Posted on February 24, 2011 at 4:13 pm by Dr. Jim
Call PZ Myers! Octopi brains prove God exists!
“Who would imagine that octopi, animals without backbones, could be so smart?”
So asks the Creation Science Association of Alberta on their website. Now, I don’t know why they think critters should think with with their vertebrae. But, perhaps like the octopi, GOD JUST MADE THEM THAT WAY?
Anyway, it has been ages since I had a little nasty fun at the expense of Canadian anti-science creationists and other similar sorts, so it’s about time to make up for lost time and get back to one of the most popular irregular features of this blog:
KNOW YOUR NUTS!
So, read on, and while you are doing so, enjoy “Octopus’s Garden” in honor of the cephalopodophile and arch-atheist PZ Myers by Lea Erbe, from IMax, Under the Sea!
No video on the video, so here she is:
Leah Erbe, at her reflective
And, guys, no thinking with your little
disco balls, um… bones, um… just listen to the damn music and read my post!
Now, one of the pleasant side effects the Know Yer Nuts feature is the undermining of good old Canadian smugness in thinking that the U. S. has all the creationist nutcases. NO WAY! We have our fair share too!
As noted, my victim this time is the Creation Science Association of Alberta, based in Edmonton. They claim their mission is:
To provide encouragement and resources to persons who desire good scientific information which conforms to the Bible.
Well, here we have it all, don’t we. Science must conform to the Bible. What is odd, however, is that there is very little on their site about the Bible, its multiple creation myths, contradictions and what not. This is one thing that REALLY pisses me off about creationists. They want the Bible to be “true” in all of its inconsistent and impossible claims about the universe but they almost NEVER are honest about their reading strategy and how they make all of the “inerrant” claims true all at the same time. Any scientific (or other academic) discipline so willfully blind to its own inconsistent premises would be subject to serious critique, and indeed, creationists like to think their criticisms of science are based on such perceived inconsistencies.
Creation Science Medicine
What there is, however, is this:
Creation scientists have a world view or model for their science which is based on the belief that an intelligent designer exists who created our universe and everything in it.
Holy white cliffs of Dover, Bat-cdesign proponentsist! Are they suggesting that Intelligent Design = Creationism?
Anyway, here is their summary of the proof from design for creationism:
- The amazing details of form, physiology and behaviour or living creatures, is just one aspect of the wonders of design in nature. It is evident from all we know, that design requires intelligence to bring about.
- How did the box jellyfish acquire such fancy eyes?
- Why do living creatures demonstrate skills that man can only dream of?
- Who would imagine that octopi, animals without backbones, could be so smart?
- Technological man is envious of the amazing navigational skills of marine turtles and other animals.
Ah yes, critters are amazing, therefore God. How do we know what “designed” means? By looking at human-made items which we can identify by their contrast with natural occurring conglomerates of matter. So how does this imply design in nature? Jellyfish eyes and enviable non-human skills of animals are what evolution explains. That such features of other animals exist is no refutation. And here is the CSAA on fossils.
Thousands of dinosaur fossils have been found all over the world. Were they gradually deposited over millions of years, or did they die catastrophically?
The link goes to a page that reports on a huge fossil finds in Alberta and elsewhere in which groups of hapless beasts were died in floodwaters. In southern Alberta’s Dinosaur Provincial Park massive beds of centrosaurus bones have been found. The park offers hiking tours of the site. Never been on it, but I would like to go.
Noah’s family after the flood give Dino a proper burial at Dinosaur Provincial Park
Another site mentioned in the “Big Splash” page is a small pachyrinosaurus bed near Lethbridge and a larger one near Grande Prairie in northern Alberta. The latter animals came to grief in a flood. But was it the same flood in which the centrosauruses died? OF course, it was Noah’s flood, the ONLY flood that ever happened! Even the fact that both sites are late Cretaceous, doesn’t mean the floods were in exactly the same year!
The Grande Prairie site they talk about seems to be the Pipestone Creek bone bed. A museum is planned for there, the River of Death and Discovery Museum.
- A Pipestone Creek Pachyrhinosaurus lakustai. Photo from River of Death site.
