David Martill, a palaeobiologist at the University of Portsmouth, UK, who came across the find in 2012. “It was only after getting the specimen under the microscope and looking at it in detail that my confidence grew. We had gone to see Archaeopteryx, the missing link between birds and dinosaurs, and discovered Tetrapodophis, the missing link between snakes and lizards.”

As Louis Pasteur once said, “Chance favors the prepared mind.” That’s why creationists will never stumble into anything of scientific value. Here’s more:

Scientists have long argued over whether snakes evolved from land or marine animals. Tetrapodophis lacks adaptations for marine life, such as a tail useful for swimming. But its skull and body proportions are consistent with adaptations for burrowing. Longrich says that the finding unequivocally shows that snakes originated in the Southern Hemisphere and strongly supports a terrestrial origin.

This is an outrage! Every creationist knows the snake lost its legs after tempting Eve in the Garden. Moving along:

The discovery comes in a major year for snake evolution research, [Martin Cohn, an evolutionary developmental biologist at the University of Florida, Gainesville] says. In January, the snake fossil record was pushed back by some 70 million years to the Middle Jurassic, around 160 million years ago, with the report of the oldest snake ever found. Although Tetrapodophis is not the oldest snake, Cohn says, “from a developmental perspective, this could be one of the most important fossils ever found. The combination of a snake-like body with complete forelimbs and hindlimbs is like a snake version of Archaeopteryx.”

As you know, Archaeopteryx is the transitional link between non-avian feathered dinosaurs and modern birds. By the way, although it’s a favorite tactic of creationists, Archaeopteryx shouldn’t be confused with Archaeoraptor, a Chinese fake that somehow found its way into National Geographic.

We don’t know how this new discovery fits in with Eupodophis, a legged snake fossil we wrote about more than four years ago in Another Transitional Fossil — Lizard to Snake. We’ll let the snake specialists work it out. Meanwhile, we’re eager to see what the creationist reaction will be.

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Ken Ham — Insulted in the Australian Press

The entertainment never ends at the blog of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia. He’s famed for his creationist ministry, Answers in Genesis (AIG) and for the mind-boggling Creation Museum.

We imagine that ol’ Hambo is once again red in the face, foaming at the mouth, and rolling around chewing the carpet. He just posted Scoffers Running Scared! BWAHAHAHAHAHA! What a title!

It’s about his Ark Encounter project, a religious theme park under construction in northern Kentucky. This time he’s enraged at some unfavorable press coverage in Australia. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

You just have to shake your head, remember we are in a spiritual battle, and pray for the scoffers — and also remember they are not really scoffing at us, but scoffing at their Creator God who tells us [scripture reference].

Yes, the scoffers aren’t scoffing at Hambo, they’re scoffing at God himself! Sometimes it’s difficult to tell the difference. Then we’re told:

This headline appeared in an Australian news source (PerthNow) on July 23rd (ironically, while I am still in Australia): “Aussie behind bizarre and ‘scary’ life-size replica of Noah’s Ark.”

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! They said Hambo’s project was “bizarre,” and they ran that story while Hambo was in Australia. How insulting! What else did they say? Here’s one brief excerpt from the Australian article:

Those behind the project have been frequently mocked with some calling the creationist idea – set to feature dinosaurs alongside Noah and his animals – “scary”. While such ostentatious displays of the Christian faith might be expected in America’s bible belt, it’s actually an Australian ex-pat who played an instrumental role in the project.

How disrespectful! Let’s return to Hambo’s article:

At first I thought I was reading a tabloid — but this supposed news source is owned by News Corp Australia. It was started by the Australian Sunday Times in 2006 as an online local news source. News Corp Australia seems to own most of the major newspapers in Australia, including quite a few other media outlets and brands.

Gasp! News Corp Australia is a Rupert Murdoch company — just like Fox News. How could they write such an article? Hambo continues:

You see, the life-size Noah’s Ark project is “scary” to those who scoff at God’s Word. And based upon the focus of the article and utterly poor reporting with made up diatribe against the project, I really wonder if it is the author Nick Wigham who is scared. If these scoffers do not change their ways as I pray that they do, they should really be scared of the fact that one day they will have to bow their knee to God who created them: [scripture reference].

Aha, that explains it. The journalist is afraid. Here’s more:

Just as in Noah’s day, when God shut the door to the Ark the judgment came, so one day in the future God will shut the “door” to our “Ark,” the Lord Jesus Christ, and then the final judgment will come. I’m sure when the scoffing world in Noah’s day saw the door to the Ark shut and then the Flood began — they were running scared. Those who continue to scoff should be running scared, as they will have to face the God of the creation one day: [scripture reference].

Those responsible for such an outrageous news story will end up in the Lake of Fire. Moving along:

My conclusion is that these scoffers are running scared — scared that Christians will be able to practice the free exercise of religion, and tastefully and professionally challenge people concerning the truth of God’s Word.

Are you one of those frightened scoffers, dear reader? Hambo understands your motivation. One last excerpt:

The exciting news is that the life-size Noah’s Ark is well advanced in construction and will open sometime around the middle of next year (2016).

The rest of Hambo’s post is puffery about his Ark project. We’ve seen it all before. And so we leave ol’ Hambo, probably still rolling around on the floor in rage. Why can’t the great man get any respect?

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