Showing posts with label Creation Science. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Creation Science. Show all posts

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Shining MORE Light on a Darwinist Deceiver

This is a sequel to a sequel. Earlier, I wrote about anti-creationist tinhorn Paul Braterman and provided links to his deceptive diatribes. We can use his attacks as examples of bigotry and bad reasoning. April 1 is a good day for this (Psalm 14:1), I reckon.

In this sequel to a sequel, we have additional thoughts about a deceptive anti-creationist and his foolish misrepresentations of creation science.
Derivative from the 1909 Rider-Waite tarot deck (public domain)
The earlier article linked above also included links to other articles on the subject, including how Snopes is biased and unqualified, and they didn't bother to "fact check" Braterman's rant on their site. Bad Paulie put burrs under a passel of saddle blankets, didn't he? If you see him, ask why, if evolution were true, would there be a need to misrepresent creationists and to abandon reason. Here, we have a short article from the Institute for Creation Research that has some thoughts worth considering. 
Paul Braterman, emeritus professor of chemistry at the University of Glasgow, recently claimed online that creationism “meets all the criteria” for a “conspiracy theory.” He says creationism offers “a complete parallel universe with its own organisations and rules of evidence, and [creationism] claims that the scientific establishment promoting evolution is an arrogant and morally corrupt elite.” Is this fair?

First, we should note that calling someone a “conspiracy theorist” is a quick and easy way to avoid having to deal with the intellectual arguments for his position. It is tantamount to calling him crazy. And we all know that attempting to reason with crazy people is pointless, right?

As for that last sentence, that fits well with my refusal to "debate" those with Atheism Spectrum Disorder at length. Anyway, you can read the rest of this short article at "Are Creationists Conspiracy Theorists?"

Monday, November 5, 2018

Ken Ham and Me

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen
Edited 11-07-2018

Somewhere around 1990 or 1991, I attended an Institute for Creation Research seminar in Schaumburg, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago). I first met Ken Ham ("on loan" from the Creation Science Foundation, if I have it right). Also, I met Drs. Henry M. and John Morris, Dr. Duane Gish, and I think a few others. Although I was not completely new to creation science and had been receiving ICR materials, this seminar made a big impression on me. Part of the reason was Ken Ham's presentations.


A couple of things I have in common with Ken Ham is that people hate us, and that we uphold the authority of the Bible.
Original image before modification courtesy of Answers in Genesis
ICR, Answers in Genesis, Creation Ministries International, Creation Today, and other biblical creation science ministries uphold the authority of Scripture, the importance of foundations, and show how real science supports the Bible. But Ken's presentations had humor and directness that impacted me. Even in the period when I rudely put God on the back burner, I still held to the fact of the authority of the Bible. I'll allow that I was irrational in that period.

After I rededicated my life to Christ, I was not going to get involved with creation science again. God had other plans, and I had access to the internet. If found that there is a wealth of creation science and apologetics materials! In my writings at Piltdown Superman, Biblical Creation and Evangelism, and other sites, I have emphasized biblical authority and proper biblical foundations. This has attracted the wrath of owlhoots that oppose authority and elevate atheistic interpretations of science into the magisterial position. Angry folks include atheists, theistic evolutionists, and other old-earth advocates who want to evosplain why I'm "wrong". It has been manifested in rancorous personal attacks, criminal cyberstalking, defamation, and in other ways.

Mr. Ham and I have that hatred in common. While he has no idea who I am and has developed a huge ministry, I am a nobody. (But I did start Question Evolution Day a few years ago.) Interesting that tinhorns want to slap leather with lil' ol' me. I suspicion that it is a sign of the end times and that hatred of Jesus and his people is on the increase, and their materialistic worldviews are threatened by the truth. Such attacks will not silence me. Obviously, Ham's ministry work is also going strong, so pettifoggery ain't frettin' him overmuch. He keeps on proclaiming real science and especially the authority of Scripture.


Image taken from the Ken Ham - Bill Nye Debate,
which Ken Ham and AiG make freely available.
Let me reign in here and say that I do not agree with everything Ham or AiG say. For that matter, I do not accept certain things from many ministries and teachers. They won't go away crying about it because they know some people think for themselves and differences of opinion happen. (Of course, we agree on the core values and essentials of salvation, those are not at issue.) For that matter, I would be a mite bothered if someone agreed with everything that I said as well. It has been rightly said, and I will apply it to all ministries: do not listen with an open mind on theological matters, but listen with an open Bible. You savvy that?

