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Feb 25 2013

Creationists, watch those sources!

Excerpt from an email:

…your very disrespectful and hateful approach to theism in general is entirely unnecessary, especially since much of the opinion you provide is a result of misinformation. For instance, Matt Dillahunty once laughed at a creationist when he pointed out the fact that the big bang theory supports the idea that, essentially, everything came from nothing. You told this man that idea was false, when in fact, big-bang-theory.com clearly states:

“Prior to the singularity, nothing existed, not space, time, matter, or energy – nothing.”

That is just an example for you.

I never heard of big-bang-theory.com before, but after skimming it, it was more and more obviously not a science site. As advertised, the site did make the oddly specific claim that nothing existed prior to the singularity, even though this is just one of several working hypotheses about the initial conditions of the universe, and scientists generally don’t try to assert with certainty what happened before the Planck horizon.

Suspicious, I followed the link at the top of big-bang-theory.com, which redirected me to another site called allaboutscience.org. That site contains articles like: Intelligent Design vs EvolutionWho Made God Video; and various poorly written articles and videos that focus almost exclusively on evolution and cosmology. You would think that a site claiming to be all about science might actually consider touching on a few other topics in the Bill Nye repertoire, like electricity or light or momentum. There are lots of other interesting science topics.

Back at big-bang-theory.com, after getting several details flat out wrong, the concluding paragraph begins: “Any discussion of the Big Bang theory would be incomplete without asking the question, what about God?” What? It would?

It then links to http://www.allaboutphilosophy.org/does-god-exist-c.htm, which promotes various creationist claims, and finally that page links to http://www.allabouttruth.org/holy-bible.htm which goes into full blown preaching mode.

Of course we can clear this up easily by seeing who has registered the site.

http://www.networksolutions.com/whois/results.jsp?domain=big-bang-theory.com



“We write compelling websites that reach out to skeptics, seekers, believers, and a hurting world with powerful evidence for God and the Good News of Jesus.”

You have to marvel a bit at the chutzpah of these folks, no? Design a series of fake but authoritative looking science sites, using inaccurate information to blatantly construct the straw man version of the argument you’re trying to discredit.

45 comments

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  1. 1
    Mike Berry

    I think the technical term to use here is; BUSTED!

    Good work.

  2. 2
    spookiewon

    LOL Surely they know it’s really easy to backcheck this stuff, right?

    1. 2.1
      Karen

      Wait. Christians back check their sources?!?!? :-D

      1. Houndentenor

        Fundamentalist Christians don’t use sources. They believe it therefore it’s true. End of argument.

  3. 3
    John Kruger

    But the real science is so hard to refute! Much easier to make up your own, that is always really easy to refute.
    Seriously, though, how can people fail to realize that cosmology is a large and involved body of work. Of course it would be foolhardy to try and go with simple summations only few pages long. Even the wikipedia source has a whole article, linking many times, on just cosmic background radiation. Any effort at all will reveal this (after you skip the page on the sitcom, anyway).
    My google search did bring up the very sock puppet site linked above as the first one about the scientific theory and not the TV show, though. Can they pay for preferred search results? Can we complain to Google? Most people (like me) are not skilled enough to know about whois commands and the like. Certainly most lay people will simply click on the first one that specifically claims to be about the scientific theory. Clearly Kazim’s internet kung-fu is stronger than theirs, but a lot of normal folks will likely be fooled.
    Curse you, sneaky liars for Jesus!

    1. 3.1
      Lord Narf

      Absolutely, they can pay for search optimization. That’s one of the ways that search engines make money.

  4. 4
    Mark White

    It would be like me saying, “I know that gods don’t exist because Richard Dawkins wrote a book that says their delusions. Evidence: see link.”

    1. 4.1
      Ryan Dickinson

      Wait, that’s not a good enough reason? Well, back to the drawing board…

  5. 5
    Lord Narf

    Wow, Christ. Take a look at their page on The Greatest Show on Earth: http://allaboutscience.org/dawkins-the-greatest-show-on-earth.htm

    Their articles on abiogenesis and “ape to man” similarly show the site to be anti-science bunk, even if we didn’t already have the Whois information.

  6. 6
    Lord Narf

    Oh, for fuck sake. They even include the classic cherry-picking of Darwin, in reference to eyes:

    http://www.allaboutscience.org/darwins-theory-of-evolution.htm

    Darwin’s Theory of Evolution – A Theory In Crisis
    Darwin’s Theory of Evolution is a theory in crisis in light of the tremendous advances we’ve made in molecular biology, biochemistry and genetics over the past fifty years. We now know that there are in fact tens of thousands of irreducibly complex systems on the cellular level. Specified complexity pervades the microscopic biological world. Molecular biologist Michael Denton wrote, “Although the tiniest bacterial cells are incredibly small, weighing less than 10^-12 grams, each is in effect a veritable micro-miniaturized factory containing thousands of exquisitely designed pieces of intricate molecular machinery, made up altogether of one hundred thousand million atoms, far more complicated than any machinery built by man and absolutely without parallel in the non-living world.” [5]

    And we don’t need a microscope to observe irreducible complexity. The eye, the ear and the heart are all examples of irreducible complexity, though they were not recognized as such in Darwin’s day. Nevertheless, Darwin confessed, “To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.” [6]

    What a dishonest piece of shit.

