Happy Jason Lisle Day! Celebrating Creationists’ Inability to Solve the “Starlight Problem” (And Willingness to Lie About It)

Happy Jason Lisle Day! Today is the second anniversary of the day when Jason Lisle, director of what passes for research at ICR (Institute for Creation Research), promised he would explain why his alleged solution to the creationist “Starlight Problem” wasn’t really demolished by the math of Einstein’s General Relativity– in spite of much proof to the contrary that had been shoved right in his face. Lisle had whipped up a convoluted, technical explanation for why Young Earth creationists [YECs] are right about the universe being created only 6,000 years ago, even though we can see galaxies that are millions of light years away, and their starlight must have been traveling towards us for much longer than 6,000 years. Subsequently critics confronted Lisle with a handful of different mathematical and observational arguments that refuted his alleged solution to the Starlight Problem, which he calls “ASC” [Anisotropic Synchrony Convention]– one point being that his ASC would in fact require a gravitational field that ought to be observable, but isn’t observed. In his only response, two years ago today, Lisle promised to explain why we’re all stupid and maths are all wrong and his shitty model actually rules.

Lisle: I’ve seen this criticism [observable gravity field] but I haven’t responded yet. It is very easy to refute. I plan on doing a series on this blog on the topic of ASC, in which I will refute this and other criticisms made by those who have not studied the topic.
[Jason Lisle, comment September 11, 2012 at 6:18 pm]

Uh huh. Sure you will Jason. Two years later, we’re still waiting. His comment has no content beyond the usual creationist combination of genetic fallacy plus ad hominem attack: ignore the math because it was “made by those who have not studied the topic”— as if Lisle’s toy model is so friggin’ hard! (For other entertaining examples of creationists who respond to the demolition of their faked evidence and/or terrible math with the very mature, “Wah, it don’t count because you’re all ignorant of my genius, ignorant ignorant!!“, without ever actually employing their superior intellects to show what’s wrong with the maths, you can peruse IDer William Dembski’s ad hominem “refutation” of Felsenstein and Shallit’s demolitions of his pseudomath, and creationist Jeffrey Tomkins’ infantile mental meltdown presented by him as a “refutation” of AceofSpades’ exposure of Tompkins’ incompetent huge overestimate of the genetic difference between humans and chimps.)

So on Sept. 11 of this year and every year, let’s celebrate not just the genius of Dr. Jason Lisle of the ICR, but the genius of all the YECs over the years who’ve said they could explain how starlight can get here from galaxies millions of light years away in a mere 6,000 years– all of whom subsequently crashed and burned, including Lisle, as we’ll see below.

In this blog post, I’ll review the math that shows why Lisle’s model is dead, dead, dead, and why his cosmogony is absurd on several levels, because contradicts Lisle’s assumptions. But first, for your entertainment, let’s review some previous, disastrous, failed attempts by YECs to “solve” the starlight problem.

Background: Previous YEC Attempts to Solve the Starlight Problem

The “Starlight Problem” has vexed Young Earth creationists for as long as there have been Young Earth creationists. Simply put, the universe cannot be 6,000 years old if we can see galaxies millions of light years away, and if light travels at the speed of 186,000 miles per second– not unless God is tricking us with phony light shows in the sky. Here are four dead proposals.

1. “Omphalos”, aka “Appearance of Age”: the Deceiver-God is tricking us with phony light shows in the sky that didn’t really come from stars. You might think that this argument is an evolutionist spoof of a creationist argument, but in fact it was promoted for decades by none other the most famous creationist in American history, Henry Morris, the “Godfather” of modern YEC, author of the influential The Genesis Flood (1961), and founder of the ICR where Jason Lisle now works. Morris never backed down over several decades but aggressively defended the idea of deceptive light shows in the sky, along with his ICR lieutenant and “star debater”, Duane Gish. These light shows must be extremely complex and highly contrived by Deceiver-God, due to the complexity of many observed astronomical events and structures. For example, from time to time a supernova comes into the news, and astronomers can detect both photons and neutrinos from the exploding star, and in years afterward they observed the expansion of the gas and dust clouds thrown off in a shell around it, e.g SN 1987A that exploded in 1987. All fake, all an illusion, according to the ICR when Morris and Gish were alive– fake photons, fake neutrinos, fake dust, fake clouds… if the object is more than 6,000 light years away. If it’s closer than that, it might be real. Some large astronomical structures are light-years across and in principle could cross the 6,000 light-year boundary, a topic the YECs discreetly avoid discussing, but in principle structures like large nebula could be half real and half make-believe, like Fox News.

Henry Morris used Deceiver-God to explain away both the starlight problem and also radiometric dating: In The Genesis Flood Morris said God just created rocks with a high ratio of daughter isotopes to parent isotopes, making them appear old by radiometric dating, because the Bible says “a thousand years is as a day to the Lord.” Morris never explained why God made deeper rocks appear older than rocks near the surface, or why volcanic intrusions appear younger than the strata they intrude into. In a debate against Ken Miller in 1981, Morris defended his “fake photons” argument for starlight but in a comical/pitiful performance, he seems embarrassed by it. In the Q and A session afterward, an audience member asks him, “[C]ould we not equally accept that the universe was created a millisecond ago with prepackaged memories of your
two-and-a-half-hour debate implanted in our minds?
” [a philosophy called Last Thursdayism]. Morris’ 1981 answer is still amazing.

[Henry Morris]: …obviously when you suggest the creator could create things with the appearance of built-in memories… yes, in principle of course as the creator he could do that, and if there is a creator then you can’t say “No.” …But when we suggest that there is creation, then the only way to say that there is no possibility of creation with an appearance of maturity, or completeness or appearance of age, or whatever, is to say that creation is impossible. And that’s to say that there is no creator, which is tantamount to atheism. [Henry Morris vs. Ken Miller debate, 1981]

So you have to like Morris’ Deceiver-God and his fake photons, fake supernovae, fake nebulae, fake light shows in the sky, fake geological evidence etc., or else you’re an atheist. This is the classical defense of Omphalos, still used by Jason Lisle today: flip the burden of proof onto the other guy by demanding, “Where is your evidence that my all-powerful God can’t trick me?”

2. The Speed of Light is Slowing Down. This terrible idea was the go-to answer in the 1970’s and 1980’s.  Do I have to say that the method to “prove” this was a hoax, and that energy is converted into mass by the equation E = mc^2, so when creationists say that the speed of light c could have been, say, a hundred million times (10^8) faster in the past, that means that the energy released by nuclear fusion in stars would have been ten quadrillion times (10^16) greater back in the old days and the universe would blow up? Likewise all the radioactive uranium, thorium and radium in the whole Earth would release ten quadrillion times more heat, and in your own body the fraction of your potassium that is radioactive would friggin’ kill you.

This dumb idea of light “tiring out” from its long journey was concocted by Norman and Setterfield about 1969 and the method behind it was thoroughly debunked by the time of the 1982 book Scientists Confront Creationism. Norman and Setterfield took a historical value of the speed of light and a then-current measurement, then they drew a curve through the the highest end of the error bar of the first, to the the lowest end of the error bar of the second, and surprise!! The curve goes down over time!! And of course they used an exponential curve, so if you go back in time a few centuries, the speed of light would be vastly, exponentially larger than now. Also, al stars would explode, the Earth would vaporize and your own potassium would kill you.

This dumb idea was pushed by Flood fossil fraudster Dr. Carl Baugh (fake Ph.D.) and by Dr. Kent Hovind (fake Ph.D.), aka Federal Prisoner #06452-017. Naturally, Ken Ham, Andrew Snelling and Carl Wieland, in a precursor to Answers in Genesis ministry, pushed the idea in the 1990 edition of The Answers Book (pages 189-192).

3. Stars are Not Big and Very Far Away, They’re Small and Close Up. Again, this is a real creationist argument, not a parody of creationism.

[Carl Baugh]: One of the concepts of evolutionary consideration is that some of the stars appear to be much closer. The formula which calculates these distances is by no means proven. But even if God wanted them to be sixteen billion light years away, that’s no problem for an omnipotent… God. [“Dr.” Carl E. Baugh (fake Ph.D.), ‘Panorama of Creation’, (1992), p.11-13, 16, cited here]

The jury is still out!! The stars might be fifty feet away and just very tiny, who knows, scientists can’t prove a damn thing!

Henry Morris again, embarrassed to have to invoke this argument, but invoking it anyway, because what the hell?

[Henry Morris]: we can’t even be sure that these stars are billions of light years away. There’re very sophisticated esoteric sort of assumptions involved in calculating the distances. [Henry Morris vs. Ken Miller debate, 1981]

Ooh, them scientists are doin’ long division and my head hurts! So esoteric! No, scientists do have sophisticated methods to estimate the distances to stars, and the laws of physics don’t permit the stars to be shiny nails pounded in the dome of heaven like the Bible says. Here creationist Danny Faulkner summarizes and disputes other creationists who claim stars are small and close up.

4. Space could be Riemannian, then light from the most distant galaxies could get to us in 15 years! Bullshit, and the people who say it don’ t even know what Riemannian means.  They just want to use jargon. It means that space is curved in an invisible dimension, but negatively curved, like a saddle. Well, that would have observable effects, and they’re not seen. So this is a toy model of a hypothetical universe but we know from observation it’s not true of our universe.

5. Earth is at the Center of the Universe and We’re at the Bottom of a Gravity Well. This idea was concocted by Russell Humphreys and recently popular for a few years, then it crashed and burned due to its basic mathematical blunders. Humphreys denied the Copernican principle– that the universe looks about the same no matter where you are– and says that all the galaxies form a big sphere with the edge far away, and Earth at its center.  Anyway, Humphreys proposed that we’re at the center of a spherical universe so that Earth would be at the bottom of a big gravity well, and
in General Relativity, time runs slower at the bottom of a gravity well. So 6,000 years can pass on Earth while billions of years pass out in the Universe, get it? No, it sucks on many levels.

To start with, when light falls into a gravity well, it slows down, so the wavelengths get shorter; it’s shifted to the blue end of the spectrum. That’s the reason why the signals from GPS satellites have to be tuned to a slightly higher frequency than the receivers on Earth are tuned to– time runs slower in Earth’s gravity well, so the radiation is blue-shifted as it falls into Earth’s gravity. Thus if Earth were in a huge gravity well, the light from distant galaxies would be blue-shifted, but it’s actually red-shifted.

Also, there’s no solution for intermediate distance objects– what about nearby stars or planets in the solar system? They should be slowed down about as much as Earth, but instead they look very old: Mars and Jupiter’s moons have tons of craters, and among the asteroids there is considerable evidences of long-term processes: from the Kirkwood gaps in asteroid orbital periods, from the tumbling rate of larger vs. smaller asteroids, and from running the orbits of asteroid families backward in time until they coalesce on the partent body from which they were broken off, etc. we know the asteroid families are tens of millions of years old. Likewise, there’s no smooth way to say Earth is young, asteroids are a tiny tiny bit older, Pluto slightly older, etc. It’s dead.

This idea is often conflated with long-debunked claims that galaxies are found in concentric shells with gaps between them, like a set of Russian nesting dolls with Earth at the center. The alleged evidence for the shell game is a bit of pseudoscience called “quantized red shift” meaning that red shifts from distant galaxies supposedly come in fixed intervals, therefore galaxies distance must come in shells with gaps between them (they don’t, and they’re not). The problem here is hypothesis fishing: if you analyze a bunch of galactic distances and test them for, say, a thousand different periodicities, the odds are that at least one periodicity will pass a statistical test at a level of 1 in a thousand, even if the data you analyze is random.  Or if you test them for, say, a million different periodicities, at least one periodicity will pass a statistical test at a level of 1 in a million, even for randomized data.

Hypothesis fishing is a classic blunder and you have to reject it by doing the Bonferroni correction and trying to reproduce the exact same method on a totally independent data set.

Anyway, if it weren’t for the popularity of GPS technology, we’d still have to deal with Humphreys’ shit, but now even most creationists sweep it under the rug. Except that according to the recent Texas newspaper article on ICR, the long-debunked “shells of galaxies” crap is still one of ICR’s big current lines of research.

Now we’ll finally get to Jason Lisle’s idea, complicated yes, but smart, no.

Jason Lisle’s Solution: Anisotropic Synchrony Convention (ASC)

Lisle’s solution is cobbled together from three different ideas, which we should not get mixed up together.

1. The Anisotropic Synchrony Convention. Here Lisle simply defines all events happening in the universe, no matter what the distance, as being simultaneous with what’s happening now on Earth. Simultaneity of any two events depends on the observer’s position, so I say events A and B are simultaneous, but if you’re in a different location, you say A happened before B (unless you are sitting on my lap.) Thus, God could create the whole universe simultaneously relative to Earth (see Point 3 below), and light from distant objects would instantaneously arrive at Earth no matter the distance — but note that all creation events would not besimultaneous relative to observers  not on Earth. Believe it or not, there is no way to falsify this because it’s just a convention, so it can’t be rejected on observational grounds. The problem is not terrible, but Lisle then combines it with the next two ideas, which are disastrous.

2. A variable speed of light that depends on the position of the observer, and the position and direction of travel of the photon, via the angle θ made between the eye-line from the observer to the photon and the photon’s direction of travel. For all observers in the universe, not just those on Earth, photons come straight at them at infinite speed. Photons moving perpendicular to our line of sight move at the conventional c. If a photon is approaching you at a glancing angle, it decelerates precipitously, then at closest approach to you it moves at speed c, and continues to slow down after it passes you, as it recedes away finally approaching one-half the speed of light (c/2). If you jump to the left, the velocity of every photon in the universe changes. If you send a light beam to bounce off a mirror on Alpha Centauri, 4.5 light years away, in Einstein’s convention it would take 4.5 years on each leg of the trip, 9 years total. But in Lisle’s convention, it will take 9 years to get there and zero time to bounce back. From the point of view of the guy on Alpha Centauri, your light beam came to him instantly, and then took 9 years to bounce back to you.

This idea of Lisle’s is disastrous as it would induce an observable gravity field in General Relativity (GR) and also mucks up two physical constants known from electromagnetic theory, the permeability and permittivity of free space, which must then become position-and-angle dependent instead of being constants. The variable, position-dependent speed of light (2) is a separate idea added onto the Synchrony Convention (1) above, though Lisle conflates 1 and 2, and incorrectly calls the combination a mere “coordinate transformation.” Falsely calling them both a mere “coordinate transformation” was at the point of Lisle’s promised refutation when two years ago he wrote “It is very easy to refute”, then never delivered. He can’t deliver, because (2) is not a coordinate transformation, because it sets the velocities of photons to be dependent on their position and on their direction of travel.  Lisle never writes down his alleged coordinate transformation as a matrix (which should be easy if he were telling the truth) nor differentiates the matrix as is necessary.

3. Lastly Lisle hypothesizes a Cosmogony in which God creates the universe in concentric shells, outward from the edge of the universe and coming in towards the place where Earth will finally be, with a black sphere of “uncreated” nothingness in the center that slowly contracts as God creates stars and galaxies one thin shell at a time at the inner edge of the sphere. The creation “wave” converges on the place where the Earth will be at a speed of 1/2 the speed of light (not the speed of light as some have thought, and as Lisle himself incorrectly wrote in an early paper.) The intermediate steps of creation involve one-quarter stars, half-galaxies, half-black holes, three-quarter relativistic jets, etc. etc., and all kinds of huge complex structures that are millions of miles or hundreds of thousands of light years across, that God sloooowly constructs slice by slice: imagine a 3-D printer constructing a living human baby slice by slice, while it cries, thinks, and poops, but somehow doesn’t die even when it has half-arteries and half-veins, half-loops of an intestine going in and out, half-brain etc. Same idea here, but with half-stars and half-galaxies instead of a half-baby. Lisle hypothesizes this cosmogony because if ASC is assumed then all creations by shells would then be simultaneous relative to an observer on Earth, if any existed (Day 4 of Creation Week, no humans existed to watch it); though the creation process would  be highly non-simultaneous, relative to the planets and stars getting created, and in fact it would all take ~80 billion years (relative to a distant non-Earth observer) before God got around to making Earth, because the observable univserse is ~40 billion light-years across and creation shells would converge at half the speed of light.

It is not sufficient to call this cosmogony absurd or counter-intuitive. It is wrong because it is non-falsifiable; because the scientific method requires a theory to be simpler than the observations it explains, but here Lisle’s “God made colliding galaxies etc. to trick us” hypothesis is always more complex than all observations; and because, significantly, it contradicts its own assumptions. YECs say that in principle, there can never be “Appearance of Age” (there is Apperance of Absence of Age) and their hypothesis is “Appearance of Maturity”, but “Maturity” has no definition except in terms of “function”. But this cosmogony has God slowly creating countless half-finished non-functional entities that he must intervene to prop up supernaturally when they’re half-finished or quarter-finished. A baby, as it is being printed by a 3-D printer, cannot be alive or functional when its half-finished and its half-loops of intestines and blood would squirt out, it can’t be “functional” without supernatural intervention. Likewise Lisle’s cosmogony, to create well-balanced stars and galaxies and black holes, which all have complex internal structures and internal balance of gravitational pressure and photon pressure, would require God to supernaturally create far more fake photons and fake neutrinos and fake phonons and fake convection currents etc., all with the appearance of being from events that never happened– far more fake photons and phony light-shows than Henry Morris ever conceived of.

More on Strange Conventions of Simultaneity.

Let’s return to 1. While this convention is counter-intuitive, this idea is not disastrous and does not by itself entail testable predictions that might falsify it. All of us has have heard that Einstein’s Special Relativity begins with the assumption that the speed of light is the same for all observers in the universe, so that if an airplane shoots out a light beam, the light beam still travels at only the speed of light c and not c plus the speed of the airplane. This assumption is experimentally justified by the Michelson-Morley experiment, which proved that light beams going along the direction of the Earth’s movement as it revolves around the sun, have the same travel time as light beams going perpendicular to the Earth’s movement.

However, Lisle and other creationists correctly and cleverly point out that the Michelson-Morley experiment only measures the total travel time for a light beam making a round trip, and there’s no experimental way to measure the speed of light going one way without some kind of round trip arrangement. What if (let’s say) the speed of light went faster when going north and slower when going south, or vice versa, and the round trip looked like c when averaged out? Or if light went instantaneously going north and travelled at c/2 when going south, which averages out to c?

In fact, there’s no rule against that, not by itself. Einstein’s convention was that the speed of light goes at c in all directions, which is simpler and makes the math easier, but it can’t be proven per se. You are permitted certain other conventions, e.g. if you just have all north-going photons go faster and all south-going photons go slower in a fashion that does not depend on the position of the photon. Where Lisle screwed the pooch was by making light speed depend on the position of the photon, which turns out to not be allowed, and is not a coordinate transformation as he claims.

For the permitted synchrony conventions, we must consider some bizarre (but not forbidden) consequences for the idea of simultaneity. The pre-Einstein idea of simultaneity was that it’s the same for all observers, so if events E1 and E2 are simultaneous for Bob, then E1 and E2 are also simultaneous for Julie, no matter where she is or if she’s moving relative to Bob.

But with Einstein’s convention, event E1 could happen before E2 for Harry, if Harry is moving relative to Bob. What matters for Einstein is direction of motion, not position. With Lisle’s convention, it’s position that matters, not motion: so E1 could happen before E2 for Harry, if Harry is in a different place that Bob.

Here’s the classic Einstein “train” argument: Bob is standing on an embankment as a train is passing; at the moment that the center of the train passes Bob, two lightning bolts strike, E1 at the front and E2 at the back of the train. Bob says, “Both light signals come towards me at the same speed c and traveled the same distance, so I subtract the same amount off the times when I saw each flash, and conclude E1 and E2 were simultaneous.” But Harry is riding the train in its center; he travels towards the photons from E1 and away from the photons from E2, so he intercepts the E1 photons before those from E2. Like Bob, Harry starts off saying, “Both light signals come towards me at the same speed c and traveled the same distance, so I subtract the same amount off both times”, but because Harry saw E1’s photons first, after subtraction he concludes E1 happened before E2. This is bizarre, but it’s basic Special Relativity.

In Lisle’s convention, what affects simultaneity is not velocity but position. All the “shells of creation” as God creates the universe are created simultaneously relative to some one point on Earth (Eden?), but not simultaneously relative to any observers not on Earth. This means that all observers outside Earth believe their planets were created long, long before Earth; and for millions of years, as they look in the direction where Earth will be, they see only a sphere of black nothingness because, relative to them, God hasn’t created Earth yet. Indeed, for stars sufficiently far away but visible now in our telescopes, we still do not exist relative to them, and we can see them but they can’t see us, because God has not created the Earth yet, Adam has not eaten an apple yet, and you don’t exist.

This produces strange hypothetical effects. [I owe this ‘mirror’ argument to Tim Reeves of Quantum Nonlinearity.] Now suppose Lillith blinks into existence at the center of the Andromeda Galaxy at the moment it is created (hint: not the same time Earth is created) and Lillith immediately picks up a mirror. Back on Earth, at the moment Eve is created, she thinks the universe is all created simultaneously and assumes light from Andromeda comes to her instantaneously too, so Eve immediately sees brand new, young Lillith, way off in Andromeda, 2.5 million light years away, picking up her mirror. Now suppose Eve sends light towards Lillith; Eve thinks her light beam recedes from her at speed c/2 and thus thinks it will take 5 million years to get to Andromeda.

When Eve is 5 million years old, her light finally reaches Lillith, while Eve sees Lillith as also 5 million years old at that instant; for Eve has been watching Lillith age the whole time, and for the whole 5 million years, Lillith’s mirror has been black reflecting nothingness because the Earth didn’t exist yet for her. Finally Eve’s light bounces off Lillith’s mirror and zips back to Eve at a speed Eve thinks is instantaneous by Lisle’s convention. So when Eve is really 5 million years old, she will finally see her reflection, far away, and will see herself young and newly created as reflected in a mirror held by 5-million-year-old Lillith.

What does Lillith see? At the moment she was created, she looked around and saw half of the Andromeda galaxy created (the side away from Earth), but the other half (in the direction where Earth will someday be) just black emptiness. Needless to say, the galaxy will not be “mature” or “functional” as creationists claim, because half a galaxy cannot be stable or functional; it will look like a multi-armed spiral chopped in half, with spiral arms all sliced up into disconnected half arc-circles or quarter-circles, etc. which are rotating all the time, but the rotation of disconnected half-arcs without gravitational balance will tear it to bits. Worse, at its center will be half a giant black hole, and no one knows what half a black hole would look like. If M31 had relativist jets squirting out of the galactic center (M31 doesn’t, but some do), the jets could be split down the middle like Robin Hood’s arrow, or part of a jet could be coming out of the black sphere of still uncreated space, phony particles contrived to look like the result of phony events that never happened: a vast, slow trick of the Deceiver-God. Then God will finish creating Andromeda slowly, relative to itself– slice by slice, at half the speed of light, so the second half of the galaxy (radius= 50,000 ly) will take God 100,000 years to finish, relative to Lillith; or no time relative to Eve.

Lillith at her creation picks up a mirror, but sees no light from Earth at all– just blackness in that direction– and waits until she is five million years old. When she finally gets light from Earth, that planet and Eve look young and newly created; but Lillith (like all observers, under Lisle’s convention) believes that photons approach her instantaneously, therefore Lillith subtracts zero flight time for photons coming from Earth.

Conclusion: Lillith concludes that Andromeda was created 5 million years before Earth, and that she is 5 million years older than Eve. Eve by contrast concludes that Andromeda was created (about) the same time as Earth, and that she and Lillith are the same age.

Also we see here why the shells of creation must be created at c/2 and not c: Lillith waits 5 million years before the empty black sphere in the direction of Earth get filled up with matter, but Andromeda is 2.5 million light years from where Earth will be; therefore Lisle’s cosmogony creates shells of matter at speed c/2, so all large-scale structures will be completely unstable, not mature and not functional, unless God supernaturally tricks us, filling up all stars and galaxies with fake photons and fake neutrinos and fake convection currents etc. that look like the after-effects of real processes, except the events never happened. The fake light show is not creation of “maturity”, so Lisle’s cosmogony contradicts his claim that his all-powerful god is limited by “appearance of maturity.”

In an earlier paper, Lisle, writing as Robert Newton (wow, humble), says creation will converge on Earth at lightspeed.

[Lisle]: So, we present the following picture of Creation as described in Genesis, but converted from observed time to calculated time… this creation process moves inward; space is created nearer to Earth… About 4.3 years before Earth is created, ‘the beginning’ occurs for the space near Alpha Centauri [which is 4.3 light years away]. …Finally the Earth is created. [Lisle’s early paper, writing as Robert Newton.]

Apparently wrong; it should be 8.6 years before Earth is created. Probably Lisle caught this error later.

Lisle’s Variable Speed of Light Creates a Gravity Field in General Relativity and is Not A Coordinate Change!

We move on to where Lisle really screwed the pooch, with his variable speed of light.

[Lisle]: The act of choosing a synchrony convention is synonymous with defining the one-way speed of light. If we select Einstein synchronization, then we have declared that the speed of light is the same in all directions. If we select ASC, then we have declared that light is essentially infinitely fast when moving directly toward the observer, and ½c when moving directly away. Under ASC, the speed of light as a function of direction relative to the observer (θ) is given by c(θ) = c/(1-cos(θ)), where θ = 0 indicates the direction directly toward the observer. [Anisotropic Synchrony Convention—A Solution to the Distant Starlight Problem. Jason Lisle. September 22, 2010. Answers Research Journal 3 (2010): 191-207. Emphasis added.]

First, it is not true that “The act of choosing a synchrony convention is synonymous with defining the one-way speed of light.” This might be true for some synchrony conventions where the speed of light does not depend on position. But Lisle’s variable speed of light, c(θ) = c/(1-cos(θ)), depends on θ, and θ depends the position {x1,y1,z1} of the observer and on the position {x2,y2,z2} and direction {v_x,v_y,v_z} of the photon.  

θ is the angle between your line of sight to the photon and its direction of travel: θ = 0 if it’s coming at you, so c(θ) is infinite, θ = 90 degrees if perpendicular to your line of sight, so c(θ) = c, and θ = 180 degrees if receding from you, so c(θ) = c/2. If you jump to the left, the speed of every photon in the universe changes. This is not a mere synchrony convention nor is it a mere transformation of coordinates, as we’ll prove below.

Valid synchrony conventions might be expressed as one or more permitted coordinate transformations, which could be written as 4×4 matrices (3 space dimensions plus time dimension). For example, you could say that all photons going north travel instantaneously and all going south travel at c/2; that is not dependent on photon position. But Lisle’s c(θ) = c/(1-cos(θ)) rule is not uniquely fixed by his synchrony convention– he does not derive c(θ) = c/(1-cos(θ)) from his convention, he merely shows that it is consistent with his convention, but “consistent with” is not a derivation or proof of uniqueness. He calls it a “transformation of coordinates” but never writes it down as a 4×4 matrix (Einstein does, that’s called the Minkowski transformation) and Lisle never differentiates it.

Now Lisle was confronted with this fact by Timothy Reeves to who I am indebted for this argument.

Because it depends on positions of the observer and of the photon, it induces a gravitational field and curvature of space time. I will explain this three ways: A. intuitively, B. by proving that Lisle’s rule can’t be written as a mere “coordinate transformation”, and C. from General Relativity and Jian Qi Shen‘s scientific paper on synchrony conventions and the Riemannian operator in GR.

Method A. The easiest way to see the problem is to note that in General Relativity, a speed of light that varies with position and a gravity field are the same thing. In Lisle’s rule, if a photon comes at you, just missing you and glancing off, it’s decelerating all the time– that’s a gravity field. This is not the case (for example) if we picked a synchrony convention where all photons going north travel instantaneously and all going south travel at c/2. Then lightspeed doesn’t varies with direction but not with position, so no gravity field.

There, that wasn’t so bad.

Method B. Just a Coordinate Change? At his blog, Lisle’s only response to Reeves’ critique was to claim that his ASC is just a mere “coordinate change.” Because he says this over and over, I have to prove that his rule c(θ) = c/(1-cos(θ)) cannot ever be just a coordinate change. This should not be painful even for those who hate linear algebra.

First, a real coordinate transformation could be written as a 4×4 matrix. Lisle never does this. We want to show how velocities of photons transform in Lisle’s case, but for comparison we’ll first show how velocities add (for different observers) in Einstein’s conventions; that’s easier.

Consider an Einsteinian, special relativity transformation between two observers, Unprimed Guy and Primed Guy, one of whom is moving at velocity u relative to the other. In all of this I will consistently multiply all time coordinates t, t’ and so on by the speed of light c, to give ct, ct‘, cdt, cdt’, etc. units of meters; and I will always define v’s and u’s as distance /(time x c), so that all u’s and v’s have no units. That just makes the equations easier.

To make it even easier, I’ll mostly use one space dimension x and time dimension ct. The first observer will see an event at coordinates {ct, x} while the second person “Primed Guy”, traveling at speed “beta” with respect to Unprimed Guy, will see the same event at coordinates {ct, x’}. (“beta” is a unitless velocity, that is, it’s the normal velocity u divided by c, = u/c.) The matrix is then 2×2.

We want to ask things such as: if a particle moves with velocity v with respect to Unprimed Guy, what is its velocity v’ with respect to Primed Guy? For example, if an airplane shoots out a light beam, and it goes at lightspeed relative to the pilot, will it go faster than the speed of light relative to a ground observer?

So first we build a 2×2 matrix. The Minkowski transformation gives us the matrix:

ct’ = Gamma* [ ct – beta * x]

x’ = Gamma* [- beta * ct  +  x]

Gamma == sqrt( 1 – beta*beta). If we write vectors in the form {ct, x}, then Primed Guys’ coordinates can be computed from Unprimed Guy’s by the usual multiplication of a matrix times a vector:

{ct‘, x‘} = M* {ct, x}

where M is a 2×2 matrix. That means that M’s elements M00, M01 etc. are defined by

ct’ =  M00* ct + M01* x

x’   = M10 *ct  +  M11* x

Of course subscript 0 is for time and 1 is for x.  The elements are easily seen from the above to be:

M00 = Gamma                M01 = – Gamma*beta

M10 = – Gamma*beta     M11 = Gamma

These matrix elements depend on velocity beta but not on positions {ct, x’} nor {ct, x}. As we shall see, Lisle’s convention can’t be written like this, because his M00, M01 etc. must depend on coordinates {ct, x} etc., which is his fatal problem.

