I called it

Back in May, I suggested that we have seen who Ken Ham’s chosen successor would be. I was correct. It’s Martyn Iles. Ho hum.

Iles was formerly the Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby, and was kicked out because he was terrible at his job and godless Australians kept winning legislative victories while membership in the organization declined. Let’s hope he keeps his losing streak going!

There are many people at Answers in Genesis who have stood by Ham — I really wonder about the internal politics here, when the Big Boss brings in a total stranger over the heads of the existing staff and announces that he will be the next man in charge. I almost feel sorry for Bodie Hodge, his son-in-law, who has now been officially passed over.

Ken Ham is a disingenuous fraud on climate change

I’m sorry, I feel stupider for having read this: it’s Ken Ham talking about climate change. He reports the headlines:

Shortly after the Fourth of July weekend here in the US, headlines proclaimed: “For the third day in a row, Earth’s average temperature breaks record highs.” Last week on July 5, 2023, the average global temperature (according to one university’s “Climate Reanalyzer,” “a tool that uses satellite data and computer simulations to measure the world’s condition”) was a record 62.8 degrees Fahrenheit (or 17.18 C), beating the “record” set on Monday. But is this really a record?


But Ol’ Ken questions it.

…was last week really a record? Well, it might have been—but we don’t really know! Humans have only been recording climate data since the 1880s, and we’ve only had robust data since satellite data collection began in the 1970s. So we have no idea how warm the warmest day on earth was in all of the earth’s history! (But we do know, based on the fossil record, that the earth’s climate was much warmer before the flood!)

You idiot. We have over a century of robust climate records, and this was the highest temperature on record, therefore, yes, it was a record high temperature. Words mean things, you know. They weren’t saying this was the hottest the planet had ever been — that probably occurred about 4½ billion years ago, when the planet was a molten ball of rock — but the hottest since we humans have been carefully tracking the climate. OK, you fucking stupid charlatan?

But he goes on to top that disingenuous word game. He claims that he believes in climate change.

Not only do I believe in climate change, but I’m a climate change alarmist, and I do believe humans have caused climate change!

Except…just not the way scientists do, with their measurements and data and records. No, he believes in a coming Biblical catastrophe.

Well, I’m not referring to a supposed slight global temperature increase allegedly caused by humans burning fossil fuels. I’m referring to the ultimate catastrophic climate change everyone should be aware of when one day in the future, Jesus will return, and the earth (and the whole universe) will be judged with fire, and God will make a new heavens and earth.

He then goes on to say that humans are the cause of this coming catastrophic climate change, because of our sin in Adam…except he then goes on to say that we’re not going to be the cause.

So, man is not going to destroy the earth! We can boldly proclaim that humans aren’t going to destroy themselves or the earth because God is in complete control, and he will determine when the ultimate catastrophic climate change will occur. So, the climate change countdown clock is absurd! We need to understand and believe in climate alarmism in a biblical context.

This is a bait-and-switch game AiG plays all the time. They have multiple articles with titles like Science Confirms Climate Change and The Globe Is Warming, But It’s Not Your Fault! and I’m a Climate Change Alarmist! that, when you actually read them, are denying all the scientific evidence in order to claim that the basis of their belief rests entirely on Bible prophecy, and that, of course, the way to prepare for climate change is to pray and go to church and give Answers in Genesis your money. The only reason you should worry about environmental catastrophe is if you don’t fear God.

Lord, I despise these liars.

You missed your chance!

I’m sorry, the last day to register for the International Conference on Creationism was 3 July, so it’s too late for you. It will be held at Cedarville University, a glorified Bible college in Ohio.

It’s sponsored by a fine assortment of organizations dedicated to promoting ignorance:

I don’t think you’ll miss much. One of the things that struck me about the list of speakers at this meeting is just how familiar they all are. These are mostly the same old frauds who’ve been parroting nonsensical lies for years, in some cases, for decades.

  • Dr. William Barrick (Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew, The Masters Seminary) — Theology
  • Dr. John Baumgardner (Vice President Logos Research Associates & Research Professor Emeritus, Liberty University) — Geophysical Modeling
  • Dr. Danny Faulkner (Researcher at Answers in Genesis and editor of the Creation Research Society Quarterly) – Danny Faulkner
  • Dr. Joe Francis (Dean of the School of Science, Mathematics, Technology and Health, The Masters University) — Biology
  • Dr. Aaron Hutchison (Professor of Chemistry and Forensic Science, Cedarville University) — Chemistry
  • Dr. Russell Humphreys (Independent Researcher & Board member of the Creation Research Society) — Physics
  • Dr. Matthew McLain (Associate Professor of Biological Science and Geoscience, The Masters University) – Education
  • Dr. Douglas Petrovitch (Teaches Ancient Egypt at Wilfrid Laurier University) — Archaeology
  • Dr. John Sanford (Director at Logos Research Associates) — Genetics
  • Dr. Andrew Snelling (Director of Research at Answers in Genesis) — Geology
  • Dr. Kurt Wise (Director of the Center for Creation Research & Professor of Natural History, Truett McConnell University) — Paleontology

I have to compare it to real conferences. There, you also find the old establishment giving review talks in plenary sessions, but the real meeting, the interesting and exciting new stuff, is given by hordes of grad students and post-docs presenting their current research. It’s a rich and complicated event with lots of people at all stages of their career talking things they’ve done that, mostly, no one else has done before.

