Usually I write these accounts in strict chronological order. I will break from that tradition this time since one of my most interesting experiences at the conference came right near the end. I had made a pest of myself during several of the Q and A’s after the talks, meaning that by the third day of the conference I had a bit of a reputation. Late in the day a pleasant enough fellow approached me in the bookstore, and we had a conversation.

I asked him flat out why he was a creationist. He replied with a brief biography about how he came to Christ when he was twelve, but didn’t really give any thought to evolution until much later. A sermon he heard in church set him on to the issue, and he proceded to read a number of books and articles on either side. He found the creationist arguments to be convincing. End of story.

There is a stereotype of young-Earth creationists that they are chronically adverse to thinking, that they just thump their King James Bibles and snarl at anyone who disagrees with them, and that their views are purely the product of mindless faith. I have attended many creationist gatherings over the last six years. And I can honestly say that I have encountered a lot of people who fit the stereotype perfectly. I’m talking about people so ignorant and paranoid it is impossible even to have a conversation with them.

But the stereotype is not the whole story. In fact, I’m not even convinced it’s the dominant part of the story. For every person I’ve met who fits the stereotype I have met two like the fellow above. People who have, indeed, given some serious thought to the issue and who are prepared to go point by point in a debate. It is one of the cliches of anti-creationist life that there is no point in marshalling scientific arguments and evidence since creationists have completely immunized their brains against such puny weapons. Certainly there is some truth to that. But there is falsity in it as well, and those scholars who have taken the time to answer creationist arguments and to make a cogent case for evolution have not been wasting their time.

Creationists are very enthusiastic about religious faith, but they also believe sincerely that they have good, rational arguments to make in defense of their views. At every conference I have attended, including this one, I have encountered many people genuinely interested in what I had to say. They are badly misinformed and tend to live insular lives in which they don’t often encounter an alternate viewpoint presented intelligently. This is one of the reasons I go to these conferences. Of course you’re not going to make some slam dunk argument that will instantly cause them to change the way they think about life. But maybe you can plant a few seeds, enough so that the next time they here some preacher frothing at the mouth about the foolishness of evolution, they at least have the decency to feel some shame.

Sadly, while I have generally been impressed with the personality and temperament of many of the people I have met at these conferecnes, the fact remains that they are hopelessly ignorant of science. This ignorance is exacerbated by the annoying fact that so many of them fancy themselves highly knowledgeable indeed. It didn’t take long for my interlocutor to whip out the standard talking points. He sagely informed me that the second law of thermodynamics contradicted evolution, that there were no transitional forms in the fossil record, and that geneticists could not explain the growth of genetic information over time.

This is where the conversation got very frustrating indeed. You see, when creationists say, “The second law of thermodynamics contradicts evolution,” they actually mean, “I don’t understand how natural processes can account for the increase in complexity of organisms over time.” They are not saying anything about the size of Delta S relative to the integral of dQ over T, and it is very unlikely that they will know what you are talking about if you bring it up.

When I pointed out the second law implies that while the entropy of the universe as a whole is increasing, it has no problem allowing for local increases in complexity and order, he came back with the standard creationist retort that the mere fact that energy enters a system is not enough to explain increases in complexity within that system. For the life of me I could not get him to understand that he was no longer talking about thermodynamics. If your claim is that evolution runs afoul of the second law, then show me the entropy calculation that backs that statement up. If the issue is growth in complexity over time, then simply say that and stop talking about the second law.

Likewise for the fossils. I pointed out that the fossil record is teeming with transitional forms, and that you can read about them in virtually any textbook on paleontology. Virtually every major transition, whether from fish to amphibian, amphibian to reptile, reptile to mammal or many others are amply documented in the fossil record. He was unimpressed. You know why? Because he has seen statements from Stephen Jay Gould and David Raup denying that there are trnasitional forms.

Care to guess how much luck I had explaining the fine points of punctuated equilibirum, or what Gould and Raup had in mind in making their overly florid statements?

Exasperated I said something like, “Look, the fossil record is the most obvious place to look for evidence of evolution. If it were really the embarrassment creationists say it is, how do you explain that virtually every paleontologist in the world is an evolutionist? And if geneticists really could not explain how genetic information can grow over time, one of the fundamental questions any theory of evolution has to explain, why would evolution be so overwhelmingly dominant among scientists?”

He didn’t miss a step. He promptly informed me that sin is a powerful force, and it has systematically colored the way generations of scientists view the data. But what about all of the scientists who are Christians, or followers of other religions? Obviously they don’t have any preconceived bias against God. Perhaps not, but they are no less the victims of sin than anyone else. But what about scientists like Lamarck who became targets of scorn and ridicule for proposing evolutionary theories? It used to be scientists were overwhelmingly creationist in sympathy. How do you explain the more favorable reaction to Darwin? Simple. The way to apostasy was being paved by people like Lyell and Hutton and their old-Earth theories. Darwin arrived at the right time to take advantage of that.

It all made perfect sense to him.

So there you go. Creationism in a nutshell. A patina of science and calm argumentation, with the revival tent never lurking far beneath the surface.

Unlike at Ken Ham’s gatherings, the conference organizers were doing their best to bury the revival tent far, far beneath the surface. This, you see, was an attempt at a serious creationist research conference. The papers being presented were appropriately complex and impenetrable, and most of the speakers successfully achieved the passionless monotone they fancy to be the hallmark of real scientific presentation. It’s a pity. Say what you want about Ham, but when he is preaching to the choir he is never boring. The talks here combined the scientific respectability of creationism with the turgid style of the academic literature. Just try to sit in your computer chair and imagine the results.

I will have more to say about the minutiae of the conference in subsequent posts, but for now let me close with one dramatic break from the generally scholarly tone of the speakers. A fellow named John Pantana got up to tell us about God’s pharmacy. To anticipate in advance your natural question: Yes, he’s serious. I know that because someone asked him precisely that after his talk, and he bluntly answered in the affirmative. Read it and weep:

Here’s God’s amazing pharmacy. We can see the creativeness of God in the colors of food and the shapes of food that we put into our bodies. …

Did you know that the sliced carrot looks like a human eye. The pupil, the iris, the radiating lines look like a human eye. Science shows that carrots greatly enhance blood flow to the function of the eyes.

A tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart has four chambers and is red. All the research shows that tomatoes are loaded with lycopine and are indeed pure food for the heart and the blood.

