Rev. David Rives — Darwin Was a Plagiarizer

The Drool-o-tron™ was surprisingly subdued when it called to us with its sirens and flashing lights. The blinking letters of its wall display said WorldNetDaily (WND). The Drool-o-tron™ had found the latest video by the brilliant and articulate leader of David Rives Ministries.

Our computer was locked onto this headline at WND: The evolution of evolution. Clever title, huh?

The rev tells us that Charles Darwin didn’t originate the theory of evolution. He got the idea from his grandfather, Erasmus Darwin. That’s how he also learned to — gasp! — doubt the bible. Even the idea that small changes could result in big changes came from Erasmus. Charles was just a popularizer of his grandfather’s ideas. That’s the word he uses; He doesn’t actually say that Charles was a plagiarizer.

The rev is wearing his gray bible-boy suit, but with a dark blue shirt. It looks weird, but he’s still the cutest rev you’ve ever seen! The video is only three minutes long before the commercial at the end. Go ahead, click over to WND and watch it.

Even the Drool-o-tron™ recognized that this wasn’t much of a video, but it’s a good excuse for an Intellectual Free Fire Zone. We dedicate the comments section for your use. You know the rules. Okay, the comments are open. Go for it!

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Klinghoffer Dismisses Latest Planet Discoveries

As you know from our earlier post, NASA News Conference on Extra-Solar Discovery, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) made an announcement that is certain to upset creationists.

NASA posted a subsequent article on their discovery: NASA Telescope Reveals Largest Batch of Earth-Size, Habitable-Zone Planets Around Single Star. One excerpt is sufficient:

NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star. Three of these planets are firmly located in the habitable zone, the area around the parent star where a rocky planet is most likely to have liquid water.

The discovery sets a new record for greatest number of habitable-zone planets found around a single star outside our solar system. All of these seven planets could have liquid water – key to life as we know it – under the right atmospheric conditions, but the chances are highest with the three in the habitable zone.

PhysOrg then posted this article: Temperate earth-sized worlds found in extraordinarily rich planetary system (Update), which says:

Astronomers have found a system of seven Earth-sized planets just 40 light-years away. They were detected as they passed in front of their parent star, the dwarf star TRAPPIST-1. Three of them lie in the habitable zone and could harbour water, increasing the possibility that the system could play host to life. It has both the largest number of Earth-sized planets yet found and the largest number of worlds that could support liquid water. … All the planets, labelled TRAPPIST-1b, c, d, e, f, g and h in order of increasing distance from their parent star, have sizes similar to Earth.


These new discoveries make the TRAPPIST-1 system a very important target for future study. The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is already being used to search for atmospheres around the planets and team member Emmanuël Jehin is excited about the future possibilities: “With the upcoming generation of telescopes, such as ESO’s European Extremely Large Telescope and the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope , we will soon be able to search for water and perhaps even evidence of life on these worlds.”

We knew the creationists would be upset by this news, and we found the first sour reaction from the Discovery Institute. Their article is Speculative Evolution Story of the Day: Seven Planets Found Where “Life May Have Evolved”, written by Klinghoffer.

There’s not much to it. All he does is quote-mine various articles and headlines, to emphasize the “maybe” words. Here are some excerpts:

NASA today announced the discovery of new exoplanets, totaling seven orbiting a dim red dwarf star, TRAPPIST-1, some 40 light years away. Note the headlines, which you could probably write yourself based on previous experience with these types of articles (emphasis added):

• “Scientists find three new planets where life could have evolved” (Sky News)

• “Nasa discovers new solar system where life may have evolved on three planets” (The Telegraph)

• “Nasa’s ‘holy grail’: Entire new solar system that could support alien life discovered” (The Independent)

• “Seven Alien ‘Earths‘ Found Orbiting Nearby Star” (National Geographic)

That was Klinghoffer’s bold font on all the words and phrases he quote-mined. He keeps doing it. For example:

Still, excitement runs high and even the faintest possibility of life circling this faint star is enough to send the media off to the races. The New York Times notes the longevity of dwarf planets [Hee hee!]:

“If you’re looking for complex biology, intelligent aliens that might take a long time to evolve from pond scum, older could be better,” said Seth Shostak, an astronomer at the Seti Institute in Mountain View, Calif. “It seems a good bet that the majority of clever beings populating the universe look up to see a dim, reddish sun hanging in their sky. And at least they wouldn’t have to worry about sun block.”

