Another passel of creationist lies

Contributed by
Jul 18, 2007

Usually, when someone spouts creationist garbage, it's because they've been misled. We have a case of this, in spades, in the Evansville (Indiana) Courier Press, where a highly deluded creationist has written an editorial so full of crap I'm tempted to call a septic cleaning crew.

To be clear, I think the author is just wrong, but he has clearly been heavily misled -- some would say lied to -- to by people from Answers in Genesis, a creationist (hahahahahah) think tank.

Check this out:

...then a little more than a year ago, we again were privileged to hear lectures by former evolutionist and atheist Mike Riddle and astrophysicist Dr. Jason Lisle.

To be clear: Mike Riddle and Jason Lisle are from the evil, lying organization Answers in Genesis.

How can I assert this? Assuming the editorial writer is on the level...

Riddle, a former Microsoft trainer, spoke of the Miller experiment, which produced amino acids inside a test tube. When oxygen was added, the experiment failed. Imagine, this key element to life prohibits any organic molecules from forming.

The Miller-Urey experiment put the contents of the Earth's original atmosphere (methane, ammonia, hydrogen, water -- much like the present atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn) into a chamber, and hit it with a spark representing lightning. Amino acids were produced. This shows that the building blocks of life were easy to produce in the primitive conditions on Earth. As the idea goes, later, once life took hold, it evolved to produce oxygen (which can provide a lot more energy to the life process). Oxygen is highly corrosive, and so that changed everything. Eventually, in the adapt-or-die conditions, life adapted to use the gas. But before it did, oxygen was essentially poison. So it's no surprise that it would mess up the Miller-Urey experiment.

In other words, if Riddle used this to promote an anti-evolution stance, he is not telling the truth, when the truth is easy to find and has been accessible for decades. What does that make him?

Incidentally, the MU experiment was never meant to be the be-all and end-all of how life arose; it was the first of a long series of such experiments that are still ongoing. How life first arose is a fascinating question, and I guarantee that no creationist will be able to figure it out... unless they follow the tenets of science. But scientific method to a young-Earth creationist is like holy water to a vampire.

To continue...

According to Lisle, laser reflectors left behind on the moon's surface by the Apollo astronauts revealed that our lunar neighbor moves a little over an inch farther away from us each year.

How many billions of years earlier was it scraping our mountaintops?

It doesn't work this way. The Moon recedes from the Earth due to tides, but the rate at which is recedes depends on many factors. In the past, it receded more slowly than it does today. It formed much closer in to the Earth, but there is no problem with it taking billions of years to get to its current distance. Typically, young Earth creationists take current values of things and extrapolate them billions of years into the past without considering that the values might have changed.

This argument has been debunked for many years. Decades. If Lisle really is an astrophysicist and he said this in a talk, he is either incompetent or a liar. Or both.

One of Lisle's associates calculated the amount of emissions given off by the various belts of Jupiter shortly before the Voyager probe visited it in the early '80s. The data returned was in sync with the thousands of years that the mathematics Ph.D. had suggested. The spacecraft had no knowledge of the Bible.

This statement is a total mess, but what I think he means is the prediction by creationist Russel Humphries, before Voyager got to Uranus and Neptune, of their magnetic fields. But his guess was that they were intermediate in strength between Earth's and Saturn's, which is a pretty safe bet given their masses. Also, while it's true that the magnetic fields of those two planets are weird, Humphrey's model (that God made the planets from water which was then transformed into various other substances) doesn't predict any of the other odd features (like the tilt of the fields and that they are off-center). He claims it does, but his claim on how some of the odd features formed isn't really any different than a model assuming the planets are old; in other words, his model doesn't actually predict those features.

Even a randomly fired gun will sometimes hit the target... by accident.

Years ago my science textbook had illustrations suggesting that our sun gave birth to the Earth and other planets, but this was not the apparent case in a section of the Orion nebula known as M22, where "orphan" planets exist, some orbiting each other without any nearby star.

He either misread his textbook, or it was woefully wrong. Planets and stars form together, with the planets forming in a disk around the star. It's not uncommon to get gravitational interactions between forming planets which can kick them out of the system; "rogue" planets have been predicted for quite some time and are a successful prediction of the disk-formation theory (which has many dozens or hundreds of other successes).

In Glen Rose, Texas, some have asserted, there are fossilized human footprints alongside ones made by dinosaurs, as they existed together inside a dried-out riverbed.

The Paluxy Tracks? Are you kidding me? This is long, long debunked.

My favorite part of this whole horrifying editorial, though, is the last bit:

It is not my intent to start an argument or debate; please save your hate mail for someone else. However, as some scientists are brassy enough to skip from theory to fact without all the evidence, it is only fair to make others aware that we do not have all the facts, and that additional exciting information is arriving in our generation — data so simple even a cave man can understand it.

That first sentence is the killer. Yes, I am going to write all sorts of nonsense, long-debunked offal, and promulgate outright lies, but please, don't bother replying. La la la la la la la. I can't hear you.

If this guy wants to argue evidence, then he should find sources that don't lie about it. But he clearly doesn't want to argue at all. All the data point toward an old Earth, an old Universe. Furthermore, it directly contradicts a young Earth.

I disagree with his last statement, too: I don't think a caveman could understand the data. But I know an "astrophysicist" would. Which doesn't leave much wiggle room if you claim to have the One True Word, does it?

Tip o' the blinders to Red State Rabble.

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