Wanted: young creation “scientists”

Sevreal readers pointed me to an essay/ad by the Institute for Creation Research asking Christian youth to go into science. For your delectation: “Wanted: Young creation scientists” by Jake Hebert, Ph.D. (doctorate in physics from the University of Texas at Dallas). Pay special attention to the last two paragraphs.

Picture 1

If you need a sign that creationists are getting desperate, here’s a good one, for this “ad” literally begs Christian youth to go into science solely to become “stealth creationists” like Jon Wells.

The first paragraph, about the advances of creation science and its superiority over “real” science (i.e., evolutionary biology) is of course a complete lie. But the real motivation for co-opting Christian youth into science is in the last two paragraphs, advising these students “to not draw attention to your creationists beliefs while you are a student.”

But if those beliefs have, as the ICR asserts, trumped modern evolutionary biology, why hide them? Well, it’s because of the “anti-Christian sentiment” in society and the “academic persecution in the secular universities.” What this means is simply that people with creationist beliefs have those beliefs questioned in a good secular university. That’s what a university is for, and it’s not “persecution.” But it’s better to keep your mouth shut until you get that Ph.D., whereupon you can come out as a full-throttle creationist like John Wells and Michael Behe.

This is a form of child abuse in three ways. It take a child’s natural interest in science and perverts it by forcing it into the Procrustean bed of creationism, turning the child into a liar for Jesus. Second, it tries to distort scientific understanding before the “candidate” even gets to the classroom, by urging the the student to hold onto his/her views in the face of counterevidence. Finally, it is unbearably cynical, for it makes the child a tool of the creationsts/fundamentalists—a minion who can fulfill their desire to overthrow real science by subverting it from within. They are producing the equivalent of those little Iraqi children who were urged to run through minefields to detonate unexploded mines.  Suborning a child’s curiosity about the world by enlisting it in the cause of superstition is true child abuse.

h/t: Tom

97 Comments

  1. NewEnglandBob
    Posted July 26, 2013 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    I hope they are very successful in their recruiting efforts since 90 % of those people will have their eyes opened wide that creationism is nothing but lies.

    • Siegfried Gust
      Posted July 26, 2013 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      My thoughts exactly. This most likely will backfire on them. Giving young impressionable minds all the facts they need to form an informed worldview is what they should be very afraid of.

      • Tom Lynch
        Posted July 26, 2013 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

        There is some evidence that you are right. Several years ago there was a PBS series on Evolution. The final segment explored the Evolution/Creationism “controversy” and interviewed a number of college students raised in anti-evolution churches. Even those in Christian colleges, confronted with real science were rapidly and often painfully changing their beliefs. Just show them the evidence and let nature take its course.

    • Posted July 26, 2013 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      +1

    • MNb
      Posted July 26, 2013 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      +2.
      This was my first thought. We should encourage this.

    • Marella
      Posted July 26, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      Yep, most people’s belief in the Bible is propped up on a framework of lies that will be exposed during a science education. Very few will be able to sustain the cognitive dissonance necessary to keep believing in such nonsense.

  2. elisafdm
    Posted July 26, 2013 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Wow wow wow. Yes I do remember reading stuff from Michael Behe and Jonathan Wells back in my days when I was researching Christian apologetics. It looks like they want more!

    I do wonder though, all this research proving Creationist superiority where is it being done? How many “programmes” does the ICR run and how many other analogous institutes exist? I’m perhaps starting to think the Templeton foundation isn’t the worst waste of money that could be invested into science after all.

    P.S.: How irksome. The “ICR” is the Institute for Cancer Research in Sutton. I hate having to use the acronym for something like this.

    P.P.S.: Jerry, were you in a rush at the end of writing this piece? Your last paragraph appears to have skipped the proofreading that was given to the rest of your post.

    • Posted July 26, 2013 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      Indeed I was in a rush; headed off for lunch. I’ve fixed the embarrassing errors now (I hope). Thanks.

  3. Posted July 26, 2013 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Just imagine all those fundie children going to a university and learning real science …

  4. Barry Lyons
    Posted July 26, 2013 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Wow. Thanks for alerting me to this awful piece.