I wanted to share the background and current information on the occasion of this child's 59th birthday. At this point, I want to recommend an article written by the wretched Todd Friel, "Ken Ham—The Man Everyone Loves to Hate" for the 25th anniversary of Answers in Genesis. I'd be much obliged if you'd read it. Also, there's a short video below that helps drive home the point about authority.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Brian Thomas of ICR Visits Ark Encounter

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

This post may put some creation science ministries on the prod, but I reckon that people expect me to be a straight shooter. My problem is that I perceive some ministries are acting like competitors instead of co-laborers. Y'all probably heard that Answers in Genesis has a replica of Noah's Ark called Ark Encounter that was built as close to biblical specifications as they could manage, but was not meant to float (the regulations involved for that aspect would be prohibitive, I expect). Eric Hovind of Creation Today was involved, but other prominent ministries have been largely silent about it. Shouldn't they be offering congratulations? Creation Ministries International has mentioned it as a side note in an article about Ark reconstructions. It will have been open for one year on July 7.


Ark Encounter Answers in Genesis
Image courtesy of Answers In Genesis
One reason that I believe other Christians and creationists should take a stand with Answers in Genesis is the attacks by secularists and atheists. They frequently lie, it's their nature, and AiG refutes a number of these specious obloquies, such as the "separation of church and state", AiG getting money, and lies about the beneficial economic impact on Kentucky. (I saw fit to include atheistic falsehoods in "Ark Encounter and Darwin's Deceivers", which was written for opening day, July 7, 2016).The Institute for Creation Research is involved with other ministries, and it is not unusual to see their writers contributing to AiG, CMI, and others. I was mighty pleased that science writer and lecturer Brian Thomas got his ownself over there and had some good things to say about it. See "Visiting the Ark Encounter" for his article.
 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Make Writing Interesting

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Way back yonder, in days of old when nights were cold, I wanted to be a science fiction writer, and took courses on writing. These included college nonfiction writing, and a required course on speechifying (even in 1980, I was speaking out against falsehoods in evolution). One simple thing that stuck with me was to write as if your audience was about 13 years old. (I think one of the creationist sites I read has a general style guide, when not doing hardcore science, to write as if the readers were precocious teenagers.) This seemed like a good approach when attempting to inform people. Then I'd go to my next class and wade through a textbook that was "written at a college sophomore level". Seemed like a contradiction to me.

Unfortunately, the classes on writing do not work in this medium. Online articles have different criteria because people have not only demands on their time, but often have short attention spans. Part of the problem with short attention spans is social media. You'll see what I mean if you study on that.

Many things that I have read, and still read, are desert-sand dry and tedious. Others are cute and funny, but become distracting, and it's easy to miss the point of what the author is trying to communicate. One of the watchwords for my life has been balance, and that applies here, too. My regular readers have probably figured out that I don't want to be boring, but still get important points across. Adding "color" to articles is a good thing. I'll put in the cowboy lingo to break things up and keep my online persona going, but have to taper back so I don't defeat my own purpose and get distracting. At times, I have to use wording that is appropriate for the subject, assuming that those who are reading the post or article are familiar with the necessary expensive words. 

Sometimes, I get put off by sesquipedalian loquaciousness, where I get the feeling that the writer is not so much interested in communicating as in showing off his or her extensive vocabulary. At the other extreme is when someone writes so simplistically, it's rather insulting, and you may feel that the writer is talking down to you.

Much of the time, writing style depends on the audience. Three creation science examples: the Journal of Creation is not going to have cute terminology (see "What life is"), nor is "Answers Research Journal" (see "Do Varves, Tree-Rings, and Radiocarbon Measurements Prove an Old Earth?"), and don't expect to see it in the Creation Research Society Quarterly Journal (see "The Extraterrestrial Search for the Origin of Homochirality"). Authors may put some personality in their articles, but the material is primarily written for scientists, or those with strong science backgrounds. I certainly don't understand much of that material. Major creation science organizations publish material on the layman's level, fortunately, and even include some clever wording that adds color.

