Creationism at University

Genesis page 1, KJVOver the last week there has been an explosion of interest in the blogosphere about an amusing article from December of last year by Jake Hebert, called “Wanted: Young Creation Scientists” (which we looked at at the time). The likes of Larry Moran jocularly treated it as an actual job advertisement, but in fact Hebert was offering advice rather than employment. In particular, he said:

Work hard to get the best possible grades and push yourself to truly understand the material. When choosing a school, choose one with a rigorous academic program and a research program that truly interests you. Although you should not be dishonest about what you believe, it’s probably prudent to not draw attention to your creationist beliefs while you are a student, particularly if you are in a field that directly touches upon the origins controversy (such as paleontology, biology, or geology).

Given the increasing anti-Christian sentiment in society and the academic persecution in the secular universities, there may very well come a day when it will no longer be possible for a Bible-believing Christian to get an advanced degree in the natural sciences. Academically gifted young Christians should therefore “redeem the time” (Ephesians 5:16) before that door of opportunity closes.

In other words, work hard and keep your head down. Continue reading

Darwin’s ‘Popular Notion’

Charles Darwin, by John CollierAfter a two-month hiatus the ICR’s short video series, That’s a Fact, has returned – better late than never, as they say. The new video is called Intelligent Surveys, about the results of all those polls that keep revealing the number of people who still believe in creationism in the US.

It has been so long since the last video that some of you may not even know what this series is all about. In brief, the ICR makes short videos of around two minutes in length on various topics. The videos are generally content-free (or as near to as makes little difference), and the few factual claims made tend to range from incorrect to not even wrong. The series began in October of 2011, a few months after this blog. While the videos always appear during the weekend, the posting schedule is otherwise erratic: while they have at times been weekly, fortnightly is more common, and a video that was supposed to appear two weeks ago never did. Originally there was a commenting system tied to the videos, upon which many flame-wars developed, but this is long gone now. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the supporters of the ICR actually like the series, which is bizarre. Continue reading

Field Trip to the Museum

The Solar System Tour at the Perot Museum of Nature and ScienceThere’s a new museum in Dallas: the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. Technically it’s the building that’s new, and like many museums these days its architecture (which resembles a sedimentary outcrop) has apparently been controversial. But according to Evolutionary Eye Candy in New Dallas Museum, that isn’t what the ICR doesn’t like about it. Brain Thomas writes:

ICR employees visited the new Perot Museum of Nature and Science in downtown Dallas in late 2012. The big block-shaped building that The Dallas Morning News called “brash and breathtaking” had been under construction for several years. Its promoters advertised it as a place where visitors could receive strong doses of much-needed evolutionary teaching.

I haven’t seen any of this advertising – Mr Thomas does not link to it – but I am quite sure that, at very least, this was not how it was phrased. 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.

Science Essentials is Gone

For the last few weeks I have been privately following the extended demise of the ICR’s K-12 “educational” blog, Science Essentials. The TL;DR of this post is that now redirects to a page on the main ICR website, but there is more to the story than that. Continue reading

Think of the Children

If the opener to Rhonda Forlow’s article Teaching the Evidence of Creation to Children is correct then creationists have much to fear.

Young children approach life with refreshing innocence. They assume that spoken words are truth because they have no reason to question the trusted adult who spoke them. But as children grow older, they begin to question adults and situations—they want evidence of truth as they encounter unknown people and new circumstances in their world.

I’m not sure quite how trusting children really are – you certainly shouldn’t trust them. They also tend to start questioning from the beginning, but they might need to be taught the hated ‘critical thinking skills’ before they get any good at it. Continue reading

Bill Nye Round Two

A few days ago Bill Nye did an interview with CBS, following up on his earlier comments on not teaching creationism to children. Your Origins Matter has once again produced a (partial) transcript, writing Rebutting Bill Nye – Round 2. There’s a little less crazy here than in last ’round,’ so I’ll go into a bit more detail on the actual arguments.

Once again, YOM misses the point. Nye is apparently fine with people believing in creationism, he just doesn’t want kids taught it. His argument rests on the fact that he wants said children to grow up to become scientists. YOM claims that you can be a creationist and a scientist, but they have missed why you don’t want the kids being indoctrinated if that’s the outcome you want. Continue reading

Early and Often

Better hurry up with finishing the July Acts & Facts, hadn’t I? For her part this month Rhonda Forlow reminds us that even despite the fact that her Science Essentials blog isn’t worth the effort to poke apart these days, she remains perhaps the ICR’s most dangerous employee to the well-being of the general public, writing How Science Class Will Impact Your Child This Year:

It’s hard to believe, but in another month most of us will send our children back to school. Homeschoolers may be trying out new curriculum. Among the various subjects covered, science will have an impact—perhaps more so than most of the other subjects our children will study.

Why? Because science touches our children’s worldviews from their earliest days. If we do not prepare our children to learn good science—through the use of biblically based science instruction—then we run the risk of abdicating our children’s science education to an evolutionary worldview.

Oh no! What are they going to do? Never fear, the doctor is here. Continue reading

A Book about Bombardier Beetles

Part 4 of 4 of the documentary The Natural World – Secret Weapons from 1983. The explanation of how the Bombardier beetle’s defence mechanism really works begins immediately, though the full segment starts at 8:30 in the previous video. Watch from the beginning starting here.

The pseudonymous entomology blogger Bug Girl has obtained a copy of an old ‘kids’ book published by the Institute for Creation Research called Bomby the Bombardier Beetle. Her reaction?

And, oh what a mass of WTFery this book is.

You get the idea: now read the full post.

It would seem that while a decline in the quality of the ICR’s output over the decades could still be argued, they’ve been pulling nonsense like this out of their …rectal chambers ever since the beginning.