Dismissing Inflation

On rare occasion the ICR manages to publish articles on recent news items in an approximately timely manner. Today’s DpSU, “‘Smoking Gun’ Evidence of Inflation?” by Jake Hebert, is one example, attempting to counter the rather inconvenient announcement of evidence supporting the cosmological hypothesis known as inflation.

While quicker than is typical for the ICR, Hebert is by no means the first to comment on this issue. Discovery Institute cdesign proponentsist Stephen Meyer was quoted as saying that

…it’s really odd for people from a Creationist perspective to deny a theory that says the universe began out of nothing physical.

Naturally, many of his fellow creationists have a decidedly different view. Continue reading

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Jake Hebert Insults your Intelligence

Annals of the WorldThat is to say, if you’re a non-YEC Christian. Those of us who don’t believe at all are instead “suppressing the truth,” but we’ll get to that later.

So in this month’s edition of Acts & Facts, the ICR’s monthly newsletter/magazine, Jake Hebert has written an article called “Earth’s Age: Science or Consensus?” This false dichotomy does not head an article that attempts to actually talk about, you know, the science behind how we know that the Earth is old, but instead discusses why some scientifically-minded Christians would not accept a young Earth. The point of the article seems to be to persuade the ICR’s own flock not to listen to the compromisers, for they have been deceived. He opens: Continue reading

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

Morality, and a Lack Thereof

Here’s a topic that I haven’t previously talked about on this blog: abortion. Looking at the search results the word has been used here all of once, and that in a quote from Rhonda Forlow’s Science Essentials blog (which, I remind you, is now defunct). It’s a touchy subject, for reasons that hardly need spelling out. On occasion I have nearly done so – most notably in August last year, when I considered contrasting this YOM post on how if a bacterium is alive, so must be a zygote, with the earlier Acts & Facts article that restricted “biblical” life to things with a soul, independent movement, and blood – but always decided against it.

The latest “Creation Science Update” article is called Abortion: The Evolution Connection, by Jake Hebert and a guy called Michael Stamp (who I’ve never heard of before, but probably would have if I’d been paying enough attention during my hiatus – his job at the ICR is that of “an editor,” apparently). After writing several paragraphs I’ve decided that I won’t, in fact, go against my self-imposed rule beyond that which is required to simply acknowledge the article’s existence. The reasoning should be familiar: evolution means that there is no God, and therefore no morality. I’ll leave it up to you to find the logical problems with their argument – they are many.

Turbulent Moons

The many layers of Titan's atmosphereThere were quite a number of articles in the 31 January edition of the journal Nature that would be potential topics for a post from the ICR. These included the discovery of the bizarre underlying genetic mechanism (pdf) behind the two different social structures of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta, which has implications for the evolution of sex chromosomes; a review of a biography of Louis Agassiz, “a great science populariser who resisted Darwinism”; an obituary for Carl Woese (though we’ve already looked at that topic); and some rigid biomemetic polymers, a field which creationists adore. But the article that Jake Hebert – yes, him again – has written about is a feature called Caught in the act. “We may be seeing some of the Solar System’s most striking objects during rare moments of glory.” His own article is called Youthful Solar System Bodies Puzzle Evolutionary Scientists.

A feature story in a recent issue of the journal Nature described four solar system bodies that are puzzling to evolutionary scientists. Specifically, the article discussed the rings of Saturn, two of Saturn’s moons (Enceladus and Titan), and Jupiter’s moon Io. These four bodies all exhibit properties that cannot persist for billions of years.

The Nature article is free to view (though Hebert doesn’t link to it), and is a good read. You’ll certainly find much more detailed and nuanced information there than what Hebert provides. Continue reading

New WMAP Results

WMAP 9yr resultsJake Hebert is also the author of today’s article, Do New Measurements Confirm Big Bang Predictions? The subject is a NASA press release about the 6th and final release of WMAP (Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe) data, which opens:

The WMAP science team has determined, to a high degree of accuracy and precision, not only the age of the universe, but also the density of atoms; the density of all other non-atomic matter; the epoch when the first stars started to shine; the “lumpiness” of the universe, and how that “lumpiness” depends on scale size. In short, when used alone (with no other measurements), WMAP observations have improved knowledge of these six numbers by a total factor of 68,000, thereby converting cosmology from a field of wild speculation to a precision science.

(Emphasis original) Continue reading

Technical Difficulties and Life on Mars

I’m having computer troubles which are going to prevent me writing anything of length for I don’t yet know how long – until I can get a new AC adaptor for my laptop, anyway. In the meantime, it appears that the ICR has slightly softened – or rather, modified – its stance on extraterrestrial life. As recently as August* we were explicitly told that there was no life on Mars (supposedly based on “a literal reading of Genesis 1”). In addition, back in December of 2011 Brian Thomas told us that if life was found on another planet – so long as it didn’t originally come from Earth – it would “essentially vindicate evolution and nullify creation.” Continue reading

Acts & Facts – January 2013

The first edition of Acts & Facts for 2013 has been noticeably redesigned from last year. Aside from various cosmetic changes there is now a dedicated contents page, a new series of articles, and some of the usual sections have been rearranged. For its part the A&F page on the ICR’s website now has pictures, linking to some of the articles which are similarly highlighted in the magazine itself. Because I have been going through these articles for the last five days this recap is mostly for future archaeologists, but there are still a few things I missed. Continue reading

One Book, One Dogma

A medieval bulgarian bibleTwo articles in the January Acts & Facts edition argue a similar point. According to them, the young Earth creationist approach of biblical literalism is superior to world-views influenced by observation of the actual universe. The articles aim their attacks primarily at fellow Christians who don’t take the YEC position, but take slightly different angles.

The first is by Jason Lisle, and is called The Two-Book Fallacy. It begins:

The founder of the scientific method, Francis Bacon, taught that God has written two books: the Scriptures and the book of creation (or nature). Today, many professing Christians affirm this view. After all, the Scriptures teach that God’s attributes are clearly seen in nature (Romans 1:20). So we can learn about God through both Scripture and science—the systematic study of nature.

Continue reading

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