  5. Diana MacPherson
    Posted July 26, 2013 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    First of all, I loved this: “Procrustean bed of creationism” almost as much as I love chocolate; and that’s a lot.

    I feel so anxious when I read these sorts of recruitments…it’s the same feeling I get when I see children brought to the door with their Jehovah Witness parents. It’s a feeling of loss for the kids as well as real angst over the larger, scary religious agenda to subvert reason and truth for lies all the while claiming persecution to make their work seem worthwhile! So shameful!

    • Helen H
      Posted July 26, 2013 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      Hello Diane,

      I was one of those kids going door to door with my mother from the young age of four.
      I was told to speak to the householder with a rehearsed dialouge at the age of six.
      Dad was a Catholic that lapsed. I ended up marrying a very devout Catholic and converting to the Catholic Church.
      Let’s just say that it’s been a very hard road for me with the last 5 being the hardest after I realized god was a myth.I’ve had to keep that pretty quiet.
      My daughter loves science and I have done my best to make sure she will get it. Years ago I asked Mr. Coyne for some guidance on a assignment she was given. He was so helpful and kind to me, and encouraging. I did not want to risk making even the slightest error, you see it has been years and years of believing so many lies that I have a hard time knowing if another lie is being snuck into what appears harmless. Enough about that. Just wanted you to know that some of us got out. Maybe not without long lasting damage, but some of us are no longer believers.

      • Helen H
        Posted July 26, 2013 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

        I apologize, I did mean to type professor Coyne. So sorry.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted July 26, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

        Good to hear! I have a friend that also got away from The Witnesses. Sadly, she is very susceptible to all sorts of pseudo science and some of her siblings are still with the church. I guess it is all part of being indoctrinated all her life.

        • Posted July 28, 2013 at 5:08 am | Permalink

          I hope things can work out for you Helen, that must be difficult.

          I second Ben’s idea.

          We got our Shih Tzu, the world’s cutest dog, from a family of Witnesses. Mrs. K worked with the sister of the birth parents. They seemed to think since Doggie Daddy was quite small, our wee pup would be too – she’s avg sized. The actual Ma is on the larger end of the breed.

          Nice enough people, strange behaviour regarding marriage.

          I went to public school for a while with a pair of JW brothers who wore their ties and white shirts, etc. everyday.

          They were nice and even came around one day canvassing for souls.

          Years later, I’m talking with a friend from the area who I didn’t know back then. Somehow the JW Bros. came up and he also knew them.

          One day some years earlier, this friend was sitting on the kitchen steps leading to either the basement or the backdoor with the younger brother, IIRC. Sniffing glue.

          The friend was just exhaling a big huff, when younger JW leaned over and attempted a tonsillectomy with his tongue.

          Friend jumped up, fainted from the rush and fell backwards into the basement, Clouseaued then ran up the stairs and out the door, never to return…

      • Posted July 26, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

        Wow, Helen. That’s quite some tale. Brought a tear to my eye.

      • Posted July 26, 2013 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

        Jerry, have you thought about creating your own Convert’s Corner? Helen’s post here would make a great first entry….

        b&

      • Posted July 28, 2013 at 9:52 am | Permalink

        Is it any use asking such pairs in and talking to the child?

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted July 28, 2013 at 10:04 am | Permalink

          I suspect no based on 1) experience 2) knowledge imparted to me from my ex-Witness friend.

          1) I grew up with a JW girl. A real believer who is still in the church. A child, especially in front of the parents, is going to believe what they are told by their parents. My JW friend said she had a great childhood because she was told she was better than all those other people who didn’t know the truth like they did. I think this would probably confuse the child.

          2) The JWs will see you as someone they can “save” because you engaged them. They will return again and again. For this reason, I always politely say that I’m not interested and I do not take their literature. It’s heartbreaking though. I even had a young couple without kids come to my door when I was sick and they were so nice and I just felt so bad for them.