There are different approaches to writing material, depending on the audiences. Attempting to reach a balance between simplistic and complicated is important.
Image credit: Morguefile / pippalou
Rent-a-Friend-2000, "a gentleman and a scholar at a very reasonable hourly rate" (Bryan Melugin) writes over at "A Bit of Orange", and I first became of his work because of his videos. I'm partway through a series on "Defining Evolution", and I'm quite taken with both the style and content. There is a storyline of sorts: four friends meet on Thursday nights after work for nachos and conversation. (One small quibble of mine, Mr. Melugin named a seafaring character "Bluebeard", but the Bluebeard legend is about a non-nautical serial killer that may or may not have been real.) The premise is developed through the four-way conversation of the characters. His writing includes humor, side notes, incidental activities, character attitudes, and more. I believe the creation-evolution discussion is effectively and entertainingly presented.

The RaF2K material reminded me of something at the other extreme of using dialogue and a storyline to communicate a concept. It was a novel I read in the 1980s, Genesis by W.A. Harbison. That bad boy was over 600 pages, and I found it to have very little action. Instead, it used dialogue to establish the premise that UFOs are not extraterrestrial at all, but the results of man-made secret projects. There was so much of this dialogue, I felt cheated. (Also, there was also an excessively detailed sex scene in the book that did not advance the storyline as far as I can recollect. If sex between that man and woman was important to the story, there was no need for the prurient details.) Melugin had his communicative dialogue in balance, Harbison did not.

So what's the point? Different audiences react to different writing styles. Many of us prefer to use a lighter approach, especially when trying to have others understand ideas that may be new to them. In my case, I hope readers will follow the links to the featured articles and explore on those sites for more in-depth material if they want it. In the meantime, I'll write in a manner that I hope people can understand, keeping a balance between "talking down" and using excessively complicated language. Oh, and I have to keep from letting my efforts at adding "color" distract the readers.


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Saying What I Believe

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Once again, I was inspired to write an article by listening to a podcast. A recent episode by Matt Walsh began with some introductory remarks that fit what I'm doing. I disremember if he used these words, but essentially, he's not going to carry water for the Republican party; if someone deserves criticism, he'll give it to them. Walsh likes to say what he thinks and believes, and believes that's the right way to go.


A personal glimpse at what happens in my writing and screening processes. The main point here is that I say what I believe, and don't do creation science for its own sake.
Image credit: Morguefile / Irish_Eyes
Although I'm a cowboy at heart and tend to take quick action when I feel it's necessary, I want to say what I believe; I want to think I'm doing that very thing. My calling is biblical creation science, but I'm not carrying water for all creation science ministries, individuals involved, or each article. There are some cults out there that claim to be biblical creationists, as well as greenhorns, and even folks that are just plain nuts, so there's no reason for me to support everything.

Most of what I share on The Question Evolution Project is something I've read, watched, or heard. Sure, I occasionally share something sight unseen because I think it needs to be posted quickly, but most of those come from sources that I trust. Even so, I usually check it out if I didn't beforehand.

Over at my main site, Evolutionary Truth by Piltdown Superman, I try much harder to read or hear the articles that I'm featuring.

"How do you listen to articles, Cowboy Bob?"

Glad you asked. I send most of the articles I come into contact with to my e-book reader using a service that converts and formats them. Since I listen to many podcasts, I add articles to the list. Occasionally, I use an online service or Balabolka freeware that converts text to speech (TTS) and produces MP3s. (Dr. James White listens to converted books this way on his long bicycle rides.) Some of the more difficult articles, I listen to more than once, and even supplement the hearing with reading.

So anyway, my usual format at that site is Introduction/Excerpt/Link to read the rest of the article I'm featuring. Often, I supplement the item with my own thoughts, additional material, links, videos, and so on. But I don't want to give away too much information in my introductions. Sometimes, I get criticized for not backing up something I said in an introduction. Well, if'n y'all bothered to follow the link, you'd see what's going on.

