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AiG/CMI article adds ‘insult to injury’ for creationists?

April 11 2005

Ken Ham and Jon Sarfati’s response to the USA article “A national embarrassment is just an insult to injury for creationists.

Our critic should also be embarrassed because he has not learnt to avoid clichés like the plague ;) Nor did he concede any of the glaring errors by Kantor, which any fair critic would have. But Kantor himself has not admitted the clear errors he made in factual matters, not to mention his anti-Christian bigotry.

The proposed shrine to creationism in Kentucky is of course laughable and, if it is built, I anticipate will be the center of jokes in modern day civilization.

Let us worry about that. Not that we will, of course, and critics should look in the mirror at all the laughable evolutionary just-so stories presented to the public as fact, e.g. Flying dinosaurs, flightless dinosaurs and other evolutionary fantasies.

I wanted to respond to the Ham/Sarfati article's comments to show how ridiculous the vantage point is. First off, calling individuals like Boyle and the Wright Brothers “creationists” is a gross misrepresentation.

I just wanted to thank all of you for this site and the work you do for the Lord. I am a 17-year-old student who attends a high school geared towards science and technology. Up until I found this site several months ago, I accepted most secular views without question. [Your ministry] has renewed my passion for God’s Word and given me the tools I need to show that my faith is far from blind. I lead a weekly Bible study for high school guys and have been able to pass much of what I’ve learned onto them. Again, thank you for the work you do and may God continue to bless your ministry.


Why? It happens to be true, as we explained!

The Wright brothers did not study bird wings!! That conclusion is purely urban legend, please do your research.

Our critic pontificates about the need for research but doesn’t provide any himself to prove his claim. What we said was:

The creationist Wright brothers invented the airplane after studying God’s design of birds.

And this agrees with secular articles such as The Wright Brothers—First Flight:

The Wrights spent a great deal of time observing birds in flight. They noticed that birds soared into the wind and that the air flowing over the curved surface of their wings created lift. Birds change the shape of their wings to turn and maneuver. They believed that they could use this technique to obtain roll control by warping, or changing the shape, of a portion of the wing.

Wilbur Wright himself explained before the Society of Western Engineers, in Chicago:

The bird’s wings are undoubtedly very well designed indeed, but it is not any extraordinary efficiency that strikes with astonishment, but rather the marvelous skill with which they are used. It is true that I have seen birds perform soaring feats of almost incredible nature in positions where it was not possible to measure the speed and trend of the wind, but whenever it was possible to determine by actual measurements the conditions under which the soaring was performed it was easy to account for it on the basis of the results obtained with artificial wings. The soaring problem is apparently not so much one of better wings as of better operators.
As far as your Ph.D. researchers, I do not question their credentials in their chosen fields. The problem is that a Ph.D. does not make you a know-it-all.

And when did we claim it did? And where was your complaint to many evolutionary propagandists speaking outside their own fields! For example, see More nonsense from Professor Plimer and The ‘Indoctrinator’, or all the atheistic propaganda from Richard Dawkins, an animal behavior specialist, or remember when Murray Gel-Mann pontificated on the alleged faults of creation science although his field is quarks?

We have always tried to avoid saying or implying ‘believe me because I’m a scientist trained in such and such a field’, therefore we were not guilty of this fallacy. Rather, we try to rely on the strengths of our arguments, the soundness or unsoundness of which are independent of who is making them. Our critic has not shown any errors. Hopefully, the only time we appeal to our qualifications is defensively, to refute the charge that ‘no intelligent person/no real scientist believes creation/doubts goo-to-you evolution.

Getting a degree in optical properties of molecules does not give you credentials to be a serious critic of evolution or biology in general. Getting a Ph.D. requires dedication and time, but also a firm support of the scientific method.

And indeed I do support the scientific method. And unlike our critic, I differentiate operational science from claims about origins.

With this said, evolutionary theory should be readily embraced by your Ph.D. as it is logically consistent as well as predictive (the hallmark of a sound theory).

