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Date: 2007/08/29 14:48:53, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
The origins of junk e-mail are clear :

are they being serious or is this an attempt by creationists at humour ?

Date: 2007/09/08 16:05:15, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
I am ashamed to say that Northern Ireland is an absolute hotbed of young Earth creationism. It's probably worse here than in the US. Every evangelical denomination (and I do mean all of them......the Brethren movement, Baptist, Elim, Congregational, Congregational Reformed, Free Presbyterian, Reformed Presbyterian, Evangelical Presbyterian, Free Methodist, Independant Methodist etc. etc. etc.) is heavily promoting YECism. It's even found it's way into the largest Protestant denomination in the province, the Presbyterian church in Ireland. A number of it's congregations are the venues for Monty White's (CEO of AiG UK) tour in the province next month. One of these is Belfast Central Mission, the church's outreach arm.

When Ken Ham spoke in Belfast in March 2005 he attracted almost 2,000 people. It was the largest creation meeting in the whole of Europe, according to Ham.

Monty White will also speak at the Crescent church (in the heart of Belfast's University area). The meeting will be attended by nearly a thousand (mostly young i.e. 20/30's) people. One lay preacher at the Crescent is Professor Norman Nevin. Nevin is also a highly respected UK geneticist:

Biographies of the Speakers:

Professor Norman Nevin:
Norman C. Nevin is Professor of Medical Genetics, Queen's University of Belfast and Head of the Northern Regional Genetics Service. He has held the positions of secretary, vice-president and president of the UK Clinical Genetics Society as well as serving on various national and international committees notably the Human Genetics Advisory Commission. He is a member of the European Concerted Action for congenital abnormalities. Professor Nevin was a founder member of the UK Gene Therapy Advisory Committee (GTAC) and is currently its' chairman. His research interests have resulted in over 300 peer reviewed publications on various aspects of genetics, especially single gene disorders and congenital abnormalities.

Nevin has apparently backed Truth in Science:

It seems that young Earth creationism (in the guise of Truth in Science), for some strange reason, is attracting some very highly qualified and talented scientists !

Date: 2007/09/09 05:00:17, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
I find it disturbing Alan, that so many churches in the province are now YEC and I didn't even mention the independant ones like Glenabbey fellowship (where Philip Johnstone has spoken) or the Iron Hall. Only the Methodist church in Ireland, The Church of Ireland (Anglican), and the Roman Catholic appear to be immune from the phenomenon, although, that is not to say there are YEC's among those denominations as well. The YEC's seem to be being being driven by a somewhat obscure organisation called the Caleb foundation:

which I'd never heard of until Roger Stanyard of the BCSE drew my attention to it:

I've been going on about YECism in the Province for some time now and I am at a loss as to what to do. None of the church leaders here have condemned it. I may have a go at writing to the Belfast Telegraph in response to an article they did on the creation museum a few weeks ago :

So far it's provoked one letter:

but the reader seems somewhat naive of YECism (Ham can answer most of the questions raised !)

I'm disappointed at both Nevin and DeGroot though. I've always had a lot of respect for Nevin both as a preacher and a scientist. He's done a great deal of work in the field of genetics here, especially in working with abnormalities in children and during pregnancy. He always took a more understanding/liberal line on the question of abortion for example.

Mart DeGroot was a highly respected astronomer in the province. He wrote a monthly "night sky" column in the Belfast Telegraph (which I always read) for many years, and didn't give any indication he was a YEC. He's apparently a prominent member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church here. As readers of this blog probably already know, this denomination is one of those that founded the modern YEC movement. George McCready Price was a member.

Date: 2007/09/10 16:37:47, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Does this open the way for school boards to place anti-evolution stickers on school text books in the future ? From AiG's website today:

In a modest triumph for academic freedom in America’s public schools, a federal court has challenged the decision of a lower court judge who had ordered Georgia schools to remove textbook stickers that called evolution “a theory, not a fact.” A U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered that the previous decision be vacated and the case retried.

Date: 2007/09/10 17:08:38, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
That's very worrying.  It still doesn't seem to have made much progress south of the border.  But with the increase in evangelicals here due to the big increases in immigration and with the decline of the Catholic church, there might be soon.

Has it become political yet, do you know?  Have the DUP (Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionist Party, for those who don't read Irish alphabet soup) shown any interest in promoting creationism?

Although it doesn't seem to be as widespread in the ROI George, I seem to remember Ham saying that he had a good turnout when he spoke there (I think the venue was Cork) in 2005.

Paisley has never spoken publicly on the subject, to my knowledge, but the religious shools being run by his church are teaching it as science. Several of his congregations are hosting AiG speakers both this month (Paul Taylor) and in October (Monty White). Taylor has gained access to a school in Lisburn, although it's outside school hours, so it's probably a case of AiG renting out the premises. The contact name at that event is the same as the one at Hillsborough Free Presbyterian.

I think there seems to be a lot of ignorance as to the nature of AiG in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland though. Some ministers, realising the controversial nature of creation, ignore the subject altogether, while others that I've spoken to haven't a clue about AiG's teachings. This means that the YEC ministers can promote the doctrine with little apparent resistance. The church hierarchy appear not to care about what is happening and don't see it as a serious threat.

Because we have a national curriculum, it probably isn't the same as in the US. However, it's my view that academic selection at 11 in the province, appears to have contributed to a large number of people leaving school with little or no qualifications at all. Something is obviously wrong with the system when so many are prepared to accept such an outdated view of science.

But then again, maybe the situation is the same as that in the Southern  Baptist states. This type of mindset has probably always been there. The YECs are merely tapping into it.

But it always amazes me how people try and warp science etc.  That was rather a long knock down and drag out fight, and I was annoyed throughout it.

Crawley seems to be the only one who is exposing it for what it is Guthrie. There's a very good interview with Ham in his archives which is well worth a listen. Still, I admire you for having a go. YEC's are very difficult to debate, even though the science is so wrong. You have to be well "genned-up" with the claims

Date: 2007/09/11 14:05:29, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Thanks for the update Richard, Wesley. I am familiar with the case and Ken Miller did refer to the stickers during his talk in Ohio.

The article on the AiG website yesterday looked convincingly like a new development, which begs the question, why are AiG putting out news stories that are a year old without explaining this to their readers ?

Date: 2007/09/11 14:41:22, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
I have got to know a couple recently moved here from Belfast. ( The husband remembers Prof. Nevin from his days at Queens). I had naively assumed my English experience of a gently fading religious aspect would be the same in NI.

Church attendance is still fairly high in the province Alan. However, there are a wide range of views, even though the Fundamentalists often shout the loudest. The fact that all the evangelical denominations are YEC is not that dissimilar from the situation in the rest of the UK. It's just that there are less people in England Scotland and Wales that attend these denominations. For example, if you read Ham's blog on his visit to Scotland it seems that things didn't go as well as he had hoped. 300 people in a city 3 times the size of Belfast is a dissapointing turnout for such a major figure in the world of young Earth creationism. He was also complaining that people weren't buying his DVDs/books etc. blaming this on the cost of living in the UK. Nonsense in my opinion.

Have any schools started to use the "Truth in Science" packs? Maybe there is mileage in a legal challenge, if so.

Apparently there are several schools here where the pupils (seriously !) have asked for ID to be taught as science as an alternative to evolution :

Cases of persecution of students who openly espouse Creationist views by teachers have been reported to the Council. One sixth-form female student, studying for GCSE’s in a School in Craigavon was bold enough to speak out in class, and to testify that she believed in a Divine Creator, who made the world. The girl, then 15, was openly mocked by the teacher, and afterwards subjected to weeks of open ridicule in class. The girl’s parents complained to the Head Teacher, and threatened to instigate a disciplinary action, whereupon the teacher was forced to apologise, and to back down. How often does this happen, and we don’t hear about it?

Together we can make a stand against anti-Creationist bigotry in our schools, and force CCEA to treat us with equity.

David McConaghie, who often appears on Sunday Sequence along with McIntosh, is aggresivly anti-science. A couple of years ago Ronald Numbers along with a leading UK biologist, attempted to debate the pair. They were both "shouted down", so to speak, such was the nature of McConaghie and McIntosh's debating skills. Numbers was speaking at QUB at the time so I'm sorry I missed his visit.

On a slightly different note, my brother has a fairly senior position in the Department of education here. Although he attends a large Baptist church, he tells me the pastor has never mentioned creation (the church did advertise Ham's visit on their website though) . He is not a YEC, and would hold a similar position to myself (TE). He tells me that he's aware of ID and the parliamentary questions tabled in the House of Commons. I've tried to encourage him to watch Ken Miller's talk on Youtube (still available), which gives an excellent insight into the Dover case.  

George: am I right in thinking that modern creationism (YEC's) began with the Seventh Day Adeventists and in particular Ellen G. White ? I think prior to George McCready Price and the Scopes trial, many Evangelicals were OEC's. You may be correct about the Ulster Scots connection though. The Andrew Jackson homestead is just a few miles down the road from here, near the village of Eden !.

Date: 2007/09/20 14:52:49, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
have not yet decided what I think really happened in the "history of life" on this planet, but I am convinced of one thing: whatever happened was by design.

Daniel: I assume you have come to these conclusions because of religous convictions ? I have done quite a few conventional science courses in my time (although I don't have a degree yet) but I have progressed to what are known as 3rd level courses in this country (beyond A-Level). I've also worked in the chemistry end of things for over thirty years although I'm now retired:

One thing I've found out about science.....contrary to what groups like AiG claim, it does not try to convert people to Atheism. None of the courses that I have taken have done this, even the ones that had evolutionary concepts like astronomy or geology for example. In fact, in order to be successful in these disciplines they must be approached from an evolutionary viewpoint. Astronomy/cosmology for example, just doesn't make sense when viewed from a YEC perspective despite what people like Dr Jason Lisle say (even he had to learn evolutionary concepts in order to obtain his Phd). What we observe is this field certainly does not confirm a young Earth/Universe.

I've also found that one does not need to abandon conventional/mainstream science (and by that I mean evolution since it encompasses a wide range of subjects, not just biology) when one becomes a Christian. I've mentioned this exceptional lady on more than one occasion as a good example:

Jocelyn Bell Burnell: One of the things that I can never answer is whether my feeling that there is a god is simply some kind of neurological pattern in my brain. I have no answer to that, I just do not know. But the evidence would lead me to think otherwise, because I’m not the only person who feels this, who has the same experiences. And I can recognise what I call god in other people as well, it’s not just in me.

I think I feel the same as the above.

YECism is more likely to convert me to agnosticism rather than conventional science.

Date: 2007/09/22 11:43:01, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
I decided what I needed was just to see the evidence for myself.

If you saw 10 clocks Daniel, and 9 of them were reading the same time and the tenth was different which one would you choose ? I know what I would think. I would assume the one that was different was in error.

This is how it is with this debate (if you could call it that). 99.99% of all scientists accept the age of the Earth/evolution. No mainstream scientist that I know of has found evidence of a 6-10,000 year old Earth/Universe. I always wonder why those who question science in favour of YECism don't think about that.

Date: 2007/09/27 17:27:11, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
I did indicate a couple of weeks ago that young Earth Creationism was as bad in NI as it was in the US. Here's proof:

It was covered on Talkbalk on BBC Radio Ulster yesterday. An interview with Paul Taylor of AiG (UK) and Richard Dawkins:

Though you'll need a Real Player to listen.

It's also been raised at the NI assembly by a NI Westminster MP, David Simpson:

The row was sparked after DUP MP David Simpson, who is a member of the Free Presbyterian Church, questioned Education Minister Caitriona Ruane on the availability of materials and resources for schools wishing to teach alternative scientific theories to evolution as part of the revised curriculum.

Mr Simpson also asked for an assurance that pupils who answer GCSE examination questions outlining creationist or intelligent design explanations for the development of life on Earth, will not be marked lower than pupils who give answers with an evolutionist explanation.

Lisburn council voted last night to write to all its grammar and secondary schools encouraging them to teach alternative theories like 'intelligent design'.

The proposal was made by DUP councillor Paul Givan, who is also a member of the Free Presbyterian Church.

Paul Taylor, who is in the province at the moment, apparently attracted a crowd of around 300 at a school in Lisburn on Saturday evening. Not bad considering Ham only managed 500 in Glasgow recently. Taylor visited the creation museum last month on what appeared to be an extremely buisy day:

Unfortunately the whole thing appears to have turned into a party political row which is regretable. Only science will suffer in the long run. It's also a pity that none of the mainstream Protestant churches here have come out in support of science.

:angry:  :angry:

Date: 2007/09/28 05:07:27, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
I'm particularly disgusted Catriona Ruane or someone from Education didn't tell him to get stuffed.

Yes, so am I George. The education minister at least should know why vegeterian dinosaurs living alongside humans in the Garden of Eden is utter nonsense. So should the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. I've highlighted the YEC problem in this denomination before. Does this mean that the PC in Ireland is now anti-science ?

I'm also saddened by the fact that those who opposed the motion at Lisburn City Council didn't appear to know why they where doing it.They seem to have merely engaged in a bit of "DUP/Free P bashing" without even mentioning science, which doesn't have a political viewpoint at all. They've completely missed the point. The development should concern everyone in the province irrispective of their religious/political persuasions .

With both Universities now having closed their geology departments, and the Ulster Museum "out of commission"  for refurbishment until April 2009, there is a real need, more than ever, for good science education in Northern Ireland. The fact that this motion has been passed shows something is seriously wrong.

Maybe the European news that UD is currently banging on about might help the situation?

A lot of the fundies here detest the EU. They see it as the Kingdom/Empire mentioned in Daniel (the 10 crowns which to them represents 10 countries) that wages war with Isreal before the coming of the Anti - Christ (or is it after....I'm not quite sure. Correct me if I'm wrong)

Date: 2007/09/28 09:04:23, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
The evolution of the horse isn't the only problem for Darwinian evolution. Don't forget about the banana:  


Date: 2007/09/29 12:23:48, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
My friends from Belfast have organised for their son to attend Southampton University, as they are unhappy with the current state of higher education in Northern Ireland. Maybe more people voting with their feet will have an effect

ID proponent Caroline Crocker earned her Phd from that University Alan:

I've also been told by Roger Stanyard over at the BCSE forum that Hampshire is something of a YEC hotspot, particularly in churches around the Whinchester area.

Don't forget about the Genesis expo. in Portsmouth either, run by YEC Dr. David Rosevear.

Date: 2007/10/22 09:45:15, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
The one I'd love to get is Buddy Davis singing "billions of dead things". I've tried both You Tube and God Tube and can't find anything. You know the song I mean......the hymn/chorus about flood geology based on Ham's quote.

Although, it's probably on one of his CDs.

Date: 2007/11/03 12:59:37, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
While everyone on The Panda's thumb appears to be pre-occupied with the Intelligent Design movement this momentous event took place yesterday:

Museum Hits 250,000 !
Published November 3rd, 2007 in My Journeys,Museum Updates

On Friday, the Creation Museum total attendance since opening week reached over 250,000. This was reached in just over 5 months! The prediction given to the media was 250,000 for the first year! We praise the Lord for this. I still remember the mocking of certain people in the secular world that the Museum would fail as people would not be interested–and some in the Christian world who said it would be a white elephant!

Well, apart from Northern Ireland which appears to be almost as bad (if not worse) than the US:

We will also be writing to the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, the National Trust, Moyle District Council and to all the MLA’s.We have decided to lobby the Ulster Museum to have a Biblical perspective included in any dinosaur display at a newly refurbished Ulster Museum. Work began there today and should be completed by June 2009.

(Paul Givan's reference to Ian Derthal man to a very bemused Richard Dawkins is hilarious !)

huge swathes of US citizens do not accept modern science in any shape or form at all. I would imagine that Ken Ham and all the rest rest at AiG will be bouyed up by the attendance at the museum so far. If this figure were to be extrapolated to the US population as a whole then surely it would come out as millions ? If I were a US scientist I'd be worried. The message does not appear to be getting through.

Date: 2007/11/04 05:38:16, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
I have a few late aunts who grew up in Kentucky in the early 20th century and never learned to read or write.

Children in this country who end up in that position these days Steve, are labelled as "statemented" i.e. a statement of educational needs is prepared by social services/education. However, when I worked for Premier Power:

At least one of the foremen was illiterate and had to ask a colleague to fill in his forms when he was applying for voluntary redundancy. It may only have been the tip of the iceberg.

Paul Givan has no excuse though. Someone as well educated as he is (he's a degree in business studies as far as I can tell) should be able to pronounce the word neanderthal properly.

If the museum was located in NI, we would be a laughing stock !

It will take them that long to get all the displays to say:  "GODDIDIT" ?

The artefacts/displays are apparently hidden away at a secret location during refurbishment Darth. Probably to stop the creos from putting a saddle on the triceratops !

Date: 2007/11/19 11:33:31, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Also, if humans are simply genetic mutations of some simpler life form, then why are we the only species that wears clothes? why then the timidity?

Are there not some parts of the world were humans still don't wear clothes ? Certainly here in Norn Iron you'd soon die of hypothermia if you were naked for any length of time in the winter (and we rarely get snow these days).

Still, even in the civilized world we have nudist colonies, naked beaches in the South of France, and even strip/lap dancing clubs etc, so being naked seems to be the preferred option for many humans still.

However, looking at the general shape of most people (I was aghast at the sheer size of some of the Americans when I visited Florida a number of years ago) there seems to have been some good come out of the fall after all !

I watched the PBS docu yesterday afternoon and thought it was excellent. I can't see what the DI and AiG have to complain about.

Date: 2007/11/21 19:04:50, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Thinking of Scorpions:

I was of course wondering how this critter would be interpreted by the YEC's.

Actually, let's not forget that according to FTK, the earth is probably only 6,000 years old and that this beast (two of them) therefore had to be on Noah's Ark.

Am I right in thinking that "creepy crawlies" weren't on the ark Arden i.e. insects, spiders etc. ? Would this creature actually have been allowed on the ark or did it survive by floating about on rafts of wood ????? ( this is how some YEC's claim insects etc. survived the flood )

So before the fall what were those giant claws used for ? The mind boggles !

Date: 2007/12/19 16:03:48, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
In sharp contrast to this, the leader of the fourth largest UK party is a YEC:

Ian Paisley buys Creation Books

Following his address to the Northern Ireland Assembly on his recent UK tour to help the UK team in their huge task of reaching so many churches, AiG speaker Dr Tas Walker was interested to see leading politician Ian Paisley buying AiG books. All the Assembly members, and other prominent community members, were invited to this address. Giving a presentation the next day at the Giant’s Causeway, Tas was surprised to find that a Paddy Murphy of Dublin had driven four hours to attend. Throughout the tour, many people expressed joy and thanks at having had questions answered and doubts resolved. In addition to the many scheduled talks, Tas also appeared on two BBC radio broadcasts. Around 2,350 adults and 290 children in total heard Creation presentations by Dr Walker. Praise God for the large amount of faith-strengthening materials now circulating in these communities.

Date: 2007/12/20 13:50:13, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
THEY are the fourth largest party?

They are indeed Ian, having more MP's than both the Scottish and Welsh nationalists. Ian Paisley's other son, Kyle, is a pastor in Lowestoft (Suffolk in England) and frequently hosts AiG speakers.

The party (the DUP) is largely responsible for the recent flare-ups in both Lisburn and the Giant's Causeway (eagerly encouraged by AiG). The more moderate Ulster Unionist party didn't oppose them by the way.

Date: 2007/12/21 09:55:41, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
According to AiG, Fox News are sympathetic to YEC's:

We have every reason to believe that the museum (and the creation movement as a whole) will be portrayed in a fair and balanced way. “Miracles,” according to correspondent Lauren Green (who spent several hours at the Creation Museum), takes viewers “from the creation of the world to the healing power of prayer . . . on a search for the truth.”

Date: 2008/01/05 18:00:46, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Is this the end result of what AiG and other YEC organisations want our children to become:

This guy is serious. The fact that he is so young and so well versed in creationist dogma is alarming. He appears to have been home-schooled in AiG/Carl Baugh material. If you can stomach it, there are 5 more, each lasting around 10 minutes.

Date: 2008/01/05 18:30:14, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
There was a thread here discussing that little creep the middle of last year, tho I don't recall its name.

It's scary just to look at him. Twenty to one that kid goes nuts and takes out a bunch of strangers with a rifle sometime before his 25th birthday.

I've tried searching for the thread using his name Arden but can't find anything.

It's the first time I've come across him. The fact he's so young is scary. Surely this can't be how AiG and co. want our children to turn out ?

Date: 2008/01/06 11:55:51, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
I'm dissing pseudoscience, not Christianity. Conflating the two is their mistake, not mine.

Speaking as a Christian as well Kristine, I also agree with you. VenomFangX makes it out as if in order to be a true "born again believer" one has to accept the crap put out in his videos. He appears to be blissfully unaware that many Christians have no conflict at all with science, accepting both evolution and an ancient age for the Earth/Universe

Apart from the Carl Baugh claims, all of what he has put out is merely recycled AiG material. Which is why I find the whole thing scary. AiG's aims and objectives may only come to fruition years from now. Is VenomFangX the first of many of these cretins ?

Some time ago I witnessed a session by Mike Riddle speaking to what appeared to be hundreds of 10-14 year old kids in a Christian school (I think it's somewhere near washington possibly) and much of what was preached is on VenomFangX's Youtube videos. Talk about brainwashing.

Still, we in NI are no better Kristine. We have our own VenomFangXs, and what's worse, they're actually in government running the place. Adding fuel to the fire, so to speak, Ham is returning for a 2 day seminar in May, obviously buoyed up by his last visit three years ago.

I despair sometimes ! :angry:  :angry:

Date: 2008/01/07 15:04:44, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Thanks for those Kristine.

Obviously he's never studied astronomy and knows nothing about Kepler's laws. With regard to water, he's obviosly never heard of Europa. Incredible stupididity.

Still, since he seems to have aquired his knowledge from AiG, and what I would call a delusional creationist (Ken Ham) it doesn't surprise me. I even watched Ham spouting the same nonsense about Mt. St Helens today on television i.e. "a lot of water and a little bit of time" etc.

Date: 2008/01/07 16:37:24, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
It seems I've been wrong all along. He's a result of Hovind's brainwashing:

Date: 2008/01/15 19:24:00, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Over on the BCSE forum I've posted three talks by leading UK young Earth creatonist Paul Taylor:

Roger Stanyard, a leading UK activist against YECism, stated (to my surprise) that he would feel uneasy debating him (Taylor):

I must admit I would feel uneasy debating with Taylor. He knows the fundamentalist arguments inside out. AiG has clearly given him a lot of training.

I'm sure those in the US will find the above church sermons very familiar (that is how things are in NI churches, not unlike those in the bible belt of the US) but how do the folks on the Panda's thumb reckon they would fare against Taylor ? After watching the videos what are the weaknesses in Taylor's claims (and by the way, I do know of Mark Isaac's excellent index to creationist claims although, I probably should buy the pocket version) ? If nothing else it really shows what science is up against. As I often say, forget ID. ID is not the real enemy (although YEC's are using it to attack science when it suits them). It's YECism that has taken centre stage.

AiG presentations are very, very, slick and appear to have fooled many Christians, not only in the US but around the world.

Date: 2008/01/16 06:45:51, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
YEC is not anywhere near being inserted into curricula officially (here in the USA, at least; I know that the UK is different and does have a YEC problem),

Maybe in most public schools in the US Wesley, that may be the case but what about the ever growing number of Christian schools and the Home schooling movement ? I'd say both the latter are teaching kids YECism. As far as I know there's no equivalent of Liberty University in the UK either.

Also, I wouldn't underestimate the damage the creation museum is doing to science in the US. Despite some effective (in my opinion anyway) protests at the museum opening, things really appear to died down now. Ham's gotten away with it I'm afraid and no-one seems to have stepped up (from both inside and outside the church) to challange him.

Our own creation rows in Northern Ireland have been largely fueled by AiG who are winning the propoganda war, certainly within the church. The videos that I linked to are very typical of churches here, not unlike those of the Southern states in the US. I have been to a couple of church services in Florida while visiting there a number of years ago (probably something not a lot of tourists do) and they were very similar to the ones here. Many of my relatives go to this type of church Wesley. They are not bad people, but no matter what you say to them science will not convince them the bible is wrong. I often post this little piece from Youtube on the situation here and it's well worth watching. It really does sum things up :

Things aren't helped by the fact that one of the province's (and UK's) leading geneticists (Prof. Nevin) has turned out to be a YEC. If Prof. Nevin isn't convinced by science what hope is there for the less well educatied individuals that attended Taylor's talks in Lisburn ?

In a wider UK context, you are correct that we have a YEC problem. ID seems to have been largely ignored, with the fundamentalists going for the real thing instead. We also have a Christian TV station putting out hours of AiG and CMI material, daily now. Unfortunately opposition to YECism in the UK is fragmented and poorly organised. In NI it's non-existent at the moment. We have no equivelent in the UK of the ACLU for example.

Still, I hope Abraham Lincoln's prophetic words prove to be correct in this important battle i.e.: "You can fool some of the people all of the time" etc.

It may very well be that all of the people will be fooled some of the time (in church circles anyway) before the tide turns for science.

Date: 2008/01/16 09:55:56, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
A better approach can be seen in the "Clergy Letter Project" here in the USA. A parallel effort could be mounted in the UK; it just is going to take getting someone to commit to organizing it.

The clergy letter project would probably work well in NI Wesley, believe it or not. The problem would be finding any clergy that support science in the more evangelical denominations.

The Methodists, Church of Ireland (Anglican) and Roman Catholic churches would be no problem. However, the largest denomination in NI is the Presbyterian church in Ireland. I've been told Four times now (and once by a YEC Presbyterian minister) that the official line taken by the church is "so long as a Christian believes that God created the Heavens and the Earth how and when he did it is for you to decide" which would lead me to conclude that the church supports all views from Flat Earth creationism (believe it or not) through to Theistic Evolution.  So it shouldn't have a problem with mainstream science.

However, AiG seems to have wormed it's way into the denomination and there are a number of congregations preaching it. AiG would seem to be at odds with the church's official policy since they (AiG) defininately do not accept Christians who support evolution (see Taylor's talks).

None of the other mainstream denominations have ever had AiG events. The other evangelical denominations (like Elim, Baptist, Brethren etc. ) are a lost cause though, in my opinion. All are YEC now (with no other views being allowed). It would be hard to convince those Christians to support science, no matter what other clergy say.

Date: 2008/01/17 11:23:34, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Debates with creationists are a waste of time at best.  Too few scientists have bothered to learn about creationists and so they are totally unable to even comprehend what the creationists are saying.

It can be done though:

There is a school of thought which maintains it is counter-productive to debate with creationists. I think this depends on how it is done. Looking at what worked and what didn't on this occasion, I would say the main strategy has to be to attack their position, rather than defending your own. Creationist ideas really are silly, and can be shown to be so. It is also important, I believe, to keep the focus on Genesis, rather than to be drawn into an argument on the existence or nonexistence of God. The issue is whether the world came to be the way it is as the result of natural processes, or a specific supernatural program. Where the natural processes came from in the first place is irrelevant. Maybe God produced them: who knows?

Date: 2008/01/17 16:03:05, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
It was all over the news here yesterday. The church has apparently blocked it:

Maybe Cruise is still acting ????  I watched MI3 the other night and he was very good. Still, he reminds me a bit of this guy:  

A very good sports commentator in his day but everyone on this side of the Atlantic now thinks he's absolutely nuts. I hope Cruise dosen't go the same way as Ike.

Date: 2008/01/18 05:03:18, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
I wish the cold around where I live would lose some of it's energy

Immigrate to Norn Iron Henry ;)  It's never cold here in the winter (+13C today). Probably all that global warming.

Still, I don't know what all the fuss is about on this thread. All this crap can be found here:

on one well funded and beutifully maintained website. Millions of well educated Americans are buying into this rubbish (look how successful the creation museum has been).

We're no better though. here's one of our very own tards in action:

I apologise if  some people find the above frustrating


Date: 2008/01/18 08:35:42, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Sometimes it's just more fun to watch your drunk neighbor Bob ride his bicycle off his roof and totally miss the swimming pool.

Nice one Lou . I see what you mean ! :D

Date: 2008/01/30 09:29:11, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
The UK is being blessed with a visit from this US genius (claims to be a life member of MENSA) over the next few days:

Dr Grady McMurtry grew up on Berkley UC campus as the son of a Professor. By the age of eight, Grady was so knowledgeable about fossils and dinosaurs that he taught evolution to fellow students for the next six years. After gaining an honours degree in science, Grady taught evolution-science and maths at High School level and in the New York State University. At the age of 27 Grady became a Christian and spent 18 months re-examining his understanding of origins.

To quote Grady – “I compared the science that supports evolution, and the science that supports creation and critically determined that there is no science to support evolution.”

He now lectures in 20 languages on five continents


Listening to him on a UK Christian TV station he claims, among other things that:

Millions/billions of years was invented by French atheists in the 17th century and later on suported by British atheists such as Darwin, Lyell, Hutton etc.

Radiometric dating has no scientific basis, does not work, and was invented by scientists in order to support millions/billions of years.

The geological column does not exist anywhere in the world.

Evolution is  religion/philosophy. Scientists realise this.

The idea that flat earthism was prevalent before Columbus was an idea invented by Washington Irving. Apparently the prevailng view before that time was of a round Earth. Irving rewrote history.

Here's his website:

and some articles/sermons:

I apologise if some on this forum find this offensive:

This is the first I've come across McMurtry (he claims to be Scottish although he speaks with an American accent). His ideas seem to be even wakier than Hovind's.

Unlike Hovind though, he does appear to have genuine qualifications and was something of a child prodigy apparently. Who am I to argue with such a talented individual.


Date: 2008/02/05 12:08:54, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
AiG have been going on at this over the last few days:

Much of the problem stems from the different starting points of creationists and Darwinists. Everyone, scientist or not, must start their quests for knowledge with some unprovable axiom—some a priori belief on which they sort through experience and deduce other truths. This starting point, whatever it is, can only be accepted by faith; eventually, in each belief system, there must be some unprovable, presupposed foundation for reasoning (since an infinite regression is impossible).

Take a look at the difference between this type of science, called “operational” science, and its counterpart, “origins” science, which requires extrapolation beyond the presently available data—in other words, faith in a story about the unobserved past.

I often wonder what creationists think of criminal juries since none of the jury were there to witness the actual crime. All they have is evidence to which they draw certain conclusions. Surely science is a lot like this. Having worked in the science (chemistry) end of things for nearly thirty years I can assure creationists that in science we do often use extrapolation to reach certain results.

While origins science may not be repeatable we do have clues that have been left behind. We can also observe processes that are going on in the present which can give us a clue to how things were in the past.

YECism destroys science in my opinion. Why bother when all the answers are already there.

Date: 2008/02/10 09:47:09, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Mid-winter is not a good time to see a lot of birds, but because this is a class to teach students about the birds, they probably don't want to see a lot of birds, and keep the IDs straight, right now. There will be lots more by May!

Plenty of birds in my back garden despite the winter, really just a continuation of the summer these days only a little colder (a mild winter yet again this year).

Nothing exotic though. The normal population at this time of year is mainly blackbirds, thrushes, sparrows, robins, magpies, crows, and starlings (am I right in thinking that starlings aren't native to the UK but immigrants ?), chaffinches and the odd seagull or pigeon. I would imagine the swallows will be back in a couple of months nesting under the eaves/in the roofspace. We also see the occasional sparrow hawk from time to time.

Date: 2008/02/14 05:33:47, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
According to Dr. Jason Lisle belief in Evolution is merely a result of chemical reations in the brain:

Evolution Is Irrational
In fact, if evolution were true, there wouldn’t be any rational reason to believe it! If life is the result of evolution, then it means that an evolutionist’s brain is simply the outworking of millions of years of random-chance processes. The brain would simply be a collection of chemical reactions that have been preserved because they had some sort of survival value in the past. If evolution were true, then all the evolutionist’s thoughts are merely the necessary result of chemistry acting over time. Therefore, an evolutionist must think and say that “evolution is true” not for rational reasons, but as a necessary consequence of blind chemistry.

Evolution is anti-science and anti-knowledge. If evolution were true, science would not be possible because there would be no reason to accept the uniformity of nature upon which all science and technology depend. Nor would there be any reason to think that rational analysis would be possible since the thoughts of our mind would be nothing more than the inevitable result of mindless chemical reactions. Evolutionists are able to do science and gain knowledge only because they are inconsistent; professing to believe in evolution, while accepting the principles of biblical creation.

Date: 2008/02/18 18:37:51, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
When it was a creationist I was making a special effort to attend, sadly I'm not now it isn't! I know, I know, I'm a bad boy. I'm going to have to stick a LOT of rotten fruit in the freezer for when he does make an appearance.

For any of you Londoners out there, SitP is a cracking night out and the guys and girls who organise it/are regulars at it are a very decent bunch. There is also drinking. Yay! I can't make it as often as I like anymore due to work pressures, but I try to go as often as possible.

Unfortunately the evening with Paul Taylor has been potsponed until a later date Louis. I was looking forward to a report from George Jellis over at BCSE. It would have been interesting to see how Taylor handled himself in a hostile environment. If you want to see Taylor in action have a look at my links to his talks from Lisburn in an earlier thread

Still, I suppose I'll have the opportunity to see him (Taylor) very soon. Obviously encouraged by the crowds on his first visit to the province, he's decided to return for a few days next month:

This is quite close:

Ballyclare Baptist Church
Friday, March 07, 2008
Paul Taylor
220a Rashee Road
Ballyclare, Co Antrim
United Kingdom

Note: Any overlapping times indicate multiple, simultaneous sessions.

Friday, March 07, 2008
8:00 PM Paul Taylor : tba

Can't see it being as good as SITP though.

Date: 2008/02/20 12:32:22, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Answers in Genesis are absolutely "over the moon" about this film:

You will be shocked by what you see and hear because you will begin to experience the hypocrisy in the scientific world concerning so-called academic freedom. The interviews with God-hating atheist Richard Dawkins (from Oxford University) will stun you.

This movie is a must! Christians, drag your non-Christian friends along—they will never be the same again. Challenge school board members in your local community to see this movie/documentary—pay for their tickets, but get them there!

I am sure the secular community, in accord with their bias against academic freedom, will do all they can to discredit this movie and try to stop people from seeing it. After all, many in the secular scientific community don’t want you to know the truth about what is really happening—they want this censored from the community.

Well, obviously there's some sort of conspiracy amoungst scientists to stop the evidence that the Earth/Universe really is 6,000-10,000 years old from getting to the ordinary citizen and the public at large is being prevented from knowing the truth ?????

Congratulations to Ben Stein and the producers (including Mark Mathis, who came to our Creation Museum to show us his film on Tuesday—see him in the photo) for having the courage to produce such a needed perspective on the secular scientific community and the erosion of freedoms in America. What they portray in this movie/documentary is what we at AiG have experienced over the years. I believe they have correctly represented what is really going on in the academic community.

I presume from the above, that Stein is a Young Earth Creationist ?


Date: 2008/02/25 11:51:49, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Here's an interview with ken Ham on the movie:

Date: 2008/03/13 11:06:22, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Well, I still don't know if Mr. Stein is a young Earth creationist:

Two of the better-known challengers of the evolutionary belief system met in Nashville, Tennessee, on Tuesday to discuss ways that the upcoming movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed can have a major impact on the creation/evolution debate.

While his film arrives at American movie theaters on the weekend of April 18, Mr. Stein came to Nashville for a special preview showing of Expelled for several hundred attendees at the annual convention of the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB). The audience leapt to its feet with generous applause at the film’s conclusion—moved by the undaunted attempts of the Darwin-doubters (and their filmmaking allies) as they challenge the elites in America’s educational and scientific establishments. Many of these Darwin challengers find themselves pitted against powerful evolutionists who despotically protect their evolution belief system, and sometimes expel those who would dare question Darwin.

Before Tuesday’s film preview, Mr. Stein spent 15 minutes chatting with AiG-U.S. President Ken Ham, who informed Mr. Stein that he had seen a director’s cut of Expelled last month at AiG’s Creation Museum. Ben told Ken that he was aware of the “wonderful” facility near Cincinnati and hoped to visit one day

At the very least he's sypathetic to their cause:

Ken noted that while Stein is not a biblical creationist, the film he hosts provides a valuable service, as it exposes the tyranny of leaders in the evolutionist community. The film, notes Ken, also reveals the massive scientific problems with evolution theory.