Occasionally, I'll make a mistake, whether in my introduction sections or in my own articles. When I catch it, I try to fix it. (Some sidewinders will bite if I correct something, or complain if I did not correct something.) Although it's my Weblog or social media Page and I can do what I want, if something is changed or corrected after it's been out for a period of time, I think it's good to indicate that it's been edited. If it posted within a few minutes or hours, not so much. Longer periods of time, yes. Important content edits, definitely. F'rinstance, a post on human-chimpanzee genome similarities needed a big change, so I made one. I'll admit to tweaking wording when I realize I wrote something poorly, but feel no need to indicate editing.

Ever have those times that you have an inspiration and think it's going to be something great, and you lose it? I try to scratch out notes when I get an idea at the workplace, but even then, I've looked at them and drawn a blank; what in the world was I writing then? Here's an irony: I've never been able to stand South Park, don't think I've seen an entire episode, but I use "memes" from there on occasion. Like the one about the deposited money, "...aaand it's gone".



Kind of went off track and gave some "behind the scenes" material, didn't I? Still, it's about writing what I believe and what goes on in my writing processes.

People I respect and admire have written material that I dislike, have dealt with before, bring nothing new, or even disagree with. I'm not doing creation science for its own sake, and I won't turn the Pages at Facebook or Google Plus into what I call "link mills". Those guys call themselves "ministries", but they plaster any old thing up there, often quite a bit of stuff.

This brings us back to the beginning: I'll say what I believe. People will disagree, and I'll foul up on occasion or not rite goodly, but I'm striving to be intellectually honest. My purposes are to glorify God, to be obedient to his calling, and to edify the saints. And have a bit of fun now and then. Can't rightly do any of those things if I'm not presenting material that I think is false, now, can I? Not hardly!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Errand Boy

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen
Edited 7-10-2016

Another installment from the "Personal Musings Department". Something that this cowboy-at-heart has in common with Dr. Who is in the 1969 episode of "The War Games", the final story for the second Doctor (Patrick Troughton). In Episode 8, Jamie McCrimmon asks why the Time Lords are angry with him. The Doctor replies, "Well, It is a fact, Jamie, that I do tend to get involved with things". Part of Jamie's reply is, "Aye, you can say that again". That seems to fit me rather well.

I want to present the truth, refute evolution, defend Christianity against heresy, and so on. Generally, I like to help people, especially in spiritual matters. People will post questions at The Question Evolution Project and occasionally on my "Public Figure" Facebook Pages. Great! Sometimes, I even know the answers myself. Other times, sorry, I just don't know. There are many resources available from people far more knowledgeable that I am, so I point to them.

Many of us who have biblical creation science ministries like to go above and beyond the usual to help people with questions. But we aren't experts in all fields. Nor are we on-call errand boys for people who do not want to do some of the work themselves.


However, there are times when it seems like some people want me to be their errand boy, and that kinda puts a burr under my saddle. This goes beyond helping someone out with a difficulty, especially since I have a full-time job and also put many hours into my creation ministry each week. Now, some people seem to have the idea that if someone has a biblical creation science ministry, he's an expert in all science matters. Not hardly! Even if I was a scientist, it would not mean that I'm qualified outside of my area of expertise. Same with other creationists. In fact, I've seen questions posted to scientists who had to defer because they had not studied on a particular topic.

One guy got all het up every time evolutionists announced "evidence", and wanted me to refute it. (I reckoned that he was afraid that something would come along and shatter his faith in God, and tried to tell him that while "evidence" changes all the time, the Christian's faith is in the unchanging Word of God.) Several things he was bothered about were addressed by creation scientists, others were rejected by evolutionists themselves. I didn't have time to chase down every story and self-train to be able to refute it. He had to learn how to stand up on his own hind legs, and see how evolutionists think, to learn how to reason through things, use available resources, remain calm, and to settle down and wait. Unfortunately, I had to cut him off.

Someone else wanted me to answer various spiritual matters. I did what I could, but when he began asking questions that were outside my realms of study, I deferred to others. Hope he wasn't angry.

Note to Christians: it's all right to say, "I don't know". Sure, atheists are likely to claim it is evidence that there is no God, but they usually reject what you have to say anyway because they're not really interested in answers. (On more than one occasion, when I gave in and provided material so they didn't have to research themselves, the response I received was the equivalent of, "I don't have to read it. You're still wrong. Narf!") Also, bluffing is a way to lose someone's respect, as well as dishonoring to God.

