Pharyngula

The Creation Museum

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This week, the creationist Ken Ham and his organization, Answers in Genesis, are practicing the Big Lie. They have spent tens of millions of dollars to create a glossy simulacrum of a museum, a slick imitation of a scientific enterprise veneered over long disproved religious fables, and they are gathering crowds and world-wide attention to the grand opening of their edifice of deceit. You can now take a photographic tour of the exhibits and see for yourself—it’s not science at all, but merely a series of Bible stories dolled up in dioramas.

The blogosphere is also giving them some attention — almost none of it favorable. What I’ve done here is collect recent reactions from all over to the Creation Museum, and compile them down into a link and a short and (I hope) representative extract. Browse through this long, long list, and when you find some quote that tickles your interest, follow the link to find the complete article. The National Center for Science Education has also compiled reactions from journalists, educators, scientists, and scientific organizations for yet more reading on the subject.


First, credit where credit is due: I’m just the editor of this particular collection, but the idea came from John McKay, who thought there ought to be some kind of coordinated response condensed out of the chaos of the blogosphere, and prompted me to put out a call for links to commentary. John does not think much of Ham’s dino-follies.

Ken Ham’s version of Genesis appears to have been designed to appeal to second-graders. Not only are all of the neat stories in the beginning of Genesis literally true. In Adam and Eve’s day all of the animals were friends. None of the carnivores ate meat, so they never hurt or scared the lambs or deer. Cats never chased mice and dogs never chased cats. Not only that, but people and dinosaurs lived together and were friends. The dinosaurs let people put dino-saddles on them and ride them around like ponies.

That’s a fairly typical reaction: we can hardly believe that in 21st century America, this childish comic-book fantasy is being taken seriously by anyone.


The media commentary

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I wish the country’s newspapers had responded that unambiguously and clearly, but the image above was modified. Journalists, you have a problem. Most of the articles written on this “museum” bend over backwards to treat questions like “Did Man walk among Dinosaurs?” as serious, requiring some kind of measured response from multiple points of view, and rarely even recognized the scientific position that the question should not only be answered with a strong negative, but that it is absurd. Let me ask any reporters out there: when you cover a story about a disaster, say the destruction of a town by a tornado, do you also feel obligated to get a few pithy quotes from a few people who want to argue that the disaster was a good thing, or that the residents deserved it?

One of the worst examples of this inane and unwarranted “fair and balanced” reporting comes from the Newspaper of Record, the hallowed New York Times. The Times published an appallingly credulous article, Adam and Eve in the Land of the Dinosaurs, that strained to give equal time to idiocy.

For the skeptic the wonder is at a strange universe shaped by elaborate arguments, strong convictions and intermittent invocations of scientific principle. For the believer, it seems, this museum provides a kind of relief: Finally the world is being shown as it really is, without the distortions of secularism and natural selection.

Quite a few of the articles sent in to me took the NY Times to task for printing such wishy-washy apologetics for creationism. Despite having some excellent science writers and some of the best science reporting in the news, whenever the paper tries to address the cultural conflict with science, they have consistently had some of the very worst articles on the subject.

Answers in the New York Times

So I got to thinking, hmmm…. Why did the Times send their culture reporter to cover this museum in such a friendly way, when they assigned science reporter John Noble Wilford to cover this year’s opening of the new Human Origins Hall at the American Museum of Natural History? I mean, they’re on the same subject, right? Shouldn’t they get the same reviewer?

The Times on the Creation Museum

No, for a visitor steeped in the scientific world view the impact of the museum is shocked disbelief at the sheer level of scientific incompetence on display coupled with considerable nervousness about the political power these folks wield.

Rothstein offers a few gentle criticisms of the museum in the article’s final paragraphs. But his article is mostly a fawning and ridiculous tribute to one of the rankest displays of pseudoscience you are ever likely to confront.

The media hasn’t always been an indecisive organ for nonsense. On the other coast, the LA Times has done a much better job of reporting on the Yabba-dabba science.

The museum, a 60,000-square-foot menace to 21st century scientific advancement, is the handiwork of Answers in Genesis, a leader in the “young Earth” movement. Young Earthers believe the world is about 6,000 years old, as opposed to the 4.5 billion years estimated by the world’s credible scientific community. This would be risible if anti-evolution forces were confined to a lunatic fringe, but they are not. Witness the recent revelation that three of the Republican candidates for president do not believe in evolution. Three men seeking to lead the last superpower on Earth reject the scientific consensus on cosmology, thermonuclear dynamics, geology and biology, believing instead that Bamm-Bamm and Dino played together.

The Washington Post also strongly disputes A Monument To Creation.

But in this latest demonization of Darwinian evolution, there is a sticking point: For the biblical account to be accurate and the world to be so young, several hundred years of research in geology, physics, biology, paleontology, and astronomy would need to be very, very wrong.

Really, journalists: you can objectively report the claims of both sides, but when one side is wrong and lying, it’s your job to also report that.


The scientific arguments against creationism

The blogosphere has actually done a better job than most media in addressing the scientific flaws in Ken Ham’s creationism, which if you think about it, is a rather nasty indictment of the reportage in itself: a bunch of disorganized amateurs have created more coherent criticisms of the bad science than the professionals, who are supposed to inform the public, have done. Rarely do the newspapers report any of the claims that Ken Ham makes about science, and even more rarely do they explain why they are wrong. Almost all of the blog entries on this museum refer to the fact that creationism contradicts well-established scientific principles, even the ones that have as their main intent mocking the “museum”—others put considerable effort into summarizing the science that Ken Ham either does not understand or cynically neglects.

The Earth divided

If every living creature on earth got off a boat at the top of Mount Ararat a mere 4,500 years ago, how did sloths, who only move a few inches a day, make their way to the jungles of South America? How did penguins end up in Antarctica and polar bears in the Arctic? And what happened to Australia to make it populated with such strange creatures found nowhere else in the world?

In fact, Ken Ham was asked about this very question as he was being interviewed about his new Creationist Museum in April. His answer? Plate tectonics, really fast. He claimed that “the flood waters lubricated a process called runaway subduction in which the continents subsequently drifted apart at a sprint!” In other words, plate tectonics happening over a period of days or weeks rather than millions of years. The biblical justification for this is one tiny, obscure reference to the earth being divided. Genesis 10:25 says “To Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided…”. The name Peleg literally means division.

Creationist Rule of Thumb with the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics

Anytime somebody tries to use the Second Law of Thermodynamics to refute evolution, you should realize you’re dealing with somebody who doesn’t understand science or who is a liar.

Spotting Design

Modern archaeology is built around experiment, observation and ethnography. It’s not enough to say something looks designed, you should also refer to why and how you think an item was created.

T. rex ate coconuts

Museum guides tell visitors that before Adam and Eve were expelled from paradise all of the dinosaurs were peaceful plant-eaters. In Genesis 1:30 God gives ‘green herb’ to every creature to eat and so there were no predators. When a curious museum visitor asks, why exactly T. rex had six-inch long serrated teeth, the guides go on to explain that T. rex used his big teeth to open coconuts. Apparently it was only after Adam and Eve sinned and were cast out of paradise that the dinosaurs started to eat flesh.

Ham’s Creation Museum – What Kids Won’t Hear About Teeth

On the specific errors, Ham draws a false similarity in tooth structure between bears and tyrannosaurs. To Ham, the gross generality is sufficient: both bears and tyrannosaurs have “sharp teeth”, but different diets – the conclusion, therefore, is that this observation is consistent with the Genesis account that all creatures ate plants initially, but later diverged into different diets. Of course a very simple inspection (I have a bear jaw and skull in front of me now) shows quite clearly to anyone without pre-conceived ideas of what these animals should be eating that bear teeth are not like tyrannosaur teeth at all. Tyrannosaurs have multiple, generally cone-shaped teeth. The only remotely cone-shaped teeth on the bear are the canines: the remaining teeth are largely low, with rounded cusps. When you look at the teeth of to days carnivores (crocodiles, porpoises, sea lions, tigers, coyotes, foxes, etc.) their teeth are cone or triangular (a flattened cone) in design, much like the tyrannosaurs. Bear teeth on the other hand, show a mixture of cone-like and low, flattened teeth similar to those seen in raccoons, badgers, monkeys and, to a lesser extent, humans. All of these animals eat a variety of foods including meat, insects, fruit and other plant materials.

Ham Boned

It says quite a lot about Ham and his followers that they find a 4.5-billion-year-old Earth wildly implausible next to the notion of a tyrannosaur calmly grazing in a meadow.

Jurassic Pigeon at the Creation Museum!

Creationists can’t handle this consistently. There are basically two responses. One set of creationists treat Archaeopteryx as a bird, with some minor differences like claws on the wings and teeth in the beak. The other approach focuses on the fact that Archaeopteryx is not directly ancestral to modern birds, and spins that into a denial of any association at all. Both arguments are symptomatic of a stolid cement headed stupidity.

The former approach manages to plumb slightly deeper depths of idiocy. Predictably, this is the approach chosen by Answers in Genesis, for their absurd museum.

Probability and Genetic Algorithms: AiG Gets it all Wrong

When looking through AiG’s archives for stuff that I could shred apart for PZ’s blog carnival, I characteristically looked for the computer science and mathematics related drivel that is typical of all creationists. And lo and behold, I found it. The first piece deals with Richard Dawkins’ famous “weasel” word-experiment, and the second deals with genetic algorithms and why they allegedly fail to show that evolution works.

The 7 Es of Evidence

Creationists blindly ignore the evidence of the world around us in order to make it fit into a paradigm. They spend an inordinate amount of time and money on trying to prove hypothesis that do not stand up to scientific tests. They are in the process of raising $25 million dollars in order to open the museum debt free. $25 million dollars on a farce of a museum that claims that the dinosaurs lived in the time of humans.

Dragon Earth: A Scientific World

That is the heart of the difference between a magical world and a scientific world. The nature of the scientific world does not change as our understanding changes, instead it is our understanding that changes as we learn more of how our world works. As we learn more we come to understand that our understanding was in error and needs correction.

Here’s a good question: “Are there any technological advances that have been made because of a belief in evolution?” Thanks for asking.

Introduce me to a creationist who respects the investment in learning evolution to understand the mysteries of biology and I’ll work alongside them any day.

What are the YECs saying?

Young Earth Creationists dont do laboratory research. ‘More work needs to be done?’ YECs dont do any work at all, especially with ERVs [endogenous retroviruses]. If you know of one, send him/her my way.

Ken Ham’s Comedy Museum

That’s not science, and it’s lousy epistemology, which is why while science has made remarkable progress over the last century, often with ideas that appeared absurd at first glance (evo-devo, plate tectonics, DNA, quantum mechanics, and relativity for starters), creationists like Ken Ham can (and do) recycle their speeches and arguments from 20 years ago, and get raving applause from the true believers. Never mind that they never produce any new knowledge of any kind about the world.

He built a whole creation museum, but says “young earth” isn’t the point? WTF?

So you built a whole museum based on a LITERAL interpretation of the bible? I’ve only got one question. Do you believe EVERYTHING it says? Oh yeah? Really?

What about all of these questions?

A car analogy for the science vs church “debate”

You’re going to service it, you tell me, based solely on the one book you wrote all those years ago, which discusses nothing but the fuel pump. In doing this, you are willing to throw out volumes of text that I have written, explaining in exacting detail every part of the car from the differential to the hood ornament.

One good thing that is emerging from Ham’s folly is that outraged scientists are mobilizing to fight the foolishness: Calling all Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky scientists!

A peaceful protest is planned, as I wrote about recently. But we need more than that. Eugenie Scott, who is the head of the National Center for Science Education, has organized a Statement of Concern, and it needs signatures. They?re looking for scientists, and specifically physical scientists, to sign the statement.

Are you a postdoc or faculty-level astronomer, chemist, physicist, engineer, or geologist in Ohio, Indiana, or Kentucky? Do you care that science is being horribly abused by the likes of Ham? Then sign the Statement!

Not all the focus was on the bad biology and paleontology of Ken Ham. He’s also an incompetent fraud when it comes to interpreting the Bible—This is not about dinosaurs.

With Ken Ham’s creation museum opening May 28, in Petersburg, Kentucky, I thought it might be abnormally interesting to look at some of the claims concerning the Hebrew Bible and dinosaurs. In this post, I will limit myself to two Hebrew words that, according to some Young Earth Creationists, may refer to dinosaurs: תַנִּין (tannîn) and תַנִּים (tannîm). It is not my intention to be completely exhaustive, but rather to give you enough evidence to support my conclusion. While I will only touch lightly on Leviathan and not at all on Behemoth, I must say at the top of this post that one needs to have a very strong prior belief that the Hebrew Bible might mention dinosaurs to see them anywhere. And that includes Leviathan, Behemoth and any other of the words or phrases that have been suggested. There is absolutely no reason, based on internal evidence to associate dinosaurs with any word or entity mentioned the Bible. Nothing in the larger corpus of Near Eastern literature would lead one to such a conclusion either.


The ugly consequences of creationism

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Another common reaction on the blogs is simple disgust at the anti-intellectualism of the creationist movement and at the shameful targeting of impressionable children. What Ham is doing is the opposite of education: he is misleading our kids and encouraging uninformed adults to promote an anti-science agenda.

Inside Ham’s Crackhouse (see also Part 1 and Part 2)

This crackhouse will only help promote, spread, and indoctrinate people into young earth propaganda and do no science at all. Heck, the creationists working there will not even mentioned to their lay people that the only real, true foundation of The Gospel is our Lord Jesus Christ and our Lord Jesus Christ only. (John 1:1-15) despite what the creationists falsely claim. Instead, it will only teach you nothing worthwhile and help further the efforts of people, who willfully do everything they accuse evolution of, to horde millions of dollars of money for themselves and exercise power and control over millions of people.

Ken Ham’s Petting Zoo Opens to Shut Minds

Lapdogs for Jesus! That’s what these people want to be. That’s what this “museum” is about—domestication. They don’t want scientists telling us that evolution reveals our nobel, wild, free past, because this 10,000 year-old experiment in our self-domestication will not be complete until we’ve done in the entire planet, too.

Ham Roast

The “big deal” comes from the fact that we Americans are notorious suckers for flash and dazzle, and mostly poorly educated in science, to boot. So you put up this museum, full of false arguments and bad science, arguing against good science, and you’ve got a recipe for further misleading plenty of Americans.

Opening of unnatural history museum

…misunderstanding the knowledge that science research provides is dangerous in itself, especially in an intellectual battle for hearts and minds.

AIG Museum of “Yabba-Dabba Science” Opens in Kentucky

This isn’t just about a few nutcases out on the fringe; this sort of anti-science nonsense has been informing the Bush administration right from the start. The fact that an assemblage of wackos such as AIG can raise the millions of dollars necessary to build this monument to willful ignorance should concern all Americans in possession of firing neurons.

Argument for a Fairy Tale

I have nothing against his “museum”, other than him calling it a museum, and saying it uses “science”. To me, it’s just a amusement park devoted to a fairy tale, with no real science behind it, whatsoever.

Monument to Delusion

While I don’t think this museum will convert any adults to creationism, it will indoctrinate children, which the museum is targeted at, into thinking that the earth was magically created from nothing just a few thousand years ago, and that all of Earth’s millions of species were preserved on a wooden ship during a global flood, against all common sense and scientific evidence. This will add to the misinformation that these students will need to unlearn when they reach college and need to learn real science.

Walking with dinosaurs, and eating salad with them too

It’s this sense of wonder that organizations like AiG and facilities like the Creation Museum threaten most. The idea that everything worth knowing can be sandwiched between the covers of a single book. The concept that there is some evidence that must not be examined, some ideas that must not be explored (remember how Adam and Eve got into all that trouble?). The belief that one’s own morals and prejudices are so perfect that one must pass them down intact to one’s children or risk the wrath of God.

Creationists gone wild

This Memorial Day will be truly memorial for those who believe the universe is only 6,000 years old. The Creation Museum opens Monday in Petersburg, Ky. A creation of the creationists responsible for the Answers in Genesis “resource,” primarily Ken Ham, B.Sc., the designers of the new museum have managed to find $27 million to furnish their monument to Biblical literalism with the latest in multimedia and animatronic displays. Just think what those 27 million clams could have done for, oh … I dunno … the pagan public school system?

It’s time to rally against the Creation Museum

We have just recently begun the 21st century. At a time when science education is slowly gaining momentum after years of neglect, the opening of the Creation Museum is a giant step backward into pre-Darwinian, 19th century science. That most of its visitors will never once question the validity of the beliefs on which creationism is based is a leap back into the Dark Ages.

Opposing the Creation Museum is Good Science, Not Intolerance

People tend to vote for what sounds right rather than what actually is right, and AiG is perfectly willing to lie to make sure it happens. That is why people like me oppose the Creation Museum. It’s not because we want to censor or take away the First Amendment Rights of Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis. They’re free to build whatever they want on their land and believe whatever suits their fancy. We simply want AiG to stop lying and call their building what it really is: a church.

A World Where Lies Are True

The museum is an illustration of the movement’s marriage of primitive and intolerant beliefs with the modern tools of technology, mass communication, sophisticated fundraising and political organization. Totalitarian systems usually start as propagandistic movements that ostensibly teach people to “believe what they want.” This is a ruse. This primacy of personal opinion, regardless of facts, destabilizes and destroys the primacy of all facts. This process leads inevitably to the big lie. Facts are useful only if they bolster the message. The use of mass-marketing techniques to persuade and convince, rather than brainwash, has led tens of millions of followers to accept the toxic totalitarian line by tricking them into believing it’s their own. Ironically, at the outset the movement seemingly encourages people to think “independently” or “courageously.”

Thou shalt not lie

Unfortunately, Ham has forgotten that most people in this country get an earful of wacky religious beliefs every Sunday from the time they are born, whereas many children in this country are not taught the fundamentals of evolution even by the time they reach high school.

Welcome to the Creation Museum

This museum is not a museum of science. It’s a museum of faith, carefully cloaked in scientific garb, to help prove the truth of the Christian bible. Why is this a concern for scientists, such as the ones that have signed petitions protesting the museum, or those who couldn’t be there but are quietly fuming?

Because this museum distorts science. It’s an educational attraction, carrying in this morning at least one schoolbus in through a long line of cars waiting at the iron gates. It shows first the scientific viewpoint places a scientific fact in front of the visitor, then “debunks” the years of research and testing that went into ascertaining that piece of knowledge with carefully chosen phrases that reinforce a specific religious viewpoint.

One Born Every Minute

We don’t think of museums this way today (thank goodness), for the most part, but – in a way – the Creation Museum sounds like a kind of throwback, mixing science and fantasy, entertainment and ‘moral instruction’.
It might not be surprising to know that “Its designer, Patrick Marsh, used to work at Universal Studios in Los Angeles.”

Museum of absurdity set to open

The creationist museum will be a major disappointment to truth-seekers. Its foundation or biblical literalism will ensure that truth will be sacrificed for doctrinal convictions. It will also give true believers a false view that science confirms religious myths.

Solomon’s House: The Deeper Agenda of the New Creation Museum in Kentucky

What is really on display here is what Max Weber called the “enchanted garden” — a magical place wherein God cares about human beings and codes nature with secrets and signs of his power and purpose. The scientific world view, by contrast, presents what Stephen Jay Gould once described as “the ‘cold bath’ theory that nature was not constructed as our eventual abode, didn’t know we were coming (we are, after all, interlopers of the latest geological microsecond), and doesn’t give a damn about us (speaking metaphorically).” However, Gould concludes, “I regard such a position as liberating, not depressing.”

Genesis 1 and 2 – a ‘low rent side show’

Simplistic, mysoginist, inconsistent and bearing no resemblance to what actual scientific evidence shows. Just what we’ve come to expect from the ‘holy of holies’.

And I’m supposed to believe this…why?

So WWKHD? He watched the movie or heard a voice that said “If you build it they will come” and he will fleece them when they do.

Creation Museum

The “science” museum is nothing more than an amusement park using technology to bend and break the truth. The people who will view it with interest, more than amusement, will be those who believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible. If belief in some unprovable and invisible being makes them feel better, that’s their business.

From Jello to Jesus

I think all Christians do a certain amount of sticking-fingers-in-their-ears-and-singing to drown out the facts which bluntly disprove their beliefs. I envision a Christian’s belief system (or any religious belief system) as an egg shell surrounding that person. The believer inside that shell can happily keep their beliefs as long as the shell remains intact around them. As things like scientific advances bombard a believer’s shell they will alter their beliefs to patch up the cracks in their shells. These acts of crack-patching rationalization take all kinds of crazy forms and usually include interpreting sections of the bible as figurative instead of literal and actively working to be in complete denial or ignorance of the threatening knowledge. Mr. Ham’s technique is heavy on the denial.

Beyond Barney

And it is sad that children and adults will be subject to this museum as some sort of science education; when the real discoveries of what the dinosaurs were and how they lived are enfolding through the real process of discovery. They will be denied the wonder of how the world really works, in favor of the Answers-in-Genesis fantasy.

Creation Mausoleum

This monument to cultural inertia is misnamed. Behold the Creation Mausoleum. In it are the discarded ideas, naivety, and fears of the youth of mankind. Reject these beliefs, but know them, for there are those who would see them resurrected. But make no mistake. It is a tomb. It is a folly.

Aude Sapere

Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of this large scale disinformation effort is the target audience. If you want to convince scientists of your claim, you do some research and try to get it published. But what about children? If you wanted to target children with this type of disinformation a high tech theme-park approach seems like it would leave a lasting impression on young minds.

There’s a Huckster Born Every Minute

One of the reasons the Cardiff Giant was such a successful hoax in the 1860s was that, as HistoryBuff.com notes, “many an evangelist at the time had been preaching that there were giants in the earth.” People were inclined to believe in the hoax because people they would otherwise trust planted a suggestion in their minds that it might be true, just as huckster George Hull could plant the fake giant and wait for the right moment to bring it out of the ground.

Now, according to Sunday’s Washington Post, a group of extreme anti-intellectuals from the evangelical movement are set to open a “Creation Museum,” in Petersburg, Kentucky (near Cincinnati), which cost $27 million to build, a “museum” that is every bit as much a hoax today as the Cardiff Giant was in its time.

Here’s something to consider: every time I’ve gone to a popular science museum, there are lines of school buses ferrying kids on field trips. Public schools in the Cincinnati area might want to think about how field trips to this particular museum could be the Genesis of a lawsuit.

The minute a public-school teacher takes his or her class on a field trip to the Christian House of Deception, we’ve got a lawsuit a-borning. Ever since the Supreme Court’s Edwards v. Aguillard decision in 1987, schools that are paid for with taxpayer cash have been forbidden to teach creationism as if it were science.


Mockery and humor

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To my surprise, I expected much more open clowning at this joke of a “museum”—but there were only a few entries that tried. I suspect that when many millions of dollars are thrown away on a fool’s enterprise that has received international attention and that makes your whole country look like a nest of ignorant rubes and yokels, it’s increasingly hard to regard it as funny.

A Post Wherin I Mock Creationists

And of all the dumb thing said by religious people, the dumbest are the Young Earth Creationists. These are the people who believe the world is six thousand years old because the bible tells them so and everything in the bible is literally true because the bible says so.

This the way to the Ken Ham museyroom. Turn your brain off goan in.…I think the title is enough to give you a taste.

Doing My Part to Irritate Ken Ham

From what I’ve seen, theists like Ken Ham seem to think they can get away with anything and everything. Especially intellectual sloth. So, when are they going to actually make falsifiable predictions and test them?

I Heard It Through The Ape Vine

A little way into the lecture, Ken Ham asks the children in the audience a variety of questions. Most of these questions deal with evolution, common descent and dinosaurs. He asks the children the question, “Does Your Grandfather Look Like This?” and then a slide is displayed behind him of a “humanized” looking ape. The children all laugh as do their parents, because of course, they don’t believe that their beloved grandfather looks like the rather strange and funny representation they are being shown.

The Creationist Art Gallery

As we atheists are well aware, the Creation Museum of Faux Science will be opening this weekend. Less well publicized, however, is the accompanying Creationist Art Gallery. Fortunately, I’ve been able to get an advance copy of the catalog, and I can assure you that the displays will demonstrate the same kind of careful attention to scientific and historical truth that the more well-known venue does. Below, I’ve reproduced ten pages from the catalog, just to give you an idea of the high quality of the exhibits.

Scientists haven’t had a chance to visit the “museum” yet, so all our descriptions are second-hand. That hasn’t stopped anyone from imagining what opening day will be like—Itinerary for the Creation Museum Opening:

3:00 – 4:00 PM “Why Are There Still Monkeys?” Dr. Herman Marshall*, an accounting professor at Mooreville Community College in Kansas who has a doctorate from Liberty University and was one of the leading voices in the fight to introduce intelligent design curriculum into public schools, will present compelling evidence against the theory of evolution and for a literal, Biblical creation by elaborating on his central theme.

Creation Museum Opens This Weekend

The podcast is 29 minutes long. I think you’ll enjoy it. It starts off with an item about the Scopes trial and its modern equivalents. Then (starting about 4 minutes and 40 seconds from the beginning and running through the end), I talk about the Creation Museum. I take you on a virtual tour. Join me as I make fun of this pathetic monument to superstition!

Left ‘Toon Lane has been running a Cartoon Contest, collecting entries that make fun of the new “museum”. And here’s an example that leads in nicely to the next section.

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What about the rest of the world?

This collection of articles is largely in response to an American phenomenon, by American observers, and it’s biased by my own American focus. We are being watched by the rest of the world, though, and some of it is bemused, and some of it is very concerned—not only is the most militarily powerful nation on the planet being misled by a brand of goofy and dangerous religiosity, but we’re exporting it beyond our borders. Here’s an excellent review of international creationist efforts, on the threat from creationism
to the rational teaching of biology
.

Virtually all biologists now accept evolution as a reality that is no longer worth discussing. In the words of Medawar, as quoted by Carroll (2006), for a biologist, the alternative to thinking in evolutionary terms is not to think at all. This universal acceptance makes it easy for biologists to forget that the situation in the world at large is very different, not also among non-scientists but also to a surprising extent among scientists in non-biological fields. Even those who are aware of the creationist threat to the rational teaching of biology in the USA often fail to realize that in recent years the problem has spread far beyond the USA, driven in some countries not by Christian fundamentalism but by Islamic fundamentalism. The purpose of this article, therefore, is to make biologists conscious of the existence of a serious threat to their subject, even if they work in countries such as Chile where very little problem is apparent at present, and to emphasize that the moment to plan how to respond to creationism is now.