“Freedom is the essence of America,” Stein declares in his narration. He adds that science is supposed “to pursue any line of inquiry,” but when it comes to evolution, that practice is not just ignored, but the freedoms of Darwin-questioners are trampled upon. Several such examples are presented in the film.

Date: 2008/03/20 06:39:01, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
While browsing this morning I found these excellent videos dealing with YEC claims on Youtube:

There's a series of around 20, some dealing with our friend venomfang X. However, there's some realy good material about Hovind, Wells, and Kirk Cameron/Ray Comfort further down .

I wonder who the author is ? His voice sounds vaguely familiar and I'm sure I've heard him before on an Open University video.

Date: 2008/03/20 11:07:16, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
No.17 is really good Doc. Bill.

I agree entirely with all his sentiments especially the bit about pupils being allowed to question the teaching of evolution in the classroom.

There really is loads of excellent material on Youtube now refuting YECism (surely a lot of this could be professionally produced and used as  teaching aids in schools ?). For example, here's another excellent one on SN 1987, the speed of light, and why the Universe can't be 6,000 years old:

Date: 2008/03/23 16:22:12, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
On google all I can find related to Rev. Flank is some ancient geocities site

Been wondering where Lenny had disappeared to myself. Here's a link to his geocities site:

where there are some very useful articles etc.

I notice he's also had a book published so maybe he's been buisy on that and has had little time for the PT. There's also a blog connected to his site but nothing's been posted for over a year.

Does he respond to e-mail ? You could always ask him what he's up to these days.

Date: 2008/04/02 10:04:50, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
The promise of a Huckabee Administration may have gone

Not necessarily. What if McCain chooses Huckabee as his running mate ? McCain is 71, quite elderly. Say he wins the election but has to step down mid-term due to health reasons ? I assume a vice-president Huckabee could become President Huckabee by default (like Gerald Ford) ?:

McCain has given no hint of his thinking on a running mate, although he frequently speaks warmly of his former rivals for the nomination, particularly former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Date: 2008/04/02 11:46:19, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Philip Johnstone is the latest IDer to visit Ham's creation museum:

Mr. Johnson also gave some insights into the efforts by some ID proponents to influence public school science teaching. He talked about the state of the ID Movement today and observed that ID scientists are now devoting more time to scientific research into design in nature and other fields (e.g., cancer research).

At age 67 and slowing down somewhat after two strokes, Mr. Johnson was very glad he could fly from California to pay both CCU and AiG a visit. He had heard so much about the museum and partly accepted the invitation to speak at CCU so that he could tour the Creation Museum. So, we were honored to have him visit, since he does not travel as much and also because AiG is not a part of the ID Movement (we have some important differences)—it showed what a gracious gentlemen he is despite some differences of opinion

Now where would cancer research be without ID !

Date: 2008/04/15 12:38:34, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
I usually read Ken Ham's blog every day, not because I'm a creationist you understand (even though I am a Christian) but rather, to get an idea of what's going on behind the scences at these events.

I found today's entry somewhat alarming. 10,000 turn up for a creation weekend at Arkansas:

Around 10,000 people (including 2,500 children and young people) were reached directly with the creation/gospel message during our weekend in northwestern Arkansas. Last night, Dr. Terry Mortenson and I gave messages at the final evening of the AiG conference conducted at The Church of Pinnacle Hills.

We praise the Lord for the extremely dedicated local committee headed up by Dr. Don Eckerd. When I was speaking in nearby Branson, Missouri, about a year ago, Don asked me if I would speak at an informal lunch at a restaurant to a small group of local pastors and others with a view to bringing a major AiG conference to the area. Because of the vision and dedication of Don and the group he was able to gather around him, the Lord mightily blessed.

As a result, around 10,000 people were reached directly with the AiG messages—thousands of resources (books, DVDs, etc) have gone out into the community (we shipped 12 pallets of resources down for this event)—and now these people with these resources will reach potentially thousands and thousands more.

I thought it would be good to include a photographic overview of the weekend (including a couple of the photos I’ve used in a previous blog). I must admit I get so excited to see the photographs of the kids as they get off their buses and then see their responses in the auditorium. Priase the Lord with us as you view these photographs and pray that the Lord will use what has been said, and the resources obtained, to equip God’s people and reach non-Christians with the gospel.

Every time I read about Ham bragging about this or that event and the thousands that turn up at these (I will expect several thousand in Belfast's Waterfront Hall in a few weeks time) I get depressed.

Ham really does seem to have convinced a lot of people very easily that science education is not only anti-Christian but that it has some very serious flaws.

I'm still at a loss as to what scientists can do about the current situation. Richard Dawkins can call it child abuse if he likes (i.e. telling children about creation) but he's fighting a losing battle, certainly within church circles at least.

Date: 2008/04/15 18:14:07, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
What battle?

I really dread to think what will happen if science loses this. I know their (the YEC's) science is nonsense but they have actually gained credibility by the sheer numbers turning up at the events, in my opinion. Those with little knowledge of science will begin to say "if all those people believe this then maybe there is something in it after all". I think that's a really frightening scenario.

This afternoon I watched Paul Taylor (AIG UK) on TV and the guy scared me. Apparently an opinion poll caried out in the UK found that only 48% of the general public believed in evolution. Taylor made the point that for the last 200 years scientists had been trying to convince people of "millions of years and evolution". Based on these figures they had failed miserably (according to Taylor). Maybe he does have a point though. Surely something is badly wrong if the the YEC nonsense is now gaining a foothold in the UK. Ham's UK tour this time attracted quite large numbers.

Taylor also talked up the Belfast event on the 9th/10th of May (obviously anticipating huge crowds) and stated that Ham is going to be interviewed by the BBC. The last interview was on Sunday sequence (our Sunday morning religious affairs programme on BBC Radio Ulster). The interviewer was William Crawley and Ham didn't come out of that one well at all. Crawley was excellent. You can still listen to it at the bottom of the page on Ham's Wikipedia entry:

But I reckon the next one will be on the main evening news. It'll be interesting to see who the interviewer is this time. Franklin Graham's visit for example, was covered by our main local news (inside Ulster), not just the religious affairs department.

Date: 2008/04/16 18:39:42, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
i work at a company (non-science related) and no one knows who Ken Ham is

I've had a similar experience Fross.

My brother, who works for the Department of education in NI (he sets the physics standards for the province), knows what young Earth creationism is because some of his relatives are YECs. However, until I told him, he hadn't heard of either Ken Ham or Kent Hovind. I've tried to get him interested in what's going on but to no avail. Maybe if I took him along to hear Ham at the Waterfront he might change his mind !

I think ultimately science will lose. I fear, my friends, that we are living in the fading glow of the last, guttering remnants of the flame lit at the Enlightenment. Against the thousands-of-years backdrop of "normal" human existence --the lot of servitude, ignorance, superstition, and authoritarian brutality-- our age of reason and affluence will look like a blip, an outlier, a statistical anomaly. The future belongs to raving lunacy and xenophobic isolation. But I'm having a bad day. So ask me tomorrow.

C.J.: The Belfast Humanist Society did a survey in Belfast a while ago and the number of people who accepted evolution was quite high, around 50% I found that quite surprising, given what's going on in the province. I think the only positive thing (as I see it anyway) is that YECism is unlikely to spread outside of fundamentalist Protestant church circles. Despite what Ham says, I think his doctrines are going to seriously damage the evangelical church and ruin it's effectiveness. I just wish more evangelicals could see things that way.

Don't forget that Flat Earthism and geo-centrism both had their days. Yet, despite all we have learned over the last few hundred years there are still flat Earth and geo-centric creationists around.

But then, I've had a good day. It was suuny yesterday (it gives you a lift when the sun appears in these parts) and dry today so I managed to get my grass cut for the first time this season before tomorrow's expected rain !

Date: 2008/04/17 11:32:49, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Peter, don't forget the (ahem) tribal element: biblical literalism and its offspring are generally viewed as belonging to Paisleyites, so no Taig worthy of the name is likely to go for it

I've always thought that's a problem with the situation up here. The nationalists (SDLP)/Republicans (SinnFein) will always vote against anything that might arise in Lisburn City Council but they'll not realise why, other than the fact that the DUP etc. are for it. i.e. they don't appear to know why the science of YECism is so badly of the mark. So it turns into a party political/tribal thing and people get sucked into it without realising (i.e. I was surprised the Official Unionists backed it), which is what AiG want of course.

There's another garden to be done down here in Dublin when you're finished. OK?

I was going by RTE's forcasts for Ulster which are usually pretty reliable. They predicted rain/heavy showers for today but instead it turned out dry and sunny, if a little cold. They're forcasting rain for Dublin tomorrow so I think the grass will have to wait !


Date: 2008/04/19 12:55:07, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Given the gentleman that he is (although I disagree with his theology), I assume this comment by Richard Dawkins about Francis Collins was tounge-in-cheek ????:

Date: 2008/04/19 17:20:02, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Could you not say the same about any scientist who believes that a human being rose from the dead or that a female virgin gave birth, since neither of these are scientifically possible either ? Certainly not any more than a talking snake.

Is Dawkins really saying that all scientists who are Christians are "not very bright" or is he just being facetious ?

Date: 2008/05/05 12:51:15, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
William : I assume you are "Billy" that blogs over at William Crawley's "Will and Testament" since you referred to me as "Stupid or dense" (comments which I take exception to by the way) when I quoted Billy, who I felt was calling into question my salvation for not accepting a literal interpretation of Genesis ?

I still feel that YEC's in Northern Ireland do not accept Christians who have no problem with mainstream science as being really born again (or saved). But then, that's not surprising in this wee place since, in some quarters Roman Catholics are not accepted as real Christians either. Even Christians that don't believe in the "rapture" (considered heresy up until fairly recently i.e.the last couple of hundred years) or adult baptism are looked down upon in some circles here.

Out of curiosity William, if you are "Billy" (I gather he's now puritan by the way), are you actually from Norn Iron ?  If you are from here are you heading to the Ken Ham Do at the weekend ?

The bloggers dinner last weekend in Belfast was an excellent evening, . You missed a good night. I'm sure you would have been made very welcome, as I was, even though I was in the company of Atheists, Humanists Skeptics etc. Great crack and looking forward to the next one.  Far better fun than sitting through a YEC talk which completely distorts mainstream science and misleads the ignorant.

Date: 2008/05/05 15:27:47, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Just to be clear, this is the kind of crack Peter is referring to

Yep, that's what I meant Steve.

Although, the mistake has in fact been made before Arden. Some years ago a group of holiday makers (can't remember the might have been the US....New York maybe ?) from "Norn Iron",were arrested after making extensive enquiries as to where the "crack" was  :p

Date: 2008/05/06 07:15:09, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
What, he didn't call you a coward?  Couldn't have been him.......

He seems to have disappeared of the thread didymos.

He hasn't:

(a) answered my questions on his location.

(b) apologised for insulting me earlier.

All I'm doing is trying to be friendly.

Date: 2008/05/06 17:41:13, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Dr. P's going to be happy though:

"Let me smell your breath first, son" - Paisley's regular request to reporters, whom he suspected of drinking, before he would allow them to interview him.

"The devil's buttermilk" - his description of alcoholic drinks, chiefly draught Guinness.


Date: 2008/05/07 05:30:23, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Nope, sorry, I thought you were calling me Billy.  Simple misunderstanding; my apologies

Apologies accepted then William.

Since this thread is about yourself here are a few questions.

(1) Are you a young Earth creationist ?

(2) If you are can you give some evidence for a young Earth/Universe ?

(3) How do you view all the evidence for an ancient Earth/Universe ? For example, calculating distances to astronomical objects is down to a fine art these days. How can you reconcile the fact that steller distances are measured in millions/billions of light years (i.e. we are observing them as they were millions/billions of years, in the past)

(4) how do you view other observations which point to ancient planetary surfaces e.g. impact craters ?

(5) How do you explain the cosmic microwave background radiation ?

(6) How do you interpret the KT boundry ?

(7) How do you explain geological sorting and the fact that dinosaur fossils (misionary lizards according to Ham) only ever occur in the middle of the fossil record and only below the KT boundry ?

(8) Where do the terrestrial impact craters fit in with the biblical creation story (several hundred have now been found) ?

You could of course be an IDiot who accepts an ancient age for the Earth/Universe and common decent in which case these questions are irrelevant. However, assuming you are a YEC how do you explain the above ?

Date: 2008/05/08 06:02:53, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Better be going to bed, William. Tomorrow's a school day and you know how mad your mom gets when you stay up too late.

I'm 51 Arden and my "mom" still tells me when to go to bed !


Still, William hasn't answered any of my questions on the overwhelming evidence for an ancient Earth/universe

Date: 2008/05/08 10:52:56, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Shocked!  Shocked, I say.

I should have added that it's only when I visit home  These days it's my wife who complains that I stay up too late.   ???  

It's funny though that parents still treat you as their little boy even though you are quite old. It's not just me either as I see the same thing in other people and others tell me it happens to them.

Date: 2008/05/08 13:26:08, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
For example, Jeff Snell on KKMS yesterday mentioned the vile treatment he received over at OZ Myer's Phartngula.

Likewise, when I posted my views on Christianstair som,e time ago I received some very vile comments (calle deverything from an Atheist to the Devil's deciple)

From William's blog:
Likewise, I guess that heliocentricism would have died a death even without Kepler, Galileo, et al.

Likewise, evolution would have been proposed by someone else if Darwin hadn't. Alfred Russel Wallace for example. You can't suppress the truth, no matter how you try:

Date: 2008/05/08 15:21:34, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
The fact that different people come up with the same idea, or similar ideas, independently makes it true, to you?

Whether or not different people think an idea is true is really irrelevant William. It's the evidence that really counts. Darwin's theories have been confirmed by all sorts of new evidence which he could not have known about (the discovery of DNA for example).  

Incidentally, have you read Philip Kitcher's "Abusing science....the case against creationism". Well worh reading as it deals with the point you've raised.

Date: 2008/05/08 15:32:26, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Well not really,I assume that folks outside the UK can watch this online providing they've a real player ? :

Some very interesting and thought provoking questions, showing what we "Just don't know" and how it's possible that our present theories on gravity etc. could be completely wrong. Don't tell the YEC's though :O

Date: 2008/05/08 16:25:28, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
I've witnessed quite a lot of cross-dressing in B.B. displays, even as recently as last Tuesday evening.

The school I went to (an all boys school by the way) often had cross-dressing in the school play.

Date: 2008/05/08 18:04:21, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Well of course, that's from being in Britain, right?

Belfast believe it or not Arden. The first part of the UK to legalise civil parterships.:

Date: 2008/05/17 08:50:35, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Of course that's just the American side.

In Northern Ireland we have a number of Presbyterian denominations.

The main one is the Presbyterian Church in Irerland (the official one). There are also the Evangelical and Reformed Presbyterian churches, both staunchly YEC. None have any connections with the Free Presbyterian church of Ulster (Paisley's outfit) which was set up indipendently by the ex leader of the denomination, rather than breaking away from the established ones. Again, another denomination preaching YECism (they also run a number of small Chiristian schools in the province). The Presbyterian church in Ireland does not adhere to YECism as such however, there are a number of congregations/ministers teaching it (it appears to be growing). The Rev. Robin Greer, an ex-speaker with AiG (UK) and now affiliated with CMI, is a prime example.

There is also the non-subscribing Presbyterian church. This is a very small liberal denomination which doesn't accept the virgin birth etc. It appears to be a breakaway from the main Presbyterian church.

Date: 2008/05/17 11:04:12, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
How about this one on aliens being subject to original sin from AiG (UK)'s Paul Taylor:

Funes’s musings had a clear theological flavour. “Some aliens could even be free from original sin,” he opined.

Such opinions fly in the face of Scripture. Isaiah 45, which refers to God’s creation of the heavens and the earth, makes it clear that it was the earth that was formed to be inhabited. No other heavenly body is referred to in such a way. But if there were alien intelligences, they could not be free from original sin. Romans 8:22 reminds us that “the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.” It would seem odd for these poor alien intelligences to be affected by the sin of another intelligent being on one obscure planet somewhere else in the universe. Although my faith would not be shaken if I encountered an alien, these passages lend support to the idea that humans are the only intelligences in the universe, and Earth is the only place where God has created life.

I would assume that according to Paul Taylor SETI is pointless ?

Just when you thought it couldn't get any sillier


Date: 2008/05/21 11:31:08, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
One piece of good news from NI is that the Ken Ham/AiG extravaganza the weekend before last has turned out to be something of a flop for AiG. This rep[ort from William Crawley:

A few of you have asked about the Ken Ham interview I recorded. In fact, we never intended to broadcast a long interview, since I have already conducted a 20 min interview with Ken Ham, which is still available online. On this occasion, I simply made a visit to the Waterfront Hall to see the event in full flow and have a work with Ken Ham. This most recent chat -- that's really what it was -- was broadcast in an edited form on Sunday as part of the report about the conference.

I was very surprised at the low turnout for this Answers in Genesis event. The organisers told me that about 120 people came for the afterrnoon sessions; about 300 tickets were sold for the evening event on Friday; and they hoped for 500 people on Saturday evening. When Ken Ham last visited Belfast, the Waterfront Hall was full; but the decision to hire the hall for two days, based on that successful conference three years ago, seems to have backfired on this occasion. I would say that AiG has had to subsidize the Belfast event very significantly from their own funds. On Friday evening, I estimated that there were less than 300 people in the room. Perhaps the poor turnout explains why the order of the evening was changed. Ken Ham was originally to speak at 9pm, with another speaker (a retired anatomist) speaking at 7.30. In the end, Ken Ham spoke first (for 75 minutes without taking questions from the floor).

Listening to Mr Ham speak, I wondered if Creationism in Northern Ireland is waning.

Mr Ham has been explaining the "hard sell" at the end of his presentation. The lobby areas were essentially an AiG merchandise store for the evening. All organisations sell their resources, of course. I was simply taken by the effort to push the materials, which is why I raised the issue with him. Mr Ham confirmed that his organisations annual income is over $24 million. They have 300 staff salaries to pay out of that figure, and only 30 per cent of their earning come from merchandise; most of the income is from donations. I asked Mr Ham if it's true that he earns $180K per year. He did not give me his actual salary figure, but explained that it is "less than" 180K and that, even if it was 180K, this would not be an unreasonable figure for the CEO of a comparably sized company.

On the theology, we debated the morality of a God who would drown innocent children under the waters of a universal flood. Ken Ham questioned my use of the term "innocent", since all have sinned and all, including children in the womb, are the offspring of Adam. He did not appear to find the idea of a divinely-ordained genocide (which is what the flood amounts to) at all unpalatable. Instead, he argued that we should trust in God even when we can't explain his actions.

A big part of the evening on Friday included a pitch for the Creation Museum, which is apparently proving very successful with theological day-trippers. Ken offered me a personal tour of the Museum, and asked me to join him for lunch, over which we could talk about where I stand with God.

I'm not sure if YECism is on the wane in NI however, 120 for either Menton or Burgess on a Saturday afternoon is really bad. 300 for Ham isn't good either. I notice he (Ham) hasn't metioned the Belfast trip on his blog since, despite saying he was going to give a more in depth report and post photographs etc.

Date: 2008/06/17 09:16:25, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Will this be the next Dover ?????

I would imagine (hopefully) the NCSE, the ACLU etc. are putting together a case as we speak.

Incidently, how high up in the political sphere is this ? Is this the equivalent of a council, a regional assembly (e.g. MLAs in NI) or are they the same as MPs in the UK ?

Date: 2008/06/23 12:24:23, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Will the Panda's thumb be reporting on this elaborate piece of nonsense:

The Creation Science Fellowship and the Institute for Creation Research are proud to announce the Sixth International Conference on Creationism. This premier scientific conference features 40+ original peer-reviewed papers and special evening presentations by the world’s leading creation science researchers and speakers; including Andrew Snelling, Russ Humphreys, John Baumgardner, John Sanford, John Whitmore, John Hartnett and many more…

Quite an impressive line-up, including many speakers that I haven't heard of before. Here's their schedule:

but a premier scientific conference ??? They definitely shouldn't be allowed to get away with this.

:angry:  :angry:  :O

Date: 2008/06/23 17:26:58, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
If we raised about $1000, we'd be in the right ballpark to put someone on the scene.

If 100 people gave a tenner (£'s that is) you'd have well over $1,000. Are there 100 people posting on this forum ? If there are then I'm up for a tenner then.

Still, did Jason Rosenhouse not pay his own way (albeit begrudgingly) to the creation mega - conference a couple of years ago ?

claimed that certain human proteins were more similar to bullfrog proteins than chimpanzee homologues

Only last week I heard that:

(when asked about the similarity of chimpanzee and human DNA) human DNA was 66% similar to that of a banana. Does that mean humans and banana's have common ancestors ? No. All it means is that humans and bananas have the same designer. In the same way that humans and chimps have a common designer.

That one came from the guy from Mensa:


Date: 2008/06/23 17:53:30, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
You guys will have to call in your best spies for this one.

Believe it or not, I actually remember that series when it was on TV:

Date: 2008/07/04 18:18:19, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Albatrossity2 wrote:

We're going to Scotland, where we will meet Louis for dinner somewhere near Edinburgh, and take him and Professor Steve Steve to visit Hutton's Uncomformity at Siccar Point. Thus we will have graduated from Darwin worship to the idolatry of an even more ancient deity, James Hutton

Since you're so very close to good ole' Norn Iron you really should pop over for a visit to the YEC capital of the world. I'm not quite sure if we're as bad as the US or not. Lot's of interesting geology, including the Giant's Causeway, a natural wonder that the YEC's have their eye on (like the Grand Canyon ):

though their campaign trail appears to have dried up somewhat.

Belfast is easy to get to from Scotland, only a short 2 hour ferry journey from Stranraer. The city itself has improved drastically over the last lot of years as well.

Me ? I have no plans at present. I'm having an extension built on the house so at the moment i'm annoying a builder ( and costing myself money ) by putting doors in the wrong places, slopy ceilings that are here and then gone etc. etc. The kids are off school for the next eight weeks so I'm going to be driven crazy. Can't wait till September.

By the way, the weather in the north and west of the UK is pretty awful at the moment. rain/heavy showers virtually every day, and after a beautiful May (one of the driest/sunniest for years). This summer beginning to remind me of '85. Another rotten one in these parts (that year had a nice May as well !).

Date: 2008/07/05 09:27:18, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Who's P Taylor ???? It's not this P Taylor by any chance ???:

In case anyone hasn't reaslized from his blog, this P Taylor is AiG (UK)'s media officer, i.e.second down from CEO Monty White. It can't be the same one surely ?

Date: 2008/07/06 04:29:38, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Many happy returns then Paul.

There's also another quite famous Paul Taylor in YEC circles, the son of Stanley Taylor, author of the Paluxy river nonsense. Only Carl Baugh uses this claim now:

although, the ICR still have something on their website about it:

Still, I decided to google my own DOB and see who I shared my birthday with. Apart from English actress Maggie Smith, the only other person I came up with was this famous American Chemist/biochemist:

but apparently he not only denies that HIV causes aids he's also a climate change skeptic as well ! I wonder if he' a YEC ?

Date: 2008/07/06 18:26:59, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
An award - "the golden crocoduck" - has been announced by youtuber potholer54 on his new youtube channel Potholer54debunks, to be awarded annually on october 28 to the most audacious lie told by a creationist

There's some great video material refuting YECism on Youtube nowadays. potholer54's in particular is very good, especially his "made easy" series.

Have a look at cdk007 and thunderfoot's material as well. Some great stuff on their channels also.

Date: 2008/07/10 10:58:05, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Thought this video on expelled by Youtuber Thunderf00t might go down well on this forum:

Date: 2008/07/20 17:37:18, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
I noticed this on Ham's blog today, criticising the United Methodists for supporting the clergy letter project:

This illustrates the sad state of the church. In doing this, this denomination has shaken its fist at God and told the Creator of the Universe they don’t believe what He had written in his Word in Genesis.

If you look at the list of clergy who signed this letter, you will see that many are from denominations that deny a number of basics of the Christian faith—quite a number of them could not be described as “Christian”as the Bible would describe Christian.

As a Christian who has no problem with conventional science (and by that I mean evolutionary science, regardless of the subject) I wonder what exactly this project is going to achieve in the long run. Unless large numbers of evangelical Christians/Christian denominations come out in support then it really is a dead duck, so to speak. Note Ham's comments with regard to the fact that he doesn't accept many of those denominations that have supported the letter as really being Christian at all.

I've said this before and I'll say it again. I think we are on the verge af a major split within the Protestant church over their support of mainstream science, say along the lines of the reformation i.e. when the main Protestant denominations split from the Roman Catholic church, e.g. Martin Luther etc. It really does appear that YEC's have a completely different way of looking at Christianity than other Christians. I think the differences are so great now that a major split is inevitable.

Next year is a very important one with regard to Darwin. It will be interesting to see if any evangelical leaders in the US lend their support to this project. I very much doubt it somehow.

Date: 2008/07/20 18:41:00, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
But are there any leading evangelicals that support the clergy letter project Wesley ? In the UK only Steve Chalk has come out in support of evolution.

I've noticed that leading evangelicals in the US e.g. John MacArther and R.C. Sproul for example, are both firmly in the YEC camp. Josh McDowell's son has visited the creation museum so that obviously puts McDowell Snr. there as well. These people are not just influential in the US but are quite well known over here, particularly in NI. I've heard McDowell speak a number of years ago at the Crescent church in Belfast. He also addressed the Presbyterian church in Ireland's general assembly recently as well.  

Who are the evangelical leaders in the US that support evolution ?

Date: 2008/07/21 10:53:16, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Perhaps repetition will help:

We know from the vocal religious antievolutionists that they don't like evolution; the Clergy Letter Project's mission is to up the profile of Christian believers who do not have a problem with what science discovers.

Then I'll repeat my question again Wesley. Who are the leading conservitive evangelicals that support this ? In the past evangelicals such as Charles Hodge, B.B. Warfield and C.S.Lewis have all accepted evolution (and thus have supported science). This doesn't seem to be happening at the moment. In my opinion (don't get me wrong, I do support the project) for the clergy letter project to succeed at least some leading evangelical conservitives need to come out and endorse it. The people I've mentioned are highly respected in evangelical circles, not just in the US but throughout the world. As an example, Adrian Rodgers was open minded on the subject until Ham got to him. What is it with Ham that seems to persuade so many preachers, who in other respects are good speakers , to accept such nonsense without question ? And what about some of the other well known speakers in evangelical circles e.g. Joyce Meyer (very popular in NI), David Jeremiah, the Graham's (both likely YEC), and Charles Stanley. These are the type of evangelicals that need to come out and say they accept evolution for the clergy letter project to work. Unfortunately they aren't doing this.

it doesn't  help either when Atheists such as Jason Rosenhouse or P.Z. Meyers start attacking Christians that accept evolution (Theistic Evolutionists) from the sidelines. In one newspaper article that I've read recently PZ Meyers stated that Christians who were theistic evolutionists were in his opinion "wishy washy" Christians. When asked " what about professor Ken Miller" he (PZ Meyers) replied that "Ken Miller is a wishy washy Catholic". I'm not sure if that statement was tongue and cheek or not but it sure doesn't help the project gain credibility in Evangelical circles.

Date: 2008/07/21 11:19:47, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Flip it around. What if we would give up on everything that is not supported by well-known evangelicals? Should we just give up? Is that what you are suggesting?

Not at all. All that I am saying (as someone who moves in evangelical circles) that these are the type of speakers that evangelical Christians listen to. They're not going to pay any attention to the Pope, Ken Miller, Francis Collins, or any other liberal minded Christian leader for that matter. C.S. Lewis is still widely read and quoted in evangelical circles here. I'm not sure who the modern day equivelent is.

Date: 2008/07/21 16:41:36, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
funk and disco, baby, funk and disco.

You want funk Richard ? You got funk:

Date: 2008/07/23 09:55:39, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
I think this is one of the best science programmes on TV:

Take a look at May's episode "we just don't know" (a phrase coined by Sir Patrick over the years).

A really fascinating discussion about the state of modern cosmology. Really worth watching. Far far better than any of the stupid reality shows that millions of brain dead people seem to watch these days e.g. Big brother, the X factor, America's got tallent, Gerry Springer, etc. etc. etc.

Date: 2008/07/28 14:03:06, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
This time some nonsense about Mars and impact craters from Charles Creager Jr.:

Given the evidence that the Earth received a significant number of impacts during the Flood (Spencer 1998), and that the size distribution of craters show that the Earth and Mars were hit by the same population of objects, it is likely that these events occurred at about the time of the Genesis Flood. Available data is consistent with such a bombardment, since most of the impacts on Earth would have been spread over the year of the Flood, with a smaller number afterward.

I tried googling the author but found very little, other than the fact that he has a BSc in physics from Bob Jones University. Here's his website:

He appears to be implying that impact craters occurred at around the time of the supposed global flood on both the Earth and Mars. Is he saying that lunar impact craters were formed at that time as well ?

The one thing I learned in astronomy was that a heavily cratered surface was a very ancient one. Indeed, using crater density as a chronometer it is even possible to estimate the age of the surface.

Date: 2008/08/06 15:12:05, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
If you think it's bad in the US then just have a look at NI. This is what the people who are running the place actually believe:

Date: 2008/08/11 15:34:32, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
And this is precisly the sort of thing that just makes Christians who support mainstream science (evolutionary science) look downright stupid in the face of YEC's:

Which is why I wonder what the point is of evolution Sunday and the clergy letter project.

Date: 2008/08/12 06:08:24, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
From the article that Jason linked to

When Salon interviewed me about my new book, "Saving Darwin," I suggested that science doesn't know everything, that there might be a reality beyond science, and that religion might be about God and not merely about the human quest for a nonexistent God. These remarks got me condemned to whatever hell Myers believes in.

I would say that most (if not all) evangelical Christians would agree with Karl Giberson on this statement. So what exactly is the point that Jason Rosenhouse and PZ Myers are trying to make here ? Atheists criticise evangelical Christians for accepting the YEC nonsense and yet, at the slightest oppertunity they attack those who accept evolution. Then they have the audacity to promote "evolution Sunday" or the clergy letter project (do Jason Rosenhouse and PZ Meyers support the clergy letter project and evolution Sunday ?).

As I have said, certain Atheists just make evangelical Christians look silly in the face of YECs (and by the way, I have a great admiration for both Rosenhouse and Meyers, it's just their spiritual beliefs that I disagree with)

Giberson is correct.  Science doesn't explain everything. i.e. the whys and wherefores of life. As an example, UTV are covering the 10th anniverseray of the Omagh bomb this week. In one interview yesterday evening, a survivor told her story and the fact that she was standing with two of her friends when the bomb went off. Both her friends died and yet she lived. She put this down to divine providence. I think if I had lived through such an experience I'd probably feel the same.

Date: 2008/08/12 12:09:20, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
You'd be left trying to figure out why "divine providence" blew your friends to smithereens (by an act of omission, at the very least).  Were they somehow privileged

She quoted the book of Ecclesiastes Jim:

Surely an idea that has been used in many's a horror movie:

and TV series:

On that particular day it wasn't her time.

Date: 2008/08/12 17:19:42, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
So should she be thankful, or disappointed?

She was very thankful in the interview Jim.

Even though she had lost a leg as a result of the bomb and had a very long recovery period she now cherished each day of of life. A very moving story I thought.

Date: 2008/08/15 15:49:23, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
It's got to be small, they recommend taking only 2 suitcases, and my first idea was a Chicago Cubs baseball cap or caps, BUT I don't even know if they wear baseball caps in Scotland!

The Police Service of Northern Ireland do in fact wear baseball caps while on duty (it's part of their uniform belive it or not).

Bourbon sounds fine, so long as the family aren't religious (evangelical Protestant) in which case they might not appreciate it.

Other than baseball and 1930's gangsters J-dog, what else is Chicago famous for ?

Date: 2008/08/15 18:59:35, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
A couple of things that I found the most different "over there":

You'll laugh  at this jeffox:

Still funny even after 30 years.

Shame you didn't visit Belfast though. One of the major cities in the UK.

Date: 2008/08/16 11:31:30, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Definitely Antrim coast

Worth seeing Jeffox. If you don't want to hire a car Ulsterbus tours do a number of daytrips usually with a very informative guide on board. Some of them take in the Giant's Causeway as well:

Like most major cities in the UK there are also a number of tour buses that operate from the city centre. Both Glasgow and Edinburgh do something similar.

The shortest routes between Scotland and NI by the way, are either Larne - Troon, Larne - Cairnryan, or Belfast - Stranraer.

Date: 2008/08/17 13:13:48, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Just for you Jef:

14lbs=1 stone

I still can't get to grips with the metric system though (an import from the EU). Everything's metric in the UK nowadays, except for speed (mph) distance (miles still) and pubs (they still use pints) although the EU constantly have their eye on it (pubs that is).

It's weird travelling from Belfast to Dublin. The speed limits change from mph to kph and distances from miles to kilometres once you cross the border. Very confusing unless you're familiar with the conversion factors.

Date: 2008/08/18 04:31:49, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
She is, in effect, cherishing the fact that jebus blew her friends up instead of her

She is doing nothing of the sort Jim. Most Christians think like this i.e. they are thankful that they were "spared". I'm sure there will be many similar type statements and sentiments on the 10th anniversary of  9/11. Surely you don't think Jim, that those who survived that one are cherishing the fact that so many of their friends were lost   ??????

That is indeed something that keeps amazing me. When I see people thanking God about surving some disaster or not getting hurt, my very first reaction is "And what about the people who díd die/got hurt, hmm?". Something else is that, for example in medical reality series, you see patients thanking God for letting them survive. That just doesn't amaze me, that makes me slightly angry: the doctors used every shred of expertise they gained to save you, and whó are you praising?? I really do not understand.

And it is precisely these type of statements that makes me uncomfortable with the clergy letter project and evolution Sunday. This is the way Christians think Erasmus. I know. As someone with an incurable disease I have medical science to thank for being able to live a normal life, by and large. Even though I wasn't "cured" I still have God to thank for a lot of things. Most Christians will quote Romans 8:28 when bad things happen to them.  

And why are evangelical churches being urged by some atheists to celebrate the achievmants of a man who was at best an agnostic   ?????? I agree whole heartedly that the Christian church can support science but this needs to come from other evangelicals, not Atheists or Agnostics.  

Just to re-emphasise the fact that it hasn't caught on with the evangelical church in the UK, only two churches in England and Four ??? in Wales have signed up for next years event:


Bury St Edmunds Unitarian Congregation
Cambridge, England
Martin A. Gienke, Lay Leader

Essex Unitarian Church
London, England
The Rev. Sarah Tinker


St Cynwyl's
The Church in Wales
Caio, Carmarthenshire, Wales
The Rev. Joanna Penberthy

St Sawyl's
The Church in Wales
Llansawel, Carmarthenshire, Wales
The Rev. Joanna Penberthy

St Michael's
The Church in Wales
Talley, Carmarthenshire, Wales
The Rev. Joanna Penberthy

Cwmgwendraeth Rectorial Parish
Upper Tumble, Llanelli - Carmarthenshire, Wales
The Rev. Dr. Marc Rowlands, Team Vicar

Note that two of the "vicars" are women and three of the churches in Wales are being pastored by the one person.

None of the big evangelical churches (e.g. All Souls) have bothered with it and it certainly doesn't surprise me. I can't see any of the churches in NI participating, even in the mainstream denominations.

Date: 2008/08/18 08:22:22, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
I alwayse wonder: what? I hear that often, that people have enough to thank for, but I never hear exactly what.

My symptoms were very similar to cancer. I feared the worst when I began to pass blood. Although my diagnosis wasn't great (IBD), I was relieved that cancer was ruled out. But I still have a lot things to be thankful for. Like the work of Professor Bryan Brooke:

which changed the lives of millions of people. Without his pioneering work many would be debilitated:

TO THOSE suffering from ulcerative colitis and inflammatory bowel disease, the name Bryan Brooke is remembered with gratitude

Brooke became Reader in Surgery at Birmingham University, working at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. It was here that he devised the brilliantly simple Brooke eversion ileostomy - a bowel opening on the skin of the stomach, to which a bag could be attached. This revolutionised the treatment of ulcerative colitis. The vast majority of the thousands world-wide who have had this operation are living near-normal lives.

and it is for this reason that I despise Ken Ham (and the rest of the YECs) for devoting so much time, energy , and money in their efforts to return science to the 18th century. It gauls me to think of the millions of dollars that have been spent on Ham's museum, and the number of intelligent individuals that have been duped by his nonsense. I cried when I read Brooke's obituary. I can honestly say I'll probably not feel the same way about Ham etc.