    1. 6.1
      Warp

      It’s curious how they more or less exactly reverse the facts. This would be a quite a lot more factual statement:

      “Darwin’s Theory of Evolution is a surprisingly accurate and insightful theory, well ahead of its time, in light of the tremendous advances we’ve made in molecular biology, biochemistry and genetics over the past fifty years.”

    2. 6.2
      Houndentenor

      Evolution isn’t Darwin’s theory, though. Evolution had already been observed. Darwin’s theory is Natural Selection which explained how evolution works. Other scientists were working on this at the same time and there was a rush for Darwin to publish before someone else put forth the same idea. Darwin didn’t create evolution any more than Newton invented gravity. Each just explained how these natural phenomena work.

      1. Lord Narf

        Yeah, that’s one of the things that scientists and other people who are interviewed about it need to fix. We need to start emphasizing that biological evolution is an observed fact and that the theories are Natural Selection, Punctuated Equilibrium, and whichever other models you might want to bring up. Simplifying language isn’t always a good thing, when you have a bunch of assholes engaging in a disinformation campaign.

  7. 7
    Psychopomp Gecko

    Remember, there are only two types of creationists: liars and their dupes.

    Those at the top can only be liars given how they distort and leave out information. It’s clear that any real open minded research would have them saying different things. The others are just too ignorant to realize they’re being lied to.

  8. 8
    Mike

    This sounds like a job for Mythbusters. They can study the proposition that fundaMENTAList christians can’t communicate in any form without lying or citing an authority of dubious accuracy for corroboration.

    1. 8.1
      Sigmun

      Mythbusters – but what would they blow up…? Oh, silly me, I know…

  9. 9
    Will Boucher

    Little Greg has been a busy boy, looks like he offers SEO to other thumper sites http://www.gregoutlaw.com/
    Why there he is in all his glory. https://www.facebook.com/gregoutlaw1
    hahaha On wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Filll/All_About_God_Ministries
    And even Linkedin http://www.linkedin.com/in/gregoutlaw.

    The list goes on and on. This clown does not ever skip on the pimp.

  10. 10
    Jadzia626

    If they get cleverer now, we’ll have to close down the entire skeptics and atheist movement …

  11. 11
    Crissy howes

    I was about to coment and scrolling down passed your sponge red links the first one 53 year old English woman is a con company that scam people. :-).
    Anyway it always shocks me that the strongest believer still believe when they know they need to lie to protect there argument. It took effort the make that site , all the time they must have known if the position was true they could have just had a link to a real science page .

  12. 12
    Jasper of Maine

    So, did the emailer recant, upon notification of this evidence?

    1. 12.1
      Martin Wagner

      What do you think?

      1. Jasper of Maine

        I have faith that he/she humbly apologized, and learned something about critical thinking in the process, and, upon ironically finding out that the reference given to correct the “misinformation” of the show was itself misinformation, has come to a new level of appreciation about the cause of “disrespect” in our approach to dealing with theistic issues.

        1. trj

          While you’re at it you should wish for ice cream and puppies for everyone.

          1. Strider

            Make mine moosetracks!

          2. EnlightenmentLiberal

            What about the ponies?

  13. 13
    Felipe

    Holy Guacamole, this is a flat-out scam.

    1. 13.1
      Lord Narf

      I don’t know that I would call it a scam. The people who are giving him money want his anti-science bullshit spread out to unsuspecting searchers. Those being deceived aren’t generally giving him money.

  14. 14
    Warp

    This is one kind of activity that honestly puzzles me.

    Honesty is one of the fundamental core values of Christianity. Lying, deceiving, misleading and being in any way dishonest is considered sinful and against what God commands and expects from all the faithful and righteous. In fact, many apologists and street preachers use precisely accusations of lying as one of their weapons to try to convince people that they are wicked, and to convert them (eg. it’s one of the favorite tactics of our friend Ray Comfort, but he’s by no means the only one who uses it.)

    The people who typically use the kind of deceptive tactics as that website are also very typically the kind of Christian that fully agrees that lying, deceiving and deception are evil and sinful. Therefore I have hard time understanding what kind of rationalization goes inside their minds that makes them believe that creating such deceptive websites and using such misleading tactics is somehow acceptable, that it’s not sinful nor against God’s will or commands.

    Even if they honestly believed that what they have written on those websites is accurate, it’s still deceptive because they are not completely open about who the authors are and what their true goal is with the website. They clearly try to somehow lure the reader into something (doubting science or something) by masquerading the website as something that it really isn’t.

    I’m sure that the people who created those websites (as well as many other like them) don’t really even think too much about whether it actually concealing that information and masquerading the website as something else is being deceptive and misleading, or whether that’s ok according to their own theology. However, I’m also pretty sure that if someone brought up that issue to them, they would go into full rationalization mode, inventing all kinds of excuses why this is ok, why this is not really against God’s commands (and why, ultimately, the end justifies the means.)

