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Young Earth Creationists Get Feature in Dallas News

The Dallas Morning News has a feature article about the Institute for Creation Research, which relocated from Southern California to Dallas a few years ago. For a mainstream news article about a scientific subject, it’s pretty well written and doesn’t oversimplify matters too much. But some of it is pretty funny to me.

But at the Institute for Creation Research in northwest Dallas, a group of nine Ph.D.s from places like Harvard and Los Alamos National Laboratory say all that molecules-to-man stuff is nonsense. And they’re out to prove it.

The biblical story of Genesis is literally true, they say. God created the heavens, earth and life in six sequential days lasting about 24 hours each.

The universe is not 13.8 billion years old (as astrophysicists calculate by measuring the rate of cosmic expansion), the earth is not 4.5 billion years old (as geologists conclude by using radioisotope dating on ancient rocks), and humans did not split from chimpanzees and gorillas about 4 million to 7 million years ago (as suggested by genetics and the fossil record).

Young-earth creationists like those at ICR argue that everything in the known universe began 6,000 to 10,000 years ago, a numeric range they calculate using the genealogy of the Bible — Adam lived 930 years and begat a son named Seth, who lived 105 years and begat Enos, and so on.

“Our attempt is to demonstrate that the Bible is accurate, not just religiously authoritative,” said Henry Morris III, CEO of the nonprofit with a 49-person payroll and an annual budget in the $7 million range.

“The rationale behind it is this: If God really does exist, he shouldn’t be lying to us,” he said. “And if he’s lying to us right off the bat in the book of Genesis, we’ve got some real problems.”

And here we have all the evidence that is needed to show that they are not engaged in science as it is properly done but in apologetics. They begin with the idea they believe to be true solely on faith and then try to find evidence to support it, explaining away or ignoring all the contrary evidence, rather than seeking to find the best explanation for the evidence regardless of what conclusion it reaches. And this part absolutely cracked me up:

Jason Lisle, an astrophysicist and the research director at ICR, said he has no chance of winning a Nobel Prize, even if he makes a groundbreaking discovery. Secular scientists, he said, would never bestow the field’s highest honor on a creationist.

Right. Just like I have no chance of winning the Olympic gold medal for figure skating because those biased judges would never bestow the sport’s highest honor on a guy who can barely stand up on ice skates. It’s just so terribly unfair.

Comments

  1. Reginald Selkirk says

    “The rationale behind it is this: If God really does exist, he shouldn’t be lying to us,”

    Like He did in Gen 2:17

    But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

    YECs are the first to insist that “day” in the Bible be interpreted as a literal 24 hour day, so no nonsense about losing immortality or “spiritual death”. Adam and Eve lived for hundreds of years after that, according to Genesis.

  2. Larry says

    I can’t think of a more worthy discovery than complete, unequivocal, verifiable scientific proof of the existence of a supreme being. Something that huge would, deservingly, be honored with every prize in the book.

    The ICR has the final result they want. Now all they need is to fill in the back story. Something tells me its gonna be awhile.

  3. says

    It’s also pretty horrible to create some people who presumably have no knowledge of good or evil (what’s the point of the tree otherwise) and then punish them and all their descendants, because they didn’t know it was evil to eat of the tree until after they’d eaten of the tree.
     
    Anyone got a magnifying glass …. and some ants?

  4. Chiroptera says

    If God really does exist, he shouldn’t be lying to us.

    That seems to be a rather large assumption.

  5. peterh says

    “If God really does exist…”
    If one’s initial assumptions are false, (10,000+ years of non-evidence), one’s conclusions aren’t going to be very reliable.

  6. corwyn says

    “The rationale behind it is this: If God really does exist, he shouldn’t be lying to us,” he said.

    Ezekiel 14:9 et al.

    And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him

  7. says

    And once they’re done proving this, they can move on to other mysteries, like what kind of dinosaur shot Abraham Lincoln and disproving the existence of Australia.

  8. corwyn says

    Secular scientists, he said, would never bestow the field’s highest honor on a creationist.

    Even if true, most Nobel committee members have been retired politicians [wikipedia], so not terribly relevant.

  9. dhall says

    “The rationale behind it is this: If God really does exist, he shouldn’t be lying to us,” he said. “And if he’s lying to us right off the bat in the book of Genesis, we’ve got some real problems.”
    Yes, most certainly, you have some real problems. Besides, isn’t telling god what he should and shouldn’t do a little beyond your job description as an obedient follower?

  10. says

    Funny how they claim God wouldn’t lie to us, then claim the reason the Universe appears to be billions of years old is because it was created with the appearance of age. But isn’t that God lying to us? Why create a universe that looks ancient when it isn’t, except to deceive people, to hide the truth from them?

    Which does in fact sound like something Old Testament God would do. The guy is pretty passive-aggressive in how he treats his creations.