Date: 2008/08/18 08:38:23, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Is "All Souls" a denomination that explicitly adopts biblical literalism

All Souls is a well attended evangelical Anglican church in London Wesley. In my opinion it's the sort of church that should be paricipating in this .It's been prone to YECism  though:

But from what I can gather, there's been some opposition to it.

Several obscure churches that have a few dozen members are not going to break any delf with a majority of evangelicals I'm afraid.

Date: 2008/08/18 11:26:17, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Ofcourse I definatly agree with you about Bryan Brooke, people like him are the persons who deserve the praise.

At least we've agreed on something assassinator.

The CLP is not an evangelical tool aimed at converting people who have already committed themselves to extreme positions to change their minds and cannot be said to be lacking because it doesn't do that.

Then who is it aimed at Wesley ? Or is it merely preaching to the converted ?

I still feel that a several big name evangelicals need to come out and support it for it to have any impact. Christians who haven't made their minds up about evolutionary science are the ones that will be influenced.

Steve Chalke is the only evangelical leader that supports evolution in the UK. I'm not sure if he agrees with the CLP or not.

Date: 2008/08/18 12:51:11, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
This might be of interest:

On the next day, Mike did four special sessions for teachers. Each presentation was geared to help instructors be better prepared to teach origins in the public schools. In addition to speaking on what creationists believe, he spoke on understanding presuppositions and assumptions in the origins debate–and using critical thinking skills. Mike also had the opportunity to meet with the Chairman of the Texas State School Board, Don McLeroy (a biblical creationist), and gave presentations to an open audience at the Brenham High School auditorium

Date: 2008/08/18 15:32:51, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
it's possible for religious beliefs and acceptance of biological evolution to coexist

I've just watched the last of Richard Dawkins' new series "the genius of Darwin". According to Dawkins you can't believe in God and accept Charles Darwin's view the world. Evolution and religion are incompatible. It's illogical to think that they are (according to Dawkins)

i noticed he had a go at the Archbishop of Caterbury,Rowen Williams (who accepts biological evolution) as well.

Dawkins also emphasised the fact that over time Darwin came to abandon Christianity. To be honest, as I have said before, it's for these reasons that I feel uncomfortable with evolution Sunday. I still feel the clergy letter project misses the point. Dawkins doesn't help.

Date: 2008/08/31 05:57:37, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
AiG has weighed in:

In 2006, then-candidate Palin indicated in a TV debate that creation should be taught alongside evolution in the state’s public schools, declaring that schools should “teach both. You know, don’t be afraid of information. Healthy debate is so important, and it’s so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both.”3 Now, in stating this, she may have been advocating the teaching of scientific creationism, as opposed to biblical creationism4 (the latter having been deemed unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 19875), but we don’t really know.

“I don’t think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class. It doesn’t have to be part of the curriculum.”In an interview the next day, Palin (if the Anchorage Daily News report is correct) appeared to backpedal somewhat, saying that she meant to say that a discussion of alternative views should be allowed but not forced on students, adding: “I don’t think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class. It doesn’t have to be part of the curriculum.” In other words, Palin was not suggesting that the teaching of creation should be mandated (perhaps realizing that her statement the day before came across as arguing that creation must be in the science curriculum).

The Anchorage newspaper also reported her as saying she would not push the state’s board of education (governors in Alaska appoint board members, and the legislators confirm them) to add creationist alternatives to evolution to the state’s curriculum. The paper asked for her personal view on evolution, and she said, “I believe we have a creator.”

She's clearly a YEC but just wont admit it.

Date: 2008/08/31 10:06:15, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
And there's more:

Date: 2008/09/02 09:25:48, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
You know, these age jokes get really old.

Confusius say:"man grow old when he watch food instead of waitress"

I'm not sure if I'm at that stage or not.

Anyway, happy birthday guys.

Date: 2008/09/06 14:57:11, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
I've a lot of respect for Jason Rosenhouse. I admire his dedication  in attending YEC conferences and taking the time to write concise and informative reports while at the same time exposing how they distort ( and in many cases by fraudulent means) mainstream science.

However, as a Chrtistian who supports evolution I'm a bit worried about Jason's recent rantings attacking Theistic evolutionists etc.:

Seriously, the desperation here is palpable. Theistic evolutionists have made great concessions to achieve their reconciliation of Christianity with evolution. Perspicuity of scripture? Gone. Natural theology? Pointless. Argument from Design? Fuhgeddabout it. The sort of beliefs that are justified by evidence and defended rationally are granted to science. Religious beliefs are justified by recourse to ill-defined “eyes of faith” and the desire of believers to feel at home in the universe (whatever that means). They've conceded about ninety percent of the territory on which science and religion clash. But still a lot of scientists won't even give them that last ten percent. How frustrating that must be for them.

But I do think a remark is in order. If we are to judge them by their best representatives then creationists take their Biblical analysis very seriously indeed. They endorse the young-Earth position because they genuinely believe (with considerable justice) that this is what was intended by the writer of Genesis. I am sympathetic to this view, as I have written before. The arguments I have seen defending alternatives like the day-age theory, the gap theory, or the framework hypothesis are not convincing.

In a number of recent posts I have remarked that when it comes to Biblical analysis, I think the young-Earthers have more going for them than is sometimes acknowledged. I have also commented that I have been generally unimpressed with the more highbrow sorts of Biblical exegesis I have seen with regard to the text of Genesis.

Even worse, Gingerich's points do not make sense. He asks us to see a concordance between God's creation of light in verse three of Genesis with the picture painted by the Big Bang model. Sadly, by the time we reach verse three the heavens (which presumably refers to space) and the Earth have already been created. The Earth even has water on it. I'd say that's a big point of departure between the Bible and the Big Bang.

The young-Earthers make sense. They're out of their minds, but they make sense

and evolutionary scientists then expect Christians to take part in evolution Sunday etc. ?????

I really can't see what Jason's point is in attacking Christians who accept evolution (i.e. mainstream science). I certainly have no sympathy for the YECs who, in my opinion have damaged the church irreparably. Is he perhaps contemplating becoming a YEC ? Certainly any of the testimonys of YECs who were atheists had similar positions to that of Rosenhouse (i.e.they had no respect for TEs).

So can i have some clarrification on this point i.e. It's perfectly acceptable for Christians to accept evolution ??? Wesley: you have not agreed with my points on the clergy letter project. However, it would appear that Dr./Professor Rosenhouse does not accept/has no respect for Christians such as myself who have absolutely no problem with mainstream science.

I certainly have no respect for YECs whatsoever. I think they have damaged the church irreperably. While many may be very sincere people(many of my relatives are YECs/old Earth creationists) they are seriously misguided, often through a lack of knowledge/education. I detest those who are well educated in the movement even more, especially those taking part in the conference that Jason has just reported on.  

Most Christians who accept evolution would, by and large, be TEs

Date: 2008/09/07 08:04:38, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
He is clearly not endorsing YEC as a reflection of reality

I was being facetious.

Again, I sympathize with that view. Why can't Christian TEists simply say, "Indeed there is no reason to view the Bible as an historically accurate record, but I'm just going to go on believing in certain parts of it while I stop wasting precious time trying to force it to conform to science."

So if this is what non Christians (and by that I mean Agnostics/Atheists) think of Christians who support evolution (mainstream science) what is the point in us taking part in evolution Sunday/the clergy letter project ?????? Someone please clarify ?????? Christians that support science by and large do not see the creation story in Genesis as an historical event. Again, for want of repeating myself, groups such as the NCSE repeatedly say there should be no problem with Christianity and science. It would appear that some people on the Atheist side of the fence profoundly disagree.

As  for cherry picking the bible, YECs do this just as much as every other brand of Christianity.

Date: 2008/09/07 12:50:41, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
In general, atheists don't get their backs up until theists try to "wedge" their beliefs into public policy.  In other words, atheists get upset, and understandably so, when religious belief becomes political rhetoric.

But have they in the cases that have been highlighted ???? personally I don't think so.

I agree with you Jim re. the clergy letter project and evolution Sunday. However, I feel that Jason appears to be having a go at every theist that accepts evolution, while sating he has more respect for the YECs (something i certainly don't have). I really can't understand his tactics here. If you want Christians to accept evolutionary science and participate in the above events this is not the best way to go about it.

Date: 2008/09/13 18:48:02, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Found this on Youtube this evening and thought it was very funny:

Date: 2008/09/15 11:09:33, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
To the delight of AiG, this minister has chosen to reject the clergy letter project. I can't believe a Methodist minster has written this nonsense for AiG:

If Dr. Zimmerman and others really want to pursue full scientific research and the truth about origins, then they should not be alienating people by calling them such things but encouraging them to pursue every path of discovery and thought. Instead he is creating a situation where people like me who have moved from a theistic evolutionist worldview to a young-earth creationist worldview over the last 30 years will become marginalized. Does not Dr. Zimmerman have his mind open to the major scientific discoveries in biology related to the complexity of the human cell, as well as to the mapping of the DNA that shows intelligent design? Plus there are other scientific fields that support a biblical model rather than an evolutionary one.

I believe that God created the universe in six solar days as stated in Genesis 1 and supported by Exodus 20: 8–11. To say that the stories of creation, Noah’s Flood, etc. are poetic (non-historic)—and therefore the only way to convey biblical truths to ancient peoples so that they would understand these accounts—is not acceptable. This would indicate that God was giving the prophets a spirit of falsehood to convey truth. The ancient biblical patriarchs would not tolerate telling stories under the pretext of being true, only to learn later that they were false. God is not a God of falsehood. He gave the prophets His anointing to tell the truth in order to convey to us His invisible attributes of power and divinity.

To say that the model of Darwinian evolution is an established fact is wrong. A growing number of scientists are abandoning evolution for the biblical creation model instead because it better explains the evidence in the world around us. More and more scientific discoveries are revealing how inadequate the model of evolution really is. Ultimately, the naturalism of evolution does not belong—nor is it compatible—with the plain teaching of Scripture related to creation and the origin of life on earth.

As usual, AiG make a big thing of Rev. Shunk's qualifications:

Rev. Dale Shunk has a B.S. in Physics from Edinboro University and a M.Div. from Asbury Theological Seminary. He has been married to Annabelle for 35 years, has two grown children and one grandson. He enjoys astronomy and seeing people touched by the beauty, majesty, and order of God's creation when looking at the stars in his homemade telescope. Many have trusted their lives to Christ during these star-gazing sessions. He currently is the pastor of First United Methodist Church in Somerset, Pennsylvania.

I grew up in the Methodist church and it certainly wasn't extreme. How does the United Methodist church in the US fit in the grand scheme of things there ?

In NI there are three Methodist denominations. The Methodist church in Ireland is the mainstream one and it is definitely not YEC (yet). YECism has made some inroads in the denomination in England. The other two denominations that label themselves as "Methodist" are the Free Methodists and Indipendant Methodists. Both are YEC.

Date: 2008/09/18 17:14:03, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
I couldn't care less what private religious thoughts people have. Not only do I think that it's good to get "moderate" religious people on the team, so to speak, I think it's essential.

Well said Louis. I entirely agree.

Date: 2008/09/18 17:16:12, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
This is what makes science so fascinating:

A new class of cosmic object has been found by a Dutch schoolteacher, through a project which allows the public to take part in astronomy research online.
Hanny Van Arkel, 25, came across the strange gaseous blob while using the Galaxy Zoo website to help classify galaxies in telescope images.

Scientists working at telescopes around the world and with satellites in space were asked to take a look at the mysterious Voorwerp. "What we saw was really a mystery," said Schawinski. "The Voorwerp didn't contain any stars." Rather, it was made entirely of gas so hot — about 10,000 Celsius — that the astronomers felt it had to be illuminated by something powerful. They will soon use the Hubble Space Telescope to get a closer look.

Since there was no obvious source at hand in the Voorwerp itself, the team looked to find the source of illumination around the Voorwerp, and soon turned to the nearby galaxy IC 2497.

"We think that in the recent past the galaxy IC 2497 hosted an enormously bright quasar," Schawinski explains. "Because of the vast scale of the galaxy and the Voorwerp, light from that past still lights up the nearby Voorwerp even though the quasar shut down sometime in the past 100,000 years, and the galaxy's black hole itself has gone quiet."

"From the point of view of the Voorwerp, the galaxy looks as bright as it would have before the black hole turned off – it's this light echo that has been frozen in time for us to observe," said Chris Lintott, a co-organizer of Galaxy Zoo at Oxford University, UK. "It's rather like examining the scene of a crime where, although we can't see them, we know the culprit must be lurking somewhere nearby in the shadows." Similar light echoes have been seen around supernovae that exploded decades or centuries ago.

Makes a nonsense of the "where you there" argument. I'm always surprised why more scientists don't use astronomy/cosmology as proof of an ancient universe when confronting YECs.

Date: 2008/09/18 19:03:59, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
This is what makes science so fascinating:

A new class of cosmic object has been found by a Dutch schoolteacher, through a project which allows the public to take part in astronomy research online.
Hanny Van Arkel, 25, came across the strange gaseous blob while using the Galaxy Zoo website to help classify galaxies in telescope images.

Scientists working at telescopes around the world and with satellites in space were asked to take a look at the mysterious Voorwerp. "What we saw was really a mystery," said Schawinski. "The Voorwerp didn't contain any stars." Rather, it was made entirely of gas so hot — about 10,000 Celsius — that the astronomers felt it had to be illuminated by something powerful. They will soon use the Hubble Space Telescope to get a closer look.

Since there was no obvious source at hand in the Voorwerp itself, the team looked to find the source of illumination around the Voorwerp, and soon turned to the nearby galaxy IC 2497.

"We think that in the recent past the galaxy IC 2497 hosted an enormously bright quasar," Schawinski explains. "Because of the vast scale of the galaxy and the Voorwerp, light from that past still lights up the nearby Voorwerp even though the quasar shut down sometime in the past 100,000 years, and the galaxy's black hole itself has gone quiet."

"From the point of view of the Voorwerp, the galaxy looks as bright as it would have before the black hole turned off – it's this light echo that has been frozen in time for us to observe," said Chris Lintott, a co-organizer of Galaxy Zoo at Oxford University, UK. "It's rather like examining the scene of a crime where, although we can't see them, we know the culprit must be lurking somewhere nearby in the shadows." Similar light echoes have been seen around supernovae that exploded decades or centuries ago.

Makes a nonsense of the "where you there" argument. I'm always surprised why more scientists don't use astronomy/cosmology as proof of an ancient universe when confronting YECs.

Date: 2008/09/19 07:26:29, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
I even advocate telling people that Santa doesn't exist.

You killjoy Louis

This is in fact how the fundamentalists "get on" (as they say in these parts). There's a certain section of the fundies (the Brethren in particular but also in mainstream Presbyterian circles here) that are "anti Santa", telling the kids as soon as they can talk that Santa doesn't exist. In my opinion, this takes away the fun of childhood. Christmas was always a time of the year that I looked  forward to. I remember I could never get to sleep on Christmas eve. I also enjoyed meeting Santa at various local shops in the run-up to Christmas.

Eventually I figured out (before my parents told me) that Santa was in fact mum and dad. It wasn't a devastating blow discovering that he wasn't real.

I do realise that Christmas is an old Pagan festival incorperated into the Christian calendar (which is why the Brethren don't celebrate it). Cromwell of course banned. The modern Christmas was revived during Victorian times.

Date: 2008/09/24 05:01:13, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
I'd like to think that the more rational line adopted by Sinn Féin, the SDLP and [most of] the Ulster Unionists (Peter? any views?)

As I've said over on the BCSE forum Amadan, there are some senible people even in the DUP. Jeffrey Donaldson and Arlene Foster are both reasonably well educated and defecters from the Ulster Unionists. I'm sure they must cringe at times at the antics of Mervyn Storey etc.

The problem, as I see it, is that a lot of policians are pro-evolution but they don't know why. Sinn Feinn are for it but only because the DUP are pro-YEC. Unfortunately many of our politicians on both sides of the political divide aren't that well educated in science (many are teachers, Soliciters/barristers, ex-terrorists etc.) so they don't really know why YECism is wrong.

As an example of the way people think here, just have a look at the letters to the Belfast Telegraph after Storey's nonsense in August:

With the latest from a contributer called Tom McIvor:

who comes up with two old chestnuts:

Sir Fred Hoyle, mathematician and astronomer, was an atheist and he said that evolution was about as likely as an explosion in a junkyard was to produce a jumbo jet

Modern day observation shows that geological layers can be laid down in a short space of time and do not need the claimed millions of years. Following the eruption of Mount St Helens in Washington State in May 1980, eight metres deep of layered sediment were observed to form in a single afternoon.

Somehow most Christians in the Protestant community are convinced that science has been holding back with the evidence. That evolution is full of gaps and that there is substantial proof of a young Earth. It's just that most scientists aren't telling us the truth. If you really want to know why this is then just have a listen to AiG's conference in Ballymoney last week:

Date: 2008/09/28 12:26:34, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
The first in a series of weekly lolcats expressing my fervant hope that Richard will return to us soon....

Well, Lenny Flank has yet to return.

I miss Lenny:

Date: 2008/10/11 10:17:56, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Religulous was nice.  I give it a solid B.

AiG Doesn't like it:

Date: 2008/10/15 09:55:04, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
The only path to atheism is through a careful study of scripture

The main path to Atheism is to read lots of AiG material ! I'm serious about that. Certainly if I had come across AiG before I became a Christian I would almost certainly be an Agnostic.

Personally I think debating them is a complete waste of time. Look at how they deal with "million/billions of years for example. Their assertion that "millions of years has not been proven by science" is just plain lying, whether it be to themselves or their followers.

I'm also constantly amazed as to how they deal with the distant starlight problem (for them that is). Telling their followers that "light years is a measurement of distance and not time" is again just lying. Dr. Jason Liasle even has the nerve to show an image of supernova SN1987A in one of his talks.  

It'll be interesting though, to see if your debate appears in their feedback over the coming weeks Gary.

Date: 2008/10/18 05:46:37, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Apologies if this has been posted before:

Personally, I think she makes our lot look intelligent:

What on Earth was McCain thinking.

Date: 2008/10/21 09:11:17, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Apparently there's another online debate going on between AiG and an evolutionist. Sadly (according to AiG), the evolutionist is a Christian and a professor at Eastern Nazarene College:

This week, however, we have the rare opportunity to debate an evolutionist. While it is not a traditional debate in front of a live audience, we welcome this chance to be featured in a special forum on a very popular website, The sad part is that the evolutionist being debated is a Christian professor at Eastern Nazarene College (since 1984) and also Director of the Forum on Faith and Science at Gordon College, both in Massachusetts. Dr. Karl Giberson is the author of Saving Darwin: How to be a Christian and Believe in Evolution, and beginning today and over the next few days, he and AiG President Ken Ham will have a running debate on the topic of whether Christianity is compatible with evolution.2

The debate has started today:

Speaking as a Christian who accepts mainstream science (in effect evolutionary science) I have found in the past that Ham has often come out on top in debates such as these (at least according to AiG that is). Unless Dr. Giberson can come up with answers to Ham's theological questions (personally, I would say that these are Ham's interpretations of the bible) he's going to fare just as badly. I hope not. But then, AiG always puts it's own spin on things and no matter what happens AiG are always going to win the argument.

Maybe the title of the debate should be "Is Christianity compatible with science".

Date: 2008/10/25 11:16:01, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Ken Ham's blog drew my attention to this:

In Kentucky, the Creation Museum and McCain come together.

May they crawl together forever in the primeval mud.

Ham can't have any criticism at all of course:

They just can’t help themselves—they have to mock because they can’t use logic and reason!

Although he doesn't reveal who he's going to vote for, he did write this:

So I recognized that as we consider candidates, we cannot see their hearts. Christians must evaluate them by their actions and words—judging those actions against the absolute authority of the Word of God.

Date: 2008/10/27 06:21:20, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
I always laugh at this:

As relevant today as it was forty odd years ago. Bob is a very funny man (not so well known in the UK unfortunately). I wonder what his thoughts are on the current presidential race ?

Date: 2008/10/28 13:00:40, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
From Ken Ham today:

Yes, he actually said it: creationism “may pose the greatest threat to the future of our children, your health, and the nation’s economy.”

This remarkable quote comes from Arthur Caplan, chairman of the medical ethics department at the University of Pennsylvania and frequent TV commentator, writing in the major newspaper The Philadelphia Inquirer. What prompted this venomous attack? Vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin apparently believes in creation and is on record as having said that students should be allowed to “debate both sides” of the evolution question.

It’s especially clear in this latest round of attacks that many evolutionists are not basing their arguments on scientific evidence. They know creationists have the answers readily available

Date: 2008/10/28 17:44:44, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
This may be of interest. From New Scientist:

Creationists declare war over the brain
22 October 2008

Amanda Gefter

"YOU cannot overestimate," thundered psychiatrist Jeffrey Schwartz, "how threatened the scientific establishment is by the fact that it now looks like the materialist paradigm is genuinely breaking down. You're gonna hear a lot in the next calendar year about... how Darwin's explanation of how human intelligence arose is the only scientific way of doing it... I'm asking us as a world community to go out there and tell the scientific establishment, enough is enough! Materialism needs to start fading away and non-materialist causation needs to be understood as part of natural reality."

His enthusiasm was met with much applause from the audience gathered at the UN's east Manhattan conference hall on 11 September for an international symposium called Beyond the Mind-Body Problem: New Paradigms in the Science of Consciousness. Earlier Mario Beauregard, a researcher in neuroscience at the University of Montreal, Canada, and co-author of The Spiritual Brain: A neuroscientist's case for the existence of the soul, told the audience that the "battle" between "maverick" scientists like himself and those who "believe the mind is what the brain does" is a "cultural war".

Schwartz and Beauregard are part of a growing "non-material neuroscience" movement. They are attempting to resurrect Cartesian dualism - the idea that brain and mind are two fundamentally different kinds of things, material and immaterial - in the hope that it will make room in science both for supernatural forces and for a soul. The two have signed the "Scientific dissent from Darwinism" petition, spearheaded by the Seattle-based Discovery Institute, headquarters of the intelligent design movement. ID argues that biological life is too complex to have arisen through evolution.

In August, the Discovery Institute ran its 2008 Insider's Briefing on Intelligent Design, at which Schwartz and Michael Egnor, a neurosurgeon at Stony Brook University in New York, were invited to speak. When two of the five main speakers at an ID meeting are neuroscientists, something is up. Could the next battleground in the ID movement's war on science be the brain?

Well, the movement certainly seems to hope that the study of consciousness will turn out to be "Darwinism's grave", as Denyse O'Leary, co-author with Beauregard of The Spiritual Brain, put it. According to proponents of ID, the "hard problem" of consciousness - how our subjective experiences arise from the objective world of neurons - is the Achilles heel not just of Darwinism but of scientific materialism. This fits with the Discovery Institute's mission as outlined in its "wedge document", which seeks "nothing less than the overthrow of materialism and its cultural legacies", to replace the scientific world view with a Christian one.

Now the institute is funding research into "non-material neuroscience". One recipient of its cash is Angus Menuge, a philosophy professor at Concordia University, Wisconsin, a Christian college, who testified in favour of teaching ID in state-funded high-schools at the 2005 "evolution hearings" in Kansas. Using a Discovery Institute grant, Menuge wrote Agents Under Fire, in which he argued that human cognitive capacities "require some non-natural explanation".

In June, James Porter Moreland, a professor at the Talbot School of Theology near Los Angeles and a Discovery Institute fellow, fanned the flames with Consciousness and the Existence of God. "I've been doing a lot of thinking about consciousness," he writes, "and how it might contribute to evidence for the existence of God in light of metaphysical naturalism's failure to provide a helpful explanation." Non-materialist neuroscience provided him with this helpful explanation: since God "is" consciousness, "the theist has no need to explain how consciousness can come from materials bereft of it. Consciousness is there from the beginning."

To properly support dualism, however, non-materialist neuroscientists must show the mind is something other than just a material brain. To do so, they look to some of their favourite experiments, such as research by Schwartz in the 1990s on people suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder. Schwartz used scanning technology to look at the neural patterns thought to be responsible for OCD. Then he had patients use "mindful attention" to actively change their thought processes, and this showed up in the brain scans: patients could alter their patterns of neural firing at will.

From such experiments, Schwartz and others argue that since the mind can change the brain, the mind must be something other than the brain, something non-material. In fact, these experiments are entirely consistent with mainstream neurology - the material brain is changing the material brain.

But William Dembski, one of ID's founding fathers and a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, praised Schwartz's work as providing "theoretical support for the irreducibility of mind to brain". Dembski's website shows that he is currently co-editing The End of Materialism with Schwartz and Beauregard.

Meanwhile, Schwartz has been working with Henry Stapp, a physicist at the US Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, who also spoke at the symposium. They have been developing non-standard interpretations of quantum mechanics to explain how the "non-material mind" affects the physical brain.

Clearly, while there is a genuine attempt to appropriate neuroscience, it will not influence US laws or education in the way that anti-evolution campaigns can because neuroscience is not taught as part of the core curriculum in state-funded schools. But as Andy Clark, professor of logic and metaphysics at the University of Edinburgh, UK, emphasises: "This is real and dangerous and coming our way."

He and others worry because scientists have yet to crack the great mystery of how consciousness could emerge from firing neurons. "Progress in science is slow on many fronts," says John Searle, a philosopher at the University of California, Berkeley. "We don't yet have a cure for cancer, but that doesn't mean cancer has spiritual causes."

And for Patricia Churchland, a philosopher of neuroscience at the University of California, San Diego, "it is an argument from ignorance. The fact something isn't currently explained doesn't mean it will never be explained or that we need to completely change not only our neuroscience but our physics."

The attack on materialism proposes to do just that, but it all turns on definitions. "At one time it looked like all physical causation was push/pull Newtonianism," says Owen Flanagan, professor of philosophy and neurobiology at Duke University, North Carolina. "Now we have a new understanding of physics. What counts as material has changed. Some respectable philosophers think that we might have to posit sentience as a fundamental force of nature or use quantum gravity to understand consciousness. These stretch beyond the bounds of what we today call 'material', and we haven't discovered everything about nature yet. But what we do discover will be natural, not supernatural."

And as Clark observes: "This is an especially nasty mind-virus because it piggybacks on some otherwise reasonable thoughts and worries. Proponents make such potentially reasonable points as 'Oh look, we can change our brains just by changing our minds,' but then leap to the claim that mind must be distinct and not materially based. That doesn't follow at all. There's nothing odd about minds changing brains if mental states are brain states: that's just brains changing brains."

“This nasty mind-virus piggybacks on reasonable worries”That is the voice of mainstream academia. Public perception, however, is a different story. If people can be swayed by ID, despite the vast amount of solid evidence for evolution, how hard will it be when the science appears fuzzier?

What can scientists do? They have been criticised for not doing enough to teach the public about evolution. Maybe now they need a big pre-emptive push to engage people with the science of the brain - and help the public appreciate that the brain is no place to invoke the "God of the gaps".

Evolution - Learn more about the struggle to survive in our comprehensive special report.

The Human Brain - With one hundred billion nerve cells, the complexity is mind-boggling. Learn more in our cutting edge special report.

Amanda Gefter is an editor with the Opinion section of New Scientist

From issue 2679 of New Scientist magazine, 22 October 2008, page 46-47

Date: 2008/10/31 17:12:46, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
The Clergy Letter Project is an affront to all Christians (followers of the Lord Jesus Christ).

Does this mean Mel, that in order to be a "true Christian" one must reject virtually all of science i.e. most of Biology, Physics, Geology, Astronomy etc. and instead believe in a 6,000 year old Earth/Universe, dinosaurs living alongside humans a few thousand years ago, a global flood that deposited all fossiis etc. I sincerely hope not but that is the only conclusion I can draw from your comment. Even Answers in Genesis accept that you can be a "true Christian" and believe in evolution.

By the way, I can't access your blog.

Date: 2008/11/06 08:19:08, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Peter, not quite on topic.

not at all Amadan. a good article. Thanks for drawing my attention to it:

Yes there is a nasty form of fundamentalism in the air - and it is witnessed each and every time an "old earth" evolutionist tries to stop the furnishing all of our children with all of the facts.

Storey seems to believe that students must choose between their faith and a scientific education. Now, it is true that scientists take a range of positions on whether faith is compatible with a scientific world view. But even those who emphatically refuse any rapprochement with religion do not ask for a renunciation of belief as the price of studying biology: there are no loyalty oaths in science.

Like Mel, Storey seems to believe that all Christians are YECs.

Date: 2008/11/16 06:24:21, Link
Author: Peter Henderson

How's the debate going ? Any further nonsense from AiG  etc . or have things died the death so to speak ?

I thought you might be interested in this exchange of views between Todd Greene and John Morris of the ICR (Morris chips in about a third of the way down) Re. SN 1987A and the implications for "Young Earth Cosmology"

As you are probably no doubt aware, Todd Greene's website is Greene's creationist truth filter. Lots of excellent artricles on astronomy and cosmolgy and he also deals at length with Russell Humphreys' white light cosmology nonsense.

I've copied and pasted the exchange of views as they are quite far down the blog:

From: Todd S. Greene
Date: Thursday, April 26, 2001 10:03 AM
Subject: Re: The Ancient Universe, and SN1987A

Hi, John (Morris; since there's another John writing here).

Here's the exchange:
>> As an example of the objective data about the real world that
>> demonstrates that young earth creationism is an incorrect
>> belief about the world, SN1987A is a stellar explosion that
>> occurred approximately 162,000 years *before* YECs' speculated
>> origin time of the universe. Obviously, stars can't explode if
>> they don't exist. Claiming that this stellar explosion never
>> really happened is not scientific. Go to
>> and look at all of these observations of events surrounding
>> SN1987A that you claim never really happened.

> Never made such claims that I can remember, I think you are
> having illusions (humor now Todd, this is beyond where I want
> it to be). You must be reading more between the lines than I
> meant there to be. 168,000 years ago is the question.

>> And then keep trying to pretend that
>> YEC is scientific, and that children need to be taught these
>> anti-scientific notions about "these astronomical
>> observations of the past are just illusions" in their
>> science classes in order to have a good science education.
>> Those who know better know that this is absurd.

> Boy did you get carried away with your "illusions" here.

No, John. I'm discussing ideas that are part of the young earth
creationist position and implications of those ideas. Pull out your copy
of *Scientific Creationism* by Henry Morris (either the "public school"
edition, or the blatantly-based-on-religious-doctrine edition). And
don't forget that I was a YEC myself. I'm not a dummy on this, and I'm
not misrepresenting the YEC position (and David was "graceful" enough
to acknowledge by his comments in his most recent post that I have
represented the matter accurately).

Did you visit the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) website? Have you read
my article:

  "SN1987A and The Antiquity of The Universe"

Do you understand the fact that the uniformity of lightspeed is observed
and not merely an assumption? Did you understand my point that if
lightspeed was radically faster in the past then we would observed an
equally radical "slow motion" effect, but that no such slow motion
effect is observed to exist?

You state that you "see two bodies of 'facts' that are in opposition."
You do? Where? I've seen the facts that show antiquity, and I have
discussed some of them here. Where are the YEC "facts" in opposition?
Please present the facts that show that SN1987A occurred less than
6,000 years ago. In fact, we all know that no such facts exist.

I certainly grant that you might not be "up to speed" on the relevant
details of these kinds of things. I'm absolutely not going to criticize
someone merely for not being aware of the details. I don't expect you to
swallow anything I state hook, line, and sinker. Not at all. I expect
you, who is arguing in direct opposition to all of science and who yet
argues that young earth creationism is "truth" about the world, to
demonstrate your claimed respect for truth by digging into the details
and making yourself aware of them. What I criticize is not being aware
of the details while then making arguments based on ignoring the details
and then even after having been made aware of the details that
contradict the argument obstinately refusing to acknowledge that either
(1) the argument did not take the contrary details into account, or (2)
the contrary details don't really count because they are not real but
are merely "philosophical assumptions." It is the constant pretension
that I criticize. If you aren't engaging in such pretension, then I
won't criticize you in particular for it. At the same time, I may very
well point out such pretensions, since that is what your arguments are
based on, whether you yourself personally realize it or not. (Again, I
state this as a former YEC myself.)

I'm glad that you don't hold your YEC belief as infallible (regardless
of what we actually observe about the real world). (I didn't look at it
that way either, and that's one big reason I'm not a young earth
creationist today.) What we actually observe about the real world shows
us that it has existed far longer than just 6,000 years. So the
question, then, is, what part of these observations are unclear to you?
And then it becomes a matter of you digging into the relevant details,
and working to understand them.

There is some equivocation in your statement that we "may learn that
what we think we know to be true today is not true tomorrow." This is a
conceptual obfuscation that has been presented to me often. I've read
comments just like this for over twenty years. Please tell me, which
part of "the earth revolves around the sun" is equivocal? Does Jupiter
have moons, or not? Is disease caused by evil spirits, or
microorganisms and biological dysfunction? There are fuzzy ideas about
the real world, and there are ideas about the real world that are so
well known that they are facts about the real world. The fact that the
universe is ancient is known by direct observation. It is just as
factual as knowing that Jupiter has moon and that there are planets
beyond Saturn. The only ones who are arguing otherwise are people who
demonstrate (despite their pretensions otherwise) that they are clearly
and obviously motivated by religious belief and not by the relevant
objective data.

I reiterate that there is no question here about the factual details
showing that, as one explicit example, SN1987A occurred approximately
168,000 years ago. The YEC idea that the universe did not exist prior to
about 6,000 years ago has been unequivocally disproved by direct
observation. The only question with regard to you personally is, how
much are you aware of these details and how much do you understand about

In closing this post, I wish to thank you for your kind personal
comments regarding my knowledge and abilities. I respond by claiming
that, in fact, I'm no more knowledgeable and able than the next guy. I'm
simply someone who in being raised in Christian belief (my father was
a minister in our denomination) took our stated veneration of truth
seriously. Truth and the results of my truth-seeking demanded that I
abandon my belief in young earth creationism, and so I did.

Todd S. Greene

###### John Morris, 4/26/01 8:42 AM ######

>> I'm not making accusations, John. I'm stating accurate descriptions of
>> YEC concepts and their implications. That's not "accusations" but just
>> the simple truth.
>> Scientists don't disagree about the facts regarding SN1987A, and they
>> don't disagree that they are facts. The only ones who are pretending
>> that the facts aren't the facts are young earth creationists. Now if
>> these same young earth creationists would step off their pedestal of
>> believing that their young earth belief is infallible (regardless of
>> what we actually observe about the real world), and would care to
>> actually deal with the facts instead of waving their hands and blithely
>> dismissing the facts as being "not real," then we could get somewhere.
>> The facts are not in dispute. When YECs such as yourself claim that
>> even though we have directly observed such events from the distant past
>> as SN1987A, these events never really occurred but are merely illusions,
>> then you part company with science. When you start treating the real
>> world itself as merely an illusion you have abandoned science and
>> embraced the subjectivism of believing whatever it is you wish to
>> believe regardless of the fact that what is observed about the real
>> world disproves your belief. Your belief has been tested against the
>> real world and has been shown to be an incorrect belief about the real
>> world.

   I never said my assumptions were infallable, do not twist what I said.
In fact I believe I specifically said the opposite (I do not have my
original text). If I remember correctly I said that we (for you and me
included), are still learning and may learn that what we think we know to be
true today is not true tomorrow. And I know I could be wrong in some things
I believe to be true today. So if anybody is on an infallible pedestal, it
is not me. At this point I am I see two bodies of "facts" that are in
oppostion and I'm chosing to stick with what I believe the scriptures to be

>> It's these games that YECs play about, "Well, these facts that
>> contradict our position are not really facts but just misinterpretations
>> of the data based on philosophical assumptions," but the "philosophical
>> assumption" they happen to be referring to is that the data of the real
>> world itself is real rather than illusory, and yet YECs are pretending
>> to be scientific while they themselves are promoting their subjectivist
>> philosophy that objective observations of the real world will deceive us
>> if we think they represent reality, then we have some serious problems
>> about it being YECs themselves who are being deceptive.