The museum site has this to say:
Pachyrhinosaurus travelled in herds and migrated seasonally, following plant food resources.One theory, because of fluvial influence, is that during one such migration this herd attemped to cross the flooded river leading to their demise. Carcasses were washed downriver and over time were devoured by carnivores; indicated by teeth and teeth markings found near and on the remains.
Hmmm. Well, if this is Noah’s flood, then where the hell did the carnivores come from? Would they not have died in the flood, too? Now, what if the carcasses were nibbled by the carnivourous dinosaurs that Noah had on the ark? Well, how the hell did they get from Mt. Ararat in Turkey where the freaking ark is said to have grounded itself to Grande Prairie in time to eat the rotting flesh? Odd that the CSAA site didn’t mention the carnivore evidence. I wonder why?
- from Geekologie.com
The solution to how T-Rex and raptors got from Turkey to Grande Prairie.
Like this happy family, they simply waited for a bus!
And another point: all of the dinosaur flood victim sites will need to be contemporaneous with each other for the Noah’s flood pseudo-theory to work. In fact, ALL alleged Noah’s flood sites will have to be contemporaneous. So why aren’t human or mammal remains mixed up with any dinosaur flood sites, or dinosaur bones mixed up in remains of human settlements. Could it be that their BIBLE Bible BASED “SCIENCE” IS WRONG?
CSAA publishes a quarterly online magazine call Dialogue, the latest edition being Nov. 2o1o and you can download it at your displeasure. Gripping stuff. The latest issue has an article on human and chimp DNA in which she alleges that geneticists have artificially organized their bits of data in ways that make chimpanzee DNA resemble its human counterparts and then draw indefensible conclusions about evolutionary links between the two species. She also appeals to the increasing awareness of the complexity of genetics and how much is not known.
It is apparent then that scientists are not in a position to compare human and chimpanzee genomes Even if the genomes were identical, it would give no clues about relationships because of the alternative splicing of genetic information and multiple reading frames from the same piece of stored code. Moreover the actual form and function of creatures appears to come from higher levels of control about which we know very little. Thus assumptions that similar genomes suggest a close evolutionary relationship, are plainly without any kind of logical basis. All that scientists have discovered is how little we understand.
- Get this on a T-Shirt at Damned if God Exists!
But if this is the case, why do SO DAMN MANY scientists think their methods CAN reveal something about the interrelationships of species? So why don’t creationists write it all up in a scientifically accepted way and make the geneticists listen to reason? Sounds like the author has to have some kind of behind the scenes scientific conspiracy theory or mass delusion to make her objections work. The pieces ends thusly:
The study of various genomes obviously has been a story of secular disappointment. What is called for here is humble appreciation of what God has told us concerning how He created all things. Then we interpret the data from nature in terms of what God has revealed in His Word.
I return to my point above: why don’t creationists question the Bible’s clarity and consistency about the nature of nature as rigorously as they do the scientific findings? Why ISN’T THERE A CONSISTENT story of ” biblical creation? Where did the water after the flood go? Hell, where did it come from? Lots of things are left up to the tendency of “literalists” reluctance to take the Bible literally and seriously.
Stolen from Calvin Lawson's blog
The article (above and many more on the CSAA site) was written by the outfit’s V. P., Margaret Helder, who is described thusly by the Answers in Genesis site:
Dr. Margaret Helder is a scientist, a writer, a mother of six, and Vice-President of the Creation Science Association of Alberta, Canada. She is also probably the most prominent woman in creation science.
Dr. Helder is also the author of three books and Associate Editor in charge of science and technology for Reformed Perspective, a magazine for Christian families. Her scientific achievements include describing and naming a species of aquatic fungus new to science,Chytridium deltanum Masters (Masters being her maiden name, and the name under which she published the description).
Wow! Under the name Margaret J. Masters, she has a paper in the Canadian Journal of Botany 49 (1971). WOW! 1971. That is FORTY FREAKING YEARS AGO! One wonders what sort of proper research she has been up to since. She did write a creationist guide to the Royal Tyrrell Museum! In 1981, she was a witness in the ”McLean et al. vs. Arkansas” trial. The site, Antievolution.org has this to say about it:
In 1981, a remarkable court case in Arkansas pitted creationists against pastors, priests, teachers, and scientists. “McLean et al. vs. Arkansas” sought relief from Arkansas’ Act 590, which mandated that evolutionary biology instruction be balanced with “creation science”. Unlike the 1925 Scopes trial in Tennessee, the Arkansas court heard testimony from a large number of witnesses on both sides of the case. Judge Overton ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, and Act 590 was deemed unconstitutional. Overton’s clearly written decision has been widely reprinted, and is available on the Web at several locations. (e.g. here).