  6. Christopher
    Posted July 26, 2013 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    This doesn’t worry me that much (of course, it is all relative). The main reason being is that the time a child starts at university right up to getting a Masters and/or PHD, it’s more likely that they will have been educated about how bullshit creationism is. I suspect there will be less creationists getting PHDs than the amount that started out as creationists! A lot of eyes would be opened.

    Also, I would argue that they have misused the term science/scientist. Scientists don’t go in with an agenda – the facts uncovered determine the consensus. Starting a career in science to “prove” or “further” a particular and unique world view is not doing science. It works by definition!

    They will ultimately fail, anyway. Obviously. Because there isn’t a debate. Evolution is a fact, and their God of the Gaps enterprise is shrinking between their feet. As it already is. Hence the desperation, I suppose.

  7. Posted July 26, 2013 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    We have a couple of graduate students in our program who got their undergrad degrees at Bob Jones, and I’ve often wondered if they are playing this game.

    • Posted July 26, 2013 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      Well … how’s their science? Are they any good? Do they seem to get the idea of science?

      • Posted July 26, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

        One of them is very smart, at least in classes and on the qualifying exam (no interactions with the other to form a judgment). I have no idea how that person performs in the lab though, which is the much truer measure of the scientific mindset. I would assume if they have creationist views and are keeping their own counsel about them, that the cognitive dissonance will eventually kick in, but there are certainly people who can maintain that conflict for their whole careers and nonetheless do good science. I have also entertained the idea that eventually their names and (likely) PhDs will become mouthpieces for the ICR.

        • Marella
          Posted July 26, 2013 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

          I have a way I use to sort out these things. I whinge about something in my life that went wrong, and then casually say “God hates me”. The religious can never resist the urge to point out that god doesn’t hate anyone and certainly not me. Of course it doesn’t mean they’re creationists, but it’s a start.

  8. Posted July 26, 2013 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    We have a couple of graduate students in our Molecular and Cellular Biology program who got their undergrad degrees at Bob Jones. I have often wondered if they are playing this game.

  9. Posted July 26, 2013 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Wot, no comments allowed on the ICR site? And there was me going to give Jake Hebert to spell out some of the details of those “exciting discoveries in the fields of biology and geology” that he tells us “ICR is making”.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted July 26, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      Someone alert Webster’s! Discovery has now been redefined to mean “wild ass guesses”!

  10. Dennis Keane
    Posted July 26, 2013 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    This is excellent – send all the evangelicals to science class. I hope they do work hard and try to understand the science best tehy can.

  11. Posted July 26, 2013 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Suborning a child’s curiosity about the world by enlisting it in the cause of superstition is true child abuse.

    Agreed…but I do believe this will backfire on them more often than not, as others have suggested.

    If we’re going to have Christians, I’d just as soon have Christians who’ve managed to get science degrees from accredited institutions other than Ball State. At the very least, they’re (theoretically) not going to get the degrees unless they can demonstrate a thorough understanding of the science. If they can then persist in their superstitions in spite of overwhelming evidence…well I feel sorry for them and the lives of ignorance and deception they’re setting themselves up for, but at least they had a chance to escape the insanity.

    b&

    • Marella
      Posted July 26, 2013 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      Yes it’s a vast improvement over decrying education as the work of the devil, and pulling their kids out of school after 8th grade!

  12. Jason Besanceney
    Posted July 26, 2013 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    I’d say this ‘ad’ is 3/4 bluff and 1/4 gambling; gambling on some probability that not ‘too’ many young adult creationists will have to deal with very much of the evidence on their mission through universities and beyond. That is, if anyone is actually motivated by this silly ‘ad’, I think they’re banking on not creating many Glenn Mortons: A former loyal creationist who, while working for an oil & gas company and interpreting the rock/fossil record, learned that he and all his ICR colleagues had been spreading false and completely useless information to their audience.

    • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
      Posted July 26, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      And, which I just learned by googling him, has returned to advocating for creationism in the schools:

      “Worst of all, he considers it acceptable to teach children alleged facts which we can all prove -and HE can prove- are certainly wrong. He says religion has a right to be wrong, and that means it’s OK to lie to children in the guise of ‘teaching’ them. He says creationism is factually wrong, and a detriment to his religion, but he still prefers that to atheists NOT indoctrinating other people’s children. He says that offering only an actual factual education instead is somehow tantamount to a totalitarian forced conformity.

