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 science-essentials.org now redirects to a page on the main ICR website, but there is more to the story than that. Continue reading

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Redesign

The redesigned version of the top of Guliuzza's October Acts & Facts article

The new ICR logo (here’s the old one, for comparison) has finally made it to the main website – here at the top of Guliuzza’s most recent article, as the flash on the main page does not screenshot well. Amusingly, the change takes it away from the style of the “Idelogical Education Essentials” banner which I use from time to time, and closer to the “That’s a Video” one.

To help compare the new style to the old, here’s a random screenshot of an article from late August – it’s a fairly gradual change when you look at it in context. We’re still waiting for Science Essentials to follow suit, but they might not.


In unrelated news, “germs to Germans” is now my favourite variation on that alliterative phrase.

Creationism is not Science

That, in effect, is the admission from Rhonda Forlow in her latest Ask Dr Rhonda post, Evolution and Science:

Q: Is evolution a scientific fact?

A: In a short answer, no. But, by the strictest definition, neither is creationism, theistic evolution, or any other origin (historical) science.

Of course her “historical science” logic is flawed, as simply dealing with the past does not make a field unscientific. If evolution isn’t science, then what is it? (It’s certainly not a religion, whatever the creationists like to say.) You can define science in such a way as to purposely exclude evolution but that’s a silly definition to use. Semantic arguments such as this do not invalidate a field either, which is the intention.

But it’s still nice when a person using this line of argument takes it to the logical conclusion and turns it on “creation science” itself. Because, evolution and historical science aside, creationism isn’t science.

Acts & Facts – September 2012

You’ve already seen most of the interesting stuff from the September 2012 edition of the ICR’s monthly newsletter, Acts & Facts. Provided that it’s still September when you read this, this page on the ICR’s website should have links to all the articles, otherwise they can be found in this pdf or at the links below:

  • Appreciating God’s Priceless Treasure: Jamye Durant writes the editor’s column, and it would seem that this is now going to be more-or-less permanent (it used to be Lawrence Ford). Durant talks about how “Art is all about appreciation,” before steering the article towards the bible.
  • Examining Evidence: The feature article is by Henry Morris III, and is tasked with showing how evidence is necessary for the activity they call ‘apologetics.’
  • Bio-Origins Project Update, Comparing 2,000 Animal Species Molecularly: Nathaniel Jeanson is searching for the holy grail baraminological kind. He’ll have fun looking, I’m sure.
  • Events: The first of these is the “true woman conference” (whatever that is) in Indianapolis on the 20th to the 22nd, and then there are two more over the course of the rest of the month in Myrtle Beach and Johnson City.
  • Valuing God’s Variety: This is the James J. S. Johnson article I wrote something on but didn’t publish. Johnson concludes that God must like variety, because if he didn’t it wouldn’t exist.
  • The Higgs Boson and the Big Bang: Jake Hebert recycles an article of his from when the Higgs news was fresh.
  • Observing Creation: John D. Morris disses uniformitarianism. Just another day in creationist geology.
  • Blue Stars Confirm Recent Creation: According to Jason Lisle, blue stars (and indeed, all stars) prove a recent creation because they can’t form naturally – provided, of course, that you throw out everything we know about stellar formation.
  • A Recent Explosion of Human Diversity: Brian Thomas provides the second recycled article.
  • Teaching the Evidence of Creation to Children: Rhonda Forlow is incredibly dangerous to the future prospects of humanity, but we already knew that. Like Morris she too wants evidence, but she has no doubts about creationism.
  • Letters to the Editor: According to one letter writer the Acts & Facts magazine has a higher “quality of artistic design” than Newsweek and a number of unspecified academic journals. A second has “taught geology and anthropology for 60 years on both college and high school levels…with much help from ICR’s research and publications.” Apparently he liked the June edition. Another letter praises, of all people, Brian Thomas, singling out this article. And there’s more where that came from – there’s a bumper crop this month.
  • Ministry Stewardship: Morris IV wants money, as he does every month, but he also wants to save it too. As such he has apparently sent letters to all the people who get sent (free) paper copies of Days of Praise and Acts & Facts to make sure they still want them sent. You need to reply quick or “this issue of Acts & Facts will regrettably be your last.”
  • Exploring the Evidence for Creation: Lastly a portion of a book of that title, written by Morris III, is reprinted to make up the pages.

And that’s all. Not a particularly interesting month, but they can’t all be.

Hiatus Report

Exams are over (until November) and it’s time to return to blogging. I wonder what I missed?

Surprisingly little, it would seem. While for the other creationist outfits that I’m more aware of the last week or two have been dominated by the continued fallout from both the Bill Nye videos and the ENCODE results, I would probably have been rather bored with the Institute if I weren’t otherwise preoccupied. They haven’t really done much on their main site, and they haven’t managed to make up for it elsewhere. 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

Scientists Agree With Us

I’m not sure it’s a quite a trend as such, but there’s something I’ve been noticing lately: an apparent attempt to deny, or at least ignore, the fact that most scientists don’t believe the nonsense that creationists peddle. For example, consider the latest Ask Dr Rhonda, on polar bears (last seen here):

Q: Where did polar bears come from? Did they start out as brown bears and then turn white, or what?

Continue reading

There is no Life on Mars

We have all been waiting for the reactions of the various creationist groups to the recent Mars Science Laboratory landing. While both Answers in Genesis and the Discovery Institute have taken the ‘there’s no life there – but if there is we’re still not wrong’ line, the ICR has previously stated that it is firmly convinced that life on Earth is the only life. Today Rhonda Forlow, in a post entitled Ask Dr. Rhonda – Life on Mars on her Science Essentials blog, states bluntly:

Q: Is there life on Mars?

A: No. Earth was uniquely and specially created for life, not Mars.

Continue reading

Acts & Facts – July 2012

July is an important month for Americans. It celebrates the date on which that nation’s Founding Fathers had the prescience to ensure that, on the day 236 years later that the discovery of the Higgs Boson was announced (more or less), there would be the necessary pretext for extravagant fireworks displays across the continent.

Like many creationists, the ICR felt the need to hitch up to that Bandwagon of Wisdom and try to claim that their founding fathers believed what they do now, as if it were Franklin’s fault he lived all those decades before Darwin. That, then, was the primary message of this months Acts & Facts, the Institute for Creation Research’s monthly satirical newsletter. A pdf of this edition is avaliable on their website at this link, while links to the articles were available here until a few hours ago but are also given below. Continue reading