Monday, March 17, 2014

James Tour and Intelligent Design's Fairy Tales of "Persecution" of Creationists

Prof. James Tour is one of the few real scientists who signed the Discovery Institute's anti-evolution petition "A Dissent from Darwinism." He is a professor of Chemistry, Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Rice University in Texas. The DI's anti-evolution petition currently has about ~851 names, not all of them scientists (they let in medical doctors, philosophers like Stephen Meyer, and mathematicians like David Berlinski and Granville Sewell) but Tour is a real one. The DI name list grows at a rate of about one dozen names a year. (For comparison, the competing pro-evolution petition is called Project Steve; it is limited to real Ph.D.s in hard sciences or life sciences who must be named "Steve", which is about 1% of the population. It now has 1,300 names and grows at a rate of about 60+ per year. Without the "Steve" limitation, it would likely have 130,000 names and grow at 6,000 names per year, a growth rate 500 times faster than the growth rate of the ID creationist petition.)

On his website, Tour wrote an anti-evolution piece called "Layman’s Reflections on Evolution and Creation. An Insider’s View of the Academy" which attempts to explain why he signed the creationist petition. This piece has been trumpeted at the obnoxious anti-science ID website Uncommon Descent. At no point in his piece does Tour present actual evidence against the theory of evolution, but he does shovel up the creationists' favorite evidence-substitute: vague claims that "the Academy" persecutes (in unspecified ways) creationist scientists, whom he tells us he will never name. The claim that scientists persecute unnamed creationists at unspecified times and places serves as a substitute for evidence, by explaining their absence of evidence against evolution: you see, creationists really would like to present the evidence against evolution, gosh, they really would, but it's kept somewhere far away, buried under the sand in a wooden chest or safe, guarded by unnamed creation scientists at an undisclosed remote location, but no one can dig up the box and show us what's in it because the evil evolutionists would destroy their careers if they did that. Anyway, teach the controversy!

So Tour serves up another Christian martyrbation fantasy, like 50 Shades of Grey for the pseudoscience set, but his piece unusual in its vagueness. Christians nowadays are full of fake stories of their own martyrdom, to deflect blame from themselves for Galileo, inventing anti-black racism and anti-Semitism in the Middle Ages, the Crusades, the Conquistadores, Native American extermination, the trans-Atlantic slave trade, the Confederacy, the Nazi Holocaust, etc., to flip the frame to where they're the victim. To be fair, sometimes Christians really are victims, but the number of real victims is outstripped by the exponentially expanding Death Star of bullshit martyrbation stories. We should call bullshit on fake stories of persecution, a very recent example being pseudo-historian "Professor" David Barton's bogus claim that more Christians were killed to death for their faith in 2013 than in all the previous 2,000 years.

Here's Tour's. Let's choke on the irony:

Tour: "When the power-holders [scientists] permit no contrary discussion, can a vibrant academy be maintained?"

Permit no contrary discussion... he says at a blog that permits no comments and allows no contrary discussion. The pro-ID website that trumpeted James Tour's piece, Uncommon Descent, is infamous for banning many dozens of commenters for even the mildest criticisms of Intelligent Design: their first moderator banned dozens of people in 2007, the moderator was himself banned in 2009, the new moderator freaked out and banned dozens more in 2012, and there is actually a whole blog for all the people banned from UD. The most mainstream ID website run by the Discovery Institute, Evolution News and Views, permits no comments nor criticism, and demands that climate scientists and those who know them should be rounded up and imprisoned en masse: "Criminal prosecution of scientists... would be a good start," but not the end, according to the DI.  The Discovery Institute demands that scientists be permanently silenced through massive, ideologically targeted firings and defunding of research, telling us

"There's a simple solution. Defund these credentialed losers who hide behind... worthless 'science'... take their money away." [Discovery Institute, Evolution News and Views]

Why? Because the DI calls science "ninety-five percent...garbage, the rest of it is irreproducible..." (When asked to back up these claims with evidence, the DI refuses to provide a source for such figures, endlessly repeating their demand for politically targeted firings, defundings, and the destruction of science.) Above,  James Tour says he wants a "vibrant academy." If Intelligent Design extremists win, would any "vibrant" research be permitted besides Christian theology? Would any Academy exist, vibrant or otherwise?

Back to James Tour. He mildly asserts he wants "discussion." He claims no scientists anywhere understands macroevolution, but politely claims he'd like to have lunch with someone who could explain evolution to him. We know this claim is bullshit because some years back, anti-creationist Dr. Nick Matzke took him up on his lunch offer and Tour chickened out.

So no, he's not interested in discussion. The real point is the martyrbation fantasies.

Tour: "In the last few years...I have witnessed unfair treatment upon scientists that do not accept macroevolutionary arguments and for their having signed the above-referenced statement [Dissent from Darwinism]."