We’re also seeing the deluded minority of citizens in our neighbor to the North creating similar monuments to folly: Canada opens a competitor.

The country’s first permanent creation museum — set to open June 5 — will use fossil displays to support the Bible’s explanation of creation.
The Big Valley Creation Science Museum, about 200 kilometres northeast of Calgary, is billed as an alternative to the view presented by the Royal Tyrell Museum in Drumheller, Alta.

Our German colleagues are looking at this developing idiocy incredulously. If you can’t read this entry, I’ll translate the message for you: a scientific freakshow opens in the most developed country in the world.

Sollte Ken Hams Museum ebenso lachhaft werden sind die Vereinigten Staaten um eine bizarre Attraktion reicher. Auf der anderen Seite ist es aber auch traurig, wenn man bedenkt, dass diese Freakshow im wissenschaftlich am weitesten entwickelten Land der Erde ihre Pforten öffnet.


What next?

This “museum” is going to get a flood of visitors in the next few weeks; novelty will be a draw. We can hope, though, that it will soon fade away and close its doors as the word gets out that it is bad science. And perhaps it will meet the fate of other institutions of pseudoscience, as described in The Dragons of Eden.

Whether the Creation Museum will be a success or failure is anyone’s guess; I’m sure there are plenty of church groups that have already booked their trips over the last year or so. They’ll get their fair share of skeptical visitors as well, people who have intact and working BS detectors who want to see for themselves what all the fuss was about. While this museum is certainly the largest and most advanced, its message is not new, and I can’t help but wonder if it will end up like another controversial theme park. A mere 4 years ago, on May 23, 2003, Erich Anton Paul von Däniken, author of Chariots of the Gods?, opened Mystery Park in Interlaken, Switzerland. Based upon notions about “ancient astronauts” and alien intervention on earth so fanciful they bordered on the psychotic, the park was scoffed at by many and closed on November 19, 2006 due to financial problems (likely filed under “Money: Lack thereof”). (4) Will AiG’s museum succomb to the same fate?

The only positive response to the museum that I received from a credible source was from Greg Laden, who says Long Live the Creation Museum! He predicts that the museum will not last, but that it is going to be a useful historical relic.

But now, it is important. It is important to preserve this period of American history, or more exactly, the history of our (perhaps unique, or at least extreme) American propensity to believe the strangest things, to have the strangest practices. There are museums and institutes dedicated to alien abduction, to the study of bigfoot, to the yoyo and the hula-hoop, to white supremacy, to pin-ball, and to Cadillac convertibles. The creation museum will fit in nicely with this panoply of the irrelevant, the parade of oddities, this historical warehouse of the weird.

The best and most productive response in all the collection, though, was this simple suggestion from Farm school at home:

Whether or not Monday is a holiday where you are, go visit a natural history museum.

Laelaps has the same idea. Screw the Creation Museum, go to the AMNH!

While the new Creation Museum is continually touted to be within driving distance of 2/3 of America’s population (MapQuest tells me that it’d take me 10 hours and 25 minutes over a distance of 636.74 miles; If I’m going to drive that far, I’m going to go somewhere I actually will enjoy visiting), I suspect that there are plenty of people in the New York/New Jersey area who will not be making the trip to check it out this weekend. Instead, why not visit the new Mythical Creatures exhibition (curiously opening the same weekend as the Creation Museum) at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC? The promotional website for the exhibit is already up, and promises to help uncover the origins of many myths, from mermaids to dragons, with the help of artifacts from paleontology, archeology, and biology.

Now that is an excellent suggestion. If you are outraged as I am that Ken Ham’s Temple of Inanity is going to be drawing attention, the best thing you can do is look in your local community for a good science museum, go there, and learn something new and something true. Tell them Ken Ham sent you, and that you’re there because you want to support institutions that combat ignorance, rather than add to it.


One last sorrowful message

Does the opposition to creationism matter? Yes, it does. Answers in Genesis is a predatory organization: it thrives on ignorance, and it misinforms and misleads and lies specifically to inculcate the kind of gullibility and fear and desperation that will send more donations to its coffers.

It’s not just children who are scammed. Read my father knew no science for an example of what Ken Ham really feeds on.

He needed more care, himself, but there was no money left to pay for a homemaker, or even a cleaning woman. I went out weekly and did as much as I could; church people mended his clothes and brought food, neighbours checked on him. But there was always a shortfall.

When he died, at 92, and I picked up the reins of his finances, I found that month’s bill from AIG: $70. For DVDs. To give away, of course; Dad had no TV, no DVD player, no video player: he was almost blind.

That’s what the museum is all about: fleecing the poor, the weak, the ignorant, the confused.

Comments

  1. #1 Laelaps
    May 27, 2007

    Excellent work PZ! And thanks for the double-linkage as well.

  2. #2 CalGeorge
    May 27, 2007

    To my surprise, I expected much more open clowning at this joke of a “museum”–but there were only a few entries that tried.

    I put up something here:

    http://swiftspeech.blogspot.com/2007/05/this-way-to-ken-ham-museyroom-check-you.html

  3. #3 aiabx
    May 27, 2007

    I can’t even look. Just thinking about the whole thing makes me vomit blood.

  4. #4 Rich
    May 27, 2007

    Looks like I have my Sunday morning reading all set up. Better brew another pot of coffee. Thanks for this PZ. Well done.

  5. #5 sparc
    May 27, 2007

    Do they have mummies? The plan looks as if they’ve buried some people in there.

  6. #6 waldteufel
    May 27, 2007

    This is a good time to thank you, P.Z., for all the great work you do to promote reason and good science.

    It is depressing to think about the large numbers of credulous zombies being led by their pastors into Ham’s web of deceit.

  7. #7 John Danley
    May 27, 2007

    Reposted from:
    http://thestubborncurmudgeon.blogspot.com

    PZ Myers Arrested!

    AP Newswire: The infamous biology professor and Minnesota resident PZ Myers was arrested early yesterday afternoon on the steps of the newly opened Creation Science Museum in Petersburg Kentucky after being ridiculed for handing out remedial science textbooks to several of the museum’s patrons. “They have to, at the very least, obtain a 2nd grade understanding of basic chemistry and geology,” stated Myers. “I don’t care what else they believe as long as they know that Fran Tarkenton, the former quarterback of the Vikings, was in no way a contemporary of Brachiosaurus!” Myers was promptly escorted to the state sheriff’s vehicle in handcuffs moments after his comment. When reporters asked a spokesperson for the museum if he knew of Myers, he replied, “PZ Myers? Sure, I know damn well who he is! He’s that uppity bio-cyclist (biologist) who runs a blogspot called Pharynx (he mistakenly meant Pharyngula). I mean really, would you listen to a godless man like that?” However, the spokesperson and other members of the museum’s board of trustees do not perceive Professor Myers as a major threat to the resounding truth of Creation Science. “Millions upon millions of young-earth geochronologists will keep the museum intellectually and historically safe from his kind,” stated the museum’s most prominent representative, “His voice has been silenced.” The mood gave further rise to heated debate as the afternoon progressed. “I’m no bone expert or anything,” stated a worker in the museum’s breathtakingly tempting gift shop, “but didn’t the fact that dinosaurs have names prove they existed during the Carter Administration?” One of the nearby reporters quickly responded, “Excuse me, do you possess the cognitive acumen of a pickled silverfish?” “No,” said the employee, “I’m much more intelligent than a piece of silver and you can’t prove that I’m not.” This type of stressful tension is not uncommon among museum participants, but certainly does not justify the incredulous behavior on behalf of PZ Myers. Nonetheless, Dr. Myers plans on obtaining legal representation and counter-suing the directors of the museum for their complicity in suggesting that Flintstones chewable multi-vitamins were fed to Velocirapters while being kept in captivity on Noah’s Ark.

    Editor’s Note: What, if anything, are we to make of this senseless “enlightenment effort” hoisted by Professor Myers? Didn’t Fran Tarkenton work as a prehistoric zoo-keeper during his off season with Ahmad Rashad? Doesn’t ancient scripture tell us that the earth is no more than 6 or even 3 thousand years old (as Liberty University has recently verified)? What could possibly be gained from a grammar school textbook that could trump the majesty of knowing that Adam and Eve used Triceratops for manual tilling in the Garden of Eden while Parasaurolophus stealthily provided inner-city transportation services for the entire family over 20 foot waterfalls?

    *For a scientifically accurate and historically verifiable account of the museum’s authenticity, along with fossil imprints made of ice cream and Plaster of Paris toothpaste, please contact The Discovery Institute or Professor Michael Behe for personal tutoring and tips on what type of toy-dragon playset to get Ken Ham for Christmas. It is time to reclaim Answers In Genesis (AIG) for everyone!

  8. #8 Paguroidea
    May 27, 2007

    Wow! What a wonderful response from the blogosphere. Many thanks to PZ, John McKay and all the folks that participated in the carnival. I don’t blog, but I really appreciate the time and effort the bloggers put into their posts for this carnival.

  9. #9 matthew
    May 27, 2007

    great post PZ, if you can make sticky posts, this should be one of them because it should certainly grow for a long time

  10. #10 John Danley
    May 27, 2007

    Thanks again PZ for all your work! But I’m still moving to Sweden. There is only so much one can take of Thomas Kinkade, Land of the Lost and Toby Keith.

  11. #11 sparc
    May 27, 2007

    When he died, at 92, and I picked up the reins of his finances, I found that month’s bill from AIG: $70. For DVDs. To give away, of course; Dad had no TV, no DVD player, no video player: he was almost blind.

    This is really appalling: Sending AiG bills to his own father and claiming that there was no money to pay the things his father seemingly really needed.

  12. #12 clheiny
    May 27, 2007

    I was thinking that the billboard artwork looked familiar. Sho’nuff, it’s cropped from a painting by John Gurche that appears on the cover of my edition of The Dinosaur Heresies. I wonder if that is being used with the artist’s permission and/or approval?

  13. #13 Christian Burnham
    May 27, 2007

    I’m still not sure. Is PZ and the blogosphere for or against creationism?

    I wish he’d tell us what he really thinks. I’m not a mind reader you know!

  14. #14 minimalist
    May 27, 2007

    aiabx:

    I can’t even look. Just thinking about the whole thing makes me vomit blood.

    Hmm, are you sure you’re not vomiting blood because you are possessed by TEH DEMONS OF EVILUTION?

  15. #15 Louis
    May 27, 2007

    I’ll post my submission here, since I didn’t have it in a blog.

    As May draws to an end, a wonderful museum of pseudoscience, paranoia and sometimes homophobia is about to open. This is none other than the Creation Museum, good old Answers in Genesis’ effort to replace over 200 years of science with ideas that were rejected since that time.

    Now each time they hear that the museum is pseudoscience, or is against science education, Ken Ham and his friends start to cry. They complain that no-one has seen the multimedia presentations (Flashy multimedia? It must be true!) put there by the loving PhD holders. (PhDs? It must be true!) They make cute lists of “scientists that believe in the Biblical account of creation”, even though most of these were pre-Darwin or lived during his time. And just because you can get a PhD when you believe in creationism does not make it scientific!

    Let me explain- creationism is a science stopper. Creationists always claim to have the absolute truth. This is evidenced by books such as “The Great Dinosaur Mystery Solved”, where the author claims everything about the past makes sense when one looks through “Biblical glasses”. Huzzah! No more complex phylogenies! I have the whole truth! But science doesn’t work by trying to find the simplest explanations- it seeks the testable ones that fit the facts best.

    Next we have an exhibit which presents the “present versus past science” idea, which says that science which studies the past is a simple mix of facts and presuppositions. Past science does not work that way! The claims made are tested over and over again. Creationists may deny this, but this is wilful ignorance. It sends the message that it is okay to be biased and that you should find evidence to support your worldview, as opposed to letting the facts speak for themselves.

    Luckily, the folks at AiG have a host of dinosaur animatronics and multimedia presentations to make the museum appear scientific. But looking at those exhibits bring me pain. Much, much pain. Couldn’t they have hired a better anatomist? The Archaeopteryx is completely wrong, looking like some sort of pigeon. The three-toed horses are awful. And that raptor- the skull, the hands, the integument- ouch.

    And of course, there are much needed scare tactics. An exhibit shows a girl whose minister believes in evolution calling to planned parenthood, even though the rate of teen pregnancy is highest in the states with the least acceptance of evolution. Homosexuality is linked to AIDS. (Now what does that have to do with evolution? I guess Darwinism opens the path to civil rights!)

    But of course, no-one will notice this, because the Bible is true from Genesis to Revelation, even though there is no evidence to support this claim, and it says that it is okay to sell your daughter and that rabbits chew their cud. So remember- the museum is all flash and trash!

  16. #16 Sherry Konkus
    May 27, 2007

    I love it! I really do!

    Last night, I’ve completed part 3 of my Inside Ham’s Crackhouse trilogy. But since I’m way too late to email you the article, I thought I would complete the trilogy by posting my part 3 link to this page.

    Inside Ham’s Crackhouse Part 3

    Now my article is complete.

  17. #17 Susannah
    May 27, 2007

    sparc wrote:
    ‘ “When he died, at 92, and I picked up the reins of his finances, I found that month’s bill from AIG: $70. For DVDs. To give away, of course; Dad had no TV, no DVD player, no video player: he was almost blind.” (quoting me)

    This is really appalling: Sending AiG bills to his own father and claiming that there was no money to pay the things his father seemingly really needed.”

    I think you have misunderstood; I was supporting my father as much as possible, financially and otherwise. It was he that was sending a large chunk of his pension to AIG.

  18. #18 dorid
    May 27, 2007

    WOW! I’ll be reading this for the next few days!

    Thanks for doing this.

  19. #19 Bob O'H
    May 27, 2007

    Scientists haven’t had a chance to visit the “museum” yet,…

    Untrue. Prof. Steve Steve has been there already.

    Bob

  20. #20 Greg Laden
    May 27, 2007

    Great Carnival of Creationism!

    Everyone must now link back to this. We can float our work to the top of the Google-Pile and get PZ a sub 200 Technorati ranking at the same time.

  21. #21 Hrish
    May 27, 2007

    Wish I was in the US right now to view this travesty. Could sure do with a good laugh.

  22. #22 Monkey
    May 27, 2007

    PZ – It has to be said out loud: thanks for your efforts and time….stuff like these (and other) compilations certainly make for easier comprehensive awareness.
    kudos.

  23. #23 George Picoulas
    May 27, 2007

    I think they’re entitled to their opinion and their own beliefs. I mean, not everybody wants to know, and not everyone wants to be smart. It’s a choice like many others in a person’s life.

    If I want to believe in a thesis, a particular point of view because it makes me feel better [like watching the Faux network because it shows we’re winning in Iraq] shouldn’t I have this right?

    I think many of us are missing the point when we try to argue with these people by using reason. No. They function on the reverse: First the conclusion, then construct the narrow frame and fill it only with facts [don’t have to be relevant] to support their initial conclusion. It’s rather simple this way. No need for revisions, or unknowns!

    Don’t you see that there’s some comfort in being a child, never needing to grow up?…..

  24. #24 Christian Burnham
    May 27, 2007

    Let’s get the ball rolling and start Digging this post up.

    The Digg button is at the top of the comments section.

  25. #25 The Exterminator
    May 27, 2007

    A stunning achievement, PZ! Nearly 75 links, and organized beautifully. Maybe you’re that intelligent designer some people are talking about.

  26. #26 coturnix
    May 27, 2007

    OK, linked back. This is an excellent round-up and I hope it grows.

  27. #27 Louis
    May 27, 2007

    Dugg.

  28. #28 Alan Kellogg
    May 27, 2007

    I passed the audition! 🙂

    Seriously, we can only speak out and hope people take the time to listen. Being honest, admitting to our errors, and pointing out where our knowledge is inadequate or incomplete may not help our cause, but it could establish a reputation for honesty that may help when contrasted with the venality of creationists etc.

    I’m not that hot on science and how it works. I should hope I’ve got the gist of it right, but I freely confess to my limitations. Life is a constant learning experience and I hope we all look forward to learning until the day we die.

    I hope word of this post and thrad gets spread around the world, and it means increased traffic for one and all. I hope furthermore that it means more people are inspired to learn more about evolution, the thory that describes how we understand it to work, and how science works and can be used to better our understanding of our world, and how that understanding can be used to better lives.

  29. #29 Thony C.
    May 27, 2007

    I’ll translate the message for you: a scientific freakshow opens in the most developed country in the world.

    Given the museum in question and many other aspects of American culture it would be very strange if the quoted German article had indeed called America the most developed country in the world. What the author actually wrote was the most scientifically advanced land in the world a small but significant difference.

  30. #30 Susan B.
    May 27, 2007

    I really like the idea someone suggested of spending Monday at a real natural history museum. If it didn’t mean skipping classes, I’d go down to NYC and spend the day at the Museum of Natural History. It would be great if the most noticable effect of this mockery was a great increase in visitors to places with real science.

  31. #31 Kelli1
    May 27, 2007

    Dugg.

  32. #32 socinius
    May 27, 2007

    Perhaps the “curators” of the Creation Museum should post something like the following at the entrance to their building:

    If you have a world view later than the Iron Age do not enter.

    Or Perhaps

    If you can tell the difference between a myth and a scientific fact do not enter.

    I guess such a sign wouldn’t work because a creation that is only 4000-9000 years old would not allow for too many ages (except those of the dispensational sort).

    All kidding aside, the 28th of May, 2007 will be another very sad day for this country. What is even more tragic will be the multitudes of school age children (home schooled, most likely) that will be bused to this colossal $27 million dollar monument to ignorance:

    “It is one thing to offer alternative histories, but to link huge branches of science with moral corruption is not going to be good for the cultivation of open-minded, curious citizenry. The socially conservative political stance of the museum is prevalent in almost every exhibit, but the coup de grace is the “Culture in Crisis” exhibit. Here the museum gives us a “natural history” of the breakdown of the American family. Visitors are invited to look through three windows of a contemporary American home. Videos loop to show two young boys looking at porn on the computer and experimenting with drugs. Another window shows a young girl crying, surrounded by abortion pamphlets. And finally the parents are shown arguing. A recreated church facade stands at the other end of the room, but the foundation of the church has been damaged by a large wrecking-ball labeled “millions of years.” The signage explains that the cause of all this misery is our move away from Genesis and toward the scientific ideas of geology and evolution. Ideas about an old earth make people feel small and insignificant, so naturally they do drugs and have abortions.” (See “Solomon’s House: The Deeper Agenda of the New Creation Museum in Kentucky” by Stephen T. Asma http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/07-05-23.html)

    A child can now be raised almost entirely inside a hermetically sealed fundamentalist bubble. They can be home schooled or attend “Bible believing” Christian schools K-12 and then attend fundamentalist universities such as Patrick Henry, Liberty, or Regent (to name but a very few). With the V chip parents can block “non Christian influences” and can instead provide creationist DVDs, books, and so forth. And now, they have their own museum and state of the art presentations to enhance and bolster their world view. Their mega churches provide the primary social context.

    Faith is a very, very hard nut to crack. I know, because I was raised in a pre-millennial, dispensational, fundamentalist home. I grew up as a militant fundamentalist, attending public high school in the 1960s long before such words as “rapture”, “tribulation”, and “dispensation” became fashionable. I challenged teachers, fellow students, and administrators on a daily basis and they challenged me–I was a hard core anti-evolutionist and read Morris/Whitcomb and dozens of other creationist books. In my college days I even helped sponsor and moderated an all day Creationist seminar (to my shame, I might add). I believe we flew a speaker from the Creation Institute (or whatever it was called then) to speak. What really began my climb out of the pit of fundamentalism was my curiosity about what I was reading. I began to check the sources of the quotations referenced in my creationist books. Surprise, surprise, I found the scientists quoted were unfairly characterized, misquoted, taken out of context, or just plain lied about. The theory of evolution described (caricatured) in the creationist literature bore little or no resemblance to the theory expounded by credible scientists. The creationists even misused the word “theory”! Thus my journey began.

    I’m sure this museum is going to pull many of the same old tricks they used 40+ years ago only updated with cgi, animatronics, Dolby sound, and so forth. Unless you can somehow penetrate the bubble and get someone’s curiosity aroused, get them to actually take the time to investigate, it is extremely difficult to challenge the cocoon in which they are raised or live.

    My only hope is that the opening of this museum might awaken a few of the moderate voices (those who have so vocally condemned Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens, Stenger, etc.) to a very real danger. It may sound extreme, but it seems we are heading into a new Dark Age, an age where faith of any kind trumps reason and scientific enquiry. Many of the liberal Christian critics have said they do not know of any Christians who seriously believe in the God Dawkin’s describes in the “God Delusion” or that their numbers are so small as to be insignificant. Perhaps we should take up a collection to bus them to Kentucky so they can meet some true believers and thereby broaden their social contacts.

  33. #33 vjack
    May 27, 2007

    Outstanding collection! Trackback: http://tinyurl.com/ytooz2

  34. #34 NewiQue
    May 27, 2007

    PZ, you’re to be commended for the time you took to compile these resources. But I’m so amazed at how many people so arrogantly attack the museum without having ever walked through it. That’s not very scientific at all.

    I was at the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday and will be at the public grand opening tomorrow. The place truly is amazing.

    Brushing through these comments in here, I saw one thing I should respond to. The sign that PZ posted is not real, which is clearly obvious. Creation Museum does have some billboards around the area that are original designs.

  35. #35 Alan Kellogg
    May 27, 2007

    Linked and Dugg (#7). Remember to Digg early, often, and posthumously. 🙂

  36. #36 thinkaboutit
    May 27, 2007

    PZ, don’t you think the response to this kind of mess should be something at the level of the Dover trial? I mean, this wacko is purposefully distorting science and should respond for such. At the very least he should be legally forced to change the use of “science” as suggested above… Unfortunately this isn’t even that funny anymore. If not taken seriouslly it may just get worse.

  37. #37 Alan Kellogg
    May 27, 2007

    BTW, the San Diego Natural History Museum offers free admission to San Diego county residents and active duty military the first Tuesday of each month. June 5th in this caes. If you need to save your money for soem reason, this is a good deal.

    The museum also has a permanent exhibition, Fossil Mysteries on 75 million years of Southern Californian and Baja Californian paleontology. If you live in San Diego County or are stationed there, drop in and have a look.

  38. #38 John Danley
    May 27, 2007

    Is Ken Ham Old Order Amish?

  39. #39 Ed Darrell
    May 27, 2007

    T. Rex at cocoanuts!!!!???

    Clearly the staff this museum doesn’t know s–t. Literally.

    Coprolites from T. and his kin demonstrate no cocoanut in their diet. None. And Ham and his crew could learn this if they’d look at dinosaur droppings. But as I said, Ham and his crew don’t know s–t.

  40. #40 Jim Wynne
    May 27, 2007

    NewiQue said,

    But I’m so amazed at how many people so arrogantly attack the museum without having ever walked through it.

    In other words, quoting convicted felon Kent Hovind, “Were you THERE, teacher?” I’ve never had an anvil fall on my head, but I don’t think I need the actual experience in order to confidently predict that it would be unpleasant.

    That’s not very scientific at all.

    Science is all about being able to predict things as a result of experiment and experience. I predict that the Yabba-Dabba museum shrine is a lot of religious nonsense. I base this in part on what Ken Ham himself says about it:

    Why is this museum needed?
    Our increasingly anti-Christian country must return to a belief in the authority of the Bible and be presented with the life-changing gospel message. Evolutionary indoctrination has undermined the Christian foundations in America.

    ‘Nuff said, I think.

  41. #41 NewiQue
    May 27, 2007

    You obviously haven’t read anything actually from Answers in Genesis. They never claim that T. rex ate coconuts, but that it was originally created vegetarian. It was after the global effects of sin that creatures like some dinosaurs began eating other animals. But still, T. rex had six-inch-long teeth that were sunk only about one inch into the jaw. This is hardly enough support for ripping fresh flesh like Jurassic Park portrays. After the fall of man, T. rex most likely became a scavenger.

  42. #42 PZ Myers
    May 27, 2007

    Check out the second link in the article. It’s a photo tour of the museum.

    It’s bible stories. Nothing more.

  43. #43 Dude
    May 27, 2007

    I am appalled by the lack of critical coverage of this imbecilic museum by our national mainstream media.

  44. #44 NewiQue
    May 27, 2007

    Check out the second link in the article. It’s a photo tour of the museum.

    It’s bible stories. Nothing more.

    Then it’s wrong. I’ve walked through the museum and I’ve seen it full of exhibits explaining science, interpretations, evidence, fossilization, geology, meteorology, physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, anthropology, and more. This is all science.

  45. #45 Berlzebub
    May 27, 2007

    Thanks for organizing this, PZ. I know it was quite a bit of work, and probably mind numbing.

    -Berlzebub

  46. #46 Jim Wynne
    May 27, 2007

    What Berlzebub said.

  47. #47 Gene Goldring
    May 27, 2007

    Don’t forget to send this article to digg, etc using the available icons. Exposure is all important.

  48. #48 Carlie
    May 27, 2007

    Either NewiQue went to the wrong museum, or has no idea what science is.

  49. #49 NewiQue
    May 27, 2007

    Carlie, I’m sure that you’re not saying that paleontology, geology, meteorology, physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, and anthropology are not science. You’re more intelligent than that.

    Can there be contrary interpretations within each of those sciences? Of course! That’s part of what makes it science.

    Each of theses sciences, and more, is addresses in Creation Museum. So for you to say they aren’t science is to disregard alternate theories just because you disagree with them, not because they are unscientific.

  50. #50 daenku32
    May 27, 2007

    Newi, Ham has had decades to produce something scientific. So far he has failed. Why would this ‘museum’ be any different?

  51. #51 PZ Myers
    May 27, 2007

    OK, NewiQue, time to get specific. Please specify one clear scientific position, with evidence, that the museum is taking.

    Just labeling something “astronomy” does not make it scientific. Astronomy certainly is a valid scientific discipline, of course, but advocating a flat earth and a geocentric universe would not be. Ham is the same way: what he calls “paleontology” is nothing like any scientific discipline.