      (shakes head in wide-eyed bewilderment).
      It occurs to me that Glenn Morton’s notoriety -and all the respect he has ever rightfully earned- was based on a single honest reflection, a period of clarity -which his religion has since found a way to retard and reverse; much the pity. [Aron-Ra]”

      Morton is now a benighted religious Tea-partyist, that foremost hates atheists. Yeah, he really “learned” his lesson.

  13. Posted July 26, 2013 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    This seems like an overreaction. We should all be excited about any effort to get more kids interested in scientific education. Sure, there might be the occasional Christian who gets through their science degree holding on to their dogmatic religious beliefs and eager to join the creationist cause. However, I’m willing to bet that for every one of those you’re going to get several creationist Christian kids who see the evidence and realize they’ve been lied to.

    Yeah, the motivation for Dr. Hebert is deceitful, abusive, and aims to undermine science, but we should realize that any enticement to diligently pursue scientific education is going to benefit kids and secular society. I hope every creationist parent sends their kid off to school to try to disprove well-tested and established scientific theories. They’re doomed to fail, and most will come out of the experience changed the same way I was when I went to University: convinced by reason and evidence that evolution is true.

    • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
      Posted July 26, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think reacting to child abuse in any form can be an overreaction.

  14. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    Posted July 26, 2013 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    It is literary a tragedy of course, and the post describes it well, the child abuse and its consequences and all.

    But I can’t help but find the Institute for Crackpot Revamping’s lede humorous. If publishing exactly 0 peer reviewed results supporting magic is a great stride, it is a stride towards the grave!

  15. Curt Nelson
    Posted July 26, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Go study science because it’s largely, but not completely, valid.

    Where does science’s validity drop away? Which evidence or methods that suggest the bible’s creation story is wrong are themselves wrong? It would be helpful to these creationist students to be clued into that instead of just being told to keep their beliefs to themselves.

  16. Ralph Pickering
    Posted July 26, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    I wish them all the best in their endeavors – even if a few do get all the way through their PhD with their creationism intact, I hope they become exceptional “creation scientist”. Christ knows they need some fresh ideas – they’ve been rehashing the same ideas for decades and I, for one, am beginning to find them a little tiresome. It would be nice to find someone who could throw up a true head-scratcher. Of course in most cases I expect it’ll backfire spectacularly.

    Or am I expecting too much of them?

  17. Tim Londergan
    Posted July 26, 2013 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Jerry — Can you contact Jake Hebert at the Institute for Creation Research and find out just what are these “exciting discoveries in the field of biology and geology … and astronomy?” The ad for this shows a young woman with a Petri dish and lab goggles — but I would bet that no such “research” is being undertaken, just attempts to misrepresent existing research discoveries to give them a “creationist” twist.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted July 26, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      Clearly, the girl is looking for the face of Jesus on in those petri dishes.

      • krzysztof1
        Posted July 26, 2013 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

        They just have “the look,” don’t they.

        • Posted July 26, 2013 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

          Amazing what you can find in a stock photo 😉 I found copies of it all over the place, though not the original photo site that sells it.

          • ratabago
            Posted July 27, 2013 at 5:45 am | Permalink

            It’s from Shutterstock, taken by Michal Kowalsk, and captioned:
            young female scientist compare two petri dishes with agar jelly in them, bacterium colony clearly visible, studio shoot isolated on white

            • Posted July 27, 2013 at 6:20 am | Permalink

              Aha!

              • krzysztof1
                Posted July 27, 2013 at 8:12 am | Permalink

                Ah yes. So there’s no way to know whether the person in the photo is really a creationist. We may infer, however, that the stock photo was _chosen_ by a creationist! So maybe the visual message is “See, WE can be serious scientists too!”

    • MNb
      Posted July 26, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      I suppose they are thinking of stuff like this:

      http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html

  18. John Harshman
    Posted July 26, 2013 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Creationist definition of science: “staring into a Petri dish while wearing a white coat, latex gloves, and safety goggles”.