Grapes and the heart. Grapes hang in a cluster that look like the shape of a heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell. All the scientific research shows that both red and green grapes are profound heart and blood vitalizing food.

A walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles and folds are just like the neo-cortex. They have shown that walnuts help develop more than three dozen neuron transmitters to the brain. So everybody eat some walnuts.

Kidney beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function. Yes, they look exactly like the human kidney.

Celery, bok choy, rhubarb and many others look like the bones. These food specifically target bone strength. Bones are twenty-three percent sodium and these foods are twenty-three percent sodium. If you don’t have enough sodium in your diet the body pulls it from the bones thus making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.

Avocados, eggplants and pears target the health and function of the womb and the cervix of the female. They look just like these organs and the latest research shows that when a woman eats one avocado a week it balances hormones … and prevents cervical cancers. It takes exactly nine months to grow an avocado from the blossom to the ripened fruit.

Figs and male sperm count. Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos. Figs increase the motility of male sperm and increase the numbers of sperm as well to overcome male sterility.

Sweet potatoes and the pancreas. Sweet Potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics.

Olives and ovaries. Black and green olives assist the health and function of ovaries.

One last. Oranges, pomegranites, grapefruits and other citrus fruits look just like the mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.

Onions look like body cells. Today’s research shows that onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes.

You know, I just transcribed that laboriously from my little voice recorder. It seems I needn’t have bothered, because it looks like he got it verbatim from this site. Charming. Incidentally, I suspect Pontana got this from the web, as opposed to the website getting it from him, since he was reading mechanically from his slides, and stumbled over big words like lycopine, bok choy, and cerebrum.

He closed with:

Worship him who made heaven and Earth, the sea and all the springs of water. Worship the God of creation. How big is God? He’s big enough to rule the universe yet small enough to live within the heart. He’s got the whole world in his hands. Jesus is lord.

Don’t hear that too often at scientific conferences.

Comments

  1. #1 John Rummel
    August 17, 2008

    Love it. Great report from the trenches of the other side. I look forward to reading the rest. Incidentally, as a former creationist, I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiments expressed at the beginning: they really do believe this. They really do think they’re being scientific and rigorous. They really do believe that sin has darkened the hearts and minds of the poor unfortunate masses of those mindlessly buying into Darwinism, etc. Sad, sad, sad.

  2. #2 bobyu
    August 17, 2008

    Is it not the most natural of societal class systems to base such differences or distinctions on relative ignorance, rather than require proof of intelligence as a determinant of status?
    Is all of this not then evidence of a form of serendipitous adaptation? Will it not tend to stable populations in this new era of economic and environmental stress?

  3. #3 Matt Hussein Platte
    August 17, 2008

    Mrs. Tilton had a conference? How cool is that?

  4. #4 T. Fife
    August 17, 2008

    “Figs and male sperm count. Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos. Figs increase the motility of male sperm and increase the numbers of sperm as well to overcome male sterility.” I finally understand the motive of Jesus when he killed the fig tree for not having fruit!

  5. #5 Blake Stacey
    August 17, 2008

    T. Fife for the win.

  6. #6 Blake Stacey
    August 17, 2008

    How big is God? He’s big enough to rule the universe yet small enough to live within the heart. He’s got the whole world in his hands.

    Sure, I hear that at scientific conferences all the time. Well, after hours, anyway. It’s usually followed by, “Hey, speaking of hands. . . have you ever really looked at your own fingers? Oh, wowwwwww. . . .”

  7. #7 Tyler DiPietro
    August 17, 2008

    “Holy shit doooood my hand is meeeeelting…”

  8. #8 plover
    August 17, 2008

    Jason, just a heads up: did you really mean to post a 3,648 x 2,736 (3.3mb) version of that photo?

  9. #9 BobC
    August 17, 2008

    There was an International Conference on MAGIC?

    I see this “no transitional forms in the fossil record” a lot. It’s obvious creationists never make any effort to research anything, or they get all their information from professional liars.

    I have this idea that it’s impossible to be a creationist without the following qualities: breathtaking stupidity, extreme gullibility, hopeless insanity, laziness, an inability to be honest about anything, and a strong desire to live in a childish fantasy world. Not somebody I would want to try to reason with.

    Creationism is a mental illness that can’t be cured. The only thing rational people can do is point at them and laugh, and make sure they’re never allowed to have anything to say about science education.

  10. #10 Tony
    August 18, 2008

    Wow. Kudos to you for sitting thru such horrendous crap.

    I guess it’s no surprise that people exist… I just never realized that they had entire conferences!!

  11. #11 Bob O'H
    August 18, 2008

    God’s Pharmacy on YouTube.

    I now have to make an appointment with my doctor, to check that my blood cells are the right shape.

  12. #12 Mike
    August 18, 2008

    In between when I was a skeptical, intellectually ornery, science-loving early-teenager and when I was a skeptical, jaded, intellectually ornery, science-loving late-teenager, I had a severe bout of born-again and creationism. (My dad had recently moved out… yes, the underlying psychology was embarrasingly obvious! ;-))

    How you describe the man you met at the conference is precisely how I was and how my intelligent born-again/creationist peers were. (For all I know that’s how the ones I lost touch with are still, today.) I think you may be right about planting seeds. Once the serious doubt begins (if it begins) and the frightening obligation to think for oneself becomes apparent, every little bit counts, every little fact fits, every little exposed delusion becomes a clearing of the head.

  13. #13 wazza
    August 18, 2008

    You mean they actually brought up the doctrine of signatures?

    Any word on what bananas are good for?

  14. #14 J-Dog
    August 18, 2008

    Kudos to you for putting up with this crap, so we don’t have to. Thanks for the excellent report again, but I was looking forward to another Subway line story.:(

  15. #15 Interrobang
    August 18, 2008

    Any word on what bananas are good for?

    Since bananas grow in “hands,” obviously eating bananas increases finger strength, the better to point and laugh at people who believe crap like that…

  16. #16 SLC
    August 18, 2008

    Having seen the inanity posted on this blog in previous threads by a schmuck calling himself Jon S, I find it amazing that Prof. Rosenhouse can even stand to be around nitwits like the ones who attend conferences like the one described in this thread.

  17. #17 ERV
    August 18, 2008

    The best ‘Gods pharmacy’ + ignorance of basic science example Ive heard (at a local anti-vax rally)–

    Christian nutbar: “Medicine is evil! Big Pharm is evil! I never get sick! I take grapefruit seed extract all the time! I put it in my water and drink it every morning and I never get sick! Blah blah blah blah Grapefruit seed extract kills viruses and bacteria so you never get sick! It is Gods penicillin!!”
    Evil atheist: “I thought penicillin was Gods penicillin.”