After all that quote mining, he tells us — and here the bold font was added by us for emphasis:

So we “simply do not know” whether any of these planets could or does host an alien biology. Life could have, may have, evolved. … However, everything else we do know indicates that life can’t and won’t originate and evolve without intelligent design.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Klinghoffer continues:

Alien evolution remains about the most speculative science subject possible. That is, except for the multiverse, which serves the same purpose. Materialist science must have alien life, to show that earthly life isn’t special, and it must have a way to explain away the appearance of cosmic fine-tuning.

Yes, we’re the ones who are desperate. The Discoveroids and other creationists are content that their “theories” are rock-solid. And now we come to the end:

None of this puts a damper on breathless coverage from the popular science media. But the actual science of evolution is itself speculative and unfalsifiable. [He attributes that to Karl Popper, as reported by Tom Bethell.] So to be fair, why hold media coverage to a standard higher than the science itself meets?

In other words: There is no alien life. Materialist scientists hope for it, because their unfalsifiable theories demand it, but we creationists know better. The intelligent designer made Earth unique, and there’s nothing else out there. Trust us.

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

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South Dakota’s 2017 Creationism Bill — Dead

Creationist bill, road kill

We learned the news from our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE). Their headline is South Dakota’s antiscience bill stopped. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

South Dakota’s Senate Bill 55, which would have empowered science denial in the classroom, was defeated in the House Education Committee on February 22, 2017. A motion to pass the bill was defeated on a 6-9 vote, while a subsequent motion to defer further consideration of the bill to the forty-first legislative day — effectively killing it — passed on an 11-4 vote.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! It wasn’t that long ago when the thing appeared to be on a fast track to victory. Within the first two weeks of the legislative session, we wrote South Dakota Senate Passes Creationism Bill. The thing was moving “forward” at an amazing pace. It looked like there was no time to organize opposition.

But then we sensed that the Discoveroids were worried. We wrote Discovery Institute — Desperate in South Dakota? They were complaining about “dogmatic activists” who were working against the bill. After that we wrote Discovery Institute — More S. Dakota Desperation. They were putting out press releases about a creationist “scientist” who supported their bill. He was a signer of the Discoveroids’ list of Darwin-doubters — A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism. We could tell their bill was in trouble.

Okay, back to NCSE. They say:

Among those testifying against the bill were representatives of the state department of education, the Associated School Boards of South Dakota, the School Administrators of South Dakota, the South Dakota Education Association, and Climate Parents, a national movement of parents, grandparents and families mobilizing for clean energy and climate solutions.

In the days before the hearing, there was a groundswell of opposition to the bill, as NCSE previously reported, from both state and national organizations, including scientific, science education, civil liberties, and environmental groups. And a petition organized by Climate Parents garnered almost 1450 signatures from South Dakotans opposed to the bill.

Very impressive work. After that they tells us:

The day before the vote, the Associated Press (February 21, 2017) reviewed the controversy over the bill, quoting teachers, parents, and scientists with concerns about SB 55, and citing a letter from Governor Dennis Daugaard in which he told a group of Augustana University professors that he views the bill as unnecessary.

One more excerpt:

SB 55 was one of four similar bills active in 2017, along with Indiana’s Senate Resolution 17, Oklahoma’s Senate Bill 393, and Texas’s House Bill 1485; South Dakota’s was the only of them to have been passed by a chamber of the legislature but is the first of them to die. About seventy such bills have been introduced across the country since 2004.

How very disappointing this must be for the Discoveroids. All they have to show for their expensive, multi-year campaign to promote such legislation are two successes — in Louisiana and Tennessee. Everywhere else, their silly bills have all failed to pass. That’s how we like it.

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Ken Ham the Warrior?

We know that the Discovery Institute are Enemies of the Enlightenment, but they wage their campaign in courtrooms and in legislative chambers. They’re misguided, but at least their behavior is conventional.

It could be different in the case of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia. He ceaselessly promotes himself as the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else.

Sometimes it seems to us that Hambo considers himself to be more than a successful entrepreneur, with his creationist ministry, Answers in Genesis (AIG), his mind-boggling Creation Museum, and his replica of Noah’s Ark.