  11. John Pieret says

    he rationale behind it is this: If God really does exist, he shouldn’t be lying to us

    That doesn’t take into account the possibility that you are lying to yourself.

  12. John Pieret says

    timgueguen @ 10:

    Why create a universe that looks ancient when it isn’t, except to deceive people, to hide the truth from them?

    Because he’s testing our faith, of course! If you can’t close your eyes to evidence of an old universe and believe the WORD, what are you gonna do when you read where Jesus said the Second Coming would be during the generation alive at the time?

  13. colnago80 says

    Jason Lisle, who has a legitimate degree in astrophysics from the Un. of Colorado, has proposed a totally preposterous explanation for the result of the Michelson/Morley experiment in an effort to explain why light from distant stars might take only 6000 years to arrive at the earth. Lisle is the astrophysics analog to Kurt Wise.

  14. howardhershey says

    In fact, the belief that God would not lie to us is exactly why scientists in the 19th century, including minister-naturalists and creationists like Owens and Agassiz and Cuvier, ultimately came to the conclusion that the earth was much older than the genealogical estimate of the Bible. It is, in fact, what led Copernicus and Galileo to their conclusions about the relationship between the earth and sun. None of those scientists were ‘atheists’ in the modern sense of that word. In fact, neither was Darwin. Of course, they all, unlike the ICR, thought that the evidence of God’s nature was the best way to determine how He worked (whether or not He existed), which was the mindset of most of the first ‘scientists’.

  15. Doug Little says

    Right. Just like I have no chance of winning the Olympic gold medal for figure skating because those biased judges would never bestow the sport’s highest honor on a guy who can barely stand up on ice skates. It’s just so terribly unfair.

    You are selling yourself short Ed, the entertainment value alone would trump all else.

  16. Pierce R. Butler says

    … a 49-person payroll and an annual budget in the $7 million range.

    Or about $140K per head (okay, we can tentatively assume that Henry Morris III does not distribute it evenly) – for doing… what?

    If, say, 9 of these true believers sweep floors and make coffee for the other two-score, and maybe 10 tend the web site, keep the books, and otherwise maintain the operation, that leaves around 30 people filling the space between infrastructure and overhead.

    Unless one of those pesky deleterious mutations robbed Henry the Third of his rightful heritage of copious bullshit generation on demand – and in such a tragic case, five or six well-home-schooled Real Christians™ ought to be enough to fill the need – the remainder need only occupy themselves with deciding whether each day’s circle-jerk should go deosil or widdershins. Let us pray!

  17. mistertwo says

    timgueguen @ 10 and John Pieret @ 12

    I believe what they’re saying is that they want to prove that the universe does not even appear to be ancient, that if we really understood the evidence we would all agree it was only 6-10000 years old.

    Of course, they do this not by science but by speculation. “Perhaps light hasn’t always traveled at the same rate.” No basis for such a hypothesis is necessary, of course, because they’re trying to figure out how to get to a young universe rather than trying to figure out how old it really is. So they come up with something that allows them to question whether what is obvious is, perhaps, an illusion, and “perhaps” is all it takes for them to convince themselves and the faithful that the truth can’t be known via observation.

    Of course, this means they stop long before their stated goal of demonstrating a young universe. They can’t get beyond the “perhaps” phase because they can’t design an experiment to prove their hypothesis, which isn’t really a hypothesis but just an idea thrown out.

  18. catbutler says

    @17
    Not to defend these buffoons, but I find it hard to believe they don’t have any other overhead besides salaries.

  19. freehand says

    howardhershey – Yes, my college workout buddy was an active Roman Catholic and went on to earn his PhD in microbiology. He said “Science is how God does things.” He also opined that if the bible and reality seemed to clash, that he would assume his understanding of the bible was wrong. He had little patience for Young Earth Creationists, although he was too civil (and busy) to do anything but mutter under his breath. I found his religion unnecessary, but it was no impediment to his learning and doing science.

  20. blf says

    I can’t think of a more worthy discovery than complete, unequivocal, verifiable scientific proof of the existence of a supreme being.

    Based on all known current and past observations, such a creature is not-sentient and probably rabid. Finding sentient extraterrestrial life (or the remains thereof) would be perhaps rather more worthy.

  21. stever says

    In all of the translations, redactions, censorings and recompilations, the most important thing that got dropped from the Bible was the Afterword: “Well, it’s been fun, but remember that anyone who takes these fables too seriously needs to be kept away from fire and sharp objects.”

  22. Matt G says

    Scientists don’t care if the Earth is 13.7 billion years old, or 137 billion, or 1.37 billion years old. They just want the correct answer. Creationists need the answer to be the number they calculate from the Bible. This is science vs. non-science.

  23. busterggi says

    If the work is based on biblical lifespans then are they using the original birth and death certificates for the dates? If not then its all hearsay.

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