42

The launch of the Your Origins Matter blog has been a little underwhelming. That being said, there has been a little more in the way of debate than I thought there might be.

One week in, where do we stand? Mathematically speaking, with a total of forty-two comments spread over seven posts:

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Can designer genes end up in anything but death?

As a comment by “YOM” itself reveals, “Please note that the original source for this article can be found at: http://www.icr.org/article/genetic-decline-humanity/.” That’s an Acts & Facts article from February by Brian Thomas, which I did not cover at the time. The premise of both that article and this is that humans are declining due to the Fall and all that: “how long do you think we’ll last?” they ask.

The basis for their claim rests primarily on myths and legends, both Biblical and other. Beowulf, for example, is cited, as are Goliath and King Og. They forget, however, that these things tend to be exaggerated – when they aren’t entirely made up. Nobody cares about a shortarse of a King. And what of the dwarfs? If Giants, what about the small folk? Their argument does not hold water.

Both articles also talk of fossils, with this one saying:

When scientists dig up human fossil remains, they actually discover that humans were much stronger in the ancient past. Bigger bones, taller stature and strength that made them even faster than today’s fastest humans, like Usain Bolt, according to Australian anthropologist Peter McAllister.

But how much of that do we really need these days? Evolution does not strive towards some arbitrary ideal, but what is best at the time. While I may be taller than Edward “Longshanks” Plantagenet – another point ignored here – I don’t actually need the strength to ride in armour or draw a longbow. What’s more, can you really determine that this “loss” actually translates to genetic ‘deterioration?’ I don’t think you can.

There are, as shown above, six comments on this post (including ‘YOM’s). Responses include a couple of comments pointing out problems along the lines of my own points above, and some attempts at defence by some creationists.

Are you Expecting the Unexpected?

This post meanders on a little about death, sin, and the Flood:

But there are those who would rather believe that death is somehow a “part of life” and simply “natural.” In fact, the whole of evolutionary science depends on the occurrence of billions of deaths to advance the development and progress of life. Death, in this view, is a good thing, not a judgment.

A curious argument, as death is a bad thing when it comes to natural selection. After all, the popular phrase is hardly “death of the fittest” now is it? You could also claim that that constitutes a kind of judgement, though hardly the variety envisioned biblically.

The five comments here discuss the merits of comment moderation – “I wouldn’t complain, and I haven’t; everyone’s entitled to moderate their own computers’ contents, online or off. I simply wonder whether it’s a very good medium for conversation and/or debate, as I’d initially been lead to expect something a bit different.” – along with the ‘point’ of the post.

Life: Is It All, or Nothing at All?

Dr Joseph Kuhn (MD) is described here as a “science expert,” and claims that “there are both anatomical structures and biochemical systems that must exist and function simultaneously and interrelatedly in order for the human body to be, well, really human.” In other words, the human body is perfect, yada yada yada.

A commenter (that is going by moths of the year) here calls creationists out on their circular reasoning. “Jim M” just doesn’t get it:

February said: “How is this theory any stranger than saying, for example, aliens came to Earth a long time ago and manipulated human DNA? Or look up the terms “panspermia” and “exogenesis.” Just because an (ambiguously translated and heavily edited) ancient collection of Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic texts says history happened a certain way, doesn’t mean it actually did happen that way. ” February, you answered your own question. We have God’s Word to back up this “theory”.

…and so on. Some other people chime in to claim that evolution is “not logical.”

What Do Magic, Rabbits, and the Big Bang Have in Common?

This post was at the front initially, hence it has by far the the most comments. It should be fairly obvious what its argument is: the Big Bang is fantasy etc.

The debate below is a confusing mess, as you can’t tell what comment was posted before the other. I assume the top is the most recent, but moderation seems to have added new comments out of order. ‘Jim’ is challenged on the metaphorical nature of the phrase “God spoke” – this got picked up by the YOM twitter and facebook feeds. The conversation itself is mostly TL;DR between a small group, with a few other voices chiming in:

My, how issues can become so convoluted. It’s simple. You cannot have an effect without a cause. There is no way around it.