In Ken Ham Is Engaged in a War we quoted him saying:

I must admit that sometimes I wonder if the average churchgoer really understands that there is a spiritual war raging around him — in his home, church, school — well, everywhere! The New Testament contains a lot of war terminology.


It seems to me that many Christians are virtually asleep while a battle rages all around them. They go to church, send their kids to school, and come home and watch TV or whatever they like to do — all seemingly oblivious to a shocking and destructive war that is capturing many of their kids and grandkids for the enemy and is destroying the culture.


I am burdened by the thought that every Christian must understand they are all soldiers in a battle — and they all need to be at the front line and equipped to engage the enemy, who is set to drag them down and capture the coming generations of children.


And atheists are becoming more aggressive as soldiers for the enemy, out to capture the hearts and minds of children. The casualties are huge.


I praise God for the advances that many believers are making on various battlefronts as a result of the Lord using AiG to be a part of equipping them for this war. We are thrilled that despite the lethargy of many Christians, God has an army of people that is becoming more and more engaged in the battle — and we are raising up “soldiers” to teach and equip their children.

About which we said:

Now look — it’s one thing to run a circus side-show or a creation museum to entertain the rubes. But it’s quite another when the proprietor starts ranting in military terms about how he is God’s instrument in a battle against the forces of evil. Are we wrong to be concerned?

Perhaps we’re taking Hambo’s words too literally, and there’s really no cause for alarm. Maybe what we see as deeply disturbing language is merely Hambo’s style and his way of raising money. That could be it. But if there’s more going on, if Hambo truly thinks he’s been chosen to lead God’s army against the forces of evil, then he may be standing on the brink of full-blown, out-of-control madness. We hope we’re wrong. If we’re not, things could get messy.

Well, ol’ Hambo seems to be beating the war drum again in a story we found at the Christian Post, which describes itself as “the nation’s most comprehensive Christian news website.” They don’t have a comments feature. Their headline is Ken Ham Says There’s a Civil War Between Creationism, Atheistic Evolution. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Creationist Ken Ham says there’s a civil war happening in America against young earth creationism and that an atheistic view of evolution is permeating the world.

“Civil war” — not “disagreement” or “debate”. It’s an interesting choice of words. Then we’re told:

Ham recently hosted the premiere screening of the upcoming film “Is Genesis History?” at The Creation Museum and wants to reinforce the film’s message to the public. The film makes the case for creation in six literal days and presents evidence that support the accounts in the book of Genesis.

[*Groan*] We discussed that film in A Bold New Creationist ‘Documentary’. After that the Christian Post quotes ol’ Hambo again:

“What you believe about where you came from affects your whole worldview,” Ham said. “If there’s a God who created us then He owns us, then He has a right to set the rules to tell us what is right and what is wrong.”

In other words, we need a theocracy. And who is more qualified to be ruler of the world than ol’ Hambo? The article continues:

The battle has already begun in America, he argued. “Look at what we see happening, there’s really a civil war going on! It’s a civil war because we now have generations that have come through that atheistic education system,” Ham said. “The consequence of that is [things are] becoming consistent with their worldview of ‘we are our own God.’ That’s really what’s happening! Moral relativism is permeating the culture.” The Australian-born Christian fundamentalist said that people who come out of a system that believes “there is no God” have no one who determines right from wrong.

That’s so sad, when we have Hambo who can make that determination for us. Let’s read on:

The 65-year-old went on to say that as you stand back and look at the world, especially the Western world, you see that everything has become increasingly secularized with a constant rebellion against Christian doctrine and morality. “I believe we’re living in what I would call a post evolution culture,” he stated.

The rest of the article is about the ‘documentary’ and we won’t bother with that. The key point, we think, is that Hambo appears to think that we’re in the middle of an actual war, and his side is losing. Something must be done!

Or, as we wondered before, are we wrong to be concerned about Hambo’s military style of expressing himself? Perhaps it’s just his charming personality, and his drooling followers would never dream of picking up their torches and pitchforks to battle with the godless scientists. We don’t know what’s going on in Hambo’s mind or the minds of his followers. But we prefer freedom to theocracy, so we’re worried about ol’ Hambo. It could be that he’s serious.

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

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