    I have never stated nor implied SN1987A is an illusion. What I am
saying is in a day when so many refuse to believe in absolutes how can
anyone claim without a shadow of a doubt that something occured thousands
of years ago? I am sure your figures are very accurate from what we know
today. My problem is how can we be sure the figures were accurate for what
was going on thousands of years ago?  What you are asking me to swallow
hook line and sinker is there is no possible way something different could
have happened in history that would cause things to be different today than
thousands of years ago and therefore change your results. I cannot accept
that. I would say that would be acting more like a deity than acting in


>> These distortions deserve criticism and clarification. Let's dig into
>> the facts about SN1987A more, John. I know that I have absolutely
>> nothing to fear from the truth, because the antiquity of the world is as
>> factual as the revolution of the earth about the sun. I know what the
>> relevant data is, and what it shows. And unlike young earth
>> creationists, I'm not the one going around pretending to be scientific
>> while claiming that objective data of the real world is illusory.
>> You state that what keeps you anchored in your YEC beliefs is what you
>> know about the Bible. The geocentrists condemned Galileo on this same
>> principle. And the fact remains that there exists a wide variety of
>> interpretations of the Bible related to this issue among Christians
>> whose beliefs are anchored on what they know about the Bible.

Yes the church has made its share of error in the past and still does

Is this really getting down to the nitty gritty or what with all this talk about YECs actually denying reality ? Tod Greene certainly appears to have Morris all tied up in knots

Date: 2008/11/18 06:21:12, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
(1) Who's this (or have I missed something ?)

(2) A response to AiG's petting zoo perhaps ? :

Date: 2008/12/10 16:22:19, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
This from Andrew Snelling on the AiG website today:

Therefore, it was concluded that the measured 14C is in situ radiocarbon intrinsic to the ammonites and wood when they were buried and fossilized, so that they are very young, not 112–120 million years old. Furthermore, because the earth’s stronger magnetic field in the recent past reduced the atmospheric 14C production rate, and because the recent Genesis Flood removed so much carbon from the biosphere and buried it, the measured apparent radiocarbon ages are still much higher than the true ages of the fossil ammonites and wood. So their true ages are consistent with their burial during the Genesis Flood only, about 4,300 years ago, when the ocean waters washed sediments and ammonites onto this continental land.

Date: 2008/12/10 19:29:56, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Quote (Occam's Aftershave @ Dec. 10 2008,16:55)
Quote (Peter Henderson @ Dec. 10 2008,16:22)
This from Andrew Snelling on the AiG website today:

Therefore, it was concluded that the measured 14C is in situ radiocarbon intrinsic to the ammonites and wood when they were buried and fossilized, so that they are very young, not 112–120 million years old. Furthermore, because the earth’s stronger magnetic field in the recent past reduced the atmospheric 14C production rate, and because the recent Genesis Flood removed so much carbon from the biosphere and buried it, the measured apparent radiocarbon ages are still much higher than the true ages of the fossil ammonites and wood. So their true ages are consistent with their burial during the Genesis Flood only, about 4,300 years ago, when the ocean waters washed sediments and ammonites onto this continental land.

Same ol' same ol' for the Cretos - use an inappropriate dating method on an inappropriate and almost certainly contaminated specimen, get completely bogus results, scream bloody murder that this overturns the other millions of pieces of positive evidence science has collected over the last 150+ years.

:D  :D  :D

Snelling is so full of shit his eyes are brown.

Thought it might have been something regurgitated !

Date: 2008/12/14 06:44:24, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Always very interesting and listenable, more lectures (posted by donexodus2 on Youtube) from Professor Ken Miller:

Apologies if this has been posted before

Date: 2008/12/15 10:05:37, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Dec. 10 2008,18:40)
The host company is in the process of a datacenter migration. I was told there's probably another three hours of down time before service is restored.

I notice the Talkorigins website is still down Wesley.

It would be a great pity if all the articles (which no doubt involved many hours of painstaking work) were to be lost (I assume these are safe ?).

Don't hand the YECs something they've always wanted on a plate. It'd be a crying shame if this valuable resource were to be lost. The Talkorigins website is indespensable.


Date: 2008/12/15 18:54:33, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Dec. 15 2008,13:55)
It's not lost. I noted on the "Board Mechanics" thread that we have a temporary alternative domain serving the pages. That's been up since Friday.

Getting the original domain restored is likely to require several iterations of snailmail, so that may take a while. Don't be panicking or implying that abandonment is in the offing.

Brilliant Wesley. What a relief. I'm glad everything is OK. Far too good a resource to lose.

Date: 2008/12/20 10:36:29, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Seems the temporary Talkorigins web address is now dead again:

hopefully everything is well backed up.

Date: 2008/12/24 18:36:36, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Olivia Judson sez: How about Ten Days of Newton?[QUOTE]

Or Christmas countdown by Frank kelly:

Date: 2008/12/25 17:25:47, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Quote (khan @ Dec. 25 2008,17:00)
Personally I'm heterosexual, but damn:

I see what you mean:


Date: 2008/12/29 12:03:49, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Replies to Desmon Morris writing in the Daily Mail:

Two centuries on, a salute to Charles Darwin: Hero for our age:

first of all a classic:

Rubbish, Darwin recanted on his deathbed, he believed in God and knew we didn't come from monkeys, if we did, why haven't the monkeys in zoos turned into men?

followed by:

The idea was that it was created perfect then man´s downfall made it bad. Take it or leave it but don´t distort it. As for evolution, it was around a long time before Darwin, he just made it fit with an atheist version.

I'm currently having a discussion (debate ?) with two tards (trolls ?) on the Premier Christian Radio Forum:

It really is becoming tedious (I really will have to get out of the house more. The subject is:

"Should Creation Theory be Taught in Schools Alongside Evolution?"

Despite raising the Dover trial many times (along with various links to Talkorigins, Ken miller, Ed Brayton etc. etc.) these are some of the replies:

Dr Derek P. Blake on Dover:

Just wondering about under what authority a court has to decide the origin of the universe and life; is there a judge or jury on this planet qualified to make that judgement? The decision of the court was based upon the performance of counsels, for and against, rather like the current craze for talent contents, it’s not about the song but the presentation. No I don’t think that the ID issue is obsolete, they just need a better brief.

Ploughboy on Ken Miller (Ploughboy is a conspiracy theorist and believes the moon landings were faked):

thankfully since the man is incapable of doing anything except poking fun at his opponent. The man is totally incapable of making a case against either intelligent design or Creationism. As far as I can see he is a fool and unfit to teach.

Ploughboy puts forward these claims:

Is not the recession of the Moon a scientific fact?
Is not the salinity of the oceans a scientific fact?
Are not the comets a scientific fact?

I linked to Talkorigins and Tim Thompson's page as a response.

Ploughboy's opinion of Talkorigins:

Yawn, TalkOrigins is the biggest load of nonsense ever, I really cannot be bothered to say much except that all the responses are not of fact but of hypothesis.


However you did rather jump the gun did you not?

 The recession of the Moon is a scientific fact
The salinity of the oceans is a scientific fact
The comets are a scientific fact.

I might add that the retention of helium in zircons is also a scientific fact


What is not a scientific fact is Evolution since it has not been observed or demonstrated. Nor, come to that, is the Oort cloud or the Big Bang. Science is based on observation not on wishful thinking.

to which I replied:

If by scientific fact you mean they pove the Earth is young then no. None of these have any relevance to the age of the Earth/ solar system.

I'm sorry Martin but have you ever heard of the cosmic microwave background radiation ? Penzias and Wilson received the Nobel prize in physics for their discovery in 1965. The CMBR disproved one theory (the steady state theory) and confirmed another (the big bang). No evidence for the big bang ? Just turn on your TV set and you'll see it for yourself (it's basically static by the way)

So, plenty there to chew on. I think my replies and numerous links were wasted. My favourite is Derek Blake's analysis of Dover. And you guys had the nerve to assume ID was dead and buried.


Date: 2008/12/31 10:36:14, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Some more for you guys:

Job 38:22 (written 3,500 years ago). God says: "Have you entered into the treasures of the snow?"

It wasn't until the advent of the microscope that man discovered that each and every single snowflake is uniquely a symmetrical "treasure."

God asked Job a very strange question in 1500 B.C. He asked,

"Can you send lightnings, that they may go, and say to you, Here we are?" (Job 38:35).

This appears to be a scientifically ludicrous statement; that light can be sent, and then manifest itself in speech. But did you know that all electromagnetic radiation; from radio waves to x-rays; travels at the speed of light? This is why you can have instantaneous wireless communication with someone on the other side of the earth. The fact that light could be sent and then manifest itself in speech wasn't discovered by science until 1864 (3,300 years later), when "British scientist James Clerk Maxwell suggested that electricity and light waves were two forms of the same thing" (Modern Century Illustrated Encyclopedia).


The rotary motor in the E. coli bacteria has long been the poster child of intelligent design theorists. Their case became more compelling in 2008 as scientists reported in the June 20 issue of Science the discovery of a nanotechnology clutch that disengages the bacterium flagellum's tail from the engine that powers its rotation. The clutch “solution” is a neat, effective and potentially reversible mechanism. The science community is well aware that nanotechnology successes are achieved only by the application of sophisticated science and intelligent engineering design.


Looks like the ID case may be coming together despite what the Dover court decided.


You should read what the experts say. Evolution is a big deception


Deception - there is a long list - Archaeoraptor, Mononykus, Java man, Orce man, Hahnshofersand man, the peppered moths, Nebraska man, Lucy, is that enough?
Richard Dawkins said that feathers are modified reptilian scales - he should have known better!
There are plenty of experts, such as Dr Soren Lovtrup said that one day the Darwinian myth will be exposed as the greatest deceit of the history of science.
The Encyclopedie Francaise says that 'Evolution is impossible'
There is plenty more, too much to list here.

Do bear in mind that these are YEC/OECs living in the UK, not the deep south/bible belt of the US.

Date: 2008/12/31 11:32:07, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Come on now j-Dog  ! We've moved on in the last few years:

Date: 2008/12/31 14:15:58, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Gary: Feel free to join us ! I'm sure you would be made very welcome.They actually seem quite a friendly bunch (as church circles go) as I've received quite a few very welcoming messages on my homepage !

However, this particular thread is a goldmine for tard quotes. Michael Roberts (Michael is a Church of England vicar and a former geologist) is having a whale of a time (he posts from time to time on the PT). He's highly qualified in the subject, written several books, and has had a number of papers peer reviewed.

At the moment Phil Stilliard is producing the best quotes:

Michael you asked: When am I going to find a good creationist or ID argument?
1. DNA and proteins cannot exist separately, each needs the other to replicate. So the difficult question for evolutionists is, which came first, DNA or protein?
2. even simple forms of life are far to complex to have been created by chance, even a simple bacterium. So how were they created?
3. Life exists at the tops of snow-covered peaks, and at the bottoms of the deepest oceans, could this be spontaneous generation?
4. Could your bike evolve into a 4-wheeler?

Michael, you are wrong, some of the most eminent scientists have changed their opinion about evolution, such as British palaeontologist Derek V Ager said that there is no evidence of gradual evolution.
Richard Dawkins said that most animals do not have any evolutionary history.
Dr Allan Sandage said that it is impossible to create order out of chaos, eg 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, first stated in The Bible 2500 years ago!
In 2004 Professor Anthony Flew renounced atheism because he said that the argument to ID is too strong.
Professor Frank Tippler renounced his atheism and wrote a book on showing that the claims of Judaeo- Christian theology are true.
others - Einstein, Wernher von Braun, Dr HS Lipton, Winston Churchill, Kenneth J Hsu, Malcolm Muggeridge, George Wald Nobel Laureate, the list is too long!

to which Michael has replied:

Somewhat inaccurate dear friend

Ager argued for punctuated equilibrium and was convinced of evolution and the vast age of the earth. He often objected to being misrepresented by the likes of you and said so in a letter to me.

Spell out what Dawkins actually said

Absurd to say 2nd Law in Bible 2500 years ago!

Difficult to grasp most of your confusion

Sorry I might then be able to answer :)

Andrew is also pure class:

Psalm 19:4-6: "In them has He set a tabernacle for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoices as a strong man to run a race. His [the sun's] going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof."

Bible critics have scoffed at these verses, saying that they teach that the sun revolves around the earth. Science told them that the sun was stationary. Then they discovered that the sun is in fact moving through space at approximately 600,000 miles per hour. It is traveling through the heavens and has a "circuit" just as the Bible says. It is estimated that its circuit is so large, it would take 200 million years to complete one orbit.

A good tard quote deseves a good answer:

complete and utter nonsense

The more the merrier Gary. This is even better than the old Talkorigins feedback page or John Steer's (NAIG) e-mails !

Date: 2008/12/31 15:42:40, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
and another classic from Andrew:

The Bible and Entropy

Three different places in the Bible (Isaiah 51:6; Psalm 102:25,26; and Hebrews 1:11) indicate that the earth C space is wearing out. This is what the Second Law of Thermodynamics (the Law of Increasing Entropy) states: that in all physical processes, every ordered system over time tends to become more disordered. Everything is running down and wearing out as energy is becoming less and less available for use. That means the universe will eventually "wear out" to the extent that (theoretically speaking) there will be a "heat death" and therefore no more energy available for use. This wasn't discovered by science until recently, but the Bible states it in concise terms C space only.

51:6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but My salvation shall be for EVER, and My Righteousness shall not be abolished.

102:25 Of old hast Thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens [are] the work of Thy hands.
102:26 They shall perish, but Thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt Thou change them, and they shall be changed (re-incarnated):

1:7 And unto the angels He saith, Who maketh His angels spirits (Beings), and His ministers a flame of fire (energy).
1:8 But unto the Son [He saith], Thy throne, O God, [is] for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness [is] the sceptre of thy Kingdom.
1:9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated inequity; therefore God, [even] thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows (spirit-beings).
1:10 And, Thou, Lord, in the Beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:
1:11 They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;
1:12 And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.

The Bible and the First Law of Thermodynamics of C space only!

The Scriptures say,

"Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them" (Genesis 2:1).

The original Hebrew uses the past definite tense for the verb "finished," indicating an action completed in the past, never again to occur. The creation was "finished" ... once and for all. That is exactly what the First Law of Thermodynamics says. This law (often referred to as the Law of the Conservation of Energy and/or Mass) states that neither matter nor energy can be either created or destroyed.

It was because of this Law that Sir Fred Hoyle's "Steady-State" (or "Continuous Creation") Theory was discarded. Hoyle stated that at points in the universe called "irtrons," matter (or energy) was constantly being created. But, the First Law states just the opposite. Indeed, there is no "creation" ongoing today. It is "finished" exactly as the Bible states.C space only!

I did remind him that it was the discovery of the CMBR that discredited Hoyle's steady state theory

Date: 2008/12/31 19:24:07, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
and another one from Phil:

Lucy was a skull that was more imagination than bone; no reasonable deduction could be made about whether it was more ape or human. It was held by some to be human.
The peppered moth story was based on photos of dead moths that were glued to the tree, the deception was that they were portrayed as living moths. This was published in encyclopedia Britannica.

I think the person posting these is a maths teacher. Unbelievable.  :O

Date: 2009/01/01 12:00:50, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
The wonderful Derek Burke even complained to my bishop about it.

Again, quite unbelevible Michael.

I can't quite figure Derek out. He's well educated appears to be left of centre in his politics. Apparently he worked in the defence industry and resigned his post over the sinking of the General Belgrano during the Falklands war (an admirable thing to do, in my opinion). And yet, he seems to have some sympathies with the BNP (or maybe it's Garner he feels sorry for).

One person posting on the thread has connections with HW Armstrong's former church, which is regarded in some circles as being a cult.

Date: 2009/01/06 08:40:48, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
While arguing with some nutters over on the Premier Christian Radio forum I came across this excellent lecture to the Royal institution by our very own (she hails from Norn Iron) Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell:

Although it's quite old (1997) it's still a good lesson on stellar evolution.

Date: 2009/01/07 17:04:05, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Some help required here guys. I'm sure this is an example of quote mining:

Reply by Dr. Derek P. Blake 5 hours ago

I think everyone here should read this article on CDK or the speed of light slowing down. The theory and findings from one of our foremost physicists Paul Davies (not a creationist I hasten to add). Find the article on:

Happy reading everyone.

He's quoting from a CMI article by Carl Weiland:

Headlines in several newspapers
around the world have publicized a
paper in Nature by a team of scientists
(including the famous physicist
Paul Davies) who (according to these
reports) claim that ‘light has been
slowing down since the creation of
the universe’.1 In view of the potential significance of the whole ‘light slowing down’ issue to creationists, it is worth reviewing it briefly here.

i can't seem to find the original Nature article. However, there are lots of YEC claims on the research. Has Paul Davies been quotemined or has he put his foot in it and handed the cretins a gift ?

Reply by Dr. Derek P. Blake 25 minutes ago
I think you will find that the jury is still out on light speed variation as there is current research going on at this moment. However, where did I say I subscribed to the CDK theory; it’s one of the constants that our model of the universe has been built upon? I just thought it was interesting but I at least have an open mind to these things, which is more than can be said for some on this forum. Mock me if wish but I would be proud to be associated with anything Paul Davies is involved in. If we accept that light can be bent by massif gravitational anomalies and hence space itself then surely it may me possible for the speed of light to be varied through dark matter, or affected by dark energies. Be careful not to open your minds too much, they may get wet and soggy. It’s people like you who impede the progress of science, the evolutional luddites.

Or maybe this is one for Dr. Rosenhouse ?

Date: 2009/01/08 18:42:09, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
It is clear from the reading of Genesis 3:16 favoured by both the Catholic Douai-Rheims Bible and the Protestant King James Bible that the consequences of original sin were, and always have been: problems with fecundity, childbirth, and carnal concupiscence; problems with the environment and earning a living; decay and death.

Hmm ! Does this mean that caesarean sections (or epidurals for that matter) contradict a literal reading of the book of Genesis ? Must put that one to the cretins on Premier.

Date: 2009/01/09 15:48:50, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
More help required guys. One of the cretins is quoting Professor James Barr via CMI/AiG:

Oxford Hebrew scholar, Professor James Barr, on the meaning of Genesis
‘… probably, so far as I know, there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Genesis 1–11 intended to convey to their readers the ideas that:

creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience

the figures contained in the Genesis genealogies provided by simple addition a chronology from the beginning of the world up to later stages in the biblical story

Noah’s flood was understood to be world-wide and extinguish all human and animal life except for those in the ark.’

James Barr, Oriel Professor of the interpretation of the Holy Scripture, Oxford University, England, in a letter to David C.C. Watson, 23 April 1984. Barr, consistent with his neo-orthodox views, does not believe Genesis, but he understood what the Hebrew so clearly taught. It was only the perceived need to harmonise with the alleged age of the earth which led people to think anything different—it was nothing to do with the text itself.


Professor James Barr, professor of Hebrew at Oxford University agrees that the words used in Genesis 1 refer to 'a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience', and he says that he knows of no professor of Hebrew at any leading university who would say otherwise.7

I'm sure this is an example of quote mining as James Barr wasn't a YEC and was opposed to most (though not all) conservative evangelicals. Since we don't have access to the manuscript of the original letter in which he made these comments, it's impossible to tell in whiat context he made them.

Still, I suppose a leading theologian's views on the book of Genesis are irrellevant to 21st century science.

Date: 2009/01/11 13:01:30, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Quote (MIchael Roberts @ Jan. 10 2009,14:39)
More from Premier Radio by Zechariah aka Andrew Sibley of Creation Science Movement

Rubbish - Wacky ideas ? Having spent a lot of time reading the history of geology from Steno to Lyell and beyond I can assure you that there was a strong commitment to paganism amongst those who opposed the flood geology of Steno. The Jesuit Athanasius Kirtcher and Royal Society member Joseph Lister both argued against Steno's demonstration of the organic origin of fossils in favour of a Platonic plastic theory of fossil formation - even Voltaire prefered the science of Kirtcher to that of Steno.
French and Scottish enlightenment figures wanted millions of years of change long before there was any claim for scientific evidence of long ages. The reason was that enlightenment figures such as David Hume, Erasmus Darwin, James Hutton and Benjamin Franklin were deeply interested in paganism with its belief in millions of years - if you care to read their writing.

What cobblers!!

Well, I see zecheriah has buggered off from the forum (all his posts have disappeared completely).

He must read a lot of Grady McMurtry as he (McMurtry)comes off with similar claims about the orgins of "millions of years" (as if the antiquity of the Earth/Universe was merely philosophy and not established scientific fact)

Some of his (Sibley's) comments on the radiometric dating of meteorites being used to determine the age of the Universe did display a certain level of ignorance from someone supposedly so well educated (isn't he a qualified meteorologist ?). Those alone deserve to be in the Top Tard quotes on this forum

Date: 2009/01/12 05:22:07, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Quote (MIchael Roberts @ Jan. 12 2009,04:19)
Quote (Dr.GH @ Jan. 11 2009,13:18)
There are some rather disturbed people on the PR site. Nothing compared to the RaptureReady crowd. There is an entire site dedicated to insane end of the world fanatics. Andrew and some of the others would fit right in with that crowd.

Premier Radio is considered quite a good Christian broadcaster.

I will leave you to decide.

I e-mailed UCB (a very similar type of station) a while ago Michael and was answered by a Peter Boyd from their Belfast office. Now, while he did say they allowed for diffierent views (something some of the cretins on Premier's forum do not) he did pioint me to the "helium in zircons" claim on the ICR website as proof of a young Earth. UCB have put out some of the Christians in science material (I've seen Sam Berry presenting programmes on the station) along with some YEC videos as well (Life's story for example, Philip Bell, Paul Garner, and Vij Sodera). At least they do allow some debate on the issue. I would imagine Premier Radio are very much the same. The very fact that they've had you as a guest on some of their programmes does show that in principle, they do allow for different views, rather like UCB.

This is in contrast to broadcasters like Howard Condor's Revelation/Genesis TV which put out several hours of YEC material daily (sometimes much more than this) and to my knowledge have never, ever, had a guest on that is either OEC, a gap theorist, or a TE. Mind you, I have noticed Premier Radio now broadcast this:

This originates from Ballymoney free Presbyterian church, as far as I can tell, a hotbed of YECism in NI. It's Mervyn Storey's home congregation. Storey is a YEC MLA who is attempting to get YECism presented at the Giant's Causeway as well in museums and schools. Paul Taylor (AiG UK) had a conference in the church recently.

As for the Rapture Ready crowd Gary, I take it you've seen this one on Youtube:

I assume it was them who put that one out ????

I think a lot of evangelical Christians don't realise that Dispensationalism was in fact considered heresy really up until quite recently. Well, until John Nelson Darby's ideas became the norm. Surprisingly, Darby was actually an Anglican (something I hadn't realised until quite recently)

Date: 2009/01/12 08:33:23, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Indeed Michael. I wonder if the Brethren are more extreme than Darby ?

I see the adminstrators have now posted a code of conduct. Interesting. I reckon some of ploughboy's comments towards myself certainly fall into this catagory:

is derogatory, demeaning, malicious, defamatory, abusive, offensive or hateful

Date: 2009/01/13 12:12:49, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
The thread on Premier Radio has now degenerated into discussing bible codes. The last time I heard a discussion on bible codes (think it might have been Chuck Missler) they were cl;aiming the bible predicted the periodic tabe. I'm sure there must be a "bible codes debunked" website somewhere.

Date: 2009/01/13 16:43:14, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Quote (Dr.GH @ Jan. 13 2009,15:07)
Quote (Peter Henderson @ Jan. 13 2009,10:12)
The thread on Premier Radio has now degenerated into discussing bible codes. The last time I heard a discussion on bible codes (think it might have been Chuck Missler) they were cl;aiming the bible predicted the periodic tabe. I'm sure there must be a "bible codes debunked" website somewhere.

Mark Perakh
2003 Unintelligent Design New York: Prometheus Press

Mark does a very good job debunking the Bible Code nonsense. Also he has a good selection of articles on his web site, Talk Reason

I am not going to bother with that topic my self.

I can see why Gary.

I'll maybe post a link for Andrew though I doubt he'll read it. Interestingly, he states the codes are only in the "true" bible which I assume is the King James (AV) version ? Presumabely all the other translations are "fakes"

Date: 2009/01/14 11:53:45, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Quote (Dr.GH @ Jan. 13 2009,18:12)
Quote (Peter Henderson @ Jan. 13 2009,14:43)
I'll maybe post a link for Andrew though I doubt he'll read it. Interestingly, he states the codes are only in the "true" bible which I assume is the King James (AV) version ? Presumabely all the other translations are "fakes"

Andrew has disappeared into the weirdness fog.

He's re-emerged Gary:

I saw something the other day where someone said if the nucleus of a hydrogen atom was the size of a pea the electron would be the size of a pin head and the distance apart would be about one kilometre away with empty space in-between. Should have seen the looks on people’s faces. Kind-of makes you think about energy matter, what a part of us is made from, and such.

I was tempted to post this:

but I think it would be wasted since I found the concept of atomic orbitals quite difficult to grasp myself. Just how you respond to this drivil is beyond me though:

It does seem that the argument about this goes back centuries. I see this as a natural human rebellion against God and his authority; 'we don't really like the idea of God having so much authority so let's criticise his word to make it less1 - let's see how we can twist the Hebrew to make it imply something else'. The trouble is, many of the scholars that i read about acknowledged the difficulty in 'making' the text read anything other than what it plainly says.

The science factor only came onto the scene in the last few hundred years, with statements like 'Genesis was never meant to be a scientific text, and must be interpreted according to new knowledge'. Which basically means 'the word of God must yield and submit and bow down to the word of man'.

Date: 2009/01/15 07:01:02, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Quote (MIchael Roberts @ Jan. 15 2009,03:20)
One for Peter

Latest addtion to Premier Forum describes himself and spiritual influences as

My dad, the present Baptist pastor of my church in Exeter, Answers in Genesis, Ken Ham, Institute for Creation Research, Henry Morris and all the research scientists like Russ Humfreys, John Baumgardner, Steve Austin, Larry Vardiman, Andrew Snelling, Georgia Purdom

Not another one Michael. His favourite bible verse:

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God... Because that's where it all starts, and if Christians don't believe that then it all goes wrong from there!

Maybe we should point him in the direction of Kent Hovind and John Freshwater.  

When oh when are evangelical leaders going to recognise this as heresy ????? I don't know. I really don't. It would seem that the evangelical church has closed it's doors to any logical reason. I personally feel that YECism is now almost cult like.  

I seem to have Martin completely stumped on the bible claiming bats are birds. He's absolutely no answer for that one and instead is waffling on about translations and so on.

Since Phil is a maths teacher I wonder if i should bring up the fact that the bible states that pi is 3.0 ? :angry:  :angry:  :angry:

Date: 2009/01/15 18:09:36, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Quote (Dr.GH @ Jan. 15 2009,10:17)
Quote (Peter Henderson @ Jan. 15 2009,05:01)
Since Phil is a maths teacher I wonder if i should bring up the fact that the bible states that pi is 3.0 ? :angry:  :angry:  :angry:

The creato BS regarding pi is that the ratio was not pi, but the "calculated" ratio of the inner and outer diameters of the "bowl." Thus, the ratio is purely descriptive and yields (IIRC) a metal thickness of ~4 inches.

Thanks for that Gary. I've already had the reply:

Why ignore 1 Kings 7:26 which says it was 1 hand breadth thick? About 4 inches. If you subtract the 2 x 4 inches from 10 x 18 inch it gives 172 inches across. The circumference is 540 inches (30 x 18). Pi now comes to 3.14.

Personally, I think Jason's explanation is more plausable:

although I've been told off for linking to the evolution blog !!!!

:angry:  :angry:  :angry:

Date: 2009/01/15 18:12:52, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Quote (Richard Simons @ Jan. 15 2009,12:59)
Quote (Dr.GH @ Jan. 15 2009,10:17)
The creato BS regarding pi is that the ratio was not pi, but the "calculated" ratio of the inner and outer diameters of the "bowl." Thus, the ratio is purely descriptive and yields (IIRC) a metal thickness of ~4 inches.

This means that the circumference was measured inside the bowl and the diameter was measured over the total width. It is very hard to measure the interior circumference of something. My own idea is that the container was more spherical, with a narrower opening than the maximum diameter.

I wonder if the cretins would accept that one Richard ? I very much doubt it .  :(

Date: 2009/01/16 06:07:04, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Feel free to e-mail the article Michael. I'm not sure where we'll be this year but we'll probably be back in North Wales at some stage (quite easy to get to from here if you go via the ROI).

i see what you mean about the replies becoming more moronic. When I tried to explain some basic cosmology (covered by the OU) to Martin he started waffling on about Talkorigins. Phil really ought to have more sense though, simply because he's a maths teacher. I've advised them to go and do some science via the Open University but i'm sure they wont listen. They seem to rely on AiG for most of their scientific knowledge. I'm sure if the creo museum was in the UK they'd be the first to visit.

The bats being classified as birds in Levitcus didn't go down at all well. I cant understand what Martin's point is on this.

Date: 2009/01/16 11:08:17, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
We've also a moon landing conpiracy theorist on the discussion thread. The next lot of comments from Andrew should be interesting. By the way Michael, how was my basic geology course for Andrew ?

Date: 2009/01/16 11:59:22, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
From science insider:

January 15, 2009
Louisiana Creates: New Pro-Intelligent Design Rules for Teachers
Last year, Louisiana passed the Louisiana Science Education Act, a law that many scientists and educators said was a thinly veiled attempt to allow creationism and its variants into the science classroom. On Tuesday, the state's Board of Elementary and Secondary Education adopted a policy that sharpens those fears, giving teachers license to use materials outside of the regular curriculum to teach "controversial" scientific theories including evolution, origins of life, and global warming. Backers of the law, including the Louisiana Family Forum, say it is intended to foster critical thinking in students. Opponents insist its only purpose is to provide a loophole for creationists to attack the teaching of evolution.

"We fully expect to see the Discovery Institute's book, Explore Evolution, popping up in school districts across the state*," says Barbara Forrest, a philosopher at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond. The Discovery Institute, a Seattle-based think tank, is a proponent of Intelligent Design. In a statement on the institute's Web site, its education analyst Casey Luskin hailed the new policy as a "victory for Louisiana students and teachers." The policy will now be printed in the Louisiana Handbook for School Administrators, which public school officials use as a guide.

State education officials tasked with translating last year's law into policy drafted a document that explicitly prohibits teachers from teaching intelligent design, but on 2 December, board members deferred a scheduled vote. Forrest says the advocates of the law used the delay to pressure education officials to remove that language and a disclaimer saying that religion should not be taught under the guise of critical thinking. On 13 January, the 11-member board unanimously approved a policy that contains no such caveats.

Education officials have defended the revision, arguing that it already includes language barring the use of materials that promote any religious doctrine. But Patsye Peebles, a retired science teacher who served on a committee that helped the education department draft the original policy language, thinks otherwise. "The creationists got what they wanted. We will have to redouble our efforts to educate our teachers and get them to teach good science," Peebles says.

--Yudhijit Bhattacharjee

(*This item has been corrected. The original item quoted Forrest incorrectly.)

Date: 2009/01/17 18:23:04, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
From the Bad astronomy blog:

The ultimate irony of all this is that the last thing the creationists want is academic freedom. What they really want is for children to learn only their errant beliefs, and get no real science education.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll no doubt have to say it again and again: if you live in Louisiana — and really, just about every state is vulnerable to this — make your voice heard. The creationists rely heavily on people simply not knowing what they are up to. The first step is to get aware, and the second is to do something.

Go do something. Write letters, make phone calls. Vote when the chance comes. Because Louisiana has already taken steps over the cliff, and the only lifeline is an educated populace… something the creationists fight to prevent.


The creationists don’t want to be reminded of the law they don’t like. They really don’t want teachers to comply with the law, for that defeats the purpose of sneaking religious tracts into public school classrooms.

The list of the weak-kneed on this issue gets longer and longer every time it is discussed. Not only the BESE members but state Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek acquiesced in the lobbying from creationism backers such as the Louisiana Family Forum. The latter is a particularly influential backer of Jindal. Three members of the 11-member BESE are Jindal appointees.

BESE joins the ranks of the wimps who have rolled over on the issue of creationism. It’s a sad thing. Not because faith is a bad thing in its proper place. Not because the Family Forum doesn’t have a right to its views. But because the state is siding with the backward against not only science but the rule of law in this country.

I would imagine AiG and Co. will be thrilled at this. However, is this Dover part two ?

Date: 2009/01/23 18:35:04, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Jan. 10 2009,19:49)
Fortunately, you can't just buy a public school in the US like you apparently can do in the UK. The news story is about a private school.

You really can't do this in the UK either Wesley.

Public schools in the US are the same as "State" schools in the UK. A public school in the UK is publicly funded by the parents of the pupils. Examples include Harrow:

and Eton:

The cost of both of these establisments would be out of reach of all but the most wealthy members of UK society (e.g.royalty).

NI is somewhat different to the rest of the UK. We still have academic selection (i.e.the so called 11 plus) and although it is supposed to be being replaced, no-one quite knows with what. There is a devisive debate currently being waged as to what will replace it.

We also segregation on religious grounds with most pupils from the protestant community attending state schools (public schools in the US). Roman Catholics mainly attend religious schools run by the Roman Catholic church (both grammer and secondary). This is collectively known as the Catholic maintained sector.

An example of a public school in NI is Campbell College:

Nowhere near as posh as Harrow or Eton but still prestigious as far as the province goes.

Texas couldn't happen in the UK, even in NI (where YECism is rampant) as all schools are required to follow the national curriculum.

Date: 2009/01/24 11:46:38, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Jan. 24 2009,09:59)
I must have dreamed this...



a multi-millionaire car dealer and creationist evangelist, is offering £12m to help fund a network of state schools.

Vardy, who has a personal fortune of £75m, has already put £2m into Emmanuel College, the city technology college in Gateshead at the centre of a row over giving scientific credence to the biblical view of how the world was created.

A further £2m of the £12m he has set aside has been earmarked to establish a city academy in Middlesbrough, to open in 2003. He has also held talks with Leeds and Newcastle councils to set up further academies.

Vardy, who regularly leads the worship at the Bethany Christian Centre, an evangelical church near his home in Tyne and Wear, is keen to help the government in creating city academies — new schools in deprived areas that will have business sponsors. . .

As far as I can tell wesley, it never happened. What was proposed was that Northcliffe Comprehensve (the school in question) would close and a "Peter Vardy" one open in it's place. The plan fell through, partly due to opposition from parents:

Within a couple of days of the news that the council was considering the closure of Northcliffe comprehensive and the opening of another Vardy Academy, Kay Wilkinson and Tracy Morton had amassed a bulging file of information, and resolved to form Cadpag, the Conisbrough and Denaby Parents' Action Group.

On Wednesday October 13, however, Doncaster's mayor served notice that Northcliffe Comprehensive would remain open, and that the Vardy plan was thereby binned

The city accademy never happened either.

That's somewhat different than making a blase statement implying that anyone can simply walk in and buy a state school in the UK. This just does not happen in this country.

Date: 2009/01/25 05:00:19, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
This reinforces my conviction that both the clergy letter project and evolution Sunday are a complete waste of time. Acoording to Professor Jerry Coyne, evolution and Christianity are completely irreconcilable.

From Talkreason:

Giberson and Miller are thoughtful men of good will. Reading them, you get a sense of conviction and sincerity absent from the writings of many creationists, who blatantly deny the most obvious facts about nature in the cause of their faith. Both of their books are worth reading: Giberson for the history of the creation/ evolution debate, and Miller for his lucid arguments against intelligent design. Yet in the end they fail to achieve their longed-for union between faith and evolution. And they fail for the same reason that people always fail: a true harmony between science and religion requires either doing away with most people's religion and replacing it with a watered-down deism, or polluting science with unnecessary, untestable, and unreasonable spiritual claims.

Now Darwin Year is upon us, and we can expect more books like those by Kenneth Miller and Karl Giberson. Attempts to reconcile God and evolution keep rolling off the intellectual assembly line. It never stops, because the reconciliation never works.

So here is an Atheist saying exactly the same as AiG. Since you are an advocate of the clergy letter project etc. Wesley, your thoughts on the above would be appreciated. I cannot see the point in churches taking part in either.

Date: 2009/01/31 10:25:02, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
BTW I didn't realize we hate special-needs children.  Bummer, since I have one

Me too:

Although I suppose they would claim they are a result of the fall, which really does make me angry.

Date: 2009/03/21 12:53:10, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Found this while browsing:


The Pacer Indipendant voice of the University of Tennessee at Martin

Academic freedom for creation explanation
Reuben Kendall

Issue date: 3/17/09 Section: Viewpoints
PrintEmail Article Tools Page 1 of 1

As a freshman, I haven't been at UT-Martin for very long. But some problems are so obvious that they don't take very long to notice.