  18. #18 Ritchie Annand
    August 18, 2008

    I always love reading up on your exploits, Jason, though I do not pretend to understand how you can weather it :)

    It’s not a futile cause engaging creationists on this topic matter, and I try to keep that in mind when I engage them. Some of them have truly insulated themselves, but there are those who do not know any better, and even amongst the “angry”, I have heard from a few folks people who at last joined the empirical community that these bursts of angry rhetoric remind them of their last-ditch efforts to hold on to faith in the presence of evidence to the contrary.

    (Incidentally, John, Mike, have you two written any accounts of what your “deconversions” were like?)

    My favourite part of God’s Pharmacy by far has got to be this:

    Celery, bok choy, rhubarb and many others look like the bones. These food specifically target bone strength. Bones are twenty-three percent sodium and these foods are twenty-three percent sodium. If you don’t have enough sodium in your diet the body pulls it from the bones thus making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.

    SODIUM! Well, either my bones are made up of salt, or I had better make damnably sure that the membrane I presume is there keeping water away from my bones does not perforate, or I will explode… or turn really alkaline… or something.

    Actually, perhaps I should eat pretzel sticks instead, since they contain a lot of sodium, and they also look like bones, and pork rinds, since some of them look vaguely like pelvic girdles.

    *facepalm*

  19. #19 Foxy
    August 18, 2008

    But Abbie, grapes are -natural-. Not like those man-made poisons like penicillin science keeps trying to put in our children.

  20. #20 Ritchie Annand
    August 18, 2008

    On the topic of “infiltrating” conferences, if you haven’t seen Abbie’s visit to an anti-vaccination conference, you must.

    Reporting from all these sorts of woo conferences is invaluable for the rest of us; we don’t otherwise get the true scale of how completely off-base these folks are until we read your accounts of what they get up to without their public-facing pants on.

  21. #21 Jason F.
    August 18, 2008

    One Jason to another…

    For future reference, probably the most effective anti-2nd LoT argument I’ve come up with:

    Creationist: “The 2nd LoT says decreases in entropy can’t happen. Evolution requires decreases in entropy, therefore evolution can’t happen.”

    Me: “Which is in a lower state of entropy, free hydrogen and oxygen atoms, or a water molecule?”

    Creationist: “Um…I guess the water molecule.”

    Me: “But how can that be? I thought you just said decreases in entropy aren’t possible?”

    Creationist: “Er…….”

  22. #22 Owen
    August 18, 2008

    Hey, red blood cells are donut-shaped! (if you can seriously claim a stick of rhubarb looks like a bone, you can give give me this one). That must mean that people who eat lots of donuts have fantastic circulatory systems. I wonder if I can get a prescription?

  23. #23 Jason Rosenhouse
    August 18, 2008

    Thanks for all the comments. Has anyone else had plover’s problem regarding the photograph? It pops up quickly and perfectly formatted on my computer.

  24. #24 Ski
    August 18, 2008

    Gotta tell ya, Jason, you’re a better man than me in having the fortitude to listen that long to Creationist’s beliefs without having your head explode from frustration and incredulity.

    As to planting a “few seeds”, that’s a good idea in theory, but it seems to me that the payoff is way too minuscule to justify wasting one’s breath doing it — unless you’ve got the ear of a child. That’s where the effort is worth it.

    Thanks for writing this post.

  25. #25 Blake Stacey
    August 18, 2008

    Jason:

    The image appears properly formatted on the screen, it’s just 3304.19 kilobytes in size. Makes me thankful for fast WiFi.

    Owen:

    Danishes might work even better than doughnuts.

  26. #26 anevilmeme
    August 18, 2008

    Orwellian is the only word I know for people who are not stupid and have been exposed to knowledge yet reject it without really thinking. Doubleplusungood.

  27. #27 Jason Rosenhouse
    August 18, 2008

    It was a big accomplishment for me just to (a) Buy a camera, (b) Take pictures with it, (c) Upload those pictures onto the computer and (d) Make those pictures appear in my post. Now I’m supposed to figure out how to compress the pictures too?

  28. #28 Collin Brendemuehl
    August 18, 2008

    Jason R.,

    I have a question about this paragraph:
    Likewise for the fossils. I pointed out that the fossil record is teeming with transitional forms, and that you can read about them in virtually any textbook on paleontology. Virtually every major transition, whether from fish to amphibian, amphibian to reptile, reptile to mammal or many others are amply documented in the fossil record. He was unimpressed. You know why? Because he has seen statements from Stephen Jay Gould and David Raup denying that there are trnasitional forms.

    When I read Ernst Mayr (What Evolution is), he pointed to only one — a whale. Please identify some texts that point to proven transitions and not just postulated transitions. The experts seem to disagree on the quantity that you’re so optimistic about.

  29. #29 Blake Stacey
    August 18, 2008

    I eagerly await the assertion that all the fossils tabulated at TalkOrigins are “postulated” rather than “proven”.

    Jason, I postulate that there exists a smaller version of that photo, but of course I can’t prove it (finding the smaller version would only create a new gap in between the two, anyway).

  30. #30 Alex, FCD
    August 18, 2008

    Onions look like body cells. Today’s research shows that onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes.

    What? No they don’t. And even if they did, that couldn’t possibly count, because everything good that can possibly happen to your body has something to do with your cells.

    Please identify some texts that point to proven transitions and not just postulated transitions. The experts seem to disagree on the quantity that you’re so optimistic about.

    There’s a wonderful wikipedia page called “List of transitional fossils” that would make a good starting point for you. The few links I clicked on (more or less at random) were well-sourced. My complaint is that it excludes my favorite, Archaeopteris (no, not the bird thing, read it again), and, in fact, everything that isn’t an animal.

  31. #31 JimCH
    August 18, 2008

    Mr Brendemuehl…
    It’s hard for me to believe that you ever lectured someone else about “not doing your homework“. The problem with your question though (& I suspect that you know this) is that no amount of evidence will be good enough for you; you will demand to see the evolutionary process in action before you would concede. Interesting, because you have no problem believing that it just looks/seems like it all should have been designed (with no evidence). Nevertheless, let’s give it a try. How about:

    A transition from primitive bony fish to amphibians — Osteolepis (mid-Devonian) — One of the earliest crossopterygian lobe-finned fishes, still sharing some characters with the lungfish (the other lobe-finned fishes). Had paired fins with a leg-like arrangement of major limb bones, capable of flexing at the “elbow”, and had an early-amphibian-like skull and teeth.