  52. #52 PZ Myers
    May 27, 2007

    I’ll also ask: is anything in the museum different from the dishonest claptrap they peddle at the Answers in Genesis website? While we haven’t been to the museum, I guarantee you…we’re very familiar with Ham’s tactics and ideas.

  53. #53 NewiQue
    May 27, 2007

    OK, NewiQue, time to get specific. Please specify one clear scientific position, with evidence, that the museum is taking.

    The foremost room that I think of this is what I’ve heard called the “Flood Geology Room,” just after the Noah’s Ark exhibits. This room is full of science. There’s a section about what was scientifically observed in the 1980s event of Mt. St. Helens eruption. The display talks about what happened, what it caused, and what we see today–mudslides, volcanic ash, petrification, and the resulting rock layers and carved canyons. All stuff that you and I would probably agree on because humans observed and documented it.

    The display then logically connects this to the similar effects that a global flood would produce, but on an obviously much larger scale.

    There’s a display about Grand Canyon comparing it to other observed process of rapid canyon formation.

    There’s also a section about how rock layers can be laid down by water–all using operational, observational science that can be done in the present and tested.

    Another section connected to this explains a scientific model for a rapid ice age using observable science, and testing that model against the evidence, which it fits very well. In short, the model is that to get a rapid ice age, you need warm oceans, which is consistent with a global flood; and cool continents, also consistent with a global flood.

    Then, let’s talk about the planetarium, one of my favorite sections. Using observational science, the planetarium shows the vastness of our universe, the incredible comparisons of sizes (our sun compared to other stars, for example). It also contains several facts observed in astronomy that are more consistent with biblical history of a young universe than an old universe. Such as the limited expansion of supernovas, the temperature of stars, and the spirals of galaxies, just to name a few.

    Although it’s a rather “fun” video, the Special Effects Theater’s “Men in White” does contains observational science, like the presence of helium in zircon crystals, which is also more consistent with a young age than millions of years; or salt in the oceans, also consistent with the biblical timeline.

    There are exhibits that explain the observable process of speciation and natural selection–which, I will admit, can be easily explained by both origins models. The difference is that evolution would expect such observable processes to lead to new kinds of animals (for example, reptiles to birds), while the creation model would expect such lifeforms to remain the same basic kind (birds always being birds, fish always being fish, and so on). With evolution’s lack of transitional forms, there is little support for reptile-to-bird kind of evolution. But under a creation model, we wouldn’t expect to find any fossils showing change from one kind of animal to another. Sure enough, the evidence fits the creation model better than the evolution model.

    I’ll go through the museum again at the grand opening tomorrow. Anything that you want to know specifically?

  54. #54 Arnosium Upinarum
    May 27, 2007

    PZ, are you triplets or something? Geez. How prolific can a body get? Magnificent!

    BTW – I note that the “museum” brashly uses artwork by fine and legitimately paleontological artists (speaking of the T.rex featured on that big sign, for example). If these are not in the public domain, these could be good cases for lawsuits…anybody have info on that?

  55. #55 Ed Darrell
    May 27, 2007

    NewiQue, you make the point only too well — you obviously don’t know s–t about T. rex.

    As I said, you can check the coprolites (that’s dino poop, fossilized). Coprolites from Rex and his kin, as I noted, indicates not only that they didn’t ever eat cocoanuts, but that any vegetarian matter they got was probably accidental as a result of its having been in the stomach of a creature they ate, or just from thrashing about they accidentally got a leaf here or there.

    And Newi, this is for your benefit, not just because P.Z. is listening in: Ham’s doing damage to the church. Jesus never said “be stupid in my name.” Ham’s museum, his website, and his presentations are full of unholy, ungodly materials that is simply wrong on the facts. Ham’s work misleads people, especially children. It’s dishonest, cheap, and nothing any honest person would want to be affiliated with. Christians should stay away.

    The stones* cry out, NewiQue, and you ain’t listenin’.

    * Coprolites are stone, you know.

  56. #56 Ichthyic
    May 27, 2007

    from the LA times:

    This would be risible if anti-evolution forces were confined to a lunatic fringe, but they are not.

    we’re workin’ on it!

    seriously, ridicule and marginalization IMO are the best (and the only long term effective) tools to end this scourge of idiocy.

  57. #57 sparc
    May 27, 2007

    It says quite a lot about Ham and his followers that they find a 4.5-billion-year-old Earth wildly implausible next to the notion of a tyrannosaur calmly grazing in a meadow.

    Grazing T. rex: This example clearly shows how this BS harms biology in general. Leaving aside evolution, the form of teeth is quite telling and this can be easily looked up in some biology text book.

  58. #58 Alun
    May 27, 2007

    Newique, is the museum you’re castigating us for not having seen the same museum that you reported was keeping scientists out yesterday? Sometimes you can use evidence to find out things. The great thing about evidence is everyone can see it. It’s not science if you don’t provide evidence and don’t allow people to question it.

    The Bible may be wrong, and if you don’t permit that possibility then no it isn’t science. Check AiG’s statement of faith.

  59. #59 Ichthyic
    May 27, 2007

    BTW, someone with the handle Ron Okimoto posted the exact same initial screed as NewiQue over on PT.

    the conclusion that the two are one and the same, and that he is a plant (literally?) from AIG seems reasonable.

  60. #60 sparc
    May 27, 2007

    I am not familiar with wikipedia. So, could one of you please link PZ’s post to wikipedias Creation Museum entry?

  61. #61 Arnosium Upinarum
    May 27, 2007

    “Using observational science, the planetarium shows the vastness of our universe, the incredible comparisons of sizes (our sun compared to other stars, for example).”

    If you look closely at the OBSERVATIONAL EVIDENCE, that vastness took 13.7 BILLION YEARS to come about. A universe only several thousand years old begs a zillion questions, like: How do we see photons of light coming from objects (like from galaxies billions of LIGHT-YEARS away and the Cosmic Microwave Background). It may also be a revelation to you to note that scientists have a good handle on the evolution and ages of stars like our sun, which for example cannot have come to its present state without having been on what astronomers call the Main Sequence of stable hydrogen burning for some 4.6 billion years.

    “It also contains several facts observed in astronomy that are more consistent with biblical history of a young universe than an old universe.”

    There are no such observed “facts” that are consistent with anything other than an old universe.

    “Such as the limited expansion of supernovas, the temperature of stars, and the spirals of galaxies, just to name a few.”

    Say what??? You do not know what the hell you are talking about, just like Ham.

  62. #62 Warren Lamb
    May 27, 2007

    You’re not a scientist – just a priest of the Chiruch of Evolution, for which there is no science. It’s hard to believe that that “childish comic-book fantasy is being taken seriously by anyone.” But, unfortunately, it is.

    When you say, “Creationists blindly ignore the evidence of the world around us in order to make it fit into a paradigm. They spend an inordinate amount of time and money on trying to prove hypothesis that do not stand up to scientific tests,” you should replace that first word with “Evolutionists.”

    Oh, byt the way, the complaints about “artwork not being science” – perhaps you should go back and review the decades of artists’ renditions that have been placed in science “textbooks”, trying to jam the evolutionary lie down peoples’ throats through deception and slight-of-hand.

    How about telling the truth that 100% of all experiments attempting to prove evolution have failed? How about telling the truth that much of the “fossil evidence” has been either doctored or just plain fabricated? Let’s look at the historical facts of evolutuion and we see the biggest fairy-tale in history being paraded out as “science”.

    A frog turning into a prince is fairy-tale, no matter what timelien you place on it.

  63. #63 Warren Lamb
    May 27, 2007

    You’re not a scientist – just a priest of the Chiruch of Evolution, for which there is no science. It’s hard to believe that that “childish comic-book fantasy is being taken seriously by anyone.” But, unfortunately, it is.

    When you say, “Creationists blindly ignore the evidence of the world around us in order to make it fit into a paradigm. They spend an inordinate amount of time and money on trying to prove hypothesis that do not stand up to scientific tests,” you should replace that first word with “Evolutionists.”

    Oh, byt the way, the complaints about “artwork not being science” – perhaps you should go back and review the decades of artists’ renditions that have been placed in science “textbooks”, trying to jam the evolutionary lie down peoples’ throats through deception and slight-of-hand.

    How about telling the truth that 100% of all experiments attempting to prove evolution have failed? How about telling the truth that much of the “fossil evidence” has been either doctored or just plain fabricated? Let’s look at the historical facts of evolutuion and we see the biggest fairy-tale in history being paraded out as “science”.

    A frog turning into a prince is fairy-tale, no matter what timeline you place on it.

  64. #64 NewiQue
    May 27, 2007

    Newique, is the museum you’re castigating us for not having seen the same museum that you reported was keeping scientists out yesterday? Sometimes you can use evidence to find out things.

    They didn’t keep anyone out; I never claimed that they did. The people that I saw in the act of deception were in the museum, freely touring with everyone else.

    BTW, someone with the handle Ron Okimoto posted the exact same initial screed as NewiQue over on PT.

    “PT?” I’m guessing that’s “Panda’s Thumb.” Sorry, but no, I haven’t commented over there yet.

    Arnosium, apparently, you don’t know what I’m talking about.

    Creationists do have several models to explain the light-travel-time issue. I could try to explain them offhand, but I’d probably explain it inaccurately.

  65. #65 snaxalotl
    May 27, 2007

    I don’t see why people are so harsh on newspaper articles because they are not more scathing. They don’t share the specialized interests of the usual creationist watchers, which is largely a scientific one. By and large they are reporting on a cultural phenomenon, and they seem to be giving a pretty good picture of the culture from which this crap arises. I would welcome more science reporting in the mainstream press certainly, but I don’t feel I have grounds for complaint when an article about fundies (or any other topic) isn’t a science article.

  66. #66 Lamuella
    May 27, 2007

    PZ, I thought you might like this one:

    http://breklor.livejournal.com/607131.html

    “Let’s face it: if dinosaurs had existed during Jesus’ time, we’d all be speaking Latin now. This is, of course, assuming that Alexander hadn’t employed them in place of his silly war elephants, in which case we’d be speaking Greek. (And then the dinosaur names might be exactly the same as they are now, what with them mostly having Greek roots and stuff.)

    And this all brings me to the best movie concept EVAR: Raptors of Rome.”

  67. #67 lytefoot
    May 27, 2007

    The sad part is… from the photo walk-through, this looks like some pretty good story-telling. I enjoy a good creation myth as much as the next person… if only people wouldn’t insist on acting as though it’s, you know, true. Someone should open one of these for the Greek creation story–could have a map of Europe with big arrows pointing at Norway, saying, “LOOK AT THE SHAPE! CLEARLY BELONGS TO CHRONOS!”…

    With evolution’s lack of transitional forms, there is little support for reptile-to-bird kind of evolution. But under a creation model, we wouldn’t expect to find any fossils showing change from one kind of animal to another. Sure enough, the evidence fits the creation model better than the evolution model.

    What’re you talking about? The fossil record is lousy with transitional forms. Every time a creationist asserts that there are no transitional forms, they get a half-dozen waved in their faces, and their only response is “Nuh-uh, that’s not a transitional form.” Witness the museum’s travesty of Archaeopteryx.

  68. #68 Cat of Many Faces
    May 27, 2007

    Woo hoo! the trolls are loose!

    I love how all of this MUST be put as a persecution:

    “How about telling the truth that 100% of all experiments attempting to prove evolution have failed? How about telling the truth that much of the “fossil evidence” has been either doctored or just plain fabricated? Let’s look at the historical facts of evolutuion and we see the biggest fairy-tale in history being paraded out as “science”.”

    Also known as “Whaaa!!! the entire scientific community all hates the christianz!!! they all are lying!!!”

    Ah, it’d be funny if they weren’t trying to take over.

  69. #69 Arnosium Upinarum
    May 27, 2007

    Warren Lamb says:

    “How about telling the truth that 100% of all experiments attempting to prove evolution have failed?”

    In your own addled excuse of a mind, no one should have any doubt. Hey, I BELIEVE you believe baloney. Really, seriously.

    “How about telling the truth that much of the “fossil evidence” has been either doctored or just plain fabricated?”

    Much of it? Really? I just picked up one of my favorite fossil trilobites which I collected MYSELF as a teenager long ago. It was found in a rock bed that I could infer an age of about 500 million years rather straightforwardly, simply from its context and from several independent lines of evidence: and it was CONSISTENT with what professional paleontologists have found with trilobites age-wise. I could do that all by myself, no doctoring or fabrication whatsoever involved. Can you? (There’s nothing like the goosebumps one gets when one first manages to acquire evidence from the horse’s own mouth that corroborates what every other scientist has seen – you should try it sometime. It’s called SCIENCE. Its how SCIENTISTS reach a CONSENSUS. Who knows, you might come to a new appreciation of “truth”).

    “Let’s look at the historical facts of evolutuion and we see the biggest fairy-tale in history being paraded out as “science”.” (sic)

    Well, now, by all means, take a look! Take good HARD look. How about “telling the truth” to yourself for a change? You might get to like it.

  70. #70 Gerry L
    May 27, 2007

    Any word on how school districts in the area are responding to the hoopla surrounding the opening of this … amusement park?

    I would hope that they are publishing statements that field trips to the place would NOT be acceptable use of school time or resources. Period. Let families take their kids if that floats their boat, but no implied stamp of approval from the public school systems.

    And P.S. Thanks PZ for compiling this collection of links.

  71. #71 foldedpath
    May 27, 2007

    Check out that photo tour in the second link. I wonder if one of their sculptors was having some fun with the likeness of Moses in the “Biblical Authority” section. Looks a lot like Mel Brooks to me. Check for evidence of the shattered third tablet on the ground, if anyone visits. And come to think of it, the guy to his left looks just like Gene Hackman in Young Frankenstein. I don’t know who’s playing harp… maybe Kenny Loggins.

    Good job, PZ.

  72. #72 ERV
    May 27, 2007

    Theres only one Creationist playing now, but I wanted to address:

    NewiQue– But I’m so amazed at how many people so arrogantly attack the museum without having ever walked through it.

    NewiQue– You obviously haven’t read anything actually from Answers in Genesis.

    Hysterical, considering you obviously didnt read any of the posts of this carnival. I dare you to read mine (or any of the ones specifically addressing AiG) and save AiG some face.

  73. #73 Pacian
    May 27, 2007

    “With evolution’s lack of transitional forms, there is little support for reptile-to-bird kind of evolution.”

    Velociraptor – a larger, ground-dwelling carnivore from Mongolia) with a swiveling wrist bone (this type of joint is also found in birds and is necessary for flight) (85 – 80 mya).

    Unenlagia – a much larger ground-dwelling theropod (from Argentina). It had flexible arm movement (up and down, like that of a bird) (90 mya).

    Caudipteryx – a small, very fast runner covered with primitive (symmetrical and therefore flightless) feathers. (from China, 121-135 mya)

    Sinosauropteryx – covered with proto-feathers and with short arms (121-135 million years ago).

    Protarchaeopteryx – Long, symmetrical feathers on arms and tail, but it probably could not fly (from China, 121-135 mya).

    Archaeopteryx – The oldest known bird (150 mya) had asymmetrical feathers – it could probably fly short distances (from Germany).

    Source.

    Seriously, when you go around saying ‘there are no transitional fossils’, is it any wonder that you get called liars? Can’t you be a little more subtle about it somehow?

  74. #74 Dustin
    May 27, 2007

    That’s probably my favorite creationist riff of all time — “You obviously haven’t heard of…” or “You haven’t read…”, as though the reading of creationist claims is the same thing as accepting them. I suppose when the bulk of your ideas come from a pulpit and are accepted on credulity alone, that’s to be expected.

    Between the “Evolution is just a theory” riff and the “You’ve clearly never heard of the vapor cloud theory”, it’s easy to see why Asimov once observed that creationists make it sound as though the word “theory” is used to describe ideas that you come up with during nights of heavy drinking.

  75. #75 Arnosium Upinarum
    May 27, 2007

    TO REPEAT: I note that the “museum” brashly uses artwork by fine and legitimately paleontological artists (speaking of the T.rex featured on that big sign, for example). If these are not in the public domain, these could be good cases for lawsuits…anybody have info on that?

    I’m NOT talking about the crap artwork. I’m talking about the LEGITIMATE artwork by LEGITIMATE paleo-artists that has quite evidently been shamelessly exploited by this Ham.

    ANY INFO ON THIS??? ANYBODY???

  76. #76 PZ Myers
    May 27, 2007

    The big billboard at the top of the page is not a product of AiG — it’s entirely photoshopped.

  77. #77 Arnosium Upinarum
    May 27, 2007

    The name of the artist responsible for the image on the big splashy billboard-like sign is John Gurche, who has distinguished himself as one of the forefront amongst paleo-artists.

    Surely there must be a reaction in that. Somewhere.

  78. #78 khan
    May 27, 2007

    When he died, at 92, and I picked up the reins of his finances, I found that month’s bill from AIG: $70. For DVDs. To give away, of course; Dad had no TV, no DVD player, no video player: he was almost blind.

    The category is greedy, lying SOBs.

    The question is: How does one raise $27 million dollars?

  79. #79 Arnosium Upinarum
    May 27, 2007

    Oh, ok…(shucks, might have been on to something there). Thanks PZ.

  80. #80 raven
    May 27, 2007

    T.rex featured on that big sign, for example).

    Calm down. According to an unreliable source, newique, that sign is a spoof by an internet artist. I wouldn’t expect them to plagarize someone else’s art. Since they don’t do real research or come up with anything except more made up nonsense, they have plenty of time and money to paint their own T. rex. I’m sure the one of a T. rex placidly dehusking and eating a coconut will be a hit in all biology labs.

  81. #81 Selma
    May 27, 2007

    What? We’re getting one of these stupid things in Canada? The shame of it all…especially since we have fewer religious than non-religious people up here.

    Maybe you guys should throw a little ‘creation museum’ of your own together. Sounds as though you won’t have much trouble raising the dough…think of the fun on opening day when the buses of visitors arrive.

    Bwa ha. Ha. Ha hahahahahhaha!

  82. #82 raven
    May 27, 2007

    raven: Crosspost from PT.

    The creation museum might well backfire on the creos. Ham has dinosaurs wandering around with mammoths and humans, a supercontinent that broke up 4,000 years ago with runaway plate tectonics rafting marsupials to Australia at miles/year speeds. Needless to say, the whole ad hocracy conflicts with most of the last 400 years of science.

    In the conflict between a pack of ad hoc fairy tales and reality, reality will eventually win. Not to say that it won’t necessarily be soon.

    Maybe I’m just being naive or optimistic. But the reaction so far hasn’t been all that positive from the mass media (who are in the biz of making money not informing people and so have to pander to their paying customers). The scientific community, of course, has been appalled as visions of a new dark age, witch hunts, and the odd burning of a biologist or physicist at the stake dance through their heads.

  83. #83 Taz
    May 27, 2007

    Interesting insight on the totemic nature of dinosaurs (from The Last Dinosaur Book: The Life and Times of a Cultural Icon by W. J. T. Mitchell, University of Chicago Press, 1998): One of his major theses is that dinosaurs are primarily for children–indeed, principally for children ages 4 to 7. Thus, he deems dinosaurs “transitional objects”: “Between the thumb and the teddy bear, the breast and Brontosaurus, a whole set of objects play crucial roles in the maturation process.” Transitional objects are soon put aside without regret.

  84. #84 Arnosium Upinarum
    May 27, 2007

    raven says:

    “I wouldn’t expect them to plagarize someone else’s art.

    Oh, I would. I’ve seen it countless times. I know from first-hand experience: I’m one of those artists.

  85. #85 Thomas Robey
    May 27, 2007

    Very nice post! Thank you for the thorough source of information on this museum. It hardly calls for subsequent posts (like mine). I wonder when we will be able to talk with one another instead of at each other. Probably about the same time that there is no more red and blue.

  86. #86 Peter
    May 27, 2007

    I also vetted this crap at my blog.
    http://formsmostbeautiful.blogspot.com/2007/05/museums-for-wishful-thinking.html
    In a way, I think this museum is in small part a great idea. It shows the WHOLE WORLD just how bonkers Ken Ham and his legions are and opens the door to a level of scrutiny that we couldn’t ask for before. The National Academy of Sciences, National Center for Science Education and many others can go in and shred the place (scientifically and rhetorically speaking) and show everyone what is so wrong with all of this drivel. They’ve opened a box for believers in the literal truth so that they might have their faith affirmed by science. It shall come to pass that these attempts to coerce science into a submissive position to religion or at least square the circle of literalist belief with science will fail in the culture at large and this museum will play no small part in it.

    You can dress up a turd with all of the perfume you want. It’s still a turd.

  87. #87 Julie Stahlhut
    May 27, 2007

    The thing that disturbs me the most about this whole thing is how Ken Ham could come up with $27 million for this travesty.

    $27 million, when public schools are hurting for supplies and infrastructure and a lot of scientific researchers are short of funding. $27 million, in a country where a lot of people, many of them full-time workers, don’t have health insurance.

    $27 million for a monument to Ken Ham’s arrogance, when thousands of local groups, both religious and secular, are actually donating food and clothing to shelters and doing other good things in their communities on budgets of three figures or less.

    $27 million to mislead kids about science, when students in some of the world’s poorest countries are making do with broken equipment in an effort to learn science in the face of daunting odds.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/20/world/africa/20senegal.html?ex=1180411200&en=7bb33ca06c445fe2&ei=5070

  88. #88 Julie Stahlhut
    May 27, 2007

    The thing that disturbs me the most about this whole thing is how Ken Ham could come up with $27 million for this travesty.

    $27 million, when public schools are hurting for supplies and infrastructure and a lot of scientific researchers are short of funding. $27 million, in a country where a lot of people, many of them full-time workers, don’t have health insurance.

    $27 million for a monument to Ken Ham’s arrogance, when thousands of local groups, both religious and secular, are actually donating food and clothing to shelters and doing other good things in their communities on budgets of three figures or less.

    $27 million to mislead kids about science, when students in some of the world’s poorest countries are making do with broken equipment in an effort to learn science in the face of daunting odds.

    Anyone who spends money to visit this place is supporting an institution with all the ethics of Enron.

  89. #89 Kagehi
    May 27, 2007

    Someone posted a recent article on the Times an other news sources, arguing that the problem isn’t so much that they are biased one way or the other, its just that they want to “sell”. This you will find one article in a paper one week which denounces the BS from someone like this clearly and critically, then the next, one fawning over it. The irony is, this was on a mostly right wing site, which I suppose is why they lambast CNN and the Times, for this sort of, “If the country is divided, lets publish for ‘both’ sides, after all, they won’t bother seeing, noticing or recognizing that they same paper is posting stuff that supports both sides at the same time!”, while completely failing to ask themselves if “maybe” some of the more insane BS from Fox news isn’t exactly the same, “Well, lets make a station that just caters to the nuts on the right, that way we cover both bases.”, journalism. Its not about getting facts right, or informing people, its about convincing the 80%? who don’t have a fracking clue that their “views” are being represented. You know, the 80% on the right that can’t comprehend that the people on a show from the right are insane, and the other 80% on the left that are completely blind to how insane (or just incompetent) the person picked for “their” side is too.

    Thus you get:

    Right winger – make some hate filled BS argument from biblical authority.

    Left wing response – 3/4 of a paragraph on just what is wrong with that view, followed by 30 seconds of the same fool proving that he can swallow his foot up to the crotch.

    Dump people on both sides find *their* sides defense acceptable. In reality, both sides are just bloody nuts, incompetent or too ignorant to present a solid case. This doesn’t matter, because those 80% from both sides (I don’t feel like being charitable by lowering that today, seeing as I spent 8 hours dealing with really stupid people on Labor Day vacation…), don’t the slightest fracking clue *why* both sides looked stupid. *We* are not the people they are publishing these papers and creating these news networks for. Its for the fools that have short attention spans, lots of ignorance, no clue when they are being duped and can’t tell the difference between a rational idea and an undefensible one, no matter “which” side gives it.

    And, I think too many intellectuals see this, fail to see why it is happening, and blame them for being biased against their own side, instead of just plain biased. That is why you can stick 50 people from here in one room and 50 people from some right wing apologist’s site in another, show them *both* the same Fox news or CNN footage and have nearly everyone in “both” rooms insist its obviously *biased* in favor of the other sides view points. No one sees the big picture, they just see all the spin being used to *sell* it to the gullible and ignorant, who actually think their side is being “represented” by these people once in a while.

  90. #90 Doc
    May 27, 2007

    Delicious.

    Here’s a post by an old-earth creationist. Apparently all bible bangers aren’t completely stupid.

    http://oldearthcreationism.blogspot.com/2007/05/creation-museum-nonsense.html

  91. #91 Marcus Ranum
    May 27, 2007

    I have decided to begin a museum for the flying spaghetti monster. Whenever I had left-over spaghetti, I used to just feed it to the dogs. But now I am going to make sculptures out of it and put little plastic children and dinosaurs in the spaghetti, to show what the early earth was like.

  92. #92 Fairlane
    May 27, 2007

    We would simply like to add our humble tribute to the Creation Museum if we may. Several of our writers are from Louisville, and they want to offer a little bit of that Good Old Southern Hospitality to all those who will be visiting the Museum, and to let them know we are willing to provide parking and a shuttle, for a small fee.

    http://fairlane.wordpress.com/2007/05/27/jones-towns-tribute-to-the-creation-museum/

  93. #93 Central Texan
    May 27, 2007

    So. When do we get charmed by Gregg Easterbrook’s glowing review of this abomination? It seems to me to be right up his alley and sure to appeal to the contrarian spirit of the moron who edits Slate.

    Wooo!

  94. #94 Akshay
    May 27, 2007

    Hello Professor Myers, I’m just a student who happened to stumble across your blogs while surfing through the science blogs website. I must say that from the short experience I’ve had reading your blog, it is definitely one of the better pages I have read, topic and category aside. I am just starting to delve into the world of scientific blogging, and after reading your background profile and thoughts on creationism as a science, am glad to chalk this blog up at the top of my list of ones to regularly read.

  95. #95 John L. Trapp
    May 27, 2007

    My two favorite quotes on this whole sorry affair, both from an ABC News telecast:

    ABC report Dan Harris: “The stakes are high. The museum argues that evolution jeopardizes people’s belief in the Bible, and leads to social ills like pornography and abortion.

