Pharyngula

Just what we needed…

Hey, Minnesotans—anyone want to tune in to KKMS Christian radio right now? I’m about to be tied up in class stuff for a while, so I’ll say more later—it seems we have a new creationist group mobilizing in the state.


I caught a few bits of the radio show (that hurt—it’s a fundagelical radio station), and I’ve also heard from a few readers. There is apparently a billboard in a very prominent place at 12th and Washington along 35W, the freeway that cuts through the center of Minneapolis. This, apparently, is the whole raison d’etre for the organization, to throw up billboards. The founder of the group, Julie Haberle, says God talked to her and told her she needs to do billboards to refute evolution. These billboards just direct people to her website, which she explains she built by taking snippets from Ken Ham and others and putting them together—it shows. There’s nothing there but the tired old creationist nonsense we’ve seen so often.

There is quote mining, lots and lots of quote mining. There are also flatly wrong assertions from “five time Nobel nominee” Henry “Fritz” Schaeffer, Behe, Phillip Johnson, and other DI figureheads. The creationist crap is straight from the bunghole of Answers in Genesis, and it’s all garbage.

One other curious thing about the website is that every page has a nautilus shell logo on it…which reminded me of a certain other site. I suspect there is some aping of the Minnesota Citizens for Science Education going on, although of course they are doing so poorly.

The question I have about all this is where the money is coming from—billboards aren’t cheap, especially in such prime locations. She didn’t say. She said they were an official non-profit, they received donations, and that the billboard companies had given them a very good deal, and she specifically mentioned Clear Channel as being very helpful, and that their media exposure is completely free. She also said she hopes to build this little anti-evolution organization up, and then pass it on to someone like D. James Kennedy or James Dobson.

Most of her radio conversation was rampant idiocy. Would you believe Answers in Genesis is very technical, so she had to dumb down their material for the website? That there are no “transitory fossils”? That because we haven’t grown wings, evolution didn’t happen? Hey, if that doesn’t persuade you, why are fish still trying to get out of the water? And why are there still monkeys?

Really. She said that. I had no idea fish were trying to get out of the water.

One reader wrote in to tell me that this woman is “scary stupid”. I have to agree.

One measure of the dishonest depths to which creationists will sink is their willingness to put words in the mouths of dead men. Haberle claimed that Carl Sagan knew the “mathematical statistics” were against life appearing on earth and that’s why he was looking for life on other planets—because he was sure that’s where we had to come from, since it was impossible for us to have evolved.

She lied.

Why don’t we ask Carl to tell us what he thinks? It’ll help wash away the unsavory taste of those freakish cretins, too.

Comments

  1. #1 Jeff Knapp
    December 6, 2006

    Here is my message posted to their message board.

    Dang. Yet another brain-dead creationist group sprouts its ugly head like so many mushrooms. Don’t you idiots ever give it up? You’ve lost! You’ve lost in the courts, you’ve lost in the scientific arena. Your arguments presented here are just the same old, vacuous, flawed, straw man, god-of-the-gaps arguments that have been so thoroughly and completely discounted time and time again by real science.

    [walks away shaking head with bewilderment]

    I’ll be curious to see what kind of responses I get. Could be entertaining.

  2. #2 quork
    December 6, 2006

    Why this is not possible, Nicholas D. Kristof has assured us that the religious right is in retreat.

  3. #3 Kristine
    December 6, 2006

    As I always say, eternal vigilance.

    I don’t see one human being’s name on that “Who’s Your Daddy” site (other than some bumbling commenter named William). William? Nah, couldn’t be.

    When final are over I’m going to do some gum-shoeing.

  4. #4 llewelly
    December 6, 2006

    She also said she hopes to build this little anti-evolution organization up, and then pass it on to someone like D. James Kennedy or James Dobson.

    This spawns in my heart the hope that she is taking management hints from 1990s .com entrepreneurs.

  5. #5 PZ Myers
    December 6, 2006

    You can do a whois on whoisyourcreator.com and get the name, address, and phone number of the organizer — she’s in Minnetonka. There’s a PO box listed on the website.

  6. #6 Lambo
    December 6, 2006

    Some quick googling turns up a few other names:
    First Thingie

    This link shows a cached version of the ‘who we are’ page, with a copyright held by “Truth Be Known”.