So, God’s cause was..? But He’s supernatural, you say? So there is a way around it!

Death by Supervolcano?

This post is challenged by “Jonathan”:

I love this forum for promoting conversations regarding the relevance of a study of origins in our lives! But, I don’t know how a discussion of super volcanos and the end of the world has much to do with that. This post seems like it should fall more under a forum on why our “endings” matter, which, while it is an extremely good topic to discuss, just seems out of place and off-topic here.

That would be the ICR’s biblical POV showing through. There are no other comments.

How Would You Reply to This Poll?

The most recently posted article discusses that Gallup poll. The only two responses agree with the young Earth creationist position.

Do Your Origins Matter?

This final post – out of order because it is still featured at the front – is the video already discussed. A commenter asks:

Nice video, is there more? Also, do you teach geocentricity?

YOM replies:

@Tracy, we do have more videos on this website. Check out That’s A Fact. As for teaching geocentricity, the short answer is no, but there is a great article on the subject at: http://www.icr.org/article/geocentricity-creation/ .

That article, by the way, tries to be as noncommittal as it possibly can on the issue. You see, we can’t prove it either way. Or something. You’d think the Bible would tell us, wouldn’t you?

This post… didn’t really work very well, as wordpress is being annoying today. I’ll see if I can fix it in the morning. It’s working now (14/6), but I can’t be bothered fixing what I haven’t already. I will, however add:

  • The second That’s a Fact page (see here) has now disappeared, and while the main page briefly held the same style it now has another. The icrthatsafact.wordpress.com blog, meanwhile, is now ‘protected’ (i.e. invisible). But before that happened it gave an indication that the video series, currently seemingly on hiatus, is to return this weekend, strongly suggesting a reboot is in the works. Whether the wordpress blog will be part of that is unknown.
  • The ICR’s facebook page ran a poll earlier this week on people’s favourite Acts & Facts articles. Only a couple of dozen people voted, and nobody apparently liked the feathers one, nor Johnson’s Imitators article. A poll about bible translations, however, got significantly more attention. The largest proportion, though far from a majority, use the KJV (as you might expect).
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3 thoughts on “42

  1. Going “we’re getting weaker” is to over-simplify a very complex issue. For example, as I’ve written about on my own blog our gluteus maximus muscle is significantly stronger than say a chimp’s. However, they have much larger forearm muscles for climbing. Similarily, whilst neanderthals were stronger than us estimates suggest that they would’ve thus have needed more food to survive. By slimming down we can survive in much harsher conditions, which may have given us an edge when the ice ages hit Europe and food became scarce.

    For ever trait humans aren’t very good at you can find another that we are. And when we aren’t very good there’s normally a pretty decent reason for it.

    It reminds me a bit of answers in genesis non-acceptance of beneficial mutations. They admit that some changes can be good for an organism, but only in a certain environment. Those changes aren’t the best in every environment, thus they aren’t truly “beneficial” mutations.

  2. A new piece of pseudo-scientific and pseudo-historic drivel by Brian Thomas on 13 June – ‘Are Iceman Blood Cells Really the Oldest? ‘. It ends as follows:

    “Since the dinosaur fossils formed as a result of Noah’s Flood, which produced the Alps mountain range that Ötzi later walked upon, the dinosaur red blood cells are older than Ötzi’s by perhaps a millennium or two. In order to maintain belief in millions of years, those who insist that Ötzi’s are the oldest blood cells must ignore the dinosaur data.”

  3. I like this fantastically ignorant comment in the Magic Rabbits post:

    There is not near enough antimatter in space to prop up the Big Bang.

    Of course, one of the things we know about antimatter is that it gravitates in exactly the same way as matter … In fact, it is subject to all of the fundamental forces in exactly the same way (although for a specific particle pairing, the electric charges, if any, are opposite.)

    Can I point out though that, as antimatter isn’t mentioned in the Bible, it can’t possibly exist?

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