    Ann Gauger has been photographed in the same pose, though I don’t think she had the safety goggles.

  19. Kelton Barnsley
    Posted July 26, 2013 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Lie! Lie for Darkseid! Anti-life justifies your actions!

  20. Suri
    Posted July 26, 2013 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Creation science movement…funny.

  21. Mattapult
    Posted July 26, 2013 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    The ICR is coaching young people to deny Jesus! Cannot get into heaven if you do that, the bible is quite clear. I say call them out on that point.

    • Ken Pidcock
      Posted July 26, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      The ICR is coaching young people to deny Jesus!

      Only to the heathen, ma’am, only to the heathen.

  22. Dalai Llama
    Posted July 26, 2013 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    “this work is hindered by a lack of trained scientists.”

    A refreshing burst of self-awareness there, I feel.

  23. Mattapult
    Posted July 26, 2013 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Probably a smart move to call themselves Creation Scientists, because they wouldn’t have any credibility if they called themselves Christian Scientists.

    • Dave
      Posted July 26, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

      And they’d be mistaken for “journalists.”

  24. barryleder
    Posted July 26, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Bring it on!

    The Church will lose 1/2 of these kids when they run into science.

  25. godsbuster
    Posted July 26, 2013 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Ever since the Scopes monkey trial if not longer, the science camp’s approach has been to howl and deliver pitched battles countering at every turn the creationist camp’s attempt to introduce the teaching of creationism.

    Closing in on almost a century now the same scenario is still in play.

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    Why not call their bluff? Set aside time in biology class for their preacher to come in to teach. Follow by the real biology class in which you eviscerate what has just been taught.

    Pros:
    1.The superiority of the scientific method is demonstrated.
    2.Creationism and its purveyors get crushed whenever biology is taught.
    3.Drain some of their resources: they have to dispatch a priest or Bede clone to every biology class in the state(nation).
    4.Deprive them of a cause and suppressed victim/martyr status.

    Keep the enemy close: co-opt and neutralize him.

    • John Harshman
      Posted July 26, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      Nice idea. Two problems:

      1. It’s unconstitutional.
      2. It requires a knowledgeable teacher.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted July 26, 2013 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

        and 3. The non religious kids have to suffer through the religious guy’s crap.

        • godsbuster
          Posted July 26, 2013 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

          Thanks for bringing that up. That’s another benefit. Our worst scourge-I would say much worse than fundamentalist godbotherers- are the hordes of “I am an atheist but….” types, the limp noodle, drooling “let people believe whatever they want” accommodationist enablers. What you describe is the perfect inoculation against that.

      • Posted July 26, 2013 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

        …and 4, that’s not how changing minds of the deeply indoctrinated works. Once in a blue moon, perhaps… but mostly the entrenched dig deeper — and many times such action serves only to reinforce false beliefs.

        Google “reinforcing false beliefs” and read some of the news articles, then look up those UMichgan studies, circa 2005-6. Though the domain was generally about political beliefs, it also extends to religious beliefs.

        I see this argument a lot, and it’s just so misguided. There ARE no single, unequivocal “proofs” like those that exist in the abstract realm of mathematics… where one can simply point to them and, gosh, golly… everybody automatically gets onboard. The most blinkered dullard will have a counter for simply anything. And time is a-wasting. It really is extremely expensive stuff.

        No way around it — learning and developing consensus is a long, drawn out process. The scary part is that the outcome is also never certain. But to point to what one thinks is a sure-fire method, especially talking to educators… while insinuating that what is being done is not working and has never worked in spite of evidence to the contrary… is borderline insulting.

        • godsbuster
          Posted July 27, 2013 at 12:27 am | Permalink

          Everyone responded dressing down a proposed alternative of which I’m not really interested in claiming out-of-the-box silver bullet or any efficacy.

          The main thrust of my post no one bothered to challenge – my lament of the utter artlessness, the complete absence of creativity ,of innovation and strategy,the same old plodding knee-jerk Whac-A-Mole reaction every 20 to 30 years the god squad rolls out a new God Did It offensive which goes something like this:

          “Mommy, Bede is sticking his tongue out at me again”. Mommy turns to Bede: “Bede, stop doing that or I’ll tell your father when he gets home.”