In my studies I quickly realized that when it comes to the theory of evolution, Darwin is the only one who gets to answer questions-or ask them.

I want to question this theory-to test it; check its credentials. And I want honest, thoughtful answers to my questions, not pre-formulated quips and deflections.
But I have learned that if I'm not an evolutionist, my questions don't get credited, or even heard.

When I ask why theories such as intelligent design are discredited so off-handedly, I typically hear, "Because intelligent design involves metaphysics, but evolution is based only on facts." Well, I am not so sure.

Obviously, Darwin observed mutation and selection processes within the finch species of the Galapagos. But was he really seeing the extreme mutation and selection that would be required to make a bird out of a dinosaur?

It seems to me Darwin's idea of increasingly specialized life descending from simple, single-celled creatures, was entirely conjectural.

The theory might have had its roots in meticulous observation, but considering what we now know, the theory no longer seems to adequately explain such things as biodiversity and the origins of life.
Never mind that paleontologists have yet to uncover the majority of "common ancestors."

Never mind that textbooks must be rewritten every time a greater understanding of genetics tells us that birds are actually reptilians; that humans are closer kin to sand dollars than ants or bees.

Never mind the leap of faith required to explain how incredibly complex single-celled life could have possibly developed from a floating mass of random proteins and minerals.

The scientific community assures me that evolution will undoubtedly produce answers to all these problems. But in the meantime, nobody else is allowed to say anything. If you ask me, this isn't academic freedom.
True academic freedom would look like a variety of scientists, with differing opinions, having open and respectful debates about their ideas.

It would look like evolutionists actually being willing to learn what intelligent design advocates think, instead of dismissing them off-hand as religious fanatics or Creationists.

On April 6, a non-religious, non-political student organization will be hosting Ben Stein's documentary "Expelled" on campus.

If you are an evolutionist, I encourage you to come and see it and prove that reason, respect, and open minds still factor into today's science.

it's also being pushed on the uncommon decent website:

Date: 2009/03/21 12:58:16, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Thought this would have made it onto the Panda's Thumb main page. From NCSE stalwart Joshua Rosenau, a talk presented to the AAAS:

He begins with Theodosius Dobzhansky's famous statement:

"Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution"

YECs will have none of this though. Just listening to Dr. David Menton the other day on RTV, Menton, who is highly qualified and who was really pushing his scientific credentials e.g."I have a PhD in cell biology from Brown University, I worked in biological research for several years, I was professor of the year on several ocassions" etc. etc etc."and yet I am a young Earth creationist", made the point over and over again that this simply isn't the case. In other words "you can teach biology without even mentioning evolution". British YEC Sylvia Baker also comes off with this statement. So there's no convincing them, I'm afraid.

Date: 2009/03/22 12:01:38, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
At least you haven't been banned from Premier's site yet Gary. Certainly the RR crowd do seem weird. Still, Premier have a thread going about burning witches (I'm serious) started by a so called "Rev." Andy Lumeh, an itinerant preacher from London:

To be honest, I was so appalled at this nonsensical discussion thread I posted this very funny skit by the Chewin' the fat comedy team:

If nothing else it'll cheer you up.


Date: 2009/03/23 11:25:25, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Found this one today while browsing. From YEC Oscar Thorsland, writing in the Greenville news:

The Greenville News Editorial

Creationists forced to hide in the closet
By Oscar Thorsland • March 23, 2009

 Recently a guest column appeared in The Greenville News extolling the virtues of Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution. The column even implied the United States' position in the global economy is directly related to the acceptance of Darwin's theory. But let's take a look at some facts that will dispute these claims.

First, many of the foundational laws and principles of science were discovered generations before Darwin by scientists who were committed believers in the master designer. A classic example is Sir Isaac Newton, who discovered the laws of motion and gravity. These laws are still foundational in the physical sciences today. Newton was a devout believer in God and his scientific research was centered on studying God's awesome creation.

It is a monumental tragedy that in today's educational climate Sir Isaac Newton would not find employment in our public universities and schools because of his views on creation. Just a hint that a candidate believes in a creator or intelligent designer would sound the death knell for employment. Ben Stein's movie "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" accurately provides a chilling account of this open hostility.

A molecular biologist working with the complex DNA code commented that to be a molecular biologist you had to hold on to two insanities at all times. First, it would be insane to believe in evolution when you can see the truth while doing your research.

Second, it would be insane to say you don't believe in evolution. The reason: employment, all government work, research grants, etc. would come to a grinding halt. So today we have thousands of closet creationists in our universities and schools, unable to make their views public because doing so would result in ridicule, hostility, reprimand and finally unemployment.

Science has no factual or valid answers for the origins of matter and life. So, why is it taboo to inform our students that there is overwhelming evidence for a master designer? It would certainly be refreshing and most importantly pro science if in the very near future the climate will be such that our teachers and professors will be able to come out of the closet and teach that God created all and gave man the mind to study and discover.

Some more info on the author:

Oscar Thorsland of Liberty is a member of the Pickens County School Board. He earned a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in zoology from Clemson University. He has been a biology teacher at Easley High School and a principal at Liberty High school. He can be reached at

He's also president of the Creation Study Group:

About Us        

The Creation Study Group is a grassroots creation science organization. We want to assist you and others in learning the truth about Biblical creation. What God has to say about origins is foundational to the gospel and a Biblical world and life view. High school and college campuses are a fertile arena of ideas in America today. We want to take advantage of this great opportunity to reach the next generation with the Truth. These materials are absolutely FREE OF CHARGE. We will ship them to you at no cost.

The Creation Study Group is a Bible-believing organization committed to developing and distributing information that upholds the Bible.

CSG Officers

Mr. Oscar Thorsland
Dr. James H. Sightler
Vice President
Gwendolynn Johnson
Mr. Jonathan Mann
Dr. Horace D. "Skip" Skipper
Ministries Coordinator

Date: 2009/03/31 11:48:10, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Do these scientists/historians realise they are being used in a trailer for a YEC film about Charles Darwin ?:

Professor Sandra Herbert

Professor Peter Bowler

Professor Phil Currie

Have a look at Creation Ministries International's webpage on their forthcoming film about Charles Darwin:

They all appear alongside the Discovery Institute's Professor Cornelius Hunter and YEC Professor Stuart Burgess (AiG UK associate speaker) in the trailer for the film. I can't find anything at all about Brian Milstead.

Should Professors Herbert, Bowler, and Currie not be made aware that they are being promoted in this way ?????

Date: 2009/04/06 17:37:14, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Quote (Trogdor @ April 06 2009,16:15)
Dr. Currie has been informed about his appearance in the trailer.

I hope he's thoroughly pissed off trogdor.

I forgot to mention in my original post that Professor Janet Browne of Harvard University appears as well.

Date: 2009/04/09 06:08:01, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
This one appears to have been missed by the Panda's Thumb, or was it an April Fool ?????:

Judge dismisses creationism lawsuit


Associated Press

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against the Texas Education Agency by a former state science curriculum director who alleged she was illegally fired and that the agency's neutral position on the teaching of creationism was unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel dismissed the lawsuit by Christina Comer of Austin on Tuesday. The lawsuit alleged that her firing by state Education Commissioner Robert Scott in November 2007 was improper because she was accused of violating an "unconstitutional" policy.

The Texas Education Agency requires that employees to be neutral on the subject of creationism, the biblical interpretation of the origin of humans. Comer said in her suit that the agency's neutrality policy had the effect of endorsing religion, and thus violated the establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution.

State attorneys said Comer was fired for sending out e-mails from the TEA Web site that gave the impression the agency supported the views of a lecture speaker, Barbara Forrest, who wrote a book critical of the tactics of creationists and their attempts to inject religion into science classes.

Date: 2009/04/12 15:26:16, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
i was going to post this in Gary's "breakthrough in physics" thread or has this topic been covered before ??? Anyway, I thought it deserved a thread of it's own.

Having successfully completed OU course S281 a few years ago I thought I knew a little bit about basic cosmology.

However, over on Premier Radio's discussion forum YEC poster "ploughboy" (Martin) has reminded me of this letter/ad which appeared some 5 years ago in New scientist:

An Open Letter to the Scientific Community
Cosmology (Published in New Scientist, May 22-28 issue, 2004, p. 20)

The big bang today relies on a growing number of hypothetical entities, things that we have never observed-- inflation, dark matter and dark energy are the most prominent examples. Without them, there would be a fatal contradiction between the observations made by astronomers and the predictions of the big bang theory.
In no other field of physics would this continual recourse to new hypothetical objects be accepted as a way of bridging the gap between theory and observation. It would, at the least, RAISE SERIOUS QUESTIONS ABOUT THE VALIDITY OF THE UNDERLYING THEORY.
But the big bang theory can't survive without these fudge factors. Without the hypothetical inflation field, the big bang does not predict the smooth, isotropic cosmic background radiation that is observed, because there would be no way for parts of the universe that are now more than a few degrees away in the sky to come to the same temperature and thus emit the same amount of microwave radiation.
Without some kind of dark matter, unlike any that we have observed on Earth despite 20 years of experiments, big-bang theory makes contradictory predictions for the density of matter in the universe. Inflation requires a density 20 times larger than that implied by big bang nucleosynthesis, the theory's explanation of the origin of the light elements. And without dark energy, the theory predicts that the universe is only about 8 billion years old, which is billions of years younger than the age of many stars in our galaxy.
What is more, the big bang theory can boast of no quantitative predictions that have subsequently been validated by observation. The successes claimed by the theory's supporters consist of its ability to retrospectively fit observations with a steadily increasing array of adjustable parameters, just as the old Earth-centred cosmology of Ptolemy needed layer upon layer of epicycles.
Yet the big bang is not the only framework available for understanding the history of the universe. Plasma cosmology and the steady-state model both hypothesise an evolving universe without beginning or end. These and other alternative approaches can also explain the basic phenomena of the cosmos, including the abundances of light elements, the generation of large-scale structure, the cosmic background radiation, and how the redshift of far-away galaxies increases with distance. They have even predicted new phenomena that were subsequently observed, something the big bang has failed to do.
Supporters of the big bang theory may retort that these theories do not explain every cosmological observation. But that is scarcely surprising, as their development has been severely hampered by a complete lack of funding. Indeed, such questions and alternatives cannot even now be freely discussed and examined. An open exchange of ideas is lacking in most mainstream conferences.
Whereas Richard Feynman could say that "science is the culture of doubt," in cosmology today doubt and dissent are not tolerated, and young scientists learn to remain silent if they have something negative to say about the standard big bang model. Those who doubt the big bang fear that saying so will cost them their funding.
Even observations are now interpreted through this biased filter, judged right or wrong depending on whether or not they support the big bang. So discordant data on red shifts, lithium and helium abundances, and galaxy distribution, among other topics, are ignored or ridiculed. This reflects a growing dogmatic mindset that is alien to the spirit of free scientific enquiry.
Today, virtually all financial and experimental resources in cosmology are devoted to big bang studies. Funding comes from only a few sources, and all the peer-review committees that control them are dominated by supporters of the big bang. As a result, the dominance of the big bang within the field has become self-sustaining, irrespective of the scientific validity of the theory.
Giving support only to projects within the big bang framework undermines a fundamental element of the scientific method -- the constant testing of theory against observation. Such a restriction makes unbiased discussion and research impossible. To redress this, we urge those agencies that fund work in cosmology to set aside a significant fraction of their funding for investigations into alternative theories and observational contradictions of the big bang. To avoid bias, the peer review committee that allocates such funds could be composed of astronomers and physicists from outside the field of cosmology.
Allocating funding to investigations into the big bang's validity, and its alternatives, would allow the scientific process to determine our most accurate model of the history of the universe.
(Institutions for identification only)
Eric J. Lerner, Lawrenceville Plasma Physics (USA)
Michael Ibison, Institute for Advanced Studies at Austin (USA) /
John L. West, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology (USA)
James F. Woodward, California State University, Fullerton (USA)
Halton Arp, Max-Planck-Institute Fur Astrophysik (Germany)
Andre Koch Torres Assis, State University of Campinas (Brazil)
Yuri Baryshev, Astronomical Institute, St. Petersburg State University (Russia)
Ari Brynjolfsson, Applied Radiation Industries (USA)
Hermann Bondi, Churchill College, University of Cambridge (UK)
Timothy Eastman, Plasmas International (USA)
Chuck Gallo, Superconix, Inc.(USA)
Thomas Gold, Cornell University (emeritus) (USA)
Amitabha Ghosh, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (India)
Walter J. Heikkila, University of Texas at Dallas (USA)
Thomas Jarboe, University of Washington (USA)
Jerry W. Jensen, ATK Propulsion (USA)
Menas Kafatos, George Mason University (USA)
Paul Marmet, Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics (retired) (Canada)
Paola Marziani, Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova (Italy)
Gregory Meholic, The Aerospace Corporation (USA)
Jacques Moret-Bailly, Université Dijon (retired) (France)
Jayant Narlikar, IUCAA(emeritus) and College de France (India, France)
Marcos Cesar Danhoni Neves, State University of Maringá (Brazil)
Charles D. Orth, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (USA)
R. David Pace, Lyon College (USA)
Georges Paturel, Observatoire de Lyon (France)
Jean-Claude Pecker, College de France (France)
Anthony L. Peratt, Los Alamos National Laboratory (USA)
Bill Peter, BAE Systems Advanced Technologies (USA)
David Roscoe, Sheffield University (UK)
Malabika Roy, George Mason University (USA)
Sisir Roy, George Mason University (USA)
Konrad Rudnicki, Jagiellonian University (Poland)
Domingos S.L. Soares, Federal University of Minas Gerais (Brazil)

I am well aware of the concepts of inflation and dark matter which were covered in S281. The BBC discusses them in an episode of Sky at night in May 2008 entitled "what we just don't know" where the guests were Dr. Chris Lintot (co presenter), Dr. Kate Land, and Professor Gerry Gilmore.:

AiG have also picked up on big bang dissenters

"A Brief History of Intolerance in Modern Cosmology"

I have learned that the cosmic microwave background radiation put paid to Fred Hoyle's steady state cosmology, undeniable proof of the Big Bang theory.or so I thought. I notice AiG highlight Halton Arp, who you'll notice is a signatory of the letter above and who it seems, has observed quasers with large redshifts close to normal galaxies with low redshifts. He thus concludes that redshift might not be proof the universe is expanding. He also rejects big bang cosmology and as a result has been isolated within the astronomical community. Arp is seen as a modern day Galileo in some circles.

So, a couple of questions. How well known and how respected is Halton Arp in cosmology circles ? Are his ideas seen as completely wacky or do they command a certain amount of respect ? Are they based on old observations ? Ploughboy (Martin) claims a lot of cosmologists don't support the big bang. How representitive are the signatories of the letter to New Scientist ? I suspect Martin's claim (and AiG's) are similar to the "more and more scientists are abandoning evolution" one (project Steve springs to mind of course). However, since I haven't done any cosmology for a few years (I'm thinking of having a go at the OU again) I'd like a little feed back.

Date: 2009/04/15 05:29:32, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Creationist material for kids which isn't from AiG, believe it or not !

A book review from the New York Times by Gregory Cowles:

William Steig’s Creationist Fable

By Gregory Cowles

Now that my son is learning to read — happy day! — he has the same question for me that my older acquaintances often do: what books do I recommend? But being a book review editor, or a dad, doesn’t make it any easier to match reader to title; and on our last family trip to the library, I fell back helplessly on the early-reader authors I knew from my own childhood. “William Steig!” I said, grabbing an unfamiliar picture book. “He wrote ‘Shrek’! And ‘The Amazing Bone’! And ‘Sylvester and the Magic Pebble’! You’ll love him!” (Against my better instincts and the current recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics, I often use exclamation points when I talk to my children. Accents and funny voices too.)

The book I had grabbed was called “Yellow & Pink.” In it, a couple of carved wooden figures awaken in a field and start talking about how they came to exist. Someone must have made us, says Pink. Ridiculous, says Yellow: I think we’re the result of a series of happy accidents that took place over millions of years.

It is, in other words, a picture book about creationism and evolution. And the farther you read, the clearer it is that Steig is on the side of the creationists. As a proponent of evolution, Yellow comes off looking addled and self-important, his claims increasingly far-fetched. Pink even raises that old intelligent-design objection: how could our eyes be an accident, huh? To cap it, on the final page a woodcarver approaches the two, checks to make sure their paint is dry, then tucks them under his arm and walks off. Who’s this guy? Pink asks. I have no idea, Yellow says.

It’s not the pro-religion stance that bothers me here so much as it is the anti-science one. Steig sets up evolution as a straw man, and gleefully knocks it down. Little surprise, then, that “Yellow & Pink” turns up on various intelligent-design reading lists. And little surprise that from now on we’ll stick to “Shrek” in our household.

You have been warned !

Date: 2009/04/15 17:54:05, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
I thought these were good from Premier Radio's discussion forums. First of all from Linda:

Before the flood there was huge flying type birds and 3 foot millapeds. Scientist say it was impossible for these birds to fly because they were so huge. After much study by creationists they found that the air was denser because there was more oxygen so the birds could fly. The flood destroyed most of the dinosaurs but the few that survived were probably quite rare. They are mentioned in Job.

I had been challenging the YECs to produce bible verses where dinosaurs are descibed/mentioned. With so many dino fossils kicking around you would have thought they would have been commonplace pre-flood. If this was the case as YECs claim, surely there would have been far more talk of dinos in the bible, rather than a couple of verses which speak vaguely of creatures which most bible translators interpret as either mythical or modern animals ????

This one by poster ALLAN PORCHETTA on stellar evolution surely deserves a mention:

By the way did you read how Gary's friend called creationists alchemists - when that is exactly what evolutionists are.

They believe that siver, gold , platinum , iron , uranium etc etc all evolved from the hydrogen and helium that came
out of a tiny dot in a few minutes ( for no reason at all) -

Those big star factories in space far far away can make gold out of hydrogen - if only the alchemists in the middle ages
had kept trying we would all be rich .
Course you cant see this going on because its all far far away and long long ago.

Clearly Allan has never heard of spectroscopy.

Date: 2009/04/19 09:52:09, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
The latest tactic by the creos on Premier is to highlight the work of this maverick cosmologist:

João Magueijo

João Magueijo at the journée de la Science at the EPFL, 11 November 2005.João Magueijo (born Évora, 1967) is a Portuguese cosmologist and professor in Theoretical Physics at Imperial College London. He is a pioneer of the varying speed of light (VSL) theory.

João Magueijo studied physics at the University of Lisbon. He undertook graduate work and Ph.D. at Cambridge University. He was awarded a research fellowship at St John's College, Cambridge, the same fellowship previously held by Paul Dirac and Abdus Salam. He has been a faculty member at Princeton and Cambridge, and is currently a professor at Imperial College London where he teaches undergraduates "General Relativity" and postgraduates "Advanced General Relativity".

In 1998, Magueijo teamed with Andreas Albrecht to work on the varying speed of light (VSL) theory of cosmology, which proposes that the speed of light was much higher in the early universe, of 60 orders of magnitude faster than its present value. This would to explain the horizon problem (since distant regions of the expanding universe would have had time to interact and homogenize their properties), and is presented as an alternative to the more mainstream theory of cosmic inflation.

Magueijo discusses his personal struggles pursuing VSL in his 2003 book, Faster Than The Speed of Light, The Story of a Scientific Speculation. He is also the host of the Science Channel series, João Magueijo's Big Bang, which premiered on May 13, 2008.

The fact that his variable speed of light hypothisis as an alternative to inflation hasn't been accepted is supposedly an example of the scientific community's entransigence towards new and ground breaking ideas.

Two points

(1) I assume he isn't proposing a 6,000 year old Universe ?

(2) He hasn't actually offered any evidence to support his theory, other than to claim it as an alternative to inflation ?

Date: 2009/04/19 13:42:29, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Frank: You've had more success than I've had.

I worked in science for over thirty years (chemistry). Although I live in Norn Iron (the creo capital of the UK) I actually only ever worked with Atheists, Agnostics, nominal Christians, and one Baptist whose lifestyle left a lot to be desired. Confusius say " man with many girls on string soon get into tangle" springs to mind  ! So we never discussed creationism in work.

However, despite considering myself scientifically literate, I mistakingly joined in with the various discussion threads over on Premier Christian Radio's discussion forum. (I know, I'll have to get out of the house a bit more):

It has all become very tedious and I feel I'm banging my head against a brick wall. However, a few things re-occur throughout the discussions;

(1) Christians who accept millions of years/evolution (i.e. mainstream science) aren't really Christians at all. In their heart of hearts this is what they really believe. They can't come out and say this because they know it's heresy.

(2) The evidence for YECism is exactly the same as mainstream science. it's just the interpretation that's different (i.e.biblical glasses and all that crap)

(3) The peer review process is nothing less than biast against creationists. The Royal Society, the Royal Institution etc. are nothing more than Atheistic organisations, blatently anti-Chrtistian.

(4) Science is entransigent against any new ideas. They (the YECs) consider themselves just like Galileo. Eventually YEC science will be mainstream science.

Anyway, here's were I worked until I retired a few years ago:

You can see the laboratory in some of the photos.

Date: 2009/04/23 05:09:36, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Ken Miller sums it up nicely in a response to Coyne's earlier outburst:

The genuine tragedy of Coyne's argument is the way in which it seeks to enlist science in a frankly ideological crusade—a campaign to purge science of religionists in the name of doctrinal purity. That campaign will surely fail, but in so doing it may divert those of us who cherish science from a far more urgent task, especially in America today. That is the task of defending scientific rationalism from those who, in the name of religion would subvert it beyond all recognition. In that critical struggle, Jerry, scientists who are also people of faith are critical allies, and you would do well not to turn them away.

I think after this latest attack on the TEs I think I'll throw in the towel and become a YEC. I'm gonna' contact the NCSE for some sound advice on the matter !

Still, I don't know if I can be bothered arguing with Wesley about evolution Sunday and the CLP which I both think are now dead in the water and a complete farce (well, at least in the eyes of both the Evangelical Atheists and the fundamentalist Christians they are).:

Date: 2009/04/23 09:08:35, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
I wish Jerry Coyne and the others could grasp that Wesley.

Date: 2009/05/03 15:44:56, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
.....The 1,000,000th visitor to the creation museum was someone from the Panda's thumb. Ham is bumbing today about the 700,000th visitor to his anti-science museum:

As Dave and Colleen Bishop and their granddaughter Katelyn from Grand Rapids, Michigan, came through the Creation Museum entrance doors yesterday, they were greeted by our Director of Museum Operations, Dan Mangus, and congratulated for being the 700,000th visitors since opening 23 months ago.  Mally and I were waiting for these special guests and had our photos taken with them at our Photo FX booth.

It would be ironic (and embarrassing) for Mr. Ham if the 1000,000th visitor were either PZ Meyers or Genie Scott. I wonder how this could be arranged ? It might cost a bit of money but it would be worth it to see the look on his face !

Date: 2009/05/04 13:12:00, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Apparently there are eight different interpretations of redshift. When I receive the evidence for this I'll post it here.

Date: 2009/05/05 18:01:54, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
The long awaited reply:

The main fact that we know about red-shift is that it is a decrease in the energy of light.

J.B Tatum says that the pattern of red-shift we see can be the result of objects in space moving towards us if they also have a transverse motion.

Mark DeGroot says that red-shift can be caused if galaxies are spiralling towards us.

Einstein believed that light could be stretched by gravity, which would therefore give a red-shift.

P.C. Davies, in Nature magazine 1978, says that if we were at the geometrical centre of a rotating universe then that would explain the pattern of red-shift that we see.

Another possibility is that dust in interstellar space affects light, in the same way that we see red sunsets as the atmosphere scatters sunlight.

There is also the problem of discordant red-shifts, where stellar objects joined together have extremely different red-shifts, meaning that they cannot be millions of years old, or that red-shift is not what big-bang'ers think it is !

Holton Arp studied a number of quasars; he compiled a catalogue of 'peculiar quasars', many of which are at that centres of chains of elliptical galaxies - they emit parallel jets of material from their centres, meaning that they must have been formed together but have very different red-shift 'speeds' !

(check out )

This led him to reject the traditionally-accepted 'interpretation' of red-shift, in turn for which he was refused telescope space to continue his research.

In March 1990 New Scientist ran an article called 'What If The Big Bang Never Happened?', citing the problems of red-shift.

I don't think he quite knows what he's talking about.

Never heard of J.B.Tatum.

Mark Degroot worked at the Armagh Observatory and wrote a weekly astronomical column in the Belfast Telegraph for many years. He's a young Earth creationist though,and a member of the Seventh day Adventist church. Not sure where he's got the information from as he doesn't provide any links.

Are these, along with the Einstein quote and light scattering by intersteller dust, standard YEC claims ? Certainly new ones for me.

Still, hardly eight different interpretations of redshift.

Holton Arp has been covered before, however, I wonder if he's aware that he's being widely quoted  by the YECs ?

Date: 2009/05/09 11:10:23, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Anyone care to have a go debunking this:

When the Bible refers to a worldwide Flood in Genesis 7–8, that’s exactly what it means. Not local, not metaphorical, not some crazy dream—the waters covered the whole earth. Don’t just take our word for it, though. Take a look at the evidence right beneath your feet.

1Fossils of sea creatures high above sea level due to the ocean waters having flooded over the continents
We find fossils of sea creatures in rock layers that cover all the continents. For example, most of the rock layers in the walls of Grand Canyon (more than a mile above sea level) contain marine fossils. Fossilized shellfish are even found in the Himalayas.

Focus in: High & Dry Sea Creatures

2 Rapid burial of plants and animals
We find extensive fossil “graveyards” and exquisitely preserved fossils. For example, billions of nautiloid fossils are found in a layer within the Redwall Limestone of Grand Canyon. This layer was deposited catastrophically by a massive flow of sediment (mostly lime sand). The chalk and coal beds of Europe and the United States, and the fish, ichthyosaurs, insects, and other fossils all around the world, testify of catastrophic destruction and burial.

Focus in: The World’s a Graveyard

3 Rapidly deposited sediment layers spread across vast areas
We find rock layers that can be traced all the way across continents—even between continents—and physical features in those strata indicate they were deposited rapidly. For example, the Tapeats Sandstone and Redwall Limestone of Grand Canyon can be traced across the entire United States, up into Canada, and even across the Atlantic Ocean to England. The chalk beds of England (the white cliffs of Dover) can be traced across Europe into the Middle East and are also found in the Midwest of the United States and in Western Australia. Inclined (sloping) layers within the Coconino Sandstone of Grand Canyon are testimony to 10,000 cubic miles of sand being deposited by huge water currents within days.

Focus in: Transcontinental Rock Layers

4 Sediment transported long distances
We find that the sediments in those widespread, rapidly deposited rock layers had to be eroded from distant sources and carried long distances by fast-moving water. For example, the sand for the Coconino Sandstone of Grand Canyon (Arizona) had to be eroded and transported from the northern portion of what is now the United States and Canada. Furthermore, water current indicators (such as ripple marks) preserved in rock layers show that for “300 million years” water currents were consistently flowing from northeast to southwest across all of North and South America, which, of course, is only possible over weeks during a global Flood.

Focus in: Sand Transported Cross Country


5 Rapid or no erosion between strata
We find evidence of rapid erosion, or even of no erosion, between rock layers. Flat, knife-edge boundaries between rock layers indicate continuous deposition of one layer after another, with no time for erosion. For example, there is no evidence of any “missing” millions of years (of erosion) in the flat boundary between two well-known layers of Grand Canyon—the Coconino Sandstone and the Hermit Formation. Another impressive example of flat boundaries at Grand Canyon is the Redwall Limestone and the strata beneath it.

Focus in: No Slow and Gradual Erosion

6 Many strata laid down in rapid succession
Rocks do not normally bend; they break because they are hard and brittle. But in many places we find whole sequences of strata that were bent without fracturing, indicating that all the rock layers were rapidly deposited and folded while still wet and pliable before final hardening. For example, the Tapeats Sandstone in Grand Canyon is folded at a right angle (90°) without evidence of breaking. Yet this folding could only have occurred after the rest of the layers had been deposited, supposedly over “480 million years,” while the Tapeats Sandstone remained wet and pliable.

Focus in: Rock Layers Folded, Not Fractured

What now?
The Bible’s history is reliable throughout—from the creation of man from the dust of the ground to the worldwide Flood to the coming of Jesus Christ. But just reading the evidence isn’t enough. The message of salvation founded in the Bible's history is also true, and, God wants us to accept the gift of salvation He freely offers us.

The evidence is real. God has revealed Himself to us in His Word and in His creation (Romans 1:20).

How will you respond?

Date: 2009/05/09 13:04:58, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Quote (creeky belly @ May 09 2009,12:22)
potholer54debunks has a nice series which addresses all of these claims on flood geology. You can find it here.

Yes, been watching them over the last few days creeky. I like the way he says at the end "AiG etc. owe you an apology".

Some great stuff in there especially explaining geological sorting, marine fossils on mountain tops, all sorts of unconformities, etc, etc.

Date: 2009/05/12 08:06:27, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
what I'd really like to do is to kick Jerry Coyne, who must surely be on Ken Ham's and Bill Dembski's Christmas card list, in the shin.


AiG stands unapologetically on the authority of the Word of God. How we need to pray that Collins and his group will repent of their compromise and return to biblical authority. They honor man’s fallible ideas instead of God’s infallible Word.

As we have often said over the years, the compromising Christians are much more of a problem in the culture than the atheists. No wonder the church is in big trouble in this nation.

Date: 2009/05/16 11:23:40, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
This has been discovered recently:

Save the males? Too late for Mycocepurus smithii (pictured).

This leaf-cutter ant species is all female and thrives without sex of any kind—ever—according to a new study. The ants have evolved to reproduce only when queens clone themselves.

"They appear to have evolved a new mode of reproduction, and the genetic mechanisms have yet to be worked out," said lead study author Anna Himler, a research associate at the University of Arizona.

In M. smithii the typical muscular reproductive organ of female ants has evolved into a "sort of a ghost of an organ at this point," Himler added.

No male of the species has ever been found, and "even if a male were theoretically to appear somewhere, we're not sure they could mate any more," she said.

M. smithii also has an idiosyncratic arrangement for that other apparent necessity: food. The ants, which range from northern Mexico to Argentina, are in a codependent relationship with a specific fungus.

"The fungus garden is quite wimpy," Himler said. "If you remove the ants, the gardens will quickly die."

The ants keep the gardens weeded, and they "feed" the fungus leaf bits, insect carcasses, and feces, which the ants clean and cut up before offering to the fungus. In return, the fungus provides the sole source of food for the ants' babies.

Date: 2009/05/23 16:34:03, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Surely Dr. Jason Lisle's new book is worth a review on the Panda's Thumb:

Dr. Lisle (PhD Astrophysics) wrote this about his new book:

Have you ever heard evolutionists say things like this? “Evolution vs. Creationism”, “Why are creationists against science?”, “Nature has designed some amazing animals”, “Creationists do not believe in evolution, but we see evolution happening all the time”, or “Do you believe in science or do you have faith?” Now what do these quotes all have in common? Answer: they are all logical fallacies. Each one of these sentences or phrases contains an error in reasoning. I have found that proponents of evolution and “millions-of-years” commit logical fallacies quite frequently. Their arguments simply do not stand up to rational scrutiny.

But that’s not the really sad part. I suspect that the main reason that logical fallacies are so common in evolutionary arguments is that we creationists have been letting them get away with it! Most creationists do not know how to identify logical fallacies, and thus cannot refute the errors in evolutionists’ arguments. Let’s take a look at a few of the fallacies above. “Evolution vs. Creationism” is a type of logical fallacy called a question-begging epithet. This is where a person uses biased language instead of logic to argue his point. In this case, by putting “ism” on the end of “creation”, the author implies that creation is just a belief whereas evolution is not. But this is simply not so.

“Nature has designed some amazing animals” is a logical fallacy known as reification. This is where concrete (in this case personal) characteristics are attributed to something abstract (in this case “nature”). Nature is simply the name we give to the sequence of events in the world. Nature is not a person and cannot literally design anything at all. “Do you believe in science or do you have faith?” is a fallacy of bifurcation – presenting two options as if they were the only two and mutually exclusive when this isn’t the case. I believe in the methods of science and I have faith in God. In fact, I would say that the reason I believe in the methods of science is precisely because I have faith in God. It is the biblical God that makes science possible by upholding in the universe in a consistent way that the human mind can discover.

I noticed this at the end:

Chapters 7 and 8 of my latest book “The Ultimate Proof of Creation” will show readers how to identify and refute the most common errors in evolutionary reasoning. This is such an important aspect of defending the Christian Faith, and yet it is so frequently overlooked. It is really not difficult at all to learn to spot logical fallacies. And you will find that it is life-changing as you begin spotting fallacies not only in evolutionary literature, but in television commercials, advertisements, and everyday conversions. Such knowledge is also good for keeping us from making mistakes in logic as well!

I thiink we should all be running for cover.


Date: 2009/06/04 10:15:38, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Dr. Grady McMurtry is a frequent visitor to the UK and has just launched a DVD produced by Revelation TV (which is really plugging YECism). He's supposed to be a member of Mensa. In this Youtube clip, he claims the world will end soon due to the decay of the Earth's magnetic field, makes some interesting claims on geology, and claims the fossil record as portrayed in textbooks doesn't exist. Oh, and there's also the old YEC chestnut on "polystrate fossils" :

Date: 2009/06/08 13:26:13, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
A new technique has been helping scientists piece together how the Earth's continents were arranged 2.5 billion years ago.

From the BBC:

But until now, researchers have been unable to determine the ages of many of these ancient rocks because of the difficulty in extracting the minerals used to date them.

The researchers are dealing with such small mineral crystals - typically much less than 100 microns long - that grains are far smaller than the width of a human hair.

But with the development of new techniques, minerals - such as baddeleyite - can now be successfully recovered.

Baddeleyite is useful because it incorporates large amounts of uranium into its crystal-structure, and because uranium naturally decays to lead.

Scientists also know the rate at which this happens, so they can use these minerals as radioactive "clocks".

They then need to measure the amounts of uranium and lead very precisely.

In a large, international project, researchers hope to collect and date 250 rocks from around the world, and use this information to reconstruct how these continental fragments were once together to form giant landmasses that existed 2.5 billion years ago.

I would expect AiG to have this featured on their "news to note" this coming Saturday and Snelling to reject it fairly soon afterwards (probably in ARJ)

Date: 2009/06/12 13:37:30, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
New research or YEC spin ? Noticed this on the AiG website today:

Birds did not evolve from dinosaurs: what creationists have been pointing out for years is now buttressed by new research.

The notion that theropod dinosaurs evolved into birds has almost certainly become one of the most widely accepted “facts” of evolution. The question for many evolutionary researchers had transitioned from “if” to “how.”1 Even artists’ depictions of some dinosaurs (such as velociraptors) began to include feathers.2 Except for a few notable critics, such as University of North Carolina paleobiologist Alan Feduccia, evolutionists seem to have all but agreed on birds’ dinosaurian origins.

Now, a new paper in the Journal of Morphology presents the research of two Oregon State University scientists who don’t agree with the evolutionary dogma on bird origins.3 Doctoral student Devon Quick conducted the investigation into bird breathing and its connection with dinosaur-to-bird evolution as part her dissertation.

Not sure what to make of this but it's bound to be regurgitated as a YEC claim. Anyone got a link to the original article ?

Date: 2009/06/14 05:48:26, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
So after reading a few things, I'm really starting to assume that BCF is a creationist theory undercover.

Are the "reseachers" YECs or is this another Mary Schweitzer scenario ? Or is it a case of real scientists being silly and handing the YECs a gift ? I did notice on one of the comments that Gary had linked to, that the paper appears not to have been peer reviewed.

In light of AiG's comments I think it's time for science to go into damage limitation mode, since the YECs will milk this for all it's worth.

Date: 2009/06/14 15:48:52, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Rather, they are the paleontological equivalents of the aquatic ape folks in paleoanthropology.

Or Halton Arp in cosmology I suppose.

I'm sure though, I've seen a documentary on the aquatic ape hypothesis narrated by David Attenborough.

Date: 2009/06/21 09:42:19, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
As expected:

Creationists defend Darwin film
Post categories: Ethics, Religion

William Crawley | 13:24 PM, Sunday, 21 June 2009

On today's Sunday Sequence, the CEO of Creation Ministries UK responded to claims by one of the world's leading authorities on evolution that he was duped into appearing in an anti-Darwinian film.