Erik the Fruitbat
Antievolution.org has all of Helder’s testimony online, along with all the other contributors to the trial too. The National Center for Science Education summarized her testimony this way:
Other defense witnesses testified during the following days. Margaret Helder, vice-president of the Creation Research Society and a botanist from Canada, argued that available research didn’t support the evolution of plants. But, under cross-examination by Gary Crawford, she admitted that nearly all biologists would disagree with her and that most of her evidence was negative evidence against evolution rather than data supporting creation. She revealed that she believed that there was no scientific evidence supportive of creation.
Ah, yes. Getting back to CSAA, she also goes after Tiktaalic, the lobe finned, sort of foot-finned slithery thing that was precursor all the four footed beasties that Noah had to catch. She says, of course, that the fossil indicates nothing about evolution.
ripped off from Wikipedia
November’s Dialogue has another article on thinking clearly, which strikes me as a bit ironic. It introduces the reader to Jason Lisle, apparently a “Creationist Astrophysicist” attached to Answers in Genesis (I’ve added some boldness in the type to highlight super-genius bits-I’m being ironic…)
Jason Lisle, Ph.D., graduated in astronomy from the University of Colorado. After years of experience in teaching and conducting research in solar astrophysics, he wrote Taking Back Astronomy: the Heavens Declare Creation (2006) which was aimed at junior high to adult readers. Now he has written The Ultimate Proof of Creation: resolving the origins debate (2009). … Dr. Lisle begins by declaring that the only rational basis for knowing anything is the understanding that God created everything including matter, all natural processes and abstract phenomena like morality, mathematics and the ability to learn. In this context he maintains that there are two categories of individuals: those who approach the world in a reasonable way (rational) since they look to God as the ultimate foundation of everything, and those who base everything on an unknown and unknowable impersonal source (which is an irrational approach or contrary to reason).
My aching freaking braincells! Believing in a “personal” source of everything but an impersonal one is not? Special pleading anyone? How can deism be “rational” if it depends on faith? And WHICH deity? Only two categories of people? Ever hear of a false dichotomy? What about people who ascribe everything to multiple deities? What about the possibility that some folk consider everything to stem from an impersonal but KNOWABLE source? But lets not forget Lisle is an expert on reasoning. Oh yeah, let’s read on!
The author’s purpose in showing the reader how to recognize false debating strategies is to provide each person with the ability to demonstrate the merits of the Christian worldview and how any other worldview is sadly lacking. In his opinion, issues of science impact this discussion only minimally so the individual does not need to be heavily trained in this discipline. It is also his position that one should generally discuss details of science only with people who share the same worldview — but there are others who would include a wider audience in their discussions.
JUMPIN’ JEHOSOPHAT’S UNDERPANTS, BATMAN! Where does one begin! Christianity is so demonstrably superior to other worldviews that one doesn’t even have to know a lot about science to reveal the weakness in a rationalistic worldview? And fundamentalists should only discuss science with other fundamentalists? Just how the hell does this amount to a well-reasoned apologetics? We might as well face it. There is nothing in that line of “thought” that merits any kind of response other that ad hominem. This is pure anti-intellectualist, ignorance-defending bullshit.
You do not need to know science.
Do not let people who know science tell you about science
Know that you are more rational than scientists
Anyway, that’s all I’ve got to say about Nuts #6.
My previous Know Your Nuts “winners” have been
#5: C.A.R.E. Ministries. Christian Apologetics Research & Evangelism) Ministries, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba
#4: Concerned Christians Canada in Calgary for having a hissy fit over an Indian style statue of an Elephant at the Calgary Zoo that undermined the Gospel by showing kids what Ganesh looks like.
#3: Creation Discovery Centre in Bow Island Alberta with “Larry Dye the Creation Guy”! And see the theatrical sequel!
#2. Big Valley Creation Science Museum run by the ever gracious Harry Nibourg who came to the defence of #1 KYN in a post here.
#1: Creation Truth Ministries/Alberta Dinosaur Museum