The Counter-Creationism Handbook comes to the masses!

Here’s some happy news for all you warriors against creationism: Mark Isaak’s Counter-Creationism Handbook(amzn/b&n/abe/pwll), that wonderfully indispensable and entirely portable version of the Index to Creationist Claims, can now be purchased in paperback for less than $15. It was previously only available in a rather pricey but but extremely well bound edition. Next time you attend a talk by Ken Ham or Duane Gish or any of the common-as-dirt wandering creationists (or Kent Hovind, once they let him out of jail*), you’ll want a copy of this with you—teach them to fear the power of well-referenced and clear answers to their crazy objections.

*Say, do you think we ought to take up a collection and buy a copy for the prison library?


  1. minusRusty says

    Take up a collection, and send them to his prison mates, the guards, the prison administrators, the prison doctor, get some wallpaper made…..

  2. says

    get some wallpaper made

    I have a bunch of downloaded/xeroxed articles that I’m willing to share! ;-) I’m sure they’d stick with some rubber cement.

    Aw, QrazyQat, have a heart. We can’t leave the poor man in there with just the Bible, now can we?

  3. M says

    Actually, collection is a great idea, on a bigger scale.

    If we publicize this (and you, PZ, certainly have enough visitors to get the ball rolling), and everyone chips in a bit, we can donate a bunch of these to libraries – especially university libraries, where TAs and professors are sometimes woefully uninformed as to how to combat creationist claims.

    Perhaps the good folks at Panda’s Thumb can be persuaded to put up a donation button, and find someone to organize the rest? Putting more information out there would be a really good thing.

  4. says


    Now, now. You know Hovind is only in prison because the court doesn’t want him to teach the truth. It’s persecution, people! Persecution of a good man who just doesn’t want Jesus to burn your ass. It has NOTHING to do with the fact that has hasn’t paid his taxes.


  5. Crudely Wrott says

    A copy? How about a dozen or so? And a few copies of the Skeptic’s Annotated Bible? And copies of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution? And some Heinlein.

  6. Kagehi says

    Thought you would have fun with this:

    The delusional right:

    Posted within 24 hours of the press release of this from scientists:

    Damn those evil biotech people that are only in it for the money they can make from *unatural* cloning of a species that resembles the original cows they come from about as much as a lounge chair resembles the first rock someone sat on… lol Preservation of species my ass. These people are truly stupid.

  7. says

    National Chairman Jon Hill stated, “It is our duty to respect the image of creation that the Creator has given to nature, and to not unnecessarily deform this image in order to merely provide economic opportunities to people involved in the field of genetics. To propose risking damage to God’s intricate and awesome creation to maximize profits is disgraceful.”

    D’oh! *Snigger* You ain’t kidding Kagehi.

    Let’s send Hovie some cloned steak and tell him there’s a file in it, and see what he does.

  8. Mothra says

    While I plan to buy a copy of this type of “good book”, the whole episode illustrates our failure, in the long term, as science instructors that such publications are necessary to counter the absolute sludge petaled by creationists. Each and every scientist should face up to the fact that in our sorry backward nation, the enlightenment is being/has been snuffed out. We’ve squandered the intellectual heritage bequeathed us by 16th century Europe and further wasted the infusion of intelligentsia we received from pre-WWII Europe.

    In practice, I’ve found the most effective way to deal with creationists is to get them off their prepared text. Science is a BIG subject and creationist incoherence is readily exposed. Flood example: One common creationist tenant is water from a universal flood originated from a ‘water canopy’ that enveloped the Earth. Fun computation: thickness of water canopy required to cover the Earth such that Mt. Everest is submerged (approx. 7 km depth). Fun fact: light extinction depth in nano-pure water (less than 50 meters). Plant growth below a water canopy?? Not to mention atmospheric pressure under a water canopy. Fun computation: Latent heat released to the atmosphere when said water canopy descends to ground– the sun turns out to be a very cool place by comparison.

  9. Kseniya says

    Not only that, but given that the amount of water required to cover the earth to the heigh of Everest is three times the amount of water in all the oceans, rivers and lakes of the earth combines – one must ask, where did all this water go? And why is there no physical evidence of a global flood?

    Silly Mothra, the answer is simple: God Can Do Anything!!!!

    I admit I have been viewing Sturgeon’s “Microcosmic God” in a different light recently, though… the early bits read like the Old Testament. I think we’re now in the part where Kidder has passed away, and his creations are still waiting around to hear from him.

    But that’s another topic.

  10. John Vreeland says

    Another good reference is Science and Earth History by Arthur N. Strahler. Only available as a large hardback, I believe. It goes into enormous detail on all the young earth arguments and the rest. Not much on ID, however, but with ID there are no science claims to disprove.