Professor Peter Bowler, the author of a biography of Charles Darwin and many other books on the history of evolution, said he was interviewed for the The Voyage That Shook The World without realising that the film was being made by a Creationist group.

Professor Bowler, who has spent most of his academic career at Queen's University, Belfast, researching Darwinism, says he is unhappy to be appearing in what he regards as an "anti-Darwinian" film which offers an historically distorted portrait of Darwin. He claims that the film's narrative implies that Darwin's theory led him towards racism, whereas recent historical work by James Moore and Adrian Desmond shows that Darwin's scientific work was partly motivated by the naturalist's passionate opposition to racism.

Professor Bowler says he, along with his colleagues Sandra Herbert and Janet Browne, only discovered that they had inadvertently contributed to a Creationist film a month before the film's release. Peter Bowler also raised concerns about how the editing of his own interview could leave viewers with a false impression of his own perspective on Darwin.

Phil Bell, CEO of Creation Ministries UK, acknoweged that his organisation established a "front company" called Fathom Media, because they were concerned that experts such as Peter Bowler would not agree to take part in the film if they realised it was an "overtly Creationist" production. "At the end of the day," he said, "[when] people see 'Creationist', instantly the shutters go up and that would have shut us off from talking to the sort of experts, such as Professor Bowler, that we wanted to get to."

I asked Phil Bell if this method of securing an interview was "deceptive". He said: "Well, it could be called deceptive. But I think, at the end of the day, I would say that more people are concerned about how we've made a documentary, that's a world-class documentary, clearly with wonderful footage, with excellent interviews, and balanced open discussion."

Phil Bell also denied that his organisation had broken the ninth commandment by "bearing false witness" against Professor Bowler and his colleagues. "Nobody was told any lies," he said.

Watch the film trailer, below, which includes a short clip from Peter Bowler's interview

A real sense of déjà vu it would seem:

What the tape shows
Cut from previous interview with an Israeli biophysicist to interviewer in an obviously different room from the one in which RD has previously been shown.

Interviewer: "Professor Dawkins, can you give an example of a genetic mutation, or an evolutionary process, which can be seen to increase the information in the genome?"

Cut to RD, who looks around the room, [shot holds for 11 seconds]

Cut back to interviewer, while RD begins speaking off camera

RD: "There's a popular misunderstanding of evolution [cut back to RD] that says that fish turned into reptiles and reptiles turned into mammals and that somehow we ought to be able to look around the world today and look at our ancestors and see the intermediate species… (Dawkins goes on to explain)."

Date: 2009/07/02 18:49:35, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
There's an old saying in the UK "only in America", which, roughly tralated means anything wacky usualy originates in the US. Younger posters on this blog may not remember the pet rock phenomenon of the 1970's. Here in the UK we balked at sight of Americans trailing rocks around on bits of string. Seriously. This is what millions of Americans did in the 1970's. But you've got to hand it to the guy who invented them (or more accuratly, came up with the idea). He actually became a multi millionare:

Really no different to Ham's creation museum. As we say here, "only in America"

Still, I suspect the rest of the UK are saying " only in Norn' Iron":

Incoming Environment Minister Edwin Poots has insisted his creationist religious beliefs will not stand in the way of doing a good job.

The DUP Lagan Valley Assembly member, who is expected to take over the office from Sammy Wilson within weeks, reiterated his controversial view that the planet was created 6,000 years ago, but said his philosophy included the necessity of protecting God’s Earth.

Mr Poots said he believes the Earth was created by God around 4,000BC, according to the genealogical information outlined in the Bible.

“I am a Bible-believing Christian and I do not see that will impact in any way, shape or form on my role as Environment Minister,” he told the Belfast Telegraph.

Heaven help us if he ever visits the creation museum....or maybe he's been there already !

Oh, and I almost forgot about the equally wacky US invention, the empathy belly:

although, judging by my weight I probably wouldn't need one !

Date: 2009/07/07 11:54:04, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Noticed this on Ham's blog today:

Admissions of an Evolutionist

A blogger who attended the paleontology conference in Cincinnati recently and also visited our nearby Creation Museum with the group of secular scientists, wrote in his blog report:

The second point was that you shouldn’t underestimate the argument from personal incredulity. Evolution is genuinely counter-intuitive, and it is not crazy to cast a skeptical eye on the idea that complex, functional adaptations can form by a fully naturalistic process like natural selection. It is difficult to convince people even that evolution is reasonable, much less that it is true. I mentioned my experience at the Creation Museum the day before . . .

I agree. Evolution is counter-intuitive. Besides the fact that the knowledge of God is written on our hearts (we all know there is a God—even though many suppress this truth, as Romans 1 tells us), we all recognize the evidence of design. It is so obvious that life was designed by higher intelligence (as Romans 1:20 declares—that is why we are without excuse). And, of course, observational science does not support the molecules-to-man idea.

This blogger then stated:

. . . that there is far more religious diversity among anti-evolutionists than you might expect. This has been brought home to me especially at ID conferences, where Biblical literalists often seem thin on the ground.

. . . At this point I noted that if there were any super-clever way of countering creationism we all would have done it by now. I said I didn’t have any snappy solution to offer, and endorsed the more mundane suggestions others had made before me (be aware of what is going on in local politics, that sort of thing.)

This is a very good point. There is nothing that evolutionists can parade in front of all through television, radio, magazines, etc. that will prove once and for all these creationists are wrong and Darwin was right! NOTHING!

Now these same scientists could easily prove to all that magnesium has certain properties and reacts with acids in certain ways—because one can observe such properties and test them over and over again. And that is the point. One can illustrate natural selection and speciation—one can show bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics—but an evolutionist cannot show how one kind (usually at the family level of classification) of animal could change in to a totally different kind  (speciation within a kind is not molecules to man evolution.)

Evolutionism is a religious dogma secularists adhere to—it is their religion to explain life without God. Those Christians who compromise with evolution are no different than the Israelites who incorporated the pagan religion of the age into their religion, thus undermining the authority of the Word of God!

Ham doesn't mention who the "blogger" is, but a quick Google tracked it down to Jason's blog and his reports from the conference in Cincinnati:

The second point was that you shouldn't underestimate the argument from personal incredulity. Evolution is genuinely counter-intuitive, and it is not crazy to cast a skeptical eye on the idea that complex, functional adaptations can form by a fully naturalistic process like natural selection. It is difficult to convince people even that evolution is reasonable, much less that it is true. I mentioned my experience at the Creation Museum the day before, as recounted in Part One.

Point three was that there is far more religious diversity among anti-evolutionists than you might expect. This has been brought home to me especially at ID conferences, where Biblical literalists often seem thin on the ground. On more than one occasion I have had ID proponents lament the harm Biblical literalists had done to the cause of anti-evolution advocacy. If you have this idea that it is only conservative Protestant fundamentalists who oppose evolution then you have not fully grasped the extent of the problem.

At this point I noted that if there were any super-clever way of countering creationism we all would have done it by now. I said I didn't have any snappy solution to offer, and endorsed the more mundane suggestions others had made before me (be aware of what is going on in local politics, that sort of thing.)

Wonder if Jason is aware of this ? Having spent quite a considerable amout of time arguing with some nutters over on Premier Christian Radio's forum over the last few months but to no avail, Ham's assertions seem oh so familiar. It really is pointless even debating them. Anyway, Jason's reports are always excellent so I must have a look at part one.

Date: 2009/07/07 13:27:18, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
This is a very good point. There is nothing that evolutionists can parade in front of all through television, radio, magazines, etc. that will prove once and for all these creationists are wrong and Darwin was right! NOTHING!

Ham is right on that point. Believe me, I've tried and tried but it's pointless. Evolutionary science is apparently just an opinion, just an assumption, even down to the fact that the Andromeda galaxy is 2.5 million light years away (and thus we are observing it as it was 2.5 million years ago). Just an assumption. NOTHING will ever convince them.

Date: 2009/07/20 17:21:02, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Was expelled really the turkey everyone on the Panda's Thumb has made it out to be ? Not according to Wikipedia:

Expelled opened in 1,052 theaters, more than any other documentary before it, and grossed over $2,900,000 in its first weekend, the third biggest opening for a documentary. As of May 13, 2008 it had earned over $7 million, making it the twelfth-highest-grossing documentary film in the United States in nominal dollars, from 1982 to that date. In July, the movie was re-released allowing groups of 300 to book private screenings in theaters.

That doesn't look like an absolute bumber to me. Guess I can't use that argument any more on the YEC discussion forums. Who gets the profits ? Is it the Discovery Institute ?

Date: 2009/07/31 11:01:15, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Raised by a YEC over on Premier's forum:

Nuclear decay puzzle
30 July 2009 by Rudi Van Nieuwenhove, Halden, Norway
Magazine issue 2719. Subscribe and get 4 free issues.
For similar stories, visit the Letters Topic Guide
Working at a nuclear research centre as I do, I found Justin Mullins's article on seasonal variations in radioactive decay most intriguing (27 June, p 42).

I remember a previous New Scientist article (21 October 2006, p 36) reporting that Claus Rolfs and colleagues had shown they could modify the radioactive decay of certain radioisotopes by encasing them in metal and chilling them close to absolute zero. In a letter responding to that article (11 November 2006, p 26), I mentioned work reported in 1994 by Otto Reifenschweiler, who found that the radioactive decay of tritium absorbed in titanium particles could be reduced by 40 per cent at temperatures between 115 °C and 275 °C (Physics Letters A, vol 184, p 149).

The most dramatic change in radioactive decay has, however, recently been observed by Fabio Cardone and others on the decay of thorium-228 by using ultrasonic cavitation in water (Physics Letters A, vol 373, p 1956). In this case, the radioactive decay rate was increased by a whopping factor of 10,000.

It is difficult to believe that all these observations are due to instrumental or systematic errors. The time is ripe to investigate these effects in depth.

Radioactive decay constants seem not to be constant at all. Perhaps that's not so surprising, since radioactive decay is a result of random particle interactions between the surrounding vacuum and the nucleus. Changing the vacuum state will inevitably change the radioactive decay

although the letter writer appears to be citing fairly old news. Anyone know anything about the above and Rudi Van Nieuwenhove ? Is he a YEC. I would imagine if the research above is peer reviewed it wouldn't be too long before it makes it's way onto YEC websites, thus making the RATE project redundant.

Date: 2009/08/03 11:43:09, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
What are they teaching in science class these days?

Seems they aren't teaching plate tectonics Gary.

The thing that's really depressing is that a majority of Americans haven't a clue about the subject, with most either saying no to the question, or stating they weren't sure (except for the Northeast which was 50%).

This type of thing should be mandatory post primary school science. It was when I was at that stage, and that was 40 years ago.

Why have they never been witnessed, eh?

Except they are during earthquakes Richard !

Date: 2009/08/04 07:46:15, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Dr. Andrew Parker, an Oxford University biologist,  has come off with these bizare statements:

Dr Andrew Parker, 41, is a biologist at Oxford University. His latest book, The Genesis Enigma: Why The Bible Is Scientifically Accurate, claims the story of Genesis matches the history of the universe so accurately it could only have been written with divine intervention.

Dr Andrew Parker: The Bible got everything right
Have you proved the existence of God?
I don’t think I’ve proved the existence of God. I’ve proved there is space in the universe where God might exist.

It would be quite a scoop.
Well, yes. But if I find evidence there isn’t a God then as a scientist that would satisfy me too.

Isn’t this another example of religion masquerading as science?
Absolutely not. I devoted most of my early career to science and leaned toward being an atheist. That’s changed during the writing of this book, which revealed surprising parallels between Genesis and the scientific history of the universe. Not only is the sequence of events in Genesis scientifically correct but some of the events themselves are really quite precise, which would have been impossible for a human to know at that time. You have to conclude that either the author made extremely lucky guesses or something strange was going on: divine inspiration.

That’s a massive leap, isn’t it?
To say there’s something mysterious going on is probably not too great a leap. What I reveal is something beyond human intelligence, beyond testing with scientific equipment.

In Genesis, God creates the earth in six days, makes man out of dust and there’s no mention of the Big Bang. If it was written with God’s help, why is so much wrong?
It’s the authors adding their artistic interpretation, shoehorning the facts into the type of story people would be able to understand.

You say the second ‘Let there be light…’ refers to the evolution of the eye but you edited out the rest of the line, which clearly refers to the Sun, Moon and stars. There’s no mention in Genesis of the evolution of the eye.
Um, OK. I’ll probably have a look at this in more detail again. The first page of the Bible doesn’t spell out the eye but it doesn’t spell out any of the science in detail.

Your argument seems full of holes.
I would say it’s the best guess with the best fit.

Is there any real evidence, or just speculation?
If you want to say it’s 100 per cent evidence for God, no. With this book, there might be indirect evidence – it’s the strongest evidence for the existence of God I’ve come across. I’m not sure how you would describe it.

Well, that’s an opinion and that’s something I’m interested in. I’m not trying to fool anyone. I’m just trying to get to the bottom of this.

Are science and religion irreconcilable?
The atheist movement argues that with science there’s no more room for religion. So you either have faith in religion with no rational backing whatsoever or you follow science – and science dictates there’s no room for God, which isn’t true. There are things beyond our realm we can’t solve with science.

You say creationism is harmful to both religion and science. Why?
Creationism is totally unfounded. It is as dangerous as fundamentalism in other religions.

Creationists say evolution and the Big Bang are just theories. What do you think?
The problem with calling them theories is that anything can be called a theory. It doesn’t suggest the probability of it being right. On probability, you have creationism at something like 0.0001 per cent and evolution at 99.9999 per cent so it’s not fair to put them in the same category.

You criticise atheism because you think it’s disturbing to believe there’s no God or heaven. Just because those things might be comforting doesn’t make them true, does it?
No. But what I’m saying is that if the evidence doesn’t necessarily point one way or another, perhaps we’re better off with religion.

I'm not sure if this is the original interview, or an example of quotemining. However, rest assured, the statement that "genesis is scientifically correct" will be quotemined by every YEC from Kentucky to Norn' Iron. Is this guy right in the head ??? He really needs to catch himself on, as they say in these parts.

Date: 2009/08/25 07:55:55, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Slightly off topic, but here, Snelling gives advice on how to become a creationist geologist:

I have a son who is interested in pursuing a career as a geologist / geoscientist. He just finished his first year of college and is seeking God’s will and direction.
We both are concerned that this field is filled with evolutionists and even christians who don’t believe in a literal interprutation of Genesis 1:1.

Snelling's reply:

Greetings, and thanks for your enquiry, which was passed on to me for a response.

We are delighted to hear that your son is interested in pursuing a career in geology. We definitely need more Christians who are creationists in geology, both in the ranks of creation scientists and in the ranks of geologists generally.

I wouldn’t be too concerned that the field of geology is filled with evolutionists and even Christians who don’t believe in a plain interpretation of Genesis 1–11. Most fields of human endeavor are filled with evolutionists and compromising Christians, so that shouldn’t be a deterrent for pursuing careers in the sciences, such as geology. Indeed, we need Christians who are creationists in all of these fields to be a witness against the prevailing anti-biblical and compromising Christian attitudes in our society today.

The best way to prepare oneself for such a career is to build strength into one’s Christian faith by studying the Scriptures and studying the scientific evidences for creation and the Flood so that one is able to not only explain what one believes, but also defend it. In fact, all Christians should be able to explain their faith and what they believe and defend why they believe it. Answers in Genesis is seeking to not only provide the necessary materials, but also to train Christians to do just that. So equipped, it doesn’t matter where Christians are serving and working; if they are confident in their faith and able to defend it, then they will be able to make a good stand no matter what.

I was interested to read that your son has finished his first year of college. If he is interested in pursuing a career in geology, then you would be interested to know that this coming fall Cedarville University in Ohio, about one-and-half hours’ drive from the Creation Museum, will be starting the first-ever science degree majoring in geology at a creationist university. The aim is to train students in all the basics of geology so as to prepare them for graduate school studies or careers as geologists.

I would, therefore, encourage you and your son to consider transferring to Cedarville University, hopefully being able to get credits for what he has already accomplished. In case you are interested in following through on this further, the person to contact would be Dr John Whitmore, who is the professor setting up the geology program at Cedarville.

It's also fine to go to a secular college with a strong geology program. All of the young-earth creation geologists with PhDs have at least one degree from a secular university. It’s important to learn the conventional evolutionary model, and to learn it well. Cedarville is teaching geology with a two-model approach because they recognize how important that is. If a student goes to a secular school, for any degree, I recommend they get a Creation geologist as a mentor. A student intending to go to graduate school should work hard and learn as much as they can. They should excel in every class they take.

The main two areas in which geologists work, outside of academic research, is in environmental and engineering situations or in exploration to find new mineral deposits. In these fields there is a lot of outdoor work, surveying and investigating sites, collecting rocks, soil samples, etc. and then relating the results back to the sites in question. So, one must be prepared to work outdoors a fair bit and enjoy doing so.

If one goes into exploration for new ore and mineral deposits, then one must be prepared to go to remote locations and cope with living under basic conditions. But, of course, that’s only part of the work because, at other times, one would be in an office processing data, writing reports, etc. Apart from liking working out of doors some of the time, to be a geologist one would also have to have a great interest in the rocks and resolving questions surrounding their origin and formation.

I might add that there is always going to be a need for geologists, as new metals and resources always need to be found to replace those that are being used, and there will always be site investigations for engineering works and remediation of the environment to deal with the pollution and wastes caused by man’s activities. Of course, there are always cycles in employment opportunities depending on economic conditions, but these are more pronounced in the mining industry, which regularly goes through boom-and-bust cycles, more so than with the general economic conditions.

We certainly need more geologists in the ranks of creationists. For example, I am concerned with seeing some new young geologists entering the ranks of creation scientists because I am not getting any younger and we need younger geologists in years ahead to carry forward the torch!

I hope these few comments are a help and encouragement to you and your son. Thanks again for your enquiry. We are glad that you wrote and that you are seeking to help and encourage your son pursue a career in geology. May the Lord guide and help you in the days ahead.

Yours sincerely in Christ,
Dr Andrew Snelling

Wonder if the youngster will end up having the same experience as Glen Morton when he goes out to work in the field ?

Their sciencec degree majoring in geology might be worth an investigation by the Panda's Thumb (or NCSE). Will the degree be accredited ?

Date: 2009/08/25 08:05:27, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Oh, and for a YEC book containing bad geology, how about "Genesis for today" by Prof. Andy McIntosh. McIntosh isn't a geologist but a combustion engineer from Leeds University. He has no qualifications whatsoever in geology.

Date: 2009/08/25 08:54:42, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
'bout this "creationist university", is it actually legal?

Gosh, you've never heard of Cedarville University ? Don't be stupid ! Of course it's legal ! :

Cedarville University: Inspiring Greatness

Home to 3,000 Christian students, Cedarville is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist university of arts, sciences, professional, and graduate programs. Cedarville is located in southwestern Ohio on a beautiful 400-acre campus.

Date: 2009/08/25 15:35:55, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Are there any new claims here for Mark Isaac to add to his list:

Microbe Forum 2 Comes to AiG

What was the role of fungi, viruses, parasites, and bacteria in God’s “very good” original creation? What mechanisms have led to changes in microbes since the Fall such that some now cause disease? Are mitochondria the result of past endosymbiosis? What is the role of endogenous retroviruses that make up 8% of the human genome? Should microbes be considered extracellular organelles? All of these topics and more were discussed at the AiG sponsored Microbe Forum 2 in July of 2009.

AiG was proud to sponsor the first ever Microbe Forum meeting in 2007. The purpose of the forum is to present research related to the role of microbes before and after the Fall. This includes not only combating the evolutionary thinking on the topic of microbes, but also proposing models to increase understanding of the role of microbes in God’s creation.

The 2007 meeting consisted of presentations from creation microbiologists from around the country and affiliated with several creation organizations (AiG, Institute for Creation Research, and Creation Research Society) and secular universities. Proceedings of the meeting were published in Answers Research Journal (ARJ). In addition, a variety of papers have appeared in both ARJ and Answers in Depth on the topic of creation microbiology from Microbe Forum participants (see complete list below).

This year eight creation microbiologists (including two new members) participated, and six gave presentations on their research for Microbe Forum 2. Presentation titles were as follows:

Overview of Creation Microbiology
The Natural History of Retroviruses: Exogenization vs. Endogenization
A Review of Mitoribosome Structure and Function Does Not Support Serial Endosymbiotic Theory
A Possible Function of Entamoeba histolytica in the Creation Model
Fungi from the Biblical Perspective: Design and Purpose in the Original Creation
The Role of Genomic Islands, Mutation, and Displacement in the Origin of Bacterial Pathogenicity
The research presented will be detailed in a series of microbiology articles in our peer-reviewed technical (and free!) online journal Answers Research Journal later this year.

Research and creation model building continue, and plans are being set for Microbe Forum 3 in 2011. AiG is pleased to continue to play a role in bringing together scientists to discuss and research the issues that are at the forefront of the creation/evolution debate.

I see they're still spouting about their so called "peer reviewed" ARJ.

Date: 2009/08/26 12:27:20, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Some more creationist geology from Snelling today:

It is, therefore, entirely conceivable for this sequence of events from formation of the Devonian Shap Granite through to the deposition of the stratigraphically overlying Carboniferous limestone to have occurred within 2–3 weeks during the early-middle part of the Flood year. The Po radiohalos and the other evidence associated with this granite thus remove objections to Flood geology, including the timescale for granite formation, and the need to place the Flood/post-Flood boundary in the lower Carboniferous.

And who says creation scientists don't do "peer reviewed" research ?

To be honest, I'm not qualified enough to debunk the above nonsense. Anyone like to have a go ?

Date: 2009/09/06 16:54:35, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
The YECs over on Premier Christian Radio's discussion forum appear to like this:

The Battle of Beginnings: Why Neither Side Is Winning the Creation-Evolution Debate (Paperback)
by Delvin Lee Ratzsch  
Delvin Lee Ratzsch (Author)

and there was me thinking the YECs had lost this debate 150 years ago. Silly me.

Date: 2009/09/07 10:23:44, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Quote (Dr.GH @ Sep. 06 2009,21:12)
I got a copy on order- used for $0.62.

Are you going to review it at some stage Gary ? Is Ratzsch a YEC or something ?

Date: 2009/09/08 09:52:53, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Quote (silverspoon @ Sep. 07 2009,19:39)
Quote (Schroedinger's Dog @ Sep. 07 2009,16:31)
Quote (Henry J @ Sep. 07 2009,22:35)
Just wait for the Earth's next birthday, then count the candles on the cake. (But wear a fireproof suit! )


Sorry, but it has to be said:


So if the earths birthday was October 22, 4004 BC how many candles does that make?

Not as many as 4.55 billion !

Date: 2009/09/08 09:59:46, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
I came across this post on Premier Radio's discussion forum. A reply from a question, asking if the poster had any geology qualifications:

i have studied geology and my daughter has a masters degree in geology and currently doing a PhD in it we have both talked and i have read some of the books and modules.
matthew i wasnt interested in ages of rocks at all! i think the structures are very interesting and fascinating.and when you look at metamorphic rocks its fascinating when you think of them being remelted and flowing like toffee.
i never thought about faith and geology i suppose i just junk the bits that are opposed to Bible content.i felt sickened though when it came to the evolution parts and could not continue it seemed completely wrong and bad. i could not even do the coursework assignments. how strange now i think about it.

and further:

i also rejected the idea of evolution while a child and abandonded doing a degree because i was so unhappy with the evolution module.

I'm not sure if her daughter junked the "evolution parts" and still ended up with a masters. Is this possible ? I would have thought not since the evolution parts play quite an important part in the subject.

Date: 2009/09/15 16:02:02, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
This is the response from the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, on my enquiry about how they stand in the so called evolution debate. I spoke to Stephen Lynas, the church's press officer at Church house in Belfast. This respose was also confirmed by a YEC Presbyterian minister with whome I had a long conversation:

So long as a Christian believes that God created the heavens and the Earth, it is for you to decide how and when he did it

Rev. Neish again confirmed this was the official position. This means (in my opinion anyway) that a member can be anything from a flatearther, all the way to a TE (my own position). I asked if there was a position within the church for a person with views such as myself i.e. I accept both an ancient Earth/Universe, and Bilogical evolution (i.e. science in other words) and he replied yes.

However, this is in direct conflict with AiG and CMI, who appear to have infiltrated the denomination.

Date: 2009/09/17 10:12:39, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
This is apparently being distributed to universities throughout the US on 19th November 2009, by Kirk and Ray:

Date: 2009/09/20 07:31:49, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
If you want a laugh on a Sunday afternoon, I found this on Youtube:

Don't know who Dr. Callahan is but it seems he's had contact with Hovind before. The poster has also disabled any comments for some strange reason, as in the Kirk and Ray video.

Date: 2009/09/21 07:49:48, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
If you want a laugh on a Sunday afternoon, I found this on Youtube:

Don't know who Dr. Callahan is but it seems he's had contact with Hovind before. The poster has also disabled any comments for some strange reason, as in the Kirk and Ray video.

Date: 2009/09/25 12:44:49, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Yet another major US evangelical has now declared himself a YEC. Mega church Pastor Charles Stanley has invided Ken Ham to  speak at his church in October:

Speaking in First Baptist–Atlanta

ShareThisPublished September 25th, 2009 in My Journeys

Many of you will have heard of Dr. Charles Stanley, senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Atlanta.  Dr. Stanley has a worldwide TV ministry, and his very highly respected throughout the world.  I have the privilege and honor of speaking at both morning church services, and a special evening session at his church, on October 4.  You can find more details from the AiG online calendar.

I hate to bring this up again (as I'll be hounded by certain quarters) but where does this leave evolution Sunday ? I firmly support the concept, however, I strongly feel that unless a mainstream evangelical comes out in support of it, evolution Sunday is really dead in the water. Are there any main evangelicals in the US that aren't YEC ? Ham appears to have duped them all.

Date: 2009/09/25 15:52:21, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Quote (midwifetoad @ Sep. 25 2009,14:54)
First Baptist in Jacksonville, FL has also invited Ham or the equivalent. I'll try to get details.

Is it a mega church ?

I went to several (Baptist churches) in Florida when I was on holiday there. One was in the back of beyond,as they say in these parts. The experience was, well, interesting to say the least.

The other was more mainstream and not unlike the Crescent church in Belfast

Date: 2009/09/26 11:51:04, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Sep. 25 2009,17:20)
Quote (Peter Henderson @ Sep. 25 2009,12:44)
...I hate to bring this up again (as I'll be hounded by certain quarters) but where does this leave evolution Sunday ? I firmly support the concept, however, I strongly feel that unless a mainstream evangelical comes out in support of it, evolution Sunday is really dead in the water. Are there any main evangelicals in the US that aren't YEC ? Ham appears to have duped them all.

I guess your definition of an "evangelical Christian" would affect the answer to that question. When I hear the label of "evangelical Christian" I automatically link it to "born again fundy", I readily admit that is not a literal =. It is just what springs to mind.

Neither the clergy project nor evolution Sunday is going to convert a single fundy to accept evolution directly. What it will do, is give thinking religious people an argument that they can use to counter the claims of folks such as FL.

IMO, that is a good thing.

I would differentiate between the two Stephen.

Having moved in evangelical circles here (many of my relatives are evangelical), I would describe the likes of Stanley, Sproul, or even Macarthur as being realatively sensible, as distinct from say Parsley, Jakes, or Hagee,  the latter appearing to me as being way out and extreme. I would draw the distinction between evangelical and fundie. The Evangelical Alliance in the UK would be evangelical in it's approach, but not fundie i.e.they wouldn't protest outside the BBC at the screening of Gerry Springer the opera (like Steve Greene and Christian Voice did), though they may write a letter. I think there is a difference between the two.

Date: 2009/09/30 18:32:25, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Quote (Amadan @ Sep. 29 2009,04:29)
Darwin was a nut case even before publishing his evil satanic work. It was inevitable that his son would die young - probably of shame and embarrassment - after his screwed-up father named him Annie. This proves that gay marriage is socialistic.

Further proof, if it were needed, that evolution is evil is in the fact that the evidence showing its falsity is visible only to true believing fundagelicals living in the USA.

You must be winding us up....surely ?

Date: 2009/10/02 16:30:37, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
FL is nothing compared to this Forum:

Gary has already had a go at this nutter:

Anyone want to respond to this crap:

Now I am going to challenge you to produce evidence for evolution. Can you explain in your own words how a deer(as in nat geog documentary) can evolve into a whale . You can use a pig or a cow if you want. How does the DNA in the land animal redesign into the DNA of a whale - now give us a laugh -
Once you answer this I will give you another challenge

Feel free to have a go. Some more PTers on the forum would be welcome...........or maybe you guys have better things to do with your time.

Date: 2009/10/02 19:28:53, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Quote (Dr.GH @ Oct. 02 2009,19:17)
Peter, I am taking a long PC break.

I know how you feel. I'm wasting to much time with this crap.

Date: 2009/10/18 08:32:52, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
I was going to post another thread on this one, but Wesley will probably close it and decide it belongs here.

From yet another poster on premier's discussion forum. This time, some bizaar comments on Hutton's unconformity at Siccar point in Scotland:

WHAT !!?? Isn't 'peer review' something you keep on bleeting about when it comes to YEC research and publications, as Martin has pointed out ????

If it didn't appear in any peer reviewed journal, then who else repeated his work in order to verify it ??

Also, it looks as if Hutton just looked at a pile of rocks - his unconformity - and devised a theory that became widely accepted.

Is this what happened ??? please help me out here Peter, I'm trying to understand.

Berthault, on the other hand, did repeatable, verifiable experiments and published his work.

So all Hutton did was look at a pile of rocks and devise a theory that became widely accepted. Hmmmm seems like we're going to have to rewrite geology !

Date: 2009/10/24 16:29:16, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Found this while browsing:

October 23, 2009, 6:37 pm
Letters: Scientists Respond to Our Review of Richard Dawkins’s ‘Greatest Show on Earth’
By Elsa Dixler
The review by Nicholas Wade, a science reporter for The Times, of Richard Dawkins’s “Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution” (Oct. 11) drew an unusually large number of letters to the editor. And an unusually large number of those came from readers who identified themselves as scientists or philosophers. Because we had room for just two responses on the letters page of the issue of Oct. 25, we thought it only fair to our credentialed correspondents to present their comments here. —Elsa Dixler

The offending article:

Published: October 8, 2009
The theory of evolution really does explain everything in biology. The phenomena that Darwin understood in broad brush strokes can now be accounted for in the precise language of DNA. And though biological systems have attained extraordinary levels of complexity over the passage of time, no serious biologist doubts that evolutionary explanations exist or will be found for every jot and tittle in the grand script.


The Evidence for Evolution

By Richard Dawkins

470 pp. Free Press. $30

Richard Dawkins’s Web SiteTo biologists and others, it is a source of amazement and embarrassment that many Americans repudiate Darwin’s theory and that some even espouse counter­theories like creationism or intelligent design. How can such willful ignorance thrive in today’s seas of knowledge? In the hope of diminishing such obscurantism, the prolific English biology writer Richard Dawkins has devoted his latest book to demonstrating the explanatory power of evolutionary ideas while hammering the creationists at every turn.

Dawkins invites the reader to share the frustration of an imaginary history teacher, some of whose students refuse to accept that the Roman Empire ever existed, or that Latin is the mother tongue from which the Romance languages evolved. Instead of concentrating on how Western culture emerged from the institutions of the Roman state, the teacher must spend time combating a school board that insists he give equal time to their alternative view that French has been spoken from time immemorial and that Caesar never came or saw or conquered. This is exactly analogous to the plight of the biology teacher trying to acquaint students with the richness of modern biology in states where fundamentalist opponents of evolution hold sway.

Dawkins has a nice sense of irony, deployed without mercy on the opponents of evolution. If the creationists think the earth is less than 10,000 years old, rather than 4.6 billion, he asks, shouldn’t they assume, by the same measure, that North America is less than 10 yards wide? The book is even more enjoyable when Dawkins forgets the creationists and launches into evolutionary explanations, whether of the hippopotamus’s long-lost cousin the whale, or of the long-tongued moth that Darwin predicted must exist to pollinate a Madagascan orchid with a nectary 11 inches in length. He gives striking examples of “unintelligent design,” forced on evolution because it cannot ever start from scratch but must develop new structures from older ones.

He describes a beautiful thought experiment to demonstrate a rabbit’s cousinship to a leopard. Imagine a chain of rabbit generations, daughter-mother-grandmother, stretching back into evolutionary time. The creatures become less and less rabbit­like until one reaches the early mammalian species from which both rabbits and leopards evolved. Now do a hairpin bend and follow the generations forward in time down the lineage that leads to leopards. The trunk and branches are long gone, but all living species are the twigs of a single tree.

There is one point on which I believe Dawkins gets tripped up by his zeal. To refute the creationists, who like to dismiss evolution as “just a theory,” he keeps insisting that evolution is an undeniable fact. A moment’s reflection reveals the problem: We don’t speak of Darwin’s fact of evolution. So is evolution a fact or a theory? On this question Dawkins, to use an English expression, gets his knickers in a twist.

Evolutionary theory is a mansion that has been under vigorous construction for the last 150 years and is still far from complete. A ballroom-size controversy is whether natural selection can operate at the level of groups as well as that of individuals. The evolutionary theory of aging, which predicts that many genes must be involved in determining life span, recently collapsed when researchers found that the lifetimes of laboratory organisms can be tripled or better by changing a single gene. If the theory of evolution is still in full flux — as befits any scientific theory at the forefront of research — how can evolution be said to be a fact?

Dawkins is aware that evolution is commonly called a theory but deems “theory” too wishy-washy a term because it connotes the idea of hypothesis. Evolution, in Dawkins’s view, is a concept as bulletproof as a mathematical theorem, even though it can’t be proved by rigorous logical proofs. He seems to have little appreciation for the cognitive structure of science. Philosophers of science, who are the arbiters of such issues, say science consists largely of facts, laws and theories. The facts are the facts, the laws summarize the regularities in the facts, and the theories explain the laws. Evolution can fall into only one of these categories, and it’s a theory.

Other systems of thought, like religion, are founded on immutable dogma, whereas science changes to accommodate new knowledge. So what part of science is it that changes during intellectual revolutions? Not the facts, one hopes, or the laws. It’s the highest-level elements in the cognitive structure — the theories — that are sacrificed when fundamental change is needed. Ptolemaic theory yielded when astronomers found that Copernicus’s better explained the observations; Newton’s theory of gravitation turned out to be a special case of Einstein’s.

Richard Dawkins’s Web SiteIf a theory by nature is liable to change, it cannot be considered absolutely true. A theory, however strongly you believe in it, inherently holds a small question mark. The minute you erase the question mark, you’ve got yourself a dogma.

Since the theory of evolution explains and is in turn supported by all the known facts of biology, it can be regarded as seriously robust. There’s no present reason to think it has any flaws. But when we learn how life evolved on other planets, evolution could turn out to be a special case of some more general theory.

When Dawkins asserts that evolution “is a fact in the same sense as it is a fact that Paris is in the Northern Hemisphere,” it seems he doesn’t know what a theory is. Yet he is justified in his passion to demonstrate how beautifully the theory of evolution explains the biological world. How can his knickers be untwisted?

The best way, in my view, is to distinguish between evolution as history and evolution as science. Evolution is indeed a historical fact. Every living thing and every fossil-bearing rock bears evidence that evolution occurred. But evolution is not a scientific fact as philosophers of science see it. In science it plays a far grander role: it is the theory without which nothing in biology makes sense. The condition of this high status is that it cannot be the final and absolute truth that Dawkins imagines it to be; it is liable to future modification and change like any other scientific theory.

This brings me to the intellectual flaw, or maybe it’s a fault just of tone, in Dawkins’s otherwise eloquent paean to evolution: he has let himself slip into being as dogmatic as his opponents. He has become the Savonarola of science, condemning the doubters of evolution as “history-­deniers” who are “worse than ignorant” and “deluded to the point of perversity.” This is not the language of science, or civility. Creationists insist evolution is only a theory, Dawkins that it’s only a fact. Neither claim is correct

Date: 2009/10/24 17:24:34, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Missed it on PZ's blog.

As you say Deadman, Wade doesn't know the difference between theory and fact. He needs to watch this video:

either that or he's a covert YEC.