A recent encounter really took the rag off the bush. I was asked about some extremely technical matters regarding human and ape fossils. Hey, I'm no paleoanthropologist, so I gave him suggestions for places to search and to possibly contact the scientists on staff at those sites. He wasn't happy, and sent a chart with the message, "...A.sediba is a man (erectus) or an ape (afarensis)? Have a lot of characteristics from both, you can look here and see them..." No. I replied, "That gets into far more detailed specifics than I have ever dealt with, never heard of sediba. Anthropologists dispute these things all the time, and they have little evidence to support their claims. Again, I suggest the sites I provided earlier, search them out and maybe even use the contact form to ask." He then instructed me to search on sediba. What, so I could become an expert overnight? Not happening, old son. When I deferred again, he accused me of not being interested "in this stuff". When people get pushy, they're given the left foot of good fellowship.

Both Answers in Genesis and Creation Ministries International have contact forms. Each one has a section that says, in essence, "If you have theological or scientific questions, please search the site before submitting your questions, as we may have already dealt with the subject. Indeed, CMI has had occasionally addressed remarks and pointed out that items had been answered. This happened in the Feedback article, "Wagging a finger at creationists", where Keaton Halley said in his response, "Our submission form asks you to search our website before submitting feedback, yet your main points have already been addressed on creation.com many times".

At the risk of overstepping my bounds, those of us with creation science ministries are willing to help when we can, but we have limits and many of us have jobs and other activities. As for me, I follow the lead of the large ministries and try to get people to think critically. Also, I think others will agree with me that people need to so some searching, especially on the big creation science ministry sites. Facebook? Lousy to search. Other sites have a search function. But even things like my "Evolutionary Truth by Piltdown Superman" have a search function as well, and from there, more often than not there are links to help out inquirers. Helpful hint: using Google, you can be specific by typing your search term followed by site:[full site name].

Many of us are willing to help by answering questions and providing resouces. As for me, I'm not an on-call errand boy for people who are unwilling to do some work themselves.


Friday, February 12, 2016

Question Evolution Day and Evolutionists Suppressing Evidence

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

To celebrate the fifth annual Question Evolution Day, I thought it would be helpful to revisit a logical fallacy that is often used by the Darwinistas. It should be well understood that science thrives on challenge so that a hypothesis or theory can be revised when unsupported by evidence — or discarded entirely. Unfortunately, evolutionary owlhoots often try to lock away contrary evidence, especially when it points to the Creator. Can't have that, it interferes with naturalistic presuppositions.

Image credit: Pixabay / tpsdave
Among the logical fallacies that anti-creationists employ is the fallacy of exclusion. (For an earlier article with a funny video I did on this subject, click here.) This fallacy has variations and different names, including cherry picking, suppressed evidence, card stacking, incomplete evidence, and more. Many people believe in scum-to-scientist evolution because they are simply not given all the evidence. Making a conjecture sound plausible is common in the evolutionary community (especially its press), and people get mighty surprised when creationists give them information that was withheld.

People tend to "fill in the blanks" when they do not have enough information and they have their own biases. There's a commercial in the US that shows a man talking on the telephone at 3 AM, and his wife assumes her husband is cheating on her. She filled in the blanks from limited evidence and assumptions. Believing evolutionary stories can seem reasonable, but you don't have all the evidence. This brings to mind Proverbs 18:17.

Here is a bit of humor to emphasize the point. Know any other creationist writers that have used the Three Stooges? Here's a bit of background trivia. The act began in the late 1920s, using Shemp as one of the Stooges. He left the act, and Curly took over in 1934. Curly got sick and never recovered, so Shemp came back into the act. I'll leave the rest of the history out of this, because the bit I'm focusing on is the 1949 short, Malice in the Palace, which fell into public domain. (Sony made a colorized version, which is under copyright.) We have an excellent example of people filling in the blanks. They see Larry holding a meat cleaver and carrying a dog and a cat at different times, hear chopping noises and animal yelps, and make unpleasant conclusions that seem entirely reasonable. After some further slapstick silliness, the rest of the evidence presents itself and the people abandon those conclusions.