          Really, is that all we’ve got? We’re supposed to be the smart side, remember.

          “While insinuating that what is being done is not working and has never worked in spite of evidence to the contrary… is borderline insulting.”

          You think my insinuatin’ is insulting wait till I get to factuatin’:

          Gallup Poll 1982 In U.S., 44% believe God created humans in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years

          Gallup Poll 2012 – 46%

          How’s that “learnin’ and developin’ consensus”
          workin’ out fer ya?

          • Posted July 27, 2013 at 12:33 am | Permalink

            Actually pretty well, if you’d bother to look at the trends. I’m done with you. Sober up.

      • godsbuster
        Posted July 26, 2013 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

        Ah yes, the Constitution – which Americans clutch as fetishistically besotted with its presumed oracular infallibility as the religious do their holy books.

        The First Amendment is long overdue for an update. Just a little tweak will cure what has been ailing our civilization for so long -not just at the hands of religion but at the hands of charlatans, demagogues and ideologues of other stripes.

        The required change has been an integral feature of science since its inception; in fact it is its very foundation: You don’t just get to make shit up and proclaim it true.

        This is what we allow the First Amendment to allow religions to do. Why?

        • Posted July 27, 2013 at 12:27 am | Permalink

          Too many unreferenced pronouns. Maybe it would become clearer if it was tweaked just a bit, so it could find some grounding in either it or the other thing. Care to take a crack at updating the first amendment for us poor clutching, fetishistic Merkins? Or perhaps you’d rather sleep it off, first?

          • godsbuster
            Posted July 28, 2013 at 9:08 am | Permalink

            The original 1st amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.[1]”

            Since rights engender responsibilities; update to the 1st amendment:

            “Truth claims upon which religions are established and Truth claims made in the exercise of free speech are subject to the highest standards of reason and evidence such as those that obtain in a court of law and science.”

            Kinda what already happened during the Scopes monkey trial except that half of the population of the godbotheringest developed nation in the world feel that the 1st amendment exempts them from it. And they are right.

        • Posted July 27, 2013 at 7:41 am | Permalink

          With your proposal, absolute power would instantly accrue to whoever was tasked with determining that which is and isn’t true.

          Thanks much, but the US is already falling off the precipice of tyranny as it is. We don’t need to add a Ministry of Truth to the mix.

          b&

          • Kelton Barnsley
            Posted July 27, 2013 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

            +1

    • Posted July 26, 2013 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      This false equivalence keeps on being offered. Stop it already.

      Do we need to teach the evil eye theory of disease alongside the germ theory of disease so med students can see the superiority of established medicine demonstrated?

      We don’t teach lies to our children. Period.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted July 26, 2013 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

        The only advantage to the “evil eye” theory is you may get a pretty evil eye charm to keep for yourself. 🙂

    • Posted July 26, 2013 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

      That would look good on religion’s résumé. It would not look so good on science’s.

      b&

    • BillyJoe
      Posted July 27, 2013 at 12:39 am | Permalink

      Ironically, your solution is not science based. In fact, the evidence is to the contrary. Anonypuss has it about right.

      • BillyJoe
        Posted July 27, 2013 at 12:46 am | Permalink

        …oops, I see a war has erupted over this.

        Godbuster, I think you should research this question. You are way off beam on this in more ways than one. There is an opportunity here for you to learn something from the other responders here.

        Up to you….

        • Posted July 27, 2013 at 6:08 am | Permalink

          Methinketh he doth trolleth, anyhew.

  26. Dale
    Posted July 26, 2013 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    I’ve always thought the fact that a true believer in nonsense could be trained to successfully practice science was a testament to the validity of the scientific method. In science one not only learns the basic facts regarding the particular scientific discipline but one is also taken into the lab where the experiments that originally established those facts are re-created so the student can verify the information for themselves and even calculate the probable experimental error in the results they achieve. There is no faith involved and students see for themselves how the information is derived. Believers like creationists are relatively free to learn & practice chemistry, physics, engineering and and even medicine, while retaining their faith. There is no way for those same students to take on biology, paleontology or certainly astronomy and leave their faith intact. I don’t think it’s possible for a single person to take on that much cognitive dissonance without literally bifurcating into two people!