Date: 2009/11/03 18:30:38, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
According to AiG, there are a growing number of geologists who reject evolution:

Interestingly, Dr. Mortenson has a PhD in the history of geology and is thus aware that there are a growing number of geologists who reject evolution (e.g., Dr. Andrew Snelling of Answers in Genesis).

Date: 2009/11/04 12:48:32, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Could AiG's atatement be tantamount to telling lies ?

Date: 2009/11/06 12:07:37, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
That many of their engineers are apparently YECs. Well, according to Ken Ham anyway:

Special NASA Visitor

I’m continually amazed to hear of so many scientists and engineers who are associated with NASA and the American space program who are creationists. Last Friday, one of the engineers who has worked on the International Space Station toured the Creation Museum. This man (we’ll keep his identity hidden—his position could be jeopardized if his supervisors knew that he rejected the evolutionary worldview) will tell you that evolution is the basis for some of America’s space exploration programs, like SETI.

This engineer confirmed what I’ve known for several years (especially after I spoke at a Bible study held at the Goddard Space Center in Maryland several years ago): many scientists and engineers reject the evolutionary belief system. In fact, many that I met back in the’90s at Goddard had been involved in the refurbishing of the Hubble Space Telescope.

Maybe NASA need to issue a disclaimer, in the same way that Leeds University has done with McIntosh

Date: 2009/11/07 09:53:15, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
The medical field - at least the one I signed up for - requires a very vigorous background in the biological sciences.

I've been told though, that evolution is not part of the cirriculum in medicine RDK, certainly not here in the UK. If that were true it would explain why so many doctors are YECs. Apparently there's a push to have it included.

Date: 2009/11/08 18:20:34, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Because afterall, a TROOOO YEC would reject all things scientific

I have been repeatedly told on Premier Radio's discussion forum SLP, that YECs in no way reject science. However, they do reject the science that is taught in every school, college, and university both here and in the US. For some odd reason they don't appear to realise this.

Date: 2009/11/16 10:17:01, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
The yecs have been going hammer and tongs at this one over the last few days:

From CMI's Carl Weiland a few days ago:

From AiG. a "peer reviewed" article by Vera Everett ????:

on the fossilised octopus with preserved inc sacs.

The salamander story was also covered by AiG's so called "News to note" yesterday:

Yet again, more from AiG today on a CBS programme that was broadcast on sunday evening:

The segment was hosted by a gushing CBS-TV correspondent Lesley Stahl, who, while enraptured by the T. rex’s preserved soft tissue (including elastic blood vessels, with red blood cells, in its thigh bone) right in front of her, never thought to ask the question (at least on camera): why isn’t such preservation actually highly compelling evidence that dinosaurs have been around in recent times? If dinosaurs perished 65 million years ago, how in the world could the soft tissue have possibly survived and not have dried out 64 million years ago?

60 Minutes is a Peabody-winning investigative news program. Its awards are largely a tribute to the hard-charging efforts of its former executive producer, the late Don Hewitt. Hewitt was known as someone who was a critical thinker and a good “baloney detector.” One might think that had Hewitt still been at the helm of 60 Minutes, he would have insisted that the program dive right into a staring-them-right-in-the-face controversy: that dinosaurs may have lived much more recently than evolutionists have been dogmatically proclaiming for decades. That should have been the real story on 60 Minutes Sunday night, but one that the producers and correspondent ignored. (They could have at least tried to offer an explanation as to how the tissue could have been preserved for so long.)

60 Minutes did allude to one controversy over what was really found in the T. rex’s thigh bone, but it had nothing to do with the creation/evolution debate. Some evolutionists have been trying to cast doubt on the validity of the tissue discovery. For example, they say that perhaps what has been declared as tissue is really mineral spheres (containing iron). As for the material that is “elastic” as the TV program stated (identified by the first researchers as collagen), these same detractors say that it might be “bacterial biofilm” instead, meaning that where the T. rex’s blood vessels once were, bacteria produced biofilm in its place. Ultimately, though, 60 Minutes stated that they looked just like “flexible blood vessels.”

Is CBS at fault here ? Still, talk about lying to the faithful.

Date: 2009/11/16 15:17:04, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Panda has the facts:

What about the two recent finds Kattarina, the inc sacs and the salamander tissue. As far as I can remember, the ink in this case had to be extracted using ammonia.

and of course there's also CBS:

Ultimately, though, 60 Minutes stated that they looked just like “flexible blood vessels.”

Have they made a cock-up here ?

Date: 2009/12/21 18:35:04, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Iain Stewart is superb as an orator for science Stephen. His earlier series, Journeys to the centre of the Earth and Journeys to the ring of fire are both excellent, and great geology lessons.

However, this has been making the headlines in the UK recently:

"On the face of it, looks like the raw data was being manipulated in order to prove what they wanted to prove," said Lord Lawson, Margaret Thatcher's former chancellor who has reinvented himself as a critic of climate change science.

"They were talking about destroying various files in order to prevent data being revealed under the Freedom of Information Act and they were trying to prevent other dissenting scientists from having their articles published in learned journals.

"It may be that there's an innocent explanation for all this... but there needs to be a fundamental independent inquiry to get at the truth."

Date: 2010/01/05 05:52:59, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Always used to enjoy Lenny's comments on the Panda's Thumb. Sometimes I disaggreeed with him, but on most occasions his posts were invaluable. Now his website has gone:

There were some good articles there, particularly the one on biblical kinds. Have these been archived somewhere (like Talkorigins) or are they now lost for good in cyberspace ?

Date: 2010/01/05 16:12:36, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Quote (Cubist @ Jan. 05 2010,14:49)
Lenny is still around; DebunkCreation -- his Yahoo Group -- is going strong. He's cut back on his anti-Creationist activity, however, because he feels that the fundies are politically irrelevant for the time being, hence there's no need for him to take action. He fully recognizes that Creationists never stop trying to push their agenda, he just thinks they ain't in any danger of succeeding in that effort any time soon, is all.
Given Lenny's notion that the Creationists are politically impotent, it's no surprise that he let his website fade into the ether. Fortunately, it has been mirrored elsewhere, so that's alright.

Great to see the essays are still there Cubist. I'd forgotton all about the creation science debunked page.

Date: 2010/01/06 18:53:20, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
More claims on "faulty" radiometric dating in New Zealand from Snelling:

Has any scientist investigated these claims yet ?:

The Rb-Sr, Sm-Nd, and Pb-Pb radioisotopic ratios in these samples of the recent (1949–1975) andesite lava flows at Mt. Ngauruhoe, New Zealand, as anticipated, do not yield any meaningful “age” information, even with selective manipulation of the data. Instead, these data provide evidence of the mantle source of the lavas, of magma genesis, and of crustal contamination of the parental basalt magmas. Subduction of the Pacific Plate beneath the Taupo Volcanic Arc has carried trench sediments with it—sediments identical in composition to the Torlesse metasediment basement underlying, and outcropping adjacent to, these volcanoes. Scraped off the subducting slab, the sediments have contaminated the basalt magmas generated by partial melting of the peridotitic mantle wedge at the mantle-slab interface. The resultant andesite magmas rose in the melt column through the mantle wedge, and then ascended through fracture conduits in the overlying crust into magma chambers below the volcanoes that erupted when full.

The Sr-Nd-Pb radioisotopic systematics are thus characteristic of the depleted mantle source, modified by mixing with the crustal contaminant. Variations in the depleted mantle Nd “model ages”, which range from 724.5 to 1453.3 Ma, and which are meaningless in this recent (even in conventional terms) tectonic and petrogenetic framework, and the Pb isotopic linear arrays, indicate geochemical heterogeneity in the mantle wedge. Thus the radioisotopic ratios in these recent Ngauruhoe andesite lava flows were inherited from both the peridotitic mantle wedge and the subducted trench sediments, and are fundamental characteristics of their geochemistry. They therefore only reflect the origin and history of the mantle and crustal sources from which the magma was generated, and therefore have no age significance.

By implication, the radioisotopic ratios in ancient lavas found throughout the geologic record are likely fundamental characteristics of their geochemistry. They therefore probably only reflect the magmatic origin of the lavas from mantle and crustal sources, and any history of mixing or contamination in their petrogenesis, rather than any valid age information. Even though radioisotopic decay has undoubtedly occurred during the earth’s history, conventional radioisotopic dating of these rocks therefore does not necessarily provide valid absolute “ages” for them. This is especially so if accelerated nuclear decay accompanied the catastrophic operation of those geologic and tectonic processes responsible for the mixing of the radioisotopic decay products during magma genesis.

A job for someone then, especially as it's puporting to be peer reviewed science.

Date: 2010/01/07 07:09:52, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
As far as I am concerned I don’t for a second think that his argument is of much relevance for the question of the age of the Earth or the planet’s geological and biological history.

Try telling that to a YEC though Quack. Uneducated YECs will read this and thoroughly digest it as real scientific research that proves the Earth isn't at least 3.8 billion years old (the oldest terrestrial rock dates) and that serious flaws exist with radiomatric dating techniques. Someone in geology circles needs to have a look at this so called research and inform us lesser educated individuals what Snelling's claims actually are, how and why he has deduced a 6,000 year old Earth from them, and why his "research" is flawed.

It's a pity talkorigins isn't updating anymore and that the site has been left to fester somewhat. A shame.

Date: 2010/01/15 18:50:56, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
More from Snelling, this time a new book which is an update of the Genesis Flood, apparently:

Finally, the long-awaited update to the Morris/Whitcomb classic, The Genesis Flood! This huge 2-volume set is filled with up-to-date geological evidence that demonstrates the authority and accuracy of the Bible’s account of creation and the Flood. Step by step, respected Australian geologist Dr. Andrew Snelling examines evolutionary interpretations of the geologic record and deconstructs the misplaced assumptions and conclusions on which those interpretations are based. With in-depth scholarly research and insight, he then constructs a biblical geologic model for earth history and concludes that the claims of Genesis 1–11 are true. Topics covered include:

The biblical record of the Flood
Arguments used against the global Genesis Flood
Noah, the Ark, and the animals
The framework for a scriptural geology
A biblical geologic model of earth history
Includes 126 chapters, selected bibliography, index and numerous color figures/illustrations

Is anyone up for a review ? Obviously lots of new claims.

Date: 2010/01/16 06:27:56, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Jan. 15 2010,20:37)
Why would you think that there are *any* new claims? Or was that sarcasm?

Wesley: You should know me by now ! I was partly being facetious, though I was also thinking of the RATE project and so on which are bound to be included !

Date: 2010/01/29 19:21:04, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
In response to the clergy letter project and evolution Sunday, we now have the creation letter project and creation Sunday:

Creationist response to the pro-evolution Clergy Letter Project
“If I told you earthly things, and you believe not, how shall you believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?” –John 3:12

The pro-evolution Clergy Letter Project currently has a list of nearly 12,000 ministers who affirm that evolution is true and that the Genesis record is a teaching myth like Aesop’s Fables. Since 2006, they have successfully promoted the celebration of an Evolution Sunday in churches throughout the world. The Clergy Letter Project is often cast in the faces of Creationists to insinuate that we are merely a fringe element of Christianity, because there has not yet been an answer to their challenge. Our silence is used as an admission of our alleged irrelevance.

It is disgusting that this modern-day Goliath gets to mock the people of God, flaunting the compromise of some of our ministers as if it represented the majority opinion, with no answer in kind.

The Creation Letter Project now provides an opportunity for Christians, clergy and churches who affirm Biblical Creationism to answer the challenge that the Clergy Letter represents. Please read the Letter [below] and prayerfully add your signature if you agree with it:

“Observable, testable, repeatable science has brought us many benefits and innovations. The founders of modern science were Creationists, “thinking God’s thoughts after Him.” Most of the disciplines within science were founded before Darwin or by scientists who actually rejected his theory. The Scientific Method itself is based on the idea that an orderly creation can be rationally understood because it was designed by an Intelligent Creator. Creationists today continue to practice normal, experimental science without need of evolution.

Evolution is not observable, testable, repeatable science. It’s a belief about the past, an atheist Just-So Story seeking to displace the divinely revealed Creation record. It’s based on the flaw of naturalism, which begs that all problems must have a natural explanation, so God isn’t needed. This stands directly at odds with the Biblical claim that God’s existence, eternal power and Godhead are self-evident in His Creation, for it excludes an Intelligent Creator from all consideration. Faulty assumptions lead to faulty conclusions! Sadly, statistics demonstrate that children taught godless evolution as scientific truth reject religious truth wholesale! It’s time to judge this tree by its fruit!

The Bible stands as the inerrant, revealed Word of God. As such, the conclusions and speculations of fallible, finite men should be weighed in light of the revelation of an infallible, infinite God – not the other way ’round. Let God be true and every man a liar!

Some claim to take the Bible seriously but actually hold man’s word as their true authority, so long as it calls itself science; where it disputes the Genesis record, they denigrate the Word of God to mere Bible stories in the tradition of Aesop’s fables. After swallowing the camel of the Resurrection and supernatural miracles, they strain at the gnat of a historical Creation week.

We do not follow cleverly devised fables. While the Bible is NOT a science textbook, the Word of God is true and accurate in all it records. Jesus affirmed the truth and authority of God’s Word, mentioning Creation, Adam and Eve, Abel, Noah and Jonah as matters of fact. Though some object that religious truth is of a different order from scientific truth, Jesus refuted this false dichotomy when He asked Nicodemus, “If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?” [John 3:12] The very reason Jesus literally died and rose again is a world cursed by the literal Fall of a literal Adam!

We the undersigned affirm the truth of a Biblical, literal 6-day Creation and strongly discourage any Bible-believing Christian from endorsing or celebrating an Evolution Sunday. Evolution is a lie which undermines both Biblical authority and the foundational basis of the Gospel. We urge churches to send a clear message  of the enduring authority of God’s Word by celebrating a Creation Sunday instead of the Clergy Letter Project’s proposed Evolution Sunday. We urge school board members to fight for the integrity of our science curriculum by insisting that evolution’s mortal flaws be published. We ask that science remain science, so that truth may remain truth.”

*The Creation Letter Project is sponsored in part by the Kanawha Creation Science Group

If you agree with our mission, add your signature below!

Who Should Sign

1. If you are a Christian who believes in the literal, historical truth of Creation as related in Genesis, you should add your signature to let people know that there are Christians in your city and state who take a stand for Biblical innerancy.

2. If you are a member of the clergy who believes in our mission, you should add your signature to send a message that there are ministers in your city and state who believe in a literal, 6-day Creation. The pro-evolution Clergy Letter Project has nearly 12,000 signatures from members of clergy. We believe there are as many, if not more, who believe the truth of Biblical Creation and are willing to boldly stand up for that truth. If you are a member of clergy, please indicate that you are when you add your signature and we’ll add your name to the Clergy for Creation page.

3. If you are the pastor of a church who intends on holding a Creation Sunday, you should add your signature to let Christians in your area know that there is a house of worship in their area that will be doing so. If your church will be having a Creation Sunday, please indicate this when you add your signature and we will add your church’s name to the Creation Sunday Celebrations page.

Date: 2010/02/04 06:12:26, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
More claims on the inaccuracy of dates obtained by radiometric dating. this time from Steve Austin.

For more than twenty years it has been known that the Rb-Sr and K-Ar systems give discordant “ages” for Cardenas Basalt and associated Proterozoic diabase sills and dikes of Grand Canyon. Thirteen new K-Ar analyses of Proterozoic mafic rocks of Grand Canyon are added to nine published K-Ar analyses. We report a new fourteen-point K-Ar isochron “age” of 516 ± 30 Ma which is strongly discordant with the published Rb-Sr isochron “age” of 1.07 ± 0.07 Ga for Cardenas Basalt. By more than doubling the K-Ar data set we can test explanations for why the discordance exists. Advocates of the Rb-Sr isochron, recognizing the strong geochemical similarity of rubidium and potassium, have not argued for significant potassium addition to these rocks. Addition of potassium during alteration of these rocks would explain the anomously young K-Ar age, but it would also add rubidium and invalidate the Rb-Sr isochron age. Instead, advocates of the Rb-Sr isochron have argued only for significant argon loss. Two argon loss models (episodic loss and continuous loss) are tested in an attempt to explain why these altered rocks have about half the 40Ar required by the conventional Rb-Sr interpretation. Both argon loss models, although attempting to maintain the assumptions of conventional geochronology, fail to explain the data, especially the new data we offer. Three models are proposed as alternatives to argon loss models, but these invalidate using the K-Ar system as conventional geochronology would assume.

To a YEC this type of thing looks like peer reviewed science.

Date: 2010/02/07 08:57:56, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Apparently the problems with flood geology have been solved with the publication of Snelling's latest book:

Earth’s Catastrophic Past
This next week, AiG will be sending a press release out that is similar to the following concerning Dr. Andrew Snelling’s new book on creationist geology:

Dr. Andrew Snelling, one of the world’s leading creation geologists, is the author of the new “Earth’s Catastrophic Past: Geology, Creation and the Flood,” released recently from the Institute for Creation Research (ICR). It details the current geological evidence validating the authority and accuracy of the biblical accounts of the Creation and the Flood. In its 1,100 pages, it also provides a compelling case to rebut the evolutionary timeline of millions/billions of years.

Snelling, a former professor of geology and researcher at ICR, serves as the Director of Research at Answers in Genesis (AiG) and is editor-in-chief of AiG’s Answers Research Journal.

“I believe in the convergence of scientific study and biblical truth,” Snelling said. “A literal reading of the events of the first eleven chapters of Genesis is confirmed by science. The Creation and the Flood, are real events in history.”

Snelling uses the two-volume set as an opportunity to share the earth’s history and the science of geology from a biblical perspective. In “Earth’s Catastrophic Past,” Snelling discusses geological elements in the Genesis record, as well as the latest scientific data on sedimentation, fossilization, plate tectonics, radioisotope dating, and more. Much of his decades of research has been summarized inside AiG’s popular Creation Museum, which has welcomed over 945,000 visitors since opening  May 2007.

I want to add that the great thing about this set is that it gives non-scientist readers access to the geological and scientific evidence that supports the global Flood and a young earth view of creation. By making this research available to the Christian community, believers will be able to defend their views. For secularists, this two-volume set will address their problems with the Creation and Flood accounts in the Bible

Date: 2010/02/07 12:31:58, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Someone needs to have a look at Lou. The YECs are convinced this is peer reviewed science.

Date: 2010/02/08 05:30:24, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Quote (Quack @ Feb. 08 2010,01:45)
Just in case someone should be unaware of it:
Snelling vs. Snelling

Well aware of it Quack but does Ken Ham know ? It seems not.

Date: 2010/02/15 10:24:59, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
The YECs are quotemining this one for all it's worth:

Science News

Bird-from-Dinosaur Theory of Evolution Challenged: Was It the Other Way Around?
ScienceDaily (Feb. 10, 2010) — A new study just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences provides yet more evidence that birds did not descend from ground-dwelling theropod dinosaurs, experts say, and continues to challenge decades of accepted theories about the evolution of flight.

A new analysis was done of an unusual fossil specimen discovered in 2003 called "microraptor," in which three-dimensional models were used to study its possible flight potential, and it concluded this small, feathered species must have been a "glider" that came down from trees. The research is well done and consistent with a string of studies in recent years that pose increasing challenge to the birds-from-dinosaurs theory, said John Ruben, a professor of zoology at Oregon State University who authored a commentary in PNAS on the new research.

The weight of the evidence is now suggesting that not only did birds not descend from dinosaurs, Ruben said, but that some species now believed to be dinosaurs may have descended from birds.

"We're finally breaking out of the conventional wisdom of the last 20 years, which insisted that birds evolved from dinosaurs and that the debate is all over and done with," Ruben said. "This issue isn't resolved at all. There are just too many inconsistencies with the idea that birds had dinosaur ancestors, and this newest study adds to that."

Almost 20 years of research at OSU on the morphology of birds and dinosaurs, along with other studies and the newest PNAS research, Ruben said, are actually much more consistent with a different premise -- that birds may have had an ancient common ancestor with dinosaurs, but they evolved separately on their own path, and after millions of years of separate evolution birds also gave rise to the raptors. Small animals such as velociraptor that have generally been thought to be dinosaurs are more likely flightless birds, he said.

"Raptors look quite a bit like dinosaurs but they have much more in common with birds than they do with other theropod dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus," Ruben said. "We think the evidence is finally showing that these animals which are usually considered dinosaurs were actually descended from birds, not the other way around."

Another study last year from Florida State University raised similar doubts, Ruben said.

In the newest PNAS study, scientists examined a remarkable fossil specimen that had feathers on all four limbs, somewhat resembling a bi-plane. Glide tests based on its structure concluded it would not have been practical for it to have flown from the ground up, but it could have glided from the trees down, somewhat like a modern-day flying squirrel. Many researchers have long believed that gliders such as this were the ancestors of modern birds.

"This model was not consistent with successful flight from the ground up, and that makes it pretty difficult to make a case for a ground-dwelling theropod dinosaur to have developed wings and flown away," Ruben said. "On the other hand, it would have been quite possible for birds to have evolved and then, at some point, have various species lose their flight capabilities and become ground-dwelling, flightless animals -- the raptors. This may be hugely upsetting to a lot of people, but it makes perfect sense."

In their own research, including one study just last year in the Journal of Morphology, OSU scientists found that the position of the thigh bone and muscles in birds is critical to their ability to have adequate lung capacity for sustained long-distance flight, a fundamental aspect of bird biology. Theropod dinosaurs did not share this feature. Other morphological features have also been identified that are inconsistent with a bird-from-dinosaur theory. And perhaps most significant, birds were already found in the fossil record before the elaboration of the dinosaurs they supposedly descended from. That would be consistent with raptors descending from birds, Ruben said, but not the reverse.

OSU research on avian biology and physiology has been raising questions on this issue since the 1990s, often in isolation. More scientists and other studies are now challenging the same premise, Ruben said. The old theories were popular, had public appeal and "many people saw what they wanted to see" instead of carefully interpreting the data, he said.

"Pesky new fossils...sharply at odds with conventional wisdom never seem to cease popping up," Ruben wrote in his PNAS commentary. "Given the vagaries of the fossil record, current notions of near resolution of many of the most basic questions about long-extinct forms should probably be regarded with caution."

for obvious reasons.

Date: 2010/02/17 11:30:45, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Personally, I think Ham is somewhat delusional in that he seems to imagine he's some sort of Abe Lincoln type figure:

Lots of verbal attacks on President Obama, Atheists, Laurence Krauss, and even William Demski, believe it or not.

Date: 2010/02/18 05:41:51, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Personally, I think Ham is somewhat delusional in that he seems to imagine he's some sort of Abe Lincoln type figure:

Lots of verbal attacks on President Obama, Atheists, Laurence Krauss, and even William Demski, believe it or not.

Date: 2010/02/21 10:14:03, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
From the link:

He asked me if I'd seen his article in "New Scientist". I haven't, has anybody here? I mentioned that's not exactly a peer-reviewed journal.

Well, I've just been linked to the interview by Andrew Sibley of the CSM (Creation Science Movement)

Lone voices special: God said, let the dry land appear
09 December 2006 by Peter Aldhous
Magazine issue 2581. Subscribe and get 4 free issues.
Read full articleContinue reading page |1 |2
Few earth scientists believe that our planet was created some 10,000 years ago and maintain that the Biblical account of Noah's flood is the literal truth. To have published papers in Nature and Science while holding these views is almost unheard of. John Baumgardner, creationist and geophysical modeller, tells Peter Aldhous how his Christian faith has shaped an unusual scientific career.

You've said that your primary goal as a scientist is "defence of God's word". Is this consistent with the scientific method?

Most scientists try to make incremental contributions. There are a few who are strongly driven by their world view; Richard Dawkins is a pretty dramatic example. I would put myself in that same category, although I hope that I'm not as abrasive. If people can do it on the other side, why should I shrink back?

What led you to geophysical modelling?

My original training was in electrical engineering. Later, I had a Christian conversion. After four years working on laser optics in the air force I had three years with Campus Crusade for Christ. During that time I started doing lectures on the origins of the Earth as described in the Bible, and found myself doing a lot of background research. In 1978 I realised that the Genesis flood had to involve rapid large-scale tectonic change. So I started a PhD in geophysics at the University of California, Los Angeles.

During your PhD you developed a computer model for the interior of the Earth that has been widely used. Tell us about that.

It models convection in the Earth's mantle, treating it as a viscous fluid and partitioning it into a large number of cells. We model the flow of rock as the result of solid-state creep: the rock is solid, but it deforms and flows like a fluid. The Los Alamos National Laboratory, where I had developed the model, was impressed, and in 1983 made me an offer to work in its theoretical division.

How does this work relate to the Genesis flood?

My main interest is in modelling catastrophic plate tectonics. Laboratory experiments show that silicate minerals can weaken by a factor of a billion under relatively modest stress change. As a slab of rock descends into the mantle, there's deformation in the zone between the slab and the surrounding mantle. As the stress increases, the material becomes weaker, allowing the slab to fall more rapidly. This increases the stress, so you have positive feedback. This allows plate motions that are generally understood to require hundreds of millions of years to unfold to occur in a few weeks. It results in significant deformation in the height of the continents' surfaces, and the height of the ocean's bottom. Apparently, the continents were largely submerged. In roughly a year's time, we have almost a complete resurfacing of the planet. At the end, we have a wrecked, desolate planet that is struggling to recover.

You have conceded one major problem, which is how the newly formed crust could cool so quickly.

That is a problem. There would have been supersonic jets of steam, which I once thought might have carried heat into space. But I'm persuaded now that you can't cool the plates by that mechanism. Still, I believe that this accounts for the 40 days and 40 nights of rain: ocean water was carried up with these jets. Most of what I've described involves the present laws of physics, but there are a couple of issues where I believe there must have been some form of divine intervention. One has to do with accelerating nuclear decay rates, which can explain why radioisotope methods seem to give dates for some rocks of hundreds of millions of years. The second is a mechanism for cooling.

For most scientists, this is hugely problematical. They cannot invoke divine intervention in this way.

I don't deny that most people would come down on the side of the conventional view, right now. Until the case is strong enough, it's foolhardy of me to ask and insist that my peers buy into it. I personally have confidence that it's true. My close peers, at least, know my position and are interested in it. But most of them want to continue to be in good standing with their colleagues.

You don't seem to worry much about peer approval.

I was in college during the radical sixties. Even though I did not participate in protests, I think I came away with that kind of radical outlook. The Biblical Christian also sees himself as a kind of revolutionary. True Christians generally haven't enjoyed a lot of approval

Date: 2010/02/21 10:16:39, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Quote (Quack @ July 28 2008,06:08)
I suppose this is nothing new, but since we now have this Baumgardner thread, just for the record:

Interview with Baumgardner

From the link:

He asked me if I'd seen his article in "New Scientist". I haven't, has anybody here? I mentioned that's not exactly a peer-reviewed journal.

Well, I've just been linked to the interview by Andrew Sibley of the CSM (Creation Science Movement)

Lone voices special: God said, let the dry land appear
09 December 2006 by Peter Aldhous
Magazine issue 2581. Subscribe and get 4 free issues.
Read full articleContinue reading page |1 |2
Few earth scientists believe that our planet was created some 10,000 years ago and maintain that the Biblical account of Noah's flood is the literal truth. To have published papers in Nature and Science while holding these views is almost unheard of. John Baumgardner, creationist and geophysical modeller, tells Peter Aldhous how his Christian faith has shaped an unusual scientific career.

You've said that your primary goal as a scientist is "defence of God's word". Is this consistent with the scientific method?

Most scientists try to make incremental contributions. There are a few who are strongly driven by their world view; Richard Dawkins is a pretty dramatic example. I would put myself in that same category, although I hope that I'm not as abrasive. If people can do it on the other side, why should I shrink back?

What led you to geophysical modelling?

My original training was in electrical engineering. Later, I had a Christian conversion. After four years working on laser optics in the air force I had three years with Campus Crusade for Christ. During that time I started doing lectures on the origins of the Earth as described in the Bible, and found myself doing a lot of background research. In 1978 I realised that the Genesis flood had to involve rapid large-scale tectonic change. So I started a PhD in geophysics at the University of California, Los Angeles.

During your PhD you developed a computer model for the interior of the Earth that has been widely used. Tell us about that.

It models convection in the Earth's mantle, treating it as a viscous fluid and partitioning it into a large number of cells. We model the flow of rock as the result of solid-state creep: the rock is solid, but it deforms and flows like a fluid. The Los Alamos National Laboratory, where I had developed the model, was impressed, and in 1983 made me an offer to work in its theoretical division.

How does this work relate to the Genesis flood?

My main interest is in modelling catastrophic plate tectonics. Laboratory experiments show that silicate minerals can weaken by a factor of a billion under relatively modest stress change. As a slab of rock descends into the mantle, there's deformation in the zone between the slab and the surrounding mantle. As the stress increases, the material becomes weaker, allowing the slab to fall more rapidly. This increases the stress, so you have positive feedback. This allows plate motions that are generally understood to require hundreds of millions of years to unfold to occur in a few weeks. It results in significant deformation in the height of the continents' surfaces, and the height of the ocean's bottom. Apparently, the continents were largely submerged. In roughly a year's time, we have almost a complete resurfacing of the planet. At the end, we have a wrecked, desolate planet that is struggling to recover.

You have conceded one major problem, which is how the newly formed crust could cool so quickly.

That is a problem. There would have been supersonic jets of steam, which I once thought might have carried heat into space. But I'm persuaded now that you can't cool the plates by that mechanism. Still, I believe that this accounts for the 40 days and 40 nights of rain: ocean water was carried up with these jets. Most of what I've described involves the present laws of physics, but there are a couple of issues where I believe there must have been some form of divine intervention. One has to do with accelerating nuclear decay rates, which can explain why radioisotope methods seem to give dates for some rocks of hundreds of millions of years. The second is a mechanism for cooling.

For most scientists, this is hugely problematical. They cannot invoke divine intervention in this way.

I don't deny that most people would come down on the side of the conventional view, right now. Until the case is strong enough, it's foolhardy of me to ask and insist that my peers buy into it. I personally have confidence that it's true. My close peers, at least, know my position and are interested in it. But most of them want to continue to be in good standing with their colleagues.

You don't seem to worry much about peer approval.

I was in college during the radical sixties. Even though I did not participate in protests, I think I came away with that kind of radical outlook. The Biblical Christian also sees himself as a kind of revolutionary. True Christians generally haven't enjoyed a lot of approval

Date: 2010/02/21 15:26:36, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Some "debates" which might be worth attending:

From Ham's blog today:


Debate Summit 2010 will be held March 12th – 13th and includes nationally and internationally recognized scholars.  The Debate Summit series exists as a forum designed to explain, test and defend various aspects of the Christian worldview by interacting with qualified representatives of non-Christian worldviews in moderated public debates.  Its goal is to create and maintain an atmosphere of civility, mutual respect and the open exchange of ideas.

The Debate Summit is hosted by Grace Community Church of Washington Court House, Ohio.

Debaters for this year include Dr. Will Provine of Cornell University.  Dr. Provine is one of the world’s preeminent spokesmen for evolution.  On a popular level, he is perhaps best known for his interview in Ben Stein’s documentary, “EXPELLED:  No Intelligence Allowed”.   …

Dr. Provine’s … first opponent is Dr. Andy McIntosh of Leeds University (United Kingdom).  Dr. McIntosh lectures internationally and is an expert in thermodynamics, combustion theory and aerodynamics.  The Provine/McIntosh debate topic is “Flight in birds and bats:  Is evolution or creation the best guide?”.  Dr. Provine’s second debate is with Dr. Dennis Sullivan of Cedarville University (OH).  Dr. Sullivan, a former surgeon, is Professor of Biology at Cedarville and is the Director at the University’s Center of Bioethics.  The Provine/Sullivan debate will be “Free Will:  Does it exist?  Does it matter?”

[In  the third debate] Dr. Ed Buckner [President of American Atheists] will debate Jay Lucas, the Senior Pastor of Grace Community Church. … .  The Buckner/Lucas debate will be “Moral Foundations:  Which makes more sense, Christianity or Atheism?”.

Complete information can be found at

Date: 2010/03/01 15:44:12, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
This is good. I was beginning to think today was the 1st of April rather than the 1st March:

South Dakota legislature declares that astrology can explain global warming:

That there are a variety of climatological, meteorological, astrological, thermological, cosmological, and ecological dynamics that can effect (sic) world weather phenomena and that the significance and interrelativity of these factors is largely speculative.

The resolution invokes these fallacious claims in the service of four points: “That global warming is a scientific theory rather than a proven fact”; “That there are a variety of climatological, meteorological, astrological, thermological, cosmological, and ecological dynamics that can effect [sic] world weather phenomena and that the significance and interrelativity [sic] of these factors is largely speculative”; “That the debate on global warming has subsumed political and philosophical viewpoints which have complicated and prejudiced the scientific investigation of global warming phenomena”; and that instruction about global warming should be “appropriate to the age and academic development of the student and to the prevailing classroom circumstances

Date: 2010/03/06 05:47:15, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
I will repeat my convictions. To teach with textbooks does a disservice to the student

Surely a student needs textbooks as a reference ?

Date: 2010/03/10 05:30:41, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Does the University of Britiah Columbia know about this ?:


Sept 20-24th  

1 week of ministry at University of British Columbia

oh and there's two weeks of field trips for USA folks on the Cumberland Plateau:

OCTOBER 2010 Two weeks of field trips for USA folks on the Cumberland Plateau click HERE for details.

Date: 2010/03/28 07:03:19, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Ham is now cuddling up to Comfort:

and Crouch:

or is it vice versa ?

Date: 2010/03/31 17:09:19, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Quote (MichaelJ @ Mar. 31 2010,13:54)
While we are on human physiology can Robert please explain why God gave us a body more suited to running around on all fours causing most of us to have bad backs and knees.

You're behind the times Michael:

Back pain vs evolution
Richard pointed out that evolutionary theory can be unproductive for research:

‘For example, the curve of the lumbar spine towards the front—the lordosis—was thought by evolutionists to be a problem, the result of man having recently adopted an upright position. So, some researchers blamed back pain on this, saying the spine had not yet evolved satisfactorily. If therapists have the wrong starting assumption, then it’s not surprising that treatments for lordosis are unhelpful. If a spine fracture causes a lumbar kyphosis (curvature in the opposite direction), that spine is significantly weakened.’1

He added that the creationist perspective has always been foundational to his research:

‘I start from quite a different position. From my understanding of human anatomy and physiology and my understanding of God, I say that the form of God’s creation always matches its function. So you can be sure that the form of the spine is perfectly designed for its function. God has made a wonderful spine. If you start with that premise, it gives you a head start when trying to understand the mechanism of the spine.

‘When you start to examine the biomechanics of the curved spine, asking why it’s that shape, and what’s good about it, you find that the arch of the spine has a beautiful purpose. Like the arch of a bridge, it adds strength. Because of that arch in the lumbar spine, a person with a lumbar lordosis can lift proportionally more weight than a gorilla with its kyphotic (opposite curvature) spine! So it’s not surprising that treating back pain with postures and exercises that restore the lordosis works exceedingly well.’2

The splendid spine

Injury Statistics
Our human spine is among the most ingeniously designed structures to be found anywhere. In this fallen world, it is estimated that 70–90% of all people in the US will suffer at least one back injury in their lives. Up to 25% become chronic. Much of this is exacerbated by failure to keep the surrounding muscles strong.
Since the spine is his specialist field, he could tell us about more of its amazing features:

‘My inaugural lecture in Aberdeen was “Upright Man”? and I tried to explain how the wonderful human spine is a perfect match between form and function. Things go wrong with the spine when we abuse it (if we fail to keep ourselves fit, or overload it, or have an accident). We are learning to use “foam filling”? in building (a sandwich of honeycomb material between two plates) to make something that is both light and strong, but the bones of the spine have been “foam filled”? with cancellous bone (with an open, latticed, or porous structure), surrounded by harder cortical bone, since the Creation.

‘The vertebral bodies increase in cross-sectional area as you go further down the spine, because in the upright position, the lower ones take more load. The bones are not denser, just bigger. By contrast, animals that walk on all fours have a roughly horizontal spine that is equally loaded all the way. So all their vertebrae are of similar cross-sectional area. Form matches function. If evolutionists were right in saying we had recently attained upright posture, our vertebral bodies should be like those of quadrupeds, but they are not.