    AiG’s Jason Lisle: “If you have an evolutionary worldview, why should you have things like absolute morality? Why would it be wrong to kill someone? I’m not saying that evolutionists aren’t moral, I’m saying they have no logical reason to be moral.”

  96. #96 raven
    May 27, 2007

    AiG’s Jason Lisle: “If you have an evolutionary worldview, why should you have things like absolute morality? Why would it be wrong to kill someone? I’m not saying that evolutionists aren’t moral, I’m saying they have no logical reason to be moral.”

    This is a blatant lie. Jason, if I remember, is a Harvard trained astrophysicist and thus smart enough to know that.

    Evolution is a scientific theory. It is not a religion. People who accept the real world are of all faiths and none. Many christians of the catholic, protestant, and mormon among them. No suicide bomber or medical clinic assasins as far as I know, has gone down screaming, “Darwinomo”.

  97. #97 Tom Gq
    May 27, 2007

    Great summary – thanks and thanks for the many links

    I would suggest that we all stop lending credibility to this travesty by referring to the institution as a “museum” and by referring to that which is being peddles as pseudo-science, false science or any other name which has the term science in it. this isn’t even science fiction. It is just plain fiction and that is what we should call it. For real scientists to even refer to it in a derisive vein as pseudo-science will be interpreted by many lay persons as having some legitimacy as science – maybe just not the entire story.
    Let’s call it what is is – choose your favourite: masquerade, farse, fable, fiction, lie.. whatever. Anything but *-science.

    Tom

  98. #98 Science Avenger
    May 28, 2007

    NewiQue said: evolution would expect such observable processes to lead to new kinds of animals (for example, reptiles to birds),

    Uh, it has. We have chimps now. The evidence implies without exception that there was life, but no chimps 300 million years ago. There are many many such examples.

    And thanks PZ for your painstaking compilation of our work, and for letting me add my voice to the many.
    while the creation model would expect such lifeforms to remain the same basic kind (birds always being birds, fish always being fish, and so on).

    Yes, it would, and yet, they have not. In addition, creationists have not shown evidence one that there is any “genetic barrier”, or offerred any explanation of how it works. It’s simply something they made up because speciation offended their religious sensibilities.

  99. #99 NewiQue
    May 28, 2007

    The evidence implies without exception that there was life, but no chimps 300 million years ago.

    You’re assuming that the assumptions behind the dating methods are correct and that those rock layers are 300 million years old. What if they are only thousands of years? What if the “progression” in the rock layers in not really chronological? After all, there are recorded findings of humans in rock layers lower then they are supposed to be, and claimed “ape-to-human links” in layers above some human fossils. Think spaghetti, and that’s how the fossils line up.

    Get a good, honest evolution book, like a dinosaur book I have somewhere on my shelf (I’ll find it if you want the exact reference, which you probably do). In it is a chart showing the evolutionary progression of dinosaurs. The chart seems logical within an evolutionary framework, but there are some interesting attributes. The chart is comprised of dashed lines and solid lines. Similar charts are found in many other evolutionary books. Often, there is an accompanying footnote that says something like, “solid lines indicate actual fossil findings.” So that means the dashed lines represent fossils that, to our present knowledge, do not exist. Where are all of those dotted lines? It’s every line that connects one kind of dinosaur to another–in other words, it’s all of the evolutionary progressions.

    In addition, creationists have not shown evidence one that there is any “genetic barrier”, or offerred any explanation of how it works. It’s simply something they made up because speciation offended their religious sensibilities.

    Speciation is an observed occurrence in nature, and it does not create new kinds of animals, it creates new varieties within a kind. That’s not evolution.

    Additionally, Creation Museum does have an exhibit explain the “kinds” as the Bible describes and that is also 100% consistent with scientific observations. I think this was near the beginning of the “creation walk.” And there are also many articles that explain the subject.

  100. #100 Zarquon
    May 28, 2007

    After all, there are recorded findings of humans in rock layers lower then they are supposed to be, and claimed “ape-to-human links” in layers above some human fossils

    Nope, your making this up.

  101. #101 JavaElemental
    May 28, 2007

    Thanks for letting me a part of the carnival, and for doing all this work to present it. Great job!

  102. #102 Mark C
    May 28, 2007

    “Museum guides tell visitors that before Adam and Eve were expelled from paradise all of the dinosaurs were peaceful plant-eaters. In Genesis 1:30 God gives ‘green herb’ to every creature to eat and so there were no predators.”

    No wonder T. Rex started off as an herbivore. He probably only started killing for meat after the Doritos ran out.

    I guess the “green herb” could also explain all of AiG. Some really good stuff could give you all sorts of ideas.

  103. #103 Fairlane
    May 28, 2007

    I’ve never been so proud to be from Louisville, as I am at this moment. This is even better than the day I got my first pair of shoes.

  104. #104 SPark
    May 28, 2007

    I’m Christian myself, and I believe in the Bible. It’s a guild to spiritual life, not a scientific manual or a history book!

    Things like this museum are the WORST thing that’s ever happened to Christianity! When we should be focusing our efforts on bringing people to Christ through Christ’s own teachings of love and forgivness, instead too many of us are dicking around arguing about creation, and undermining our own faith by being liars and idiots in public. If they had build this as a church, as a display of faith and study of the Bible, I’d be all for it, but being dishonest and pretending they’re interested in science when they actually hate and fear it is only making the good faith that is Christianity look stupid.

  105. #105 Chris Ho-Stuart
    May 28, 2007

    I have had so much fun looking though these. You’ve done a terrific job, PZ; thank you! I am honoured to have a small contribution in such a line up.

  106. #106 blf
    May 28, 2007

    “while the creation model would expect such lifeforms to remain the same basic kind (birds always being birds, fish always being fish, and so on).”
    Yes, it would…

    Not necessarily. The “creation model” is magic. If some “miracle” demanded that a fish give live birth to a lion, that’s Ok, it’s all because of the Great Magic Woman In The Sky and hence fits the “model”.

    Creationism is fun! Anything you want is easily explained–just invoke the Great Magic Woman In The Sky–and anything you can’t explain is a liberal evilutionist blah blah lie.

  107. #107 MartinM
    May 28, 2007

    Speciation is an observed occurrence in nature, and it does not create new kinds of animals, it creates new varieties within a kind. That’s not evolution.

    Define the term ‘kind,’ or stop using it.

  108. #108 Dustin
    May 28, 2007

    Damn, MartinM, why you gotta be hating on baraminology? You’re acting like it isn’t science, or something.

  109. #109 Alan Kellogg
    May 28, 2007

    #99

    In this comment Newique does point out one essential difference between science and creationism. Science is done by people able to admit to their ignorance. Our knowledge is not complete. Due to the nature of our world, the available evidence, and the limitations on our cognitive abilities our knowledge will contnue to be incomplete for the foreseeable future. As somebody once said in another context; there are things we know we don’t know, and things we don’t know that we don’t know. This gives us a big advantage in that it prepares us for those occasions when we learn something new and unexpected.

    Newique mentions dotted lines in books on evolution. He says they show imaginary species connecting different discovered species. Not so. What those dotted lines indicate are possible connections between different groups based on traits held in common by the two. They are informed speculation based upon available evidence. Additional evidence may strengthen the bond, weaken it. eliminate it entirely, or do nothing what-so-ever. When practicing science there is always that element of uncertainty. As the popular science parody Science Made Stupid put it, “The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle may be found in the appendix. Then again, it may not.”

    Newique apparently thinks that it is this uncertainty, this ready admission to icomplete and possibly erroneous koowledge that renders science untenable as a way of learning, knowing, and understanding. Thus he shows a profound unwillingness to learn, prefering instead to adhere to a mode of thought that retards our efforts to learn about our world.

    I find this attitude rather anti-Christian on two counts. One, creationism exalts Man, placing him above and separate from all other life. Two, it says we are in dominion over the world, but ignores the admonition to be stewards for the world, holding it in trust for the benefit of future generations. Humility and respnsiblity, those are two traits creationism argues against.And what could be more humiliatng than the knowledge you share a common ancestor with a mud-covered warthog?

  110. #110 DCP
    May 28, 2007

    The claims Newique makes are way to old to discuss here, imho (criticizing dating methods? C’mon!).
    I see that you guys want to enlighten him/her but you don’t need to spend so much time doing so.
    I suggest that Newique should visit the TalkOrigins Archive, where all of his/her claims are addressed at one point or another. It’s a win-win, the more educated people here don’t waste their time/effort and Newique has a pretty comprehensive source for all his misunderstandings of evolution and related disciplines.

    Here’s the link for Newique: http://www.talkorigins.org/

    And here’s why we don’t have to assume that the “assumptions behind dating methods are correct” just like we don’t have to assume that the “assumptions behind gravity are correct”: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-age-of-earth.html
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/icecores.html
    http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/outline.html#radio

    [Notice: I know about the last grain of uncertainity and that nothing can actually be proven. But that’s science we are talking about and not philosophy, so don’t come with philosophical arguments about my “assuming-part”, alright?]

  111. #111 hoary puccoon
    May 28, 2007

    I’m with SPark, and I wouldn’t even call myself a Christian. Creationists reduce the Bible, one of the oldest collections of writings known, with huge amounts of information about early historical times, into a dumb-and dumber joke book. And why? So they can make idiots of themselves trying to disprove rock-solid science. Where are the theologians? They should be more on the warpath about this travesty than the scientists are. I’d be willing to bet that the biblical literalists have converted more people to atheism than PZ and R. Dawkins put together. PZ, keep up the good work. (And don’t forget, NewiQue is really in your corner.)

  112. #112 Wilf
    May 28, 2007

    Cool, a Christian theme park! Are the rides any good?

  113. #113 mark
    May 28, 2007

    But I’m so amazed at how many people so arrogantly attack the museum without having ever walked through it. That’s not very scientific at all.

    There has been advance publicity, complete with photos and interviews. This morning Public Radio did a spot, including an interview with Ham (leading me to add my blog’s 2 cents worth). Plus, we know what Ham has been saying all these years. So there’s really no surprises, just the disappointment when we read or hear reports from credulous reporters who lack the balls to call lying and deceit what it is. (NPR did mention a plane would fly around the site trailing a banner saying “Thou shalt not lie”).

  114. #114 Becky
    May 28, 2007

    Many thanks for the kind words and for making room for my little entry in the carnival. I’m proud to be a part of it. And thanks most of all to you, and John, for coming up the idea and putting it all together.

  115. #115 Iain Walker
    May 28, 2007

    Re Comment #41 by NewiQue:

    It was after the global effects of sin that creatures like some dinosaurs began eating other animals.

    I’m sure someone else has pointed out this inconsistency before, but even on the YEC timescale, the Fall pre-dates the Flood by a considerable period (c2,000 years). So by the logic of this argument, carnivores (including the carnivorous dinosaurs) should have become carnivorous long before the Flood. Yet Ham and his cronies would have us believe that they were still herbivores when Noah marched them into the ark.

    Someone needs to get their story straight …

    But still, T. rex had six-inch-long teeth that were sunk only about one inch into the jaw.

    A blatant untruth, as the photo on this page shows:
    http://www.bhigr.com/pages/info/info_rxth.htm

  116. #116 LCR
    May 28, 2007

    I do believe that my favorite response to all of the creationist claptrap is the one in comment #100 by Zarquon:

    “Nope, your making this up.”

    Perfect. Short and pithy and it lays the burden of proof right on the shoulders of the people spouting this stuff. I’m using it!

  117. #117 Ichthyic
    May 28, 2007

    Cool, a Christian theme park! Are the rides any good?

    only if you bring enough money; after all the “ride” is figurative, as in this context:

    They will take you for a ride.

    OTOH, many apparently enjoy being taken for a ride. Just ask Jim Bakker.

  118. #118 Ichthyic
    May 28, 2007

    Speciation is an observed occurrence in nature, and it does not create new kinds of animals, it creates new varieties within a kind. That’s not evolution.

    please identify the mechanism that stops the various mechanisms of generating variability from being “evolution”.

    put simply, just for your tiny brain, and using your own invented terminology:

    what mechanism, exactly, STOPS “microevolution” from being “macroevolution”.

    demonstrate such a mechanism and you’ll win a nobel, certainly.

  119. #119 Science Avenger
    May 28, 2007

    Newique disembled thusly: Speciation is an observed occurrence in nature, and it does not create new kinds of animals, it creates new varieties within a kind. That’s not evolution.

    I see you are another graduate of the MSU School (making shit up), and of holding your hands over your ears yelling “lalalala LAAAAAA . I can’t hear you!”
    “Kind” is a made up religious word. You will not find it in any legitimate biology book. Speciation, on the other hand, is most certainly evolution on display.

  120. #120 Judith in Ottawa
    May 28, 2007

    If we want to try to counter this, we need to figure out how to raise $27 million for legitimate natural history museums. If we devoted that kind of money to communicating knowledge it would go a long way to reducing the scientific illiteracy at the root of such ignorance.

    So if you care, donate funds or volunteer your time to a real museum near you!

  121. #121 foldedpath
    May 28, 2007

    “Cool, a Christian theme park! Are the rides any good?”

    Not the only one, either. There is one in Orlando (naturally) called The Holy Land Experience:

    http://www.theholylandexperience.com/index.html

    At first glance (I haven’t been there) it seems like they steer clear of overt creationism, at least in what they show on the web site. It looks to be mainly bible story enactments. But there are plenty of creationist tracts and videos in the online bookstore, including a Ken Ham children’s book (gag!), and they seem pretty big on the Rapture. That place won a property tax exemption too, as a nonprofit.

  122. #122 Joey Bhananas
    May 28, 2007

    Nope… I’m pretty sure it’s flat.

    Did anyone see that mouse come out of that bundle of wheat? Cool, now I know how mice are born too! Spontaneously!

  123. #123 Zach Miller
    May 28, 2007

    Please…I can’t read any more. It’s making me downright depressed.

  124. #124 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    May 28, 2007

    Great summary – thanks and thanks for the many links

    I would suggest that we all stop lending credibility to this travesty by referring to the institution as a “museum” and by referring to that which is being peddles as pseudo-science, false science or any other name which has the term science in it. this isn’t even science fiction. It is just plain fiction and that is what we should call it. For real scientists to even refer to it in a derisive vein as pseudo-science will be interpreted by many lay persons as having some legitimacy as science – maybe just not the entire story.
    Let’s call it what is is – choose your favourite: masquerade, farse, fable, fiction, lie.. whatever. Anything but *-science.

    Tom

    Posted by: Tom Gq | May 27, 2007 11:19 PM

    Tom –

    I coined the term “Amuseum.” It can be either pronounced A-museum or a-MUS-eum, as the derision works either way.

  125. #125 Marcus Ranum
    May 28, 2007

    >”Cool, a Christian theme park! Are the rides any good?”

    You should try the “Holy Roller” rollercoaster. It’s the coolest!!!! And there’s the unforgettable “hall of mirror-icles” and the ten commandments buffet.

  126. #126 Len Zanger
    May 28, 2007

    Thanks, PZ. Well done.

    Was T-rex a vegan?
    http://www.rallyforreason.com/Rally_4_Reason_files/tofu_or_ken.JPG

    Not everyone agrees with what we did, but it was something we felt we had to do.

    -Z (asst. organizer and web lackey for R4R)

  127. #127 beepbeepitsme
    May 28, 2007

    How about the Creationist Museum is an “Amuseum ad nauseum.”

  128. #128 NewiQue
    May 28, 2007

    please identify the mechanism that stops the various mechanisms of generating variability from being “evolution”.

    put simply, just for your tiny brain, and using your own invented terminology:

    what mechanism, exactly, STOPS “microevolution” from being “macroevolution”.

    demonstrate such a mechanism and you’ll win a nobel, certainly.

    You approach the issue the wrong way. There is no need for something to stop speciation from turning into macroevolution. You need a mechanism to do make this jump. In fact, many evolutionists agree that the “microevolution” changes that we observe cannot add up to macroevolution.

    I’ll use a practical example: reptiles turning into birds. Certainly, we find many different varieties of the basic “raptor” dinosaur. The fact that there are differences between the subspecies is the simple result of remixing genes. Just like how parents can have kids with different hair colors or even different blood types (I’m a different blood type than both of my parents). So these variations that we see are sometimes called “microevolution”–stuff like maybe different claw lengths, different average heights, slightly different eye positions–whatever.

    But these are still all changes within the same raptor species. These changes, no matter how many you add them to each other, always maintain the same root species, just with some variety.

    Evolution requires a jump from in-species changes and variations to cross-species changes like scales to feathers (explain that one).

    Thus, the burden of proof is not to explain what prevents natural selection from becoming evolution, but it is to explain how natural selection jumps from its observed filtering and remixing process to changing or generating new DNA for a different species.

  129. #129 Ichthyic
    May 28, 2007

    There is no need for something to stop speciation from turning into macroevolution.

    why not?

    you accept that microevolution creates considerable variability, what stops it from continuing to create larger and larger sets of variability in isolated groups?

    define the mechanism that stops progression.

    Thus, the burden of proof is not to explain what prevents natural selection from becoming evolution,

    now now, tardboy, don’t confuse your terms here. evolution simply means ‘change through time’.

    you’ve already accepted that change through time happens within your (nondefined as yet) grouping of “kind”.

    so… what’s stopping it from continuing onwards?

    have you considered that the appearance of staticness might depend on the level at which you draw “kind”?

    that maybe there is indeed constant change occuring, even as we speak, and it is not obvious to you because you draw your lines too big too see it?

  130. #130 Ichthyic
    May 28, 2007

    reptiles turning into birds. Certainly, we find many different varieties of the basic “raptor” dinosaur.

    let’s work with your example.

    what made you decide that raptors were “of a kind”?

    why doesn’t allosaurus or t-rex belong to this “kind”?

    some raptors have far more feather-like scales than others. would you arbitrarily decide that raptors with mostly feather-like scales are one “kind”, and raptors with far less feather like scales another?

    why?

    Is archeoptyrix a raptor, or a bird “kind”?

    if it’s a raptor “kind”, why?

    it’s different than most raptors, but has lots of similarities.

    is it rather a “bird” kind?

    but if that’s true, why does it have teeth like a lizard?

    hmm.

    such a puzzler.

  131. #131 Icthyic
    May 28, 2007

    but it is to explain how natural selection jumps from its observed filtering and remixing process to changing or generating new DNA for a different species.

    show me one example that you are directly aware of of an “observed filtering and remixing process” by direct example.

    I can show you an example of how a single instance of one genetic mutation ended up producing and entirely new species of plant in quite a short time span.

    would you like to see that?

  132. #132 Monado
    May 29, 2007

    I am picturing the approaches to the museum swathed in large warning stickers, in many languages.

    For the Ken Ham carnival, I’ve just completed my own transcription of three letters written by Mark Twain describing the curious ways of people; these describe
    “Noah’s stocking of the Ark with animals
    and the voyage itself, and the germs on the Ark.

  133. #133 Astronomah
    May 29, 2007

    @Newique:
    “Then, let’s talk about the planetarium, one of my favorite sections. Using observational science, the planetarium shows the vastness of our universe, the incredible comparisons of sizes (our sun compared to other stars, for example). It also contains several facts observed in astronomy that are more consistent with biblical history of a young universe than an old universe. Such as the limited expansion of supernovas, the temperature of stars, and the spirals of galaxies, just to name a few.”
    If this is the “astronomy” that the “planetarium” shows as being proof of a “young” universe,then the only place for them is a locked room lunatic asylum,with the key melted away.

  134. #134 beepbeepitsme
    May 29, 2007

    I say we test the water that christian fundamentalists drink for traces of LSD.

  135. #135 hoary puccoon
    May 29, 2007

    Newique asks, “…explain how natural selection jumps from its filtering or remixing process to changing or generating new DNA for a different species.” Natural selection, of course, has nothing to do with remixing, changing, or generating new DNA. Its only role is filtering. The remixing, changing, and generating new DNA are all done by genetic mutation, and there is no reason to believe it isn’t a sufficiently powerful process to generate new species.
    What I want to know, Newique, is, did you really make a mistake, here? Or did you think you could pull a fast one, confounding mutation with natural selection, and put up a smoke screen we wouldn’t see through? Are you going to offer an apology for confusing two basic biological concepts? Or are you going on to some more blather, hoping we’ll forget your previous misstatement in the confusion? And if you truly believe in the biblical God, aren’t you terrified that you’ll be struck by lightning?

  136. #136 MartinM
    May 29, 2007

    The fact that there are differences between the subspecies is the simple result of remixing genes.

    And your evidence for this claim is…?

    The real problem here is that, like ‘kinds,’ your claim is not well-defined. How much genetic change are you willing to accept under the heading of ‘remixing,’ and exactly what separates ‘remixing’ from ‘new DNA?’ Does a single point mutation produce new DNA, or just a remixed version of the original gene? If the latter, how many changes would you need to see before you’ll accept the result as ‘new?’

  137. #137 Iain Walker
    May 29, 2007

    Re Comment #128 by NewiQue

    I’ll use a practical example: reptiles turning into birds. Certainly, we find many different varieties of the basic “raptor” dinosaur. The fact that there are differences between the subspecies is the simple result of remixing genes. … [snip] … But these are still all changes within the same raptor species.

    There speaks the voice of true ignorance of dinosaur taxonomy. The “raptor” dinosaurs don’t constitute a species. They don’t even constitute a Genus. Depending on how narrowly you apply the term “raptor”, they constitute a Family (the Dromaeosauridae), an Infraorder (the Deinonychosauria, which also includes the Family Troodontidae), or the clade Maniraptora (which also includes the Infraorders Oviraptorosauria, Therizinosauria and others).

    Claiming that the wide range of morphological differences within these groups is equivalent to variation within a single species is equivalent to claiming that humans and orang-utans are just variations within the same species.

  138. #138 Fatboy
    May 29, 2007

    After reading through a few of NewiQue’s comments, and giving him/her the benefit of the doubt that they’re being honest, I think the problem is that NewiQue just doesn’t understand evolution at all. Consider this statement from comment 99, “Speciation is an observed occurrence in nature, and it does not create new kinds of animals, it creates new varieties within a kind. That’s not evolution.” And then, from comment 128, “The fact that there are differences between the subspecies is the simple result of remixing genes. Just like how parents can have kids with different hair colors or even different blood types (I’m a different blood type than both of my parents). So these variations that we see are sometimes called ‘microevolution’…”

    In other words, NewiQue has their own definition for evolution that excludes speciation, and a defintion for “microevolution” that excludes genetic mutation.

    NewiQue, I’m not trying to insult you, but you really should understand a topic before you try to argue against it. I know others have already suggested the TalkOrigins archive to you, but I’d suggest specifically that you go to their Introduction to Evolutionary Biology. Read the whole thing and try to understand it. It will clear up a lot of your misconceptions. If you have questions, there are lots of people on this forum smarter than me that can answer them for you.

  139. #139 Monado
    May 29, 2007

    I’ve re-posted Mark Twain’s letter about germs on Noah’s Ark, so there’s a new link.

  140. #140 o.h.
    May 29, 2007

    Someone asked, earlier, “where are the theologians?” They’re out there, speaking up: see for instance “Thomas Aquinas vs. the Intelligent Designers”:

    http://guweb2.gonzaga.edu/faculty/calhoun/socratic/Tkacz_AquinasvsID.html

    As a conservative Catholic, it appalls me to see Catholics increasingly influenced by Protestant evangelicalism and fundamentalism, and unaware of their own theological heritage, such that they accept the Creationist/IDer party line, simply it seems out of reaction to a perception that “the other side” is made up only of atheists. Fortunately our parish had a great lecture on the evolution/ID debate (which I made sure my oldest child attended), making clear the theological deficiences of the ID view; and I use an old 1940’s catechism that explains why evolutionary theory poses no problems for faith.

  141. #141 Ichthyic
    May 29, 2007

    I say we test the water that christian fundamentalists drink for traces of LSD.

    no… wait… It’s flouridation! That’s it! someone contact the flouridated water conspiracy theorists and tell them we finally figured out what flouridated water does to people:

    turns them into irrational, driveling, creobots!

  142. #142 Kseniya
    May 29, 2007

    Awesome blog entry, Captain Myers. Thank you for your (ongoing) time and effort devoted to these subjects.

  143. #143 blf
    May 29, 2007

    Some choice quotes from The Guardian‘s report, World’s first creationist museum opens in Kentucky:

    Critics say the $27m (14m) centre … will be the first museum in the world whose exhibits are almost entirely fake.
    … Lawrence Krauss, an author and physicist at Cleveland’s Case Western Reserve University, decided to view the museum first-hand.
    … Awarding marks out of five, “I’d give it a four for technology, five for propaganda. As for content, I’d give it a negative five,” he said.
    … When Mr Marsh [the “exhibit” designer] was asked to explain the existence of fossilised remains of man’s ancestors, he replied: “There are no such things.
    “Humans are basically as you see them today. Those skeletons they’ve found, what’s the word? They could have been deformed, diseased or something.
    “I’ve seen people like that running round the streets of New York.”

  144. #144 ruidh
    May 29, 2007

    T. Rex had 6 inch long teeth because *Soylent Green is People*!

  145. #145 calvin
    May 29, 2007

    Wow, such hostility, anger and name calling on this website it’s unbelievable! That’s usually what happens though when someone starts losing a debate.
    Why is tolerance so pushed yet when it comes to ‘Creation Christians’…well then we can’t allow them!
    Darwin’s 150+ year old idea is dying…I know it’s hard for some to accept thanks to DNA & information, transitional fossils that don’t exsist and…well the list goes on. The dogma & paradigm of Darwin Evolution that some are stuck in will never change no matter where the evidence leads…But in the end, even if I disagree with you I will still respect all of you and not be so hateful & intolerant unlike many on this website post. Yikes, some of you need to lighten up:)

  146. #146 David
    May 29, 2007

    I am STUNNED that there people still dumb enough not to understand basic scientific principle. At first, I thought someone was joking when they told me that there are some people in America who believe the world is only 6000 years old. Creationism is a manifestation of fundamentalist christianity and is as dangerous and disruptive to modern life as fundamentalist islam. With all the press on the Creationist museum, America is once again the laughing stock of the planet. The people repsonsible for building this junkyard “museum” are cashing in on the ignorance of the Bush whacked, dumbed down middle American idiots who have yet to read a book cover to cover. I’m ashamed of my country.