    • BillyJoe
      Posted July 27, 2013 at 12:53 am | Permalink

      Dale, it is possible. Believe me it is possible.

      People can believe the weirdest things despite evidence to the contrary. In fact, it is often seen as a badge of honour to believe in something with ever greater conviction the greater the evidence to the contrary.

    • Posted July 27, 2013 at 2:40 am | Permalink

      “There is no way for those same students to take on biology, paleontology or certainly astronomy and leave their faith intact.”

      Jason Lisle.

  27. Posted July 26, 2013 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    I hope UTexas Dallas is proud of their physics PhD. If lawyers can be disbarred, MDs and teachers have to re-up their training / certification… it almost makes me wish that PhDs could be revoked by their granting institutions. Almost.

  28. Hempenstein
    Posted July 26, 2013 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    Kinda looks like she’s looking at mold-contaminated plates, too.

    Otherwise, back 5-10yrs ago someone from one of the western PA religious colleges (forget which one) got into my dept’s grad program @ Pitt. Since the intro grad course lectures I gave were second semester, I never got to see him at more than a distance because he was gone after the first term.

  29. Slumbery
    Posted July 26, 2013 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    “They are producing the equivalent of those little Iraqi children who were urged to run through minefields to detonate unexploded mines.”

    A side point, but those were the Iranians, not the Iraqis. More precisely the Revolutionary Guards. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran%E2%80%93Iraq_War

    Saddam was not particularly religious, therefore his army was less insane.

    • Posted July 27, 2013 at 2:42 am | Permalink

      Towards the end he wore the cloak of religion a whole lot, and his army did in fact have such insane people.

      • Slumbery
        Posted July 27, 2013 at 7:20 am | Permalink

        US leaders have some tendency to wear the cloak of religion too and Saddam was cornered and desperate toward the end. Still, his regime was not religious.
        Also he and his generals were pretty far from anything nice, they were mass-murderers (just think of the toxic gas attacks against civilians), but the ones who sent their own* children to die on the minefields where the Iranians.

        *: Well, I guess those were not the children of the Revolutionary Guard’s officers…

  30. lanceleuven
    Posted July 27, 2013 at 12:17 am | Permalink

    “push yourself to truly understand the material”

    Strong words from someone who clearly doesn’t understand the material!

  31. tarzan322
    Posted July 27, 2013 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    I actually hope they do push more of their youth into science. People always mistake what science is for. Science does not attempt to prove anything, let alone creationism. The purpose of science is to disprove theory. You can usually always find a way that seemingly proves a theory right, but that doesn’t make the theory right. But if you attempt to disprove a theory and it continues to stand regardless of what you try to do disprove it, then it must be a true theory. And educating young Christians will likely lead them to question religion more thoroughly, and perhaps even to leave it behind at some point.

  32. Posted July 27, 2013 at 1:44 am | Permalink

    Wow, lying openly for Jesus. How much scaring are they going to be doing to make intelligent youth ‘realise’ the earth is 6,000 years old, instead of following where the facts lead.

  33. Posted July 27, 2013 at 4:05 am | Permalink

    A quick perusal of ICR’s site shows a young fellow who appears to have recently gotten his PhD from Harvard Medical Schoool (http://www.icr.org/nathaniel_jeanson/). PubMed shows a first author paper in _Blood_ from his graduate days–a very good journal. This reinforces what some of the other commenters have been saying–even with training in an outstanding program and the apparent ability to apply the scientific method, a person can still cling to non-evidenced beliefs.

    • krzysztof1
      Posted July 27, 2013 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      It does seem like a mystery, doesn’t it? But what little I know about recent work in neuroscience suggests that the brain is quite capable of holding contradictory notions. So a person can know a fact intellectually, and know that it is in fact a fact, while still thinking “but I still don’t accept it.” So they learn to put the “correct” answers on tests, get their degrees, and their irrational beliefs remain intact.