    Interesting though that you brought up Mayr because he dealt endlessly with “transitional fossils” & had something to say about people like you:

    trying to satisfy people who demand that missing links be provided to convince them of evolution had occurred was to pursue a chimera. Because when you find a link to fill the ‘gap’ between two species, your opponents now have two new ‘gaps’ that they can ask you to fill, where they only had one before.

  32. #32 mk
    August 18, 2008

    Jason,

    I have cable and lots of RAM and it comes up relatively slowly. It should just “pop” in there. If you right click the photo depending on what program you are using, you should be able to resize easily and quickly.

    I’m a photographer by trade, email me if you’d like a little help. Congrats on new camera!

    Cheers.

  33. #33 tincture
    August 18, 2008

    The simplest way to make it smaller, for somebody who doesn’t know what they’re doing, would be to open it in paint and then just save file as jpeg.

    quick.
    simple.
    nasty.

  34. #34 Ritchie Annand
    August 19, 2008

    Jason, so that you don’t torment people with huge pictures… :)

    I’ve resized the one here and put it here – it’s not too tiny in physical size and about 72K to download.

    If you’re using Windows, might I suggest a gander at IrfanView? It’s no Photoshop, but it does decent resizing (I used the “Half” button twice on the resizing dialog).

  35. #36 Ginger Yellow
    August 19, 2008

    Jason F’s entropy riposte is very good, but I think the clearer example to use in an evolutionary context is ontogeny. If 2LOT (as understood by creationists) forbids evolution, then it must also forbid ontogeny. The downside of this argument is that many creationists are happy to say that God plays a miraculous role in ontogeny, whereas fewer are happy to say that about basic chemistry. On the other hand, I think the obvious parallels with evolution outweigh that.

  36. #37 Collin Brendemuehl
    August 19, 2008

    JimCH,

    I don’t know how much more honest I can be than to ask a question. (I’ve also asked a friend, a PhD in biotech, which includes genetics, for some better texts on genetics. Questions are the homework.)

    … and likewise …
    I don’t know how much more disengenuous you can be except to dismiss an honest question.

    … because …
    When you refuse to be confronted with the possibility of *any* error in your system you then become a True Believer, having the same character as those being criticized at the conference.

  37. #38 SLC
    August 19, 2008

    Re Collin Brendemuehl

    Attached is a link to a portion of a presentation by cell biologist Ken Miller (no atheist he) in which he discussed genetic evidence of common descent between chimpanzees and humans. As PZ Myers points out in several interviews, the genetic evidence of common descent is more persuasive then the morphological evidence obtained from fossils. It should be noted that the type of genetic evidence that can be obtained from DNA sequencing was not available to Prof. Mayr, even as recently as the updated 2000 edition of his book, “What Evolution Is.” Currently, there is a project underway to sequence the DNA of Neanderthals which may well provide further evidence of the relationship between them, chimps, and humans.

    http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=+%22ken+miller%22&__q=&btnG=Google+Search&lr=&dur=&so=0&num=100#

  38. #39 marktime
    August 19, 2008

    There’s a great bag of tricks called Powertoys for WindowsXP and one of them is a neat and easy way to downsize your camera photos. Course, if you’re using a Mac…hmmm.

    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/Downloads/powertoys/Xppowertoys.mspx

    Thanks for the blog. Is it possible that these creationist people will evolve eventually and get a life? :-)

  39. #40 KeithB
    August 19, 2008

    On a Mac, iPhoto can do it, as well as organize everything.

  40. #41 Sabrina
    August 19, 2008

    Mac vs. PC forums are alot like
    Evo vs. Creat
    People get emotionally charged.

    Thanks Jason for the blog, looking forward to more. And the photo is large, once I view the source. But otherwise is formatted nicely with Firefox on XPloder. I’ll have to try with my Mac at home.

  41. #42 David Marjanovi?
    August 19, 2008

    Mr Brendemuehl, we have whole trees full of transitional forms. For example, on the origin of limbed vertebrates, look up not just Osteolepis, but also Eusthenopteron, Gogonasus, Panderichthys, Tiktaalik, Elginerpeton, Ventastega, Acanthostega, Ichthyostega, Tulerpeton, Crassigyrinus, Proterogyrinus, Caerorhachis and a couple more. On the origin of seed plants, look up not just Archaeopteris, but also… how’s it called… Archaeosperma, I think, and several others whose names elude me completely at the moment. On the origin of whales, look up Indohyus, Ichthyolestes, Artiocetus, Pakicetus, Ambulocetus, Rodhocetus, Dorudon, Basilosaurus, Janjucetus, Squalodon and many more. On the origin of bats, look up Onychonycteris. On the origin of birds, look up every single carnivorous dinosaur. I mean it. I could go on for hours, literally. So please spend a few hours in Google. You will be richly rewarded with knowledge you didn’t even dream anyone had.

    And yes, do watch the Miller video.

  42. #43 David Marjanovi?
    August 19, 2008

    I don’t know how much more disengenuous you can be except to dismiss an honest question.

    What’s going on is that your question, while perfectly honest, showed you had not only not done your homework, but had no idea you had had any homework, and that you therefore believed you knew the state of the art of biology when in fact you are nowhere close. It’s the usual combination of ignorance and arrogance so often observed in creationists (and denialists in general). That tends to get people worked up when they encounter it for the tenth time. No hard feelings — just go learn.

  43. #44 JimCH
    August 19, 2008

    Mr. Brendemuehl…
    I provide an example of something that you request & you accuse me of dismissing your request. What is there left for anyone to say? If nothing else, I stand in awe of your unwavering belief (not sarcasm).

  44. #45 Sabrina
    August 19, 2008

    Anybody see today’s (8-19) Mother Goose and Grimm comic strip? ha ha ha!
    http://www.grimmy.com/images/MGG_Archive/MGG_2008/MGG0819.gif

  45. #46 Jason F.
    August 19, 2008

    Ginger Yellow,

    In reality land, “ontogeny also requires decreases in entropy” would also be a valid rebuttal. But in creationist land, the response is something like, “But ontogeny is controlled by the genetic code, i.e. information. Thus, overcoming the 2nd LoT requires coding of information, which only comes from an intelligent designer”.