We want to show how velocities add under Einstein conventions because that’s easier. So since velocities take the form v = dx/dt, or actually I will divide by c and write

v == dx/c dt

we have to differentiate dx/dt but don’t kill yourself over it. From the matrix transformation above:

cdt’ = M00 * cdt + M01* dx

dx’    = M10 * cdt + M11* dx

Dividing numerator and denominator by cdt to get:

v‘ == dx‘/cdt’  = [M10 * cdt + M11* dx] / [M00 * cdt + M01* dx]

=  [M10 + M11* dx/cdt] / [M00  + M01* dx/cdt]

=  [M10 + M11* v] / [M00  + M01* v]

Where I plugged in v == dx/c dt. Now we have our answer, because the matrix elements M00, M01 etc. were given above and we just stick them in:

v‘ = dx‘/cdt’  = = [vbeta] / [1 – beta*v]

There, that wasn’t so bad was it! You derived the relativistic equation for “adding” velocities. OK, now can we do this with Lisle’s rules? No.

We want a guess a matrix like M00, M01 etc. that transforms from a photon’s coordinates in Einstein’s convention to one in Lisles’ convention. What would matrix M look like? Lisle never tells us M, but we can guess some stuff about M from what he requires for photon velocities.

Consider a photon coming straight at you along the x-axis. Just like before, no change:

ct’ = M00* ct + M01* x

x’ = M10 * ct  +  M11* x

The only difference is that Einstein tells us M00, M01 etc. but Jason Lisle doesn’t. He makes us guess at M00, M01 by dropping hints about photon velocities. So we have to relate the photon velocity in Lisle’s convention, v‘, to the photon velocity in Einstein’s convention, v. With the same trick of differentiating and rearragning we get the same equation:

v‘ = [M10 + M11* v] / [M00  + M01* v]

Same as before, except now we don’t know what M00, M01 etc. are

Now you can see what’s very wrong with this. Consider a photon coming straight at you along the x-axis.  But problem, what happens when the approaching photon zips past you? In Einstein’s convention, v does not change; in Lisle’s convention, vis supposed to instantly decelerate to 1/2 (that’s c/2 divided by c). The right half of the equation above does not change as the photon passes you; the left half of the equation changes infinitely. This cannot happen unless the matrix elements M00, M01 etc. depend on coordinates of observer and of photon, so that they “know” when to slow down– but if M00, M01 etc. depend on coordinates of observer and of photon, that is no longer a mere “coordinate transformation” as Lisle claims, but instead a non-linear transformation of space-time. And a a non-linear transformation of space-time means space-time is curved. That means gravity.

Above I considered the simple case of one space coordinate and time. What if we do three space coordinates and time? Relax, I’m not going to repeat the whole thing. I’ll just skip to the end.

Consider a photon coming at you at an arbitrary angle and glancing off. But I have to define the velocity of the photon as a vector with three space components along three axes, plus time, that is, {ct, v_x, v_y, v_z} for Einstein’s photon velocity and {ct’, v_x’, v_y’, v_z’} for Lisle’s photon velocity. The rule for four coordinates is pretty obvious so I’ll skip the blah blah blah and jump to it:

v_x‘ = [M10 + M11* v_x + M12* v_y + M12* v_z] / [M00 + M01* v_x + M02* v_y + M02* v_z]

There are similar equations for v_y’ and v_zwhich I’ll skip. The speed of the photon is then

v’ = sqrt( v_x^2 + v_y^2 + v_z^2)

Problem: according to Lisle, the whole time the photon approaches it’s decelerating. That means, again, the left-hand side of the equation changes with position, but the right hand side cannot. Not unless M00, M01 etc. depend on coordinates {x, y, z} — but that would falsify Lisle’s claim that he’s only doing a coordinate transformation.

C. Jian Qi Shen’s Paper on Synchrony Conventions and the Riemannian.

For a more professional take,  Timothy Reeves cited a physics paper by Jian Qi Shen [PDF] on the subject of synchrony conventions in General Relativity. He emphasizes that some syncrhony conventions are kosher, but if you don’t follow the rules they produce a gravity field. Shen considers g, the spacetime metric tensor, which is used to measure distance between two points in a curved space time; the value of g tells you whether or not space is curved, and therefore whether or not a gravity field exists (more technical description below.)

Shen writes g in terms of a parameter X which in turn depends on in what way the speed of light is anisotropic– how c varies in all directions. A “kosher” synchrony convention would be something like: all photons going north move at infinite speed; all photons going south move at c/2. In these case X would depend on direction of travel, but not depend on coordinates x, y, z, so then the g takes on a value for flat space-time, no gravity.

Shen concludes:

To be more technical, what tells you if space-time is curved is the Riemannian curvature tensor [R] that is derived from g which depends on X.

But in Lisle’s convention,  X would depend on (1-cos(θ)) which in turn depends on coordinates {x,y,z} of the photon and of the observer. Thus metric tensor g depends on coordinates via X, and the Riemannian curvature tensor does not vanish, so space-time is curved, therefore Lisle’s convention makes a gravity field, but this is not observed.

Compare this to what Lisle wrote:

The anisotropic synchrony convention is just that—a convention. It is not a scientific model; it does not make testable predictions. It is a convention of measurement and cannot be falsified any more than the metric system can be falsified.
[Jason Lisle, 2010]

It makes testable predictions, it can be falsified, it was falsified.

Problems with Permittivity and Permeability of Free Space

Lisle has more problems with two physical constants that are important in electromagnetic theory, the permeability of free space μ0 and the permittivity of free space, ε0. These two constants are involved in electronics, setting the strength of electrostatic attraction and the relationship between current and and magnetic field. They are together intimately connected to the speed of light c, so Lisle mucking with the speed of light will mess with them too. In ordinary units c is determined by the identity  

c^2 = 1/ μ0ε0.

Since Lisle makes c depend on θ which varies with the position of the photon, μ0 and ε0 must depend on position as well. For this point I am indebted to a comment by Gabriel Hanna, who writes:

Nowhere does Lisle address this point, and I can’t believe he is ignorant of it. When you do experiments with magnets and capacitors, you always get the same value for the speed of light even though you have no idea what direction that light might be moving in… If you forget that light is an electromagnetic wave, then you can accept Lisle’s analysis.

…Einstein assumed the Maxwell equations were true. Lisle just abolishes them without mentioning that he did so. Every engineer and scientist has seen the derivation of the invariant speed of light from the Maxwell equations. [Gabriel Hanna comment]

Hanna emailed Jason Lisle and like so many, got no substantive response:

He [Lisle] says that e0 and m0 are tensors, different in every direction, and doesn’t say anything about how many experiments must now come out totally wrong. He also says that ASC is a convention and can’t be experimentally distinguished from Einstein’s. He also repeats that the speed of light can only be measured by a round trip, and that Einstein said that he was merely assuming light to be anisotropic, when Einstein explicitly said in 1916 that no experiment has demonstrated anisotropy of light. [Gabriel Hanna comment]

A Final Comment on the Deceiver-God and His Creation With “Appearance of Maturity”

Because Lisle is today’s most aggressive pusher of  “Appearance of Age” argument, I’m going to discuss its paradoxes in more detail. The term “Omphalos” means “belly button” and is used to describe generic creationist arguments in which God deceptively makes the universe look different then it actually is, typically by creating the appearance of an ancient
history that never really happened. The term was coined by Phillip Henry Gosse in his 1857 creationist book. Much like creationists after him, he argued by analogy: God had to create Adam with a belly button “omphalos” even though Adam had never been connected to an umbilical cord, because the function of the human body requires a belly button; and likewise, the function of the planet Earth requires fake fossils in the ground that look just like dead animals even though they never really lived.

Gosse’s “fake fossils” idea was received very negatively by all sides, and today all big-money creationists would deny that they employ it; but in fact, all YECs, especially Jason Lisle, still invoke Omphalos for countless things– for certain fossils, for starlight, or radiometric dating, or tree rings in ancient trees– they just grew sneakier about it, choosing their Omphalos targets by carefully assessing what their target audience would consider absurd and what they could get away with.

All big-money creationists today would deny that they believe dinosaur fossils are fake– but in fact, they only really assert the reality of fossils of complex animals and plants from the post-Cambrian era (e.g. dinosaurs). Many older or non-dinosaur fossils can still be tricks, for example, fossil stromatolites (multi-layered bacterial mats) and Grypania (multicellular algae) if they are pre-Cambrian are dismissed as not organic but made in some vague way, while post-Cambrian stromatolites that look just the same are indisputably organic. YECs treat dinosaurs and pre-Cambrian fossils differently because 1. Kids love dinosaurs but don’t know about stromatolites or Grypania, and YECs know what their audience knows, and 2. YECs say that Noah’s Flood started in the geological column at about the time of the Cambrian explosion, that is, with the first trilobite fossils. (By contrast the Ultra-Orthodox rabbi Menachem Schneerson did in fact teach his fanatical followers that dinosaur fossils are fakes planted by the devil; and some Jews in Israel demanded that dinosaur cartoons be taken off of kid’s milk cartons because dinosaurs never existed.) Furthermore, there are huge numbers of pre-Cambrian marks from long, long before the dinosaur era like sedimentary strata, raindrop impressions, water ripples, dessication cracks, granite intrusions, etc. that look like records of past events, but which YECs like Robert Gentry say were created directly by God during Creation Week to look just like events that never happened.

Tree rings in very ancient trees, like the bristlecone pines are up to 4,900 years old which makes the oldest 600 years older than Noah’s Flood. Tree rings don’t just look old, they record history, for example forest fires, droughts, climatic cycles, etc. and they agree with each other and with known cyclic variations in solar output. Observe how Frank Lorey, writing for Jason Lisle’s current employer, the ICR, bats away tree rings with a bit of Deceiver-God.

[Frank Lorey of ICR]: Also, creation had to involve some superficial appearance of earth history. Trees were likely created with tree-rings already in place. Rocks would likely have yielded old dates by the faulty radio-isotope methods in use today. Even man and animals did not appear as infants. This is known as the “Appearance of Age Theory.” [Frank Lorey, M.A. 1994. Tree Rings and Biblical Chronology. Acts & Facts (ICR). 23: (6)]

Note that Morris and his ICR colleagues all used to call it “Appearance of Age theory”, but later YECs later decided we must never call it that, we must only call it “Appearance of Maturity” since changing the name of a problem solves the problem. You see, the term “Appearance of Age” that they made up was a dirty trick played on them by evil evolutionists! And evolutionists even brainwashed Henry Morris, I guess, since he called it “Appaerance of Age” in The Genesis Flood.

Now they tell us, see, everything in the Garden of Eden was perfect, so any “Appearance of Age” can’t be real but is just a trick played on them by evolutionist brainwashing; and they’ve been tricked because Adam ate an apple in the Garden and “Fell” and that makes our reason and our senses unreliable, as creationism itself amply proves. Now YECs insist that appearance of Age cannot ever be objectively real, but Appearance of Youth is objectively real. Here’s Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis on fake tree rings.

[Ken Ham]: [on Creation Week] The various original plants, including trees, would have mature fruit… Perhaps trees even had tree rings, as a regular part of the tree’s structure. Adam and Eve and the animals were created mature and fully functional so they could reproduce. But none of these things were “old” or “looked old.” [Ken Ham. Mature for Her “Age”. AIG. August 25, 2008.]

Never looked old? His wife must love him. Again, everyone has to call it “Appearance of Maturity” now, with maturity defined in terms of “function”… but “function” undefined. This vagueness can be exploited to falsely claim observations as “predictions” of the creationist model, a business that Jason Lisle, Ph.D. has built his career on.

Lisle never claimed that dinosaur fossils are fake, and rejected Morris’ hypothesis that God created phony photons, neutrinos etc. en route from distant stars, so you might think Lisle rejects Omphalos. But you’d be wrong– he’s a presuppositionalist who defends “Appearance of Age” (don’t call it “Appearance of Age!”) more aggressively than any other YEC today. He just applies it to a huge number of other things besides Henry Morris’ fake supernovae, or Gosse’s fake dino fossils. Lisle’s “ASC” solution to the Starlight Problem requires a different kind of fake photons created directly by God, on a far larger scale than Morris ever imagined, but Lisle’s fake photons have to be way out in space and not necessarily the ones we see.

Here’s an example of how devoted to Omphalos Lisle is: at a creationist meeting, Chris Sharp asked Lisle to explain Kirkwood Gaps. What are those? Well, if you plot the time periods that it takes all asteroids to make one revolution around the sun, you get a big scatter plot of diverse time periods, but certain periods are conspicuously absent– those which are related to the period of Jupiter by a ratio of small integers. This can be easily explained by simple physics: over millions of years, Jupiter would approach those asteroids over and over, until its giant gravity field knocked them out of that orbit, clearing out the Kirkwood Gap. Simple– if the solar system is more than a few millions of years old. But Lisle, put on the spot, yanks Deceiver-God out of his ass:

[Christopher Sharp writes]: …I asked [Lisle] about… the Kirkwood gaps in the asteroid belt, showing irrefutably that the Solar System is much more than 6000 years old…I
pointed out to him that after a few hundred thousand or million years of
simulated time on a computer, asteroids in certain orbits are ejected,
which confirms the Kirkwood gaps, to which he replied that God created the Solar System to appear that way.
[Christopher Sharp on Lisle’s visit to Tucson]

Lisle especially demands that we must always call it “appearance of maturity” because if you call it a different name, that makes it plausible. He insists that “Appearance of Age” can’t be objectively real but claims “Apperance of Youth” all through the universe is objectively real, because the absence of age is real, but its presence cannot be.

They define “maturity”, if at all, in terms of “function”… but “function” is undefined. This becomes a big problem later when you ask what’s the “function” of colliding galaxies, or a supernova, or its expanding nebula; and if you can’t define “function”, how can you define “mature”?

Creationists of course invoke an infinite number of teleological arguments: if the moon reflects light, its purpose is to reflect light; if glaciers melt in the spring, their purpose is to melt in the spring– these are real creationist arguments, not parodies. So how do you define “maturity” or “function” of a supernova? Is its function to blow up?

Well, what Lisle does is, first he asks what real scientists have observed, and then he computes what scientific facts he can lie to his church audience about (some of Lisle’s favorite “ha ha sucker” lies: scientists never observed stars or solar systems forming! Spiral galaxies can’t last more than a few million years, because they’ll unwind!), and he takes the sum of those two sets and tells his church audience that those are the “predictions” of the creationist model. Fraudictions, more like it.

All YECs including Lisle also deny that their god is a deceiver, feigning to be angry about it, on the grounds that God said one thing in the Bible and contradicted himself in the rocks and bones and stars, but he told the truth in the Bible, and contradiction is not deception. Of course, in the Bible God makes no mention of minutely arranging the ratios of daughter and parent isotopes in rocks, so that the more deeply buried rocks look much older than the surface rocks, or making fake stromatolites, or arranging asteroids into the Kirkwood Gaps. So he never really told us what he did or how he did it, or when or how we will some more Appearance of A– excuse me, Maturity.

Conclusion: Lisle’s Magical Cosmogony Fails

I raise all these issues of how you define “maturity” and “function” because Lisle’s cosmogony, in which God slooowly creates the universe in concentric shells, contradicts all their jive about how God is required to create a “mature” universe, how their all-powerful God is unable to create a non-mature universe, like “mature” relativistic jets that are a hundred thousand light years long and would take at least a hundred thousand years to form, or the “mature” after-effects of galaxies colliding, or star clusters that penetrate our galaxy and in their “mature” form are torn up to shreds like shredded cotton run over sand paper.

In Lisle’s cosmogony, God creates quarter-stars, then half-start, then three quarter stars, etc. and he does so slowly. The intermediate stages are not mature and not functional. Some stars are 100 times bigger than our sun, and at speed c/2 it would take God a long time to finish one. A star is a complicated machine, and it depends on balance. In Lisle’s cosmology, when God has a star one-third finished, either the thing is not stable, not mature and not functional, and it will collapse or explode; or else God is supernaturally creating vast numbers of fake photons, fake phonons, fake convection currents etc. that appear to come from events that never happened: more Omphalos. The photons normally start from nuclear fusion in the core and take a very long time to work their way to the surface. The photon pressure pushing “up” is required to balance the gravitational weight pulling down, or else the whole shebang is unstable, and will either collapse or explode. But when God has a star is one-quarter finished, he would need to create fake photons that appear to come from the core of the star (which doesn’t exist yet) produced by nuclear reactions (that never happened) in order to balance the whole thing.

Stars have complex internal structures, including convection currents far larger than many Earths that swirl around the interior, spherical harmonic vibrations jiggling the surface like a snare drum, solar flares and vast magnetically-guided storms that burst from the surface. All of these are part of their function and thus, “maturity.” When God has a star one-quarter finished, they either collapse, or else God  supernaturally creates huge numbers of fake phonons, magnetic fields etc. from events that never happened.

Similar arguments apply for even bigger structures: colliding galaxies, relativistic jets a hundred thousand light years long, vast nebulae, star birthing regions, elephant trunks, the Great Cosmic Bubble in the Magellanic Cloud, and on and on. All these structures would take Lisle’s God a long time to slowly build, slice by slice, and the intermediate stages would not be mature and not functional, thus contradicting creationist blather about “Appearance of Maturity”.

Reading Jason Lisle’s blog, it’s clear he wants his acolytes to know as little as possible about large-scale cosmic structure: he wants church audiences to think there basically is no large-scale structure in space– like stars are just, you know randomly distributed or something! He knows the structure of the universe plus YEC requires an Omphalos Deceiver-God creating phony photons and phony particles in relativistic jets like records of make-believe histories that never happened.

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“A Growing Number”: More and More Scientists Are Abandoning Evolution

The day has come for us to admit that the theory of evolution is in a serious state of crisis. As you no doubt have heard, evolutionary theory states that blind chance can turn a lobster into a beautiful baby. Many scientists have suddenly realized it does not seem plausible that chance alone could turn a decapod crustacean into a human baby, especially an aesthetically pleasing one. Today we must admit that an increasing number of scientists are abandoning the theory of evolution and embracing creationism or intelligent design, as I will demonstrate by quoting those who really know what goes on in science: creationists.

Creationists are the only ones with the courage to tell the truth about what really goes on inside the laboratories they’ve never entered. They’ve got the guts to say it, and for at least a century they’ve been proclaiming loudly that the death of evolution is imminent. Someday, they knew, they’d be proven right. And that day has come.

Here are some examples, going back many decades, of creationists who had the courage to say that “more and more” scientists are opposing evolution.

We start in 1982, when famous creationist Henry Morris wrote What is Creation Science? with a foreword by Young Earth creationist Dean Kenyon, who would later become famous as a proponent of Intelligent Design. Kenyon seems to have coined a significant phrase which would be copied by creationists for decades.

Dean Kenyon, 1982: “The creation-evolution controversy is entering a critical, perhaps even a climactic stage… more and more professional scientists holding evolutionary views are beginning to take the creationists’ scientific challenge seriously for the first time. The eventual result may well be a major change in the way the subject of origins is taught in our schools and universities.” [Dean Kenyon, foreword to What is Creation Science? by Henry Morris and Gary Parker (1982). ]

Perhaps Morris learned about “more and more” form Kenyon. Wherever Morris got the idea, he ran with it for decades, and after his death his son would continue it.

Henry Morris, 1984: “…the modern [1984] scientific creationist movement has made it abundantly clear in our day that all the real facts of science support this Biblical position. Despite all the bombastic books and articles… which have opposed the modern literature on scientific Biblical creationism/catastrophism, the evidence is sound, and more and more scientists are becoming creationists all the time.” [Henry Morris, History of Modern Creationism (1984), p.329-330.]

Morris was quite clear: the “modern” theory, the cutting edge science of 1984 was the theory that, 6,000 years ago, dirt turned into the human genome by sorcery. ” All the time”– when you sleep, when you wake– the numbers of creationists increase.

Henry Morris, 1985: “There are still some die-hard uniformitarians who would question the first assumption butmore and more in the modern school of geologists are saying that everything in the geologic column is a record of catastrophe.” [Henry M. Morris, Creation and the Modern Christian, (1985), p. 241.]

By “catastrophe” he meant Noah’s Flood. Morris was again clear: the “modern” school of geology, the cutting edge, the hipster trend-setters of 30 years ago were those who believed that giraffes, anacondas, kangaroos and dinosaurs queued up to get on board Noah’s Ark. After the Flood, two kangaroos hopped from Mt. Ararat to Australia, anacondas slithered through Alaska to South America, etc.

Henry Morris, 1989: “Although the history of the earth and life has long been interpreted by the uniformitarian maxim… more and more geologists are returning to catastrophism.” [Henry Morris, “Evolution – A House Divided,” Impact, 194, August, 1989, p. iii.]

More and more creationists are saying “more and more” all the time.  Twenty-two years after Morris, Dr. Don Boys (his biography does not tell us what his Ph.D. is in, exactly, but it’s from a religious school) wrote at the Canada Free Press (whose slogan is “Without America there is no Free World”) that creationists were still “more and more”:

Don Boys, 2010: “No fruit fly, peppered moth or any other creature has formed a new creature through mutations and natural selection, and more and more top scientists are supporting that position. The co-holder of the 1945 Nobel Prize for developing penicillin, Sir Ernest [sic, Ernst] Chain, called natural selection and chance mutations a “hypothesis based on no evidence…”…The 1971 winner of the Nobel Prize in science, Dr. Dennis Gabor (died 1979) said: “I just cannot believe that everything developed by random mutations…” [Almost a Thousand Major Scientists Dissent from Darwin! Dr. Don Boys. Canada Free Press. May 2, 2010]

Boys doesn’t just allot himself “more and more” scientists, he’s now promoted them to “top scientists.” To prove his point, Boys lists Ernst Chain and Dennis Gabor, who both died in 1979, some 34 years ago, before Henry Morris started saying “more and more.” (The list to which he refers lists one, exactly one, member of the US National Academy of Sciences, that is, one living “top scientist.”) Sure, there are “more and more” anti-evolution top scientists, in the cemetery.

Three years after Boys, lawyer and Intelligent Design proponent Casey Luskin, writing at the (misnamed, anti-evolution) website Evolution News & Views [ENV], tells us the science world is already what he calls “post-Darwinian”:

Casey Luskin, 2013: “As many ENV readers already know, we now live in a “post-Darwinian” world, where more and more evolutionary biologists are realizing that neo-Darwinism is failing, so they scramble to propose new materialistic evolutionary models…” [Casey Luskin, Three (or Four) Reasons Everyone Should Read Darwin’s Doubt. ENV, April 9, 2013.]

There are still “more and more”, and “Darwinism” is not just in crisis, it’s already dead. Maybe long-dead, says lawyer Luskin. Since they’ve already won, why don’t the creationists take a well-deserved vacation in this “Post-Darwinian World” that they’ve already saved?

Creationist Trope: “A Growing Number” or “An Increasing Number”

Not only are “more and more” scientists opposing evolution, but there is “an increasing number” or “a growing number” of scientists have turned to creationist or ID alternative theories.

Evan Shute, 1961: “I suspect that the creationist has less mystery to explain away than the wholehearted evolutionist. … I concede micro-evolution, of course, which is the origin by evolutionary processes of species, genera, and even families. An increasing number of thoughtful scientists seem to be adopting this view, which I should add is decades old, and far from being original.” [Evan Shute, Flaws in the Theory of Evolution, (1961) p. 2.]

They’re not just “an increasing number”, they’re “thoughtful” now too. (Those boring scientists who look up the definition of ‘micro-evolution‘ and see that it means only and always evolution below the species level are just not “thoughtful” like the creationists who think up random definitions for science jargon they don’t understand.)

Twenty years later, their number was still growing.

Henry Morris, 1981: “Matter of fact, there are now thousands of scientists who have become creationists, and these are in fairly recent years [recent as of 1981]. As a matter of fact most of us, including myself, once were evolutionists [sure you were], but have become convinced that creationism is a better scientific explanation. And so even though we represent a minority in science, it is a significant and a growing minority. [Henry Morris in 1981 debate against Ken Miller.]

Henry Morris, 1982: “The discouraging situation [for creationists] of the early decades of this [20th] century is now [1982] going through a dramatic change. Instead of only a handful of Bible-believing scientists, there are now thousands. …the fact is that now, in every field of science, there can be found a significant and growing number of men and women who believe the Bible and are evangelical, witnessing Christians. …there are thousands who are unashamed literal creationists, believing that all things were created and made in the six solar days described in the first chapter of Genesis… Many have suffered one or another form of persecution for their stand, and yet they stand! …However, it would not be appropriate to try at this point to do the same [give their names] for scientists who are still living. [Henry Morris, Men of Science– Men of God (1982), p.93-94]

Yes, of course it would be inappropriate to list their names. That would require them to exist. But trust him, there are thousands. Thousands, as of 1982– and rapidly growing for twenty years! The theory of evolution is doomed.

Two years later, a Louisiana public school district was sued for teaching Morris-style “scientific” creationism in the Supreme Court case Edwards v. Aguillard. Dean Kenyon, the Young Earth creationist we met above, chimed in with an affidavit giving his expert creationist opinion. His best evidence against evolution was still the “increasing numbers” of creationists.

Dean Kenyon, 1984: “Although students generally hear only one side on the origins question, increasing numbers of scientists are now abandoning evolution for a new scientific version of creationism. Creationist scientists now number in the hundreds, possibly in the thousands, in the States and in other countries. This extraordinary development…. has resulted largely from analysis of new scientific data not available to Darwin… biological creation… in fact is scientifically stronger than biological evolution.” [Dean Kenyon, Affidavit in the case Edwards v. Aguillard, 1984 .]

The “increasing number” of creationists lost badly in Edwards, but Kenyon would return twenty years later, now re-made as an Intelligent Design proponent, to play a role in helping a new generation of creationists lose another case badly. Which we’ll come back to in a moment.

Six years after Kenyon, their number was still growing and growing:

Mark Looy, 1990: “Even though the large majority of modern scientists still embrace an evolutionary view of origins, there is a significant and growing number of scientists who have abandoned evolution altogether and have accepted creation instead.” [Mark Looy, “I Think; Therefore, There is a Supreme Thinker,” Impact, 208, October, 1990, p. i.]

Four years after that, Henry Morris’ son, John D. Morris, an engineer like his father, started taking up the family, um, business. He still continues his father’s tradition of originality and innovation, replacing Henry’s “significant and increasing number” with “in droves.” And they say creationists aren’t creative!

John D. Morris, 1994: “Even scientists are leaving Darwinian evolution in droves, recognizing that strictly natural processes, operating at random on inorganic chemicals, could never have produced complex living cells.” [John D. Morris, The Young Earth, (1994), p. 121.]

But his father kept a steady hand on the family business for decades. Twenty years after the elder Morris had said their number was “growing”, and forty years after Evan Shute said their number was “increasing”, their number was still growing and growing and growing.

Henry Morris, 2002: “Creation scientists may be in the minority so far, but their number is growing, and most of them (like this writer) were evolutionists at one time [sure you were], having changed to creationism at least in part because of what they decided was the weight of scientific evidence.” [Henry Morris, “What are Evolutionists Afraid of?”, Back to Genesis, No. 168 (Dec. 2002).]

Grant Jeffrey, 2003: “As a result of the tremendous advances in the study of genetics, molecular biology, and the acknowledgement that the fossil record does not provide any support for the theory of evolution, a growing number of scientists have either publicly rejected evolution or have expressed very serious reservations about Darwin’s theory. ” [Grant R. Jeffrey, Creation, (2003), p.168]

And now, respected historian “Professor” David Barton, who has proven Thomas Jefferson was a fundamentalist Christian and opposed evolutionary theory before it was invented– “Professor” Barton, a scholar whose title is as reliable as his factual claims.

Professor” David Barton, 2008: “This position of intelligent design… is now embraced by an increasing number of contemporary distinguished scientists, non-religious though many of them claim to be.” [David Barton, “The Founding Fathers on Creation and Evolution” (2008).]

Not only are they “an increasing number”, they’ve now been promoted to “distinguished“,though we are not told what their distinctions are exactly, nor what their names are for that matter. Perhaps like Chain and Gabor, they’re “contemporary” in the sense of having been dead for 34 years.

Creationist ministry Answers in Genesis also tells us at long last, in 2009 there is “a growing number”.

Answers in Genesis, 2009(?): “The history of science (and humanity) is filled with majority views being incorrect. Evolution is another such idea. …Finally, there are a growing number of scientists, creationist and not, who do not find the supposed evidence for evolution to be valid or acceptable. …it is past time for… the myth of evolution itself—to be dismissed once and for all.” [Answers in Genesis, Undated, apparently 2009]

Finally” they said, 28 years after Henry Morris first said they had “a growing number” and a half-century after Evan Shute said it. But in 2009, they got their growing number “finally”, meaning there was no “growing number” before 2009.

We all agree it is “past time” for evolution to be dismissed, considering that creationists have been predicting its imminent death for… 30 years… 40 years… a half-century… how far back can we go? We’ll see below.

Intelligent Design Proponents Agree: There are “A Growing Number” of These Geniuses

What about Intelligent Design? Unlike Young Earth Creationism, ID proponents say that their beliefs are not religious nor supernatural. Darwinism is a religion, Intelligent Design is a science, they say. The pro-ID website Evolution News and Views repeats this constantly: ID is not creationism because it’s not religious. “ID is not theology”, as David Klinghoffer writes at ENV over and over, and Jonathan Maclatchie has gotten the memo:

Evolution News and Views, 2013: “…ID does NOT invoke a supernatural force to explain biological phenomena. This is because the scientific evidence, at least on its own, does not justify an inference to a supernatural cause. … ID is not “a particular attempt to synthesize modern science and Christian faith.” [Once Again, Why Intelligent Design Is Not a “God-of-the-Gaps” Argument. Jonathan Maclatchie. ENV. January 9, 2013.]