      But we don’t need neuroscience to inform us of this state of affairs. George Eliot in 1855 wrote: “Experience has . . . long shown that the human brain is a congenial nidus for inconsistent beliefs . . .” [Essay, “Evangelical Teaching”]

  34. Jim
    Posted July 27, 2013 at 5:09 am | Permalink

    I’d like to know what “great strides” the ICR has made in the last 40 years. As far as I’m aware, no new evidence for the existence of the supernatural has been presented.

    Why are they keeping all their advances secret!?

    • Jeff L
      Posted July 28, 2013 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      Well, one example I can think of (in their minds, at least) is a project they funded called Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth (RATE). They published a book describing the results for lay people, Thousands not Billions. Needless to say, there were numerous problems in what they did, but I’m betting this is the kind of thinh they have in mind.

  35. slchonda9
    Posted July 27, 2013 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Dr. Ben Carson anyone.

  36. Jonathan Wallace
    Posted July 27, 2013 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    “Do you have an interest in science? Well, put that out of your mind and learn how to make some sciency sounding statements in support of an ancient myth unsupported by any genuine scientific evidence”.

  37. George Rumens
    Posted July 27, 2013 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    I fear that great societies can be sent reeling backwards in the hands of despots… An excerpt from my web book, ‘Origins of Belief and Behaviour’

    The recidivism began under the imperious leader of the nineteen seventies, Zia Al-Huq; who ordered the redesign of universities to bring them within the radical new Islamic orthodoxy. As a result a typical university may have three mosques within its campus, and no library, no books.
    Pakistani scientists trapped into that system report that the new orthodoxy demands an abandonment of any idea of cause and effect, since all such connections are now said to be under the direction of Allah. For example, the fact that hydrogen will burn in oxygen to produce water is presented in a different way; that by the grace of Allah, hydrogen and oxygen are allowed to combine; and so the resulting water is by grace of Allah. There is no cause apart from the will of Allah. And so there is no inquiry, where the question of causation has already been settled.
    And professors have complained that all enquiry is directed away from research, and toward the proof of the tenets of Islam; so that much time and effort is spent in considering the chemical composition of a ‘jinn’ or spirit; and many calculations are made to discover the temperature of ‘hell’, or the speed at which Paradise is withdrawing from the earth.
    The Pakistani universities effectively stopped all inquiry about 1980. They have retained stacks of mouldering scientific journals pre-dating that mass conversion to Islam, but science students are not allowed access to modern text-books. The Arab world effectively blocks scientific journals excepting medical books. There are only a handful of the million or so science books published in The West that are translated into Arabic each year….

    Sorry, but there is much to fear from religious scoundrels. George

  38. Vaal
    Posted July 27, 2013 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    I love that advertisement. It’s so hilarious how it contains the seeds of it’s own lack of legitimacy:

    Creation science is where it’s at! Creation science makes great strides! Become a Creation Scientist and join us!

    But…er…before you become a Creation Scientist, we advise you go to a legitimate university first to learn legitimate sciences. But aside from that little issue, Creation Science Rules!

    Vaal

  39. Posted July 27, 2013 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    “They are producing the equivalent of those little Iraqi children who were urged to run through minefields to detonate unexploded mines.”

    Wow, that’s pretty harsh.

    Sending your kids out to commit intellectual self-mutilation is terrible, but I don’t think it’s the equivalent of sending them out to clear land mines by blowing themselves up.

  40. tinwoman
    Posted July 28, 2013 at 5:09 am | Permalink

    They are not asking for scientists but rather trained propagandists. There’s a big difference. The trained propagandists they can produce in their own parallel-universe bubble world, including “science” programs in their own “universities”. This is undoubtedly what they are promoting. They don’t actually want any Christian youth to study science…..that would be dangerous as many of you have pointed out.

    You have to know the subtext with these people.

  41. Posted July 28, 2013 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Good Morning: Is it possible to “Like” a post and dislike the content? I refer to the ad, of course, not to the commentary. Vonn Scott Bair


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