  147. #147 David
    May 29, 2007

    I am STUNNED that there people still dumb enough not to understand basic scientific principle. At first, I thought someone was joking when they told me that there are some people in America who believe the world is only 6000 years old. Creationism is a manifestation of fundamentalist christianity and is as dangerous and disruptive to modern life as fundamentalist islam. With all the press on the Creationist museum, America is once again the laughing stock of the planet. The people repsonsible for building this junkyard “museum” are cashing in on the ignorance of the Bush whacked, dumbed down middle American idiots who have yet to read a book cover to cover. I’m ashamed of my country.

  148. #148 Kseniya
    May 29, 2007

    Calvin, is that you?

    That’s usually what happens though when someone starts losing a debate.

    That’s also what happens when people get sick of the same ignorant, stupid crap repeated over.. and over… and over… and over.

    Darwin’s 150+ year old idea is dying…I know it’s hard for some to accept thanks to DNA & information, transitional fossils that don’t exsist and…well the list goes on.

    As I was saying…!

  149. #149 arachnophilia
    May 29, 2007

    @hoary puccoon: (#111)

    Creationists reduce the Bible, one of the oldest collections of writings known, with huge amounts of information about early historical times, into a dumb-and dumber joke book. And why? So they can make idiots of themselves trying to disprove rock-solid science. Where are the theologians? They should be more on the warpath about this travesty than the scientists are.

    some are, but by far not the majority. the majority, i think, are just happy to have anyone on their side, promoting the bible.

    but really, you’re right. they should be on the warpath. these people aren’t promoting honest study of the bible as a literary work, or a historical text (a text from history, i mean), or a anthropological insight into an ancient culture. they are promoting a bastardized, dishonest, dumbed-down version of the text. and they are promoting lies about it.

    the child-like understanding they have of science and the real-world is not something that comes from the bible — though it might well come from the religion. or maybe the religion comes from… well, you get the idea. but the bible is a very complex set of texts, from several different genres, in different styles, by different authors at different times in different places. there is quite a lot of disagreement in opinions and points of view. it is, in places, a very human and beautiful text. in others, dry and academic.

    the fundamentalists try to pretend it’s all one thing, by one author (god), with one solid message. the analogy i’ve use elsewhere is that this is like taking a seven course gourmet meal, putting it in a blender, hitting “purree” and then drinking it with a straw. they want to make it baby food, and the result is just gross.

    I’d be willing to bet that the biblical literalists have converted more people to atheism than PZ and R. Dawkins put together.

    they say that the single greatest test of faith is the bible itself. but i don’t think it’s the bible; i think it’s the fundamentalist mentality regarding the bible. once they actually read it, closely, they find it just isn’t what they’ve been told. and because those assumptions are the basis of their faith, it all comes toppling down. their lies about the bible hurt their goals of evangelism.

    such things are unchristian, too. jesus said “seek and you will find. ask you will recieve.” i don’t think jesus would have been in favor of ignorance and dishonesty. and if they are so afraid of even reading their own text honestly, how valid can their faith be? the faith that can’t stand in the light of facts isn’t very strong.

    science was always my first love. i wanted to be a paleontologist when i was younger. but lately, i’ve been arguing against creationism on a solely biblical basis. there is a certain level of irony in that, especially considering that arguments from the bible don’t convince the biblical fundamentalists.

  150. #150 Ichthyic
    May 29, 2007

    Darwin’s 150+ year old idea is dying…

    WATERLOOOOOOO!!!!

    yeah, it’s been in such dire straits that the publication rates of articles testing evolutionary theory in the lab and field have only doubled in the last 15 years.

    yes, the stench of death surrounds it alrighty.

    Now, ID, OTOH, has a fantastic rate of publication…

    oh wait, that’s right, they haven’t published anything in THEIR OWN DAMN JOURNALS for over 3 years now.

    so, uh who’s a stinking corpse again, there, buddy?

  151. #151 Ichthyic
    May 29, 2007

    but lately, i’ve been arguing against creationism on a solely biblical basis. there is a certain level of irony in that, especially considering that arguments from the bible don’t convince the biblical fundamentalists.

    certain level?

    it’s destroyed more irony meters than you can shake a divining rod at.

    😛

  152. #152 EvanT
    May 29, 2007

    Hi guys. This is just a friendly reminder that the world is indeed watching the US making a fool of itself. It’s fortunate that I regulardly read the Bad Astronomer or I wouldn’t have gotten wind of this whole hooplah. In Greece I doubt this story has aired on the news at all (which is odd to say the least, since we are usually bombarded with hillarious news from around the globe).

    Keep at it guys. The world needs a good scare every now and then (and if these news coming from the world’s most powerful, armed-to-the-teeth country isn’t scary, I don’t know WHAT is).

  153. #153 Kseniya
    May 29, 2007

    Evan… I have to ask. Do you have any superpowers? If so, do they involve dogs?

  154. #154 RavenT
    May 29, 2007

    Sorry, Kseniya, but AFAIK only one being has *that* superpower…

    “It figures. The one thing I’m ever going to be internationally famous for.”–Mr. Raven, 2007

  155. #155 Kseniya
    May 30, 2007

    Ah. Ok. So Evan is a member of a different “T” family. Somehow, I’m relieved!

  156. #156 RavenT
    May 30, 2007

    Somehow, I’m relieved!

    As are the dogs :).

  157. #157 Justin Moretti
    May 30, 2007

    The big billboard at the top of the page is not a product of AiG — it’s entirely photoshopped.

    Posted by: PZ Myers | May 27, 2007 05:53 PM

    #77The name of the artist responsible for the image on the big splashy billboard-like sign is John Gurche, who has distinguished himself as one of the forefront amongst paleo-artists.

    Surely there must be a reaction in that. Somewhere.

    Posted by: Arnosium Upinarum

    “The Missionary Lizard: He Will Bring You Closer to God!”

    Snap! * Burp *

  158. #158 arachnophilia
    May 30, 2007

    oh, meant to add. we had one of those articles in my local paper, titled similarly.

    did man walk among dinosaurs?

    even if i hadn’t have heard all about the 27 million dollar lie already, i probably would have stopped reading right there anyways. what a silly question.

    of course man walked among dinosaurs.

    and we still do today. this is perhaps one of my biggest pet peeves, especially with the uniformed newsmedia. they fall for ham and co’s trap. even in (sometimes) making them look like fools, they continue to promote the same kinds of outdated thinking that just reinforces these silly anti-evolutionary ideas.

    ham would like us think that dinosauria is extinct, because the alternative is more or less the smoking gun against his case. there is so much evidence for the evolutionary link between dinosaurs and birds that there is not even a question anymore about whether birds are dinosaurs (though there is some minor quibbling about the reverse).

  159. #159 David Marjanovi?
    May 30, 2007

    But still, T. rex had six-inch-long teeth that were sunk only about one inch into the jaw.

    Bullshit. The root is longer than the crown.

    Unless of course you are looking at a replaced teeth that fell out during lifetime. Not being a mammal, T. rex replaced its teeth constantly. (Sharks are normal, not the exception, except that they have sped the process up.)

    Then there’s the coprolite with the bone fragments in it, and the deep, deep bite marks…

    And where do you find enough carrion to support an animal that can’t fly?

    Not to mention the healed bite mark on that hadrosaur tail…

  160. #160 David Marjanovi?
    May 30, 2007

    But still, T. rex had six-inch-long teeth that were sunk only about one inch into the jaw.

    Bullshit. The root is longer than the crown.

    Unless of course you are looking at a replaced teeth that fell out during lifetime. Not being a mammal, T. rex replaced its teeth constantly. (Sharks are normal, not the exception, except that they have sped the process up.)

    Then there’s the coprolite with the bone fragments in it, and the deep, deep bite marks…

    And where do you find enough carrion to support an animal that can’t fly?

    Not to mention the healed bite mark on that hadrosaur tail…

  161. #161 fairlane
    May 30, 2007

    Jones Town would like to thank you for allowing us to participate in your “Mock the Dolt” campaign. And we appreciate everyone who visited our humble abode.

    We realize we are not a “Science Blog” and that the majority of the time we are under the influence of one kind of hallucinogen or another, but we still have enough brain cells left to recognize dumbass when we see it.

    I will admit just the other day I was walking dinosaurs. Of course they were polka-dotted and spoke French. (Dinosaurs are actually kind of rude).

  162. #162 David Marjanovi?
    May 30, 2007

    salt in the oceans, also consistent with the biblical timeline.

    That’s not how it works. The oceans don’t get ever saltier. Do you know where rock salt comes from? From shallow sea basins that got cut off and evaporated, leaving always the same (and predictable) sequence of gypsum, salt, potassium salts etc. etc. behind.

    On average throughout the history of the world, the oceans were twice as salty as today. There are ways to show that from the frequencies of certain isotopes in rocks, AFAIK.

  163. #163 David Marjanovi?
    May 30, 2007

    salt in the oceans, also consistent with the biblical timeline.

    That’s not how it works. The oceans don’t get ever saltier. Do you know where rock salt comes from? From shallow sea basins that got cut off and evaporated, leaving always the same (and predictable) sequence of gypsum, salt, potassium salts etc. etc. behind.

    On average throughout the history of the world, the oceans were twice as salty as today. There are ways to show that from the frequencies of certain isotopes in rocks, AFAIK.

  164. #164 IGGY
    May 30, 2007

    Thank goodness the hours I spent watching The Flintstones as a kid finally has a purpose!!!!!!!

  165. #165 ron
    May 30, 2007

    I’m curious which literally true version of creation this museum is teaching, the one given in Genesis chapter 1 or the one given in chapter 2.

    order of creation chapter 1: heavens and earth, night and day, the “firmament”, land, plants, lights in the sky again, animals, mankind last.

    order of creation in chapter 2: heavens and earth, a man first, plants, animals, a woman last.

    the bible contradicts itself from the very beginning and continues all the way to the end, from alpha to omega.

  166. #166 Ben
    May 30, 2007

    You do much insulting and ridiculing of the Creation Museum and Ken Ham. You are telling everyone they are wrong, but not showing how…except “scientific consensus”. Plato went against scientific consensus as well.

  167. #167 Rey Fox
    May 30, 2007

    Ben: Go to where it says “The scientific arguments against creationism” and START READING. Click on the links for more.

  168. #168 ben
    May 30, 2007

    I really am curious, maybe someone has asked you this before, but if we evolved from apes, why are there apes and humans only? The missing links should still be around, shouldn’t they. Did everything in between die out?

  169. #169 Steve_C
    May 30, 2007

    Ben.

    Go read.

    Please.

    You’ll find the answers.

  170. #170 PZ Myers
    May 30, 2007

    No, the “missing links” shouldn’t necessarily still be around. Forms that are similar to other forms will compete with one another, in many circumstances, leading to exclusion of one or another. For another thing, extinction is actually quite common — even if it were entirely left up to chance, you’d expect subsets of a lineage to be knocked out.

  171. #171 Ben
    May 30, 2007

    I forgive you for the arrogance. I just pray, as we all do who are being insulted and ridiculed about creationism, that you and all those who run from the obvious presence of a creator, would see that the only truth is The God of the Bible, who Loves you as a son, and gave his son over to die for our sinful nature. Salvation is Free

  172. #172 PZ Myers
    May 30, 2007

    That’s Ben’s #3. Let the dogs loose.

  173. #173 Caledonian
    May 30, 2007

    Obvious presence?

    There’s nothing obvious about a creator designing the world we’re in. It’s chaotic, complicated, and not obviously meant to be hospitable or encouraging to us.

  174. #174 ben
    May 30, 2007

    It’s chaotic because of sin. And it is complicated to some people, becuase they base all their information to fit evolution a world that could not have be spoken into existence.

  175. #175 Rey Fox
    May 30, 2007

    You get an honest answer to your scientific question, and suddenly we’re being arrogant? You play all innocent, but we can see now that you have no interest in learning from us. We can see that you just want to wave around your vague religious platitudes when you should know darned well that they won’t work on us. How could they be expected to work when there’s nothing concrete in them that could be related to by anyone who hasn’t been steeped in Christian dogma for much of their lives? You think you’re being all pious and good, but you’re just annoying.

  176. #176 Caledonian
    May 30, 2007

    The more we learn about the world, the more complicated and subtle it seems.

    It’s reasonable that a person almost totally ignorant of what the world is would see it as simple.

  177. #177 Fairlane
    May 30, 2007

    Ben asked, “The missing links should still be around, shouldn’t they?”

    Yes Ben they should, and they are. They’ll be standing in line waiting to purchase tickets at the Creation Museum. You might be able to catch a glimpse if you hurry.

  178. #178 Caledonian
    May 30, 2007

    How could we check the assertion that sin is responsible for the chaotic and complex nature of the world? For that matter, how can we verify what ‘sin’ is?

    Surely you can see that we can’t take your word for it. Or the word of your church. Or your holy book. In fact, even if your claim descended directly from the skies on stone tablets surrounded by a beam of light, we still couldn’t take it for granted.

    How can we check, ben?

  179. #179 Science Avenger
    May 30, 2007

    Ben, we’ve got 12 species of Gibbon, orangutans, gorillas, and chimpanzees. How much variation among our ancestors do you want?

    It is also worth noting that humans are apparently a very genetically small speciesna d there is more genetic variation among chimpanzees than there is in humans (I believe I got this reading Jarod Diamond, don’t have a link). If so, that would imply that humanity, or what passed for humanity in those days, shrank to a relatively small population (something in the tens of thousands perhaps) prior to the explosion in numbers that has us covering the globe.

    This would supply a very tangible reason why there are not that many fossil samples of our ancestors – there simply were not very many of them.

  180. #180 arachnophilia
    May 31, 2007

    @David Marjanovi?: (#159)

    Unless of course you are looking at a replaced teeth that fell out during lifetime. Not being a mammal, T. rex replaced its teeth constantly. (Sharks are normal, not the exception, except that they have sped the process up.)

    not sure what you define as “normal.” t-rex and sharks replace teeth in entirely different manners. sharks have rows of teeth that march forward as they grow. tyrannosaurs (like all dinosaurs, birds, and crocodiles) are thecodonts, which grow teeth from sockets, stacked something like dixie cups. but yes, one could get the wrong impression by looking at a shed tooth as opposed to one with the root intact. the root is indeed longer than the crown.

  181. #181 LaChoy
    May 31, 2007

    I keep reading that the museum is “keeping scientists out”. How is this being done? Is every visitor asked whether they are a scientist, and denied entry if they say yes?

  182. #182 MartinM
    May 31, 2007

    I really am curious, maybe someone has asked you this before, but if we evolved from apes, why are there apes and humans only? The missing links should still be around, shouldn’t they. Did everything in between die out?

    Category error. We are apes. We did not evolve from any living species of ape; they’re our cousins, not our ancestors.

  183. #183 Ben
    May 31, 2007

    The arrogance I’m referring to is Steve’s #168.
    I have someone telling me the missing links shouldn’t “neccessarily” be around. I have another telling me “we’ve got 12 species of Gibbon, orangutans, gorillas, and chimpanzees.” They are the “missing links”. They are our “cousins”. Come on, the links from ape to man do not include Gibbon, orangutans, gorillas, and chimpanzees, as they are on one end of the lineage and we on the other. Furthermore, those who enter the museum are human.

    Scientists are more than invited to go to the museum.

    Sin is defined as rebellion from God. We do it everyday. Me no less than you. Gibbon, orangutans, gorillas, and chimpanzees are not born with understanding of morality as man.

  184. #184 Steve_C
    May 31, 2007

    Ben.

    Did you do your reading assignment?

    Well?

    It doesn’t seem so. Do you really want an F?

    Faith starts with an f. So maybe you won’t mind it all.

  185. #185 Brownian
    May 31, 2007

    “…and gave his son over to die for our sinful nature.”

    Uh-oh. Ben’s begging for a polemic about the absurdity of a deity who created an entire universe, an arbitrary set of rules for a created sentient species as well as the most elaborate and cruel prison for those sentients that break any of the arbitary rules, but is somehow limited to only producing one sacrificial offspring for which all of the other sentients must be inordinately grateful for.

    Well, he’s not going to get one from me.

  186. #186 Ben
    May 31, 2007

    I guess what you mean, Brownian, is God created the universe and us, then gave us free will…yes free will to love him, hate him, deny him, believe in him, or whatever we want.

  187. #187 Bob
    May 31, 2007

    As a resident of Petersburg (yes, THAT Petersburg) I wish to express my shame that Ken’s circus has pitched its tent in my beautiful state, and to give you some good local scoop from ground zero.

    There is a large backstory about building this circus tent (I can’t bring myself to validate it by calling it a m-seum). What REALLY drives Ken Ham is money – selling books and DVDs. Look at the building permit – this place is a freaking book distribution center! Adding a religious m-seum to his place of business allowed him to cry “religious persecution” when the zoning commission denied his application to build his book operation in un undeveloped area with an inadequate infrastructure. He successfully bullied the local politicians into allowing it. I am so ashamed, I wish I could move.

  188. #188 Steve_C
    May 31, 2007

    Ben.

    How old are you?

    God didn’t create free will… we created god. There was never a choice needed to be made.

  189. #189 Ben
    May 31, 2007

    Come on, Bob. Do you have to be so insulting and accusing. There was a situation with the purchasing of the property for the museum, but you obviously heard your story from your next door neighbor, who heard it from his.

  190. #190 Steve_C
    May 31, 2007

    Ben.

    How’s your reading of the http://www.talkorigins.org site going?

  191. #191 Ichthyic
    May 31, 2007

    Scientists are more than invited to go to the museum.

    they sure weren’t on opening day.

    I did indeed find that rather ironic.

    so desperate to prove his religion is science, he didn’t allow any scientists to evaluate it on opening day.

    Now, Ben, what would you find that behavior more consistent with:

    Hammy thinks this is all science

    or

    Hammy thinks he would lose business if there were criticism on opening day from the patrons.

    if that’s a tough call for you, you should be worried about people trying to sell you bridges.

  192. #192 Brownian
    May 31, 2007

    “I guess what you mean, Brownian, is God created the universe and us, then gave us free will…yes free will to love him, hate him, deny him, believe in him, or whatever we want.”

    Don’t guess, Ben. Try to read it again. Feel free to sound out the hard words.

    I know you can do it.

  193. #193 Brownian
    May 31, 2007

    Seriously Ben, you know that’s not what I wrote.

    Don’t ever try to pull that shit on me again.

    Seriously.

  194. #194 Toe Moss
    June 1, 2007

    Memes and Genes are information containers, data if you will, flowing through time. Nature provides a selective process for the genes, if these genes travel with other adaptive “beneficial” genes, then the organism that they construct and guide may survive, thrive and reproduce those genes. If not, the organism becomes extinct and that information, that DNA data line ends. This is the essence of natural selection, the driving force of evolution. All DNA / Gene controlled organisms have changed through time.

    The process of science is the “natural selection” of memes, it provides a time filter, a searching, probing, critical peer review which allows those memes which explain with evidence to move forth through time. Memes that do not explain with evidence, that are based on “belief” only… memes like the idea of the flat earth will eventually be thought silly and die out, providing historians with a chuckle or two. Some memes may hang on for generation after generation and provide a nice living for religious fanatics like Ham and the other goof balls who built this “museum”. The bodies in which these memes find themselves will not become extinct but will become terminally silly! They will spend their life’s energy, time and money building arks with dinosaurs in them. They will profess that the earth is 6000 years old… they have lost the ability to pass on information to critically thinking brains, their memes are aimed at brains with the shortest dendrites, the least experience, the brains with the least information, the young children and the religious non-thinkers. Noah’s Ark with a smattering of dinosaur species, 6000 year old earth… terminally silly memes… eventually bound for extinction.

  195. #195 ron
    June 1, 2007

    ben,

    jesus was dead for what, 2 whole days? big deal. thats supposed to be a sacrifice for a god that’s been around for forever? and what kind of insane lunatic would come up with a plan where his “son” has to be tortured and killed anyway? youd think someone supposedly as smart as god could come up with something better. and how does jesus being dead for 2 days, getting to be alive again and then living in heaven absolve me from my sins anyway? if the fairy tale went “jesus died and is now being tortured in hell for all eternity in place of me” that might have a chance of making a tiny bit of sense. but then that would be the only thing in the bible that did.

    ben, basically you’re insane.

  196. #196 Fairlane
    June 3, 2007

    Toe,
    I think of all the comments, other than mine, I like yours the best. I agree they target “limited minds”. However, what scares me is that that shit is straight out of 1984, and was actually the premise of Big Brother; limit people’s ability to experience, learn, think critically and grow.

    These people with the “shortest dendrites” have a great deal of power in our society. That power is why nonsense like this museum even gets play. My question is:

    What if they don’t go extinct?

  197. #197 Michael
    June 3, 2007

    Great article. Superb!

  198. #198 E. Courville
    June 3, 2007

    WOW! how religious you evolutionist are! This is a familiar tactic. You must get it out of the same playbook as the politicians. You look at everything you’ve got wrong, screwed up, or perverted in you search for the elusive holy grail of evolution, then you blame it all on the other side.

  199. #199 MartinM
    June 5, 2007

    You know what else is a familiar tactic? Projection.

  200. #200 Stu
    June 8, 2007

    What a great roundup PZ! I wrote about this travesty back in April and got some really interesting and deluded comments:

    http://paralleldivergence.com/2007/04/28/creation-museum-madness/

  201. #201 absolute
    June 16, 2007

    PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO SEE HOW THESE MEN WITHOUT ANY PROOF(ONLY THEORIES) FORMED THE AVERAGE PERSONS’ THINKING OF AN OLD EARTH.
    Summary of the old-earth proponents for long ages
    Who? Age of the earth When was this?
    Comte de Buffon 78 thousand years old 1779
    Abraham Werner 1 million years 1786
    James Hutton Perhaps eternal 1795
    Pi?e LaPlace Indefinite, long ages 1796
    Jean Lamarck Long ages 1809
    Georges Cuvier Untold ages 1812
    Charles Lyell GEOLOGIC column 1830?1833
    William Smith Untold ages 1835
    Charles Darwin
    Earnst Haeckel
    Lord Kelvin origen of species
    forged embryo art
    20-100 million years mid 1800’s
    mid 1800’s
    1862?1899
    Arthur Holmes 1.6 billion years 1913

    NOTICE HOW FROM 1779 TO 1786, THEY WENT FROM
    78,000 TO 1,000,000 YEARS. AND PEOPLE BELIEVED IT!

    THEN HUTTON, A WORLD RENOWNED THINKER (WHO HATED THE BIBLE) SAYS WITH NO BASIS THAT
    THE WORLD WAS…QUOTE “PERHAPS ETERNAL”

    THEN CHARLES LYELL(WHOSE WRITINGS DRIP WITH HATE OF THE BIBLE OFF THE PAGES) CREATED THE GEOLOGIC
    COLUMN…THAT ISN’T EVEN REAL(DOESNT EXIST!!!!)BUT THE AVERAGE PERSON ACCEPTED HIS WRITINGS AS FACT CAUSE 95% OF THE POPULATION WAS NOT EDUCATED ENOUGH TO KNOW ANY BETTER.

    THEN CHARLES DARWIN MADE MOST BIBLE BELIEVING CHURCH GO-ERS DOUBT THE BIBLE TIMELINE. AND MOST OF HIS WRITINGS TODAY HAVE ALL BEEN PROVEN FALSE.

    TODAYS’ METHODS OF DATING THE AGES OF THINGS HAVE MANY FLAWS AND ARE BASED ON THE GEOLOGIC COLUMN WHICH IS NOT EVEN REAL!!!!!

    YOU CAN BELIEVE IT OR NOT…..BUT THINGS ARE NOT AS OLD AS THEY SAY THEY ARE. THERE IS NO PROOF FOR THESE AGES. ALL TEACHERS/SCIENTISTS/COLLEGE PROFESSORS/RESEARCHERS THAT ARE PAID BY OUR TAX DOLLARS(NOT PRIVATE DOLLARS) WOULD BE FIRED IF THEY SAID THE EARTH WAS 1000’S NOT MILLIONS OF YEARS OLD.

    Mr. Ray

    LASTLY EARNST HAECKEL FAKED EMBRYO DRAWINGS(SEE BELOW) AND PEOPLE BELIEVED IT…. LEADING TO THE THOUGHT WE ALL CAME FROM ONE ORIGINAL ORGANISM. EVEN THOUGH HE WAS CONVICTED…HIS DRAWINGS ARE STILL IN TEXT BOOKS TODAY!

    When the scientist move from microevo to macro evo they have left science and gone right to faith for no one has ever seen or has any demontrable observable proof. It is therefore a religion.

  202. #202 Ichthyic
    June 16, 2007

    shake your fist harder, boy!

  203. #203 Don
    June 17, 2007

    I’m a former atheist. I visited the museum with intentions of being skeptical. I found that it’s much easier and takes less faith to believe in creation than evolution or the scientific view. The TRUTH set me free!!

  204. #204 Joey Bhananas
    June 28, 2007

    You’re right. God’s all powerful and eternal, but he only thought of us in the last 15000 years or so. You see, he’s not quite clever, which is why he would have to make every animal from scratch instead of coming up with something eloquent like evolution. You see, why god sets at his big pottery wheel, he takes a big wad of clay and wills it to be a pot, or a llama, or whatever. God said let there be light, not let there be dim, followed by mixed species of dim and dusk, progressing through to twilight, then “that light that’s easy to see in, but you’ve got to squint,” until light breaks.

    That was sarcasm, by the way. Anyone who ever said god and evolution can’t coexist really has to think things through.
    If I took a copy of the bible, and added a commandment or two, will my bible burst into flames? Will it be consumed somehow? Nevermind *my* fate, what about that book? Nothing protects it from being wrong, does it? How many people read and extol the “King James” Bible? the “Gideon” Bible? How many different bibles are there, anyway? It’s obvious changes were made over the years, almost like it went through it’s *own* evolution. So how is it that everyone’s bibles are right? Conversely, how do you know your bible isn’t wrong, just like you think everyone else’s isn’t?

    The historical Bible, is all it’s forms, is said to be written by men, in words handed down by ‘God.’ This is a book that’s supposed to define who you are, morally and spiritually. Not an instruction book. Let’s suppose ‘God’ told man how he did it, would he understand at that point? Or just admire ‘Him’ or ‘Her’ and write “On this day god created the animals?”

    god doesn’t care if we know how it was done. god would only care that we follow his word, the rest is purely academic.