Here, with typical consistency, ID proponent H. Wayne House reminds us that “Intelligent Design” is another term for a set of beliefs about the supernatural:

H. Wayne House, 2008: “While incendiary rhetoric from parts of the scientific community disallows any challenge to Darwinian evolution, a growing number of scientists and experts support a supernatural origin of life, also known as the theory of intelligent design. [H. Wayne House, Intelligent Design 101 (2008), Amazon product description.]

So since ID is supernatural, and also not supernatural too, that makes it totally constitutional to teach in public schools.

Let’s go back 20 years, to the first ID textbook Of Pandas and People (1993), which was sold as “not creationist”, and marketed to the public school market. Can you guess who wrote it? Well, if you wanted to write a public school textbook that would pass constitutional muster, who else would you hire but the same Dean Kenyon who back in 1984 had helped the creationist side lose Edwards v. Aguillard?

Yes, Dean Kenyon, still a Young Earth creationist, but now it’s OK, because after the Aguillard defeat he also calls himself an Intelligent Design proponent. Pandas was written by Kenyon and Percival Davis and a bunch of ID proponents like Michael Behe and Young Earthers like Charles Thaxton and Nancy Pearcey who think “The Flintstones” is a documentary.

What was the best evidence against evolution that brain trust could come up with?

Of Pandas and People, 1993: “Today, however, the ‘creative’ role of natural selection is being questioned by a growing number of scientists.” [Percival Davis and Dean H. Kenyon, Of Pandas and People, (1993), p. 67.]

A growing number of scientists who study the fossil record are concluding that the structural differences between the major types of organisms reflect life as it was… [O]nly the long-held expectations of Darwinian theory cause us to refer to the in-between areas as gaps. If this is so, the major different types of living organisms do not have a common ancestry.” [Ibid., p. 98.]

Why did the school board of Dover, Pennsylvania ever adopt Pandas, which would lead to their very expensive legal defeat?  Well, the Discovery Institute (DI), a think tank that promotes Intelligent Design, told them it would be a great idea, and they might get sued if they didn’t.

In 1999 Stephen Meyer, DI philosopher and author of Signature in the Cell, and other DI fellows wrote a slick advertising brochure aimed at US school boards telling them that teaching ID in public schools was perfectly legal and Of Pandas and People was a great textbook. The best evidence for Intelligent Design that Stephen Meyer, DI philosopher, could concoct was that in 1999 there was still “a growing number” of scientists embracing ID (which Kenyon had been saying for two decades.)

Stephen Meyer, DeWolf & DeForrest, 1999: “Since the 1980s, a growing number of scientists have argued that…contrary to neo-Darwinian orthodoxy, nature displays abundant evidence of design by an intelligent agent. [They] advocate… the theory of intelligent design… [Intelligent Design in Public School Science Curricula: A Legal Guidebook. David K. DeWolf, Stephen C. Meyer, Mark E. DeForrest. 1999.]

Meyer and the DI warned them that school boards might get sued if they did NOT adopt an ID curriculum. You see, if public schools don’t teach creation– I mean intelligent design, that would be “viewpoint discrimination.”

[Supreme court case] Edwards v. Aguillard encourages the teaching of other scientific theories… [A] school board that rejects a teacher’s effort to teach the full range of scientific theories would place the board on a collision course with the First Amendment… Instead, we suggest, the school board should encourage the biology teacher to teach the controversy. This approach…provides it with the soundest footing from a legal standpoint.” [Ibid.]

The Dover school board heeded Stephen Meyer’s and the DI’s dire alarms, bought their textbook, and lost the court case to the tune of $2 million. The day after that debacle, DI lobbyist Mark Ryland denied the existence of the DI document I quoted above; Ryland was immediately smacked down on camera in a public debate when another lawyer produced the document from his briefcase.

Here is ID Proponent and DI fellow the Reverend Jonathan Wells, author of The Myth of Junk DNA and Icons of Evolution, using a totally non-religious argument in a a totally non-religious document originally titled “Unification Sermons and Talks by Reverend Wells”, Unification of course referring to Rev. Sun-Myung Moon’s Unification Church, famous for its enforced conformity and mass weddings.

The Reverend Jonathan Wells, 2000: “I asked God what He wanted me to do with my life, and the answer came not only through my prayers, but also through Father’s [Rev. Sun Myung-Moon’s] many talks to us… He also spoke out against the evils in the world; among them… Darwin’s theory… Father’s words, my studies, and my prayers convinced me that I should devote my life to destroying Darwinism… When Father chose me… to enter a Ph.D. program in 1978, I welcomed the opportunity to prepare myself for battle

…I am one of a growing number of highly-educated and articulate critics of Darwinism… These critics include embryologists, paleontologists, biochemists, molecular biologists, medical doctors, philosophers, and even lawyers. Unfortunately, the North American science-and-religion establishment has largely turned a deaf ear to these critics, preferring instead to abandon classical theology… [This is] analogous to the last years of Soviet communism. A small, powerful elite controls all the official information outlets while the evidence against the official position swells quietly, like a wave building offshore. Someday soon [relative to 2000]… the wave will break. I predict that the Darwinist establishment will come apart at the seams, just as the Soviet Empire did…”

[Original Title: Unification Sermons and Talks by Reverend Wells. a.k.a. “Darwinism: Why I Went for a Second Ph.D.” Jonathan Wells. Earliest Wayback Machine archive: 22 Jan. 2000.]

So there is still “a growing number”, but now they have been promoted to “highly educated and articulate.”

There is nothing religious in the Reverend Wells’ sermon about how Jesus Christ appeared to him in the human form of an elderly Korean man [as his church believes Rev. Sun Myung-Moon is the incarnation of God, Jesus Christ, returned to Earth] to order Wells to destroy Darwinism, or in Reverend Wells’ demand that “classical theology” be re-imposed on the “science-and-religion establishment.” No, that’s pure science, as we know because Wells tells us he is “highly-educated”, and he says there are lawyers who hate evolution too. Nothing religious here, especially since, three years after appearing on the internet, the title of the article was changed (sometime between the Oct. and Dec. 2003) to “Words of the Wells Family.” Remember, ID is science, and Darwinism is religion, since, as we all know, like Anthony Wiener’s penis, that which is removed from the internet will can never be retrieved.

Here is just one of the countless predictions made by ID theorist William Dembski, all equally successful:

William Dembski, 2007: “It will be interesting to see how the National Center for Science Education deals with the growing number of non-religious ID proponents.” [“ICON-RIDS: Non-Religious ID Scientists and Scholars.”, by William Dembski. Uncommon Descent, June 16, 2007.]

Dembski’s prediction here is compared with the facts.

As you can see, the number of “highly educated” proponents of Intelligent Design was “a growing number” in 1993, “a growing number” six years later in 1999, “a growing number” the year after that, “a growing number” seven years later in 2007, and “a growing number” in 2008. By 2013 there were “more and more.” By now the number must be astronomical.

So Exactly What Number Is “The Growing Number”?

For 1963, we have actual, real numbers for the number of creationist scientists (shocking, I know) thanks to historian Ronald Numbers. When the Creation Research Society, the precursor to the Institute for Creation Research, was formed, it was very difficult for to meet their goal of just ten creationist “scientists.” To get to just ten they had to loosen their standards, classifying any engineer or anyone with a Master’s Degree in science as a “scientist.” The story of how difficult it was for the CRS, under the leadership of fanatical eugenicist creationist Willam J. Tinkle, to get even ten loosely-defined creationist “scientists” is told by Numbers in his history book The Creationists: From Scientific Creationism to Intelligent Design. If that’s just the USA, then worldwide, let’s say the number of creationists was 20 or in the low tens.

Since the early 1960’s, we have only the numbers of creationists provided by creationists themselves to rely on. What do creationists say about their own numbers?

In 1972, Henry Morris gave us a ballpark figure:

Henry Morris, 1972: “There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of scientists today who once were evolutionists but have become creationists in recent years. I myself was one of these, having accepted the evolutionary theory all through college… Many other scientists today can give a similar testimony.” [Henry Morris, The Remarkable Birth of Planet Earth (1972), p. vi]

In 1981 and for decades thereafter, as we saw above, Henry Morris confidently stated many times that the number of Bible-believing creationist scientists was in the “thousands.” Moreover, he insisted every year or two that the number was “a growing number” and there were always “more and more” every year for decades, so, 32 years later, there should be… oh… maybe tens of thousands by now?

In the 1990’s, Russell Humphreys, creationist, gave us a very precise figure. You’ll recall that Humphreys, among other work, has proven the Earth is 6,000 years old by doing measurements on helium in zircon crystals, a study which was such cutting edge creation science that it took a half-dozen real scientists to extract which of his numbers were completely made up. Here is Humphreys being interviewed by CMI creationist Carl Wieland, and Wieland asks him the tough, hard-hitting questions.

Carl Wieland: “…How many professionally active scientists would also hold to Genesis creation?”

Humphreys: “I’m part of a fairly large scientific community in New Mexico, and a good number of these are creationists… Based on those proportions and knowing the membership of the Creation Research Society, it’s probably a conservative estimate that there are in the US alone around 10,000 practicing scientists who are Biblical creationists.”

Wieland: “That’s encouraging. Dr Humphreys, thank you very much.”

[Creation in the physics lab. Interview by Carl Wieland. Creation 15 (3):20–23. June 1993]

As usual with Humphreys, he does not show the calculations whereby he arrived at his published numbers. But creationists are used to being intellectually challenged by penetrating questions, such as Wieland nailing Humphreys with “That’s encouraging. Thank you.” Creationists call that peer review.

As you see, the number was “thousands” in 1981 and “ten thousand” by 1993. You will note that the increase is about one order of magnitude per decade– a point I will return to.

Clearly, if there are tens of thousands of creationist scientists, their achievements and discoveries must be uncountable. We can all agree, their achievements and discoveries really can’t be counted.

Now let’s check in with Republican presidential candidate Michele ‘Bug Eyes’ Bachmann.

Michele Bachmann, 2006: “There is a controversy among scientists about whether evolution is a fact or not… There are hundreds and hundreds of scientists, many of them holding Nobel Prizes, who believe in Intelligent Design. [Video Debate uploaded Oct. 12, 2006. See also: Top ten Michele Bachmann moments. The Week, October 27, 2009.]

On the one hand, it seems like the number’s gone down because it went from “ten thousand” to “hundreds and hundreds.” On the other hand, creationists have now been awarded huge numbers of Nobel Prizes! Hooray! They’ve actually been promoted! (It’s possible Bug Eyes was thinking of Chain and Gabor, who again, died 34 years ago.)

But wait, the number was clearly not “hundreds and hundreds” in 2006 because that same year, Kent Hovind gave a much better number.

Hovind, also known as “Dr. Dino” and Federal Prisoner #06452-17, is currently serving a federal prison term of ten years, but since he’s creationist, he thinks it’s six days. One of the most ethical and honest of all creationists, Hovind was convicted in federal court of 58 felonies, having destroyed records, threatened federal agents, structured bank transactions to evade reporting requirements, and while in jail conspired with his creationist son Eric Hovind (still not in jail!) to conceal property deeds and vehicle titles to prevent seizure of his property as payment for his massive debts. “Dr.” Hovind (he insists on the “Dr.”) got his Ph.D. from Patriot Bible University, a double-wide trailer in Del Norte, Colorado, which currently charges about $1,500 per doctorate. (The first line of his doctoral dissertation was, “Hello, my name is Kent Hovind”, one of its few sentences without a spelling error.)

Federal Prisoner #06452-017, 2006: “According to the Washington Times […] 55% – barely over half of the scientists – believe Darwinian evolution.” [Kent Hovind, Truth Radio 26 May 2006 @ 10:30 (Tape 1), cited at http://kent-hovind.com/quotes/evolution.htm%5D

Since the number of scientists is in many hundreds of thousands, and since Dr. Dino counts 45% of them as anti-Darwinist, that means that by 2006, there were hundreds of thousands of anti-Darwinist scientists.

For more current numbers, here is a recent writer of letters to an Oklahoma paper.

Joshua Ashwood, 2012: “Psalm 14:1 declares that fools say there is no God. The apostate Charles Darwin didn’t want to believe in God, so he devised the modern theory of evolution… So according to scripture, Darwin was a fool and all that subscribe to his anti-God theory are idiots. Should Christians listen to a pack of fools…? …Evolutionists are simply part of the wicked unbelieving world.

Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur and Henry Morris are but a few of the thousands of scientists who did and do believe that scientific evidence supports special creation, the earth’s young age, Noah’s flood, etc., instead of evolution. These men are genuine scientists every bit as much, if not more so, than evolutionary scientists.” [“Evolution Proves Ungodly Folly.” Joshua Ashwood. Muskogee Phoenix [OK]. October 4, 2012.]

Well, Louis Pasteur didn’t believe in a young Earth or Noah’s Flood. But what’s important is that, as the letter writer says, creationist Henry Morris, author of The Genesis Flood, is just as great a scientist as Isaac Newton or Louis Pasteur, even though Morris was a civil engineer who, in his entire life, never once invented an original hypothesis that was tested and confirmed by observation. Still we know he was a greater scientist than Charles Darwin or Alfred Russell Wallace or Watson and Crick or Marie Curie or Motoo Kimura or Tomoko Ohta or Jacques Monod or Jack Szostak, because engineer Morris believed dirt turned into the human genome by sorcery and dinosaurs were carried on Noah’s Ark, while those other punters rebelled against God.

The same year, conspiracist tabloid WorldNetDaily, Anders Breivik‘s favorite source of religious inspiration for kid-killin’, put the number at hundreds.

WorldNetDaily, 2012: “To put it simply – no Darwin, no Hitler,” said [Rev. D. James] Kennedy

All this [Holocaust] happened, said Kennedy, because of a set of theories based on “a crumbling scientific foundation.” As WND reported recently, hundreds of Ph.D. scientists are now stepping forward and publicly dissenting from Darwinian theory. [Stunning Darwin-led-to-Hitler video – $4.95 today only! WorldNetDaily. Jan. 17, 2012.]

If “hundreds” seems like a disappointment, fear not. You’ll recall that in 2012 physicists announced the discovery of the long-predicted Higgs Boson, causing creationists all over the Internet to explode into rage. This triumph of science made many creationists want to chew the face off the next physicist they saw, no doubt an arrogant atheist.

Physicist Sean Carroll presented himself for face-chewing. When Carroll released his book about the discovery of the Higgs boson, creationist “ChosenByGrace” wrote the following review. Here she blames the theory of evolution for America’s national debt, and says evolution and atheist physicists have enslaved Americans.

ChosenByGrace, 2012: “Sean Carroll is a typical atheist physicist who arrogantly disregards creationists to the point where he does not even acknowledge they exist… The liberal media and filled with money sapping money-obsessed morons, willing to indebt any generation of Americans into becoming slaves. It’s already happened, and Americans in general are all debt slaves because of atheism-theoretical-physics cultists like this, and the idiot atheists who worship delusional morons like this. This man won’t acknowledge theistic scientists let alone creationist ones… That is arrogant, a delusion of grandeur, bigoted, and “extremist” in the way liberals use it. It’s great he claims that “you can do good science” despite believing in God… but why did he then… not acknowledge the millions of scientists who say the reason the universe exists is because God willed it? This is what happens when you care more about money… than having truth.” [Amazon Review of Sean Carroll’s Particle at the End of the Universe, by Chosenbygrace Notworks “eternian.wordpress.c0m”, Nov. 13, 2012.]

So there you go, there are now millions of creationist scientists. Now that’s a growing number! But just how fast are they increasing?

Is There a Trend in the Claimed Numbers of Creationists?

Let’s see if we can spot a trend in the above claimed numbers.

1963: creationists in the low tens, according to historian Numbers.

1972: creationists in the “hundreds or thousands“, according to Henry Morris.

1982: definitely thousands” of creationist scientists, according to Henry Morris.

1993: ten thousand in the USA, perhaps tens of thousands worldwide, according to Russell Humphreys.

2006: Hundreds of thousands, according to Kent Hovind.

2012: “Millions” according to “ChosenByGrace Notworks.”

There’s a clear pattern: the number of claimed creationist scientists increases by one order of magnitude per decade.

If this trend continues, that means that by the year 2072, there should be two trillion creationists. Their bodies will, very quickly, form a sphere larger than the planet Earth.

By the year 2492 creationists will number 2 x 10^52. Let us assume each creationist can be fit into a volume of one cubic meter, folded up tight. By 2492 they will form a man-sphere 26 light-years in radius, expanding outward at the speed of light.

Clearly it is time for us evolutionists to admit defeat.

Maybe there are “Fewer and Fewer” Creationists? Nooo!

But if creationists have already won– if evolutionary theory is already dead, as they have claimed again and again for more than 100 years– how can they claim to be victimized by the establishment? How can they claim they are martyrs? And why should we donate money to their ministries if they already won the debate?

Well, the answer is that when they need to be martyrs and victimized, there isn’t “a growing number” of creationists after all, when it’s necessary to raise a suitable alarm. Consider this 2011 warning siren from ICR about “a growing number” of evolutionists:

Ford, Lawrence E. 2011: “[M]ost scientists today refuse to acknowledge… the overwhelming evidence of design in the world around us points to any kind of Designer…

…[T]wo or three decades ago there were dozens of private Christian colleges that maintained a biblical doctrine of creation. Today, only a handful have resisted compromise.

Evangelical seminaries today are filled with professors who… train pastors that it’s okay to teach evolutionary ideas… placing science over Scripture

That a majority of the science establishmentmost of them atheists—-believes these evolutionary ideas does not provide a sound basis for Christian doctrine. And yet, a growing number of Christians are content to allow atheistic, naturalistic ideas and people to govern their view of the Bible…” [Ford, Lawrence E. 2011. Confronting Evolutionary Ideas. Acts & Facts (ICR). 40 (1): 4-5]

That’s not the kind of “growing number” they claimed before.

Here is the blog “Naturalis Historia”, very sympathetic to creationism, which commits the sin of trying to keep track by name of how many creationists there actually are. “Natural Historian” asks: How many Ph.D.’s do creationists really have doing research?

[Natural Historian, 2012]: “…where are the future generations of creation scientists? …Answers in Genesis has had some younger hires in the last decade some of were fairly fresh PhDs… but at AIG their time is spent giving talks and writing newsletter articles rather than doing any scientific research. They filter news stories and form creationists responses… but they aren’t generating new data or… creating a positive testable scientific paradigm.

Creation Ministries International (CMI) has a couple of PhD scientists on staff that received their degrees within the past 20 years… The Institute for Creation Research (ICR) has two legitimate younger PhD scientists ([Glen] Jeanson [sic] and [Jason] Lisle) both of which [sic] are actively engaged in some research and writing…

ICR [Institute for Creation Resarch] had a graduate school offering degrees in biology and geology for at least 15 years. Part of the goal of this graduate school was to train the next generation of creation scientists. Where did they all go? …I have found fewer than five creationist scientists on the payrolls of organizations today that list a graduate degree by ICR in their educational background.

I have to believe that when Henry Morris formed ICR he envisioned hundreds of scientists today actively applying the creation model to the historical sciences not just mouthing support for it. That… obviously hasn’t happened despite the proliferation of creation science organizations…

Creationists list hundreds of PhD scientists who are creation scientists but this is not the same as saying there are hundreds of creation scientists doing creation science. The majority of these PhD scientists are simply scientists who are Christians and believe in the cause of creation science and most are likely not even familiar with the evidence for creation science.

… for a movement that claims the evidence is overwhelming for a young earth and with 30 solid years of training and recruiting… the response has been rather underwhelming.”

[“The Next Generation of Creation Scientists?”, Natural Historian, Naturalis Historia (Blog), Oct. 28, 2012]

Now why is this heretic getting numbers that we know must be wrong? Welll, Henry Morris warned us very clearly back in 1982 that “it would not be appropriate to try at this point to [give the names] for [creationist] scientists who are still living.” It’s not appropriate to actually keep track of living creationists by name and count them by name. If you do that, you’ll get numbers which are not thousands nor millions! Henry Morris clearly said that was not allowed, why don’t people listen!?

How Much Research Do Creationists Really Publish?

OK, so they have very few Ph.D.s. But maybe those few make a lot of discoveries and inventions and publish a lot of original research. How many research articles do creationists publish? Are there “more and more”?

[Natural Historian, 2012]: “There are three main research journals that publish creation science articles… So who is writing for these journals?… I went through all the issues of theses journals from 2011. Here are quick back of the envelope calculations:

2011: 60 Total Publications by 29 Authors

Creation Research Science Quarterly (CRSQ) – 15 articles by 9 total authors

Journal of Creation – 29 articles by 15 authors

Answers Research Journal – 16 articles by 12 authors

That would be 60 total publications by 29 authors. It is only 29 authors because several not only published multiple articles in a single journal but also published in at least two of the three journals.

Three of these authors (Joubert, 10; Bergman, 8; and Oard, 6) provided for 18 of the 60 or almost 1/3 of all primary creation science publications in 2011!

The CRSQ has been around since 1965… Going back 15 years to 1996 I count 25 total articles by 14 authors with five of those (more than 1/3) being the same authors as published in 2011. Going back to the 1970s and 1980s the journal regularly published 20-30 articles per year though typically by less than 50% that many authors. The trend has been toward fewer articles by even fewer authors.

Sampling the last 20 years it appears that Reed, Oard, Bergman and Froede are responsible for up to 25% of all the publications… it is really remarkable how many active writers in the 1980s are still publishing articles after 2010.

There is a new creationist organization called Logos Research Associates… Cross referencing against researchers listed by the [CRS] and by the their profiles at Logos RAs I estimate at least 3/4 of the individuals are more than 50 years old and 1/2 probably more than 60.

…ICR and AIG… I am sure would love to hire more real Ph.D scientists to bolster this positions. If anyone can agree with Ken Ham about the specifics of the creation account there should be a job there for them.

…only 60 research articles in 2011 don’t tell the whole story. Of those [60] a good portion involve analysis of theological concerns rather than scientific. Many of the scientific articles are not based on new data collected but are more like commentaries and speculations… Very few actually propose hypotheses for which new data is collected and analyses to test those hypotheses…

…a 50 year old hypothesis if it were great at explaining the features of the earth’s land-forms it should be attracting a much greater professional following yet the average age of the intellectual drivers of the creationists movement is going up year after year.”

[“The State of Creation Science as Measured by Scholarly Publishing”, Natural Historian, Naturalis Historia (Blog), Nov. 3, 2012]

What’s that? Four authors, some of whom are certainly not scientists (Jerry Bergman insists he is, but he has never published scientific research) are responsible for one-quarter to one-third of all creationist articles on Earth in the last 20 years? More than half are over 60 years of age?

But, what about Intelligent Design? Those people state clearly they’re real scientists, not creationists, and praise themselves and each other as “highly-educated.” Surely they’ve got some cuttin’ edge research… right?

While creationists have three journals to themselves, ID proponents have just one, Bio-Complexity, their flagship (and really only) journal. Mathematician Jeff Shallit runs the numbers on their cuttin’ edge research, keeping track of its authors (and editors, usually the same people.)

[Jeff Shallit, 2012]: “…pseudoscience is sterile: the ideas, such as they are, lead to no new insights, suggest no experiments, and are espoused by single crackpots or a small community of like-minded ideologues…

Here is a perfect example of this sterility: Bio-Complexity, the flagship journal of the intelligent design movement. As 2012 draws to a close, the 2012 volume contains exactly two research articles, one “critical review” and one “critical focus”, for a grand total of four items. The editorial board has 30 members; they must be kept very busy handling all those papers. (Another intelligent design journal, Progress in Complexity, Information, and Design, hasn’t had a new issue since 2005.)

By contrast, the journal Evolution has ten times more research articles in a single issue (one of 12 so far in 2012). And this is just a single journal where evolutionary biology research is published; there are many others.

But that’s not the most hopeless part. Of the four contributions to Bio-Complexity in 2012, three have authors that are either the Editor in Chief (sic), the Managing Editor, or members of the editorial board of the journal. Only one article, the one by Fernando Castro-Chavez, has no author in the subset of the people running the journal. And that one is utter bilge, written by someone who believes that “the 64 codons [of DNA are] represented since at least 4,000 years ago and preserved by China in the I Ching or Book of Changes or Mutations”.

Intelligent design advocates have been telling us for years that intelligent design would transform science and generate new research paradigms. They lied.

[The Sterility of Intelligent Design”. Jeff Shallit. Recursivity (Blog). December 09, 2012]

To sum up, in the year 2011, Young Earth creationists published 60 articles, and most of
them were not even scientific research. In 2012, ID proponents published four articles and only half were research. Let’s be generous and say 64 articles for Young Earth and ID creationism combined.

For comparison, how much research is published on evolution? Les Lane ran the numbers on how many published science articles have “evolution” as a keyword in the Science Citation Index (online). He shows that in 2011, there were 43,903 such articles, and the next year, that increased by 5,214. Thus, the year-over-year increase in articles published on evolution is 7,147% larger than the total number of articles published on creationism and Intelligent Design combined— and most of the creationist articles, and half the ID articles, are not real research, but apologetics, theology, and social commentary.

Number of Articles on Evolution Published Per Year- Graph.w650

Back in 1991, there were 12,008 articles on evolution, and by 2012, there were 49,117 articles, a 309% increase in 21 years, and an average increase in evolution-based articles of 8% per year.

But still, creationists did have 64 articles about science, right? Sciencey science, and that means creationists are real scientists, and that means there’s a controversy, and we must ‘teach the controversy.’ In order to see how sciencey creation science is, let’s look at a recent [2013] article in Answers Research Journal, the flagship journal of Answers in Genesis, which Ken Ham announced with great fanfare as a ‘peer-reviewed scientific research journal’.

Simon Turpin, 2013: “This paper will demonstrate that human physical and spiritual death, together with the death of animals, came about through the disobedience of one man by examining nine key [Bible] passages: Genesis 1, 2, and 3; Acts 3:21; Romans 5:12–21; 8:19–22; 1 Corinthians 15:22–55; Colossians 1:15–21 and Revelation 21–22…

There are three lines of evidence in Genesis 1 that rule out the possibility of any kind of death or disease before Adam’s disobedience: the length of the days of creation, the vegetarian diet prescribed to man and animals in Genesis 1:29–30, and God’s declaration that His completed creation was very good.” [“Did Death of Any Kind Exist Before the Fall?”, Simon Turpin, Answers Research Journal 6 (2013): 99 –116.]

There you go: creationists do have cuttin’ edge scientific research, it’s just that their research is uh, Bible reading, but it’s real cuttin’ edge Bible reading.

A Message from 1905

I will finish with the Nazi philosopher Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Adolf Hitler’s mentor and a fierce anti-Darwinist, writing in 1905. In his own time he saw “the English sickness”, evolution, being “shaken off” for good.

Houston S. Chamberlain, 1905: “If we might not say that this craze [Darwinism] is only the last belated straggler of romanticism and Hegelism in alliance with flat English utilitarianism, and that a hundred years will not have passed before it will be judged as men to-day judge alchemy, … if we did not see around us … an energetic shaking off of this “English sickness”, as the Zoologist Friedrich Dreyer called it in a happy phrase, we might abandon all hope of a future for Science and culture.” [Houston S. Chamberlain, Immanuel Kant (1905), Vol. II, Chapter 6 “Plato”, p. 129]

Yes, clearly, evolutionary theory will be treated as a laugh, a joke– like alchemy! ha ha!– one hundred years after Chamberlain wrote that, which would have been… 2005.

“More and more” scientists are abandoning evolution. “An increasing number” are embracing creationism. There are so many of them– so many.

Let’s not ask what they’ve achieved, all those hundreds and thousands and millions of creationist scientists. Let’s not tot up all that they’ve discovered. Since there are millions of them, they must have made millions of discoveries and millions of inventions. It must be incalculable. Literally.

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Discovery Institute Face-Plants at FaceBook

For the last week or two, a huge knock-down drag-out Internet free-for-all has erupted between scientists, science writers and Intelligent Design creationists that has spread across several blogs, ID creationist websites, and FaceBook, where the IDologues banned several critics (including myself) from commenting on their page. Commenters at Facebook effectively exposed the dishonesty of the scientific “facts” made up and published by the creationists, so they got banned. Since the purges at FB, the ID creationists have retreated behind the wall of their totalitarian blog-state “Evolution News & Views” where comments are verboten, whence they continue to hurl an endless series of ad hominem attacks, safe from fear of exposure by the sort of pesky scientific facts that would certainly appear in a free comment zone, if creationists ever again permitted free comments.

The initial topic this free-for-all were the claims made in a recently published ID creationist booklet called “Science and Human Origins” which claims to be able to prove that all human beings could have descended from just Adam and Eve, who were not descended from any simpler creatures but “designed separately”– a euphemism meaning “created supernaturally.” Thus, ID has taken an explicitly creationist position. Previously, ID proponents had often pretended that ID was not creationism because, supposedly, in their definition of ID, they asserted “Creationism typically starts with a religious text”. But the new ID book drops the facade and promotes Adam and Eve directly, with chapter titles like “The Science of Adam and Eve.” What’s next– the Geology of Noahs’ Flood, or the Neurology of Balaam’s Talking Donkey?

The book was written by Casey Luskin, a creationist lawyer, and Douglas Axe and Ann Gauger. Axe and Gauger work for the Biologic Institute, the allegedly “experimental” arm of the pro-ID Discovery Institute, though its published experimental output has been modest by the standards of molecular biology labs. Axe and Gauger have modest publishing records, but can actually do simple molecular biology experiments, comparable to what would have been adequate in the 1980’s, although to their target audience it looks like gee-whiz cuttin’ edge science. (The creationist audience, frankly, is impressed by making hydrogen burn, if a fellow creationist lights the match.)

At first the creationists of the DI were furious that no evolutionist paid attention to their new book. Waah! Then they were furious because they got what they asked for: an evolutionist reviewed their book. Waah! Paul McBride, a blogger and grad. student in genetics in New Zealand, published a detailed five-part review of the new book, effectively trashing it by comparing it to scientific facts.

The creationists went ape-shit when they got what they asked for– attention. Denyse O’Leary, the “journalist” who blogs as “News” at Uncommon Descent, implied that McBride was lying about Gauger’s genetical arguments:

If the girl [Ann Gauger] is making some sense, they [McBride] have to make up something she didn’t say, so they don’t have to address what she did say. [O’Leary at UD]

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe “the girl” is pushing 60. Of course, O’Leary did not bother to read McBride’s review before criticizing it.