    IOW, it just ends up going in endless circles.

    Chemistry OTOH involves no such thing and is (apparently) much more difficult for them to rebut.

  46. #47 Jason Rosenhouse
    August 19, 2008

    Thanks for all the photographic advice. Turns out Microsoft Office Picture Manager has a thing you can click to compress a photograph, so hopefully you will now find all future photographs easier to view.

    Colin –

    Donald Prothero’s book Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters has a lot of good information.

    Jason F –

    You’re exactly right about how creationists invoke things like the genetic code and information to salvage their second law argument. They honestly seem to think that such observations are part of the second law of thermodynamics.

  47. #48 MartinM
    August 19, 2008

    I don’t know how much more disengenuous you can be except to dismiss an honest question.

    To be blunt, no one who’s dealt with creationists for any length of time will be expecting an honest question, and yours doesn’t look any better than the usual. It looks as though you’re going to handwave away any example given with “oh, that’s postulated, not proven,” without ever giving a reasonable standard of proof you’d be willing to accept.

    I’d be pleased to be proven wrong on that.

  48. #49 fnxtr
    August 19, 2008

    I’m still blinking at the claim that oranges look like boobs. To whom? Someone who’s never actually seen any, maybe.

  49. #50 eigenvector
    August 19, 2008

    Don’t these people know about Wikipedia? Bok Choy is a few percent sodium and human bone is 70% CALCIUM APATITE. Geez, one would think they could at least get their facts right first. And this at a “scientific”-type convention? Please tell me at least one person, besides yourself, laughed their guts out when they heard that!? Obviously this paper was not peer reviewed.

  50. #51 Olorin
    August 19, 2008

    Who said bananas? Actually, we not only know that bananas were designed, we know where, when, and by whom. Read all about it:

    “Those first bananas that people knew in antiquity were not sweet like the bananas we know today, but were cooking bananas or plantain bananas with a starchy taste and composition. The bright yellow bananas that we know today were discovered as a mutation from the plantain banana by a Jamaican, Jean Francois Poujot, in the year 1836. He found this hybrid mutation growing in his banana tree plantation with a sweet flavor and a yellow color-instead of green or red, and not requiring cooking like the plantain banana. The rapid establishment of this new exotic fruit was welcomed worldwide, and it was massively grown for world markets.”

    From ezine, The History And Evolution Of Banana Hybrids.

  51. #52 The Country Shrink
    August 19, 2008

    Jason, thanks for your honesty about your need to proselytize your atheism. I guess fundamentalists come in all forms. I suppose you are at least fairly correct in your view that many creationists do not understand science. But I wouldn’t assume that they are all ignorant of science. I hope maybe you continue attending conferences like this, and that seeds are also planted within you (maybe from just the right fruit or plant with just the right shape?).

  52. #53 Round Earther
    August 19, 2008

    If you dont mind me saying so, im not quite sure how apparently nice and earnest these people you met has any real..well particlular revelevance. Someone that accepts creationist nonsense uncritically is still… well…foolish. They may not be individually as odious and dishonest as the professional creationist ringleaders, but these people are still there natural constituents. Put another way, isnt this a bit like saying ‘ I went to a flat-earth conference the other day and met a lot of nice decent folks that really honestly believe the earth is a flat disc covered with a big dome’ ? That one point aside, your posts make for interesting reading as always and look forward to the rest of the story

  53. #54 LW
    August 19, 2008

    I’m pretty sure the Breast Self-Examination booklets say that “my breasts have the texture of orange peel” is one of those “make a doctor’s appointment right now” situations.

  54. #55 NP
    August 19, 2008

    What are cucumbers good for?

  55. #56 Brad
    August 19, 2008

    thanks Jason. Enjoyed the post, and the discussion. I am one who can’t tolerate these people–I say that, and then realize I do with students, for just your reason: I’m planting seeds (and know from experience that some seeds take root). But just meeting such people, I have low tolerance, though I respect your position. But frankly, (almost) all of these people have SOME ‘rational’ story to tell, just not a very good one. Your interlocutor was an ‘intermediate’ level–fairly rational, but not very. An ‘upper level’ is a believer like Francis Collins (NOT a creationist, I know but…)–just read some of his musings on God and why he exists: not much above creationist level claims about 2LOT and no transitional forms. C’mon, Francis, reasoning like that would get you drummed out of any other forum!

    The claim is not (as I see it) that not that most creationists don’t USE reason, but that they use it very badly–a point your wonderful example makes compellingly!

    Thanks again. intended to be just friendly points of dispute.

    Brad

  56. #57 Grammar RWA
    August 20, 2008

    That was hilarious, Jason. Thanks for the peek into this silliness.

  57. #58 Bjoern Brembs
    August 20, 2008

    You can demonstrate how the 2LOT argument breaks down with a simple cup of coffee: if you let it stand undisturbed for a few moments, you can see convection cells emerging in it spontaneously after a while…
    This is all so simple and obvious, how can anyone over the age of 11 seriously think 2LOT applies in any way?

  58. #59 Bjoern Brembs
    August 20, 2008

    BTW, Jason, I admire your patience: not one but several of these conferences? I would’ve completely lost any hope in the future of mankind and would’ve killed myself midway through the first one if I had ever been so bold as to enter one! I’m very, very impressed.

  59. #60 Pineyman
    August 20, 2008

    Ummm….supposedly, avocado comes from a Meso-American phrase meaning “man’s genitals” because of the resemblance, so…ummm…eating it and increasing womb function…..aren’t fundies against that sort of thing?

  60. #61 John Kwok
    August 20, 2008

    Hi Jason,

    Thanks for the latest entertaining update on delusional creationists. I wonder if Kurt Wise had anything meaningful to say, aside from noting that he’s Steve Gould’s blasphemous “son”.

    You just reminded me to alert some Dartmouth alums in the Big Apple of your existence. I am certain that they don’t realize how pathetic – and dangerous – the creos are.

    Cheers,

    John

  61. #62 The Country Shrink
    August 20, 2008

    Many of the responses to this post and, indeed, the post itself exemplifies many things I outline in my post.

    Some Psychological Aspects of Atheism-Part II

    Thank you all, for your continued demonstration of the psychological aspects of atheism.

  62. #63 Glen Davidson
    August 20, 2008

    So sympathetic magic works? How much good medicine did comparing human organ shapes and plant shapes actually produce?