Think you know the whole story about evolution evidence? Not hardly! That's where biblical creationists come in and give information that is withheld. Now, here's the funny Three Stooges bit, edited down from the original 15-1/2 minutes to 5-1/2 minutes. Watch them flinch during the chopping sounds. Then there's an excellent music video by ApologetiX afterward.






  

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Question Evolution Day and my CMI Article



by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

It's kind of fun to give a bit of background information, and I believe that people like some of the personal stuff.

Whenever something is submitted for publication, it needs to meet guidelines, and is subject to editing. (Probably the only "pure" way to get your content exactly the way you wrote it is to put it on your own Weblog.) I have thousands of posts and articles on my own Weblogs, but have had only a few published by organizations. Aside from letters to newspaper editors, I think my first publication was in the May 1991 Bible-Science Newsletter (PDF scan available here), which is now Creation Moments. Surprisingly, that one was published "as is".

Other items I wrote for people that were edited, and even had some collaboration, such as at 101 Arguments. My submissions to Michigan Bicyclist Magazine in the late 1990s had a mix, some were edited, one was mostly "as is". Another printed publication was so heavily edited that I barely recognized it! Another printed publicationThere was an article that I submitted to Creation Ministries International a spell back, and it didn't fit their needs. Reading it later, I realized it was a good thing they passed on it. This time, they accepted my article. Yes, there was some editing, including improvements and some added content. I'm pleased with the final outcome. If you want to see that, click on "The Importance of Question Evolution Day — A grassroots movement that anyone can support".

So, there you have it. When you submit for publication, you need to meet guidelines, have content that they like, and you can expect editing. As for me, perhaps I'll be able to submit material for publication and actually get paid for it. But I'll still submit unpaid material for causes that I believe in.

 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Landing Space

The last thing I need is another Weblog, but there are several reasons for making this one. It will be a landing space for people who want to know about the various places that I write posts and articles ("Piltdown Superman" is my most active). The list of pages at the top are where I'm currently active, and I will be adding a few more, including my Christian testimony, maybe a "best of", as well as some others. This is www.cowboybobsorensen.com, and www.robertsorensen.net redirects here.

No, I don't think I look like Rembrandt's scholar.
A rather lengthy testimony will be posted at a later date, but I'll tell you a little about myself. Some people put me on their enemies lists, since I am a Bible-believing Christian, biblical ("young earth") creationist, use Scripture and science to refute evolution, have a presuppositional apologetics streak (there is no "leave the Bible out of this and use neutral ground" in me), and politically Conservative. Lots of reasons for some people to hate me.

I have a job (some people lied and said I make money doing my writing — not hardly!), and my social media policy is far stricter than my employer's policy: nobody needs to know where I work. It's best for all that way. I founded "The Question Evolution Project", so you can consider that my employer. In addition, I founded "Question Evolution Day" (annually on February 12, Darwin's birthday), which was inspired by the "Question Evolution Campaign" of Creation Ministries International.

Reckon I should tell you some terms. I've written thousands of posts and articles, and deleted quite a few on my oldest Weblog, "Stormbringer's Thunder", that were outdated, political, or just plain bad. The difference by my way of thinking is that a post is short, and often is an introduction to an article I want people to see. An article is something that I've put more effort into, and I usually put my name on it. This here thingie is a post. 

By the way, the "cowboy" moniker... Yeah, I lived out West: the west side of Michigan. No, someone commented and called me "Cowboy Bob". I thought about it, and realized that I'm a cowboy at heart; some real cowboys confirmed that. At my father's funeral, I heard some tributes being paid to him, and realized that he was a cowboy at heart as well. Anyway, this cowboy lived his first 40 years in Michigan, and now is in Kingston, New York.

A note about my graphics. Sure do wish people would pay attention, just because an image is on the Web doesn't mean that anyone can do with it what they please. However, there are numerous "free to use" and public domain images that people can find without violating copyright laws. See "Images on the Web — An Appeal to Caution". One "iffy" area for me is the use of "meme" generators. Be careful with those. Their stock items are all over the place, and seem to be fair game, but anyone can upload an image and put a caption on it, so I recommend leaving those user-added images well alone.

That's enough nattering on for now.

— Cowboy Bob Sorensen