At “Evolution News and Views”, they unleased the Klinghoffer. David Klinghoffer is a mad non-scientist whose modus operandi is all ad hominems, all the time, and who (like most posters at ENV) never permits free comments that might cause him to be confronted with pesky facts.

Case in point here: Klinghoffer sneeringly calls McBride “Darwinist Hero of the Hour” without fear of contradiction. Then he insinuates the young reviewer never read the book:

“…scientists at reputable universities, shy from actually reading [ID] material… At best, they’ll find someone else who claims to have read it and rely on his say-so…” [Klinghoffer, emphasis added]

Riight. Klinghoffer uses innuendo to suggest McBride only claimed to have read the book that McBride dissected in a five-part review that is 1/3 as long as the book itself. But the real Klinghoffer art, the genius, comes out here:

The reviewer, Paul McBride, writes about the book at his blog that no one before ever heard of…Together they [scientists] lift up the hitherto obscure McBride on their shoulders… [Klinghoffer, links in original]

I see what you did there! To get to McBride’s blog, you have to click on the hyperlinked phrase “no one before ever heard of”. Now that’s classy– that’s the real Klinghoffer art.

Who needs a science degree when you have a doctorate in asshole?

Next he unleashes his inner Hans Landa:

“I find this suspicious.”

I find zees zuspishus! Achtung! Stormtroopers, fire ze machine guns into ze floorboardz!

“They seem to be afraid of directly confronting ID arguments. Why would that be?”

Hm. Creationists like the DK seem to be afraid of confronting McBride’s review. Why would that be?

Again: all of that DK’s posts and most posts at ENV forbid comments. Consequently, Klinghoffer can, and does, write post after post that consist of nothing but infantile ad hominems, science-free, and need never be confronted with pesky contradicting facts.

(So what does McBride say that scares them so much? McBride highlighted critical scientific problems with every major claim made in the book, all of which were invalid. Briefly: there are huge numbers of studies of human genetic diversity that refute
the creationist claims; there is just far too much genetic diversity among humans to permit us all to be descended from only Adam and Eve, even in the last 4 million years; and, as for the fossil record, creationist Luskin labored mightily to re-bury some transitional fossils, at least– yet they keep poking annoyingly out of the ground. Some of the flaws McBride found in their work were disputed by Ann Gauger here and by Doug Axe here. McBride’s response was that their responses do not address the facts that nullify their assertions.)

What Would Happen If Creationists Permitted Comments?

When the FaceBook page for the Biologic Institute made the mistake of opening comments, chaos broke loose. It is rare for any evolutionists to get a chance to directly confront creationists or IDologues anywhere on the Internet– almost all creationist and ID websites have essentially closed comment policies. So many evolutionists are just itching to take a whack at them.

Thus at the BI’s Facebook post, which pointed to Klinghoffer’s promotion of Luskin et al.’s book, evolutionists began posting right in their faces comments full of pesky scientific facts that challenged Luskin’s quote mining and fact-inventing.

Beware actually reading this Facebook thread now– many commenters (including myself) were banned and all their comments deleted, so some of the back-and-forth now appears incoherent.

The remnants still there begin with a back-and-forth in which an anonymous moderator identified only as “Biologic Institute” loses very badly in an argument over the fossil record against evolutionist Nick Matzke. The creationist “Biologic Institute” tries to argue that there are gaps in the hominid fossil record, by quote-mining paleoanthropologist John Hawks from 2000.

Matzke smacks him down by citing the very scientist that “BI” himself cited as an authority– John Hawks– who says that genus Homo could be a direct descendent of Australopithecus, and Matzke conveniently gives us a link to Hawks’ webpage on Homo habilis.

Losing badly infuriates the creationist “Biologic Institute”, so he or she threatens to squash all discussion and run away.

BI: And you [Matzke] haven’t given any evidence for your story either. “could well be due to” is not evidence. I am closing this discussion because we are talking past each other. Our responses will be posted separately at http://www.biologicinstitute.org.

Mathematician Jeff Shallit shows up to kvetch.

Shallit: You’re closing the discussion because you’re losing the argument badly, it seems to me.

BI: No, it’s because I have other work to do, and these comments will be addressed in the other forum.

Shallit: …where comments are not allowed.

[BI Facebook page]

Ooh snap!

It was at about this moment above– when “Biologic Institute” was threatening to silence all discussion– that Carl Zimmer, a science writer and author of Parasite Rex, wandered onto the BI’s facebook page to ask this very easy, very simple question, in a seemingly harmless comment, that would send the ID train completely off the rails.

Biologic Institute vs. Zimmer: Can A Brother Get A Reference?

It was a very simple, very simple, easy, small, seemingly harmless, non-technical question that finally made all ID creationists everywhere go berserk.

Backstory: Carl Zimmer had been puzzled by a post at ENV by Klinghoffer, with the spooky, ooga booga title “A Veil is Drawn Over Our Origin as Human Beings.” Wooooo! That’s the kind of great old pseudo-science ooga booga, like “Ancient Aliens” or “In Search Of”, real “Bermuda Triangle”, old school 1970’s ooga booga.

(Of course, scientifically, saying “A Veil is Drawn Over Our Origin as Human Beings” is like looking at a tree lying on its side in the forest and saying “A Veil is Drawn Over The Cause of the Tree’s Horizontal Posture.”)

Here DK is flogging Luskin et al.’s book, and he presents as a key argument of the book, their claims about human chromosome 2. Fact: humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes, several ape species have 24 pairs. Why? If humans evolved from apes, the simplest scenario is that two ape chromosomes got fused end to end.

Fact: human chromosome 2 looks coarsely like two ape chromosomes, fused end to end. Human chromosome 2 has two parts: one part has genes that are homologous with
those on ape chromosomes 2a, arranged in the same order [synteny]
as the ape chromosome 2a; and its second part has genes that are homologous with
those on ape chromosomes 2b, syntenic [in the same order] with 2b. Normal chromosomes are capped with repeating DNA elements called telomeres, and human chromosome 2 has extra telomeric repeats in the middle, between the 2a-like-part and the 2b-like-part, where a fusion would have occurred if they were fused.

Evolutionists point to that as a testable prediction for evolutionary theory: if humans and apes are descended from common ancestors, and if the number of chromosome pairs differs by 1, there should be one human chromosome looking like a fusion of 2 ape chromosomes.

But Klinghoffer disputes this: instead of acknowledging that chromosomal structure supports the evolutionary interpretation, he instead insists the evidence contradicts it. We must be clear on what that DK wrote because the creationists try to take it back later, when it got challenged. DK wrote:

“But the idea of such an event [chromosome 2 fusion] having occurred at all is itself far from sure. The telomeric DNA parked in the middle of chromosome 2 is not a unique phenomenon… there’s much less of it than you would expect from the amalgamation of two telomeres. Finally, it appears in a “degenerate,” “highly diverged” form that should not be the case if the joining happened in the recent past, circa 6 million years ago, as the Darwinian interpretation holds.[Klinghoffer at ENV]

Let us be clear that DK’s two points are:

1. The evidence is against the “Darwinian interpretation” that chromosome fusion happened, and
2. Thus it is “far from sure” that chromosome 2 fusion ever happened.

Both points would be silently revised later when the creationists were challenged.

Seeing that crap, Carl Zimmer wants to know where the words that DK put in quotes, “degenerate,” “highly diverged”, came from. But Klinghoffer’s posts, like most at ENV, forbid comments.

So Zimmer posts his question at the BI’s Facebook page, right at the moment when the moderator “BI” was threatening to ban all further comments.

Zimmer asked where the words “degenerate” and “highly diverged” came from. Who wrote them? Simple question, right? Who wrote those words. It’s not something hard, like explain who created the Intelligent Designer. It’s easy. Where did you get those words from?

Ironically, Zimmer’s original comment asking this question, like many others, was deleted by the Biologic Institute, so you can’t see it at their FB page now. Continuing with that thread:

Bob Bennett: “they plan to shut down the thread” is pretty much the main rhetorical strategy of ID I’ve noticed

BI: Nick, this is not the place for a substantive discussion. But we are open to have the discussion in another arena… many of your criticisms will be addressed in up-coming posts at Biologic’s website and Evolution News and Views…

Zimmer: Where is a place for substantive discussion? You presented a link above to a site [Biologic Institute] that has no comment thread. The writer there [Klinghoffer] makes all sorts of puzzling claims with no evidence. For example, he claims that DNA that is evidence for chromosome fusion “appears in a ‘degenerate,’ ‘highly diverged’ form that should not be the case if the joining happened in the recent past, circa 6 million years ago, as the Darwinian interpretation holds.” Where is the scientific evidence for this? Or is this merely the opinion of the author? If we can’t ask these questions at the site you linked to, then why can’t we find out here?
[BI Facebook page]

The “Biologic Institute” responds by saying the evidence is in the book, and that CZ should buy the book. This exasperates CZ, who points out that such an easy question, regarding references, can be easily and quickly answered, without the need to buy a whole book.

(The book was published by Biologic Institute Press, apparently their in-house publisher, so they’re getting the profits from the sales.)

Zimmer also points out that when people ask him simple, easy questions about the many books he wrote, he just answers the question, without demanding people buy the book. So CZ pleads and begs, but no one at the Discovery Institute will describe the origin of the words they quoted about chromosome 2. CZ tries to shame them into telling him their source: he gets evasion and changing the subject.

Thus the evolutionist Paul McBride, who wrote the 5-part review of the book, looks up the citation and posts a comment with the citation in it, thus finally answering Zimmer’s question.

Can you guess what happens next? “Biologic Institute” deleted McBride’s comment that had the answer to the question in it. The presumed reason is that they set a 100-word limit on comments– just short enough to prevent substantive science from getting in the way.

Our story so far: the Discovery Institute refuses to answer simple, easy questions about the origin of the “facts” claimed in their books. If  an evolutionist answers the question, creationists delete that answer.

The creationist response grew increasingly surreal. Klinghoffer showed up, challenging Zimmer to debate the authors about the “facts” in the book whose origin or source no one at the DI could specify. Zimmer declined to debate about their “facts” of unspecified origin; CZ just wanted to know where the “facts” came from.

So I posted a comment at their Facebook page saying that I would debate them in Zimmer’s stead, on two conditions:

1. All posts at “Evolution News & Views” will be open to comments forevermore. Freedom!

2. No word length limit.

I got this response: <crickets>

(The comment in which I offered to debate the creationists would later be deleted when they banned me.)

Predictably, that DK went off to the ENV website to crow victory: creationists had defeated evolutionists, because they challenged Zimmer to a debate and he turned them down. That proves evolutionists are cowards who run away from debates. Klinghoffer never mentioned me, and still didn’t post the citation Zimmer originally asked for.

Of course, brave DK wrote this courageously at the ENV website which bravely forbids all comments, due to their sheer terror of scientific facts. So the Discovery Institute is metaphorically hurling random shit-balls over the top of a wall.

The creationists at “Biologic Institute” made several accusations that none of the critics had read the book. So I read the book– right there on Facebook– and right on their own Facebook page, I wrote a detailed review of Chapter 4 (the chapter about chromosomal fusion and genetics) complete with scientific references and citations– all that in perhaps ~100 comments, each less than 100 words (because the DI enforced a 100-word limit on evolutionist comments.)

Klinghoffer then posted at ENV announcing that still no “Darwinists” had read Luskin’s book, except McBride, so all “Darwinists” were criticizing that which they had not read. He wrote that after I had demolished every page in chapter 4, dissecting Luskin’s “figures” and citations, logic, etc. That DK implicitly accused me of having not read the book, from which I had provided page numbers, Luskin quotes, etc. and posted them on their own FB page.

Instead the Biologic Institute banned me from their Facebook, and deleted all my comments with scientific references and citations. (I saved them to my own files.) They banned several other people, including Doc Bill and Rando.

When I first got banned, no reason was given. When other commenters complained, they gave the reason that I was “uncivil.”

Biologic Institue: “Insults are removed. Not genuine, civil discussion on the scientific argument. BTW, all posts over 100 words are deleted, friendly or unfriendly.”

Really? Let’s take a look at my last comment before they banned me, and you be the judge whether I was “uncivil.” I was satirizing Klinghoffer’s “A Veil Is Drawn” ooga booga post at ENV.

“A veil is drawn across the origin of the “facts” claimed by Luskin, Axe & Gauger in their book. From what source did the “facts” claimed by Intelligent Design proponents originate? Mankind may never know.”

Guess they can’t handle satire, so they banned me, and deleted all my comments. The trouble here is that for creationists, facts are “uncivil.”

At this point I began to suspect that “Biologic Institute” was in fact David Klinghoffer.

ID proponents consider facts to be insults (which I guess they are in a way, because actual facts reveal how mendacious they are with the quote mines and dishonest paraphrases of sources), and they consider insults to be facts, which is why so many of their posts consist of nothing but ad hominems: as we see in the many posts of Klinghoffer, Denyse O’Leary and Cornelius Hunter.

And now, Cornelius Hunter. Creationist Dr. Cornelius got into the “Zimmer asked a question– attack him!” bandwagon, accusing Zimmer of being a liar and criminal, in a blog post called “Carl Zimmer Doubles Down on Chromosome Two Lies and Misdemeanors.” It is an execrable piece of writing, devoid of science, like much from Dr. Cornelius.

Zimmer asked a simple question which no creationist dared answer. Dr. Cornelius dared not answer Zimmer’s simple, simple question. Klinghoffer’s and Luskin’s sources must be concealed, no matter what. Dr. Cornelius durst not reveal their sources. They’re like King Solomon’s diamond mines.

Instead, Dr. Cornlius accuses Zimmer of lying because

“…he [Zimmer] demanded that skeptics of the chromosome two argument show why the evolutionary fusion hypothesis is not possible…Of course no such claim was made.” [Cornelius Hunter]

Bullshit, Dr. Cornelius. Here’s what Klinghoffer wrote:

“…there’s much less of [telomeric DNA in the middle of chromosome 2] than you would expect from the amalgamation of two telomeres. Finally, it appears in a “degenerate,” “highly diverged” form that should not be the case if the joining happened in the recent past, circa 6 million years ago, as the Darwinian interpretation holds.[Klinghoffer at ENV]

Klinghoffer clearly states that the evidence means chromosomal fusion could not have happened –not that chromosomal fusions never happen, but that it could not have happened in chromosome 2 in the last 6 million years– because 1. there is not enough telomeric DNA, and 2. because it is supposedly “degenerate” and “highly diverged.” Klinghoffer says the evidence precludes chromosomal fusion.

Such a claim was made, and Dr. Cornelius is bullshitting his audience again. (To give Dr. Cornelius credit, he’s the only ID proponent with an open commenting policy, unlike all the other Stalinists.) The rest of Dr. Cornelius’ long, dreary post had no science in it– just the usual psychoanalysis, where Dr. Cornelius changes the subject from genetics (inconvenient for them!) to armchair psychoanalysis of the motivations of those darn atheist Darwinists. Intelligent Design is not a competitor of Darwinism, it’s a competitor of Freudianism– call it Fraudian psychoanalysis. Impugning people’s motives they can do. Copy a citation? Nah.

Five days of insults, accusations and personal attacks were directed at Zimmer, and people were banned and comments were deleted left and right, but no creationist would reveal Luskin’s sources!

Finally Klinghoffer (indirectly) revealed Luskin’s sources. He copied into a post at ENV about one page from Luskin et al.’s book, which indirectly referenced Luskin’s sources (no bibiliography page, alas).This was enough for Zimmer to deduce them.

Thus Zimmer was finally able to compare what the sources said to what Luskin and Klinghoffer said they said. And now we see why their sources had to be concealed like King Solomon’s diamond mines.

In a long and marvelous blog post, Zimmer showed Luskin’s sources on the chromosome 2 telomeric repeats do not say what Luskin said they say. Luskin’s dishonesty was frankly exposed… certainly not the first time.

Luskin’s worst tricks involve his misrepresentation of this 2002 paper by Yuxin Fan et al. Luskin presents the paper as having evidence against the fusion of human chromosome 2 in the eyes of its authors, when the authors in fact present evidence pointing to the opposite conclusion. Luskin employs several tricks to misrepresent Yuxin Fan et al., but I will direct you to Carl Zimmer’s blog post which exposes Luskin’s dishonesty quite neatly.

I will add this to Zimmer’s points: Luskin cites Fairbanks’ book Relics of Eden, which in fact says

“Of the 158 [telomeric] repeats, 44 are perfect copies of TTAGG or CCTAA. In most cases, the remaining repeats differ from the standard sequence by no more than one or two base pairs.”

But Luskin in his book writes this as:

As evolutionary biologist Daniel Fairbanks admits, the location only has 158 repeats, and only “44 are perfect copies” of the sequence. [Luskin et al., Science and Human Origins, pp. 95-96, emphasis added]

Note how cunningly Luskin inserts his word “only”, not in the original, to imply that this number is too low, thus challenging evolution. His source did not say 44 is too low– this is Luskin’s invention.

There are many other tricks employed by the quote miner, neatly dispatched by Zimmer above.

Of course the creationists did not admit defeat. Au contraire, Luskin doubled down. He attempted to defend his quote-mining in this response to Zimmer, where he digs himself in a deeper hole– adding more examples to the list of his dishonest paraphrases of sources, again claiming they said things they did not say.

At Carl Zimmer’s blog I wrote a long comment dissecting Luskin’s doubling down on dishonest quote mines in Luskin’s latest response.


Complete victory for science and reason. Defeat, humiliation and ingnominy for the forces of superstition and endarkelment. Shame on you– shame. Let us now assign credit to the heroes.

First, Paul McBride for writing a detailed review of Luskin’s book.

Second, Carl Zimmer for looking up Luskin’s and Klinghoffer’s sources and comparing the sources to their words thus exposing their dishonesty.

Third, Nick Matzke for kicking the tail of “Biologic Institute” so badly that they threatened to silence all discussion.

Let us assign ignominy to the hissable villains.

First, Casey Luskin. It is exhausting to battle his life-long addiction to quote mines. It is time for his family to arrange an intervention, to sit him down and say, “Casey, this has gone on for years. You must stop quote mining. You must go cold turkey. Just stop.

Casey, do you think dishonest quote mining leads to new scientific discoveries? Can you cure diseases with your quote mines?

Second, David Klinghoffer, who defends quote mining, blames Darwin for Christian evils like Nazism and slavery, and has nothing to offer but ad hominems, while never permitting comments on his posts. It isn’t just that he has nothing to offer but ad hominems– it’s that he accuses scientists of cowardice and of running from a fight— while Klinghoffer himself never permits comments on his posts. Scientists would love to take a whack at that DK if he ever opened comments. He just throws random shit-balls over the wall while hiding at ENV. This is cowardly behavior. Klinghoffer is the ultimate juvenile feline.

Third, Cornelius Hunter. His blog posts are science-free; now they’re just about armchair psychoanalysis. He didn’t even read Klinghoffer’s post before defending it.

Without ad hominems and quote mines, creationist ID proponents have nothing. Nothing.

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Creationists Gone Wild! Sex Slavery and Cocaine Cult Leads Fight Against Darwin!

Creationists have always done and said bizarre things, but the true story behind today’s “Creationists Gone Wild” post is almost bottomless in its weirdness– combining sex on videotape, extortion, Holocaust denial, evolution denial, anti-Semitism, beautiful models, plans for global conquest, cocaine and designer fashion. In the Lamp’s previous post, we added a brief update mentioning the sex slavery and cult behavior practiced by a major creationist organization, but this infinitely weird story has many more levels of weirdness needing exploration. So we’re off to Turkey, where an extremist Islamic sex-slavery cult has been instructed in person by American Christian creationists in their most effective fundamentalist techniques for marketing religious fanaticism.

And now we bring you…

Creationists Gone Wild! The Turkish Edition.

Christian fundamentalists in the US are now so effective at marketing superstition that American creationists are exporting religious fanaticism to the Muslim world. American creationists helped Islamists duplicate their anti-evolution pseudoscience, Darwin-Hitler comparison nonsense, and conspiracy theorizing. Yes, the way KFC in Beijing uses the same “secret herbs-n-spices” recipe as the KFC in New York. Except, less chicken, more Hitler.

Oh, and the Turkish creationist franchise is run by a cult leader with a yacht, sex slaves, cocaine, and the absolute power of Internet censorship over evolutionary scientists.

This story has been told in bits and pieces in many diverse sources. I’ll try to summarize in one place the very strange, but true, story of Harun Yahya, the BAV and the Institute for Creation Research: the coerced sex on videotape, the draconian Internet censorship–and of course, the loony assertions that Darwin inspired Hitler [1,38] (coming from, who else, anti-Semitic haters and Holocaust deniers, naturally.)

The Turkish anti-evolution organization called the BAV was founded in 1991 by Adnan Oktar, whose pen name is Harun Yahya, and who has the status of a major public “intellectual” in Turkey [9]. He became infamous in the West in 2006 when he sent copies of a huge book, The Atlas of Creation, to thousands of universities and academics around the world–a tome filled with beautiful illustrations and hilariously stupid creationist arguments claiming to disprove evolution [2,33,34]. The book was presumably very expensive to print, yet given away in vast quantities for free, the sources of funding still mysterious.

His status as a cult leader and the sex slaves/concubines were not widely known at that time (but his intense anti-Semitism has been widely known since the 1980’s and 90’s.) Anyway, the story gets exponentially weirder from there.

The story of Oktar/Yahya, the BAV and the ICR underlines how Intelligent Design proponents and creationists rush to help any conspiracy theorist or criminal, as long as said criminal is anti-evolution. Even if he is an Islamic extremist already convicted of trying to undermine the secular government of a NATO ally; even if he is literally plotting to put half of Eurasia under Islamic rule and Sharia law [5]. For anti-evolutionists, anything is better than the hated “secularist cult”, anything– even Islamist extremism. Prepare yourself for the wet French kiss of irony!

Franchising Fanaticism: US Creationists Travel to Turkey to Instruct Islamists in Marketing Religious Fanaticism

Turkish creationism did not evolve independently, but was directly assisted and influenced by prominent American creationists, who traveled abroad to instruct Islamists in the best Christian techniques for marketing religious fanaticism.

In Turkey, a NATO ally of the United States, the traditionally secular government is far more vulnerable than in America, and religious extremism is far more dangerous.

Turkey has been a secular republic since 1923, but in the 1980’s the military government introduced more religious education, in an attempt to counterbalance feared left-wing influence. This included compulsory religious education and a conservative version of history taught in public schools [11]. The government sponsored translation and distribution of American anti-evolution books from the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), such as the state-sponsored translation in 1985 of Scientific Creationism by Henry M. Morris. Morris was the founder of ICR, and is often called the father of the modern creationist movement [9].

Enter Adnan Oktar, who writes under the pseudonym Harun Yahya. Since a stint in a mental hospital in the 1980’s, he had been building around himself a cult based on Islamic fundamentalism, anti-Semitic hatred and constant conspiracy theorizing about Jews and Freemasons [5].

In 1991, he formed the BAV, an Islamist group called a “cult-like organization that jealously guards the secrets of its considerable wealth,” according to Eurasianet [42]. In English the group is called, ironically, the Science Research Foundation (BAV is its Turkish acronym) [9], although naturally, they do no scientific research at all.

ICR founder Henry Morris had made numerous trips to Turkey while searching for Noah’s Ark (mentioned very often in ICR newsletters), and had gotten to know Islamic sects [9]. In 1992, one year after the BAV’s formation, John D. Morris (the son of Henry) and Henry’s lieutenant and “star” debater Duane Gish visited Turkey and participated in a creationist conference [11, 24]. The BAV has had many contacts with American creationists [9].

In the 90’s, Oktar/Yahya published anti-evolution books that were virtual duplicates of the ICR’s. He gave them away for free, and Islamic fundamentalist newspapers such as Akit gave his books away as free promotions [9], sources of funding still mysterious.

In 1995 Adnan/Oktar published another anti-Semitic book (not his first), The Holocaust Hoax, claiming that the Holocaust never happened and Jews lie about it [15].

Meanwhile, throughout the 1990’s, Islamic fundamentalist parties in Turkey were on the rise. “The main aim of one of these fundamentalist parties (known as the Welfare [Refah] Party), as stated many times by… party members in public talks, was to establish a theocratic and Sharia-based state (as in Iran or Afghanistan) through civil war and to promote Jihad (religious war),” write Turkish scholars Ümit Sayin and Aykut Kence [9].

In 1998, the Americans returned to Turkey in force, when the BAV held three “international conferences” for them. Along with the returning Duane Gish and John D. Morris, creationists Kenneth Cumming, David Menton, Michael Girouard, Edward Boudreaux, and Carl Fliermans were prominent speakers [11,25,31,32].

Shown here: ICR speakers and BAV members at the second of three BAV conferences, sitting above a giant banner displaying the name of Yahya’s cult in Turkish. This conference had six American speakers and one Turk: shown (from left) Ibrahim Tuncer (BAV), John Morris, Edward Boudreaux, Duane Gish, Altug Berker (BAV), Carl Fliermans, David Menton, Edip Keha and Michael Girouard. Istanbul, July 5, 1998. [31,32]

Photos at BAV webpages show huge audiences in attendance [31,32]. “These meetings were well-attended and well-publicized, producing successful, organized media events,” writes Turkish-born physicist Taner Edis [11].

Both the ICR and Yahya’s BAV publicized these conferences widely, each for their own purposes. Oktar/Yahya trumpeted them as proof that the “scientific world” took him seriously, describing the speakers as “well-known scientists from the US” (not true), and he still publicizes them [31,32]. By appearing at BAV conferences, the Americans lent Yahya’s cult an air of international legitimacy, and assisted him in falsely presenting himself to the Muslim world as a globally important intellectual.

At left: ICR’s star debater Duane Gish at BAV conference, Istanbul, April 1998 [31].

The ICR publicized these conferences in 1998-99, implying they had a winning strategy for converting Muslims to Christianity [12,24,25,26].

The American creationists were not bothered by Oktar/Yahya’s intensely anti-Semitic books– nor by his hatred of George Washington (we’ll get to that in a moment). To be fair, the Americans probably didn’t know about The Holocaust Hoax at that time; but Oktar/Yahya’s conspiracy theorizing is so constant and psychotic, they should’ve known they were playing with fire.

But the American creationists also weren’t worried about assisting a foreign religious extremist group dedicated to destabilizing the secular government of a NATO ally. That they did know they were doing, and that part was deliberate. US creationists knowingly did everything they could to assist the BAV in marketing fanaticism, conspiracy theories and and hatred for secular government to a NATO ally and to the rest of the Muslim world.

John D. Morris admiringly described the BAV’s huge finances in 1998:

“As a group, they have access to more than adequate financial resources, as well as to the media, and are able to blanket the country with creation information. They choose to invite international creationists for their publicity value, but especially welcome Christian creationists in the ICR mold rather than those who hold merely an anti-Darwinian stance.” [12, emphasis mine.]

In interviews, Oktar/Yahya has shown that he cannot get through a single conversation, not one conversation, without launching into loony conspiracy theories about Zionists and Freemasons. He looks like a James Bond villain, for crying out loud. Would you trust this school dropout? At left: Oktar/Yahya on his opulent yacht.

One of the speakers at BAV conferences was ICR luminary Kenneth Cumming [25,32] — who, three years later, would arrogantly equate a TV documentary about evolution to the Islamist terror attacks of 9/11 [27].

Harun Yahya has now allegedly written 300 books, most presumably ghostwritten or plagiarized by BAV members. A former member of the cult describes how they got their dogma by copying it directly from US creationists:

There is a group of followers who are commissioned to write the [Harun Yahya] books. For every book, they will take a few key sources written by Christian creationist authors, mostly from the US. They plagiarize the chapters and paragraphs that agree with their creationist approach. Then they add the photos, a few ayat [verses] from the Koran, and sometimes a bit of a commentary. None of the ideas belong to [Adnan] Oktar. [5, emphasis mine.]

The Islamists nearly duplicate the names of American creationists’ websites and books. American creationists have the website Kids 4 Truth, aimed at children. Harun Yahya has website Truths for Kids.

Creationist Ken Ham, of Answers in Genesis fame, wrote a book subtly titled The LIE: Evolution, illustrated with crude cartoons of biased anti-God scientists. Harun Yahya (or his ghostwriters) wrote The Evolution Deceit.

Let’s look at an example of how Christian fundamentalism is duplicated by the Islamists.

Who’s the real source of the theory of evolution? Is it… Charles Darwin? Nooo! Could it beeee…

Behind both groups of evolutionists [theistic and nontheistic] one can discern the malignant influence of ‘that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world’ (Rev 12:9). As we have seen, it must have been essentially the deception of evolution which prompted Satan himself to rebel against God, and it was essentially the same great lie with which he deceived Eve, and with which he has continued to “deceive the whole world”. [Henry M. Morris, 13, emphasis mine.]

Satan! says Henry Morris, founder of modern US creationism. On many occasions Henry Morris told elaborate Lovecraftian horror tales of his own invention about Satan thinking up evolution before time began, then teaching it to Eve in the Garden or giving an “evolution seminar” to wicked king Nimrod inside the Tower of Babel.

Now let’s ask Islamist Harun Yahya the same question.

[The year 2009] will actually turn out to be a worldwide celebration of Darwinism’s collapse. People will be stunned at how they believed in Darwinism. They will be amazed at how they were taken in by such a hoax for years. They will also be astonished at themselves and at how hundreds, thousands of universities around the world and hundreds, thousands of professors backed such a hoax, and how they were deceived by Satan’s plot. [14, emphasis mine.]

Right-o, Satan did it, ooga booga. Note another similarity: creationists have always, always been predicting the imminent demise of the theory of evolution. Yahya/Oktar predicted that evolutionary theory would collapse in 2009. It didn’t. And Henry Morris’ quote is from his book The Twilight of Evolution, describing the theory being on the way out, in the year…wait for it… 1963, the year the Beatles invaded America. (See also Glenn Morton’s hilarious list of predictions of the imminent demise of evolution dating back to 1825(!))

