The ICR’s Acts and ‘Facts’ – December

It's time for the ICR's Acts and Facts, for December 2011The Institute for Creation Research has a number of magazines, the most famous of which is the monthly newsletter Acts & Facts, which is often featured on the ICR’s front page. Here’s a brief summary of this month’s edition.
At present, the December edition is on their Acts and Facts homepage. For future reference this edition can be found in pdf form here.

Contents/Permanent Links:

Tidings of Comfort and Joy – Beth Mull

It’s Christmas time and whether coincidentally or not, the regular presidents column is written not by the usual Lawrence Ford, but by Beth Mull, Managing Editor at the ICR. She returns to the usual introduction of articles, and ends with the following:

May God bless you and yours this holiday season.

The Gifts of God – Henry Morris

Adapted from an old pamphlet, this article credits gift giving with god and is a fairly typical christian christmas-related article in most respects. Amusingly, he also says:

Into this perfect creation, however, has appeared an intruder, a disordering agent. By man came sin, and then came the great Curse, and now the whole creation is under the bondage of decay (Romans 8:20-22). In science, this also is recognized as a universal law, the principle of increasing entropy, the “second law of thermodynamics,” the universally observed fact that everything tends to wear out, run down, disintegrate, grow old, and die. The term “entropy” (from two Greek words, en and trope, meaning “in” and “turning”) itself suggests that any system which “turns inward” for its strength will soon decay.

That is, he claims that the second law began at the Fall, which is one of Answers in Genesis’ Arguments Christians Shouldn’t Use. But, aside from that, this article isn’t very interesting.

First Phase Complete in Human and Chimp Genome-Wide DNA Comparison – Jeffrey Tomkins

This is the follow-up to Evaluating the Human-Chimp DNA Myth–New Research Data discussed in the October Acts & Facts post. As you might have guessed from the title, Tomkins has finished the “first phase.” He doesn’t give many details of the data he has found, but he does give a reasonably good explanation of what it is that he is doing, so this article is still worth a read. As for his results, he writes:

Excluding data for the large amount of chimp sequence that failed to align, a very conservative estimate of human-chimp DNA similarity genome-wide is 86.4 to 88.9 percent, based on the initial round of research data.

That sounds like pretty reasonable numbers, and I maintain my earlier opinion that there is a good chance that Tomkins is actually doing good science. At the same time, he’s not producing anything that would be challenging to evolution, or any of out ideas about the genetic similarity between Chips and Humans. You may remember from INDELs that, while the similarity between the very small portion of the genome that is genes is almost total, there are, in places, differences between Chips and Humans when it comes to the rest of it. You may also remember Brian Thomas claiming that “98 percent of DNA…is different!” [Omitted word is ‘that’, if you think that that’s a quote mine.] The reason for the discrepancy between genes and overall is that the majority of the genome is not conserved, and so after a few million years ten, twenty percent of the genome could easily diverge in this way. It will be interesting to know how large the “large amount of chimp sequence that failed to align” is, but while it’s possibly even in the double digits percentage-wise I doubt it contradicts, say, what the INDELs study found.

A report on this second round of experiments, along with a complete summary of the entire study, will be provided in an upcoming issue of Acts & Facts.

I’ll wait until then before I go any further.

‘Teaching Through Genesis’ to Be Featured at Pastors Conference

This seems to be a regular thing:

Each year, the Institute for Creation Research sponsors the Jacksonville Pastors Conference held at First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida. ICR board member Dr. Mac Brunson is senior pastor at FBC Jax…

That’s really their problem, not mine. The conference will happen January 26-29. The ‘ICR December Events’ banner at the top of the pdf version (we’re on page 7) lists only John Morris on December 5 at a “Men’s Luncheon” at the “First Baptist Church” in Conroe, Texas. Consider yourself warned.

A Christmas Carol in Four-Part Harmony – James J. S. Johnson

The same infinite God who became incarnate as a small baby had previously created the heavens and the earth, and all of its living inhabitants. To all of God’s creatures, great and small, He gave amazing bodies, fitted to survive and thrive. Those bodies that He designed His creatures to use—as they became fruitful, and multiplied, and filled the earth—showcase irrefutable proof that God is their glorious Creator.

Four categories of those creatures will be considered to help us appreciate the One who chose to come to earth and be born in the little town of Bethlehem in order to redemptively fulfill the Messianic prophecy of Micah 5:2.

You get the picture.

