Acts & Facts – November 2012

I think that will do for this month’s edition. It’s already well into December so the usual ICR Acts & Facts page has switched to the next month, but a pdf can be found here and the links are all below anyway. I haven’t already written as much on these articles as I have in past months, so there’s a fair bit here that you haven’t seen before (or at least recently). Note also that November was also the month of the US holiday of ‘Thanksgiving,’ something which I ignored entirely, so expect a lot of articles on that.

Page 3: Snapshots of Thanksgiving (Jayme Durant)

Another typical editor’s column, but this time with the obligatory thanksgiving theme. Personal stories also seem to be obligatory for Durant, and it seems that she hasn’t had a very good time around Thanksgiving time in earlier years. Particularly distressing here is the tale of her seizure prone daughter, who Durant petitioned God to heal to no avail, eventually giving up:

Lord, I’m not asking for healing for her this time. I’ve asked hundreds of times all these years, and I know you’ve heard. For some reason, so far, you’ve said “no.” So I thank you because I know that you know what’s best. I don’t understand, but you’re my Father, and I know you love us.

At some point after this the girl got better, which was of course credited to God (rather than, say, the “grueling treatment [that] hadn’t yet delivered the hoped-for results”). I’m well aware that from the believer point of view this kind of thing is seen as an example of God’s mercy and plan for us all, but from an outsider perspective it does not look good…

Pages 4-5: Giving Thanks: Understanding the Biblical Emphasis of Thanksgiving (Henry Morris III)

Morris is apparently unable to unearth a direct biblical basis for the Thanksgiving holiday, or even saying “thank you,” but instead spends a page and a half largely talking about the alledgedly related concepts of “confession” and “praise” – his idea of biblical thanksgiving is apparently “the means whereby we acknowledge the receipt of God’s forgiveness.” There isn’t really much of interest in here, as you might guess.

Page 6: Bio-Origins Project Update, Evidence Against Differential Mutation Rates (Nathaniel Jeanson)

We already looked at this right at the start of the month, but to recap Jeanson and the ICR have now abandoned the flawed hypothesis about protein sequence divergence that they were talking about in October. As far as I have seen there is nothing about the Bio-Origins Project in the December edition, so we may have a while to wait before we here of their next idea.

Page 7: Events

Obviously, these are now all over. There weren’t a lot of them this month, the most notable being the various “international conventions” of the Association of Christian Schools which a number of ICR members attended.

Pages 8-10: What Good Are Experts? (James J. S. Johnson)

In an article we’ve already seen, Johnson gets all pedantic and legalese about the definition of “expertise.” He has harsh words for those who “smugly announce that the Bible is disproven?”, but has no wish to subject his colleagues to the same criticism.

Pages 11-13: Junk DNA Myth Continues Its Demise (Jeffrey Tomkins)

This seems to be largely a reprint of an earlier covered article on the subject of the ENCODE findings, with Tomkins repeating the blatant mistruth that the consortium “proclaim[ed] that the human genome is irreducibly complex and intelligently designed.”

Page 15: The Chattanooga Shale, an Evolutionary Enigma (John Morris)

In the most recently covered article Morris argues for the catastrophic formation of a random North American geological feature by attacking a “uniformitarian” view of its creation that nobody actually seems to hold these days.

Page 16: Big Bang Explanations Fall Flat (Jake Hebert)

In an article I decided against talking about for time reasons, Hebert argues fine tuning is necessary for the big bang and inflation. He cites a 2010 Scientific American article by Paul J. Steinhardt in support of this, though Steinhardt thinks he might have a way out of the problem in the form of a cyclical universe model.

Page 18: Human Mutation Clock Confirms Creation (Brian Thomas)

Thomas argues that genetic entropy means that we could not have evolved, as we would already be dead through mutational overload. Only, by his figures, we seem to have already exceeded the “human genome mutation tolerance,” so I don’t know about that. There’s been some stuff about genetic entropy in the news lately, but more related to the issue of relaxed selection pressures caused by modern civilisation, so I’m sure this wont be last we here of the business.

Pages 19-20: ‘Creation Revival’ at Local Church

This is really just an advertisement for the ICR’s conferences and the like. It’s interesting to note that they are glad of the “close proximity” of the churches in the Dallas-Fort Worth area that they often go to.

Page 21: Letters to the Editor

People really seemed to like Lisle’s “blue stars” article, for some reason. Also, an unspecified “correctional facility” apparently gets subjected to ICR stuff. I was under the impression that cruel and unusual punishments were against the rules, but it seems not.

Page 22: The Roots of Thanksgiving (Henry Morris IV)

I realise that this news will shock you deeply, but Morris IV wants some donations.

What is new, however, is that for once he doesn’t seem to explicitly ask for them in the article proper. Instead, this is a very typical “Thanksgiving is Christian” article.

Page 23: Thanks for Everything (Henry Morris)

The final article is merely a reprint of a Days of Praise piece by the original Morris from 2004. *Yawn*

So, that was November. December promises everything for mathematics to biogeography, so stick around.


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