Taner Edis describes the Christian fundamentalist influence on the Turks: “The arguments presented… are very similar to ICR’s; indeed, ICR remains the most important source of material for Turkish creationists… Hence the Yahya book, while drawing on Muslim apologetic styles, ends up reading like a compendium of classic ICR arguments. All the usual suspects appear, including claims concerning the lack of transitional fossils, the impossibility of functioning intermediate forms, the fraud of human evolution, the unreliability of dating methods… Sounding much like one of its major sources, Henry Morris, the book tells how… scientists got caught up in a long war against God.” [11]

Uh, the Republican Party is always telling us that America is in a war against Islamic extremism. And yet, it is our Christian fundamentalists–almost all Republican voters–who are now exporting religious fanaticism to the Muslim world. Well, I guess that makes up for our inability to sell anybody GM cars.

The next step was to threaten, censor and suppress scientists…a point we’ll return to.

The Holocaust Never Happened…Now Let’s Blame Darwin for the Holocaust

Let’s go back a little in time for just a bit of this guy’s back story. Where was Oktar/Yahya before American creationists taught him their secret recipe of “herbs-n-Hitler”?

In a mental hospital, building a religious cult around anti-Semitic hatred.

In the 1980’s Oktar/Yahya’s first book was Judaism and Freemasons, a conspiracy tome that New Humanist calls “a derivative retread of anti-Semitic clichés in the manner of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” Here Oktar/Yahya wrote: “The principal mission of Jews and Freemasons in Turkey was to erode the spiritual, religious, and moral values of the Turkish people and make them like animals.” [5]

The obsession with Freemasons may seem strange to Western readers, but Masons are associated in the Islamic fundamentalist world with the hated values of the European Enlightenment, like science, reason, antibiotics and the separation of church and state.

On the cover of Harun Yahya’s (later) book New Masonic Order (Yeni Masonik Düzen, see left) you can see the Jew-conspiring villain who satanically separated church and state– George Washington, yeah that George Washington. (He was indeed a Mason.) “Usually the ancient enemies — the Jews… turn out to be behind Masonry, secularism, communism, and just about every godless evil,” writes Taner Edis [11].

Note that the Satanic plot pushed by the Jews and Masons is that of sneakily making people atheists, which dovetails perfectly with creationists’ (Christian and Turkish) accusation that evolution is an attempt to destroy society by sneakily making people atheists.

After publishing his Jew-Mason conspiracy book, Oktar/Yahya was arrested for trying to foment a theocratic revolution– a big no-no in Turkey, OK in America. He served 19 months, finally confined in a mental hospital, where he was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive personality disorder and schizophrenia. This diagnosis may not have been accurate. A former colleague of Oktar’s imprisoned at the same time (1986), Edip Yuksel, wrote that Oktar faked the symptoms to avoid criminal charges, “Which is ironic, since he was indeed… a delusional maniac.” [5]

Even in the mental hospital, Oktar/Yahya was already building a cult around himself. After his release, he targeted rich, alienated young people and recruited them with a heroic vision of courageous, moral Muslims fighting the evil Jew conspiracy.

As a former follower from the 1980’s says, “There was a chilling hatred against Jews and Freemasons. The Jews were the people who ruin the world, and we were the good Muslims to fight against them.” [5]

(For the record, I am not defining a “cult” here as a group with weird or impossible beliefs; I am defining a cult by its practices: recruiting alienated people as followers, cutting them off from their families and friends, controlling their lives and sexuality, brainwashing, etc.– practices that Oktar/Yahya’s organization clearly does engage in [4,5,30,42].)

His cultic organization methods utilized “the techniques pioneered by messianic gurus like Charles Manson and Jim Jones, and in particular employing the strategies of the Moonies, the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and Scientology in targeting disaffected but affluent and educated young people, insisting they turn their worldly goods over to the cult,” writes the New Humanist [5].

Through the 80’s and 90’s, Oktar/Yahya’s followers were recruiting beautiful people in chic summer resorts, the Turkish equivalent of the Hamptons. When they associated with his group, they were pressured to cut off all contact with family, friends, and all non-group members.

Soli Ozel, a professor at Istanbul University, says that one of his students, a follower of Oktar/Yahya, was a virtual prisoner of his organization. “When she took her exams, two men hovered nearby so she couldn’t speak to anyone else,” writes Slate magazine. Ozel said the cult entraps young men and women and turns them against their families [30].

The fact that Oktar/Yahya targeted rich, alienated young people presumably does much to explain the huge financial resources of his organization, although its exact funding sources are still mysterious. When the Wall Street Journal asked him where he gets his dough, he only said he had various “commercial activities,” adding, “My friends are usually rich people.” [29]

According to the Turkish indictment against him, his followers were encouraged to raid their parents’ bank accounts and sell their possessions. Perhaps his young acolytes also got their rich parents to invest in his business ventures. “Some followers joined the trail of Turkish investors to Central Asia and set up businesses with the money they had extracted from their parents, with profits routed back to Oktar,” writes the New Humanist [5]. At Left: Oktar/Yahya on his yacht.

A defector from the cult said: “Everyone had to be the same. The hairstyle, the shoes, the jackets. It had to be the most expensive brands, like Versace and Gucci, and it had to be exactly how he wanted it to be.” [5]

At any rate, Oktar/Yahya’s next contribution to anti-Semitism was The Holocaust Deception: An Islamic History of the Nazi-Zionist Nexus (also known as The Holocaust Hoax: The Secret History of the Zionist-Nazi Collaboration and the True Story of the ‘Jewish Holocaust’) [15], published in 1995 and distributed by the BAV in 1996–two years before numerous American creationists like Morris, Gish, Cumming et al. attended BAV conferences in 1998.

(Note the cover photo of Hitler marching beneath the flag of Israel, a nation that did not exist in his lifetime. Although “Zionist-Nazi Collaboration” may sound like a head-whipping contradiction, it’s no more of an oxymoron than “Creation Science.”)

Chapter II-a of this book is named “A tale called Holocaust and the lie of gas chambers.” Those clever Jews and their fairy tales!

According to this book, “What is presented as Holocaust is the death of some Jews due to the tiffus [it’s spelled typhus, you idiot] plague during the war and the famine towards the end of the war caused by the defeat of the Germans… the third chapter examines the Anti-Semitic provacations [provocations] deviced [devised, there’s a thing called a spellchecker, shithead] by Israel to persuade the Diaspora Jews to immigrate Palestine and the covert relations between Israel and the Neo-fascists after the World War II.” [15]

Right, the usual denialist tripe: the Holocaust never happened, the Jews lied about it in order to get more power, blah blah.

After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Oktar/Yahya apparently changed his tune. He morphed from promoting anti-Semitic hatred, to saying that “Darwinism” is the real cause of the anti-Semitism that he himself was promoting just four or five years previously.

To sum up: the Holocaust never happened, and Darwin caused the Holocaust.

Oktar/Yahya now has a website, subtly titled “The Result of the Darwin-Hitler Coalition: 40 Million Dead”— it’s the usual creationist “Darwin Did It” antihistory, easily debunked [1,18,19,20,21,38].

Now you might think, surely Oktar/Yahya cannot deny his previous racism; surely he has to admit it and, uh, apologize or something? No. If you think that, you don’t understand that creationism permits instant rewriting of history: natural history, age of the Earth, evolution, the Holocaust, you name it. Oktar/Yahya simply lies his way out of it, audaciously (or hilariously) so.

When the TalkOrigins website called out Oktar/Yahya on The Holocaust Hoax, in 2003 they received an email from one of Oktar’s followers, denying that the book had ever been published [28].

Oh really? Never published, eh? That’s funny, considering that the US Library of Congress has a copy you can look up online; and you can read the English-language version here [15].

OK, maybe the book was published; but, Oktar/Yahya now says he didn’t write it! No, in 2008 he told the German magazine Der Spiegel a friend stole his identity!

The book, “The Holocaust Lie,” is by one of my friends, Nuri Özbudak. It is not one of my books. He published his own essays under that title. [14]

Oh really? Then that’s funny too. If he’s so shocked–shocked!– at this racist book published falsely under his name by an identity thief… then why is it that he, Harun Yahya, cited this awful book in his later writings–and listed the author’s name as… himself?

Like on Yahya’s page here, where in Footnote 3, Harun Yahya cites The Holocaust Deception (in Turkish: “Soykırım Yalanı”), and lists the author’s name as… Harun Yahya– on a page copyrighted “© 2010 Harun Yahya” at a website HarunYahya.org [16]. Now if an identity thief published a racist book under your name, would you cite his nasty book–and list your own name as the author?

If that’s not enough, the online bibliography of his book New Masonic Order cites both Holocaust Deception and Judaism and Freemasonry (“Soykırım Yalanı” and “Yahudilik ve Masonluk”)–that’s two anti-Semitic books–with the authors of both listed by Harun Yahya as Harun Yahya [17]. (These links were still working as of March, 2010. And thanks to TalkOrigins.org for pointing this out.)

Just as Oktar/Yahya’s anti-Semitic conspiracy theories were unoriginal, so are his current anti-Darwinian conspiracy theories. He who once so casually made up a “Nazi-Zionist Nexus” and a “Zionist-Nazi Collaboration” now, with equal historic accuracy, blames evil on a “Darwin-Haeckel-Hitler coalition.

He can now merge his self-contradictory conspiracy theories into one: he explains that he doesn’t hate all Jews, he just hates the “Darwinist Zionists“, who are really Darwinists although they don’t know it. (But on the other hand, sometimes he still hates the just plain Zionists.)

The Link Most People Will Click On: Sex Slavery and Videotaping

Oktar/Yahya’s cult’s sex slavery, secret videotaping, and blackmail have been described by journalists who met with current or former cult members, and by the indictment filed against him and 17 followers by the Turkish prosecutor’s office, which led to his May 2008 conviction on a variety of charges [4].

An ex-cult member, who defected after seven years in the group, described the sexual hierachy: “There were sisters (bacilar), concubines (cariyeler) and brothers (kardesler), the male members. The brothers were allowed to marry the concubines, while the sisters were all married to Adnan Hodja [`Preacher’ Adnan Oktar].” [5] These “marriages” were not legal, but recognized within the cult.

As is common with cults, Oktar organized his followers into rigid hierarchies, with different privileges and rules for different categories of acolytes, and with harsh punishments, including beatings, dealt out for infractions of the rules.

As for the cult leader having sexual rights to all the female members– this may seem contrary to Islam, but Oktar/Yahya’s followers believed him to the Mehdi, the prophesied Islamic messiah [5]. To paraphrase Mel Brooks: It’s good to be the Mehdi!

According to the indictment of the prosecutor’s office, the sect’s women are called “engines”, because they are used to recruit new male followers, particularly young university graduates from rich families. The sect’s “engines” would promise sex to these men in exchange for their attending parties organized by the cult. The women are forced to have sex, and threatened if they do not comply or if they wish to leave the group. [4]

The female followers of creationist cult leader Adnan Oktar/Harun Yahya who are highest in his hierarchy are called “Odalisques”, i.e. imperial concubines. Above, the Grand Odalisque by Ingres.

“Women who get involved more deeply in the group pass from the level of `engine’ to that of `Odalisque’, the same title that the concubines of the Ottoman sultan received,” writes the Spanish newspaper El Periódico de Catalunya [4; in Spanish].

Oktar/Yahya’s followers have been, for some time, limited to oral and anal sex only [5].

“Girls practiced oral sex with designated boys. S. E., one of the victims, said that she had to have sex with 16 men. While practicing sex, they were recorded by hidden cameras and the tapes were delivered to Oktar. The girls who want to leave the group were threatened with exposure of the pornographic tapes,” says the dossier of the prosecutor’s indictment [4]. (The dossier was quoted by the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet.)

Of course, the videotapes could also be used to blackmail the wealthy and influential men with whom they had sex. According to the criminal indictment, “young girls were lured into sex parties with the promise of being admitted to the group, but ended up having to perform sexual acts with men of influence… The encounters were filmed and used to coerce the men in question to act in the group’s interest. In witness statements, the models Tugce Doras and Seckin Piriler give detailed accounts of how members of the group treated them as “sex slaves” and how Oktar and his followers compelled them to perform oral sex and other sexual favours,” writes New Humanist [5].

The defector from the sect who described the group’s “sisters” and “concubines” also describes their punishments: “I know personally that Oktar beats the sisters.” [5]

And there were drugs. One former follower of Oktar/Yahya said: “We had something to please everybody: Ataturk [nationalism], namaz (prayer), creationism and, if need be, cocaine.” [5] (He refers here to Kemal Ataturk, founder of the Republic of Turkey.)

In 1991 Oktar was arrested for cocaine possession, but later acquitted [29]. He claims a security agent put cocaine in his kabob, and he was framed “Because I’m fighting against Darwinism, communism and other terrorist organizations.” [30]

The model Ebru Şimşek, a onetime sympathiser, spoke out publicly against him, and said she had refused Oktar/Yahya’s sexual advances. In retaliation, Oktar/Yahya’s followers filed three hundred defamation cases against her in court, and a barrage of faked nude photos of her were made public [5,37].

Attack of the Anti-Darwinian Thought Police

After ICR speakers attended BAV conferences in 1998, more than 2000 university professors and scientists and the Turkish Academy of Sciences (TUBA) signed a pro-evolution and pro-science declaration [9]. In response the BAV has spearheaded an escalating fundamentalist campaign of censorship, defamation, intimidation and threats directed at scientists and academics.

The BAV named scientists and organizations that taught evolution as Maoists, communists, atheists and separatists, in huge numbers of flyers that the BAV mass-mailed and faxed to all branches of the Turkish government, military and police. On their flyers, the BAV included photographs and names of some scientists, calling them “Maoists” [9]. Turkish professors say they were harassed and threatened [10].

On Dec. 2, 1998, when the prominent Islamist newspaper Akit “published the names of the signatories of the TUBA [pro-evolution] statement on its front page, suggesting they trespassed against Islam, this had overtones of an invitation to violence,” writes Taner Edis [11].

Akit also published the addresses of scientists, and names and photographs of scientists who gave lectures on evolution, and accused them of spreading atheism [9].

In parliament, fundamentalists also proposed massive government book-burnings. “In February 1999, a representative from the fundamentalist Virtue Party proposed a Bill of Anti-Evolution to ban teaching of evolution in the schools and to collect and destroy all the books about evolution in the official libraries,” write Sayin and Kence [9, emphasis mine].

By 2005, Umit Sayin, one of the libeled professors, said that scientists were more afraid than ever: “There is no fight against the creationists now. They have won the war… Today, it’s impossible to motivate [any scientists]. They’re afraid they’ll be attacked by the radical Islamists and the BAV.” [10, emphasis mine.]

As a result of this campaign, creationism is taught in high school biology textbooks, and most Turkish parliament members consider evolution a hoax [10].

Sayin added, “Evolution is presented [by the BAV] as a conspiracy of the Jewish and American imperialists to promote new world order and fascist motives … and the majority of the people believe it.” [10, emphasis mine.]

In 2005, the Ministry of Education removed five schoolteachers from their posts for teaching evolution, and they were forbidden to speak to the media about it [42,43]. The Minister of Education refused to reinstate the teachers [43] and is openly pro-creationist [42].

Oktar/Yahya is less influential with the new Islamically-oriented government than he was with previous Islamist parties. However, his organization uses the courts to enforce Internet censorship on a vast scale, by filing many hundreds of libel cases to silence anyone who criticizes their American-made antiscience and/or cultish behavior.

In 2007, Oktar/Yahya got Turkish courts to block the entire WordPress.com platform–more than a million individual blogs–throughout all of Turkey, by filing suits against some critical WordPress blogs [6]. In 2008, a libel complaint by Oktar got all of Google Groups, a discussion group website, blocked in its entirety [7].

In 2008, Oktar/Yahya got the courts to block the websites of scientist Richard Dawkins and of the Turkish Union of Educational and Scientific Workers, when they pointed out his ridiculous scientific errors [2,33]. Oktar/Yahya claimed their scientific criticism was defamatory, so their websites were blocked throughout all of Turkey [7,40].

In 2009, the editor of one of the nation’s prominent science journals was fired by officials from the Islamically-oriented government, because the magazine planned to put Darwin on its cover for the 200th. anniversary of his birth [44,45].

Adnan Oktar, with perfect irony, complains of a vast dictatorship that suppresses all dissent– by evolutionists! The Internet-censoring bigot agrees with Ben Stein in Expelled and countless American anti-science thumbsuckers:

Darwinists have established a dictatorial regime. The great majority of people are afraid to raise their voices under pressure from that dictatorial regime. [3]

The Terrorists’ Favorite Theory of Origins

And now, the wet French kiss of irony. In 2001, Kenneth Cumming, an ICR speaker, compared a TV documentary about evolution to the terrorist attacks of 9/11 [27].

Kenneth Cumming of the ICR in Istanbul to help promote an Islamist extremist cult and its sex-slaving, blackmailing, anti-Semitic cult leader, 1998. On the podium is the name of the cult group [32].

“Only 13 days after the [9/11] act of terrorism on New York, [PBS] delivered a different, but another event of grave importance that was witnessed by millions of Americans—a [TV] special entitled Evolution. PBS…televised one of the boldest assaults yet upon both our public schools with the millions of innocent school children and the foundational worldview on which our nation was built. These two “assaults” have similar histories and goals. The public was unaware of the deliberate preparation that was schemed over the past few years leading up to these events. And while the public now understands from President Bush that, “We’re at War” with militant Islamics around the world, they don’t have a clue that America is being attacked from within through its public schools by a militant religious movement of philosophical naturalists (i.e., atheists) under the guise of secular Darwinism…. Evolution is PBS’s assault that’s coming to your children’s classroom—not soon but now.” [Kenneth Cumming, 2001. 27, emphasis mine]

Uh, so just how was Cumming defending the “foundational worldview on which our nation was built” when he spoke three years before at an Istanbul conference promoting an Islamist cult– a cult that teaches that the villainous George Washington, the American Founding Fathers, Freemasons and conspiring Jews are to blame for evolution, Nazism, Communism, Zionism, and all other evils? Cumming (see 1998 photo) had promoted this Islamist cult and legitimized the ICR’s and the BAV’s creationist conspiracy theories, the accusation that science pushes atheism, mistrust of the West and hatred of secular government in general, helping spread these to the whole Muslim world.

Now, what are the results of the actions of these George Washington-hating, secular government-hating, science-hating, conspiracy theorist creationists?

More terrorism. You were expecting devilled eggs?

The name of a particular BAV conference at which Cumming spoke was “The Collapse of the Theory of Evolution.” In 2008, the BAV would give a very similar conference with almost exactly the same name, “The Collapse of Evolution Theory”, this one hosted by the London Islamic Society–a group led by the Christmas Day bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab until 2008 [35,36]. Later–Christmas, 2009– Abdulmutallab would try to blow up an airplane en route from Amsterdam to Detroit, using explosives in his underwear.

The Islamic Society has posted BAV creationist videos also called “The Collapse of Evolution” on its website [46], and has had a history of hosting talks by clerics who promoted violence [36].

But the BAV and American creationists like the ICR are not bothered; they agree in equating terrorism with Darwinism [14].

Oktar/Yahya is the most famous creationist in the Muslim world, with a reach that extends far beyond Turkey. In many Muslim countries, the BAV has held creationist conferences similar to their conferences with the ICR. Reuters news service, in an extensive profile, called him “one of the most widely distributed authors in the Muslim world.” He controls a vast publishing empire that has published 300 books and many documentary DVD’s. His books, audio books and DVD’s have been translated into fifteen languages and given away for free throughout the Muslim world.

Considering all this, it is not surprising that the toxic ideas of Oktar/Yahya, which he copied from Americans like Kenneth Cumming, have spread throughout the Muslim world, and have become increasingly important to militant extremists. The terrorists’ favorite theory of origins right now is creationism.

In Nigeria, there is a terrorist sect called Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is sin.” The Western education that most offended them appears to be evolution theory and Earth-is-Round theory. The sect’s leader was Mohammed Yusuf, who “had discounted Darwin’s theory of evolution, claimed the world cannot be round because the Quran does not say that, and credited Allah with creating rain,” writes the AP [47]. In a July 2009 attack, Boko Haram followers led by Yusuf, and armed with guns, knives and machetes attacked civilians and police, leading to a bloodbath that left 700 people dead, including Yusuf himself, who was killed by police [48].

Another Islamist creationist in the Muslim Brotherhood is Zaghloul el-Naggar, a spiritual mentor of Osama bin Laden, who, like Harun Yahya, pushes creationism along with anti-Semitic conspiracy theories [49].

But Oktar/Yahya tells us, no worries, all terrorists by definition cannot believe in God, so they are all Darwinists:

…if some people commit terrorism using the concepts and symbols of Islam, Christianity and Judaism in the name of those religions, you can be sure that those people are not Muslims, Christians or Jews. They are real Social Darwinists…. the root of terrorism that plagues our planet is not any of the divine religions, but is in atheism, and in the expression of atheism in our times: “Darwinism” and “materialism.” [41]

Adnan Oktar/Harun Yahya defends terrorist ideologues and global Jihad

The ICR would no doubt rationalize their involvement with Oktar/Yahya’s cult by saying that he is, officially, against terrorism. Bull. His words, like those above, do not mean he is against terrorism. In the Muslim world, it’s a common trope to claim to oppose terrorism in principle, while actually supporting it in practice–many just redefine the words: like Oktar, they redefine “true Muslim” so no terrorist can be a true Muslim; and then say it’s the Americans and Israelis who are the real terrorists. In the Muslim world, you can say you’re against terrorism, while actually meaning you’re against America and the Jews.

Oktar/Yahya is always talking about love and peace, and about how “Darwinism banished love from the world.” But when Oktar/Yahya’s cult says that they’re for “love” and against violence, what does it mean? He teaches that you should hate “Zionist” Jews, “Darwinists”, the West, secular government, etc. because, in his scheme, they are atheist, materialist and thus anti-“love.”

He talks of love for Jews and Christians, but at the same time demonizes “Zionists”, and “…his work titled “What Should a Moslem’s View of the People of the Book and Zionism Be?”, currently posted on his website, reflects anti-Semitic themes common to the Muslim Brotherhood,” according to the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report [56].

Furthermore, Oktar/Yahya approves of the radical statements of Sayyid Qutb and Abul Ala Maududi. Sayyid Qutb was the chief ideologue and theorist of the current wave of global Islamic terrorism, and he passionately hated America and the Jews. His books were the main influence on Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda. Like Oktar/Yahya, Qutb and Maududi also presented their ideas as love and benevolence toward all mankind– both thought it was loving and benevolent to use jihad to force the whole world to live under Islamic Sharia law. Here, Oktar/Yahya praises their faith:

I have read [Qutb’s and Maududi’s] books carefully and have not seen anything encouraging terrorism and violence. I believe that they were very sincere Muslims and true believers. [50]

Oh really? Sincere and true, eh? Here’s an excerpt from Qutb’s magnum opus, In the Shade of the Qur’an, wherein he goes on, and on, and on, about the treachery of the Jews:

The Muslim world has often faced problems as a result of Jewish conspiracies ever since the early days of Islam… History has recorded the wicked opposition of the Jews to Islam right from its first day in Medina. Their scheming against Islam has continued since then to the present moment, and they continue to be its leaders, nursing their wicked grudges and always resorting to treacherous schemes to undermine Islam. [51]

Feel the love! Now here’s Maududi:

Islam wishes to destroy all states and governments anywhere on the face of the earth which are opposed to the ideology and programme of Islam… Islam requires the earth—-not just a portion, but the whole planet… the objective of the Islamic ‘Jihād’ is to eliminate the rule of an un-Islamic system and establish in its stead an Islamic system of state rule.

Love you back, big guy! This is faith, according to Adnan Oktar.

Oktar/Yahya now calls for establishing the Turkish-Islamic Union, a proposed super-Ottoman Empire and so-called “Union of Love” that, according to his dream maps, would include most of Africa, most of India, all of Israel, Palestine, huge parts of Siberia, all of Armenia, Georgia, Bosnia, Albania, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, all of Central Asia, Indonesia, Mongolia, Narnia, Oz, Atlantis, Never-Never Land, and Middle Earth.

If Oktar/Yahya is against terrorism, this raises the question of why he has made creationism so popular with extremists. The GMBR also describes Oktar/Yahya’s influence and the growing popularity of creationism: “Mr. Oktar’s works are often promoted on websites belonging to global Muslim Brotherhood organizations… Other Brotherhood organizations are promoting “Islamic creationism” such as the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) which recently featured an exhibit from Turkey’s Creation Museum and whose website promotes the works of Mr. Oktar.” [55]

The Institute for Denial Research: None of This Happened

Although the Institute for Creation Research did publicize their participation in the Turkish conferences in the 1990’s [12,24,25,26], they now deny ever working with Harun Yahya, the BAV, or the Turkish government. Lawrence Ford, a spokesman for the ICR, “denied in an e-mail that his organization had worked with the Turkish government or Islamic creationists,” wrote the Boston Globe in 2009 [52].

Since the ICR says they never worked with the BAV [52], this photo cannot possibly show (from left): not BAV member Ibrahim Tuncer, certainly not John Morris (ICR), nor Edward Boudreaux (ICR), definitely not Duane Gish (ICR), nor Altug Berker (BAV), absolutely not Carl Fliermans (ICR), nor David Menton (ICR), nor Edip Keha (BAV) and of course not Michael Girouard (ICR) working together in Istanbul on July 5, 1998 [32]. Perhaps they were playing gin rummy.

Uh, if they never worked with the BAV or the Islamically-oriented Turkish government of the 90’s, then what were they doing in the photograph to the left– water skiing?

For real scientists, when you give a talk at a conference, it’s work, and your boss pays you– or your research grant pays for it. But what does “working” mean to a creationist? And if they weren’t working, who paid for their air flights and their hotels– themselves (if on vacation) or the ICR?

The ICR also sent an email to a Christian fundamentalist blog denying involvement with the BAV:

“There is no official affiliation of ICR with Harun Yahya… and/or with the Science Research Foundation [BAV], founded in 1990 by Harun Yahya; nor has there ever been such an official (or unofficial) affiliation.

ICR desires to bring the creation-science message to those who invite its speakers to give the scientific reasons for the authorative [sic] account of the Genesis creation, with no political or doctrinal agreements attached.” [53]

This photo cannot possibly show Carl Fliermans of ICR working with BAV spokesman Altug Berker (left) because the ICR did not work with the BAV in Istanblul on July 5, 1998 [32] or at any other time or place, says ICR [52]. Perhaps they are playing Pictionary.

Presumably, “with no… agreements attached” means that they don’t mind preaching creationism to anybody– but do they really mean “no agreements” required at all? So by their policy, it’s OK to teach new conspiracy theories, and the idea that Western science pushes atheism, to absolutely anybody— even a sex-slavery Islamist anti-Semitic blackmailing conspiracist cult– and it’s OK to tell the whole Muslim world that this cult leader is a real scientist, and that this tripe is cutting edge science? Do they really mean they would preach anywhere? How about a racist Christian Identity Klan rally with Klan Christian crosses on the podium?

At any rate, the second ICR email above might be technically accurate, using the common definition of “affiliation”, but they make no mention of working with the BAV in the 1990’s, as they clearly did.

Searches of the ICR website as of 2010 turn up references to conferences in Turkey, but no references to Harun Yahya, the BAV or the Scientific Research Foundation. One of their 1998 articles, John Morris’ “Creation evangelism in Turkey” [12] has disappeared from ICR’s website and archives. I contacted the ICR asking how to purchase or access this article. Bruce Wood, their communications liaison, kindly wrote me back, saying that the article is “out of circulation.” He did not know why, but speculated the disappearance might be related to protecting the anonymous author of another article [26].

On the other hand, Oktar/Yahya and the BAV to this day give credit to the American creationists for helping the BAV defeat “Darwinism” in Turkey [44] and still publicize their links to the ICR [31,32]. Oktar/Yahya, not one known for humility, crows that he now has a bigger media empire and a far higher profile in the Muslim world than creationists do in the West, and the one-time student has now become the teacher [44].

Carl Fliermans of ICR standing before a BAV banner, 1998 [31]. The ICR says they never worked with the BAV [52]; so perhaps he is singing karaoke for the anti-Semitic Islamist extremists.

Edward Boudreaux of ICR at BAV conference, 1998 [31].

David Menton of ICR at BAV conference, 1998 [31].

The 21st. Century Cutting Edge Science of Harun Yahya

Do we have to talk about Harun Yahya’s “scientific” claims? It’s creationis. Will you be shocked to learn that his “science” is stupid and full of hilariously obvious errors?

In his Atlas of Creation, he juxtaposes photographs of ancient fossils against photos of what purport to be modern animals of the same species, claiming over and over again that each individual fossil, by itself, shows that change never happens, thus refuting evolution. His photos are largely of untraceable origins, but some of them are hilariously wrong.

Most infamously, Oktar/Yahya included photos of a “modern” caddis fly, a mayfly, and a spider, supposedly the same as their ancient fossils trapped in amber.

But the modern animals had indeed evolved new appendages: metal fishhooks, clearly seen in the photos of the caddis fly and mayfly, because they are artificial fishing lures. The spider also evolved a lot of threads sticking out, because it is a fishing lure tied from thread [59].

As Dawkins pointed out, in other photos, Oktar/Yahya mistakes a sea snake for an eel (totally different animals, as snakes are reptiles, but eels are fish); and three times Yahya mistakes tube-dwelling annelid worms for crinoids (as different as two animals can be–protostomes vs. deuterostomes.) [2,34]

So, basically, Oktar/Yahya’s argument is “there used to be long thin animals, and there are still long thin animals. Thus no evolution.”

He also confuses a starfish with a brittlestar, and a bark beetle (scotylid) with a pentatomid (shield bug.)

As mentioned previously, when Dawkins and the Turkish Union of Educational and Scientific Workers pointing out his errors, Oktar/Yahya accused them of defamation and got Turkish courts to ban and block their websites [7,40]. He also proceeded to lie, quite audaciously.