His first category is fish. Johnson lists many of the mentions of fish in the bible. He then gives a lengthy quote, which comes after this paragraph:

Paul Greenburg, himself a journalist for the New York Times, reported on the world’s piscatorial plight, illustrated by four of the world’s most commercially important fish: salmon, sea bass, cod, and tuna. Although much could be said about the commendable cuisine qualities of those four fish, it is the tuna fish that impressed the otherwise secular journalist to ponder the inability of evolutionary thinking to account for the tuna’s brilliant body and behavior:

The quote that follows that is from a book – Four Fish, the Future of the Last Wild Food – so I can’t verify it, but if it isn’t a quote mine (I have my suspicions that it is, especially given the square-bracketed insert that Johnson adds) I would have to disagree with Greenburg in his claim that it is difficult to imagine how the various features of Tuna evolved. However, I suspect that he goes on to explain it and this is like the famous Darwin eye quote.

Next category is crabs, for some reason. He asks:

Why do the female crabs “precisely” observe [their] optimal migratory cycle?

He answers his own question – if it’s optimal, natural selection will favour it. It’s just a negative feedback cycle. Instead, however, he says:

Because of the providence of God, who programmed the “software” inside these crabs’ bodies for them to behaviorally do what is needed, annually, to “be fruitful, multiply and fill” their special eco-niche, a part of which involves this astounding “cross-country crustacean” crusade.

Oh, right, it’s just God messing with us.

The final one is “Sheep (and Mankind).” You’ll note that, aside from humans, all of these are on the list primarily because they “provide very good eating.” I’m surprised the animals aren’t more Christmas Dinner related, as it happens, but then it’s perfectly possible that Tuna, Crab and Sheep feature prominently on Johnson’s table. He says of sheep:

There is no evolutionary explanation for the detailed digestive systems of sheep—it is as if the bodies of the sheep are biochemically singing to their Creator “How great Thou art!”

Yick. I’m pretty sure he has no source for his ‘no evolutionary explanation’ claim, and even if it’s technically true it just means that there is an opening for a book called On the Origin of Sheep Guts. Anyway, the bible likes sheep, Jesus was the Lamb of God etcetera etcetera etcetera.

Snowflake Bentley: Man of Science, Man of God – Jerry Bergman

Will this one day be a That’s a Fact video? We shall have to see. The article is about Wilson Bently, who studied snowflakes and worked out that they are all different etc. Apparently he was a “man of God.”

According to the quotes given by Bergman, Bently claimed that “Every crystal was a masterpiece of design; and no one design was ever repeated.” We know now that the ‘design’ of crystals is a natural consequence of the formation of it, and not God’s handiwork – it’s interesting that Bergman doesn’t realise that this is a point against the argument from design which the creationists so love.

The Failed History of Uniformitarianism – John Morris

Apparently, the satanic influence of Charles Lyell caused Darwin to ascribe some Argentine canyon to gradual erosion, rather than several ice-age floods.

But just as Darwin made a wrong turn on the Santa Cruz River canyon in Argentina, he was wrong about his claim of slow and gradual changes in the Galapagos animal populations. They were not new species in the process of evolving. The celebrated finch species are now known to all interbreed. The salt and marine iguanas also interbreed. The different species of large Galapagos turtles are only varieties of the same animal “kind.”

The point is that they adapt to their environment, not that they become new species. There’s nothing much else in this article.

Evolutionary ‘Game Changer’ Doesn’t Change Anything – Brian Thomas

Rewrite of the DpSU covered in A. sediba and the Laetoli Footprints. Nothing to add, really.

First SOBA Class Graduates

The Institute for Creation Research’s School of Biblical Apologetics (SOBA) is proud to announce the graduation of its first class.

Yeah, yeah, yeah… I do wonder what they do there, but the article is just an ad for the School, and doesn’t go into any detail.

Another appeal for donations from Morris IV. He also lists some examples of recent gratitude to the ICR, which if you like you can read about there.

Has Einstein’s Limit on the Speed of Light Been Broken? – Larry Vardiman

To finish, we have another rewritten DpSU, this one even less so. I don’t think that there is enough of a departure from the original to justify my own rewrite of my post on the first article.

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2 thoughts on “The ICR’s Acts and ‘Facts’ – December

  1. Pingback: IEE: Faith and Science « Eye on the ICR

  2. Pingback: IEE: Snowflake Bentley « Eye on the ICR


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