That’s a nice ipse dixit, but even in my own field of chemistry, the claims of chemical evolutionists about the origin of life do not stack up—see Origin of Life Q&A.

Thirdly you have your definitions mixed up Dr Sarfati. Punctuated equilibrium is not the opposite of gradualism. Please read Gould and Vrba, you are very wrong here.

Perhaps you should have read them yourself before making this accusation. The original paper that started off the punctuated equilibria section is N.Eldredge, S.J.Gould, “Punctuated equilibria: an alternative to phyletic gradualism” in: T.Schopf (Hrsg.), Models in Paleobiology, 82-115, Freeman, Cooper and Co., San Francisco, 1972). Our emphasis.

And note also that our critic doesn’t admit that Kantor goofed by contrasting steady state (a cosmogonic theory) with punctuated equilibrium (a paleontological theory).

Following this is a section on public schools. I think this is where the pro-ignorance view of the AiG group is very clearly laid out. People who do not want creationism taught in public schools is not because they fear students rejecting evolution,

Eugenie Scott admitted otherwise, as we documented in the article.

it is that they do not support unscientific hypotheses in a strictly scientific course. This is so simple! Creationism cannot be tested, it is not predictive, and the evidence used for it is better explained by evolutionary theory.

More ipse dixits. I just note one point—many anti-creationists (e.g. even the National Academy of Sciences) claim that creation is both unscientific, because it is ostensibly untestable, but go on to say that it has been examined (i.e. tested!) and shown to be false. It just goes to show that many critics can’t string two logical thoughts together.

Please also heed philosopher and apologist J.P. Moreland:

But some will object, “If we allowed appealing to God anytime we don’t understand something, then science itself would be impossible, for science proceeds on the assumption of natural causality.” This argument is a red herring. It is true that science is not compatible with just any form of theism, particularly a theism that holds to a capricious god who intervenes so often that the contrast between primary and secondary causality is unintelligible. But Christian theism holds that secondary causality is God’s usual mode and primary causality is infrequent, comparatively speaking. That is why Christianity, far from hindering the development of science, actually provided the womb for its birth and development. [Christianity and the Nature of Science: A Philosophical Investigation, Baker Book House Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan, p. 226, 1989.]

Next you both show how paranoid you are by saying ACLU and judicial supremacists are anti-Christian.

The anti-Christian and indeed Communistic background to the ACLU has been well documented by Alan Sears and Craig Osten in their book The ACLU vs. America: Exposing the Agenda to Redefine Moral Values (Broadman & Holman, 2005). It should be obvious that banning the slightest mention of Christianity from public places is anti-Christian, including the slightest challenge to evolution, school prayer, Decalogue displays (apart from the Decalogue above the head of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court!). There is no phrase ‘Separation of Church and State’ in the Constitution; Thomas Jefferson’s famous mention of a ‘wall of separation’ was to stop the State from encroaching on the church (as happened with other countries with a state church), not to interfere with the Church’s role in society.

This is ridiculous considering the hundreds of times the ACLU has stood up for Christians. And judicial supremacists, are you kidding!

Care to explain why? There is actually widespread agreement that many judges are making law and overruling the elected legislature. Recent books arguing this case are:

  • Phyllis Schlafly, The Supremacists: The Tyranny Of Judges And How To Stop It, 2004.
  • Mark R. Levin, Men In Black: How the Supreme Court Is Destroying America, 2005.

Supremacist judges are also widely regarded as calling something ‘unconstitutional’ not because it disagrees with the original meaning of the Constitution but because it disagrees with what they would like it to mean. In fact there is tacit agreement from both sides of politics: conservatives want appointments to the judiciary to be from those who will adhere to the original meaning of the Constitution, while the liberals do not — and tacitly agree that they need activist judges to legislate liberal policies from the bench, e.g. gay marriage, abortion on demand.

Jefferson even presciently wrote:

The Constitution...is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary which they may twist and shape into any form they please.