    Second Thingie

    This link is to an HTML version of a .pdf file (the .pdf can no longer be found).

    A whois search gives us this:

    Registrant:
    haberle, julie
    Truth Be Known
    14424 woodhaven road
    minnetonka, MN 55345
    US

    Domain Name: WHOISYOURCREATOR.COM

    Administrative Contact, Technical Contact:
    haberle, julie
    Truth Be Known
    14424 woodhaven road
    minnetonka, MN 55345
    US
    952–935-2105

    Interesting to see this develop – I’d love to see a list of donors.

  7. #7 Lambo
    December 6, 2006

    Grrr. Darn my poor coding skills! That took far too long.

  8. #8 TheBrummell
    December 6, 2006

    Thanks for posting the video – it’s beautiful.

    The line about “starstuff taking its destiny into its own hands” is brilliant.

  9. #9 John Pieret
    December 6, 2006

    I had no idea fish were trying to get out of the water.

    Hah! Fat lot you evilutionists know!

    What about them walking catfish in Florida? Huh? Explain that Doctor Smartypants!

  10. #10 Mike Haubrich
    December 6, 2006

    There is no name on the “Who We Are/Contact Us” but it would be interesting to see if one David Eton(sp?) is on their board. It is, after all, in Minnetonka. David was the “businessman” on the Science and Math Standards board during Cheri Pierson Yecke’s brief term as education commissioner, and David cleverly tried to get the “Critical Analysis of Evolution” into the standards until the science teachers on the board said “No, F*ing Way.” David also tried to cause a stir by petitioning the Minnetonka school board to add Evolution Disclaimer Stickers to biology books.

    The school board declined to acceded.

    I’m not saying he is part of this, but I am not doubting it either.

  11. #11 Chuck Morrison
    December 6, 2006

    I couldn’t spend too much time on that website out of respect for my neurons, but here’s my favorite part: “Mutations by definition are changes that reek havoc in the genetic code …”.

    Man, that havoc sure stinks!

  12. #12 Peter M
    December 6, 2006

    Wait, wait. Mary Cheney is with child, and that just has to be a virgin birth. Isn’t that proof there is a god?

  13. #13 Mena
    December 6, 2006

    Big ball of gas, how ironic!!!!
    ROTFLMMFAO!!!

  14. #14 Rick @ shrimp and grits
    December 6, 2006

    And why are there still monkeys?

    And, heaven help us, what about PYGMIES and DWARVES?

  15. #15 Avery
    December 6, 2006

    I heard a few minutes of that as I flipped around the dial. It didn’t sound like anything I don’t normally hear on KKMS when I happen to tune in. I didn’t hear anything about billboards, just a lot of rambling lies, one after another. It’s typical KKMS stuff.

  16. #16 Kristine
    December 6, 2006

    I was joking about Bill D.! ;-)

    Mike Haubrich, that’s what I was wondering. There was also a tough state senate race in that area, and the Democrat who won (one of our guides!) ran on a strong education ticket.

  17. #17 Charlie
    December 6, 2006

    Why is it that when God speaks to someone, he never gives them information that would be of great benefit to mankind? More unsightly billboards to refute evolution?? Is this the best the omnipotent can come with? Come on, big guy, give us a source for cheap, clean, limitless energy or cures for diseases. That would get me onside ………. maybe. But stuff the billboards.

  18. #18 David B
    December 6, 2006

    Honesly Dr. Myers, you really did not know that fish have been leaving the water for decades? Fish populations are way down all over the world. We can rule out overfishing and evironmental degradation, since they are merely evironazi liberal pseudoscience. The most likely explanation is the the designer has taught fish interstellar navigation and they have left for new homes.

  19. #19 Ed S.
    December 6, 2006

    We did have an “Evolution = fairytale for grown-ups” billboard next to I-95 near where I live in Florida — until the 2004 hurricanes blew it down. Got to go…I think there’s a fish at the door.

  20. #20 Tanya
    December 6, 2006

    I was impressed that at the end of the video the examples of human beings were clearly female. This may seem like a rather small thing but it goes against the male-as-standard bias and it was refreshing.

  21. #21 Corey Schlueter
    December 6, 2006

    Responses by creationists seem to be lacking on the message board. At least at Kent Hovind’s blog they have allowed more postings than when he was not in jail.