Witnessed, have you? Witnessed. Uh huh... OK, give us their names and emails; let us find out if they really were "scientists", as you claim; let us check your stories of persecution:  

"I will comment no further regarding the specifics of the actions taken upon the skeptics..."

Oh. I'm shocked. Didn't see that coming. So you will never produce one jot of evidence to support your most crucial evidence-substitute. So here we have Tour saying "I did my homework, teacher, really I did, but the dog ate it!" Is your claim of persecution important or is it not? If it is, cough up evidence or GTFO.

Why are you shirking a scientists' duty to present evidence?  

Tour: "I love and honor my colleagues too much for that."

Oh. So you're not just a story-teller, but a self-congratulatory story-teller. You have failed as a scientist to present evidence; now you compound it by blathering egotistically about how you wuv your imaginary friends.

Anyway, if any professor was unfairly fired-- and the ID creationists have been looking for a decade for a non-bullshit story about a creationist professor fired for his creationist beliefs-- if he was discriminated against, we can find a paper trail, right? Get some real evidence, right?

Tour: "...the unfair treatment upon the skeptics of macroevolution has not come from the administration level."

Oh. So there will never be a paper trail, and Tour will never be presenting evidence. Again, as the Church Lady would say, "How convenient."

Strangely, I, unlike Tour, can easily list, name, and document many examples of real scientists and professors fired for their stance on evolution... fired because they supported evolutionary theory, that is.

Christian colleges have fired and continue to fire numerous professors and scientists for teaching theistic evolution or supporting it outside the classroom. In past decades fired evolutionist professors included Daniel Wonderly, P. Edgar Hare, Richard M. Ritland, Harold E. James Jr., Edward N. Lugenbeal, and Howard Van Till. In more recent years, La Sierra University fired Prof. Lee Greer and three trustees, and Shorter University fired Prof. Richard Pirkle and 60 (that's 6 times 10) faculty and administrators either for believing in evolution or not being sufficiently intolerant towards homosexuality. Reformed Theological Seminary fired Bruce Waltke; Calvin College fired Prof. John Schneider and investigated Daniel Harlow. Olivet Nazarene University banned Prof. Richard Colling from teaching evolution, banned his textbook, and eventually forced him out of his job. Eastern Nazarene College fired Prof. Karl Giberson. Bryan College closed Todd Wood's research center (Wood is a creationist but admitted there was evidence for evolution) and then forced all faculty to sign a statement committing them to Biblical creationism and a literal Adam and Eve, presumably at the expense of their jobs if they didn't.

The reaction of Intelligent Design proponents is to support the widespread firing of scientists who believe in evolution. The Discovery Institute declares that firing, censoring, and gagging scientists who believe in evolution is "inevitable" because a religious college or university

"inevitably draws lines... If you want to retain the mission, you can't at the same time tell faculty that 'Anything goes.'" [Discovery Institute, 2014]

But the fired faculty didn't teach "Anything goes"; they were using the scientific method.  Meanwhile, ID proponents individually do everything they can to &*#! up scientists: IDer William Dembski reported Prof. Eric Pianka to the Department of Homeland Security as a terrorist, and DI founder Phillip Johnson tried (but failed) to get Nancey Murphy fired.

Now it was pretty easy for me to draw up that list of scientists fired for supporting evolution. The IDers' stories about scientists being fired for opposing evolution are either impossibly vague or, upon investigation, always turn out to be bullshit.

Tour: "For the United States, I pray that the scientific community and the National Academy in particular will investigate the disenfranchisement that is manifest upon some of their own"

How the $&#@ can the NAS or anyone else "investigate the disenfranchisement" when you creationist assholes never give accurate facts or details? All we get from James Tour is a long string of insinuations and excuses for not presenting facts.

Do you really want the NAS to investigate your stories, Tour? What would you say if they investigated you? Do you think "The dog ate my homework" will cut it forever? This claim cannot be taken seriously; if the NAS really investigated such stories, Tour has already claimed he'll tell them nothing. No names, no dates, no places, no quotes.

I wonder if James Tour would support an NAS investigation into all the colleges who fired or silenced real professors, listed above, for supporting evolutionary theory?

Tour goes on at some length about his faith, Jesus and the Bible and he's going to Heaven. It's nice that he's honest about his faith (so many IDers are sneaky weasels about it) but scientifically it's irrelevant.

The only "evidence" that Tour presents against evolution are the common creationist old wives' tales about how in private unnamed scientists from unspecified disciplines admit there's really no evidence for evolution. The "in private" part is crucial because he's winking at us to signal he'll never accept any burden of evidence.

Tour: "Present day scientists that expose their thoughts on this become ever so timid when they talk with me privately. I simply can not understand the source of their confidence when addressing their positions publicly."

Sorry James, scientists have the responsibility of presenting evidence for their position. 
"Furthermore, when I, a non-conformist, ask proponents for clarification, they get flustered in public and confessional in private wherein they sheepishly confess that they really don’t understand [macroevolution] either."