Adnan Oktar: I used a plastic model of an animal in one place in the Atlas of Creation. This person [Dawkins] then made a huge fuss, as if he had discovered something… Since the plastic model is identical to a picture of the living life form in question of course I can use whatever I wish… I have led that person [Dawkins] to take the bait. This is the only subject he criticizes. I deliberately put the hook. There was a hook there, clearly visible. I put the insect on the hook and he went for it. [61, emphasis mine]

Oh, really? You made that fly, did you? That’s funny, because an American fly-tying artist has photos of the step-by-step process by which he made that very caddis fly [60], the photo of which Oktar stole from the artist’s website without credit. In fact, Oktar stole and published photographs of three models, not one [59] as he claimed. And, as every fisherman knows, tied flies are made mostly from thread and foam, not “plastic” [60].

Oktar/Yahya later quietly edited the online version of the Atlas of Creation to remove the offending photos without retraction [33], and instead of thanking the scientists who pointed out his mistakes, he got their websites banned [7,40].

Oktar/Yahya also includes hilarious diagrams of what he thinks evolutionary theory requires “transitional fossils” to look like: crude monstrosities. He says evolution requires a starfish to evolve into a vertebrate fish, with the transitional state as a monstrosity with two fish-tails (two backbones?), no head, and three starfish arms (p.20). Another diagram shows a baby crocodile morphing into a chipmunk, one inch at a time, starting at the head and ending at the tail (p. 41). For the record, real evolutionary theory forbids this junk; methods like cladistic analysis are used to identify and predict transitional species that are non-monstrous.

But let’s suppose that all of his photos had been correct. So what, Oktar/Yahya has no explanation for why fossils of certain species appear only in some eras and not others. He can’t explain, for example, why “fishapod” transitionals like Tiktaalik only appear after fish appear and before all fossil reptiles; why reptile-like mammals such as Megazostrodon only appear after reptiles, and before all modern mammals; why there are fossils with reptilian and mammalian characteristics, in which the reptilian jaw bones are step-by-step evolved into mammalian ear bones; why ape-to-human transitional species like Australopithecus afarensis only appear after primates and before all human fossils; why the brain sizes of hominids increase slowly and gradually from Australopithecus to Homo erectus and Homo sapiens; or why human and chimp DNA are 98.4% identical including in largely non-functional regions; and blah blah blah. Nor can any other creationists explain such things.

While Oktar/Yahya has been interviewed by Western journalists many times, no one ever seems to ask him scientific questions, or even interesting questions, like: “If there’s no evolution, then why are there no fossils of Homo sapiens from more than two million years ago?” Or: “You say Darwinism banished love from the world. By ‘love’, do you mean raping your sex slaves?”

American Creationists on Censorship and Harassment of Scientists: “Great! Congratulations! That’s the Point!

The ICR is perhaps the oldest creationist groups in the world, and they look it. The future of creationism belongs to the dumbed-down “science iz eezy” cheerleading and arrogant “presuppositional” theology of Answers in Genesis, Ken Ham and his giant Creation Museum.

But the ICR/BAV debacle was caued by an ideological blindness and intense hatred of amorphous “secularism” that is common to creationists in general, and warps all their judgment. They’re not just scientifically incompetent, but morally obtuse.

In 2005, the Kansas State School Board determined to add intelligent design/creationism to to the school curricula. One of the prominent proponents of Intelligent Design was Missouri professor William Harris. When a reporter from a Kansas City paper told Harris of the BAV’s harassment of biologists in Turkey, he replied “Great! Congratulations! I mean, that is the point, once people start to see science more objectively.” [10, emphasis mine]

Harris’ definition of seeing science “objectively” includes censorship, harassment and threatening scientists, calling them Communists and transgressors of God.

Harris had submitted a list of “experts” to testify to the school board about the scientific validity of ID, and put on his list a spokesman for the BAV, Mustafa Akyol [10]. Akyol is a journalist whom the pro-Intelligent Design Discovery Institute recommended as a scientific “expert” and helped to bring to Kansas [44]. The BAV spokesman was flown to Kansas at the expense of Kansas taxpayers, simply because of his religion [10], since the BAV proves that not all doubters of evolution are Christians.

More recently, Yahya/Oktar received fawning coverage from the Discovery Institute’s website, Uncommon Descent [3]. Even after Oktar/Yahya’s harrassment and libelling of scientists, his vast campaign of internet censorship, his conviction for making criminal threats–even after his sexual enslavement of followers and blackmail were detailed in the press [4]– there is no mention of any of this, nor scientific questions either, in Uncommon Descent’s scientifically empty puff piece [3].

Although the Discovery Institute’s once-confidential document, “The Wedge“, identifies the Intelligent Design movement as Christian, and refers to “our natural constituency, namely, Christians” [63], the Intelligent Design movement needs Muslims to conceal their non-scientific motivations.

And beggars can’t be choosers. So ID anti-evolutionist Denyse O’Leary treats the school dropout and rapist cult leader Oktar as a scientific authority; yet she asks him no scientific questions at all. She tosses him non-science puff questions that are carefully calculated to elicit the responses that fit Intelligent Design’s story line, like this question:

The conventional wisdom offered by many media sources in North America is that doubts about Darwin are a product of American evangelical Christianity in the deep rural South…Unless I have lost the plot, your doubts could not stem from that culture. [3]

Yes, you have lost the plot, and that’s exactly where he copied his ideas, you idiot! What will she ask the sex-slaving anti-Semitic rapist next– “What’s your favorite color?”

When commenters point out what O’Leary left out of her puff piece–his scientific bull, anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial, etc.–O’Leary’s amoral response is: “I was aware of all the issues raised above, but that is a matter for a subsequent story.” [3] As of April 2010, she wrote no such story.

As for Mustafa Akyol, the BAV spokesman whom the Discovery Institute helped bring to the Kansas school board [44]– the president of the DI, Bruce Chapman, says that Akyol “broke with [the BAV] in 2003, sharply disagreeing with many of its views, especially its link to anti-semitism.” [57] This date is false; Akyol was a spokesman for the BAV in 2005 [10] when the DI helped bring him to Kansas [44].

(In 2009 Akyol described a break with Adnan Oktar, and he “now think[s] biological evolution is an established fact.” [58])

In 2008, after a long, protracted, complicated legal struggle, Oktar/Yahya and 17 of his followers were convicted of a variety of charges, including founding an organization for illegal purposes and making threats, and sentenced to three years in prison [4,5].

His followers had the usual creationist explanation for overwhelming but inconvenient evidence: “It is a conspiracy: the Masonic lodges in England and France ordered the lodge of Turkey to stop the activities of Oktar with the help of the judges, who also are communists and Freemasons,” said a spokesman for one of Oktar’s foundations. They will appeal the decision of the Masonic communist judges [4].

And Now, The Piercingly Insightful Sociopolitical Analysis

The ICR’s most famous debater, Duane Gish (shown here at a BAV conference in 1998) would often end his debates with evolutionists by accusing his opponent of not believing in creationism, only because they wished to avoid being morally judged by God.

But what about the creationists’ desire to avoid judgement? What about the desire of Gish, John Morris, Ken “terrorist assault” Cumming, and the ICR that the consequences of their actions in promoting Islamist extremism not even be discussed?

Sure, some people will defend the American creationists by saying “they didn’t mean to help an evil cult– it just happened.” Presumably, no one currently at the ICR deliberately promoted terrorism against Americans, anti-Semitism, sex slavery, or some other misdeeds of Oktar/Yahya and the BAV; and presumably ICR members were unaware of Oktar/Yahya’s widely distributed anti-Semitic books, hatred of George Washington, sex slavery, yadda yadda (but they sure know now.)

But we also know most drunk drivers don’t intend to run over people. But they’re still responsible when really bad judgement leads to terrible but forseeable consequences.

What do you expect to happen when foreigners in suits and ties give PowerPoint presentations, use science jargon, and tell Muslims that merely by believing– just by following their gut feeling, their faith, whatever–they already know more allegedly “cutting edge, 21st. century science” than those lying scientists? You get religious supremacy, chauvinism, bigotry, intellectual laziness and extremism. You were expecting devilled eggs?

The distance between their goals, and the outcome of their actions, is vast. Islamists now boast that ideas copied directly from the ICR are now being used to convert people to Islam, according to imams who use Harun Yahya’s ICR-cloned books for conversion, like this Australian imam:

[Harun Yahya’s] books represent some of the most well researched… refutations of Darwinian theory available, and have proven to be most useful in our work in propagating Islam to non-Muslims. [62]

Ooh, that’s gotta sting! How could this happen? How could a bunch of old white guys who probably loathe Islamic extremism, chauvinism and supremacy, wind up helping it out so much?

The creationists’ judgement of the BAV was apparently clouded by several factors. First, “secularism”, the amorphous bogeyman that separates church and state, and that prevents taxpayers from paying fundamentalist preachers’ salaries, is regarded by fundamentalists (Christian and Muslim) as a primeval satanic horror. Their hatred for the “secularist” bogeyman is so intense that they believe almost anything is preferable to the explicitly stated intentions of the American Founding Fathers.

Second, creationists have a limited ability to recognize crackpots like the BAV, because they swim in a sea of crackpots. A normal person would know there’s something fishy about an organization that calls itself, in English, the “Scientific Research Foundation” but doesn’t do any research at all [9]. But the ICR can’t judge, because, well, they call themselves the Institute for Creation Research, and they don’t do research, either.

The founder of the ICR, Henry Morris, claimed in his writings that: light and radiation from distant stars and galaxies, millions of light years away, was created 6,000 years ago in outer space en route to Earth. Craters on the Moon, Mars etc. are the results of space battles between Satan and Michael’s angels. Astrology is true, in a way, because evil spirits associated with distant stars must have participated in human battles. UFO’s are demonic visitations. And that’s just part of one creationist’s writing. Asking creationists to know when they’re surrounded by crackpots is like asking a fish to recognize when it’s wet.

It only took a heartbeat for Harun Yahya to figure out that creationists had stripped all meaning from the words “scientist” and “research institute”, and that nowadays anybody can say they’re doing “scientific research” just by endlessly repeating, over and over, the same two lies–“There are no transitional fossils” and “Hitler was inspired by Darwin neener neener”— in front of less-educated audiences.

Thanks to the ICR, Muslim creationists went from “The Holocaust never happened” to “Darwin caused the Holocaust” in about five years. The fake “Darwin-Hitler” connection [1,18,19,20,21,38] is now central to both Christian and Muslim creationism–and in the Muslim case, it leads directly to “all Islamic terrorists are really atheists.”

This historical revisionism is not just ironic, it’s dangerous for us. Extremists and supremacists rewrite history to support the belief in their group’s collective superiority. When members of their groups commit horrible historical crimes, history must be rewritten so the crime is falsely assigned to people outside the group. Once you’ve done that, the farthest conceivable extremism on your side cannot be evil or criminal, by definition.

The fake “Hitler was inspired by Darwin” story, which lets all Christians off the hook, even Martin Luther [1,21] and Houston Stewart Chamberlain, morphs into “Islamic terrorists were inspired by Darwin”, which lets all Muslims off the hook, even Sayyid Qutb (whom Oktar/Yahya admires [50]) and Osama bin Laden.

So Oktar/Yahya can tell us that terrorist by definition cannot be Muslim, and are Darwinist by defintion:

“…all the members of terrorist organizations — even those that portray themselves as Muslim organizations… they are all Darwinists.” [14]

There is no functional difference between Oktar/Yahya’s rewriting of Islamic history, and the fake “Darwin-Hitler connection” cooked up by Christian bigot writers–specifically Richard Weikart, author of From Darwin to Hitler, and Benjamin Wiker, author of the absurdly titled Moral Darwinism: How We Became Hedonists–both employed by the Discovery Institute. (Weikart shows up in Ben Stein’s move Expelled to school Stein in his evidence-free historical theories.) They are one-trick ponies. Their trick is to redefine “Darwinism” so that it means the same thing as racism and/or the violent competition for survival–not its scientific definition— thus making Hitler a “Darwinist” by definition; and they redefine “Christianity” so that it supposedly always regarded human life as sacred.

This bull is no smarter nor dumber than when Harun Yahya redefines “Darwinism” so all terrorists are “Darwinists”, and defines “True Muslim” as someone who cannot be a terrorist by definition. (If evolution were given its scientific definition, none of these hacks could refute it scientifically.)

And it has the same purpose: Harun Yahya, Richard Weikart, Benjamin Wiker, D. James Kennedy and the whole “Darwin-Hitler” antihistory squad all want to expunge their religious traditions’ long history of contributing to prejudice and violence, thus making modern-day religious fanaticism look harmless and safe. It isn’t.


1. The Misportrayal of Darwin as a Racist. By R.G Price.

2. Venomous Snakes, Slippery Eels and Harun Yahya. By Richard Dawkins. July 7, 2008. Updated.

Interview with Turkish Darwin doubter Adnan Oktar [Harun Yahya].
By Denyse O’Leary. Uncommon Descent, 14 May 2009.

4. Three Years of Imprisonment for the Author of the Polemic “Atlas of Creation.” A Turkish court condemns Adnan Oktar for leading a dangerous anti-Darwinian sect. By Andrés Mourenza. El Periódico de Catalunya. May 11, 2008. (In Spanish)

5. Sex, flies and videotape: the secret lives of Harun Yahya. Muslim creationist, cult leader, Dawkins’ nemesis, messiah. By Halil Arda. New Humanist. Volume 124 Issue 5 September/October 2009.

6. Shooting the messenger: A Turkish court has ordered the blocking of blog platform WordPress. Is this the first sign of Islamist censorship in the secular state? By Ali Eteraz. The Guardian (UK), Monday 20 August 2007.

7. Missing link: creationist campaigner has Richard Dawkins’ official website banned in Turkey. By Riazat Butt. The Guardian (UK), Friday 19 September 2008.

8. Expelled Exposed: The Truth Behind the Fiction. National Council for Science Education.

9. Islamic Scientific Creationism: A New Challenge in Turkey. Ümit Sayin and Aykut Kence (Reports of the National Center for Science Education.) Volume: 19. Issue: 6. 1999. Date: November–December. Page(s): 18–20, 25–29 1999, p.25.

10. Your OFFICIAL program to the Scopes II Kansas Monkey Trial. This week’s debate over evolution is Kansas’ trial of the century! By Tony Ortega. The Pitch (Kansas). May 05, 2005.

11. Cloning Creationism in Turkey. By Taner Edis. Reports of the National Center for Science Education. Volume 19, Issue 6. November–December 1999. p. 30–35.

12.Creationist evangelism in Turkey. By Morris, John D. 1998. Acts & Facts, 27: 9 (Institute for Creation Research).

13. Morris, Henry M. 1963. The Twilight of Evolution. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, p. 93.

14. Interview with Harun Yahya. Der Spiegel Online, Sept. 23, 2008.

15. The Holocaust Deception. Harun Yahya, 1995.

16. İSRAİL’İN KÜRT KARTI. İSRAİL’İN ORTADOĞU STRATEJİSİ VE KÜRT DEVLETİ SENARYOLARI. (Israel and Middle East Strategy: Kurdish State Scenarios) HarunYayha.org website. See footnote 3. Accessed March 18, 2010.

17. Online Bibliography of New Masonic Order (Yeni Masonik Düzen). By Harun Yahya. Accessed March 18, 2010.

18. Dispatches from the Culture Wars: Hitler the Creationist. By Ed Brayton. August 28, 2006.

19. Hitler the Creationist. By Steven Carr. August 22, 2006.

20. Darwin and Spencer in the Middle East. By Eric Michael Johnson. March 10, 2010.

21. Martin Luther’s dirty little book. On the Jews and their lies: A precursor to Nazism. By Jim Walker. 20 Nov. 2005.

22. The Foundations of the 19th Century, 2nd ed. By Houston Stewart Chamberlain. 1912. Published by John Lane, The Bodley Head. From the Author’s Introduction.

23. Dispatches from the Culture Wars: Answering Krauze and Sternberg. By Ed Brayton. December 26, 2006.

24. Do Muslims Believe in Creation? By John D. Morris, Ph.D. Dr. John’s Q&A, Dec 1, 1992. (Institute for Creation Research.)

25. Creation, Christmas, and the Qur’an. By Henry Morris, Ph.D. Back to Genesis. Dec. 1., 1998. (Institute for Creation Research.)

26. The Gospel of Creation in a Moslem Land. By Anonymous. Impact, Dec 1, 1999. (Institute for Creation Research.)

27. Review Of The PBS “Evolution” Series. By Kenneth B. Cumming, Ph.D. Impact. Dec 1, 2001. (Institute for Creation Research.)

28. Harun Yahya and Holocaust Revisionism. By Michael Hopkins. TalkOrigins.org. December 7, 2003.

29. An Islamic Creationist Stirs a New Kind of Darwinian Struggle. By Andrew Higgins. Wall Street Journal, March 17, 2009.

30. Meet Harun Yahya: The leading creationist in the Muslim world. By Steve Paulson. Slate.com. Oct. 21, 2009.

31. SRF Conferences. Activities for Informing the Public About Evolution. Evolution Deceit (Harun Yahya/Science Research Foundation).

32. Conferences of the SRF. Science Research Foundation/BAV (Harun Yahya).

33. The evolution of Harun Yahya’s “Atlas of Creation”. By Salman Hameed. Thursday, February 26, 2009.

34. Richard Dawkins on Harun Yahya’s Atlas of Creation. October 10, 2008.

35. UCL acts after creationist coup. By Ian Sample, The Guardian (UK), Saturday 23 February 2008.

36. Revealed: the true extent of Islamic radical influence at UCL: The true picture of Islamic radicalism preached at the British university attended by Christmas Day airline bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab can be revealed today. By David Barrett, Patrick Sawer and Sean Rayment. Sunday Telegraph (UK). January 3, 2010.

37. Islamic creationism on the rise. Lateline (Australian Broadcasting Network), Dec. 2, 2009.

38. Darwin and Hitler. By Hector Avalos. 2008.

39. Cumhuriyet (Turkey), June 25, 1999.

40. Creationist Adnan Oktar Manages To Shut Down Another Internet Site. By Erol ÖNDEROĞLU. Bianet, 25 September 2008.

41. Evolution Deceit: The Collapse of Darwinism and Its Ideological Background. By Harun Yahya. 2001. p. 19–20.

42. Turkey: Scientists Face Off Against Creationists. By Nicholas Birch. Eurasianet, May 24, 2007.

43. Evolution under Pressure: Debate over Creationism in Turkey. By Dorian Jones. Qantara (Germany), August 1, 2006.

44. In Turkey, fertile ground for creationism. U.S. critics of evolution help translate their ideas for a society already torn between Islam and secularism. By Marc Kaufman. Washington Post, November 8, 2009.

45. Islamic Creationism. By Aaron Schachter. Public Radio International, 18 Sept. 2009.

46. London breeding Islamic terrorists. By Robert Leiken. CNN, January 6, 2010.

47. Nigeria police claim victory over radical sect. By Njadvara Musa. Associated Press, July 31, 2009.

48. Nigeria survivors describe night of terror by sect. By Katharine Houreld. Associated Press, August 4, 2009.

49. Zaghloul el-Naggar. Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report, June 15, 2007.

50. Harun Yahya: Win over Darwinism. By P.K. Abdul Ghafour. Arab News. Nov. 23, 2008.

51. In the Shade of the Qur’an. (Surah 5.) By Sayyid Qutb. Translated by M.A. Salahi and A. A. Shamis, Vol. I. Markfield, Leicester, and Nairobi, Kenya: The Islamic Foundation.

52. Islam’s Darwin Problem. By Drake Bennett. Boston Globe. October 25, 2009.

53. Creation Terrorists. Hip and Thigh (Fred Butler blog). Friday, July 25, 2008.

54. Little Green Footballs hits bottom, digs. Hip and Thigh (Fred Butler blog). July 16, 2008.

55. Turkish Creationist Promoted By Muslim Brotherhood Blames “Atheist Zionists” For Middle East Troubles. Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report, November 23, 2008.

56. Muslim Council of Britain Promotes Turkish Anti-Semite. Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report, February 23, 2008.

57. Little Green Footballs Fumbles the Ball by Making False Claims about Discovery Institute, Islam, and Intelligent Design. By Bruce Chapman. Evolution News & Views, July 23, 2008.

58. The White Path: The Writings of Mustafa Akyol. June 1, 2009.

59. Fishing Flies Mistaken for The Real Thing! By Graham Owen.

60. Realistic Fly Tying Tutorial – Adult Caddisfly. By Graham Owen.

61. Dawkins Has Taken the Bait. Harun Yahya.

62. Global Impact of the Works of Harun Yahya. Harun Yahya.

63. The Wedge Document. Discovery Institute, Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture, 1998.

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Fundamentalists, Creationists And Islamic Extremists Share the Same “Philosophy”

Religious fundamentalists and authoritarian creationists frequently need a scapegoat to scare the public with, though it changes over the years–hippies or Jewish communists or blacks marrying whites–anyway, this decade it’s gays and scientists. Perhaps the most over-the-top of the fundamentalists’ recent anti-science slanders involves comparing the theory of evolution, or just science in general, or the fake “materialism” bogeyman, to…Islamic terrorism.

Yeah, that’s right. Hard to believe they’d go there, but yeah they went there.

Some background: fundamentalists and creationists claim that the only reason why scientists would believe in evolution or global warming or “Earth goes around the sun” theory, is because 99.99% of scientists adhere to a secret religion called “materialism.” This word is not coherently defined, but as near as I can figure out, you’re a materialist if you think scientists have solved some scientific problems in the past, and might solve more in the future. Shocking, eh? This causes fundamentalists to say hilarious things about basic science, but it’s just part of a calculated economic and political agenda.

Now to see how over-the-top ridiculous and nonsensical this has gotten, let’s consider a recent anti-science scare piece by Rebecca Bynum in NER. Bynum begins by making a number of coffee-spittingly ridiculous errors about basic, basic science, such as, that scientists cannot explain electricity. We have to suffer through her absurd set-up, until she gets to the chase, metaphorically speaking. Here comes the money shot, the one most important claim that Bynum really needs to pound home.

Islam is, in essence, an extremely materialistic religion with many similarities to secular materialism: both remove human dignity and envision man as a slave. [Source.]

How logically incoherent can you be? Now Muslims, who believe in Abraham’s God, Jesus’ virgin birth and eternal Paradise, are supposed to be “materialists”!?

Now Bynum knows she has no evidence to back that up, and she knows it makes no sense. And we know she knows, because of the way she sneaks her dick (metaphorically speaking) into the popcorn box when she thinks no one’s looking. In other words, in the above quote, she’s lying.

But she figures her audience will grab onto it. And she might be right: probably her audience will grab whatever she sneaks into the popcorn box.

Bynum has to lie here, because Islamic terrorists, in their own words, say that they share the anti-materialism and anti-secular government values of Christian fundamentalist authoritarians, as we’ll see in a moment.

But now, let’s go back to the days immediately after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

You show your true character when you’re in a crisis: how do fundamentalists act in a terrorist crisis? Man up? Sacrifice for the good of the country? Nah. Let’s angle for advantage!

By Sept. 13, Jerry Falwell and his friend Pat ‘blood diamond minerRobertson explained on TV who was responsible for the Islamic terrorist attacks on the USA:

God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve… I really believe that the pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way… I point the finger in their face and say you helped this happen.

By Dec. 1, 2001, the creationists at the Institute for Creation Research (founded by Henry Morris, see below) would add science to the list of those equated with Islamic terrorists:

Only 13 days after the act of terrorism [Sept.11] on New York, Public
Broadcasting Stations delivered a different, but another event of grave importance that was witnessed by millions of Americans—a [TV] special entitled “Evolution.” PBS…televised one of the boldest assaults yet upon both our public schools with the millions of innocent school children and the foundational worldview on which our nation was built. [Source: Institute for Creation Research]

Whoa Whoa Whoa. Whoa. Let’s stop a second. First, he says a TV documentary about evolution is similar to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Also, broadcasting a documentary on TV is “assaulting” schoolchildren. Um hmm. And next, a TV show about evolution is attacking “the foundational worldview on which our nation was built.”

This idiot has not read any of the writings of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Jefferson described our separation of church and state as “a nation arises which vindicates to itself the freedom of religious opinion, and it’s eternal divorce from the civil authority.” [Jefferson to James Smith, 12/8/1822]

Our Founding Fathers did believe in reason and using your damn brain and not trusting infallible religious authorities. Also, the main authors of our founding documents didn’t believe in the Christian Trinity or the incarnation of Christ. But if you do, fine, your business. Either way, fundamentalism and hystericalism existed in their time, and it scared them to death. We’ll get back to the Founders later.

But now, back to creationist thumbsuckers equating evolution and the terrorist attacks of 9/11:

These two “assaults” have similar histories and goals. The public was unaware of the deliberate preparation that was schemed over the past few years leading up to these events.

Dramatic music: DA DA DA DUM!!

And while the public now understands from President Bush that, “We’re at War” with militant Islamics around the world, they don’t have a clue that America is being attacked from within through its public schools by a militant religious movement of philosophical naturalists (i.e., atheists) under the guise of secular Darwinism. Both desire to alter the life and thinking of our nation…

“Evolution” is PBS’s assault that’s coming to your children’s classroom—not soon but now… These evangelists in turn proselytize millions of victims in taxpayer-supported schools who can’t protect themselves and whose parents don’t understand that a vicious religious war for the mind has been declared on America from within.

[Source: Institute for Creation Research. Emphasis mine.]

Uh, why is this guy writing crap on the Internet if he’s not himself out to alter the life and thinking of our nation? If you want to keep our thinking the same, throw out your computer, please.

Meanwhile, back on Round Earth, what really motivates Islamic terrorists? Religion, maybe? Hey, how about instead of listening to super-chauvinist anti-scientists, how about if we ask a real terrorist?

Here’s an Islamic terrorist who bombed the World Trade Center in 1993:

…in a prison interview, Mahmud Abouhalima, convicted in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, stated that his war isn’t against Christians but U.S. “secularists” who are exporting their way of life to the Muslim world….living in America allowed him “to understand what the hell is going on in the United States and in Europe about secularism of people, you know, who have no religion.” He said the United States would be better off with a Christian government because “at least it would have morals.”

…In his interviews…Abouhalima made it clear that his Islamic brothers have no fight with Christianity. He said the holy war is caused by the U.S. government supporting “enemies of Islam,” such as the state of Israel…

…Abouhalima was asked what he thought of all those secular people walking around the streets of Cairo and New York, while he sat in federal prison for trying to blow up the World Trade Center. He called them lost people, nonbelievers who lacked the “soul of religion.” Then he said: “They’re just like moving dead bodies.”

[Source: San Francisco Chronicle, 9/23/2001. Emphasis mine.]

In their own words, Islamic terrorists make it clear that they want to kill us, not because they share “secularism” or “materialism”, but because they hate “materialism” and “secularism.” They hate science, reason, freedom, equality and pluralism just as much as American religious fundamentalists do.

Note the similarity in language: the Islamic terrorist compares people with different beliefs to people without spirit, people already dead– a common theme in US fundamentalist political statements.

But Islamic extremism has not evolved independently of US fundamentalist creationism: on the contrary, prominent US creationists have traveled abroad to meet Islamic extremists and do everything they can to fan the flames of Islamic hatred for science and secular government.

In Turkey, a NATO ally of the United States, the traditionally secular government is far more vulnerable than here, and religious extremism much more dangerous.

The father of modern creationism, Henry Morris, founder of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) (which compared evolution to terrorism in the 2001 quote above), and his lieutenant Duane Gish, former vice-president of ICR, visited Turkey in the 90’s and participated in a creationist conference in Istanbul.

In Turkey an Islamic extremist group dedicated to fighting evolutionary theory, the Science Research Foundation (called BAV in Turkish), was formed by Harun Yahya (aka Adnan Oktar), and many US creationist attended BAV conferences in Turkey in 1998. [Source.]

The ICR bragged about their connections with the Turks in their  newsletter [Impact, Dec. 1999].

US creationists hate secular government and science so much that, to them, anything, anything is better than the separation of church and state–they have done everything they can to inflame Islamic extremism and helped destabilize a ally of the US– and have helped to put Turkish scientists in danger.

Morris originally went to Turkey to find Noah’s Ark. At that he failed, but he and his US colleagues succeeded in crushing the free speech of Turkish scientists.

[Update: One former member of the BAV describes how the cult got their dogma by copying it directly from US creationists like the ICR:

For every [Harun Yahya] book, they will take a few key sources written by Christian creationist authors, mostly from the US. They plagiarize the chapters and paragraphs that agree with their creationist approach. Then they add the photos, a few ayat from the Koran, and sometimes a bit of a commentary. None of the ideas belong to [Adnan] Oktar. [ Source.]

The BAV went on to push a campaign of massive legal intimidation against evolutionary scientists, and Harun Yahya’s cult used female sex slaves to gain influence over wealthy and powerful people.]

In 2005, when the state of Kansas was rewriting its science education standards to make them anti-evolution, a member of the BAV, Mustafa Akyol, testified to the school board. The Kansas City paper, The Pitch, dug up some background on the BAV’s attacks on Turkish scientists:

…beginning in 1998, BAV spearheaded an effort to attack Turkish academics who taught Darwinian theory. Professors there say they were harassed and threatened, and some of them were slandered in fliers that labeled them “Maoists” for teaching evolution. In 1999, six of the professors won a civil court case against BAV for defamation and were awarded $4,000 each.

But seven years after BAV’s offensive began, says Istanbul University forensics professor Umit Sayin (one of the slandered faculty members), the battle is over.
“There is no fight against the creationists now. They have won the war,” Sayin tells the Pitch from his home in Istanbul. “…Today, it’s impossible to motivate [any scientists]. They’re afraid they’ll be attacked by the radical Islamists and the BAV.

…The Turkish government, he adds, refuses to take an interest, tacitly encouraging the ongoing effort against scientists. …As a result of the BAV campaign and other efforts to denounce evolution, he adds, most members of Turkey’s parliament today not only discount evolution but consider it a hoax. “Now creationism is in [high school] biology books,” Sayin says. “Evolution is presented [by BAV] as a conspiracy of the Jewish and American imperialists to promote new world order and fascist motives … and the majority of the people believe it.”