    If Pope John Paul II could believe in evolution, and people are looking to have him *sainted,* then tell me how is a vote for evolution considered the path to evil? How can it be considered “Us vs. Them” at this point, when all we seem to be arguing over is the meaning of what, two sentences?

  205. #205 Patrick McMahon
    July 7, 2007

    You are a pretty cocky person. One thing I know for sure is that evolution is not true. Look around pal, everything in the ocean and on earth, all life, everything, evolved? I don’t think so. You are a great man of faith to believe that monkey business. Yes, I have studied evolution in college from many advocates and believed it for a while, but not long.
    I don’t advocate intelligent design being taught in public schools because at this time that would open the door to too many strange imaginings such as astrology and various pagan views of the earth’s origin, but I believe it is essential for every thinking person to have the freedom to not believe in evolution without being mocked, you mocker.
    There is the evolutionary model of how life on earth developed and there is the creationist model. I have studied both in depth, and to tell you the honest truth, to me the creationist model makes more sense with what I observe in nature. Please respect that.

  206. #206 Pauli Ojala
    July 31, 2007

    I thinkf the coexistence of the modern man and dinosaurs is well documented:
    http://www.helsinki.fi/~pjojala/Dinoglyfs.htm

  207. #207 Sarkra
    August 4, 2007

    Grah. I HATE it when people do this- insulting others just because of their beliefs. This is a free country- so we should build whatever we want to build. Why can’t we just resolve this in peace? You’re claiming both sides are moronic, yet you also insult like the athiest’s side. I’m planning on making a great list of questions, and I dare you to answer them all.

  208. #208 MartinM
    August 4, 2007

    I HATE it when people do this- insulting others just because of their beliefs.

    Correction. Insulting others just because of their mindnumbingly stupid beliefs.

  209. #209 MAJeff
    August 4, 2007

    Please respect that.

    Why? It’s silly.

  210. #210 Stanton
    August 4, 2007

    Any person who allegedly claims to look at the diversity of life alive at the moment, and allegedly look at the diversity of life hinted at in the fossil record, and then go on to claim that the world was created 10,000 to 6,000 years ago…
    I’m of the opinion that the aforementioned person is a mindnumbingly stupid individual with a big mouth.

  211. #211 Steve_C
    August 4, 2007

    The nitwits hate when you criticize their superstitions.

    Maybe we should just laugh at them ceaselessly.

    Deluded ignorant goofballs.

  212. #212 Carlie
    August 4, 2007

    I’m planning on making a great list of questions, and I dare you to answer them all.

    Save yourself some time and energy – go check talkorigins.org. Whatever great questions you can come up with, they’re already there and answered.

  213. #213 sharon
    September 4, 2007

    I’ve read with interest many of the comments posted here. I offer the following website: http://www.cclough.com
    for any of you who are brave enough to open your eyes wide enough and long enough to honestly consider the truth versus the lie.

    Romans 1:18-22: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them, for since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools….”

  214. #214 RCybak
    September 13, 2007

    Gentlemen, please enjoy the following article; then, predictably become enraged, spew out as many big words as you can type to try and dismiss the plethora of intelligent points made in the article, and then, finally, come to the realization that you are not fighting the true spirit of creationism, rather the confounded views of those belonging to false religion. The Bible contains many scientific truths, such as the earth being round and revolving around the sun, far before “scientists” proved this fact. Nowhere in the Bible does it state that dinosaurs lived among men, this is just a very poor interpretation of the scriptures. I beg you to read this article and perhaps allow some enlightenment of your “truth”.
    Huge Gulfs–Can Evolution Bridge Them?

    FOSSILS give tangible evidence of the varieties of life that existed long before man’s arrival. But they have not produced the expected backing for the evolutionary view of how life began or how new kinds got started thereafter. Commenting on the lack of transitional fossils to bridge the biological gaps, Francis Hitching observes: “The curious thing is that there is a consistency about the fossil gaps: the fossils go missing in all the important places.”

    The important places he refers to are the gaps between the major divisions of animal life. An example of this is that fish are thought to have evolved from the invertebrates, creatures without a backbone. “Fish jump into the fossil record,” Hitching says, “seemingly from nowhere: mysteriously, suddenly, full formed.” Zoologist N. J. Berrill comments on his own evolutionary explanation of how the fish arrived, by saying: “In a sense this account is science fiction.”

    Evolutionary theory presumes that fish became amphibians, some amphibians became reptiles, from the reptiles came both mammals and birds, and eventually some mammals became men. The previous chapter has shown that the fossil record does not support these claims. This chapter will concentrate on the magnitude of the assumed transitional steps. As you read on, consider the likelihood of such changes happening spontaneously by undirected chance.

    The Gulf Between Fish and Amphibian

    It was the backbone that distinguished the fish from the invertebrates. This backbone would have had to undergo major modifications for the fish to become amphibian, that is, a creature that could live both in the water and on land. A pelvis had to be added, but no fossil fish are known that show how the pelvis of amphibians developed. In some amphibians, such as frogs and toads, the entire backbone would have had to change beyond recognition. Also, skull bones are different. In addition, in the forming of amphibians, evolution requires fish fins to become jointed limbs with wrists and toes, accompanied by major alterations in muscles and nerves. Gills must change to lungs. In fish, blood is pumped by a two-chambered heart, but in amphibians by a three-chambered heart.

    To bridge the gap between fish and amphibian, the sense of hearing would have had to undergo a radical change. In general, fish receive sound through their bodies, but most toads and frogs have eardrums. Tongues would also have to change. No fish has an extendable tongue, but amphibians such as toads do. Amphibian eyes have the added ability to blink, since they have a membrane they pass over their eyeballs, keeping them clean.

    Strenuous efforts have been made to link the amphibians to some fish ancestor, but without success. The lungfish had been a favorite candidate, since, in addition to gills, it has a swim bladder, which can be used for breathing when it is temporarily out of the water. Says the book The Fishes: “It is tempting to think they might have some direct connection with the amphibians which led to the land-living vertebrates. But they do not; they are a separate group entirely.” David Attenborough disqualifies both the lungfish and the coelacanth “because the bones of their skulls are so different from those of the first fossil amphibians that the one cannot be derived from the other.”

    The Gulf Between Amphibian and Reptile

    Trying to bridge the gap between amphibian and reptile poses other serious problems. A most difficult one is the origin of the shelled egg. Creatures prior to reptiles laid their soft, jellylike eggs in water, where the eggs were fertilized externally. Reptiles are land based and lay their eggs on land, but the developing embryos inside them must still be in a watery environment. The shelled egg was the answer. But it also required a major change in the process of fertilization: It called for internal fertilization, before the egg is surrounded by a shell. To accomplish this involved new sexual organs, new mating procedures and new instincts–all of which constitute a vast gulf between amphibian and reptile.

    Enclosing the egg in a shell made necessary further remarkable changes in order to make possible the development of a reptile and, finally, its release from the shell. For example, within the shell there is the need for various membranes and sacs, such as the amnion. This holds in the fluid in which the embryo grows. The Reptiles describes another membrane called the allantois: “The allantois receives and stores embryonic waste, serving as a sort of bladder. It also has blood vessels that pick up oxygen that passes through the shell and conduct it to the embryo.”

    Evolution has not accounted for other complex differences involved. Embryos in fish and amphibian eggs release their wastes in the surrounding water as soluble urea. But urea within the shelled eggs of reptiles would kill the embryos. So, in the shelled egg a major chemical change is made: The wastes, insoluble uric acid, are stored within the allantois membrane. Consider this also: The egg yolk is food for the growing reptile embryo, enabling it to develop fully before emerging from the shell–unlike amphibians, which do not hatch in the adult form. And to get out of the shell, the embryo is distinctive in having an egg tooth, to help it break out of its prison.

    Much more is needed to bridge the gap between amphibian and reptile, but these examples show that undirected chance just cannot account for all the many complex changes required to bridge that wide gulf. No wonder evolutionist Archie Carr lamented: “One of the frustrating features of the fossil record of vertebrate history is that it shows so little about the evolution of reptiles during their earliest days, when the shelled egg was developing.”

    The Gulf Between Reptile and Bird

    Reptiles are cold-blooded animals, meaning that their internal temperature will either increase or decrease depending upon the outside temperature. Birds, on the other hand, are warm-blooded; their bodies maintain a relatively constant internal temperature regardless of the temperature outside. To solve the puzzle of how warm-blooded birds came from cold-blooded reptiles, some evolutionists now say that some of the dinosaurs (which were reptiles) were warm-blooded. But the general view is still as Robert Jastrow observes: “Dinosaurs, like all reptiles, were cold-blooded animals.”

    Lecomte du Noy, the French evolutionist, said concerning the belief that warm-blooded birds came from cold-blooded reptiles: “This stands out today as one of the greatest puzzles of evolution.” He also made the admission that birds have “all the unsatisfactory characteristics of absolute creation”–unsatisfactory, that is, to the theory of evolution.

    While it is true that both reptiles and birds lay eggs, only birds must incubate theirs. They are designed for it. Many birds have a brood spot on their breast, an area that does not have any feathers and that contains a network of blood vessels, to give warmth for the eggs. Some birds have no brood patch but they pull out the feathers from their breast. Also, for birds to incubate the eggs would require evolution to provide them with new instincts–for building the nest, for hatching the eggs and for feeding the young–very selfless, altruistic, considerate behaviors involving skill, hard work and deliberate exposure to danger. All of this represents a wide gap between reptiles and birds. But there is much more.

    Feathers are unique to birds. Supposedly, reptilian scales just happened to become these amazing structures. Out from the shaft of a feather are rows of barbs. Each barb has many barbules, and each barbule has hundreds of barbicels and hooklets. After a microscopic examination of one pigeon feather, it was revealed that it had “several hundred thousand barbules and millions of barbicels and hooklets.” These hooks hold all the parts of a feather together to make flat surfaces or vanes. Nothing excels the feather as an airfoil, and few substances equal it as an insulator. A bird the size of a swan has some 25,000 feathers.

    If the barbs of these feathers become separated, they are combed with the beak. The beak applies pressure as the barbs pass through it, and the hooks on the barbules link together like the teeth of a zipper. Most birds have an oil gland at the base of the tail from which they take oil to condition each feather. Some birds have no oil gland but instead have special feathers that fray at their tips to produce a fine talclike dust for conditioning their feathers. And feathers usually are renewed by molting once a year.

    Knowing all of this about the feather, consider this rather astonishing effort to explain its development: “How did this structural marvel evolve? It takes no great stretch of imagination to envisage a feather as a modified scale, basically like that of a reptile–a longish scale loosely attached, whose outer edges frayed and spread out until it evolved into the highly complex structure that it is today.”11 But do you think such an explanation is truly scientific? Or does it read more like science fiction?

    Consider further the design of the bird for flight. The bird’s bones are thin and hollow, unlike the reptile’s solid ones. Yet strength is required for flight, so inside the bird’s bones there are struts, like the braces inside of airplane wings. This design of the bones serves another purpose: It helps to explain another exclusive marvel of birds–their respiratory system.

    Muscular wings beating for hours or even days in flight generate much heat, yet, without sweat glands for cooling, the bird copes with the problem–it has an air-cooled “engine.” A system of air sacs reach into almost every important part of the body, even into the hollow bones, and body heat is relieved by this internal circulation of air. Also, because of these air sacs, birds extract oxygen from air much more efficiently than any other vertebrate. How is this done?

    In reptiles and mammals, the lungs take in and give out air, like bellows that alternately fill and empty. But in birds there is a constant flow of fresh air going through the lungs, during both inhaling and exhaling. Simply put, the system works like this: When the bird inhales, the air goes to certain air sacs; these serve as bellows to push the air into the lungs. From the lungs the air goes into other air sacs, and these eventually expel it. This means that there is a stream of fresh air constantly going through the lungs in one direction, much like water flowing through a sponge. The blood in the capillaries of the lungs is flowing in the opposite direction. It is this countercurrent between air and blood that makes the bird’s respiratory system exceptional. Because of it, birds can breathe the thin air of high altitudes, flying at over 20,000 feet for days on end as they migrate thousands of miles.

    Other features widen the gulf between bird and reptile. Eyesight is one. From eagles to warblers, there are eyes like telescopes and eyes like magnifying glasses. Birds have more sensory cells in their eyes than have any other living things. Also, the feet of birds are different. When they come down to roost, tendons automatically lock their toes around the branch. And they have only four toes instead of the reptile’s five. Additionally, they have no vocal cords, but they have a syrinx out of which come melodious songs like those of the nightingales and mockingbirds. Consider too, that reptiles have a three-chambered heart; a bird’s heart has four chambers. Beaks also set birds apart from reptiles: beaks that serve as nutcrackers, beaks that filter food from muddy water, beaks that hammer out holes in trees, crossbill beaks that open up pinecones–the variety seems endless. And yet the beak, with such specialized design, is said to have evolved by chance from the nose of a reptile! Does such an explanation seem credible to you?

    At one time evolutionists believed that Archaeopteryx, meaning “ancient wing” or “ancient bird,” was a link between reptile and bird. But now, many do not. Its fossilized remains reveal perfectly formed feathers on aerodynamically designed wings capable of flight. Its wing and leg bones were thin and hollow. Its supposed reptilian features are found in birds today. And it does not predate birds, because fossils of other birds have been found in rocks of the same period as Archaeopteryx.12

    The Gulf Between Reptile and Mammal

    Major differences leave a wide gulf between reptiles and mammals. The very name “mammal” points up one big difference: the existence of mammary glands that give milk for the young, which are born alive. Theodosius Dobzhansky suggested that these milk glands “may be modified sweat glands.”13 But reptiles do not even have sweat glands. Moreover, sweat glands give off waste products, not food. And unlike baby reptiles, the mammalian young have both the instincts and the muscles to suck the milk from their mother.

    Mammals have other features, also, that are not found in reptiles. Mammalian mothers have highly complex placentas for the nourishment and development of their unborn young. Reptiles do not. There is no diaphragm in reptiles, but mammals have a diaphragm that separates the thorax from the abdomen. The organ of Corti in the ears of mammals is not found in reptilian ears. This tiny complex organ has 20,000 rods and 30,000 nerve endings. Mammals maintain a constant body temperature, whereas reptiles do not.

    Mammals also have three bones in their ears, while reptiles have only one. Where did the two “extras” come from? Evolutionary theory attempts to explain it as follows: Reptiles have at least four bones in the lower jaw, whereas mammals have only one; so, when reptiles became mammals there was supposedly a reshuffling of bones; some from the reptile’s lower jaw moved to the mammal’s middle ear to make the three bones there and, in the process, left only one for the mammal’s lower jaw. However, the problem with this line of reasoning is that there is no fossil evidence whatsoever to support it. It is merely wishful conjecture.
    Another problem involving bones: Reptilian legs are anchored at the side of the body so that the belly is on or very near the ground. But in mammals the legs are under the body and raise it off the ground. Regarding this difference, Dobzhansky commented: “This change, minor though it may seem, has necessitated widespread alterations of the skeleton and the musculature.” He then acknowledged another major difference between reptiles and mammals: “Mammals have greatly elaborated their teeth. Instead of the simple peg-like teeth of the reptile, there is a great variety of mammalian teeth adapted for nipping, grasping, piercing, cutting, pounding, or grinding food.”

    26 One last item: When the amphibian supposedly evolved into a reptile, the wastes eliminated were noted to have changed from urea to uric acid. But when the reptile became a mammal there was a reversal. Mammals went back to the amphibian way, eliminating wastes as urea. In effect, evolution went backward–something that theoretically it is not supposed to do.

    The Greatest Gulf of All

    27 Physically, man fits the general definition of a mammal. However, one evolutionist stated: “No more tragic mistake could be made than to consider man ‘merely an animal.’ Man is unique; he differs from all other animals in many properties, such as speech, tradition, culture, and an enormously extended period of growth and parental care.”15

    28 What sets man apart from all other creatures on earth is his brain. The information stored in some 100 billion neurons of the human brain would fill about 20 million volumes! The power of abstract thought and of speech sets man far apart from any animal, and the ability to record accumulating knowledge is one of man’s most remarkable characteristics. Use of this knowledge has enabled him to surpass all other living kinds on earth–even to the point of going to the moon and back. Truly, as one scientist said, man’s brain “is different and immeasurably more complicated than anything else in the known universe.”16

    29 Another feature that makes the gulf between man and animal the greatest one of all is man’s moral and spiritual values, which stem from such qualities as love, justice, wisdom, power, mercy. This is alluded to in Genesis when it says that man is made ‘in the image and likeness of God.’ And it is the gulf between man and animal that is the greatest chasm of all.–Genesis 1:26.

    30 Thus, vast differences exist between the major divisions of life. Many new structures, programmed instincts and qualities separate them. Is it reasonable to think they could have originated by means of undirected chance happenings? As we have seen, the fossil evidence does not support that view. No fossils can be found to bridge the gaps. As Hoyle and Wickramasinghe say: “Intermediate forms are missing from the fossil record. Now we see why, essentially because there were no intermediate forms.”17 For those whose ears are open to hear, the fossil record is saying: “Special creation.”

  215. #215 Alexander Hayden
    September 15, 2007

    I’d like to comment about the last entry on this forum. I noticed that the person who wrote this post said at the end that there’re no transitional fossils. I am a professional paleontologist who works on the evolution of theropod dinosaurs and dinosaur to bird evolution. There are many transitional forms, which strenghten the theory of evolution. I work mostly on tyrannosaurid theropods and most recently on abelisaurid theropods. Maybe for those who are unfamiliar with these names, I should explain them briefly here; tyrannosaurids include several small, medium and large carnivorous dinosaurs to which belongs one of the most famouse dinosaurs Tyrannosaurus rex. In 1991, and a couple years ago a transitional form of tyrannosaurid was discovered in the Late Cretaceous rocks in Montana. This new and very important specimen is called Daspletosaurus sp. It is a transitional form between Daspletosaurus torosus and Tyrannosaurus rex. There is enough evidence to see in the skull of this new species which suggests that Daspletosaurus torosus was a direct ancestor of T.rex. I won’t get here into details, but I advise others to look up the real scientific literature and see what scientists are discovering and saying. Regarding abelisaurids, which represent the last of the carnivorous dinosaurs, which lived during the latest Cretaceous in South America, Africa, Madagascar and India and possibly Australia. When study the fossil record from these places of abelisaurus we can see how these amazing theropods evolved during the time of the break up of the southern landmasses of the supercontinent Gondwana. The forms found in Argentina show many similar characteristics in their cranial and postcranial skeletons to those found in Africa, Madagascar and India. We can actually based on the collected data trace their origin and evolution as the continents started to separate. Again, I encourage all the readers to do some research and read the real scientific literature. There are a lot of new and amazing fossils coming from China, especially those of feathered dinosaurs. Creationists like to pick on Archaeopteryx, which is one of the best early transitional forms between dinosaurs and birds. I do not know what exactly they’re bitchning about it, but it seems that they’re having problem with this very important transitional form. There are many others of which creationists do not know, they’re just going back to the old stuff and ignore all the new discoveries. Creationists do not know about two very important discoveries, the Late Cretaceous: Hesperornis and Ichthyornis; birds with teeth. There’re many transitional forms discovered, but creationists keep saying that there’re none. Every time a new discovery is made in the world especially in paleontology, creationists turn the evidence around just to deny it so that they won’t lose their followers. Many debated creationists by explaining the theory of evolution, transitional forms etc. One thing that many of us overlooked is this: Creationists hate modern science;however, they’re using the following –

    Modern Technology

    1. Cars
    2. Airplanes
    3. Computers
    4. TV
    5. Radio
    6. Electricity
    7. Medicine
    8. Chemicals
    9. Telephones

    The list can go on and on. Now, the question should be directed to creationists, if they really hate modern science, then they shouldn’t use any of these things I listed above. They acuse science and the natural process of evolution for all evil. However, they keep using all the discoveries made by science. Therefore,they should abandon all the modern technology and go back to live in caves.

    Here is an outline of religious wonder:

    1. Persecution of Jwes in Europe
    2. Spanish Inqusition
    3. Killing of Indians in South America
    4. Crusades
    5. Killing in the name of God

    Well, the list can go on and on and on. It can be a very long list.

    I am a scientist, but I was rised as a Christians. I pracrice my Christian faith everyday, but through science and gained knowladge I discover God. Well, you get the idea when you start doing research yourself.

    Science is fun if you know how it works and how to use it.

  216. #216 astarte krijgsman
    October 17, 2007

    I have never in my entire life seen any theories like these! I am ofcourse from the world’s total Sodom and Gomorra called The Netherlands, but I can tell you, that being a geologist, I have done a lot of research in deposits that would contain oil and gas (a resource that especially the United States of America always seem to be extremely interested in). The only reason that you are all able to fill up your ridiculously big tanks of your cars ( you might wanna consider driving something somewhat less oil consuming) is that oil and gas had a mature rock that was deposited 400 mln years ago and that, through diagenesis turned in the stuff that we all so desperatily need nowadays. I can tell you that during these fieldwork expeditions, we came across some fragments of dinosaurs, and they were definitely NOT 6000 years old. The thing that strikes me as extremely odd, dangerous and, especially, frightening, is that your country tends to think that the Arabic world takes their religion into a higher level, which is not preferrable. Statements like these however, makes me believe that a world collapse is not far away! And I seriously believe that that’s not what God intended! Get to your senses and just be normal, earth-loving, human-loving people, with your own disputable belief in what God intended people to do, and all will be right again!

  217. #217 Sheralyn
    December 3, 2007

    Creation Museum is about the dumbest thing they could have built and now promote. Nothing like taking a giant step backwards! Teach FACTS, not MYTHS.

  218. #218 Zachary Kessin
    February 11, 2008

    Re ???????

    If you want to see dinosours in the Hebrew text of the bible there is a much better source, in the day 4 account of Gen there is a mention of “Giant Lizards” or “Giant Crocodiles” depending on how you chose to translate a word. I am at the office now so I don’t have the Hebrew text in front of me.

    I’ve never been one for biblical literalism, but if you are going to be a literalist at least learn to READ HEBREW. And if you are going to talk about science at least learn enough to not sound like a fool. Not that these folks will do ether.

  219. #219 Rolf Aalberg
    February 24, 2008

    With respect to “transitional species”:

    Isn’t it a simple fact that any species living at any time is a transitional species? On the transtion from ‘yester-hundred- years’ species to the next-hundred-years species?

    We ourselves – with our dogs and cattle, and all the rest, represent the ‘transitional species’, of this age, and nobody knows what the descendants may look a hundred thousand or a million years from now.

    Go to the seashore, pick up a seashell and say to yourself: Wow! I am holding a genuine transitional in my hand!

  220. #220 Grace Cardinal
    February 26, 2008

    PZ you are an idiot if you believe all that you have written!!! how can you not believe in God? the beautiful creation screams that it was all made by a creator. and yes, it was all made about 6,000 years ago, and it was made by God.and you call yourself a biologist!!! how can you or anyone else believe that this magnificent beauty all around us just somehow came into being all by itself,that it just somehow happened? if you have studied the wonderful world which God has created than you of all people should know the truth.which is that the world and the universe was all created by the Almighty God about 6,000 years ago.you say that God does not exist and did not create the world, well i have to ask you this- WHERE YOU THERE.and of course you weren’t so how would you know that what you say is true?you wouldn’t, nor do you have a reliable source.but Christians and Creationists do have a VERY reliable source and that is the Bible.the Bible states what i have already stated, that God created the whole awe inspiring universe.i could argue much more on this subject but i can’t right now ,i must go. i will be praying for you PZ, and i will be praying that God will open your blinded eyes so that you can see him like i and Ken Ham and other Christians see him and that you will become a Christian.

  221. #221 Ichthyic
    February 26, 2008

    the beautiful creation screams that it was all made by a creator

    it does?

    why?

    because someone told you so, when you were a wee little tyke, and nobody told you different until you were much older.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/316/5827/996

    IOW, you were brainwashed by your peers.

    We sympathize, really, but there is little we can do. You have to free yourself from your own delusions.

  222. #222 Stanton
    February 26, 2008

    it was all made about 6,000 years ago

    Where does the Bible specifically state this?

  223. #223 spurge
    February 26, 2008

    “how can you not believe in God?”

    Which one?

  224. #224 Ichthyic
    February 26, 2008

    WHERE[sic] YOU THERE

    LOL I thought I’d seen the end of that line of argument.

    a true child of Ken Ham.

  225. #225 GERARD HYNES
    March 18, 2008

    What if you are 100% right ( Which I don’t belive your are)
    What are the fruit on evolution?
    Racisim? nazism?
    You actualy think it is good to teach kids
    there is no God?
    No moral athority?
    no acountablity for your actions if you don’t get caught
    by man?
    “Do what feels good” you are after all just an ape.
    Could this be what causes Columbine thing to happen.
    Did they feel like after they killed themselfs that was it?
    There would be no judgement. Isnt that what you taught them?
    Did’nt Hitler get his pure race idea from Darwinism?

    Also, how exactly is creation scince going to hold back what you call true science?
    How much effort do we use looking for origin of life?
    What if those resources went for fighting illnesses?
    What if the pharmacutical companies had good Religious
    values unpoluted with “evolutional doctrine) when pricing
    there products?
    Your the smart one. Iam not (just a GED)
    Why kill the God Idea? Do you really feel your doing Good?
    How many people in the would need God?
    So keep going, Keep killing it. Can’t you see how much better you making things.

    What are the odds of a miricle? (billions of years)

    Maybe then you will see the light.

    God bless you and all of yours Brother.

    Sincerly
    Gerard Hynes

  226. #226 Damian
    March 18, 2008

    Gerard said:

    What are the fruit on evolution?
    Racisim? nazism?

    No, the fruit is an understanding of the diversity of life, agricultural improvements, and advances in medical research, among many, many other things. You have been lied to, Gerard. Sorry.

    Even if there were tangible negative consequences, does that mean that we should ignore the evidence?

    If you want to talk about the origins of racism and Nazism, I think that you should be looking closer to home, to be honest. Would you also consider that to be the fruit of Christianity, or religion in general? I doubt it, somehow.