    As for the “reasonable creationists,” I think those of us who grew up know how empirical and reasonable many believe that they are. Still, don’t let that fool you, most of them will always fall back to another “reason” once you’ve shot down one reason. Especially YECs generally don’t distinguish between cosmology and evolution, and they’ll cling to God “having to make matter” as their “trumps all” card, no matter what else they’ll concede.

    I’m not saying that shooting down their arguments are worthless, not at all. I’m saying that you might convince some younger YECs, and lots of fence-sitters, only you won’t convince many who go to creationism conferences.

    And yes, the breed of creos we get on the internets does not well represent creationists in general. A lot of them will engage in (seemingly) meaningful discussion, unlike the usual creationist/IDist encountered on forums. Like I said, though, the committed creationist typically has layers of “arguments,” and is rarely prepared to concede all of them (such a person usually is incapable of seeing the flaws in all of them anyhow).

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  63. #64 Mike Beidler
    August 20, 2008

    Ritchie,

    I’ve blogged about my own “deconversion” from young-earth creationism. Would love to have you and anyone else participate in the various discussions!

    Jason, et al,

    Your anti-special creationist efforts are not in vain! I’m living proof. Keep up the good work!

  64. #65 William Furr
    August 20, 2008

    Thanks Jason for the interesting view from the belly of the beast. I greatly appreciate your fortitude and patience.

    @The Country Shrink: Pardon me while I demonstrate a few more psychological aspects of atheism while I vomit in my mouth after reading a few sentences of your “theories”.

  65. #66 Glen Davidson
    August 20, 2008

    By the way, when I was growing up in a fundamentalist church (gave that up at 16, after heavy doubts the previous year), the enlightened position on evolution was that many scientists just didn’t know any better.

    “If they just knew about,” the various PRATTs, well, the honest scientists would change their views.

    That is how insular their world is.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  66. #67 Ritchie Annand
    August 20, 2008

    Mike -> I see you’ve got a “Step of the Journey” series on the right hand side of your blog. I look forward to reading it :)

    I don’t have a great deconversion story, though I might if I remembered the details back that far. For convenience’s sake, I was dropped off at the nearby Baptist Sunday school when I was 8-9 years old, and my mother tells me that I came home livid with incredulity about what they were teaching us. I wish I remembered more – all I have are vague recollections of the classroom and wondering how young they thought we were.

    I disbelieved for the next four or so years while going to a more moderate Sunday school, and that was that. So, not particularly exciting :)

  67. #68 Ritchie Annand
    August 20, 2008

    I didn’t even really encounter evolution until much later, later even than genetics, the materials with which my aunt (who worked at a lab) plied me. Evolution made sense to me from a geology and fossil sense, but it was running the theory through the acid bath of genetics, with the new techniques opening up, that was, for me, the clincher.

    From my encounters at the Baptist Sunday school, I was not surprised at the kind of opposition to evolution, but I was surprised at how widespread it was, even roping in numerous people of a “moderate” religious persuasion. On further investigation, I was even more dismayed at the dishonesty behind a lot of the anti-evolution enterprise. Such are my values, that lies should not be required in the business of saving souls – *sigh*.

    I’m a skeptic – if the universe were to have indicated to us that life formed in a totally different way, I would not be holding on evolutionary theory in the face of opposing evidence. Creationists, however, imagine that we would.

  68. #69 JimCH
    August 20, 2008

    Country Shrink…
    Very few of the posters in this thread, if any, have presented themselves as non believers; just not creationists. You’re being presumptuous.

  69. #70 The Country Shrink
    August 20, 2008

    JimCH wrote:

    Very few of the posters in this thread, if any, have presented themselves as non believers; just not creationists. You’re being presumptuous.

    Perhaps. Shall we do a poll? Where do you fall Jim?

  70. #71 Peter
    August 20, 2008

    This is too rich. I will promptly be posting links to this from my blog at Forms Most Beautiful.

    Suffice it to say that your experience in the bookstore has happened to me as well. Congenial and thoughtful people can simply turn off parts of their brains in order to make way for their beliefs in bronze age wizardry. It is, to say the least, deeply frustrating.

  71. #72 David Fickett-Wilbar
    August 20, 2008

    I wonder if anyone has tried printing photos of transitional fossils, with the appropriate identifiers, and then giving them to anyone who denies that they exist. I could imagine printing them up on playing card size cardboard, with the photo on one side, and the other information on the back. It would be a nice deck to hand out to speakers at creationism conferences. The person handing them out could also have a binder with the same information in it for anyone who wanted to check it after the presentation.

    Regarding hydrogen, oxygen, and entropy — a picture of the Hindenburg might be nice. Plenty of entropy being released there as hydrogen and oxygen combine into the more complex water molecule.

  72. #73 ennui
    August 20, 2008

    I’ve often fretted needlessly
    over which whole foods to eat
    Should I indulge in eggplant?
    do kumquats better meat?

    But now I know the simple truth
    is writ large in the shape
    of every fruit and vegetable -
    god’s plan leaves me agape!

    If ever my heart ails me,
    as oft the case has been,
    I promptly eat tomatoes
    whose form means lycopene

    And carrots for the eyeballs
    and oranges for the chest,
    and perhaps a little eggplant
    to comfortably digest

    Bananas are important, too
    they fit right in your hand
    and masturbation’s part of god’s
    celestial whole food plan

    But cherries, ah those cherries
    truly from heaven are sent -
    When picked, they look exactly like
    a creationist argument

  73. #74 The Country Shrink
    August 20, 2008

    Very few of the posters in this thread, if any, have presented themselves as non believers; just not creationists. You’re being presumptuous.

    I do that sometimes–make assumptions based on what other folks actually say. Would you like to share your beliefs, amongst the others here, who may have like-minded beliefs?

  74. #75 Collin Brendemuehl
    August 20, 2008

    JimCH,

    Mr. Brendemuehl…
    I provide an example of something that you request & you accuse me of dismissing your request. What is there left for anyone to say? If nothing else, I stand in awe of your unwavering belief (not sarcasm).

    You really want to know what I was reacting to?

    Condescending remarks like this:
    It’s hard for me to believe that you ever lectured someone else about “not doing your homework”. The problem with your question though (& I suspect that you know this) is that no amount of evidence will be good enough for you; you will demand to see the evolutionary process in action before you would concede. Interesting, because you have no problem believing that it just looks/seems like it all should have been designed (with no evidence).

    and this …

    people like you

    You get to credit for civility in response to a simple question. Jason, yes. You, no.