…Sayin says that creationism in Turkey got key support in the 1980s and 1990s from American creationist organizations, and [Turkish-born physicist Taner] Edis points out that BAV’s [Harun] Yahya books resemble the same sorts of works put out by California’s Institute for Creation Research. Except in Yahya’s books, it’s Allah that’s doing the creating.

[Source: The Pitch, Kansas City. May 05, 2005.]

So you just substitute Yahweh <–> Allah, or vice versa, and you get US creationism <–> Islamic extremism. The logic, the arguments, the anti-science, the slanders are all the same: evolution is a conspiracy; evolutionary scientists are fascists; scientists are called atheists, Maoists, etc. There is no difference between BAV’s language and the quote from American creationists above.

[Update: Adnan Oktar, aka Harun Yahya, formed a religious cult centered on the BAV and its creationist anti-Darwinian crusade. The BAV launched hundreds of legal actions against scientists, critics and former defectors from their organization. News websites in were blocked in Turkey. WordPress.com, this blogging site, in its entirety–all its blogs–were blocked in Turkey in 2007 because some bloggers reported Yahya and the BAV’s actions. In 2008, they got all of Google Groups, and then Richard Dawkins’ website blocked entirely in Turkey. The creationist cult employed women as sex slaves to recruit new members, and as “wives” for the leader. Adnan Oktar/Yahya was eventually sentenced to three years for founding a criminal organization.

One former BAV member said: “We had something to please everybody: Ataturk [nationalism], namaz (prayer), creationism and, if need be, cocaine.”

So perhaps one difference between Islamic and American anti-evolutionists is the sex-and-drug cults. But then… insert Ted Haggard joke here. ]

Akyol from the BAV has emphasized the similarities between Islam and the US anti-evolution Intelligent Design movement, specifically the Discovery Institute:

Muslims should also note the great similarity between the arguments of the Intelligent Design Movement and Islamic sources. Hundreds of verses in the Qur’an call people to examine the natural world and see in it the evidence of God…

What Intelligent Design theorists like [Michael] Behe or [William] Dembski do today is to refine the same argument with the findings of modern science. In short, Intelligent Design is not alien to Islam. It is very much our cause, and we should do everything we can to support it. [Source.]

And what did Mustafa Akyol tell the anti-evolution school board in Kansas when he testified in 2005?

Muslims think that the West is a completely materialistic civilization that has turned its back on God… Since America is the leading country within the whole of Western civilization, it attracts much of this distaste. Unfortunately, that is one of the factors that create a breeding ground for radical Islam. [Source.]

Note his language, his attack on “materialism.” By materialism here, he does not mean greed, consumerism or capitalism, which are all mandatory according to Christian fundamentalists. He means science, evolution and the separation of church and state.

Translation: We Americans must get rid of reason and the separation of church and state, or his co-religionists will kill us. Abandon American values, or you die.

And now, a pop quiz. Here are two quotes on the same topic: “secularism” and liberal professors in universities.

Two quotes: which is American fundamentalist, which is Islamic extremist?

A. There are “thirty to forty thousand” left wing professors who are “termites that have worked into the woodwork of our academic society and it’s appalling… These guys are out and out communists, they are radicals, they are, you know, some of them killers, and they are propagandists of the first order… you don’t want your child to be brainwashed by these radicals, you just don’t want it to happen. Not only brainwashed but beat up, they beat these people up, cower them into submission. AGGGH.”

B. “Today, students should shout at the president and ask why liberal and secular university lecturers are present in the universities.”

The answer is at the bottom of this post.

Recall that the ICR creationists, friends of Turkish creationists who assisted in founding the BAV, above said evolution was an assault on “the foundational worldview on which our nation was built.”

Howabout, instead of listening to them, we actually ask our Founding Fathers about the worldview on which our nation was built?

Here’s John Adams, second US President:

The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history…

It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service [making the US government] had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven… it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.

[John Adams, “A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America” (1787-88)]

Well guess what Johnny, it is “pretended” now! 24 hours a day every day at Fox News and the Christian Broadcasting Network!

So if evolution agrees with “reason and the senses”, and does not pretend it “had interviews with the gods”, how does it undermine the values our country was built on?

(And if the time ever comes that evolution no longer agrees with “reason and the senses”, then OK, off it goes.)

If the US fundamentalists on the school board in Kansas in 2005 had had any spine, any backbone, they would’ve listened to Mustafa Akyol’s testimony above; and told him that if his co-religionists can’t control their violent impulses, they have to change. Not us.

We have problems, true.  But this country was built on reason and science, pluralism and tolerance, and the separation of church and state, the “eternal divorce from the civil authority” Jefferson wrote about. And they would’ve told Akyol and the BAV to go back to their country and, rather than fighting and slandering secular government and science and the use of reason, they should defend these things and tell their more violent co-religionists to change or f*** off.

But no…it’s Western scientists who are assaulting our schoolkids, huh? American creationists… anti-science, encouraging extremism, and cowardly when confronted with it.

And now… the answer to our “quote quiz” above. The less hysterical quote (B) is from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, president of Iran, who like Pat Robertson was calling for a purge of liberal and secular teachers from the Iran’s universities, encouraging students to employ Iranian Islamic revolution-style radicalism. [Source.]

Of course, the more hysterical quote (A) is from American fundamentalist Pat Robertson [video.] He also describes the “thirty or forty thousand” left-wing professors as “racists, murderers, sexual deviants and supporters of Al-Qaeda– and they could be teaching your kids!” This is in reference to a book, America’s 101 Worst Professors, which lists no murderers at all, and no professor who beats anyone up. Among the dangerous profs listed in book was a professor of Peace Studies at a pacifist Quaker school. One real radical and asshole, Ward Churchill, has since been fired.

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What is the Fundamentalist War Against “Materialism” Really About?

Nowadays it is virtually universal among right wing authoritarians, creationists and Intelligent Design proponents to say that there is a religion called “materialism” that is supposedly adhered to by all scientists that believe in evolution (which is to say, 99.99% of scientists.) They can’t argue about the evidence for theories like evolution, global warming or whatever it is that makes life less cushy for their leadership. So they basically pull a ‘tu quoque’: “That’s just your religion!”

Right wing fundamentalists blame this alleged religion “materialism” for inspiring fascism and its opposite, communism, global warming and its opposite, global cooling, racism and its opposite one-worldism, atheism and its opposites, satanism and Islam (yeah, those too) and several other mutually exclusive philosophies.

In my previous post I described how right wing authoritarians make coffee-spittingly funny errors (or outright lies) about the most basic science as part of their fake war against this so-called “Materialism”.

Now let’s ask: when right wing authoritarians say that the great threat nowadays is “materialism”, what do they mean by “materialism”? They will tell you that it’s atheism, or the belief that matter is all that exists. However, they’re not being honest; even their terminology is fake. Let’s try to figure out what this campaign is really promoting.

Since Rebecca Bynum wrote this article describing how “materialism” supposedly diminishes the value of human beings, let’s try and figure out what that really means.

Here comes the money shot! This next quote is the whole reason why Bynum wrote her article. In this statement, Bynum knows she’s being dishonest, so she tries to sneak it past us like a shoplifting teenager with a Sony Playstation under her sweater:

Islam is, in essence, an extremely materialistic religion with many similarities to secular materialism: both remove human dignity and envision man as a slave. [Source.]

Excuse me young lady, what do have under your sweater!? Oh, we see what you did there! An equation of “secular materialism” with Islamic terrorism! Now Bynum knows this statement is logically incoherent, and she knows she has no facts to back it up.

Nevertheless, note that she is now defining “materialism” so that it includes Muslims, who believe in Abraham’s God, Jesus’ virgin birth and eternal Paradise. OK…now tell me again what do right wing authoritarians mean when they say “materialism”, anyway?

(Back on round Earth, Muslim extremists and terrorists in their own words say they hate “materialism” and “secularism” with the same fervor as Christian fundamentalists, and directly copy the language and arguments of US Christian fundamentalists (just substitute Yahweh–>Allah). This point is important enough that I’ll detail it in a later blog post.)

But, to underscore that the war against fake “materialism” is not really against the belief that matter is all that exists, consider what fundamentalists say about the many scientists who believe in evolution and in God–famous ones include Ken Miller, Harold Varmus, Francis Collins (head of the NIH), and whole organizations like the American Scientific Affiliation.

Right wing anti-science authoritarians hate evolutionists who believe in God even more than they hate the atheists. Collins’ pro-evolution faith tank, BioLogos, is a target at the anti-evolution website Uncommon Descent.

And the Creation Society of Mid-America (CSAMA), led by Tom ‘death camp’ Willis, tell us that evolutionists must be denied the right to vote and violently expelled from society, especially if they believe in God:

…in a sane society, evolutionists should not be allowed to vote, or influence laws or people in any way! They should, perhaps, make bricks to earn enough to eat.

the theistic evolutionist must look squarely at us and declare “I believe in God, but the Bible, real empirical and theoretical science are all wrong…” This is even worse than the atheists. Historically, those who claim belief in God, but elevate human opinion or tradition over the Bible, have always performed as badly any atheist. If you had any say, would you allow such a person to influence, in any way, what citizens ought, by law, to do?

…The arrogance displayed by the evolutionist class is totally unwarrented [sic]. The facts warrent [sic] the violent expulsion of all evolutionists from civilized society. I am quite serious…

[Source: Should Evolutionists Be Allowed to Vote? CSAMA Newsletter Volume 25(4) July-Aug, 2008. Emphasis mine.]

Consciously mimicking Hitler, Willis and CSAMA now say that all evolutionists, whether they believe in God or not, can live as long as their slave labor is productive in creationists’ death camps: “Labor camps…their life should continue only as long as they can support themselves in the camps.”

Let’s be clear: this is not about atheism. They use science as a scapegoat in a political, materialist agenda of their own. If you believe in God, it is not enough to get you protection from right wing authoritarians and corporatist fundamentalists.

So if the right wing Christian (and Muslim) fake campaigns against “materialism” aren’t really against the belief that matter is all that exists–then what are they about?

People who are pro-science (not necessarily scientists, nor atheists) tend to judge people by consistent standards: Do they make obviously, factually false statements? Are their predictions always wrong? Do they support mass killing or prejudice? What leaders do they put in power? Have they been held accountable for past false statements or false prophecies or outright crimes?

This cannot be tolerated. If judged by consistent standards, right wing fundamentalist leaders would simply be revealed as cruel, heartless bigots and calculating defenders of corporate plutocracy. So, to rationalize their cruelest agendas and most dishonest statements, right wing fundamentalist leaders require a unique right, exclusive to them, to invoke their “infallible” authority– their “absolute authority“, as creationist Ken Ham (of Answers in Genesis fame) calls the purple robe he endlessly wraps himself in.

So fundamentalist leaders have two political, material objectives here: preserve their own infallible “absolute authority”, a tool they use to inoculate themselves and to enable big corporations and the rich to escape accountability for whatever they steal or whatever damage they cause– to distract your attention away from what the powerful and rich have been up to (‘Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!’)

So fundamentalists launched a marketing campaign in the material world with materialist objectives, and they call it “anti-materialism”!

That takes chutzpah.

Tom ‘creationist Nazi’ Willis is clear about his real priorities: “God the Father and Jesus are both capitalists.”

He considers all public schools to be the first, number one form of what he calls “Antichrist/Socialism”. Considering that Thomas Jefferson founded the public education movement in the USA, and James Madison promoted it, this would make the US Declaration of Independence a Satanic document.

Evolutionists gravitate to employment positions where knowledge, truth, character, logic, etc., are not needed, typically education and media. Antichrist/Socialists convinced most “modern” societies that the first activity that required state ownership and operation (socialism) was education, insuring incompetents had safe havens and that most children were raised by people who owe their income to socialism and had jobs where their religion was endorsed by the state.
[Source: CSAMA Newsletter, Volume 25(5) Sept-Oct, 2008. Emphasis mine.]

The abolition of public schools is CSAMA’s number one goal, even ahead of death camps. ‘Screw you, poor kids/Antichrists! Ghetto trash/Antichrists don’t need to read!’

At the Intelligent Design website Uncommon Descent, Denyse O’Leary explains her deep hatred for “materialism”: “If this is a culture war, I plead innocent for starting it. It was started by entrenched tax burdens.”

Don’t worry O’Leary, your tax burden will be lighter after the Creation Society of Mid-America gets rid of public schools for ghetto trash/Antichrists.

They say that their “worldview” and their “metaphysics” are essential, not just to their morality, but to any conceivable system of morality. Therefore, “materialism” supposedly leads to amorality.

But what the hell are their values? What values follow from their “worldview”?

If you do simple Google searches on creationist web sites (AIG or CMI), you find countless screeds against enemies and bogeymen and scapegoats that are way outside their supposed purview–the gays, premarital sex, Muslims, the scientists.

But nothing, nothing about rich corporations that commit crimes, or fraud, or engage in de facto pyramid schemes, or sell defective products that kill people.

Nothing about Enron, WorldCom, Lehman Brothers, Countrywide Financial, nothing. Nobody rich. Ever.

As long as you believe in Christ, you can enrich yourself in any way possible, both with taxpayers’ money through the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives, or with African blood diamonds, or any which way you can get your hands on it, like Pat Robertson does.

I only found one–one–reference to corporate malfeasance among the anti-evolution, anti-science fundamentalists: Chuck Colson, convicted felon. Colson was part of the Watergate conspiracy, and said he was “valuable to the President … because I was willing … to be ruthless in getting things done.”

In the 1970’s, Colson encouraged vandalism and terrorism for Nixon. He proposed firebombing the Brookings Institution and stealing their documents, and was given the job of arranging the murder of peace protesters.

When it comes to anti-evolution, he is in favor of free speech:

I suggest you ignore the forces that would stifle all dissent, and take a look at [Michael] Behe’s book The Edge of Evolution. Even if you do not agree with everything in it, as I do not, you do not need to follow the Darwinist line that everything you disagree with must be squashed. Dare to think for yourself. You just might learn what the Darwinists and the anti-theists do not want you to know. [Source: The Christian Post. Emphasis mine.]

This is a little different from his behavior in the 1970’s, when Colson was given the job of arranging Teamster thugs to murder peace protesters. From the Nixon tapes:

Haldeman: Colson’s gonna…do it with the Teamsters.

Nixon: They’ve got guys who’ll go in and knock their heads off.

Haldeman: Sure. Murderers… They’re gonna beat the [expletive deleted] out of some of those people. And, uh, and hope they really hurt’em.

[Source: The Family by Jeff Sharlet, p. 231. Emphasis mine.]

When it comes to people protesting for peace, he’ll hire paid killers. But when it comes to anti-science, Mr. Free Thought complains about “the Darwinist line that everything you disagree with must be squashed.”

Now let’s see what Mr. Free Thought says about moral values for corporations, in this case, Enron. Again, this is the only reference to corporate malfeasance I can find among the anti-evolutionists:

…Has value-free post-modernity — the fruit of modern secularism — undermined the moral foundation essential for democratic capitalism?

…Now mind you, Enron’s leaders were the best and the brightest, pillars of the community. Enron’s chairman, Kenneth Lay, boasted he hired only graduates of the top business schools.

What Enron’s collapse exposes is the glaring failure of these business schools. Ethics, you see, historically rests on absolute truth, which our top schools have systematically assaulted for four decades. And business school graduates leave the schools, as I discovered when I lectured at Harvard Business School ten years ago, without a clue about ethics.

But the Enron debacle does offer a good chance for Christians to contend for the Biblical worldview in the economic marketplace. The Scriptures endorse concepts like private property, contract rights, and the discharge of debts — all essential to free markets

…The lesson of history, which our neighbors need to understand, is that capitalism is healthy only when subject to moral restraints derived ultimately from religious truth. [Source. Emphasis mine.]

Notice that Colson is blaming Enron’s malfeasance on “secularism”. Our schools are to blame, he implies, for not being right wing enough. Our business schools–which (along with economics departments) are the only part of modern universities dominated by right wing professors. But for Colson, the solution to problems caused by right wing values is… more extreme right wing values.

I got a couple questions about this:

First, what “moral constraints” was Colson subject to when he wanted to engage in terrorism, theft and murder in the 1970’s?

Second, how’d that project of using the Enron collapse to contend for Biblical morality in the marketplace turn out?

Not very well, apparently, considering what happened in September 2008. Or, maybe that was the kind of success they wanted after all.

A few people got rich from the destruction of the economy, after all. So, success, by the standards of right wing fundamentalists.

Anyway, Colson gets lots of money from you and me and other US taxpayers through the Office of Faith-Based intitiatives. We pay for his fame and self-aggrandizement.

Thanks to this US taxpayer-funded fame, the Templeton Foundation gave him their $1 million prize.

Compare the anti-scientists’ near-complete silence regarding corporate malfeasance, against their deafening screeches about gay sex.

Creationist Jonathan Sarfati, pro-infanticide genocidalist asshole of Creation Ministries International, calls gays “homonazis”, “sodomofascists” and the “Gay-stapo” in this post.

No corporation, no rich person, ever has been, or ever will be compared by fundamentalists to the Nazis, no matter how many people they impoverish, no matter how many pension funds are destroyed.

Sarfati calls the gays “the Gay-stapo” because he wishes to compound the murder of a young gay man, Matthew Shepard, by slandering him after he is dead these many years:

How precious can you get? Homosexuals are now a politically protected victim group, about which it is verboten to say anything negative. And certain homonazis want Christians punished if they quote from the Bible against homosexual behavior…

…the vile murder of the 21-year-old homosexual Matthew Shepard by young thugs he had propositioned was front page news as an alleged anti-gay ‘hate crime’, and blamed on conservative Christians…

(Actually, six years after the murder, the media finally researched the case properly and found that Shepard’s killers were motivated by money and drugs, while the savagery was fueled by methamphetamine abuse not anti-gay hate.)

[Source: Creation Ministries International. Emphasis mine.]

Whenever Sarfati writes “Actually, reasearchers found…”, you should sure as hell double-check his sources. He’s wrong, of course. Shepard did not proposition his killers, according to police detectives who handled the case.

Note Sarfati’s logic: he does trust the murderers when they said at trial that a gay attacked them sexually– the murderers being the only source of that story. But then Sarfati does not trust the murderers when in 1999 they said that Shepard did not proposition them. And again Sarfati does not trust the murderers when they said under oath at the 1998 trial that they killed him because he was gay. But then, Sarfati is back to trusting the murderers again when in 2004 they change their story and say they didn’t hate gays after all. Is there any logic to this? For Sarfati, sure, asshole logic: he believes anything and everything that makes gays look perverted, and makes Christians look like the real oppressed class.

Yes, even after gay people get murdered, are dead and presumably can do no harm to fundamentalists, Sarfati has to lie about them and slander them to compound the crime.

But corporations get a free pass, even after they destroy our financial system and drive the economy into the ground.

No matter what they call it, what the right wing authoritarians push here is a marketing campaign with materialist motives, and they call it anti-materialism.

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Your Science Makes Jesus Cry: Right Wingers and the Campaign Against “Materialism”

Rebecca Bynum recently wrote an article in NER which serves as a typically hilarious example of the anti-science attack line favored nowadays by the religious right: the threat of so-called “materialism.” This attack line, now universally promoted among anti-science right wingers, creationists, Intelligent Design proponents and mystics, claims there is a religion of “materialism” adhered to by all scientists who believe in evolution (which is to say, 99.99% of scientists).

All the anti-science right wingers who attack “materialism” do so by issuing coffee-spittingly ridiculous falsehoods about the most basic scientific facts, as we’ll see in a moment.

What is this “materialism” anyway? If you ask them, right wing authoritarians usually say it is atheism, or the belief that matter is all that exists. But that is not what they’re really opposing. After all, the people doing the attacking–right wing authoritarians and fundamentalists– are using it in a campaign to promote their own materialist political agenda: expanding their religious leaders’ “infallible” authority, and enlarging the rights of the rich and powerful to acquire material wealth and never be held accountable for the damage caused when they suck that wealth from the poor and middle class.

It takes guts for fundamentalist leaders, like Pat ‘blood diamond miner‘ Robertson, to accuse pro-science people of “materialism”, when their own defense of plutocracy and lack of accountability for rich corporations is itself a political, a material–indeed, a materialist–act.

We’ll see in more detail in my next blog post, the terminology used by right wing authoritarians is not honest; this is not about atheism or anti-atheism, nor does it have anything to do with “matter is all that exists.” Their terminology is dishonest.

And their “science” is hilarious. To this campaign they have attached a grab bag of howlingly funny falsehoods about the simplest, most basic scientific facts…as we’ll see in a moment.

All fundamentalist campaigns need something to scare you with–it used to be abolitionists; or free blacks; or Catholics; or Freemasons; or Jews; or communists; or Jewish communists.

Sigh… OK, who’s the scapegoat this time?

The latest materialist campaign by right wing fundamentalists uses science as its scapegoat. Well, fundamentalists used to be against blacks marrying whites. That’s progress I guess.

Most scientists think scientific problems can be solved. (If they didn’t, they would get jobs that pay actual money.) But this worries fundamentalist leaders like Pat Robertson and Ken Ham, because they know that the solvability of real problems, by the use of reason, and by demanding evidence for statements, undermines fundamentalist leaders’ divinely infallible authority, and their demand to never be held accountable for their misdeeds.

Thus, logically, you might think that by attacking “materialism”, right wing authoritarians are only attacking the belief that science could solve some unsolved problems in the future.

Wrong. That would be minimalist, but these people want the whole enchilada. When they really want to inflame your hatred, right wing authoritarians tell you that science has never solved any problems in the past.

If you say that scientists have ever solved a problem–found the causes behind any effect, cured any diseases, invented any technologies–solved any problem, even a simple problem from a hundred years ago–then you are the Darwinian thought police, a mad scientist out to enslave mankind. “Moo hoo hoo ha ha ha ha!!

Of course there really are mysteries that science has not yet solved or just partially solved (dark energy, dark matter, abiogenesis, reconciliation of gravity and quantum mechanics, etc.)

But weirdly, fundamentalists have almost no interest in real scientific problems that really are unsolved. Instead, the “anti-materialist” campaign, for some weird reason I don’t understand, is fixated on coffee-spittingly ridiculous, false claims–saying that very basic scientific problems that were solved many decades or centuries ago, are still unsolved; and scientists today don’t know a damn thing about anything anywhere.

No let’s see some examples of Bynum’s ridiculous science errors. First Bynum says that scientists “…cannot tell us what electricity is…”

ARRGH! Scientists don’t even know what electricity is now? It’s electrons moving through matter in response to an electrostatic field, bitches!!

The year is 2010 fer crissakes! The electron was identified by J.J. Thomson in 1897!

When I was a physics TA there was one class called “Physics for Blondes” that was intended for cheerleaders and humanities majors–but even in that class, even the very stupidest students knew what electricity is!

Bynum: “Scientists observe the elliptical movements of the planets and the mathematical precision of the orbits of electrons around the atomic proton, and postulate the existence of forces to explain these motions, but they cannot tell us what these forces actually are.”

ARRGH! They’re momentum transfers mediated by the exchange of virtual particles of integral spin as described by quantum field theory, bitches!!

Bynum also says science “can no more predict that one hydrogen and two oxygen atoms combined would create water…”

Quantum electrodynamical simulations reproduce the formation of oxygen-hydrogen molecular bonds, bitches!!

And now, Bill O’Reilly. In this video, Bellow Reilly tells Richard Dawkins that scientists cannot explain why “the tides come in, the tides go out, the sun goes up, the sun goes down.”

Oh it’s the tides now!? The tides are due to the gravitational attraction of the moon, bitches!!

I could understand if they said things like “Scientists don’t know what dark energy is,” which at least would be true.

But for some weird reason I don’t understand, right wing authoritarians have a bizarre compulsion to lie about problems solved many decades or centuries ago! I mean, scientists don’t know what electricity is? Scientists don’t know how oxygen and hydrogen combine? Scientists don’t know why tides follow the moon? WTF is this, is this some kind of weird OCD compulsion to lie about science that you can’t control, like when OCD people wash their hands over and over and over? WTF is wrong with you people!?

I understand you’re terrified about teen sex and gay sex. But why are you saying scientists don’t know why the sun rises!? Angular momentum conservation of a spinning planet, bitches!!

Now more coffee-spittingly ridiculous science from anti-evolutionists: Phillip Johnson, the founder of the pro-Intelligent Design faith tank the Discovery Institute, made the accusation that scientists believe in a “materialist” religion central to his anti-evolution campaign. This ad hominem attack is basically his whole argument, and he tries to avoid talking about scientific evidence– which is convenient because lawyer Johnson has shown himself ignorant about science and not even curious about it.

Johnson and his anti-evolution acolyte, Jonathan Wells, insisted in 1991 that AIDS is not caused by HIV.

Say it with me now: Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome is caused by HIV… bitches.

In 1999, Johnson gave a talk at D. James Kennedy’s convention, “Reclaiming America for Christ” (like it ever belonged to him in the first place), where Johnson gave a talk to help make Kennedy’s super-chauvinist Dominionist audience dumber and more obedient:

In every textbook for the past several decades the prime illustration of the power of natural selection has been the Peppered Moth population in central England… It doesn’t show the creation of anything. Nothing new enters. There’s light and dark moths at the beginning and at the end. And that’s it. That’s the most powerful demonstration of what natural selection has actually been seen to do.

Why, then, is this taken as evidence of natural selection’s vast creative power? The experiment is so trivial that it’s almost an anticlimax. It’s also not honest; it’s actually a scam. It’s now well known in the scientific world, and has been in the major journals, that the moths don’t even sit on tree trunks. Yet there are pictures in all the textbooks of these moths on tree trunks. In order to make the pictures, the scientists actually glued the moths to the tree trunks. I am not kidding. [Source. Emphasis mine.]

Johnson is not kidding; he’s lying. Johnson and his acolyte, Jonathan Wells, have a weird OCD compulsion to lie about the damn moths not sitting on the damn tree trunks. Majerus’ book Melanism even came out in 1998 with photos showing moths in the wild, not glued sitting on the damn tree trunks. Can Johnson and Wells not understand simple pie charts showing that moths are sitting on the damn tree trunks?

Why, why do they have to lie about this minor point? Do moths really scare right-wingers so goddamn much?

Symptoms of Fear Of Moths: Test & Diagnosis
If this fear is having a significant negative impact on your life, it’s time to do something about it.

Does the thought of moths make you nauseous? Does it trigger a dry mouth and clammy hands? Does your heart feel like it’s going to pound right out of your chest? Do your legs turn to rubber bands?

We can help you get rid of that trauma. It’s what we’re all about.

They’re frigging moths fer crissakes! My two-year-old isn’t even afraid of moths, you mottephobic bitches!!

And in 2004, Jonathan Wells, asshole, continued his winning streak by saying cancer is not caused by genetic mutations.

And now… Enter the Mr. Blackwell of anti-evolutionists, philosopher David Berlinski (also a fellow at Johnson’s Discovery Institute), who in 1996 disproved evolution with a series of “Why is the sky blue Daddy?” type questions.

Says Berlinski, scientists have absolutely no idea “Why [is there] echolocation in the bats but not the buzzards?”

Gee, that’s a tough one. Do ya think it might be because bats live in the dark, and buzzards don’t, bitches?

Furthermore, Berlinski tells us, those dumb scientists can never solve the profound mystery of “[Why are there] Pouches among the possums but not the penguins?”

Uh…maybe because penguins do have a pocket to keep their chicks warm, bitches!!

And the philosopher continues: scientists will never, never be able to figure out “Why is the Pitcher plant carnivorous, but not the thorn bush?”

Even the guy who sells me tomato seeds knows the answer to that one…

Because carnivorous plants grow in poor soil and can only get nutrients from eating insects, bitches!!

[Source: David Berlinski, The Deniable Darwin. Commentary, June 1996.]

And when you think it can’t get worse…

Some influential creationists say that the Earth does not even spin…no, Copernicus, Galileo, and Newton et al. were in the materialist conspiracy. The Bible is clear: Earth can’t move. So they conclude that the Sun and all planets, stars and galaxies spin around the Earth every 24 hours.

The State of Kansas’ School Board in 1999 wanted to rewrite their state’s science education standards to make them anti-evolution. When you wanna fight evolutionists, who you gonna call? Creationist Nazis! Yes, the State of Kansas called in Tom Willis to write their state’s science standards. [Source: Washington Post, 8/12/1999.]

The Creation Society of Mid-America, led by Tom ‘death camp for scientists‘ Willis, teaches that evolution is a hoax, and the Sun goes around the Earth, and if you think otherwise, it’s the death camp for you.

The Bible strongly states that the earth can be shaken, but does not move at all (Ps 93:1). But the sun does move (e.g., Joshua 10:12-14) and does so in a circuit (Psalm 19:1-6). Some will argue “that is only your interpretation.” My response is simply, “It is not an interpretation at all, it is what the words say…”

…Now, what does the evidence say? In the last segment, we suggested that all experiments to demonstrate that the earth moves at all have failed. All seem to indicate the earth does not move at all. There is much evidence that the earth is young and cannot possibly be millions, much less billions of years old… While it is much more difficult to prove how quickly the earth was formed, there is, in fact hard evidence that it must have formed quickly because it could not have formed slowly…
[Source: CSAMA Newsletter, Vol. 17(2), Mar/Apr 2000]

How influential are geocentric anti-evolutionists? Two Georgia State Representative sent out a letter to fellow lawmakers revealing the “indisputable” scientific evidence that proves the evolution “hoax” and Copernican astronomy are both part of an ancient Jewish Kabbalist conspiracy; of course Isaac Newton and his theory were part of the conspiracy. The lawmakers’ letter read:

Indisputable evidence — long hidden but now available to everyone — demonstrates conclusively that so-called ‘secular evolution science’ is the Big-Bang 15-billion-year alternate ‘creation scenario’ of the Pharisee Religion. This scenario is derived concept-for-concept from Rabbinic writings in the mystic ‘holy book’ Kabbala dating back at least two millennia.

The Texas lawmakers apologized for offending Jews, but not for offending reason. One of them, Ben Bridges, when asked if he really believed that evolution is a Jewish conspiracy and that the Earth doesn’t really move, replied, “I agree with it more than I would the Big Bang Theory or the Darwin Theory. I am convinced that rather than risk teaching a lie why teach anything?”

