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

Tigon Redux

A couple of ligersBack in September Brian Thomas wrote an article about interbreeding in the cat family, specifically crosses between tigers and lions. As I said at the time:

You have probably heard of ligers: tiger/lion crosses, where the lion is the female parent. Tigons, or tiglons, are the opposite – the tiger is the female.

According to Brian, this interbreeding shows that cats form a single baramin (and that baramins actually exist), capable of reproducing “after their kind.” Curiously, he never explained why he was bringing up the subject then – the news he described as “recent” was from March. A week later, however, Jeff Tomkins wrote his own take (commentary) mentioning some more recent news that actually broke a couple of days after Thomas’ article.

As often happens, for this month’s Acts & Facts Brian rewrote his September article. Aside from an update to mention the more recent news there are a few other things that make this worth covering. Continue reading

A Great Volume of Lumber

The Building of Noah's ArkJohn D. Morris, President of the Institute for Creation Research, has a new book – called The Global Flood. I’m not entirely sure to what extent this book is supposed to be a successor to Whitcomb and (Henry) Morris’ 1961 tome with a similar name (The Genesis Flood), but I don’t get the impression that this was the intent. That’s not important, however. More relevant is that John Morris’ usual Acts & Facts column has been replaced this month by an excerpt “adapted” from the book, entitled An ‘Impossible’ Task?

Forced to pick the most implausible part of the Flood story, it is easiest to talk about the ark itself. The ark is supposed to have been a very large, wooden ship that was supposed to hold a very large amount of animals for about a year in what had to have been, factoring in your favourite hypothesis for how the flood itself worked, some extremely rough seas. For their part young Earth creationists have done their best to try to justify aspects of the account – whole books have been written about the topic. The excerpt here is one example, and if it’s in any way representative of other attempts then the YECs are in a bad way indeed:

By any estimation, the building of Noah’s Ark was a monumental task. Assuming an 18″ cubit, the Ark was 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. Could Noah and his sons have accomplished it? By making reasonable assumptions, we can perhaps determine whether the task was too great.

Morris’ “reasonable assumptions” are, of course, of the “just make up a number and call it a conservative estimate” school of educated guesswork. Continue reading

1066 and All That

It’s not often that I talk about (comparatively recent) history on this blog. The struggles of kings have little direct relevance to the age of the Earth, after all, or the origin of species. But that isn’t about to stop the intrepid James J. S. Johnson, whose December article is called Christmas, Vikings, and the Providence of God. He asks:

How are two famous Viking battles in 1066 related to the very first Christmas?

The battles in question are, of course, Stamford Bridge and Hastings – the latter of which only involves Vikings if you decide to define the Normans as being “still Vikings,” in true creationist style. It may take a while to get to the purported answer to the above question, but as a clue it has something to do with the following four people (click for more information):

Continue reading

The ICR Needs YOU!

A month ago the Natural Historian was wondering where the next generation of creation scientists were hiding – not the next crop of believers, but the next “scientists” like Russell Humphreys and Henry Morris. The Institute for Creation Research may be asking themselves the same question as, accompanied by a stock photo of a person in a lab coat inspecting unlabelled agar plates, Jake Hebert writes in the newly-released December Acts & FactsWanted: Young Creation Scientists“:

ICR, together with the rest of the creation science movement, has made great strides in the last 40 years. In many areas, the superiority of the creation worldview has been clearly demonstrated. Even now, ICR is making exciting discoveries in the fields of biology and geology, and we have started new research initiatives in the field of astronomy. However, there is much work that still needs to be done, and this work is hindered by a lack of trained scientists.

Yes, it’s all like that. I’ll not spoil it for you by quoting more – go and read it all, next time you need a laugh. The take-home message is that budding creationists should by all means go to university and get a science degree, but they should keep their heads down so they don’t get “persecuted.” I’m guessing Hebert means “laughed at” there.

I realise that I’m not yet done with the previous month’s edition of the magazine, so I’ll get back to that before I do much further on December.