  75. #76 JimCH
    August 20, 2008

    Mr Brendemuehl…
    Strange. The first longer paragraph that you quote is based on empirical observation. Every creationist that I have ever communicated with on this matter is never ever satisfied with any fossil evidence. They will demand the kind of 100% certainty that nobody could ever have about anything; yet, when it comes to ID the same criteria does not apply (far from it). You have exhibited the same qualities on this blog in the past. How is this anything less then simple observation? How is this condescension?
    As for the “people like you”, let’s go back & look at the quote a little harder. The “people like you” in the quote were people who demand that missing links be provided before they are convinced that evolution had occurred. How are you not one of those people? Your original request makes you one of these very people. Where is the condescension?
    I’m not even sure what your last sentence means, unless the “to” is suppose to be “no”. In which case, I suggest you look back at your previous posts & consider how Emily Post-like you’ve been with other posters.
    I wish people like you (& by that, I mean creationists) would stop playing the hurt feelings card when other people don’t let you get your way.

    Country Stink…
    You are correct; I am an atheist. Therefore, you must also be correct that everyone posting here expressing dismay over creationism must also be an atheist. I bow before your psyco-wizardry (you see Mr Brendemuehl, that’s condescension).

  76. #77 Jim Harrison
    August 20, 2008

    Small complaint:

    Folks unhappy about Christianity or Judaism often lampoon them as Bronze-Age superstitions. This kind of talk is very unfair to the Bronze Age. The historical religion are all of Iron-Age vintage. No reason to tar the followers of Marduk or Amon-Ra by associating them with Johnny-Come-Lately Jews, Arabs, and Greeks.

  77. #78 Pierce R. Butler
    August 21, 2008

    An aging-male inquiring mind needs to know: are doughnuts, bagels or onion rings better for the prostate gland?

  78. #79 shonny
    August 21, 2008

    Is it just on my computer, or is ‘Cretinism’ spelled with surplus ‘a’ and ‘o’ on that ‘Registration Area’ banner?

    But instead of engaging in a conversation about their (lack of) ideas, wouldn’t a proper anthropological study of these humanoids be of more interest?

  79. #80 Brian Jordan
    August 21, 2008

    God’s pharmacy? No, it’s sympathetic medicine.
    http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-sympathetic-medicine.htm
    Aka sympathetic magic!

  80. #81 Edward T. Babinski
    August 21, 2008

    To our Creation Conference friends…

    So, based on the shapes and colors of fruit, do bananas give erections?

    Why do ripe mangos smell like that?

    Do apples really have something to do with “God’s eyes?” As in “the apple of His eyes?”

    And how come people keep finding the name of “Allah” spelled out inside tomatoes and watermellons?

    And did you read the article I sent on “Magical Thinking” from the Psychology Today website?

  81. #82 Marc L.
    August 22, 2008

    “He promptly informed me that sin is a powerful force, and it has systematically colored the way generations of scientists view the data”

    I once met someone who served me that argument. My response was to ask him what he’d do if he were feeling chest pain right now. He looked at me like he wasn’t seeing the point, and responded that he’d call an ambulance. So I asked him why? If sin blinds biologists and prevents them from seeing the truth (or interpret the data correctly), then surely this applies to medecine, which is based mainly on biology. “Why is it, I asked him, that you’d choose science over prayer and God? Is it possible that deep inside, you trust science more than you do your own God?”

    Then he had to go. Apparently he had an appointment. ;-)

    The problem with these people, is that they talk the talk but they don’t walk the walk. Either one trusts science or one doesn’t. If creationists want to be taken seriously, they’ll have to stop running into the hands of science everytime things get serious. If they put their lives in the hands of science, then I’m sorry, but they believe in science. No matter what they say.

    An analogy I like to use is that of a Christian who disses Islam every opportunity he gets, but as soon as he’s sick or suffers for some reason, he runs to the closest mosque and prays to Allah.

  82. #83 Tim
    August 22, 2008

    As a creationist who is well versed in debate, I must say that these reports are quite devoid of the typical militant evolutionary diatribe that I am so used to. Jason addresses the topic in a very balanced way.

    But I must say he is a little deluded in thinking that only creationists are “adverse to thinking” and “people so ignorant and paranoid it is impossible even to have a conversation with them”. From my experience many evolutionists fit this bill quite well also. I admit that many creationists are scientifically illiterate, but so are many evolutionists! Years of debate has proven this.
    Jason seems to be painting a picture that creationists in general are �delusional idiots� and the majority of evolutionists are �intellectually fulfilled scholars�. I’m sorry, but this is just not the case.

    Jason also states “If you flip through the conference proceedings and just give it a quick skim, you could easily be impressed by the professionalism of the volume and the level of technical detail in the papers. It’s a side of creationism we rarely see”. May I suggest to Jason that he should look a bit harder, the whole theory of creationism is rooted in thousands of such technical papers by practicing scientists. This is not merely a fa�ade to appear scientific, the theory of creationism is rooted in this technical data! Below you will find a link to hundreds of such peer-reviewed scientific papers that are freely available.

    The main point I stress to evolutionists involved in the creation/evolution debate is that creationism is much more empirical and scientifically based than you would think. The best place to verify this would be to search around the following websites.

    http://creationontheweb.com/content/view/24/68/

    http://www.creationontheweb.com/

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/

    Most evolutionists seem to be �evolutionists� by default rather than by decision. And the ONLY way to form a �decision� is to review BOTH sides!

  83. #84 arby
    August 22, 2008

    I wonder what the Durian fruit is for. rb

  84. #85 Collin Brendemuehl
    August 22, 2008

    JimCH,

    Hurt feelings? Hardly.
    Just trying to emphasize the need for civility.

    Collin

  85. #86 baboo
    August 22, 2008

    It may be time to look for the silver lining, given that the prospects of creationism losing ground any time soon are slim to none. Having what may soon be a subspecies of technically proficient ignoramuses may not be all bad. Somebody after all has to be relegated to doing the scutwork in any group.

  86. #87 JimCH
    August 22, 2008

    Mr Brendemuehl…
    Point taken then.

  87. #88 wallyk
    August 22, 2008

    Trying to explain to creationists why evolution does not violate the 2LOT is a futile task. They start with the common sense notion that “things don’t order themselves”, so their gut feeling is that evolution just isn’t possible. The 2LOT argument is used to give scientific respectability to this gut feeling. There are many creationist charlatons who use the 2LOT argument because it is effective with their audience, even though they probably know that the 2LOT argument is incorrect. Duane Gish comes to mind. He frequently concedes when caught at debates that the argument is bogus, but continues using it at future debates because it’s so powerful.

