The Fact of Evolution

Dr John's Q&AFrom 1989 to 2006 the ICR ran a Frequently Asked Questions column – sometimes referred to as “Dr John’s Q&A” – in it’s Acts & Facts newsletter. For 2013 they appear to have revived the concept in the form of a new series of “Creation Q&A” articles. The first is by Nathaniel Jeanson, and his question is “Is Evolution an Observable Fact?

“Evolution is fact!” is one of the most popular evolutionary assertions made by evolutionists, ranging from those at the National Center for Science Education to those working for PBS. Proponents of Charles Darwin want you to believe that his hypothesis is being confirmed right before our eyes.

The NCSE page linked to does not actually make this claim, and neither does the PBS FAQ. Not a great start. Continue reading

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One Book, One Dogma

A medieval bulgarian bibleTwo articles in the January Acts & Facts edition argue a similar point. According to them, the young Earth creationist approach of biblical literalism is superior to world-views influenced by observation of the actual universe. The articles aim their attacks primarily at fellow Christians who don’t take the YEC position, but take slightly different angles.

The first is by Jason Lisle, and is called The Two-Book Fallacy. It begins:

The founder of the scientific method, Francis Bacon, taught that God has written two books: the Scriptures and the book of creation (or nature). Today, many professing Christians affirm this view. After all, the Scriptures teach that God’s attributes are clearly seen in nature (Romans 1:20). So we can learn about God through both Scripture and science—the systematic study of nature.

Continue reading

The Creation & Earth History Museum

The Museum of Creation and Earth History, in 2005Answers in Genesis have a Creation Museum – indeed, they’re famous for it. The ICR used to have one of their very own, but they sold it in 2008. In a thinly-disguised advertisement for the still-in-operation museum, an article in the latest edition of Acts & Facts catches up with how things are going back in Santee, California.

The Institute for Creation Research launched the Creation & Earth History Museum in Santee, California, in 1992. For 16 years, ICR developed and grew the exhibits with a mission to equip believers with evidence of the Bible’s accuracy and authority through scientific research, educational programs, and media presentations, all conducted within a thoroughly biblical framework. When ICR moved to Texas in 2008, the entire museum and its contents were sold to Scantibodies Laboratory, Inc.

The museum is now being run by Tom Cantor, who owns the Scantibodies company. He has made a few changes, which the article advertises. These include the “new 2,400-square-foot Human Anatomy Exhibit”; the “Tabernacle Theatre”; and the “Age of the Earth Mineral Cave.” Continue reading

Sinking the Ark

As part of the December edition of the ICR’s Acts & Facts magazine I looked at an article by John Morris attempting to defend the feasibility of constructing the Ark by arguing that Noah and his sons would have had time to move the required volume of lumber. This is, however, hardly the most problematic aspect of the story, and so for the just-posted January edition Morris has written The Survival of Noah’s Ark, which is an attempt to defend the boat’s ability to float in the conditions.

Skeptics raise a serious objection to the Flood account given in Scripture: How could Noah’s Ark and its precious cargo survive the turmoil of the Flood? Wouldn’t it have sunk beneath the waves, sending its cargo to a watery grave?

Some very important questions there. Having read Morris’ defence, I would have to say that the answers are still “it couldn’t” and “it would have” respectively. Continue reading

2012 in Review: Soft Tissues

Unexpectedly, a new article has appeared in the DpSU section: The Best Creation Science Updates of 2012: Earth Sciences, by Brian Thomas. From the title we can reasonably assume that this is the beginning of a series revisiting the year’s triumphs, something that didn’t happen last year. Conveniently this is also the first year when I already have stuff on the vast majority of all potential “best creation science updates,” so I can tell you already that “triumph” isn’t exactly the most accurate description. Continue reading

The Book that Deceived the World

The Institute for Creation Research has a weekly radio show called Science, Scripture, & Salvation. Or at least they had a radio show – certainly, I can’t find any evidence that they’re still making new episodes. The Book that Deceived the World is one of these episodes, and yes, they’re talking about The Origin of Species:

Words can be a powerful and persuasive tool for good or evil. In 1859 a book that challenged the truthfulness of God’s Word and denied Him as Creator was published and became widely received. What was this book that deceived the world? Tune in to find out and to learn why it is still so popular.

The radio show shares certain similarities with the That’s a Fact videos. Most importantly both shows contain a lot of spurious claims about how the evidence shows that evolution is false, but at the same time they never actually show this “evidence.” As such, both SSS and TaF constitute examples of how the ICR presents its case to the true believers. It’s not particularly nuanced. Continue reading

Happy Holidays

It has finally cooled down enough to allow cognitive functions more complex than saying “thank you” and reading comics, so I’ll take a moment to wish everyone a <positive adjective> <solstice festival>!

Will that do, or would you rather it in regex form?

Anyway, regular posting will probably return within the week, which is to say shortly after the ICR does the same.

The Star of Bethlehem

Supernova remnant N 63AIn 1955 Arthur C. Clarke published a short story titled The Star, about (spoilers!) a Jesuit astrophysicist investigating the remnant of a supernova referred to as the “Phoenix Nebula” that destroyed a civilisation when it exploded. This is revealed to have been the source of the star over Bethlehem, concluding:

[O]h God, there were so many stars you could have used. What was the need to give these people to the fire, that the symbol of their passing might shine above Bethlehem?

Did I mention spoilers?

Anyway, Your Origins Matter has today posted an article called The Most Famous Star, about possible explanations for the event – supernova or supernatural. Continue reading

Acts & Facts – December 2012

The December edition of Acts & Facts was actually a little less Christmas-y than I expected. This was not a very difficult accomplishment, however: if you have already had enough of the season then I suggest you stop reading, as I have already looked at most of the non-Christmas articles and there wont be much else that’s new.

Because it’s still December as I write this, the usual page on the ICR’s website is still current. There’s also a pdf of the magazine here, and all of the relevant links are below. Continue reading

The Black Sea Deluge

The Black Sea, from spaceAs the last surviving remnants of the ancient Tethys Ocean, the various bodies of water in the area stretching from the Mediterranean to (what’s left of the) Aral sea have had a rough time of it during the last couple of million years. The Mediterranean is of course connected to the Atlantic via the narrow Strait of Gibraltar, which has closed in the past causing the sea to largely dry up. Similarly, the Black Sea is connected to the Mediterranean via the even narrower Bosporus.

There is a hypothesis, recently brought back to public attention, that around 5600 BC the Bosporus was opened, flooding what had previously been a freshwater lake and bringing its level up to the modern height. This idea has become associated with a possible origin for the Noachian flood myth. Hence Brian Thomas’ latest article, Did Underwater Archaeologist Confirm Noah’s Flood?

Underwater archaeologist Robert Ballard claimed to have found evidence beneath the Black Sea that Noah’s Flood really occurred. Christians who only read headlines may count this as confirmation of the Bible. But whatever Ballard found should not be considered direct evidence of Noah’s Flood.

Thomas’ position is unusual: similar to what we saw with the apocalypse business yesterday, Brian is pointing out that no this is not evidence of the Flood, but at the same time insisting that the Flood did in fact happen anyway. Continue reading