‘We designed radial-ply tyres for motor cars, but God constructed the rim of the intervertebral disc with radial-ply fibres from the beginning. That construction makes a healthy disc stronger than the bones. When one examines the way the human body is formed and how it works, one is constantly amazed. It’s like looking at a piece of beautiful bone china and seeing the maker’s mark beneath.’

Apparently evolution has held up the treatment of back injuries for years, or so i've been told.

Date: 2010/05/02 15:10:45, Link
Author: Peter Henderson

I'll post this on Premier Christian Radio's discussion forum:

The place is awash with YECs, many of whome seem to know a lot about information theory despite having absolutely no science qualifications whatsoever

I do hope you'll provide me with an answers to the code challenges though (as I haven't a clue).Send me a private message if you like.

Date: 2010/05/10 11:31:05, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
I came across this while browsing a YEC website:

The Alternative Cosmology Group (ACG) was initiated with the Open Letter on Cosmology written to the scientific community and published in New Scientist, May 22, 2004. The text of the letter is as follows:

"The big bang today relies on a growing number of hypothetical entities, things that we have never observed -- inflation, dark matter and dark energy are the most prominent examples. Without them, there would be a fatal contradiction between the observations made by astronomers and the predictions of the big bang theory. In no other field of physics would this continual recourse to new hypothetical objects be accepted as a way of bridging the gap between theory and observation. It would, at the least, raise serious questions about the validity of the underlying theory.

But the big bang theory can't survive without these fudge factors. Without the hypothetical inflation field, the big bang does not predict the smooth, isotropic cosmic background radiation that is observed, because there would be no way for parts of the universe that are now more than a few degrees away in the sky to come to the same temperature and thus emit the same amount of microwave radiation.

Without some kind of dark matter, unlike any that we have observed on Earth despite 20 years of experiments, big-bang theory makes contradictory predictions for the density of matter in the universe. Inflation requires a density 20 times larger than that implied by big bang nucleosynthesis, the theory's explanation of the origin of the light elements. And without dark energy, the theory predicts that the universe is only about 8 billion years old, which is billions of years younger than the age of many stars in our galaxy.
What is more, the big bang theory can boast of no quantitative predictions that have subsequently been validated by observation. The successes claimed by the theory's supporters consist of its ability to retrospectively fit observations with a steadily increasing array of adjustable parameters, just as the old Earth-centered cosmology of Ptolemy needed layer upon layer of epicycles.

Yet the big bang is not the only framework available for understanding the history of the universe. Plasma cosmology and the steady-state model both hypothesize an evolving universe without beginning or end. These and other alternative approaches can also explain the basic phenomena of the cosmos, including the abundances of light elements, the generation of large-scale structure, the cosmic background radiation, and how the redshift of far-away galaxies increases with distance. They have even predicted new phenomena that were subsequently observed, something the big bang has failed to do.

Supporters of the big bang theory may retort that these theories do not explain every cosmological observation. But that is scarcely surprising, as their development has been severely hampered by a complete lack of funding. Indeed, such questions and alternatives cannot even now be freely discussed and examined. An open exchange of ideas is lacking in most mainstream conferences. Whereas Richard Feynman could say that "science is the culture of doubt", in cosmology today doubt and dissent are not tolerated, and young scientists learn to remain silent if they have something negative to say about the standard big bang model. Those who doubt the big bang fear that saying so will cost them their funding.

Even observations are now interpreted through this biased filter, judged right or wrong depending on whether or not they support the big bang. So discordant data on red shifts, lithium and helium abundances, and galaxy distribution, among other topics, are ignored or ridiculed. This reflects a growing dogmatic mindset that is alien to the spirit of free scientific inquiry.

Today, virtually all financial and experimental resources in cosmology are devoted to big bang studies. Funding comes from only a few sources, and all the peer-review committees that control them are dominated by supporters of the big bang. As a result, the dominance of the big bang within the field has become self-sustaining, irrespective of the scientific validity of the theory.

Giving support only to projects within the big bang framework undermines a fundamental element of the scientific method -- the constant testing of theory against observation. Such a restriction makes unbiased discussion and research impossible. To redress this, we urge those agencies that fund work in cosmology to set aside a significant fraction of their funding for investigations into alternative theories and observational contradictions of the big bang. To avoid bias, the peer review committee that allocates such funds could be composed of astronomers and physicists from outside the field of cosmology.

Allocating funding to investigations into the big bang's validity, and its alternatives, would allow the scientific process to determine our most accurate model of the history of the universe."

The goals of the ACG are:

To facilitate the communication between scientists whose experimental and/or theoretical research will lead to better understanding of the universe

To generate research proposals

To create and publish a peer reviewed journal

To convene conferences on hot topics in Cosmology

To maintain permanent web site, which will be a beacon of progress in the understanding of the universe

The ACG is an open society of scientists from all over the world, dedicated to the advance in cosmology and basic research. Any scientist in agreement with the Open Letter ( is invited to join.

While I doubt it's YEC, are there YECs within their ranks ?

I'm constantly referred to the big bang dissenter's letter to New Scientist magazine by YECs. I assume it's to discredite big bang cosmology, and also peer review which the YECs claim is highly biased.

Date: 2010/06/08 13:51:39, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Anyone have a good way of getting rid of mice ?

The ones I have under my stairs are damned clever. I think they've evolved

Date: 2010/06/13 04:29:19, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Do the Americans even realise the world cup is taking place ?

Date: 2010/06/13 07:38:40, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
I even watched a little of the game

Really, you lot need educating about the beautiful game, you really do.

although we did'ne qualify this time, we've had our fair share of triumphs. 1982 in particular when we beat the mighty Spain and eventually got to the quarter finals:

We've even beaten England on the odd occasion:

and Norn Iron did produce one of the best footballers (not saccer players) of all time:

Former football star George Best has died in hospital at the age of 59 after suffering multiple organ failure.
Best, who was admitted eight weeks ago with flu-like symptoms, died at 1255 GMT. London's Cromwell Hospital said it ended "a long and very valiant fight".

Son Calum, 24, who had kept a bedside vigil, said: "Not only have I lost my Dad... we've all lost a wonderful man."

The ex-Manchester United and Northern Ireland star is to be buried in Belfast beside his mother, Ann, late next week.

Best's father Dickie, 87, who was among relatives at his bedside overnight, asked for the family to be left to grieve in peace.

He died far too young:

Date: 2010/06/14 10:40:33, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Or worse, they could be forced to watch an American football game.

Well, I can't understand American football at all. I've been told it's something similar to Rugby League but all that padding ??????

Still, it was quite popular over here a while ago.

We've a good Ice Hockey team now:

But they're mostly American. It's strange listening to Americans with semi belfast accents, though not the same as Graham McDowell.

It's not quite the same the other way around.

Date: 2010/07/15 16:16:06, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Should we be scared or depressed ?:

At the end of the program I asked the children what was the most likely age of these dinosaur bones—and they all answered, “around four thousand three hundred years ago.”  That was because I taught them that most fossils came from the Flood around 4,300 years ago—the kids certainly got the message!

Date: 2010/07/18 06:04:44, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
On a final note, in every class I've ever taught 90% (or more) of the class was there to learn the material to pass the test and then move on.

Indeed skeptic, that's what I seem to remember about school,even up to third level education (I was one of that 90 % I'm afraid, though I was always keen to learn). In that respect, passing the exams and moving on in third level education was important in that it was a means to getting a job. If you were good at this (i.e. passing the exams and then moving on) you could get a very well paid job. I know this all too well from personal experience.  

Only those few students really wanted to know more and were blessed with that trait that pushed a strong scientific curiosity.

But did they pass the exams ? Ther's absolutely no point in being curious at this stage if you can't pass the tests.

Date: 2010/07/18 15:27:41, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
I keep hearing the phrase "critical thinking" from YECs (often from those with no science qualifications whatsoever) but what is it ?

When I did chemistry, it was a case of learning and remembering facts and theories and applying those to questions posed in exams, not critical thinking. I'm sure this must be the same in biology and other subjects. In my opinion, the real critical thinking comes at post grad stage i.e. PhD level. Not post primary level.  

For example, I learned organic chemistry from this book:

How do you do critical thinking in  organic chemistry ? Is it a case of attempting to prove Morrison and Boyd wrong ?

Date: 2010/07/19 04:41:26, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Quote (lkeithlu @ July 18 2010,17:04)
Quote (Peter Henderson @ July 18 2010,15:27)
I keep hearing the phrase "critical thinking" from YECs (often from those with no science qualifications whatsoever) but what is it ?

I'm not sure this answers your question, but let me describe how science can taught, even at high school level but certainly in undergrad:

Once the students have gained a little experience and content, their hands on exercises can be open-ended inquiry. For example (obviously some disciplines are better adapted for this than others) a biology class can learn basic field techniques to do a local stream study or diversity survey. If the classes do this yearly, they can accumulate data that can be analyzed for statistical value, produce studies that the next year's students can expand on, or show changes or variation in a population. The methodology (collecting, sampling, journal writing, classifying, researching in books and on the web about habitat, etc) is what field scientists do.

Now, of course, this takes time. Time that right now is devoted to preparing for exams, like gateway, AP, etc. These are mostly content exams, and the content is dictated. Teachers must have the time to take students outside and teach them how to do science. Schools saddled with NCLB test score requirements won't. Schools with limited facilities, insufficient equipment and supplies, oversized or unruly classes and teachers teaching outside their area of expertise to fill gaps won't.

Other examples can be described in physics, chemistry, etc. where students design experiments (with guidance, of course) choose methods, select equipment that can perform the task to the precision desired, define and control variables, predict outcome, assemble class information and run statistics on it, etc. They can suggest sources of error that are common to all groups, or suggest how one group might have gotten a result that was different than the others.  That is science.

I know it's possible because my school does it, even at middle school level. But we have all the advantages and none of the problems that most schools have. Kids enjoy science because they do it, not just learn about it.

The amazing thing is there are teachers that pull it off in a few public schools, in spite of all the disadvantages I listed. Some do amazing things with environmental science, even in big cities. These innovative teachers scrounge for funds, involve local science groups and businesses, and generate lots of excitement.


I'm sure I did quite a lot of that when I was at school, even up to third level chemistry.

However, I think the YECs see critical thinking as something entirely different. If they can fill kids minds with the crap I've quoted from Ken Ham above for example, then the kids can actually challenge the theory itself (or so they imagine). Not the same thing at all.

Date: 2010/09/01 11:54:39, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Who on Earth would employ someone as a geologist with this type of degree ? From Ken Ham's blog today:

Cedarville University also offers, as far as we are aware, the only specialist undergraduate creationist geology program at a Christian college in the USA (most probably the world).  They began this course in 2009, and state the following on their website:


by Public Relations Office—Cedarville, Ohio

February 9, 2009

Cedarville University’s Board of Trustees recently approved the formation of the Bachelor of Science in geology degree, set to begin in fall 2009.

Faculty will equip students for lifelong scientific leadership in career fields such as hydrogeology, environmental geology, petroleum geology and numerous other areas of expertise.

The degree will offer a whole host of new opportunities for graduates,” shares Dr. John Whitmore, associate professor of geology. “Geologists help us find clean drinking water, petroleum, natural gas, coal and valuable minerals.

The program will be unique in that no other Christian school, that holds to a literal six-day account of Genesis offers geology as a major for undergraduates. The course of study will be taught from both naturalistic and young-earth paradigms of earth history.

It is extremely important to develop critical thinking skills within the minds of young scientists,” describes Whitmore. “We believe that using a two-model approach of earth history will be advantageous to our students, since others are only taught a one-model, naturalistic approach. Geologists are important when it comes to thinking about earth history, especially within a biblical context.

Coursework will be rigorous and emphasize hands-on experience along with required field work. The geology major will include a wide range of liberal arts classes along with calculus, physics, chemistry, biology, physical geology, historical geology, mineralogy, petrology, structural geology, stratigraphy, sedimentology, geomorphology, invertebrate paleontology, and environmental geology among other upper-level areas of study. The major will prepare students for both graduate school and industry.

and from Cedarville's website:

B.S. in Geology
Cedarville's Bachelor of Science degree in geology provides a core of classes that prepares students for graduate studies or employment in a wide variety of geological fields. The program is unique in that no other Christian university that holds to a literal six-day account of Genesis offers geology as a major for undergraduates. Skills needed by modern geologists such as observation, interpretation, model analysis, critical thinking, and field work are emphasized throughout the program. Opportunities for undergraduate research and publication are encouraged. The coursework is rigorous and very similar to coursework at other secular, Christian, and private schools. It prepares students for a successful career in graduate school or professional employment in the geosciences.

Opportunities abound for students who successfully complete undergraduate geology curriculums. Employment opportunities include:

•Economic geology: all types of mining and mineral extraction from the earth including gold, copper, silver, coal, and iron
•Engineering geology: consultant on planning and construction of buildings, roads, bridges, landfills, and tunnels and planning against the effect of earthquakes and other geological disasters
•Environmental geology: water and soil testing and remediation, toxic chemical cleanup, environmental impact consultant, study and impact of climate change
•Environmental law: litigation of various aspects dealing with the environment and human impact
•Field geology: making of maps, monitoring geological hazards (earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis) and studying their potential human impact, field study and interpretation
•Geological education: opportunities abound from middle childhood through Ph.D. levels
•Historical geology: studying the past history and life of earth, paleontology and paleoclimatology
•Hydrogeology and hydrology: specializing in all aspects of groundwater and stream geology
•Petroleum geology: search and extraction of oil, natural gas, and coal
•Scientific writing and editing: write and edit scientific articles and books

Date: 2010/09/02 18:53:49, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Quote (fusilier @ Sep. 02 2010,13:55)
Paging Glenn Morton.

Call for Mr. Morton.

Date: 2010/09/03 05:13:58, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
I haven't heard from since his birthday. He is very concerned (reasonably) with his prostrate cancer, and I doubt he feels like wasting much more effort on any controversies.

Quote (Occam's Aftershave @ Sep. 02 2010,23:19)
Quote (socle @ Sep. 02 2010,19:23)
Quote (Peter Henderson @ Sep. 02 2010,18:53)
Quote (fusilier @ Sep. 02 2010,13:55)
Paging Glenn Morton.

Call for Mr. Morton.

Looks like Glenn hasn't posted on his climate change denier blog since 4/29/10.  I wonder if he's rid himself of (another) Morton's Demon.

Sadly, the answer is no.  He reappeared at TWeb last week posting the same old tired cherry-picked weather data, same pictures of weather stations next to AC units, same idiotic anti-AGW claims, etc.

The guy's lost it mentally.

Yep, sorry to hear he's not well Gary.

I think his testimony is invaluable, especially this bit:

Nothing that young-earth creationists had taught me about geology turned out to be true. I took a poll of my ICR graduate friends who have worked in the oil industry.  I asked them one question.

"From your oil industry experience, did any fact that you were taught at ICR, which challenged current geological thinking, turn out in the long run to be true? ,"

That is a very simple question.  One man, Steve Robertson, who worked for Shell grew real silent on the phone, sighed and softly said 'No!'  A very close friend that I had hired at Arco, after hearing the question, exclaimed, "Wait a minute.  There has to be one!"  But he could not name one.  I can not name one.  No one else could either.  One man I could not reach, to ask that question, had a crisis of faith about two years after coming into the oil industry.  I do not know what his spiritual state is now but he was in bad shape the last time I talked to him.

I think that question should be posed at every single YEC talk, especially when they start to make claims about geology.

By the way, I think his material at should be archived at Talkorigins. It's far to valuable to be lost should anything happen to Glenn. I'm sure he wouldn't mind if this were to happen.

Date: 2010/09/22 13:13:26, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Anisotropic Synchrony Convention has apparently solved the distant starlight problem for YECs.

From Dr. Jason Lisle:

We here explore a way in which light from distant galaxies can reach earth within the biblical timescale. Though the universe is created mature, we will ?nd that this by itself appears to be insuf?cient to explain our ability to see distant events, prompting the need for a solution to the “distant starlight problem.” The concept of synchrony conventions in physics is examined. The fact that relativistic physics precludes an absolute, invariant synchrony space is reviewed. We then explore the consequences and motivation for the use of the standard Einstein synchrony convention, followed by an investigation of alternative synchrony conventions.

In particular, we ?nd that an observer-centric anisotropic synchrony convention eliminates the distant starlight problem by reducing radially inward-directed light travel-time in the reference frame of the observer to zero. Such a convention implies that everything in the universe has an age of a few thousand years as we currently see it. The biblical basis for such a convention is explored. Potential objections to this synchrony convention are considered. When the anisotropic synchrony convention is applied to standard cosmological parameters, a new young-universe cosmological model emerges which makes falsi?able predictions.

I haven't a clue what he's on about, but I'd expect this to possibly be regurgitated time and time again by YECs when the problem of astronomical distances is raised.

Has he usurped Russell Humphreys and John Hartnett ?

Date: 2010/10/10 08:28:21, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
He's in Belfast on the 24th November.

Why was P.Z.'s talk at QUB free yet, Behe is charging £6.50 (apparently we get a free DVD if we book online)

Date: 2010/10/10 08:30:14, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Quote (Henry J @ Oct. 08 2010,23:25)
I've already asked the organizers if they approved of Behe saying that Astrology is science.

Shockingly, I haven't received an answer.

Oh, the answer to that is in the stars.


Gosh Henry, I wonder if the Crescent Church know about that one !

Date: 2010/10/13 17:55:45, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
I usually look at AiG's website every few days, just to see what new and unusual claims they are due to come up with next.

Today's article, quite a highly technical piece on peat moss, is written by someone called Duanne D. Miller, PhD:

Interestingly, AiG don't tell us anything at all about the author. I'd never heard of the guy so i did a quick Google. This is what I turned up. He's written two further articles on creationism:

Now I can't find anything else about Duanne D. Miller PhD, other than there's a member of staff at the University of Tenessee with that very same name:

and with a very impressive C.V.:

Is this the same Duanne D. Miller ?

It kind of got me wondering, just how many highly qualified US educaters are YECs without anyone even realising it ?

Date: 2010/10/13 18:43:23, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
I usually look at AiG's website every few days, just to see what new and unusual claims they are due to come up with next.

Today's article, quite a highly technical piece on peat moss, is written by someone called Duanne D. Miller, PhD:

Interestingly, AiG don't tell us anything at all about the author. I'd never heard of the guy so i did a quick Google. This is what I turned up. He's written two further articles on creationism:

Now I can't find anything else about Duanne D. Miller PhD, other than there's a member of staff at the University of Tenessee with that very same name:

and with a very impressive C.V.:

Is this the same Duanne D. Miller ?

It kind of got me wondering, just how many highly qualified US educaters are YECs without anyone even realising it ?

Date: 2010/10/13 19:27:52, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
As the Clergy Letter Project shows, quite a substantial proportion of Christian clergy do not subscribe to any such dichotomy.

and some scientists state Wesley, in no uncertain terms, that Christianity and science are incompatable:

"But surely," you might argue, "science and religion must be compatible. After all, some scientists are religious." One is Francis Collins, head of the National Institutes of Health and an evangelical Christian. But the existence of religious scientists, or religious people who accept science, doesn't prove that the two areas are compatible. It shows only that people can hold two conflicting notions in their heads at the same time. If that meant compatibility, we could make a good case, based on the commonness of marital infidelity, that monogamy and adultery are perfectly compatible. No, the incompatibility between science and faith is more fundamental: Their ways of understanding the universe are irreconcilable

Now where does that leave the clergy letter project ? Dead in the water, in my opinion.

Seems to me that Coyne and Sarfatti agree on at least one thing.

People like Coyne are the reason why so many Christians are persuaded more by AiG than real science, depite YECism's absurdity

Date: 2010/10/14 05:09:29, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
I largely agree with the clergy letter project Wesley, don't get me wrong and I agree with your comments.

However, every time Coyne (who I regard as far more extreme than Dawkins) makes one of these tatements he does the project no good and I become really quite dismayed.

It gives the YECs like Sarfatti ammunition, in my opinion. "See, we told you so, even Atheists can recognise there's a problem with evolution and Christianity". It also drives Christians who are wavering on the issue into the hands of the likes of Ken Ham.

Coyne's really saying that Christian's have to make a choice. Unfortunately, many will make that choice and become YECs, rather than give up their faith for the sake of science.

Last time Richard Dawkins was a guest on talkback (BBC Radio Ulster), he pointed listeners who accepted evolution and who were Christians in the direction of Francis Collins and Kenneth Miller.

Date: 2010/10/16 07:59:28, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
For a bit of fun with Star Trek:

but that joke's as old as the hills Richard.

Date: 2010/11/24 17:47:44, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Apparently, AiG are going to annouce plans for a theme park soon:

Date: 2010/12/02 10:51:29, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
The big announcement:

Frankfort, Ky. (Dec. 1, 2010)—Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear today joined the Ark Encounter LLC to announce the planned construction of a full-scale Noah’s Ark tourist attraction in northern Kentucky. Partnering with the Ark Encounter is Answers in Genesis, which is most widely known for its high-tech and popular Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky.

“We are excited to join with the Ark Encounter group as it seeks to provide this unique, family friendly tourist attraction to the Commonwealth,” said Gov. Beshear. “Bringing new jobs to Kentucky is my top priority, and with the estimated 900 jobs this project will create, I am happy about the economic impact this project will have on the Northern Kentucky region.”

The Ark Encounter is scheduled to open in spring 2014 in northern Kentucky. Multiple sites are being considered, although property in Grant County off I-75 is at the top of the list. A feasibility study conducted by the renowned America’s Research Group has indicated that the Ark Encounter may attract 1.6 million visitors in the first year and is expected to employ up to 900 full- and part-time staff.

More today:

FRANKFORT, Ky., Dec. 2, 2010—Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and the Ark Encounter, LLC announced Wednesday plans for a major new tourist attraction in the Northern Kentucky region: a full-scale Noah’s Ark. Partnering with the Ark Encounter is Answers in Genesis, which is most widely known for its high-tech and well-attended Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky.

At a packed press conference, Gov. Beshear emphasized his commitment to bring jobs to Kentucky as a result of strengthening the language in the Tourism Development Act. “Make no mistake about it, this is a huge deal to Grant County, to northern Kentucky and to the entire Commonwealth. As I indicated earlier, we strengthened the Tourism Act to help us create jobs and attract visitors, which this project clearly does,” he said.

Gov. Beshear also announced that the Ark Encounter had submitted all of the necessary applications to take advantage of the sales tax reimbursements offered for tourist attractions. He said this incentive in the Tourism Act is what drew the Ark Encounter LLC to Kentucky. “We are eager to work with Ark Encounter officials to make this exciting project happen, and we look forward to its completion,” he concluded. The Ark Encounter is scheduled to open in spring 2014, on about 800 acres off I-75 in Grant County, Ky., south of Cincinnati, Ohio. The land is under contract and the sale is expected to be finalized soon.

The for-profit Ark Encounter project will be privately funded, with an estimated cost of $149.5 million. Noah’s Ark itself will be built at a cost of $24.5 million, which will come from donations through Answers in Genesis and its “Ark Pegs, Planks & Beams” program. The additional $125 million for the rest of the complex will be contributed by the for-profit LLC.

Is Gov. Bashear a member of the Tea party or are they all nutty women ? Who on earth are the "for profit LLC". Is it some sort of government tourist quango ?

Date: 2010/12/02 17:09:34, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Oh, and according to Governer Bashear, there will be dinos on the ark;

or was that Mark who answered for him ? Does this guy not realize he's being played for a sucker by AiG big time ?

As for the 900 jobs, aren't these only open to Christians who are YECs ?

Date: 2010/12/02 18:30:12, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
More from Governer Beshear:

Date: 2011/07/09 08:34:05, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Right folks, this claim has been put to me several times by poohboy on Prremier's forum who claims it equates to finding a rabbit in the Cambrian i.e. it disproves millions of years and evolution:

Tell me, what do you know of pollen found in the Roraima formation?

I assume he's repeating the claim from here:

which appears to be quoting/quotemining this (which he's referred me to):

Please, could someone who's got a better knowledge of the geology of this region and what Silvestru and Weiland's claims are not answer the wee shite ? I've googled this and can't find anything at all on the creationist claims on this study.

Date: 2011/09/19 11:35:47, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Ham's been bragging about the crowds attending this conference for the last few days on his Facebook page:

Yesterday was the first day of an AiG conference at Portico Community Church Mississauga (not far from Toronto) in Canada. After the morning services and the two evening sessions, people were in long lines to get equipped with the AiG resources. The best way to describe what I observed is that the people were hungry for the books, DVDs, etc. Most of the AiG resources are not yet readily available in Canada, so people are thrilled at the opportunity to obtain them for their families, for witnessing, and so on.

The following are a few of the many testimonies I received yesterday:

?A young man told me he was an atheist up until a year ago. He said that the AiG resources have been very important to him to get answers and help him grow as a Christian. He said he loves apologetics, and because of his atheist background, he understands the vital need for apologetics resources to reach people like him.
?A pharmacist told me he displays AiG resources in the windows of his pharmacy and that he loves to witness to his customers. (His family have been to the Creation Museum).
?A pastor from a different church brought some of his congregation to the host church. He told me that on Sunday morning, I was speaking at his church even though I didn’t know it! He showed the Already Gone video for the morning service. He told me he uses AiG resources in equipping his congregation and that he was going to use AiG resources in actively reaching the community.
?I met a couple of teenage girls who asked me to sign their very worn AiG books—one was the children’s book, D is for Dinosaur. These girls said they were brought up on such books.
?A man told me he heard me speak 20 years ago, and it changed his life.
There were so many other positive testimonies. The AiG ministry is so needed in Canada. I had a number of dedicated people ask if they could be a part of bringing AiG to Canada! We will certainly be working with them to see what can be done.

Thought the Canadians would have had more sense

Date: 2011/09/19 13:22:39, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
There have been a few on the Panda's thumb from Canada in the past, as far as I can remember

Date: 2012/07/30 08:02:57, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Jason Rosenhouse needs to do a report on this one:

Join us at Lifeway Ridgecrest Conference Center for 5 fantastic days of learning, leisure, fellowship, fun and worship, with a top line-up of creation speakers from the US and around the world.

This family conference presents some of the world's leading creationist thinkers in the areas of creation apologetics, biology, geology, and cosmology. A full children’s program will also be provided teaching young ones how to think about the issues.

There will be something for everyone! Supervised activities onsite, free music concerts, powerlifting performances, geology excursions, Q&A panels and more!

Wednesday 1st – Sunday 5th August 2012

Date: 2012/10/17 08:46:40, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
I notice Glenn Morton's website is now currently unavailable.

Is Glenn O.K. ?

There were loads of excellent articles, including his testimony (which I've often used when arguing with YEC's).

It would be a shame to lose them.

Thankfully, his story has been archived on Greg Nayman's website:

Date: 2012/10/20 14:04:51, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
It's a shame he took the website down. I found a lot of the articles very useful, especially when arguing with YECs.

Still, at least his testimony has been archived on various sites

I disagree with him about the YECs though. I think they pose as big a threat to the chuech as they do to everyone else.

I don't think he's been particularly badly treated by the Atheist/Skeptic fraternity either, so I can't see what his problem is.

His particular type of cancer isn't good, so I hope he's O.K.

Date: 2013/01/21 18:10:45, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
I see Zack Kopplin has really pissed Ham off:

Students are being brainwashed with evolutionary ideas in almost all public schools and museums, and they are expected to accept it uncritically. We’ve made this point many times over the years, but a recent news story has made the brainwashing even more obvious.1 In 2008, Louisiana passed a bill that would allow teachers in the public school system to “use supplemental materials . . . to help students critique and review scientific theories.” Such critical thinking skills should be a part of an education process and are part of many state education standards.

Well, a 19-year-old student at Rice University, Zack Kopplin, is on a mission to repeal that law. He is being praised by the secular world for his ambition, as evidenced in a recent article about him.

Date: 2013/03/17 07:34:00, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
All of Glenn Morton's web pages are now available here:

I have preserved Glenn's creation web pages because if there is one thing I believe, it is this:-

There is nothing good that can come out of that which is false.

Creationism is a false doctrine. Glenn's pages illustrate this decisively. His contributions are too valuable to be allowed to disappear.

Date: 2013/03/17 09:12:21, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Yep, exactly.

There's a lot of good stuff in there including material that was missing from Glenn's original website (dead links etc.)

Talkorigins would be a good place to archive it, in my opinion.

Glenn is claiming copyright on those pages

I think he has said they could be freely distributed as long as no modifications or changes were made, if I remember correctly.

I agree they're far to valuable to be allowed to disappear

Date: 2013/05/08 10:25:31, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Yet another "greatest hoax" type book from another YEC, Wayne Talbot. I've been arguing with this guy over on the unbelievable Facebook group, but to no avail. Much of the usual YEC claims on evolution repeated. Here's a "Christian" review of this book:

Seems Wayne isn't a biologist but has a background in IT:

Talbot has a background in Information Technology, which allows him to look at things from a slightly different perspective than other authors in areas such as irreducible complexity. He demonstrates a thorough understanding of evolution’s complexities, yet does a good job of explaining things without losing the average reader in the process. By comparison, this book is an easier read than Michael Behe’s book Darwin’s Black Box, but no less helpful. The author systematically goes through Dawkins’ book, covering the majority of the chapters. While there are a few spots where having Dawkins’ book in hand would be helpful, there’s no need to have a previous familiarity.

Here's his blog:

Who should read this book?

This book is suitable for anyone from high school onward. The scientific discussions are not overly deep, and the logic reasonably simple. In essence, if two evolution believing scientists, equally qualified in biology and genetics, disagree on whether some process is even possible, it is illogical to argue that the case of either side has been proven. When a Professor of Evolutionary Biology remarks: “It is important to ask, though, whether true evolutionary novelties actually arise by mutation. For example, can both a new enzyme and the regulatory system that modulates its production arise by mutation?” and is unable to answer his own question in the affirmative, I would contend that in his mind at least, the case for evolution is not proven. This book provides numerous examples of where evolutionists express doubt, and where geneticists demonstrate that evolution as envisaged by Charles Darwin is not biologically possible. Later chapters question whether evolution can explain the numerous non-material aspects of human existence, and show where some evolutionists even assert processes which are actually contrary to the case they are trying to make.

This sounds very familiar:

3.Evidence that random genetic mutation, theoretically fixed in a population by natural selection, can increase the genetic information consistent with the evolved coding system giving rise to more complex organisms

Now where have I heard that one before ?

Date: 2013/05/08 18:17:07, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Here's Wayne in action:

Date: 2013/06/12 05:10:13, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Somehow, there's one giant conspiracy by scientists to hide the truth:

One of evolution’s trade secrets is its prefiltering of data to make it look good, but now evolutionists are resorting to postfiltering of the data as well.

Date: 2013/07/05 05:33:40, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
From Ken's Facebook page today:

The world premiere showing of the startling new Evolution vs God movie (produced by Ray Comfort/Living Waters) will be at the AiG Mega Conference, Monday night July 22! Ray Comfort (Living Waters ministry) will be present for this showing. My blog this morning will have all the relevant details. If you have not yet registered for the AiG Mega Conference to be held in Sevierville Tennessee (Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area) July 22-26--I urge you to do so. You can watch a trailer for this new movie at this link:

What an incredible opportunity to meet Ray Comfort and be there for the world premiere showing of a movie I believe will rock the creation/evolution world!

Date: 2013/07/06 16:32:12, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
PZ Myers, associate professor, University of Minnesota Morris

Is this another case of a scientist being tricked into appearing (unbeknownst ) in a creationist video ?

Is P.Z. Myers even aware he's appearing in the film ?

Ken has flagged this up on his Facebook page today:

Answers in Genesis to Host World Premiere of Movie that Exposes Evolution as Bogus Science

Ray Comfort, the film’s executive producer added, “We love the people at Answers in Genesis, and we asked them to review Evolution vs. God to make sure it was scientifically accurate. They loved it and only had a few minor suggestions. So having them host the world premiere is a great honor for us.”

Comfort added: “The movie is unique because we don’t interview any creationists. It shows that Darwinian evolution has no scientific basis, and it does so by going to the experts—to evolutionary scientists at UCLA and USC and holding their feet to the fire. If you believe in evolution, prepare to have your faith shaken.”

Why isn't this being presented to a recognised science body ?

Date: 2013/07/10 10:35:14, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
How Myers allowed himself to appear in this is beyond me, or is this quote mining par excellence ?

I presume the interviews were all recorded at the rally for reason rally, or something similar ?

Anyway, Ham is over the moon  about this bullshit:

I encourage you to read the following press release about the new movie Evolution vs. God produced by Ray Comfort of the ministry Living Waters. AiG will host the world premiere of this movie at the AiG Mega Conference later this month near Knoxville, Tennessee.

Evolution vs. GodEvolutionists are certainly aware that this movie is coming out. I’ve seen a number of their blogs that make all sorts of claims about the movie in their attempts to discredit it (even though they haven’t seen it yet)—it’s their attempt at “damage control.” Regardless of how well-done this movie is, the evolutionists will claim they were taken out of context, creationists don’t understand that evolution is happening, and it just requires time, etc.

As they usually do, the evolutionists in the film appeal to observable changes in living things as proof that evolution is happening. But these changes do not add brand-new information into the genes that is necessary to even begin proposing a molecules-to-man evolution. The bottom line is that molecules-to-man evolution is a lie and there is no observational scientific evidence that confirms it. On the contrary, observational science confirms the account of origins as given in Genesis.

I believe Evolution vs. God will do a lot of “damage” in the minds of many in the general public who have been indoctrinated to believe evolution is fact—which is why evolutionists are already scrambling to try to do “damage control.”

One of the unique aspects of this new movie is that no creationists were interviewed!

It will be very eye-opening for young people who have been brainwashed by their teachers to believe that evolution is fact. But see what happens when university students and professors are asked to defend this claim!

Date: 2013/07/18 15:57:50, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Comfort is currently on Revelation TV promoting his new film which he claims will demolish evolution.

Interestingly, he showed a clip where he asked a number of graduates at various universities if there was any "observable" evidence for Darwinian evolution of one kind changing into another.

None of the interviewees were able to answer the question (why was I not surprised). Now either they were very stupid, unaware of who Comfort was, or else this was some very clever editing indeed.

The first thing I'd have said to Comfort was can he define what he means by the word "kind".

He was also going on about everyone having faith of some sort. We faith every time we sit on a chair, or get in a plane for example. So faith in evolution is no different.

I'd have asked him if he thought scientists have faith in the periodic table.

I'd actually like to see a scientist who has seen the film (rather than appearing in it) debate Comfort on this load of nonsense, preferably a Christian (so it doesn't become "evolution vs God).

Wonder what people like Ken Miller think of this ?

Revelation TV will likely repeat this programme sometime tomorrow.

Current time in the UK, if you're interested, is 10 pm

Date: 2013/07/18 16:03:54, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Another claim he made was that when talking to Atheists he asked if they could make something like a rose out of nothing. Well, you can grow it from a seed was the standard reply but Ray then came back and said literally out of nothing.

Naturally, the Atheists flounder around unable to answer the question (according to comfort).

I honestly think some scientists who are Christians really need to have a go at comfort. In my opinion his understanding of both Christianity and science is way, way off.

Date: 2013/07/18 17:17:24, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
This was a whole load of graduates/Post graduates rather than Professors OgreMkV.

All appeared completely clueless and unable to answer the question (almost like loads and loads of Dawkins' type silences).

I'm not sure if it was very clever editing or not.

Answers ranged from "I dunno", "that's a very difficult question", "Now let's see, I'm not sure", through to just silence and a blank look.

Date: 2013/07/19 06:08:12, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Here's the recording of the Ray Comfort interview on Revelation TV last night.

Judge for yourselves:

After the Dawkins fiasco in "from a frog to a prince" surely the likes of P.Z. Myers should have had more sense ?

Did no one think of asking Comfort to actually define a "KIND"

Date: 2013/08/07 10:16:42, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
The film is now available on Youtube:

Date: 2013/08/07 19:52:48, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Review from the discotute.

Not particularly favourable:

Date: 2013/08/18 11:54:03, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
In the broader view, I just hope this doesn't do any harm to the pro science/anti creationist movement in general.

Apart from the discotute, I haven't read anything on the YEC blogs yet, but it's bound to turn up sooner or later.

Date: 2013/08/18 12:03:26, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
This has strong echoes of the Lord McAlpine affair in the UK a while back:

Date: 2013/08/18 16:37:59, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
I have seen people's careers destroyed because of claims like this.


Date: 2014/01/05 12:23:59, Link
Author: Peter Henderson
Wot's an "evolutionist" ?