Variations on a Common Theme

Compare these two paragraphs. First:

Scientists from Europe’s CERN research center presented evidence last week for a particle that is likely the Higgs boson, the last remaining elementary particle predicted by the Standard Model of particle physics.

And second:

Scientists from Europe’s CERN research center presented evidence on July 4, 2012, for a particle that is likely the Higgs boson, the last remaining elementary particle predicted by the Standard Model of particle physics. Does this discovery have relevance for the creation-evolution controversy?

These are the introductory paragraphs of two articles by Jake Hebert. The first was a DpSU, The Higgs Boson: A Blow to Christianity?, published on July 13 and covered in Have They Nothing Better to Talk About? on the same day (I was getting rather fed up with Higgs stuff by that point). The second is an article in this months Acts & Facts under the title The Higgs Boson and the Big Bang.

This more recent article is noticeably longer than the older one and yet I can’t find much by the way of (relevant) new content. This means that you may as well just read that earlier post for a discussion – I’ll not repeat myself. The cliffs notes version, however, is to say that the answer to the question tacked on to the second quoted paragraph above is “precious little.”

So what’s so interesting about that? It’s fairly common for DpSUs to be reused in this manner, but it’s usually Brian Thomas that does it (sometimes Frank Sherwin is credited in the A&F article as well). Almost a textbook example is Thomas’ own September article, A Recent Explosion of Human Diversity.

Everyone should know that the cosmos was created. It also stands to reason that those who “listen to Moses and the prophets,” as Jesus said, should be able to see more specific evidence of biblical creation, including scientific discoveries. One such evidence is human genetic diversity, which leaves evolutionary history in a quagmire, while confirming a straightforward interpretation of Genesis.

It would be nice (for them) if this were true, but I’ve not known such claims to ever stack up. The paper being abused here is Evolution and Functional Impact of Rare Coding Variation from Deep Sequencing of Human Exomes, and you might remember that as being from the first article discussed in Some Genetics mid last month (some time after the articles were actually published). But both of those two articles were by Jeffrey Tomkins, not Brian. So in this months newsletter we have two different examples of the old article repost trick, but different.

All of that is really a long way of showing you that the September edition of Acts & Facts is in fact really boring. They probably realised that there was nothing they could do to top the ‘plants aren’t alive’ and ‘all science is creation science’ articles from August. Instead (to give you a sneak peak of what’s to come) we get Nathaniel Jeanson confidently asserting that they’re on the cusp of proving the existence of discrete kinds, Jason Lisle outright denying the mere possibility of stellar formation, Rhonda Forlow reminding us once again of the damage she at least tries to do to her country’s children, and an extract from an ICR book published in 2009 is reprinted, quite possibly because they were out of material to fill the standard 24 pages (they also want to sell it, of course).

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