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Flaming koalas / Keeping up standards

This week we feature two recent ‘friendly feedbacks’ to Creation Ministries International: the first with a dash of humour, and the second an encouragement to keep emphasizing accuracy over sensationalism.

1. Those flaming koalas

P.A. from Australia wrote:

A koala eating gum leaves

Photo by Arnaud Gaillard

On a visit to the Coffs Harbour Zoo we were informed by the keeper that the koala was so highly evolved that it could only eat certain kinds of leaves; mostly gum leaves.

I said that in that case evolution must be crazy. If this is the most highly evolved creature in Australia, how is it that since its diet is essentially diesel fuel, it sits in trees during fires and goes up like a roman candle? Why has it not evolved to use the fuel to outrun the fires and thus survive in its environment?

The keeper was not amused.

Creation Ministries International comments:

Not only was the keeper’s reasoning fallacious, as P.A. rightly pointed out, but the premise is false as well! Koalas have been known to eat Monterey pine, for example. Their normal preference for eucalypt is actually an addiction to certain chemicals in the leaf which it first eats in the mother’s milk. Bottle-raised koalas can survive on a non-eucalypt diet—see Journal of Creation 8(2):126.

2. Keep your standards high

J.S. from the USA wrote:

I want to thank you for your excellent web site and materials. I am a Christian who wears a number of different ‘hats’ including computer programmer, prison chaplain, businessman, Sunday school teacher, newspaper columnist, husband, and father. I also have a deep love for the sciences.

Over the years I have often fought through doubts and concerns over observable scientific data and apparent difficulties with the Bible (radiometric dating, starlight travel, etc.). Unfortunately, I have often been deeply frustrated by Christians who whip up pseudo-science to support their faith without adhering to solid research methodology. Many of their efforts would be laughable if the name of Christ were not attached to their organizations. Truly bad creation science has hampered the Gospel and education in numerous ways. All to the detriment of Christ.

I am writing to encourage you to uphold the highest possible standards of scientific research. The Internet is flooded with sites by well-meaning Christians who are not well educated in the scientific method. They are doing more damage than good. From what I can see of your site and your articles it appears to me that you are on the right track. Each article should be peer-reviewed by scientists who specialize in the field discussed. Bad creation science should be exposed as readily as bad evolution science. When an idea is clearly refuted it should be marked as such so that future researchers do not waste time on the same theory. Arguments against a new theory should be given a full and honest hearing in the open public forum so that the reader can evaluate the evidence for himself.

Above all, theories should never be hyped and marketed as ‘proof’. That is the mistake that the evolutionists have bought into and we dare not go down the same path. Only through honest science can the truth be found. Hasty or sloppy work will eventually be ridiculed and often at the expense of a less knowledgeable Christian sitting in a classroom at some university who is attempting to defend his faith with bad data.

Once again, I want to thank you for your dedication to research that calls into question the claims made by those who are convinced that the Bible is a myth. It’s a refreshing experience to read honest scientific debate rather than regurgitated hopes, dreams, and weak theories.

Comment to all readers by Creation Ministries International :

Publishing unsubstantiated sensationalistic claims, and also over-hyping of any sort, may help sales and donations, but that should never be an end in itself. Rather, we aim to defend the Bible with biblical standards, so the need for rigour (combined with passion, of course) has never been higher. Help CMI assist global creation standards by:

  1. telling us if we drop our guard—we’re only human
  2. Subscribing to the Journal of Creation (formerly TJ), which helps keep a thriving peer-critique network operating
  3. Direct support
  4. Spreading our easy-to-remember website address far and wide

Further reading

Published: 15 July 2006