    1. 14.1
      EnlightenmentLiberal

      Honesty is one of the fundamental core values of Christianity. Lying, deceiving, misleading and being in any way dishonest is considered sinful and against what God commands and expects from all the faithful and righteous. In fact, many apologists and street preachers use precisely accusations of lying as one of their weapons to try to convince people that they are wicked, and to convert them (eg. it’s one of the favorite tactics of our friend Ray Comfort, but he’s by no means the only one who uses it.)

      Except when it’s lying for Jesus, as Ray Comfort clearly explicitly spells out in his book. Come on man! Gotta keep up! (lol)

      1. Warp

        Does he really argue that lying for a good cause is allowed? I would love to see an actual quote and reference.

        1. Lord Narf

          It’s all over the early church documents. They promoted making up stories for each local culture that they were trying to move into, for the first several hundred years. That’s how we ended up with so many Christian holidays that incorporate pagan elements.

          Not sure about Ray Comfort.

        2. Houndentenor

          Are they “lying” or just choosing to retell things that others have told them aren’t true but that they believe anyway?

          I used to correct some of the batshittery found in forwarded emails some of my fundie relatives would send me. Six months later they’d send me the same one again. (EXACTLY the same one!) It did no good. Facts don’t matter. If it sounds good to them then it’s true. If it doesn’t then YOU are the one lying. (Some of them are also convinced that George Soros is behind snopes.com!)

          1. Lord Narf

            There were some documents promoting … essentially making things up that will be pleasing to the population you’re trying to convert to Christianity. I’ll have to go search for the stuff, though. It’s been a while.

  15. 15
    Peter the Rocstar

    “You have to marvel a bit at the chutzpah of these folks, no?”

    Hmmm? Nah! It’s sooooo obvious that God must have sent one of those handy little lying spirits again to work in the mind of Greg Outlaw. What his intentions are in doing so though will always be a mystery. :(

  16. 16
    jacobfromlost

    It gets worse. Under the “second law of thermodynamics” link, it says:

    “The implications of the Second Law of Thermodynamics are considerable. The universe is constantly losing usable energy and never gaining. We logically conclude the universe is not eternal. The universe had a finite beginning — the moment at which it was at “zero entropy” (its most ordered possible state). Like a wind-up clock, the universe is winding down, as if at one point it was fully wound up and has been winding down ever since. The question is who wound up the clock?”

    Oh for cryin’ out loud.

    Or to paraphrase Shakespeare, “How confused are thee? Let me count the ways.”

    1. 16.1
      jacobfromlost

      That wasn’t Shakespeare. It was Browning. What a maroon! What an ignoranimus!

    2. 16.2
      Warp

      “Who wound up the clock” is a perfect example of the “begging the question” fallacy.

      1. Lord Narf

        The question is malformed, too. “Who” makes it a loaded question.

      2. jacobfromlost

        Also, from what I’ve read and heard from Krauss and others, gravity is the exact balanced opposite of matter/energy…which means that they balance each other out and add up to zero (taking into account the entire universe).

        Which means that no “energy” was need to start off the existence of “energy/matter” (and really, why would there be? it seems totally contradictory to suggest there needed to be “some energy” to start off the existence of “energy”; you’ve just basically said energy is energy and comes from more energy, somehow, lol).

        In essence, as it has been explained to me, it is as if the universe is a balanced equation similar to 1+ -(1) = 0. So at a fundamental level, the universe didn’t just “come from nothing” (ie, no matter, energy, etc), it still IS “nothing” in the sense that it seems only to be an imbalance of zero–at least in terms of matter, energy, and gravity (which would include space-time).

    3. 16.3
      Houndentenor

      I’m a musician, not a scientist, and even I can see through that one!

    4. 16.4
      Sigmun

      It was that guy who made that watch from the forest.

  17. 17
    Bob Brennert

    Thanks guys for keeping them on their toes!
    You are wonderful!

  18. 18
    fiddler

    Before relocating to Colorado Springs, Greg (and Randall) taught a course at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church called “Examine the Evidence.” My husband and I enrolled in the series as a Christians looking to “fortify” our faith with the “mountains of evidence” promised in course materials. Good grief, Apologetics. Such silly-headedness masquerading as “scholarship” and “historicity” – and such flagrant dishonesty. We “followed the evidence wherever it led” – and, consequently, my husband and I are now atheists. Thank Goodness — and “All About God” in particular. :)

  19. 19
    unluckytony

    You don’t even have to look at who owns the domain name. All you have to do is follow the ‘About Us’ link at the bottom. Allaboutscience.org is just a misnomer like ‘no child left behind,’ ‘the patriot act’ or any other legislation that does the opposite of its title.

    1. 19.1
      Lord Narf

      Wow, yeah, that is pretty blatant. How often do people actually look at the tiny links at the bottom of the page, though. A bunch of middle school students looking up things about science sure as hell aren’t.

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