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is a judge who opposes this nonsense, and in dissenting from the majority decision in Roper v Simmons this year, echoed Jefferson:

What a mockery today's opinion makes of Hamilton's expectation, announcing the Court's conclusion that the meaning of our Constitution has changed over the past 15 years—not, mind you, that this Court's decision 15 years ago was wrong, but that the Constitution has changed.

These activists talk about a “living and breathing” Constitution that “evolves”—but always towards the liberal left, it seems. But if the Constitution is evolving, there may as well be no Constitution at all! For rules to mean anything, they must be fixed. In reality, instead of the rule of law, we have the rule of judges. One must also wonder how elected officials can logically swear allegiance to a Constitution if its meaning keeps changing at the whim of judges?

I would also suggest that this loss of the rule of objective written law is largely responsible for the high rate of litigation (and threats of litigation, and a chessmaster like me knows that a threat is stronger than its execution). While a defendant can read the wording of the law and even study precedents, he can’t read the minds of the judges, so can’t be sure that a case won’t go against him. So he may pay the extortion money to avoid going to court. And alas he passes on the costs to his customers, so we are all harmed by the litigious society.

Just to show how silly this ‘living document’ nonsense is, think of a game like chess. I now have a sure-fire plan to become World Champion—find an arbiter who decided that under ‘evolving standards’, he could decide that the Laws of Chess is a ‘living document’ that allowed me to play two moves in a row at a moment of my choosing.

We see the same problem with compromisers and the Bible, actually. We assert that we should read the intended meaning of the authors out of the text (exegesis), according to what the words meant in the grammatical and historical context of their time. Conversely, compromisers read their long-age compromisers into the text (eisegesis).

Bacterial resistance and disease have everything to do with evolution. The continued suggestion that it doesn't not only ignores the evidence, but will continue to set up an environment where stronger diseases are “bred” (see Paul Ewald, 1994).

Why don’t you be more specific, and also read what we actually say. In fact, we have explained Ewald’s research on cholera, once more showing that it has nothing to do with goo-to-you evolution. We recognize the role of mutations and natural selection in antibiotic resistance, and show that they are not in the right direction to turn bacteria into biologists. So how can a creationist approach to the science hinder its progress?

Au contraire, science has been impeded by the frauds perpetrated in the name of ‘proving evolution’. For example, the forgeries of Piltdown Man and Archaeoraptor, Haeckel’s faked embryo diagrams and staged photographs of Peppered Moths. And how much research into the functions of useful organs, such as the appendix and short vibration-dampening horse muscle fibres, was hindered by the notion that they were useless vestiges of evolution? The same applies to so-called ‘junk DNA’:

Researchers the world over are confirming that non-coding DNA holds critical clues to a vast range of diseases; breast cancer, HIV, Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, ovarian and skin cancer … the list is growing daily. A leading figure in world genetics, Prof. John Mattick, recently claimed that, “the failure to recognise the implications of the non-coding DNA will go down as the biggest mistake in the history of molecular biology.” [Genius of Junk (DNA), Catalyst, Thursday, 10 July 2003]
Finally, your embrace of dillusional existence is shown by saying the Creation Musuem will “teaching people how to think, explaining science correctly,…” I do not doubt you are interested in teaching people how to think, talk about cult-like behavior.

Leading experts on cults identify two main defining characteristics of cults, whereas CMI doesn’t fit as can be seen from our Statement of Faith:

  • Extra-biblical authority (CMI proclaims the Bible as final authority)
  • Denial of the Person and Work of Christ (CMI has a theologically orthodox statement of faith).

CMI also has no membership structure. Cults control their members by fear of expulsion, for example. CMI has no such control over anyone, so how can it be a cult?

And as far explaining science correctly, it is clear you have little concept of how science is done and interpreted.

Rather, you have not explained this yourself. E.g. you fail to understand the difference between operational and origins science, and have no apparent understanding of the role of paradigms in interpreting the data.

I look forward to your next post.

There will only be such a post if you provide criticisms of substance, and admit your errors in fact and those of Kantor.

– chris webster, USA

(Dr) Jonathan Sarfati

Published: 3 February 2006