  11. natural cynic says

    Not only that, but given that the amount of water required to cover the earth to the heigh of Everest is three times the amount of water in all the oceans, rivers and lakes of the earth combined

    Oh, you silly person, didntcha know that the pre-diluvian world was much flatter?? So it really, really didn’t take any more water than what’s in the oceans now. The mountains rose only at the end of the flood.

    …the answer is simple: God Can Do Anything!!!!

    Including continental plates moving at about 100 kph and mountains rising at 1000 m/day.

  12. demallien says

    Actually, you do have to watch out on te whole water canopy thing. Lift the canopy high enough into space, and it can be reduced to only a couple of mm of thickness, allowing through plenty of light.

    Of course that just increases the potential energy when it all comes tumbling down. But then, it’s supposed to rain for 40 days and 40 nights. What does that do for the heat dissipation?

    Anyway, it doesn’t matter. Any problem can be POOFed out of existence by God… Of course, this is no longer science, but most creationists I talk to aren’t able to grasp this.

  13. Neil says

    Water canopy?

    You scientists are so ignorant of The True Religion.

    Some so called ‘Chritians’, particularly in the U.S, may believe that, but as pointed out in the comments above a water canopy enveloping the earth is not really plausible is it? Do you think all True Creationists are fools?

    The whole ‘water canopy’ fallacy comes from a mistranslation of the ancient texts in the 4th century. In reality it was a ‘squid canopy’ that collapsed, causing the great flood (‘cephalafloodus’).

    None of your pedantic scientific arguments can falsify the ‘squid canopy’. The canopy was self supporting by the squid inter-locking their tentacles. The blocking out of solar radiation was not a problem either as these ancient squid were luminescent. The ancient squid unfortunately became extinct shortly after the deluge (their soft bodies not being well designed to cope with falling from a great height) but the fact that luminescence has been observed in some squid and cuttlefish species still extant is strong supporting evidence for the ‘squid canopy’.

    If you want to try and falsify, mock or disprove The Creation then please be wise and humble enough to thoroughly research the entirety of Creationist beliefs before passing any mall informed or ignorant comments. I am sure that the majority of Creationists do the same when commenting on scientific matters, so please return the courtesy.

  14. Richard Harris, FCD says

    Neil, that was very good. Squids, all the way down, eh! It really made me laugh. I wish I’d had a copy of it to hand when a pair of god-buggers knocked on the door earlire this morning, so that I could have disputed some theology with them.

    “Do you think all True Creationists are fools?” Of course I do, even those who are professors of engineering and chartered engineers and chartered mathematicians, too. Intelligent in some ways, but very foolish in others – savant idiots

  15. AC says

    This is good news for me. I’ve had the hardback on my Amazon wish list for a long time, but the price kept it a low priority.

  16. says

    Re: The donation idea

    It struck me as a tad funny that donating a bunch of copies to libraries is just what some of the Dover PA school board did with the Pandas and People book. With some minor differences…

    The CCH book really is about science.
    The person handling all the donations would not deny knowing where the money came from.
    We wouldn’t have to defend the act in a court of law.

  17. minusRusty says

    … please be wise and humble enough to thoroughly research the entirety of Creationist beliefs before passing any mall informed or ignorant comments.

    I guess I’ll have to start scouting the malls regularly again! w00t! Gotta go get Squiddy ready ….. ;-)

  18. says

    Re: Kent Hovind

    I know it sounds crazy, but I actually think that Kent Hovind should be freed. Clearly, Kent Hovind is more valuable to society as a free nut-job running around the country making his side look bad than languishing in a prison at the taxpayers expense.

    Jailing Hovind wont help increase our nations tax revenue either. Why not just garnish all his future earnings instead?

  19. bPer says

    Why not just garnish all his future earnings instead?

    With a grain of salt, no doubt. ;-)

  20. Patrick says

    Yes, please bring the book with you so that it can be exposed as the comic book that it is.


    That said, I kind of would like to see a pro-evolution comic book done in the vein of those creationist ones.

  21. Brian X says

    I actually went out looking for it, and I might buy it. Problem is that it’s basically a White Hat Gish Gallop — if you don’t have the patience to look up the references, it’s overwhelming. Very good for learning the basics, though.

  22. Scott Hatfield says

    Peanut Gallery:

    Say, aren’t you the same doofus who went trolling over to RTB when you read someone was asking for help on a presentation on evolution to one of their chapters? The assumption no doubt being that something sinister was going on. Now THAT’s out of a comic book, and I’ve had quite a few chuckles sharing your misapprehension with folks, believers and non-believers alike.

    Any dried egg on your facial hair will come out with a good brush. Amused….SH

  23. says

    The first science-teaching comic book that comes to my mind is Larry Gonick’s _Cartoon History of the Universe_, Volume 1 of which covers the Big Bang to, I think, Sumer (the time scale contracts after that, so that Volume 2 is not an invisibly small shred of paper).