  22. #22 Azkyroth
    December 6, 2006

    Tanya: I would agree, but I was apparently signed up on the side of misogyny while I slept, so I believe I’m obligated to condemn this. *eyeroll*

  23. #23 bones
    December 6, 2006

    Actually it’s all very sad. These are human beings that will never grow to reach their full potential, a sort of Christianist retardation syndrome that destroys the lives of those it touches. People who could have contributed to the improvement of the human condition but instead are the millstones around the neck of human advancement. Just sad.

  24. #24 Torbjörn Larsson
    December 6, 2006

    Uncontrolled explosions ALWAYS cause disorder and chaos (Physics 101). British astronomer and mathematician at Cambridge University, Sir Fredrick Hoyle (deceased) stated, “An explosion merely throws matter apart, while the big bang has mysteriously produced the opposite effect, with matter clumping together in the form of galaxies.”

    Somehow I doubt the whole explanation is physics 101. But gravitation increases entropy by attraction. (How else would it work?!) See http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/entropy.html and add radiation cooling to answer Baez’ end problem. (I think – I haven’t taken time to check if it is consistent.)

    Creationism 101: Every claim on science is wrong. Goddidit.

    The worlds shortest course.

  25. #25 Torbjörn Larsson
    December 6, 2006

    Uncontrolled explosions ALWAYS cause disorder and chaos (Physics 101). British astronomer and mathematician at Cambridge University, Sir Fredrick Hoyle (deceased) stated, “An explosion merely throws matter apart, while the big bang has mysteriously produced the opposite effect, with matter clumping together in the form of galaxies.”

    Somehow I doubt the whole explanation is physics 101. But gravitation increases entropy by attraction. (How else would it work?!) See http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/entropy.html and add radiation cooling to answer Baez’ end problem. (I think – I haven’t taken time to check if it is consistent.)

    Creationism 101: Every claim on science is wrong. Goddidit.

    The worlds shortest course.

  26. #26 A Fish
    December 6, 2006

    Now look here, humans, you shouldn’t be surprised that we’re still trying to get out of the water. After all, if it isn’t deep-sea trawlers or dynamiting reefs, it’s eutrophication or toxic spills, and as if all that weren’t enough, you’ve only got to go and start heating the oceans up! I mean, what did we ever do to you?

    PS. David B, I hear that a delegation from the Grand Banks Fishery is currently making approaches to NASA along those very lines.

    So long and thanks for all the fish (flakes)…

  27. #27 MikeG
    December 6, 2006

    A fish, You forgot about the acidification, with all the extra CO2 in the air and water. As a coral, I’m finding it harder and harder to secrete a skeleton for myself any my colony-mates. Good luck with your reproduction without the recruitment areas we provide for your larvae.

    a coral

  28. #28 poke
    December 6, 2006

    I love that Cosmos clip but, watching it now, every time he made a teleological allusion it irked me. “Perhaps the line to an intelligent technological species would have passed through worms” and then the reference to the “present masters of the planet” (although perhaps he was referring to cephalopods). They’re marginal cases, I know, but this is one area where the human ego desperately needs to be beaten into submission at every opportunity.

  29. #29 Rupert
    December 6, 2006

    >so long, and thanks for all the fish

    I have to say, wonderful though the Sagan clip was — and I remember watching it as a youngster, and being as moved then as I am now — it did remind me very strongly of the animations in the Hitch-Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy TV series. Music and all.

    If you haven’t seen the series, check this small clip that proves the non-existence of God through intelligent design. It also proves, I feel beyond doubt, that Dawkins is merely Oolon Colluphid’s avatar. For maximum effect, watch it immediately after the Sagan.

    Douglas Adams, you are most sorely missed.

    R

  30. #30 386sx
    December 6, 2006

    Now look here, humans, you shouldn’t be surprised that we’re still trying to get out of the water.

    You’re not too far off the mark there, Mr. Fish. All fish are the same fish. What one fish does, so doth the rest of the fishies… because there is only one fish “kind”. Welcome to the world of creationism, Mr. Fishy!

  31. #31 Carlie
    December 6, 2006

    I had no idea fish were trying to get out of the water

    Dang, PZ, you missed it? They’re not just coming out of the water, they’re coming after us!

  32. #32 phototaxi
    December 6, 2006

    For quite a while, ClearChannel had a billboard up next to the 101 freeway in Los Angeles with stark black and white graphics stating “In God we trust.”