    Gerard said:

    You actualy think it is good to teach kids there is no God?
    No moral athority? no acountablity for your actions if you don’t get caught by man?
    “Do what feels good” you are after all just an ape.
    Could this be what causes Columbine thing to happen.
    Did they feel like after they killed themselfs that was it?
    There would be no judgement. Isnt that what you taught them?
    Did’nt Hitler get his pure race idea from Darwinism?

    Nope, I think that we should teach children about all religions, without forcing our own prejudices on to them. Children simply are not old enough, or well developed enough, mentally, to decide on such matters. I certainly don’t think that it is a good idea to tell a 7/8/9 year old that they will be burned forever in hell if they don’t believe. That we call child abuse.

    I’d love to hear how this moral authority of yours manifests itself? Don’t you really mean that you subjectively reflect what you believe to be God’s word, and then act on it under the threat of torture?

    I submit to you, sir, that that is not morality. And if it is I don’t want anything to do with it.

    There is no evidence that suggests that the rejection of God has any negative effects on behavior. In fact, there is evidence to suggest the opposite.

    If morality is grounded in our actions, there is no evidence that your basis for moral decision making is any better than mine. That suggests that we are really both relying on ourselves, and that you are simply giving all of the credit to something else. That is your right, of course.

    Gerard said:

    Also, how exactly is creation scince going to hold back what you call true science?
    How much effort do we use looking for origin of life?
    What if those resources went for fighting illnesses?
    What if the pharmacutical companies had good Religious
    values unpoluted with “evolutional doctrine) when pricing
    there products?

    Creation science (an oxymoron if I ever saw one) is demonstrably false. That is how it holds back science. The reason that it continues to be so popular is because those who peddle it are charlatans dressed in religious attire, and many people really want to believe that they are the act of a special creation. I don’t blame them, so much, but you should step away from Answers in Genesis for 5 minutes and see what real scientists have to say about such matters. You are supposed to live a life of truth, are you not?

    The earth is not 6000-10000 years old, all life was not created in one special creation event, and there was no global flood. We really, really do know this.

    Homo sapiens (you and I) have roamed this planet for well over one hundred thousand years (at least double that, actually), and our primate ancestors were here for many millions of years before that.

    It is not our fault if some people would rather believe in fairy tales than face up to what I personally believe to be a much more beautiful explanation – and one that has the added advantage of being supported by all known evidence, as well. I don’t have to live a lie to protect the idea that I am special, somehow.

    Gerard said:

    Why kill the God Idea? Do you really feel your doing Good?
    How many people in the would need God?
    So keep going, Keep killing it. Can’t you see how much better you making things.

    Nobody specifically wants to kill the idea of God. What we would like to do is to encourage those who want to believe in such things to engage in intellectual honesty. If it requires deceit to maintain the idea, then is it really an idea worth defending? There are many religious people who accept all of the findings of science – and it even strengthens their faith, by all accounts – and they don’t have to lie about it. While I can’t really see how even they manage it, at least they are honest enough to admit that much of the bible is not the word of God, and that it has been changed a great deal down the years.

  227. #227 Gerard Hynes
    March 18, 2008

    >Would you also consider that to be the fruit of Christianity, or religion in general? I doubt it, somehow.

    red cross and many many church charity groups around the world. REAL FRUIT
    >If you want to talk about the origins of racism and Nazism, I think that you should be looking closer to home, to be honest
    What? read some history. Aryan race charts from germany circa. 1940 And what about slavery? Black where considerd
    a sub species. That had nothing to due with Darwinism?

    >Even if there were tangible negative consequences, does that mean that we should ignore the evidence?

    What evidence? none found Sorry you have been mislead.

    > agricultural improvements, and advances in medical research, among many, many other things.
    And none of these improvents where done by religous scientist?
    And evolution theroy is the only resone these discoveries where made? You have been lied to, Sorry.

    > Creation science (an oxymoron if I ever saw one) is demonstrably false
    You no proof. you can not prove anything you dig up, even had off spring. Or how old it is. isotope dating is based on assumtions. carbon 14 turn to carbon 13 based on the ASSUMTION it has always decade at the same rate.
    Oh and please explain the cambrian explosion of fully developed species sudenly appearing.

    >There is no evidence that suggests that the rejection of God has any negative effects on behavior. In fact, there is evidence to suggest the opposite.

    Where is this evidence?
    >Nope, I think that we should teach children about all religions, without forcing our own prejudices on to them. Children simply are not old enough, or well developed enough, mentally, to decide on such matters.

    I agree teach the religon of Darwinism and Creationism side by side. Oh wait your side is affraid of that
    Thank God( or whom ever you thank) for your ACLU. Because your idea we came from a rock is hard to hold up against we where created. Then the children CAN decide such matters.

    > charlatans dressed in religious attire.
    I have never entered these debates without your side
    starting the name calling. Childish indeed.

    >The earth is not 6000-10000 years old, all life was not created in one special creation event, and there was no global flood. We really, really do know this.

    Homo sapiens (you and I) have roamed this planet for well over one hundred thousand years (at least double that, actually), and our primate ancestors were here for many millions of years before that
    And your proof is…… Faith in your relgion of darwinism. You belive nothing expoloded and created every thing. I belive God said let there be light.
    Faith on both accounts.
    >If it requires deceit to maintain the idea, then is it really an idea worth defending?

    There are known lies in your text books of evolution.
    like the http://home.honolulu.hawaii.edu/~pine/book1qts/embryo-compare.html Haeckel chart for one.
    miller experment with the known wrong atmosphere, that only produces amino acids not life and many many more.

    >It is not our fault if some people would rather believe in fairy tales than face up to what I personally believe to be a much more beautiful explanation
    once apon a time nothing exploded and made every thing
    Then life just POOF apeared one day and a magic monkey had a baby human who grow up to be a prince.

    >honest enough to admit that much of the bible is not the word of God, and that it has been changed a great deal down the years.
    What? study a little and you will find 2000 year old text match
    current bible almost to the letter.
    I dare you to read case for chist or case for creator by lee stoble.

    Love Your bother in Christ
    “Gerard Hynes”
    I will pray for you my brother.

  228. #228 kmarissa
    March 18, 2008

    Wow. Just, wow.

    Gerard,

    Christians are always talking about the need to be humble. Why do so many of them come to this site and think that they know more than people who have studied biology for DECADES?

    Seriously, I would like an answer to that question.

    Then life just POOF apeared one day and a magic monkey had a baby human who grow up to be a prince.

    You obviously know nothing about evolutionary theory. What you are rambling about would be completely CONTRARY to evolutionary theory.

    So why should we listen to you?

  229. #229 MAJeff, OM
    March 18, 2008

    Love Your bother in Christ

    What a wonderfully appropriate misspelling.

  230. #230 Rey Fox
    March 18, 2008

    “And none of these improvents where done by religous scientist?”

    Irrelevant. They didn’t make these advancements by praying and hoping God would tell them how things worked. They used the scientific method.

    “And evolution theroy is the only resone these discoveries where made?”

    It’s the major underpinning of all of biology, so yes.

    “And what about slavery? Black where considerd
    a sub species. That had nothing to due with Darwinism?”

    Curse of Ham. Darwin’s On The Origin of Species was published in 1859, slavery had been around for hundreds of years before that. Try again.

    “You no proof. you can not prove anything you dig up, even had off spring. Or how old it is. isotope dating is based on assumtions. carbon 14 turn to carbon 13 based on the ASSUMTION it has always decade at the same rate.”

    Your ignorance shows again. Carbon dating isn’t used on ancient fossils. The decay rate of Carbon-14 is too fast to be of any use for things more than several thousand years old. There are many ways of dating fossils, and they have been checked against each other to a high degree of accuracy.

    “Oh and please explain the cambrian explosion of fully developed species sudenly appearing.”

    Incomplete fossil evidence. Body structures that did not lend well to fossilization. Oh, and they didn’t really just “suddenly appear” in the fossil record either. You might want to try learning about fossils from the people who actually dig them up and study them.

    “I have never entered these debates without your side
    starting the name calling. Childish indeed.”

    You come in and accuse atheists of being fundamentally immoral and Nazis. Ignorant and hypocritical.

    “What if the pharmacutical companies had good Religious
    values unpoluted with “evolutional doctrine) when pricing
    there products?”

    I haven’t the slightest clue what you’re getting at here.

    “Your the smart one. Iam not (just a GED)”

    And yet you think you can topple the whole edifice of biological knowledge built up over the last hundred and fifty years by thousands of observations and experiments. Ignorant, hypocritical, and arrogant.

    “I dare you to read case for chist or case for creator by lee stoble.”

    And you might want to try reading the Index of Creationist Claims at http://www.talkorigins.org.

  231. #231 Janine, ID
    March 18, 2008

    I will pray for you my brother.

    Posted by: Gerard Hynes

    Please do. The more time you spend doing something non productive, praying, the less time you have to bother people like me.

    Oh, not everyone is your brother. So if you will not pray for your sisters, I can deal with that.

  232. #232 Gerard Hynes
    March 18, 2008

    Maybe I dont know then.
    I am sorry professor I should just belive what you tell me.
    After all you have wasted your whole life studing it.
    And it would be foolish to question the statis quo.
    You honnestly belive there is no chance you are wrong.
    You studied both sides open mindedly and really examined the evidence you claim to know.
    You are just in your effort to debunk God.
    What if you win? Will you be happy then?
    Will it be a better world if the churches go away.
    maybe then we can do what ever we want.
    Most Charity is religous based. Will that dry up
    Maybe goverment can do better.
    Kids should know they are just apes.
    get it in before you go. there is know second chance.
    They got religon out of the way before.
    Germay, Russia :It worked out well.
    What should we do when loved ones are sick in your world,
    in lue of prayer?
    When we had prayer in schools we did not need metal detectors. Do you remember that.

    These Creation museums you dismiss offer something yours can not.
    Something people need you wish to denie them of.
    Faith.
    Why do you think millions belive.
    They are stupid?
    Slam em. Slam em good. Destroy there faith with your site and science. Remove there moral athority. Strip them of there belife.
    laugh at them and ridicle them for beliving what you can’t.
    You and your degree are far superior the stupid Christians.
    you don’t need them or there charity work.
    Your future world with out religon seems like great place
    I hope you live in it some day.

    I Love You truly.
    And good luck on your mission to destroy us.
    Gerard Hynes

  233. #233 Janine, ID
    March 18, 2008

    What should we do when loved ones are sick in your world,
    in lue of prayer?

    This is why I am grateful for modern medicine. If we used prayer, I would have at least one dead brother and a mother who died in childbirth.

    I Love You truly.
    And good luck on your mission to destroy us.

    I can do without your love. But there is a question that has to be asked, why do you think we want to destroy you?

  234. #234 kmarissa
    March 18, 2008

    Sigh. So much for that whole “humility” thing. No one has been able to explain that to me yet.

    I am sorry professor I should just belive what you tell me.

    Or you could try, you know, EDUCATING yourself. I’d be impressed if you actually began to do so, I swear.

  235. #235 MAJeff, OM
    March 18, 2008

    What should we do when loved ones are sick in your world,
    in lue of prayer?

    I’d try medicine. It actually works.

    You also might want to invest in a dictionary.

  236. #236 MAJeff, OM
    March 18, 2008

    That really is some radioactive ignorance there….of history, of biology, of psychology…hell of pretty much everything.

  237. #237 Rey Fox
    March 18, 2008

    Seriously, why the irrational hatred of apes and monkeys?

    “These Creation museums you dismiss offer something yours can not.”

    “Our” museums offer knowledge. Intellectual stimulation. Elevation of the mind. Connection to things you may never otherwise see, places you may never otherwise go, people you may never otherwise meet, and the past that you most certainly will never experience. Sounds pretty good to me.

  238. #238 gerard hynes
    March 18, 2008

    why are those musuems there?
    why where they started? Such effort.
    why do people go to them?
    To be ridiculed and scorned?
    What is your intention of this page against them.
    These people have made these to restore faith that
    unproven science is trying to destroy.
    If you debunk Genises, you undermine the Bible.
    Thats not your intention when you call it a fairy tale?
    What is your goal?
    How is it removal or failure going to benifit you?
    Are you upset that they disagree with you?

    why do you slam them for that and ask me why do I think
    you want us dissmised?

    I maynot have your degrees in science,
    But science has been wrong in the past.
    That could never happen again?
    After all the world was flat. the earth was the center and the universe was consent.
    What if you found absolut proof of creation?
    How would that change your lifestyle?
    And vis verse for Christian and Jews?
    Would distruction of there faith make the world better?
    if it is not the goal of evolutionist what is?

    Gerard hynes
    Praying for you and your wife and children.
    And mother and brother.
    since you won’t.

  239. #239 kmarissa
    March 18, 2008

    Rey, in Gerard’s defense, he does state that the Creation “museums” offer faith, not information. People like us might think that information was sort of the POINT of museums, but that’s just our intolerant mindset.

  240. #240 MAJeff, OM
    March 18, 2008

    Gerard hynes
    Praying for you and your wife and children.
    And mother and brother.
    since you won’t.

    Yet another willfully-ignorant arrogant christian who won’t mind his own damned business.

    Shocking, I know!

  241. #241 Damian
    March 18, 2008

    Gerard, you are entitled to your ignorance (we are all ignorant of a great many things, it’s just that some of us are willing to admit it). Never mind that the vast majority of what you say is demonstrably false. Who cares, hey? The trouble is that I do care.

    I don’t want to “debunk God”, Gerard. MET (Modern Evolutionary Theory) has precisely nothing to do with, or say about, God. It is you that has decided that it does, and that you can’t believe in God if you accept science. That is false. Many Christians would say that you obviously don’t have much faith in God if you don’t trust the method that he used for creation.

    Think about it. Something like 98% of all life that has ever existed is extinct. What would that say about God, if special creation is true?

    You have already been pointed to Talkorigins.com, where everything can be demonstrated in the scientific literature. Many of the people who created that site are Christians. So too is the person who moderates this site – Panda’s Thumb. I suggest that you also watch this video – a talk by Ken Miller, a biologist and also a Christian. He has a book called “Finding Darwins God”, which is excellent.

    In the end, Gerard, I can’t force you to change your mind. Nor would I wish to. I don’t care if you are a Christian, either. I would like you to take a look at those sites, the video, and the book, though. The wonders of science cannot hurt you.

  242. #242 kmarissa
    March 18, 2008

    Jesus Christ, Gerard, what on earth is your point in posting here? You’re not even pretending to read or understand a single word that anyone has posted. It’s obvious that you don’t even WANT to get an answer to any of your questions. Why on earth are you wasting your time posting on a science blog by spewing out a bunch of misspelled questions that show you have no idea what you’re ranting about, when you don’t even want answers to the questions you write?

    Then again, one COULD ask why I’m bothering to respond to you.

  243. Ken Ham is quite the character. His book, “The Lie: Evolution” speaks volumes of his ignorance, or blatant willingness to lie.

    I’ve written a review of his book here, in case you’re interested.

  244. #244 Systems Engineer
    August 23, 2008

    Why on earth are you wasting your time posting on a science blog…

    This is a science blog?? I thought it was an ad hominem attack blog based upon the long discredited hypothesis of evolution that was rightly dismissed out-of-hand by more enlightened souls with the discovery of DNA over half a century ago.

    Maybe if you evolutionists will just (once again) extend your age of the universe hypothesis from billions to quadrillions of years, you’ll have a better “chance” of explaining how just one gene got coded correctly in the primordial pool.

    Oh wait, that would take about 10^147 years with all atoms in the universe made into activated nucleotides and working together to form the right gene sequence. Then there are all the other items needed beforehand, such as ribosomes, amino acids, RNA polymerase, ATP, various enzymes, etc., for protein synthesis.

    Bummer…quadrillions of years won’t cut it, either. Don’t spend too much time worrying about it, though, the rest of us don’t want you to fall too far behind in science. Better leave the study of evolution where it belongs – in courses on ancient mythology.

  245. #245 Nick Gotts
    August 23, 2008

    the long discredited hypothesis of evolution that was rightly dismissed out-of-hand by more enlightened souls with the discovery of DNA over half a century ago. – Systems Engineer

    Liar. All those concerned in the discovery of DNA were and remained convinced of the fact of evolution, and of the importance of natural selection as the main process driving it. Of course a handful of idiots such as yourself doubtless tried to pretend the discovery somehow threw doubt on evolution, but their dishonesty and stupidity was as evident then as yours is now. In fact, of course, DNA’s discoverers only knew what sort of substance they should be looking for because they knew it must have the properties that could support what was already known about the mechanisms of heredity.

  246. #246 Systems Engineer
    August 23, 2008

    Just as I thought…

    This is an ad hominem attack blog – no facts, just attacks.

    In this case, I am attacked for what I did not say. Go back and reread that sentence you quoted until you understand that I did not refer to the discoverers of DNA as enlightened souls. Too much evolution on your brain has clouded your ability to parse a sentence correctly.

  247. #247 Nick Gotts
    August 23, 2008

    Systems Engineer,
    No, it’s you who cannot understand what you read. As I said:

    “Of course a handful of idiots such as yourself doubtless tried to pretend the discovery somehow threw doubt on evolution, but their dishonesty and stupidity was as evident then as yours is now.”

    You lied when you called these lying fools “enlightened souls”. And calling a liar a liar isn’t an “ad hominem attack” – look it up, fool and liar.

  248. #248 Systems Engineer
    August 23, 2008

    Nice try, but switching focus from your immediate reply in the topic sentence in order to justify another ad hominem attack only shows your own dishonesty.

    Still waiting for an explanation on how that first gene got correctly coded out of the 10^524 possible sequences. Maybe evolutionists should skip the quadrillions and go for a google years! Oh wait, that’s only 10^100. Well, I’m sure you evolutionists will figure out some way to make the impossible possible.

  249. #249 Nick Gotts
    August 23, 2008

    On the contrary, I realised exactly the dishonest trick you had up your sleeve in your first comment, and responded accordingly, fool and liar. There was extensive discussion here not long ago, with many references elsewhere, to the topic of abiogenesis. I’m not your servant, fool and liar, you could readily find out the current state of the science in this area if you wanted. You don’t, of course, because you are a fool and liar.

  250. #250 Systems Engineer
    August 23, 2008

    Trying to convince an evolutionist that he is not the progeny of amorous slime is tough – not impossible – just tough. Most contemporary scientists who reject the myth of Darwinian evolution and its variants do so simply because it is statistically impossible for life to spring from non-life.

    I’ll move on, but thanks for conceding my points. Name-calling is the last refuge of a lost argument.

  251. #251 Douglas McClean
    August 26, 2008

    Systems Engineer, you are giving systems engineering a bad name. (I’m not sure whether you mean control systems or network systems, but either way….).

    Please take a minute to realize that your “impossibility” argument, mutatis mutandis, can be used to prove the impossibility of pretty much anything. Winning the lottery is fantastically improbable, but someone winning the lottery is not.

    Finding a single exact sequence by random search is fantastically impossible, but we know for a fact that many, many, many, sequences code for identical proteins. We also know that many, many, many proteins have both similar sequences and similar shapes. We also know that, as the saying goes, there are “many ways to skin a cat,” and so the search for a protein that serves some function need not be limited to one particular shape.

    Confusing a priori and a posteriori probabilities in this way is surprising, especially coming from someone with a background in engineering. I would have also expected someone with a background in systems engineering to have a passing familiarity with approximation algorithms and search techniques in combinatorial spaces.

  252. #252 Systems Engineer
    August 26, 2008

    Douglas,

    Thanks for sparing me the name calling. Control Systems, primarily.

    The probability of winning any lottery on earth is a sure bet compared to the probability of creating life from non-life. I only discussed the “chance” of coming up with a single gene sequence necessary for life. Numerous other factors must also be in place (I mentioned several) and we run up against irreducible complexity, as well. Then there is the question of how to get the machinery running.

    One of the smallest life forms is a bacteriophage that infects E. coli. It has 5,386 nucleotides encoding 10 genes. The probability of this mechanism forming from an evolutionary mud puddle is, well, “not gonna happen”.

    Good luck finding the search algorithm that can navigate the virtually infinite number of combinations to come up with just the right components at the right location at the same time under the necessary conditions for them to assemble and then animate.

  253. #253 kel
    August 26, 2008

    Systems Engineer, if you actually understood what abiogenesis is, you wouldn’t be making the arguments you do. NO-ONE thinks that complex life just spontaenously happened, of course that’s impossible. Rather, it was a series of small, incremental steps as dictated by chemistry.

    Look at it this way:
    Trying to generate the number
    345784397324583249564389570342853247543589430257234
    randomally is impossible.
    Rather if each step was an incremental, and cumulative effect then it would get there much quicker. To generate the first number there is a 1 in 10 chance. Likewise to generate the second there is also a one in 10 chance. By having a cumulative system, it’s not reliant on an act of God. Instead we can focus on just how each stage came to be.

    The argument that a fully formed cell came out of nothing is akin to saying a house can appear out of having the raw materials lying around. When building a house, it’s a cumulative process and each brick is laid down one by one. So like that, no-one ever expects life to be as it is now without a gradual process except those who think Goddidit.

    And in the end, that’s the irony of those who reject abiogenesis. It’s they who believe that life just suddenly sprang up, not the scientists. They can recognise that life was a gradual and cumulative process, limited by the contraints of chemistry and no-one ever in their right minds would say that abiogenesis is going to bring a complex organism out of simply the raw materials.

  254. #254 Systems Engineer
    August 26, 2008

    Nice try, but I never said anything about a cell springing out of nothing. Your entire response was based upon a strawman argument. I began with the statistical impossibility of even a single useful gene arising by random chance.

    No combination of incremental steps is going to reach the complexity of a simple gene required for “life”, let alone all of the other components necessary simultaneously for it to be useful. Your random number is about 10^100 power too small. Until someone can show me the mathematics that make the statistically impossible possible, the myth of evolution remains a fairy tale for adults.

  255. #255 kel
    August 26, 2008

    I began with the statistical impossibility of even a single useful gene arising by random chance.

    Which is what I was replying to, it’s not random chance, it’s a cumulative process of chemical reaction.

    Until someone can show me the mathematics that make the statistically impossible possible, the myth of evolution remains a fairy tale for adults.

    Again, this shows you have no clue. Abiogenesis deals with the origin of life, evolution deals with the diversity of life. Even without an adequate explanation for an event that occured 3.8 billion years ago, it doesn’t change the fact that there is diversification and speciation based on mutations inherent in populations. You talk about strawman, you make one right there by making evolution reliant on abiogenesis.

    Here are the simple facts.
    * The earth is around 4.5 billion years old
    * Life on this earth started in the first billion years
    * At about 550 million years ago, single-celled organisms became multicellular.
    * The fossil record shows a progressive lineage.
    * Invertebrates appear before vertebrates, fish before amphibians, amphibians before reptiles, reptiles before dinosaurs, dinosaurs before birds, reptiles before mammals, primate ancestors before humans

    Abiogenesis deals with that initial event 3.8 billion years ago, not having a complete explanation for an event that is untestable does not change any other fact about evolutionary theory. In terms of evolution, speciation has been observed, transitional fossils have been found, there have been observations of countless advantageous mutations, increases in information in DNA, etc. Evolution has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Not knowing whether lipids formed a protective layer before or after RNA became double helix does not negate ANY evidence for evolution.

  256. #256 Systems Engineer
    August 27, 2008

    Save your clues – you need them more than I do. Whether the subject is abiogenesis or the evolutionary process, the statistical argument remains the same. Actually, no, it grows exponentially worse for evolution with increasing genetic complexity and variety.

    Speciation is not evidence of evolution – it is merely the reorganization of existing genetic information and does not result from mutation. There are no transitional fossils, there are no advantageous mutations and no increases in DNA information within any organism. Facts are facts – it’s your interpretation of them in light of evolutionary philosophy that sends you down the bunny trail.

    Evolution – untestable, unobservable, unrepeatable, full of non-science, nonsense, statistical impossibilities, quackery, contradictions, retractions and deliberate hoaxes, but you say that it has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Sure.

    The superstition of evolution:

    Inanimate Matter + Time = Millions of Complex Organisms

  257. #257 kel
    August 27, 2008

    Oh wow, so ignorant of it all. This is why people laugh at creationists, it’s people with no scientific expertise mouthing off about a concept they don’t understand.

    Speciation is at the very heart of evolution, that’s what evolution is. From the point of speciation, any divergence from there is arbitrary.

    There are dozens and dozens of transitional fossils, given the most important one was found just two years after Darwin first published The Origin Of Species, I’m surprised you haven’t heard of it. Archaeopteryx. It contains both reptilian and bird-like features. Likewise, one just discovered in the last decade: Tiktaalik has both fish and amphibian features. Just a simple google search should so up just how much we’ve gotten from the fossil record.

    In terms of mutations, increases of information have been observed. There’s over 3000 pages on PubMed if you could actually be bothered searching.

    Evolution is both testable and falsifiable. If we find a mammal in the precambrian rock, then that shows problems with the evidence. We have less chromosomes than the other primates, if we don’t find a fused chromosome in our genome, it disproves common ancestry. It’s funny how creationists keep saying evolution is unfalsifiable, if you knew anything about the subject then you would see the reason we know it’s true is that it makes predictions and the predictions match.

    Inanimate Matter + Time = Millions of Complex Organisms

    No, that’s completely wrong. Why don’t you say that atoms + time = planets? Again, you are just making a straw man.

    All you’ve done here is show your ignorance of evolution. You don’t even know what you are arguing against. It would be like me calling god a three-footed bunyip that eats the children of jews to satisfies it’s bloodlust then knock that down. The least you can do is actually read up on the science you are arguing against. “no transitional fossils”, “unfalsifiable”, you have no clue!

  258. #258 Systems Engineer
    August 28, 2008

    Is that the best retort you can come up with?

    First of all, you have no idea what I believe about origins except that I find evolutionary theory ridiculous.

    “There are dozens and dozens of transitional fossils…” Thanks for refuting evolution for me. There ought to be “trillions and trillions” of transitional fossils. In fact, we should hardly be able to walk without crunching “dozens and dozens” of them with every step.

    Archaeopteryx – I was probably reading about it before you were born. Unconvincing as a transitional fossil when the feathers, feet, bone structure, and, yes, even the teeth, are examined. It cannot be proven that it is anything other than an extinct form of bird, like several others with similar features.

    Tiktaalik – Another unconvincing supposed transitional form. It’s just a fish with some unattached bones in its muscles for who knows what purpose. Where are the millions of transitions before and after it?