Ridiculous anti-science is a very old tradition. Here’s Martin Luther, Protestant theologian, who, like Willis above, points out accurately that the Bible says the Earth can’t move (it does say that) so the Sun must go around the Earth:

People gave ear to an upstart astrologer [Copernicus] who strove to show that the earth revolves, not the heavens or the firmament, the sun and the moon… This fool wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy; but sacred Scripture tells us that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, and not the earth.
[Martin Luther, Table Talk]

Luther made many statements of this sort, for example, that Christians must believe that there are oceans below the Earth and above the sky, because the Bible says so (Genesis Chapter 1 does say that.)

Here’s Luther intertwining his anti-science and his psychotic anti-Semitic hatred:

No person has yet been born, or will ever be born, who can grasp or comprehend how foliage can sprout from wood or a tree, or how grass can grow forth from stone or earth, or how any creature can be begotten. Yet these filthy, blind, hardened liars [Jews] presume to fathom and to know what is happening outside and beyond the creature in God’s hidden, incomprehensible, inscrutable, and eternal essence… [The Jews] call our faith idolatrous, which is to reproach and defame God himself as an idol.
[Source: Martin Luther, On the Jews and Their Lies, Part XII]

Oh, Marty McHitler thinks no one can ever explain how any creature is begotten eh?

Well…uh…the sperm cell attaches to the egg and their membranes fuse in a CD9-mediated interaction causing insertion of sperm nucleus followed by increasing calcium ion concentration and intracellular pH which triggers an increase in oocyte protein synthesis producing fusion of egg and sperm pronuclei thus forming the diploid zygote nucleus and initiating embryogenesis consisting of gastrulation, neurulation, and body plan partitioning controlled by homeobox gene kits…


Your science makes Jesus cry, and he thought Adam and Eve were real.

The right wing anti-“materialist” campaign is inspired by them asking themselves one question:


“What science would Jesus lie about?”

Let’s be clear: right wing authoritarians do not really mean what they say when they oppose “materialism.”

This is not about atheism. Right wing authoritarians use science as a scapegoat in a political campaign centered on a lack of accountability of their leaders, and the materialist enrichment of their corporate overlords.

A point we will demonstrate more forcefully in my next blog post.

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Cornelius Hunter’s Logic: Intelligent Design Can Disprove “Obama Is President” Theory

The Intelligent Design proponent and Discovery Institute (DI) Fellow Cornelius Hunter has a post at his blog where he argues that evolution disproven because is not parsimonious–that is, because the evolutionary pathways leading to complex organisms are complex. Hunter has a slogan, endlessly repeated: “Religion drives science and it matters”, which is quite a “tu quoque” argument coming from a guy who works for a faith tank like the DI. This is like the Klan cutting off all accusations that they’re racist by starting out by saying: ‘If you don’t like us, you’re racist against white people.’ Not that Hunter is a racist, of course, but the point is, right-wingers definitely understand how to launch a preemptive strike by first accusing others (without evidence) of what they themselves (with evidence) are manifestly guilty of.

So Hunter’s post claims that evolution is disproven because, in
this research paper, the authors used genetic comparisons to construct our best model of the tree of descent for the first placental mammals, and found it involved hybridization events very early in the history of mammals.

Hybridization? Says Cornelius Hunter. That disproves “Darwinism”!

Uh huh…

I have recently heard an absurd “origin theory” about the president of the United States– that the US President is neither black nor white, but both at the same time!

A HYBRIDIZATION theory!? Hybridization never happens in the real world!

The US population is 1.7% multiracial, so the odds of this “Half-Black President” origin theory are 58.8 to 1!

But it gets worse! The “Obama origin theory” furthermore claims that he was born in Hawaii in 1959!

Now Hawaii is 43rd among US states in population, and the odds against the President being born in a state the size of Hawaii are 239 to 1!

And, given that the president must be at least 35 and less than say 90 or so, the odds against him being born in 1959 are 65 to 1!

So the combined odds against this dogmatic atheist “origin story” are now 916,375 to 1!

Clearly, the only reason why anyone would believe this “Obama is President” story is a metaphysical precommitment to atheism.

But it gets worse! They say he’s “American”, but they also say his father was from KENYA! How many people have Kenyan fathers?

Epicycles upon Epicycles!

And their “origin theory” furthermore claims he grew up in Indonesia!

Most Americans don’t even have a passport! The odds against this unparsimonious origin theory are now millions to one.

Another falsified prediction of the dogmatic “Obama is President” thought police!

Religion drives the “Obama is President” theory, and it matters.

Don’t pay any attention to the vast number of successful predictions of the atheist “Obama is President” theory, like that birth announcement printed in Honolulu newspapers in 1959, or the photos of him with his white grandma.

Why should a vast number of successful predictions matter!?

Luckily, Mr. Hunter has a more parsimonious theory about the origin of our president, right? A more parsimonious theory that makes testable predictions that are both more specific and different from the accepted theory…You do, right, Mr. Hunter?

The current theory hurts my brain. So please keep yours simple, Mr. Hunter.

Such as for example, that all the relevant authorities are lying to us.

…And have faked their incomparably vaster number of successful predictions.

…And have tricked us into thinking that their many “falsified predictions” are really successful predictions, or relevant to other topics altogether.

Hunter has on his website a long list of what he calls “failed predictions” of Darwinism. I scanned it: mostly successful predictions of Darwinism, or observations that make Darwinism more probable (for example, the genetic code is more tolerant to mutations than you would expect at random, thus minimizing deleterious mutations and making constructive mutations more likely), or stuff that’s irrelevant as far as Darwin is concerned.

Hey Hunter: It’s Wednesday and it’s raining. Please add that to your list of “failed predictions of Darwinism”; it is as good as anything else on there.

In his current post Hunter basically says that the historical pathways by which complex organisms (in this case, the first placental mammals) evolved are too complex. This is in reference to a research paper that tries to reconstruct the origin of the first placental mammals by genetic analysis.

The authors are trying to figure out which large groups of placental mammals were the first to split off from the other placental mammals. Was the first outlier Afrotheria (elephants, elephant shrews, sea cows and such)? Or was the first group to branch off Xenarthra (South American anteaters, armadillos, tree sloths, extinct ground sloths and such)?

The authors (Churakov et al.) write: “These findings provide significant support for a “soft” polytomy of the major mammalian clades.” A “clade” is a bunch of species with a single common ancestor, that is, all branches that grow upward from a single node, i.e. up from one progenitor branch. A “soft polytomy” means that it appears that more than one branch split off at one time from the common ancestor, as far as we can tell, but there’s not enough phylogenetic data (yet) to say. So we can’t tell if the ancestors of elephants or of sloths were the first to bid good-bye to the other placental mammals, or if they both split off at the same time. (Of course the ancestors of marsupials, like kangaroos, branched off before that.)

The authors write:

Ancestral successive hybridization events and/or incomplete lineage sorting associated with short speciation intervals are viable explanations for the mosaic retroposon insertion patterns of recent placental mammals and for the futile search for a clear root dichotomy.

Hunter concludes this is not parsimonious enough– compared to what, I don’t know.

Evolutionists think nothing of these sorts of explanations and repeatedly use them when needed. But elaborate explanations can always be contrived in order to explain observations. Why should we believe they are true? As with heliocentrism, evolution erects so many “epicycles” in order to fit the data. Religion drives science and it matters.

Now, if evidence of hybridization disproves evolution, then Barack Obama’s mere existence disproves evolution.

Hey, all scientists agree, the most parsimonious theory that fits the data, is the best. We’d like the universal tree of descent to be as simple as possible, while fitting the data. But hybridization happens. It’s not the norm, but you’ve got to expect it sometimes. Organisms mate with outliers. It happens.

Also, my kid’s existence disproves evolution too, by Cornelius Hunter’s logic. Because my kid’s a hybrid, indeed, so his birth disproves evolution. Right?

Hunter and his Intelligent Design colleagues don’t have a parsimonious theory, nor a parsimonious theory that fits the data, nor a theory that is not parsimonious and fits the data. Nor do his colleagues have one, single, successful, distinct prediction that has not already been falsified (like Behe’s irreducible complexities which have always been reducible.) Now that matters.

Religion drives Hunter’s assertion that all evidences that make Darwinian evolution more probable, are “unsuccessful predictions” of “Darwinism.” And it matters…nah it doesn’t. I don’t care if he believes in the blue peacock of Yazidism.

Does religion drive scientific failure? I don’t care.

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Intelligent Design Mysticism and The Rape of Information Theory

Now that Stephen Meyer has published the most mystical book since the Necronomicon—his Intelligent Design tome Signature in the Cell—we’re in for another tsunami of creationists raping information theory. Creationists and IDists like Meyer have noticed that there’s information in DNA, you’re shocked I know, and they mystically intuit that only intelligent beings can create information. Therefore all living things are intelligently designed. By whom? When the Discovery Instituters want taxpayers to buy their textbooks, they’re a bit vague on who he is—“identity a secret, but it rhymes with Todd” (as Steve Mirsky says [1].)

Creationists and IDists know in their gut that only intelligence can make “information”, in the same sense that only leprechauns can make shoes, and only elves can make cookies full of hydrogenated vegetable oil…er… Elfen magic!

Let’s not confuse this info-mysticism with the real branch of mathematics called information theory. To distinguish them, mathematician Jeff Shallit calls the mystic quantity “creationist information” [2], but here I’m going to call it info shminfo—an occult, intangible, unmeasurable, undefinable, bedazzled, polka-dotted (oh why not?) something or other.

In contrast, real information (the sciencey kind) has a precise mathematical definintion and can be computed [3]. IDists like Stephen Meyer et al. lift the jargon of information theory while often contradicting its mathematical properties (when convenient).

ID proponents are equivalent to New Ager mystics who lift scientific jargon to sell a functionless product: like the New Age salesmen who say their crystals emit ‘vibrations’, and their psychic powers are due to ‘electromagnetic fields’, and that Sedona, Arizona has ‘energy vortexes’, ooga booga.

To see how ridiculous info-mysticism has gotten, here’s a video of a preacher, Peanut Butter Man, claiming that he has disproven evolution with some info shminfo and a jar of peanut butter [4].

According to the Reverend Skippy (real name Chuck Missler), evolution is disproven because peanut butter does not turn into a living organism, unless “some information [is] added to it.” Uh, has he actually read the list of ingredients for peanut butter? It’s full of preservatives to prevent anything from living in it. Considering what they put in peanut butter, we’re lucky we can eat it and remain alive.

Did you know? No creationist and no IDist has ever measured the info shminfo in any gene, or any protein, or in any genetic sequence from any genome.

Consider any gene—say, the gene for b hemoglobin in blood. A single mutation (A to T) can confer resistance to malaria, but can also give you sickle cell anemia (if you’re homozygous for it.) Creationists generally say that after this mutation happens, the info shminfo has decreased. How the hell do they know?  They can’t measure the info shminfo in normal hemoglobin; how would they know if it’s a tiny bit more or less after the mutation?  And by how much?  You can’t weasel out by saying, “Sickle cell is a disease,” since that A to T mutation helps prevent malaria, which is also a disease.

And if hypothetically the info shminfo really did decrease, why can’t a random T to A mutation do it backwards, and increase the info shminfo back to where it was before?

If you use different equations (to measure info shminfo) before and after the mutation, it’s accounting fraud. If you use no equation, you’re raping information theory. The Discovery Institute, Werner Gitt, Tom Willis and Carl Wieland et al. have no equations to measure info shminfo; but they all dishonestly imply they do, to fool lay audiences.

Even though creationists can’t measure how much info shminfo there is in anything, nevertheless they know for sure there’s less now than there was last week.  They call this mystic mood the “law of conservation of information,” which at least sounds scientific, like ‘harmonic convergence.’

Creationists insist their ‘conservation law’ is proven because scientists can’t produce a counter-example: a situation in which creationists feel that the amount of info shminfo has increased because of a natural process. Thus, creationists demand that scientists build a machine to disprove their feelings. Which are mostly nihilism and pessimism, as far as I can tell. I suggest listening to a Carpenters CD.

Meanwhile back on round Earth…real information theory is a branch of mathematics founded by Claude Shannon in 1948 [3]. It’s genuinely useful in a lot of different fields, most famously electrical engineering; but it’s also useful in bioinformatics (theoretical molecular biology.)  Shannon defined an equation for the mutual information between two properties. ‘Mutual information’ means that, when two properties (X and Y) are statistically correlated, then whatever knowledge you have about a property (X) will reduce your uncertainty about the other property, Y.

By Shannon’s definition, natural non-random processes, including natural selection, create information. The size of a footprint has information about the size of a foot. The air frozen in tiny bubbles in arctic ice has information about ancient climates. They’re correlated. They have information. Nature did it. Done.

Creationists assert that info shminfo has properties that sometimes are similar to, and other times opposite to, Shannon’s information, depending on what’s convenient for creationists at the moment. To put it politely and respectfully, creationists like Werner Gitt, Carl Wieland and Stephen Meyer dug up Shannon’s grave and skull-raped him. They just lift Shannon’s jargon so they can feed like hagfish up the ass of his authority.

Shannon’s information is always about something. What is info shminfo even about, anyway? Creationists can’t answer even the simplest questions about it.

Because of vague definitions, creationists move their goal posts when confronted with experimental [5] and theoretical evidence [6] of natural processes increasing complexity or information (objectively defined).

Consider Werner Gitt (widely respected by creationists like Answers in Genesis and CMI), who wows the nonscientist audiences he talks to by telling them his mystic intuitions are “theorems”, and by using lots of self-invented hyperpolymultisyllabificationizing [7]. This Gitt defines “information” as “meaning”, and defines “meaning” as the thing that only intelligences can create. So since DNA obviously has lots of info shminfo, it must have lots of “meaning” and thus was made by God. This proves creationist DTHT (Dirt-to-Human Transition Theory).

This Gitt admits explicitly that his info shminfo cannot be mathematically formulated, in a fascinating exchange with Jason Rosenhouse (read it, it’s great) [9]. Although Gitt cannot measure how much “meaning” is in any gene, he still asserts as a universal law that mutations of the Darwinian type can only decrease meaning. (What units would “meaning” be measured in anyway?  Meanits?)

This Gitt backs up his laws of information by saying: no scientist has ever provided a counter-example!  Sure.  Suppose I say there’s a ‘universal pizza law’ which says that, at the moment a pizza is removed from an oven, its ‘epistemology’ is a maximum, and thereafter only decreases. But I haven’t told you what ‘epistemology’ means here, and I didn’t tell you how to measure it. Anyway, my universal pizza law is proven, see, because you can’t present a counter-example where the epistemology in a pizza goes back up—can you?

Back on round Earth, Shannon made it clear that information and meaning were different. Shannon’s equations could measure information, but he was clear he could not measure meaning.

Now enter the Intelligent Design faith tank, the Discovery Institute [10]. DI theorist William Dembski described a quantity he called “complex specified information” (CSI) in books like No Free Lunch. It has been re-defined more than once since them, and nowadays is almost always called “specified complexity.”

In his DI colleague Meyer’s new book, Signature in the Cell, Meyer states without evidence that info shminfo necessarily requires intelligence to create it:

…both common experience and experimental evidence affirms intelligent design as a necessary condition (and cause) of information… [Meyer, SitC [11], p. 343. Boldface mine.]

How the hell did he arrive at that? The Oracle at the Temple of Delphi used to sniff ethylene gas from a seismic crack before uttering her prophecies…which was a more rigorous derivation than Meyer’s.

How exactly would you calculate how much info shminfo is in a real system? Does a human-built wooden dam have info shminfo, but a beaver-built wooden dam has none?

If you had an equation (they don’t), and if a system changed via a natural process, you would need to apply the same equation both before and after the change to measure the difference.

OK, now IDists will complain that in this 2005 paper [12], Bill Dembski vaguely describes how you might make an equation by which CSI could be computed—if you first turn the object is into a string of data bits, somehow or other. But no one has ever derived that equations; and no one has ever applied the suggested method to any gene or protein or anything biological. In that paper Dembski actually only computes a number for the “specified complexity” of one, very simple example (the bit string “1111111111”). He possibly showed that that particular bit string is non-random—but he could not show that even that simple string must be produced by intelligent beings. Could be made by a woodpecker too.

There’s no way of knowing if the equations he suggests (he doesn’t actually derive them) could be applied to biological systems, or if they really would distinguish random from non-random, or artificial stuff from natural stuff, because no one’s ever tried it. But the whole mystic authority of ID rests on such untested hand-waving.

In practice the DI has never used those equations to compute the CSI in any gene or any protein. They’ve never even computed the CSI to distinguish a caveman’s stone tool from a sharp rock made by geological forces—although they constantly, constantly, keep repeating that they really could do it if they wanted to!

Now that we’re done with math, let the mystic reading of goat entrails begin! Stephen Meyer, it’s time to don your feathered headdress!

In Meyer’s book Signature in the Cell, he claims to have “experimental evidence” that info shminfo always comes from intelligence. And the goat entrails are speaking to him…yes…yesss… My God!  DNA has info shminfo too! This changes everything!

With just as much authority, my “experimental evidence” taking peyote in the desert told me that the Turtle Totem was my Spirit Guide.

Here’s the whole dishonest strategy by which Meyer et al. concoct their “experimental evidence.” First, note that CSI used to be an “information.” Later it was called a “complexity.” They changed it. Anyway, this year it’s a complexity.

Now the DI says some complexity is “specified”, and some is “not specified”, although exactly what the term “specified” means is… unspecified.  If you really read their stuff, you find that both their “specification” and their “complexity” are defined in multiple ways, which allows IDists to cheat by moving their goal posts after Darwin’s football has flown through.

But let’s stick with “specification” for the moment, which by itself is enough to turn “specified complexity” into an occult quantity to be mystically divined. The DI intuits the CSI in objects from only two categories:

  1. Stuff that’s obviously artificial, non-random created by humans (e.g. Mount Rushmore, Mona Lisa). The goat entrails say…It’s specified!
  2. The output of simple natural, totally random processes (e.g. flipping a coin, rolling dice).  It may be complex, but…the goat entrails say…it’s never specified!

Thus, Meyer divines that no natural process makes anything that is both “complex” and “specified.”

Now a scientist or sensible person would object that they neglected the all-important third category: non-random natural processes (like crystallization, magnetization, formation of stalactites, convection cells etc.) that produce highly ordered, low-probability objects. These processes do make objects that are “complex” by the DI’s own definition of “complex.”

(Note the DI’s definition is not the standard definition of complexity—by “complex” they mean low probability of arrangement of parts, if they were thrown together totally randomly.)

Since non-random natural processes like crystallization, magnetization, etc. make “complex” things (by the DI’s own definition), then in principle maybe evolution could also make “complex” things, like, say, the proteins in blood. (After all, evolution involves mutations that are random, and natural selection that is non-random.)

But category three is verboten! For natural non-random processes, the oracles of Intelligent Design put on the Urim and Thummim and perform arcane rituals like the French guy in Raiders of the Lost Ark. They thus divine that all such objects (crystals, snowflakes, etc.) are “not specified,” ooga booga.

In short, they cheat. To see an explicit example of Discovery Institute cheating, in this great thread [13] at the ISCID (staffed by the fellows of the DI), a poster called Gedanken systematically destroys the foundations of “specified complexity.” When the stone heads on Easter Island are claimed to have specified complexity, our friend “Gedanken” asks: what exactly is the “specification” for stone faces?

DI creationist Paul Nelson replies “The specification is the anatomical form of Homo sapiens.” Nelson follows this with 30 pages of equations describing the anatomical form of Homo sapiens. Nah I’m kidding, he just pulled it out his ass.

But wait: “Gedanken” cites counter-examples of natural rocks that look like human faces, like New Hamphire’s Old Man of the Mountain, the face on Mars, etc. Does this show CSI from natural processes?

No, Nelson revs up his goal posts: “…the human-like features of the pattern [Old Man of the Mountain] disappear at nearly all angles other than the one shown in the photograph above.”  The IDists invoke mystic authority to move their goal posts and exclude test cases that contradict their “laws of information.”  (Of course, plenty of real anamorphic artworks are artistically-designed to be recognizable only when viewed from a certain angle, like this cool pavement art, but that’s another story.)

What research did ID proponents do to arrive at these standards? The same research methods as the high priest of Nuku Hiva, so well described by Herman Melville in Typee. The priest, Kolory, of this gorgeous island must have been the Discovery Institute’s first Research Fellow. Pioneering the cutting-edge ID research techniques, this priest

…very often carried about with him what seemed to me the half of a broken war-club. It was swathed round with ragged bits of white tappa, and the upper part, which was intended to represent a human head, was embellished with a strip of scarlet cloth…In fact, this funny little image was the ‘crack’ god of the island…its name was Moa Artua… [W]ith the chiefs disposed in a circle around him, [Kolory] commences his ceremony.

In the first place he gives Moa Artua an affectionate hug…and, finally, whispers something in his ear; the rest of the company listening eagerly for a reply. But the baby-god is deaf or dumb–perhaps both, for never a word does he utter…and Kolory, seemingly losing his temper, fetches him a box over the head…and laying him in a state of nudity in a little trough, covers him from sight. At this proceeding all present loudly applaud and signify their approval by uttering the adjective ‘motarkee with violent emphasis…After a few moments Kolory brings forth his doll again, and…he once more speaks to it aloud.

The whole company hereupon show the greatest interest; while the priest holding Moa Artua to his ear interprets to them what he pretends the god is confidentially communicating to him. Some items of intelligence appear to tickle all present amazinglyWhether the priest honestly interpreted what he believed the divinity said to him, or whether he was not all the while guilty of a vile humbug, I shall not presume to decide. [14]

I shall. The Discovery Institute is guilty of a vile humbug. The arrogance with which the Kolorys of Intelligent Design claim their mystic authority, without doing any calculations, is breathtaking. It’s vividly on display in Meyer’s recent book:

Experience shows that large amounts of specified complexity or information (especially codes and languages) invariably originate from an intelligent source — from a mind or personal agent. [SitC, p. 343 [11]. Boldface mine.]

Invariably, Meyer?  Yes, because ID advocates invariably cheat; and they invariably move their goal posts after Darwin’s football flies through. They are invariably biased, and invariably exclude natural processes which would increase info shminfo—that is, which would if they would just give us one equation and stick to it!

Notice above that Meyer now adds the caveat that only intelligence can create “large amounts” of info shminfo.  No definition of “large amounts” here. Sigh. OK, if natural processes can create small amounts of info shminfo, then how much could they create in, let’s say, 5 million organisms evolving for 500 million years?

Also, Meyer now says that only an intelligent mind can make “specified complexity or information.”  Oh, which is it this time?  Is he now also including “unspecified” information along with the specified kind?

The Discovery Institute now has so many vaguely defined rules that they’re not just moving their goals posts—they’re moving the end zone, the referees, the Astroturf, the field markings, and the chick who sings the National Anthem.

Mathematician Jeff Shallit showed that Meyer’s mystical info shminfo does not have the properties of any real mathematical quantity [2].

In Meyer’s infamous 2004 paper published in the PBSW [15], he speaks of how the CSI of animal species vastly increased during the so-called “Cambrian explosion”, 540 million years ago.  He gives us no CSI calculations for any fossils from the Cambrian era, nor for any fossils from before the Cambrian. (By the way, Dembski defined CSI as something that an object either has or it doesn’t.  Yes or no.  First Meyer cites Dembski’s authority on CSI…and then Meyer contradicts Dembski and describes CSI as something he knows some organisms have more of than others.)

Meyer writes,..without functional criteria to guide a search through the space of possible sequences, random variation is probabilistically doomed.”

“Probabilistically doomed”? Did he calculate that? Nah, he got it the same way Professor Trelawney did when she told Harry Potter he too was “doomed”: by reading tea leaves.

All claimed “laws of conservation of information” rely on circular logic, although creationists bury the circularity in different ways. Werner Gitt buries the circularity in his assumption that all information has “meaning” and that only intelligence can make “meaning.”

The DI buries their circular logic by classifying all results of natural processes as “unspecified.” (Their probability calculation is bull too, but that’s another story.)

Next, IDists are forced to divide their info shminfo into different mystical sub-types. In the example I cited above—the human-built wooden dam vs. the beaver dam—IDists would say ‘the human-built dam has info shminfo that was recently created by human intelligence. But the beaver-built dam has old info shminfo that was smuggled into the beavers when God created beavers.’ I’m serious. That is really what IDists say: some info shminfo is smuggled in somehow, though they can’t distinguish the old smuggled kind from the new non-smuggled kind (“active info shminfo”).

But, on this basis, when scientists observe information appearing in evolutionary processes, Dembski says the scientists “smuggled” it in, so Dembski accuses them of research fraud [16,17]. This is no different from Cotton Mather, the first American Intelligent Design proponent and dogged opponent of “materialism”, who supported the admission of spectral evidence into witch trials.

Besides the “smuggled” and “active” info shminfo, IDists also believe in “apparent info shminfo” and “actual info shminfo.”

You see, a problem for ID is that there are a lot of computer programs that simulate Darwinian mutation and natural selection, in order to solve incredibly hard problems that no human engineer can solve. They produce the Darwinian design of even “irreducibly complex” systems that no engineer could have anticipated [19].

Darwin is kicking ID’s ass, so Dembski simply says that all Darwinian-evolved designs have “apparent info shminfo”, whereas human-made designs have “actual info shminfo.”  Sure, they may look exactly the same, but they’re missing an intangible and undetectable something!  And, Dembski also believes that if you take his photograph, you can steal his soul!

Here, Dembski is redefining “complexity” when convenient for him. He actually defines the designs produced by evolutionary algorithms, no matter how complicated they are, as having zero complexity by definition! [20] See Elsberry’s demolition of Dembski’s moving goal posts [21].

OK, now the ‘Motarkee!’ crowd will want to know: how does the information get into the genome?  Randomly generated mutations are non-randomly recorded—only advantageous changes get duplicated in the next generation, while deleterious changes are selected out and don’t get duplicated.

Creationists object to this by saying “it’s impossible for a randomly generated mutation to produce information! Randomness is not information!”  Doesn’t matter if the new gene sequence started out as random or not. The proportion of occurrence of that change is nonrandom, because natural selection non-randomly duplicates the advantageous changes.

I’ll put this in terms the right wing can understand: natural selection only records good news and forgets bad news—like the Fox News Channel when a Republican is president. Even if good news occurs at random intervals, the proportion of it that gets broadcast is non-randomly distributed.

By Shannon’s definition, statistical correlation is mutual information. Natural selection produces an ever-increasing correlation between the proportion of a mutant allele in the population, and how advantageous that mutation is. For more, you can read Tom Schneider’s 2000 paper about the Evolution of Biological Information [6].

Maybe you can claim natural selection cannot produce enough information to make X amount of complexity in organisms in Y amount of time.  OK, fine. Then do a calculation with X and Y in it, and we can argue about your calculation. But this can’t even start until you first pick one equation and stick to it!

If creationists would just pick one damn equation for info shminfo and stick to it, scientists could always find a counter-example that increases that stuff.

“Motarkee! Motarkee!”


1. The Trials of Life. By Steve Mirsky. Scientific American, December 2005. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-trials-of-life.

2. Stephen Meyer’s Bogus Information Theory by Jeffrey Shallit. http://recursed.blogspot.com/2009/10/stephen-meyers-bogus-information-theory.html.

3. Shannon, C.E. (1948), “A Mathematical Theory of Communication”, Bell System Technical Journal, 27, pp. 379–423 & 623–656, July & October, 1948. http://cm.bell-labs.com/cm/ms/what/shannonday/shannon1948.pdf.

4. YouTube: In Defense of the Peanut Butter Man. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vH5mBtc74lo.

5. TalkOrigins: Index to Creationist Claims CB102 http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB102.html.

6. Schneider, T. D., 2000. Evolution of biological information. Nucleic Acids Research 28(14): 2794-2799. http://www-lecb.ncifcrf.gov/~toms/paper/ev/.

7. Information, science and biology. by Werner Gitt. First published: TJ (now Journal of Creation) 10(2):181–187. August 1996. http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v10/i2/information.asp.

8. Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Episode 21: The Git Sketch. Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsoH5I88WDA. Transcript: http://www.ibras.dk/montypython/episode21.htm#7

9. Panda’s Thumb: Report on the 2005 Creation Mega Conference, Part Five. By Jason Rosenhouse. http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2005/07/report-on-the-2-4.html.

10. The Wedge Document, Discovery Institute Center for Renewal of Science and Culture, 1998. http://www.antievolution.org/features/wedge.pdf.

11. Stephen Meyer, Signature in the Cell, 2009. Harper One.

12. Specification: The Pattern That Signifies Intelligence. By William A. Dembski. 2005, version 1.22. http://www.designinference.com/documents/2005.06.Specification.pdf.

13. ISCID, http://www.iscid.org/boards/ubb-get_topic-f-6-t-000411-p-2.html.

14. Herman Melville, Typee, 1846, Ch. 24.

15. Stephen C. Meyer. Intelligent Design: The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. May 18, 2007. http://www.discovery.org/a/2177.

16. Thomas D. Schneider, 2001 June 6. Rebuttal to William A. Dembski’s Posting and to His Book “No Free Lunch”. http://www.ccrnp.ncifcrf.gov/~toms/paper/ev/dembski/.

17. Thomas D. Schneider, 2001 June 7. Effect of Ties on the Evolution of Information by the Ev program http://www.ccrnp.ncifcrf.gov/~toms/paper/ev/dembski/claimtest.html.

18. Panda’s Thumb: Unacknowledged Errors in “Unacknowledged Costs.” By Wesley R. Elsberry. October 9, 2007. http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2007/10/unacknowledged.html.

19. TalkOrigins Archive: Genetic Algorithms and Evolutionary Computation. By Adam Marczyk. 2004. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/genalg/genalg.html.

20. Why Evolutionary Algorithms Cannot Generate Specified Complexity. By William Dembski. Appeared as Metaviews 152 (www.meta-list.org). 1999/11/1. http://www.discovery.org/a/10.

21. TalkReason: What does “Intelligent Agency by Proxy” Do for the Design Inference? By Wesley R. Elsberry. Posted May 6, 2002. http://www.talkreason.org/PrinterFriendly.cfm?article=/articles/wre_id_proxy.cfm.

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