    Meaning, no doubt, God and a compliant Republican congress permitting the concentration of media outlets in fewer and fewer Mammon loving hands….

  33. #33 Ichthyic
    December 7, 2006

    Now look here, humans, you shouldn’t be surprised that we’re still trying to get out of the water. After all, if it isn’t deep-sea trawlers or dynamiting reefs, it’s eutrophication or toxic spills, and as if all that weren’t enough, you’ve only got to go and start heating the oceans up! I mean, what did we ever do to you?

    indeed, I can only empathize:

    http://www.yubanet.com/artman/publish/article_44961.shtml

    I think I had a wet dream, cruisin’ through the gulf stream…

  34. #34 Tom Foss
    December 7, 2006

    My experience with Carl Sagan’s work is woefully lacking. But that, that was beautiful. Thank you, PZ.

  35. #35 Ted
    December 7, 2006

    Damn, I miss Carl. I was born after that and several other Cosmos films were made, but they’re highly pleasant viewings still.

  36. #36 Mike Haubrich
    December 7, 2006

    “Dang, PZ, you missed it? They’re not just coming out of the water, they’re coming after us!”

    I’ll see your Asian Carp and raise you a northern snakehead:

    http://www.dnr.state.md.us/fisheries/fishingreport/snakehead.html

    http://tinyurl.com/3xe4x

    Mike

  37. #37 Ichthyic
    December 7, 2006

    Carlie:

    It’s worse than you think, in Africa, the fish already hunt out of the water:

    “The journal Nature will be publishing a report on an African catfish that hunts its prey on land. The fish wriggles out of the swamps to catch land-based prey. From the article: ‘The eel catfish, Channallabes apus, catches unsuspecting victims by arching upwards and descending upon prey, trapping an insect against the ground before sucking it up. The same trick may have been used by the very first vertebrates to venture onto land, the researchers speculate”

    not only that, but billfishes have a long history of human hatred, usually exhibited by spearing offending fisherfolk:

    http://www.unichef.com/news/news080100.htm

  38. #38 Ted
    December 7, 2006

    But that, that was beautiful. Thank you, PZ.

    They’re all like that. Poetic and charged with skeptical optimism, if that makes any sense.

  39. #39 Mickey Mortimer
    December 7, 2006

    I was impressed the Carl Sagan sequence featured cladogenesis. Far better than the anagenesis most such demonstrations are stuck in.

  40. #40 Vladimir Ulyanov
    December 7, 2006

    Bllbrds!

    trgs!

    Fr spch s sch pn n th ss!

    ssm th thsts cn D smthng bt tht whn thy gt cntrl. ftr ll, thy lwys hv.

  41. #41 David B.
    December 7, 2006

    Which troll is mascarading as Lenin?

  42. #42 Jimmy
    December 7, 2006

    This video is good, but it’s not the original Cosmos animation. It has pictures from Hubble taken after Sagan died, and it looks like it’s a series of quotes edited in, and the animation is put onto a star background

    I really like the original “This branch didn’t lead to us” animation which is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMHNnhAEDN4, and has much better commentary about what you are looking at.

  43. #43 Rollie Hicks
    December 7, 2006

    Regarding billboard space for non-profits; as I was investigating the use of billboards in the November election I was told that Lamar Advertising provides free space to non-profits that do public service work – they provide them free of charge access to uncontracted billboard space. This may explain all of the Pro Life billboards we see.

  44. #44 Baratos
    December 7, 2006

    Which troll is mascarading as Lenin?

    Zombie hitler obviously. Hitler was never able to forgive Lenin after he ran over his poodle with a KV-1e.

  45. #45 silence
    December 7, 2006

    The Minnesota Secretary of State has an official address of record for the organization:

    WHO IS YOUR CREATOR
    14424 Woodhaven Rd
    Mtka, MN, 55345

    you can probably get a list of officers if you’re willing to pay $4.00 for the full record.

  46. #46 Keith Douglas
    December 8, 2006

    I just cannot begin to imagine the cognitive dissonance on the part of these people who claim that people like Carl would be/were on their side. Just appalling.

  47. #47 Bob Carroll
    February 21, 2009

    Birds gotta swim, fish gotta fly… (Thanks, George and Ira).

    Bob

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