The ICR’s Acts and ‘Facts’ – June 2012

The Institute for Creation Research has a number of magazines, the most famous of which is the monthly newsletter Acts & Facts, which is often featured on the ICR’s front page. Here’s a brief summary of the June 2012 edition. For future reference the magazine can be found in pdf form here.

The editor’s column for this month is by Jayme Durant, Associate Editor (and the author of last months). This months edition of Acts & Facts is all about repeatedly insisting that “Genesis matters.” They have, in reverse alphabetical order, “Why Recent Creation Matters,” this “What Matters Most” article, “Does Genesis Really Matter,” and “Do Origins Matter?” They also advertise for a ‘conference’ called “Your Origins Matter,” ads for which were present last month also. A little monotonous, but whatever. Continue reading

Tomkins’ Chimps

A diagram of the Ape and Human genomes, exaggerated and simplified for effect: see below

The final article from the June Acts & Facts (that I intend to cover individually) is Jeffrey Tomkins’ Journal Reports Bias in Human-Chimp Studies. This is the latest in Tomkins’ crusade to prove that we aren’t really almost identical to apes.

The article is really just an advertisement for two papers authored by Tomkins along with Jerry Bergman in the April Journal of Creation on the subject of Human-Chimp genetic similarity (hence the title). The JoC is not open access, at least not when it is initially published, and so these papers aren’t available. On Tomkins’ blog, Designed DNA, there is a form for asking for these papers – I have asked, but have not received. What is available, however, is Bergman’s “Anders Breivik—Social Darwinism leads to mass murder“: other pieces of nonsense in this edition include John Baumgardner’s “Is plate tectonics occurring today?”, Humphreys’ “The moon’s former magnetic field—still a huge problem for evolutionists”, the rather out of date Jonathan Sarfati’s “Neutrinos faster than light?—will relativity need revising?”, and another article by Sarfati called “Should creationists accept quantum mechanics?” (he says “yes,” if you’re wondering). Micheal Oard also claims that “Post-Flood man is becoming smarter and more human,” something that could prove useful in countering the ‘genetic entropy’ lot. Continue reading

Evolutionary Surgery: Changing Your Mind is a Bad Thing

A Tonsillectomy, as I know *everyone* likes looking at pictures of surgery...For his June 2012 Acts & Facts piece James J. S. Johnson talks about the ‘vestigial organs’ subject I last discussed with the That’s a Fact video on the subject. He begins his article, Tonsils, Forensic Science, and the Recent Fabrication Rule, with the following question:

Would God give us a body part that we don’t need?

Already we can see that he’s attacking a straw man. The importance of vestigial organs in evolution is not that they are entirely non-functional, but that they represent examples of organs that have fallen into disuse when it comes to their function in other animals, but are still used (or now used, as the case may be) for another, minor purpose. Continue reading

Who Needs Paley Anyway?

Not a watch, but nevertheless...

Paley’s Watch is one of the creationists best arguments: that is to say, it’s the best they have. But the opener to Jerry Bergman’s Acts & Facts article, Humans: The Imitators, sounds a discordant note. The watchmaker argument tries to claim equivalency between the design of humans and the (perceived) design of nature. But according to Bergman, human design is crap: Continue reading

Yet More Feather Denial

An Archaeopteryx feather
For their Acts & Facts article for June, Did Some Dinosaurs Really Have Feathers?, Brian Thomas and Frank Sherwin build on Thomas’ earlier feather denialism:

A new dinosaur fossil discovered in China supposedly indicates that it had feathers. The Christian Science Monitor reported that the fossil of the Yutyrannus huali, the “beautiful feathered tyrant,” was the largest yet found of the now famous Chinese “feathered dinosaurs.” The technical description published in Nature claimed that a “gigantic feathered dinosaur from the Lower Cretaceous of China” was recovered. But do these fossils really reveal former feathers, or does another interpretation, perhaps something as simple as decayed skin fibers, better explain them?

Yes, we’ve been here before.
Continue reading

Supervolcanoes of the Flood

Pinatubo: not to be sneezed at
In his June Acts & Facts article, Volcanoes of the Past, Dr John D. Morris argues for an exponential decay of the power of volcanoes since the flood. It should come as no surprise that this requires the cherry-picking of data in order to support his claims. But first, an introduction:

During the great Flood of Noah’s day, God unleashed His great power, exercising His righteous judgment on the wicked and violent civilization that had rejected Him. He promised not only to judge sinful man, but also to judge the earth (Genesis 6:13). All of Adam’s dominion (Genesis 1:26) came under the sin penalty because of his choice to reject God’s kingship over creation. By the time of Noah’s day, rebellion had increased so much that God finally enacted His just penalty for sin (Romans 6:23). He sent the worldwide Flood to punish the wicked world, purge the entire planet, and start over with the descendants of righteous Noah.

Don’t forget: Noah’s Flood was the genocidal cleansing of almost the entire population of the planet in retribution for their (unspecified) sins.
Continue reading