    This is silly. I’m supposed to believe in evolution because of two sorta, kinda, maybe transitional forms.

    I agree, “atoms + time = planets” is a good way to sum up the impossibility of (planetary) evolution since there is no indication that planets can form from atoms or molecules randomly colliding. In fact, such collisions tend to separate rather than attract, and any particles that do accrete will tend to cancel any imparted spin. There is no accounting for the existence of the planets in our system via evolutionary thinking, let alone their rotational speeds or directions. Then there’s the particular problem of accounting for the growth of gas giants considering the rapid dissipation of gases in a vacuum and the lack of sufficient orbiting He and H, even around a young star.

    Thanks for the equation and your other assistance in exposing the science-fiction fantasy of evolution. Keep up the good work!

  259. #259 kel
    August 29, 2008

    Best retort? Hell no. I prefer not to waste my energy on someone who doesn’t even understand the basics of a theory than waste my time giving a technical description that is sure to go to waste. You can’t even tell the difference between the origin and divergence of life, how are you meant to understand anything technical?

    In terms of archaeopteryx, can you show me a bird that has teeth and a reptilian jaw, likewise it vertebrate in it’s tail? Those are the features that make it transitional, this is exactly what scientists define as a transitional form. Whether or not it had direct ancestors is irrelevant to the fact that it’s a transitional form. Looking at the fossil record, it’s impossible to tell whether a species had direct lineage. It’s that it had both dinosaurian and avian features is why we call it transitional. The same goes for Tiktaalik. It has both fish and tetrapod features, hence why we call it transitional.

    But enough on evolution. Show me evidence for what you believe. Make sure it covers EVERY fact we have empirically, including speciation, including increases in genetic information, that includes common ancestry for chimps and humans (I refer you to human chromosome #2), make sure it includes why we have a common ancestor 140,000 years ago on mtDNA, make sure it includes neanderthals, make sure it includes a 4.5 billion year old planet and a progressive fossil record.

    That’s the thing about creationists, they spend so much time trying to pick holes in evolution instead of coming up with an alternate theory that is both explanatory of the empirical evidence and predictive of empirical evidence to come. So stop with the pot shots and provide some positive evidence.

    P.S. if you can’t understand that the planet formed by gravity and think that atoms + time = planets, then I question your ability to even comprehend even the most simplistic scientific theory. But still, enough dilly-dallying, provide evidence for what you believe. Because even without evolution as a theory to explain what we have, you still have to deal with the observed facts of the world that says we are 4.5 billion years old, that life started around 3.8 billion years ago, that it became more complex around 550 million years ago and species gradually formed starting with invertebrates, moving onto vertebrates, gradually moving onto land (first the arthropods, then the tetrapods), the rise and fall of dinosaurs, and finally the gradual emergence of birds and mammals which only 200,000 years ago brought on the species known as homo sapien.

    Because those are scientific fact. Evolution is a theory that explains the biological facts, it’s both falsifiable and predictive. Right now we support evolution because it’s the only theory that adequately explains the complexity and diversity of life. If you have something better, please don’t keep it to yourself. Otherwise all you are doing is trying to throw science back into the dark ages. The world works by expanding on our knowledge base, not trying to knock it down without providing positive evidence for what you believe.

    So come on Systems Engineer. Show POSITIVE EVIDENCE for your beliefs. It’s not enough to just try and knock down evolution, we get nowhere. So POSITIVE EVIDENCE that explains our origins supported by empirical fact which isn’t contradicted by other empirical fact…

  260. #260 Steve_C
    August 29, 2008

    Hehe. Abiogenesis is impossible, but god is a fact? Stop right there. You’re done. You’re a pompous (and apparently religious) tool.

    Can’t tell if he’s Hovindian or Hammed. Wonder what flavor evangelical he is.

  261. #261 Kel
    August 29, 2008

    I wonder if it’s a poe, given that the topic was resurrected from the oblivion. Also that what he’s said is just so laughibly bad.

    If he’s for real though, it’s quite scary. Love the “no transitionals”, so we show one and then it’s an exercise in shifting the goal posts. Every transitional species we find, there’s now two gaps. Find one to fill each of those gaps and theres now four gaps to fill. No transitionals = archaeopteryx and tiktaalik shouldn’t exist. Neither should homo erectus.

    The more and more I think about it, it’s just someone coming to stir up shit. And I got suckered in. Damn you Poe’s Law!

  262. #262 Phil
    November 5, 2008

    Creationists first need to get their translations sorted out before they pontificate on biblical matters. Tranlations all involve interpretation. Interpretation is made difficult when the known usages of terms are rare. Genesis 1 has these problems. Charles Wieand produced a paper on these issues and I have lost the reference. Sorry.

    “Now it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means too prevent such and embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn.” Augustine on the literal meaning of Genesis, Book 1 Chapter 19.

    These issues are not new. Forgive me if this quote is well known.

  263. #263 Kevin
    February 18, 2009

    So why are the mountains jagged? If they were formed over millions of years wouldn’t they be smooth? If I throw a rock through a window it makes it jagged, I’d say the mountains were made very very quickly.

  264. #264 Ichthyic
    February 18, 2009

    *praise the resurrection*

    I’d say your thinking is very, very jaggy.

    conclusion:

    You must have thought very, very quickly.

    or you’re very, very stupid.

  265. #265 Kel
    February 18, 2009

    So why are the mountains jagged? If they were formed over millions of years wouldn’t they be smooth? If I throw a rock through a window it makes it jagged, I’d say the mountains were made very very quickly.

    Just how do you think mountains are formed?

  266. #266 clinteas
    February 18, 2009

    That has to be the stupidest thing I have heard for a very long time.

  267. #267 Ken Kelly
    February 28, 2009

    I have been around for a very long time and am progagly near the end of my life. I have learned many things over the years and one of the most important things is what religion is.

    Religions and I do mean all of them are creations of man so that a few can have control over the masses. Religion had its place and in some ways still does in the lives of us humans. Man is a social animal. yes that is what we are. Being a social animal we have to have a set of rules to live by and that is what religion provided for us when it was begining to form societies. Most likely all the religions began as a way of benefiting all the people of that comunity where it began. Over time however all religions have become the tools for power hungry greedy people. Where the poorest people live is where the religious leaders live in opulence.
    Many think it was terrible when China took over Tibet but few have bothered to find out how it was there before China helped the people there. The Dali Lama with the few that maintained his way of life were living in extreem opulance while the rest of the people lived in poverty. This is what the vatican is even today. A very wealthy place for the few while most of the believers of the catholic church are quite poor living in very unhealthy conditions.
    If you read the bible and believe what it says then it is very difficult for you to look at anything logicaly and with an open mind. Religion deprives people of the ability to think for themselves.

    The only place God lives no mtter what name you use for him is in the minds of people that need something to give their lives meaning. These people are not willing to believe in themselves or those arund them.

    Intelegent Design is just another attempt of a few to gain power and wealth at the expence of the ignorant.

    The Christian Bible as most people know it today has been written and re written over nd over and each time it is different thn the one before. The old writings that religious teachings are based on all were written after the fct not before so therefore it was esy to predict what already happened. Predicting the future is very easy if you leave enough choices so that enough of them come to be to convince people. Fortune tellers have a very good success rate becuyse they have learned how to ask the questions to get answers that people think they donot give. Carefully chosen questions can render a vast amount of information without the person answering knowing they actually gave the answers.
    Science and religion do not work together. They are seperate and have to be kept separate for progress to be made.

  268. #268 Mark
    December 28, 2009

    So why are the mountains jagged? If they were formed over millions of years wouldn’t they be smooth? If I throw a rock through a window it makes it jagged, I’d say the mountains were made very very quickly.

    Is a very good question and you evolutionists are so uneducated that you are not able to answer the comment. That is why all you can do is make fun and call names like “stupid”

    If you evolutionists are so scientific then why do you not give a real scientific as to why it is wrong. All Kevin did was ask a question and he got exactly what was to be expected an immature response.

    You evolutionists are just simply angry at God and that is why you spend so much of your wasted time trying to convince yourselves and others that he does not exists and if he does exist then he is to far away and out dated to have any relevance in our modern day.

    Here is a fact. I know I am going to get alot of hate from this statement. All the ape men that were taught in the public school text books have now been proven wrong. Either bad science or a hoax. The Nebraska man was the first pig (Pigs Tooth) to make a monkey out of an evolutionist. The Piltdown Man was a hoax or lie.

    Neanderthal Man was fully developed with a bone disease. He was not on his way up he was on his way down. And that is just to name a few.

    http://sciencevsevolution.com/graphical/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=9&Itemid=105

    1. Where did the space for the universe come from?
    2. Where did matter come from?
    3. Where did the laws of the universe come from (gravity, inertia, etc.)?
    4. How did matter get so perfectly organized?
    5. Where did the energy come from to do all the organizing?
    6. When, where, why, and how did life come from dead matter?
    7. When, where, why, and how did life learn to reproduce itself?
    8. With what did the first cell capable of sexual reproduction reproduce?

    1) If evolution is true then why are we not stronger than the apes and monkeys from whom we supposedly evolved? According to evolution we are supposed to be getting stronger and bigger with time.

    2) Ultimately evolution is a result of random processes. If evolution is true then what you are thinking right now is just an accident. How could you trust what you are thinking right now?

    3) If we all came from a common ancestor then why don’t we see intermediate links between species? For example–dats or cogs between cats and dogs.

    4) If I had to evolve certain faculties to survive then how would I survive at all?

    5) You don’t get functional complexity through disorder by chance.

    6) If you were to take a piece of paper with a picture and or writing on it and made a photo copy of it and then made a copy of the copy and then made a copy of the copy of the copy and just keep doing that pretty soon the information on the paper would be so disorganized and random that you would no longer be able to recognize what was on the piece of paper. This proves that through time information does not become more complex. This proves that information becomes more random. Where is the evolution?

    Now I will just see if I can get a mature response or just a bunch of put downs because you have no real valid answers. I will let you have the last word.

  269. #269 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    December 28, 2009

    So why are the mountains jagged? If they were formed over millions of years wouldn’t they be smooth? If I throw a rock through a window it makes it jagged, I’d say the mountains were made very very quickly.

    Bad analogy. You can’t throw a fucking rock at a mountain and make it jagged. We have current example that natural process can erode mountians. Stop lying to yourself.

    You evolutionists are just simply angry at God and that is why you spend so much of your wasted time trying to convince yourselves and others that he does not exists and if he does exist then he is to far away and out dated to have any relevance in our modern day

    No one is wasting any time. It’s clear that Yahweh doesn’t exist. If anyone is wasting time, its the likes of you who don’t even understand the scientific process.

    4) If I had to evolve certain faculties to survive then how would I survive at all?

    With your previous faculties. NS is a response to a new change that you need to adapt to.

    2) Ultimately evolution is a result of random processes. If evolution is true then what you are thinking right now is just an accident. How could you trust what you are thinking right now?

    WTF. How is that even fucking relevant. The thought process is a result of evolution in order for

    5) You don’t get functional complexity through disorder by chance

    Yes you can. Molecules do it all the time.

    Now I will just see if I can get a mature response or just a bunch of put downs because you have no real valid answers. I will let you have the last word.

    You smug little asshole. These arguements have been put down hundreds of time and yet you just spit them out again and again. That’s why you need to be put down.

  270. #270 WowbaggerOM
    December 28, 2009

    Mark, a more important question is this one: even if I couldn’t answer any of your questions, by what rationale do you get to take my ‘I don’t know’ and have it mean, by default, that your specific god (as opposed to any of the others) exists?

    If those questions couldn’t be answered you’d have a great argument – for deism. Any specific theism, on the other hand…not so much.

  271. #271 Kel, OM
    December 28, 2009

    Here is a fact. I know I am going to get alot of hate from this statement. All the ape men that were taught in the public school text books have now been proven wrong. Either bad science or a hoax. The Nebraska man was the first pig (Pigs Tooth) to make a monkey out of an evolutionist. The Piltdown Man was a hoax or lie.

    Some “apemen” for you to look up:

    Ardipithecus Ramidus
    Australopithecus Africanus
    Australopithecus Afarensis
    Australopithecus Anamensis
    Homo Ergaster
    Homo Habilis
    Homo Erectus
    Homo Heidelbergensis
    Homo Neanderthalensis

    As for being taught in public schools, you were taught about “Nebraska man” that was never accepted scientifically, but you weren’t taught about Lucy?

  272. #272 Sven DiMilo
    December 28, 2009

    Hi Mark. Here’s the mature response you were hoping for:
    You don’t have the slightest idea what you’re talking about. OK? Every sentence you have posted reveals an obvious lack of knowledge. As far as I can tell, you don’t even know enough to understand the questions you are asking. That means that you almost certainly lack sufficient knowledge to understand the answers to those among your questions that have answers.
    You have made a fool of yourself by posting a comment like that. Sorry, but that’s the truth.

  273. #273 SC OM
    December 28, 2009

    All the ape men that were taught in the public school text books have now been proven wrong.

    You mean their animal-tracking hypotheses have been disconfirmed? But they’ve been so useful! I demand that you show me the peer-reviewed literature!

  274. #274 Kel, OM
    December 28, 2009

    1. Where did the space for the universe come from?

    The big bang was the creation of space.

    2. Where did matter come from?

    e=mc

    3. Where did the laws of the universe come from (gravity, inertia, etc.)?

    Victor Stenger can answer this one

    4. How did matter get so perfectly organized?

    Organised matter holds together while non-organised matter does not. Quite simply that we’ll see structures made from self-organisation because structures that don’t self-organise ain’t structures 😉

    5. Where did the energy come from to do all the organizing? The total energy of the universe is ~0, the energy is offset by gravity.

    6. When, where, why, and how did life come from dead matter?

    When? About 3.5 billion years ago. Where? Probably on earth, in the ocean, in white smoker vents. Why? That’s the wrong question, there doesn’t need to be a why. How? the exact steps are not yet known.

    7. When, where, why, and how did life learn to reproduce itself?

    Life needs to replicate in order to be life, so see above.

    8. With what did the first cell capable of sexual reproduction reproduce?

    That question makes no sense.

    1) If evolution is true then why are we not stronger than the apes and monkeys from whom we supposedly evolved? According to evolution we are supposed to be getting stronger and bigger with time.

    No, evolution doesn’t postulate that we’ll be bigger and stronger. It’s whatever helps survive. Look at flightless birds on islands. Flight has a high cost associated with it.

    2) Ultimately evolution is a result of random processes. If evolution is true then what you are thinking right now is just an accident. How could you trust what you are thinking right now?

    No, evolution is not a random process. Creationists always seem to mischaracterise evolution as random, when natural selection is the opposite of randomness. It was no accident that we are as we are here now, it just wasn’t designed by an intelligent mind.

    3) If we all came from a common ancestor then why don’t we see intermediate links between species? For example–dats or cogs between cats and dogs.

    Because cats don’t come from dogs or vice versa, they share a common ancestor! The ancestor that went onto cats is also the ancestor of hyenas. The ancestor that went onto dogs is also the ancestor of bears.

    The question is, when you clearly don’t understand evolution why are you arguing against it? Shouldn’t you be buried in Evolution: What The Fossils Say And Why It Matters by Don Prothero, or The Greatest Show On Earth by Richard Dawkins, or Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin, or Why Evolution Is True by Jerry Coyne?

    4) If I had to evolve certain faculties to survive then how would I survive at all?

    This questtion makes no sense.

    5) You don’t get functional complexity through disorder by chance.

    Again, evolution is not chance! Creationist ignorance showing itself again and again. Randomness + selection = complex information. Selection is the key component, not randomness.

    6) If you were to take a piece of paper with a picture and or writing on it and made a photo copy of it and then made a copy of the copy and then made a copy of the copy of the copy and just keep doing that pretty soon the information on the paper would be so disorganized and random that you would no longer be able to recognize what was on the piece of paper. This proves that through time information does not become more complex. This proves that information becomes more random. Where is the evolution?

    You’re looking at it all wrong. You’re looking at a perfect copy and watching it degrade. Evolution dosen’t have perfect forms, release your platonic vision of forms and see it as a continuum. Life changes over time.

    Quite simply here’s how it is. There is a potentially exponentially increasing population and there is a limited set of resources. So not all that a born will pass on offspring. So those that have an advantage (or are not disadvantaged) will reproduce. So the process selects the best at surviving. Over time, these advantageous traits accumulate.

    Is it really that hard to understand?

  275. #275 Kel, OM
    December 28, 2009

    Sorry about the blockquote fail, the information is there. Hope you actually read what I said and don’t throw out more creationist talking points that have been thoroughly debunked time and time again. Surely reading through the wikipedia article on evolution would be a good start, or checking any of the many places on the net that give a good overview for how evolution works.

    If you want to debunk evolution, you have to understand evolution as scientists understand it. Otherwise it’s like me saying God doesn’t exist because it’s silly for God to be simultaneously invisible and purple. Think that’s absurd? That’s exactly what your creationist caricature of evolution sounds like. You need to address how evolution works, otherwise you’re inadvertently making a straw man fallacy.

  276. #276 KOPD42
    December 28, 2009

    No, evolution is not a random process. Creationists always seem to mischaracterise evolution as random, when natural selection is the opposite of randomness. It was no accident that we are as we are here now, it just wasn’t designed by an intelligent mind.

    It seems to be an annoyingly common misconception that anything that isn’t the result of an intelligence is therefore random (and vice-versa). This is so obviously incorrect. Even they must know that the direction a dropped hammer goes is not random, nor is it determined by some form of “intelligent falling.”

  277. #277 reyfox
    December 28, 2009

    Where did God come from? Show your work.

  278. #278 Kel, OM
    December 28, 2009

    It constitutes nothing more than promiscuous teleology, to use the word accident is a loaded word. No matter what, they are implying intent. Thus the false dichotomy becomes between intent and a mistake. How can a process with no intentionality make a mistake?

    Yet this is the pervasive nature of theism. They mould God into a very particular role, then upon removal of God they expect a God-shaped answer to fit there. It couldn’t be their problem is they are trying to push a square peg in a round hole to begin with, so by expecting a square-shaped answer… no, it has to be that if you remove God you need to find a God-equivalent.

  279. #279 Owlmirror
    December 28, 2009

    So why are the mountains jagged? If they were formed over millions of years wouldn’t they be smooth? If I throw a rock through a window it makes it jagged, I’d say the mountains were made very very quickly.

    Is a very good question

    It’s a moronic question, and it’s already been answered:

    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CD/CD501.html

      Old mountain ranges are eroded flat. But there are also forces creating new mountains. For example, the Himalayas are still rising.

      Present rates of erosion are particularly high due to more mountain building and higher mountains than usual in earth’s history. (Erosion slows as mountains lose elevation.)

    Sheesh.

    All Kevin did was ask a question and he got exactly what was to be expected an immature response.

    He, like you, is immature, and he asked an immature question, and gave no sign that he actually expected or cared about the answer — just like you will no doubt ignore the answers you receive here.

    Go ahead, prove me wrong.

    You evolutionists are just simply angry at God

    And you know this because you’re a mind reader?

    and that is why you spend so much of your wasted time trying to convince yourselves and others that he does not exists and if he does exist then he is to far away and out dated to have any relevance in our modern day.

    Ha! If God does exist and is nearby and is relevant — why does he need morons like you and Kevin to defend him?

    I know I am going to get alot of hate from this statement.

    You’re not going to get hate, you’re going to get ridicule.

    If ridicule is hate, then you’ve been spewing violent hatred from your very first hate-filled word, you hating hate-filled hater.

    All the ape men that were taught in the public school text books have now been proven wrong.

    And that’s a simple, outright lie.

    The Nebraska man was the first pig (Pigs Tooth) to make a monkey out of an evolutionist. The Piltdown Man was a hoax or lie.

    Nebraska Man was rejected and discovered by scientists — evolutionary biologists who knew anatomy. Piltdown Man was also discovered and rejected by scientists.

    Meanwhile, there have been many additional transitional human and hominid fossils that have been discovered, and the fact that you think that three of them are “all” just shows how creationists are nothing more than pathetic ignorant morons.

    Neanderthal Man was fully developed with a bone disease.

    Another moronic lie.

    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC051_1.html

      1. The signs of rickets differ from Neanderthal fossils in several respects, including the following:
        1. People with rickets are undernourished and calcium-poor; their bones are weak. Neanderthal bones are fifty percent thicker than the average human’s.
        2. Evidence of rickets is easily detectable, especially on the ends of the long bones of the body. This evidence is not found in Neanderthals.
        3. Rickets causes a sideways curvature of the femur. Neanderthal femurs bend backward.

    1. Where did the space for the universe come from?
    2. Where did matter come from?
    3. Where did the laws of the universe come from (gravity, inertia, etc.)?

    These are questions about cosmology. Cosmologists are exploring these questions. What do they have to do with evolution?

    How did matter get so perfectly organized?

    This is a nonsense question. Clarify and specify. What matter? Which organization? What does “perfectly” even mean?

    Ultimately all matter is the way it is from the interaction of physical forces with matter. Everything is the way it is because it got that way over time.

    5. Where did the energy come from to do all the organizing?

    This is another nonsense question. Where does all energy come from? Ultimately from the Big Bang and the interaction of physical forces with matter.

    6. When, where, why, and how did life come from dead matter?

    7. When, where, why, and how did life learn to reproduce itself?

    Right now, life comes from dead matter via metabolism and reproduction. The origin of life itself –including the origin of reproduction — is being explored by biochemists.

    8. With what did the first cell capable of sexual reproduction reproduce?

    This is a nonsense question that demonstrates deep ignorance of biology. Single celled bacteria conjugate and exchange bits of DNA, even though they reproduce asexually.

    If evolution is true then why are we not stronger than the apes and monkeys from whom we supposedly evolved? According to evolution we are supposed to be getting stronger and bigger with time.

    Since the second sentence is simply false, the question is a nonsense question.

    2) Ultimately evolution is a result of random processes. If evolution is true then what you are thinking right now is just an accident. How could you trust what you are thinking right now?

    Evolutionary epistemology.

    If we all came from a common ancestor then why don’t we see intermediate links between species? For example–dats or cogs between cats and dogs.

    The original carnivore ancestors of cats and dogs became extinct. And we do indeed see intermediates:

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/

    4) If I had to evolve certain faculties to survive then how would I survive at all?

    Obviously because the “faculties” were not 100% required when they first evolved, but provided some benefit.

    You don’t get functional complexity through disorder by chance.

    You do if you have chance and selection.

    [Photocopying] This proves that through time information does not become more complex.

    This is a moronic mischaracterization of evolution.

    Now I will just see if I can get a mature response or just a bunch of put downs because you have no real valid answers.

    You got mature responses that are real valid answers and you got put-downs. Bonus!

    I will let you have the last word.

    Because you don’t actually care about the answers, do you?

  280. #280 Kel, OM
    December 28, 2009

    You evolutionists are just simply angry at God

    Why do creationists bring this up as an argument? It’s a complete non sequitur. The truth of evolution is external to the feelings anyone has about any deity. Take gravity, would it matter that people believed in gravity just because they bore a grudge against Baal?

    Secondly, one can believe in evolution and believe in God. For example, Robert Bakker and Francis Collins are both evolutionists and fundamentalist Christians.

    And I really don’t get why they think that being atheist implies being angry at god. How can one be angry at something they don’t believe exists? It’s like being angry at Lord Voldemort. An atheist is not one who is angry at God, it’s one who doesn’t believe in God. Big difference. Using a non-sequitur to dismiss evolution is really bad logic.

    Ultimately evolution is a result of random processes. If evolution is true then what you are thinking right now is just an accident. How could you trust what you are thinking right now?

    I always wonder about the inverse of this. Given that almost all educated men and women who study the natural world for a living support evolution (Well over 99% of biologists, many of whom are theists), given that there are many different religions in the world and different beliefs – how can a creationist trust their own intuition any more than the next person? If so many people are necessarily wrong, then it can’t follow that one has a strong basis for accepting that they can trust their own reasoning.

    Evolution on the other hand gives reason for why there is good and bad reasoning. Our input structures and brain processes have been shaped by natural selection to understand the world around us. And we aren’t the only animal to do it either, it’s just that we have a much larger capacity than any other animal.

    And as for thinking skills? Ever heard the proverb “give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, he’ll eat a lifetime”. Critical thinking skills are acquired, not innate. You’re not a master of mathematics at birth, you have the basics but you have to learn to get better. You can trust your thinking skills by training in how to think, and look for flaws in your own reasoning. If you don’t know how to think, then you don’t have much reason to trust your thinking beyond the basics.

  281. #281 Malcolm
    December 28, 2009

    Owlmirror @279,

    Because you don’t actually care about the answers, do you?

    Of course he won’t.
    The talking points he posted were well received in Sunday school, so they must form a devastating demolition of evolution. Why would he need to hang around while a bunch of “leftist elites” rip them to shreds without any effort whatsoever.

  282. #282 Kel, OM
    January 1, 2010

    Mark, are you going to come back and throw around more long debunked and irrelevant creationist talking points? Here’s hoping you’re actually taking the time and effort to understand evolution as scientists understand it.

  283. #283 joh
    March 30, 2010

    Prof. Abigail Hafer (Curry College, Milton MA) has a three-part video on You Tube on the subject of ‘Unintelligent Design’ which effectively challenges the claims of ‘Intelligent Design’. I think her arguments would be a slam-dunk to convince (or at least slow down) most ID-ers.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_u4yEUvPJ0

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XarS2sMGv2w&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Tp7qr5Fh90&feature=related

    I believe she has an important message for this debate. Her lecture has all the elements to make it engaging: humor, clarity, telling examples
    and metaphors. The problem with the videos cited above is that they are really sub-par; they consist just in focusing a video camera (on a tripod) on her while she’s llecturing and just turning it on and off. The sound recording is sub-par, too.

    The question: how can her presentation (re-delivered) with better audio,better editing, inclusion of engaging, explanatory, images (stills and videos), etc. be produced? I know there must be some talented video artists out there who could take on such a project (and, perhaps, make their reputation).

    I believe that her message is important and all that is needed for it to go ‘viral’ (in the current internet, You Tube jargon) is to be produced in an engaging way and in that way to have a significant impact on the non-scientific vs. scientific account of evolution.

    Contact ohala@berkeley.edu with ideas or suggestions.

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