Pharyngula

That loon Terry Hurlbut is irate that I mocked his “Creationist Hall of Fame” in a post the other day, so he rails against me today. It’s a typical collection of squirrely non-sequiturs, but I’ll address the funniest of them.

But what PZ Myers of the Pharyngula blog fails to understand is that the CSHF does not intend to limit its honors to contemporary creation-oriented scientists. He probably believes that because he is under a common misapprehension: that creation science is a new movement, one going no further back than Henry Morris and John C. Whitcomb’s The Genesis Flood.

As in all things, Terry Hurlbut is mistaken and ignorant. No, I do not fail to understand that; in fact, I expect that. It’s one of creationism’s most common strategems, the adoption of any scientist who lived before Darwin into the ranks of anti-Darwinists. I’m sure Isaac Newton will be inducted into the Creationist Hall of Fame, despite the fact that, brilliant as he was, he was not a biologist, did not consider the problems of biological origins at all deeply, did no work in the field, and didn’t even have an evolutionary theory to argue against.

Creationism is a belief born of ignorance. It depends on a lack of awareness of biological realities and knowledge of the experiments and observations in the discipline (or, alternatively, awareness of this work coupled to a malignant denial). Terry Hurlbut can go ahead and mine the human population a thousand generations back and find plenty of smart and accomplished human beings, and draft them posthumously to be part of his “creationist movement”, but it doesn’t change the fact that the chief criterion for membership in that movement is simply ignorance. Isaac Newton was ignorant of the facts of evolutionary biology, and so was Aristotle, and so was Thog, son of Thag, caveman. Go ahead, sign them all up, they’re as much an intellectual contributor to creationism as they are spiritual members of the Mormon church…but that won’t stop the Mormons from baptizing them anyway.

Still incapable of reading for comprehension, Hurlbut horks up another error.

One final word is in order: the Creation Science Hall of Fame makes no representation that it will have as many inductees as the so-called “Science Hall of Fame” of which PZ Myers is so fond. In harping on the apparent scarcity of CSHF honorees thus far (and forgetting that the CSHF is under construction in cyberspace as well as under development in brick and mortar), Myers commits a classic logical fallacy: argumentum a numeris (argument from numbers), or argumentum a multitudine (argument from the crowd). Instead, the CSHF will compete on quality, not quantity.

Heh. Right. If he read a little more closely, he might have noticed that what I thought worth noting was that the Science Hall of Fame uses an objective measurement of the recognition granted to the scientists in the literature. When those same measurements are made of their creationist heroes, they fail. The Creationist Hall of Fame is going to be populated by clowns who are selected for their adherence to the crazy notion that the Earth is 6000 years old, leavened by a small set of famous scientists who lived before the neo-Darwinian Synthesis. That isn’t quality. That’s lunacy.

By the way, I’m sure Hurlbut will rant some more, but I won’t be replying. He gets paid for traffic to his Examiner site, and he probably simply sees this as an easy way to milk the cash cow, and I won’t be helping him further.