  88. #89 bobyu
    August 22, 2008

    The only thing that clearly violates the 2LOT is life being created by a supernatural entity. Therefor 2LOT would not have been valid when conceived. Therefor creationists can’t use it as proof that evolution didn’t occur as theorized.

  89. #90 DiscoveredJoys
    August 23, 2008

    The Doctrine of Signatures is an interesting idea from an anthropology point of view. However Mrs DiscoverdJoys and I visited a renovated medieval manor house last weekend (Donington Le Heath) and they had recreated a medieval herb garden….

    Guess what? The liverwort (‘wort’ is Anglo Saxon for herb or plant) looked nothing like a liver, the Comfrey looked like nothing in the human body, nor did Fennel, nor Geraniums, nor did Common Rue look anything like a drooping penis. Grapes were understood to cure stomach problems in medieval times, not heart problems. Nutmeg was thought to cure eye diseases and potency problems – yes I can see the Signature there – but also to cure epilepsy and stomach problems – nope lost me again.

    So we are back to the godstruck investing belief in hand picked circumstantial trivia and ignoring contradicting circumstantial trivia that does not ‘fit’. Colour me unimpressed.

  90. #91 star2
    August 24, 2008

    Your mind is too small to understand how
    God created anything.

  91. #92 jimvj
    August 24, 2008

    Maybe the evil one has fooled the Christians – creos or not – into believing a false doctrine.
    Maybe the logic and history challenged bible of theirs is a product of the evil one and is a clue that the evil one is laughing his ass off at how easily the religious are fooled.

    I mean, what’s good for the blah, blah, blah…

  92. #93 Christophe Thill
    August 25, 2008

    I knew we could expect anything from the would-be intellectual fundies. But reviving Paracelsus and the doctrine of signatures! Now we can literally say that they’re living in the Middle Ages.

  93. #94 386sx
    August 25, 2008

    Most evolutionists seem to be evolutionists by default rather than by decision. And the ONLY way to form a decision is to review BOTH sides!

    Sorry to hear the evolutionists haven’t reviewed both sides. That’s kinda sad!

  94. #95 Luna_the_cat
    August 26, 2008

    Speaking as a bioinformatician from a religious family and background, and as someone who knows the creationist arguments backwards, forwards, and six ways from Sunday as well as understanding a decent basic amount of biology –

    Creationist arguments depend wholly on the a priori acceptance of a certain premise which is not itself based on any observation, it is based on the assumption that one ancient mythology is correct and all other of the thousands of ancient mythologies aren’t — and the ruthless disregard of every bit of existing physical evidence which contradicts that assumption of correctness. For all the whining about “evolutionists do that too!”, from direct experience this is not the case. Evolution rests on physical evidence which is and must be objectively demonstrable, no matter what someone’s background is; and it does NOT rely on discarding or ignoring anything, it has to account for everything somehow. Lying about that simple fact does not make you right, or the accusation any less a lie, and I can spot the lie and feel utter contempt for the ones like you who spread it because I actually know how it works in science; I work there. As do the vast majority of people here.

    Creationism depends — relies utterly, in fact — on ignorance and lies. It creates and perpetuates a deep ignorance about how science does things and reaches conclusions, and about the physical specifics of biology. It spreads lies and false information about biology, in order to support itself. The horrible little catch-22 that you manage to create is that the people who trust and believe they are getting accurate information from the creationist sources are thus left in such a state of ignorance that they are not able to spot the fact that they are being lied to and left in ignorance — which of course works out well from the creationist point of view, but not from the point of view of understanding anything real about the world.

    The more I learned and understood about biology, the more appalled I was that anyone thought — or thinks — that creationism has any real physical evidence for it at all.

    You claim to believe in God, and no doubt you really truly believe (or want to believe, at any rate) that God created the universe and everything in it; well, tell me, you current creationists — how does it “serve God” to tie people’s belief in God to a necessary ignorance of the real workings of the universe? If you have actual faith that God created the universe, shouldn’t you want to make a good faith effort to learn what it really is and how it really works? –But you don’t want to learn anything that might contradict the Bible, yourself, I’m willing to bet; and thus afraid or incapable of approaching the universe with no assumptions, and seeing what the universe itself tells you.

    Creationism is a crock of shit resting on lies; and you tell people that unless they believe that crock and cleave to the lies, they can’t believe in God.

    Shame on you. Shame on you. Shame on you.

    If you have to convince people to believe in God by lying to them and to yourself about the physical world, then there is something deeply, deeply, disgustingly wrong with your faith. And if you spent half the effort on a good faith attempt to learn about the real science that you spend on spreading your own viewpoint, you would unavoidably understand why scientists hold you in such contempt.

  95. #96 EastwoodDC
    August 26, 2008

    Wow! Nice post Luna. (4/4 stars)

    And for anyone that is counting: I work in science, I am not an atheist, and I have no trouble reconciling the difference between my faith and my reason.

  96. #97 LogicFails
    November 11, 2008

    @ Tim | August 22, 2008 4:37 AM :

    You wrote:

    “The main point I stress to evolutionists involved in the creation/evolution debate is that creationism is much more empirical and scientifically based than you would think. The best place to verify this would be to search around the following websites.”

    The disproof of that is the fact that science is about making predictions based on evidence.

    Neither ID nor Creationism has advanced ANY testable hypotheses. All it has done is attempted to magnify the holes in the garment of science to (ultimately futilely) convince people that good felted serge is filmy, unsubstantial gauze.

  97. #98 Cletus
    February 8, 2009

    Dude… I want to have your baby. You have perfectly described the mind numbing blather I constantly hear from creationists. Especially the part about the 2nd Law(try explaining the partition function to a creationist). I simply ask how it is possible for your freezer to make ice cubes out of water and the hopeless looks I get in reply make me want to pull my hair out. What blows me away more than anything else is how willing these people are to remain stupid. It’s like a badge of honor to be stupid for God. Like it shows how faithful they are. I’m ranting…. You go boy! Keep up the good work!

  98. #99 Raymond Minton
    February 8, 2009

    I’m glad the creationists wetre friendly and hospitable Jason, but their logic is as convoluted, and their arguments as spurious, as ever. You were nicer to them than I could ever be.

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