Creationist conferences, not so much. It’s mostly old fuddy-duddies rehashing tired old arguments that have been repeatedly debunked and dismissed, and you have to pity any younger people who have been deluded and dragged into this mess. It’s just sad.

Also, is including representation from a few fringe ‘researchers’ at a Canadian university sufficient to call it an “international” conference? At the international meetings in the US that I’ve attended, I’m used to seeing a majority of the sessions led by European and Austrialian and Asian scientists.

They also tend not to be sponsored by religious institutions.

I keep missing their funerals!

I am a neglectful nemesis. I told you before that the Slymepit had died, and it took me six months to find out. Now I learn that Bill Dembski’s blog, Uncommon Descent, has expired. I’m only about 2 months late to the party, so I’m getting better.

As his blog sank, Dembski was crowing in triumph.

In closing this farewell, I want to say special thanks to Jack Cole, who was the webmaster all these years and put in so many unremunerated hours; to Denyse O’Leary, whose quick pen and sharp insights supplied a never-ending stream of fruitful content; and to Barry Arrington, whose work in administering the site and writing for it kept the trains running. And finally, thanks to all the contributors and commenters over the years who, in supporting ID, have been on the right side of truth and will ultimately be vindicated for being on the right side of history.

Nothing in any of the Intelligent Design creationism blogs were on the right side of truth. Dembski has always been fond of making grandiose proclamations that fly in the face of reality, like this one.

In the next five years, molecular Darwinism – the idea that Darwinian processes can produce complex molecular structures at the subcellular level – will be dead. When that happens, evolutionary biology will experience a crisis of confidence because evolutionary biology hinges on the evolution of the right molecules. I therefore foresee a Taliban-style collapse of Darwinism in the next ten years. Intelligent design will of course profit greatly from this. For ID to win the day, however, will require talented new researchers able to move this research program forward, showing how intelligent design provides better insights into biological systems than the dying Darwinian paradigm.

He wrote that in 2004. It’s a standard trope in creationism to announce the imminent death of Darwinism even as they are being stuffed into a grave. See also the Wedge document from 1998, where they predicted major legal and scientific victories within a few years, and instead they got the Kitzmiller trial in 2005…and we all know how that turned out for them.

(Of course, one could argue that “Darwinism” sensu stricto has been dead for over a hundred years, but that would be an admission that the creationists have been flailing ignorantly against a straw man.)

The creationist heat problem…SOLVED!

Every once in a while, it sinks into the creationist mind that they have a problem, the heat problem. They extraordinarily rapid transitions they claim had to have occurred — a globe-drowning deluge falling out of the sky and surging up out of the earth in a year, vast amounts of lava building huge geological features in a geological instant — would involve the release of immense amounts of heat, among the multitude of impossibilities in their flood myth. Just ask Phil Plait.

Creationists need the Earth (and the Universe, don’t forget) to be 6000 or so years old, due to a lengthy list of “begattings” in the Bible. The problem is, we see lots of processes going on right now that are very slow — but we see their effect because the Earth is incredibly old. But if the Earth is young, these processes have to have been cooking a lot faster in the past. Cooking indeed, because these forces expel a lot of heat. And it can be hard to dump that heat: it has to go somewhere (like an oven heating up a room when you open the door), and we just don’t see that happening.

Just imagine all the tectonic activity that we say was spread out over billions of years compressed into a single year, as creationists believe — there’d be enough heat generated to melt the crust of the Earth. Or consider all the radioactive decay that occurred to generate the elements we find on the planet, which we say is an indicator of great age. They want all that to occur in about 6000 years, postulating in some cases that radiometric dating is falsified by accelerated rates of decay…boom, that would mean natural nuclear bombs would have been popping off constantly.

Some creationists realize this, and invent all kinds of wacky mechanisms for dissipating planet-melting quantities of heat. Dan Phelps finds one who admits the one true solution: voila, it was a supernatural miracle.

However, it is important to appreciate that our inability to identify an acknowledged mechanism for removing the excess heat deposited during and after the Flood, an issue first identified over 35 years ago (Baumgardner 1986), is only a problem in the sense that it represents the limited nature of our human understanding. In a biblical context there is no fundamental problem because God purposely brought about the Flood (Genesis 6:17) as a judgment on the wicked human race of Noah’s day and covenanted with Noah to preserve human and animal life through the cataclysm (Genesis 6:18). He sovereignly accomplished both objectives, implying that environmental temperatures could not have risen beyond biological endurance limits. The only real problem is our current lack of understanding of how this was accomplished; the Flood account in Genesis 6–9 does not tell us directly whether supernatural processes were involved, though it seems very likely that they were. The same basic issue arises in connection with the topics to be covered in Parts 5 (heat due to Accelerated Nuclear Decay) and 6 (heat due to bombardments from space) of this series, and will be considered at greater length in Part 7.

I’ve been saying for years that creationists have an easy out for dealing with the difficulties their model generates. Just say it was a miracle. Just say God did it.

Usually they are reluctant to do that because it’s an admission that they don’t actually have any kind of scientific explanation.

When I used to debate creationists

I was reminded on Mastodon that I used to live in Eugene, and shared the city with a particular creationist that I debated, once. Then I was reminded again how old I’m getting because that debate happened in 2008, fifteen goddamned years ago. Bleh. It was a boring debate and I wasted my youth on it.

Anyway, here’s what I wrote about the debate with Geoff Simmons, way back in, I remind you, 2008. Some of you may remember that because you’re getting as old as I am.

It was a radio debate on KKMS, the regional Christian talk radio station, back when they’d occasionally bring me on to humiliate local Christians (they learned their lesson, eventually). I grabbed the recording before the station deleted the archive, and posted it on YouTube so you can enjoy it now.

Jesus, but he was stupid and dishonest. I was wise to finally give up that ugly habit.

Who will replace Ken Ham?

Calm down, he’s not dead yet. At his age, though, he’s probably contemplating his future successor. Bodie Hodge, his son-in-law, is a blithering goober, and the other people at the top of his organization are women, so naturally they’re out of the running. Andrew Snelling, Terry Mortenson, Danny Faulkner? Negative charisma. Tim Chaffey? He’s tall, that’s about it. Nathaniel Jeanson? An insufferable twit.

Apparently, Ken has been recruiting back in the homeland of Australia, and he has landed a real winner: Martyne Iles. He’s perfect. He’s young. He’s loud. He’s a confirmed hater: he doesn’t want anything to do with the gays or the transes, he despises the idea of climate change, he hates commies. He’s a cerfiable culture warror, and his ideology lines up nicely with Ken Ham’s.

And now he’s been hired as Chief Ministry Officer for Answers in Genesis.

Also interesting: he was formerly the Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby, but he was kicked out. The apparent cause was that the ACL, under his leadership, was flopping badly. Australians kept passing those danged liberal laws anyway. He was ineffective and obnoxious.

The ACL grew rapidly under Iles – its membership tripled, Iles said – but its size wasn’t the board’s problem. It was struggling for political impact. In a few short years, it recorded losses on virtually every single key issue: same-sex marriage was legalised in 2017, just months before Iles took the post; almost every state in the country has loosened laws on abortion and voluntary assisted dying; and major steps against gay conversion therapy have been made in Victoria, WA and NSW. And faced with the potential for a multi-term Labor government that saw the group as – at best – irrelevant, the Australian Christian Lobby needed a major strategic reset.

So now he has left Australia to a country that if more favorable ideologically. He’s just like Ken Ham!

They have one other thing in common: they’re both abominably stupid. Here’s Iles’ “evidence for god”.

No one ever thought that intricacy could come out of simplicity or that order could come out of chaos in anything except creation.

Also, beautiful sunsets. Fanaticism and banality, such a great combination.

It’s a match made in heaven.

I don’t qualify at all

Answers in Genesis is looking for a full-time high school science teacher. I’m not looking for a new job, but even if I were, I’m stunned by how supremely unqualified I am for this position.

The qualified individual must be an evangelical Christian committed to living a biblical lifestyle in all areas and in full agreement with the schools statement of faith. The teacher is expected to be in alignment with the science and biblical positions held at Answers in Genesis and able to teach science from a biblical worldview in the classroom. The teacher must also be able to distinguish operational vs historical science as well as be able to articulate the evolutionary beliefs correctly while being able to refute them biblically and scientifically. The teacher must also have a good understanding of AiGs presuppositional apologetic approach and know how to incorporate it in the classroom.

The teacher shall be one who feels called of God to the teaching profession. The teacher must maintain a teachable spirit while demonstrating patience, humility, integrity, and kindness while performing his/her day-to-day duties. He/she must be devoted to prayerfully work with administration, faculty, students, and parents to develop and maintain a school which is thoroughly Christian and academically exceptional. The teacher shall prayerfully help students learn attitudes, skills, and subject matter that will contribute to their development as mature, able, and responsible Christians to the glory of God.

I don’t meet the requirements in a single sentence of that summary. Of course, nowhere in there does it say anything about degrees or training or experience, all that matters is conformity to the peculiar notion of science held by AiG.

Oh, at the end of the long list of detailed stuff, almost every bit of it about theological purity, there is a passing mention of what I might expect for qualifications of a real teaching position.

It is expected for the teacher to:

  • Hold a minimum of a bachelors degree or equivalent in related field
  • Have completed student teaching and/or other educational field experience.

It is preferred (but not necessary) for the teacher to:

  • Have two or more years of classroom teaching experience.
  • Have a current teaching certificate from a Christian school association and/or State Teaching Certificate in Education.
  • Have a masters degree in education or a science field.

Did you finish Bible school? Did you teach Sunday school? You’re qualified. (I’ve done neither.)