"In private" is his version of "the dog ate my homework." Why don't you pony up some names of these "present day scientists" whom you accuse of dishonesty-- you say they say one thing in public and another in private-- you accuse them of dishonesty-- so let's hear their side of these alleged "private conversations." What were their names-- Professor Santa Claus and his grad student, Easter Bunny? 


This particular fake story from creationists is about 100 years old or more. I've never, ever, observed scientists behave in the way he describes. However, I have read dozens of creationist books, which often contain fantasies like this, of anonymous "atheist scientists" who admit in private, in whispered tones, that there's no evidence for evolution, but are scared to say so in public!

Compare Tour's story with this creationist gem, which you might have heard: NASA scientists, using computers, discover by astronomical calculations that there was a "missing day" sometime in the last 3,000 years, and then some creationist explains to them that it was the day that Joshua in the Bible commanded the sun to stand still. This story was invented wholecloth by creationist Harry Rimmer in the 1920's. In the 1960's, creationist Harold Hill added NASA and the computers to update the story. It was always 100% bullshit.

These creationist fairy tales, like Harry Rimmer's story of "atheist scientists discover Joshua's missing day" and James Tour's fantasies of professors who secretly admit they know no evidence for evolution, always follow the same pattern: an always-anonymous "atheist professor" admits privately that there's evidence against evolution, but is too timid to say it in public, thus explaining why there's no evidence the whole thing ever happened. As the Church Lady would say, "My, how convenient."

It's possible that Tour's religious imagination has caused him to start hearing things or actually seeing events he read about in the creationist books where he learned biology. But scientists care about reproducible EVIDENCE, not imagination and a rich fantasy life.

The point of the story is that scientists are dishonest-- they say one thing in public and another in private. A more famous example comes from the evangelical Christian rap group, Insane Clown Posse:

Water, fire, air and dirt.
Fuckin’ magnets. How do they work? 
And I don’t wanna talk to a scientist. 
Y’all motherfuckers lyin’ and gettin’ me pissed.
[Insane Clown Posse, "Miracles"] 

Tour's essay can be similarly summarized:

Fuckin’ macroevolution. 
How does it work?
And I don’t wanna talk to a scientist. 
Y’all motherfuckers lyin’ and gettin’ me pissed.

You know, some scientists do know how magnets and macroevolution work. The point of creo stories is to inoculate non-scientists against all possible evidence for evolution: the natural history museum may have a bunch of transitional fossils in it, yes, but ignore 'em-- them scientists lyin' and gettin' me pissed.

The cliche of the scientist who whispers in private that there's no evidence for evolution-- but he has to believe it 'cause he's atheist-- was an old story before Tour was born, and he's not young. It's as eternal as the "Lady Hope" story where Darwin repents and converts to Christianity on his deathbed, or the one where the evolutionist Haeckel gets convicted for scientific fraud-- one of those creationist stories that is a century old and never dies.

Tour: "I never thought that science would have evolved like this...."

It didn't. You're lying.

Monday, April 1, 2013

"A Growing Number": More and More Scientists are Abandoning Evolution

The day has come for us to admit that the theory of evolution is in a serious state of crisis. As you no doubt have heard, evolutionary theory states that blind chance can turn a lobster into a beautiful baby. Many scientists have suddenly realized it does not seem plausible that chance alone could turn a decapod crustacean into a human baby, especially an aesthetically pleasing one. Today we must admit that an increasing number of scientists are abandoning the theory of evolution and embracing creationism or intelligent design, as I will demonstrate by quoting those who really know what goes on in science: creationists.

Creationists are the only ones with the courage to tell the truth about what really goes on inside the laboratories they've never entered. They've got the guts to say it, and for at least a century they've been proclaiming loudly that the death of evolution is imminent. Someday, they knew, they'd be proven right. And that day has come.

Here are some examples, going back many decades, of creationists who had the courage to say that "more and more" scientists are opposing evolution. 

We start in 1982, when famous creationist Henry Morris wrote What is Creation Science? with a foreword by Young Earth creationist Dean Kenyon, who would later become famous as a proponent of Intelligent Design. Kenyon seems to have coined a significant phrase which would be copied by creationists for decades.
Dean Kenyon, 1982: "The creation-evolution controversy is entering a critical, perhaps even a climactic stage... more and more professional scientists holding evolutionary views are beginning to take the creationists’ scientific challenge seriously for the first time. The eventual result may well be a major change in the way the subject of origins is taught in our schools and universities." [Dean Kenyon, foreword to What is Creation Science? by Henry Morris and Gary Parker (1982). ]
Perhaps Morris learned about "more and more" form Kenyon. Wherever Morris got the idea, he ran with it for decades, and after his death his son would continue it.
Henry Morris, 1984: “...the modern [1984] scientific creationist movement has made it abundantly clear in our day that all the real facts of science support this Biblical position. Despite all the bombastic books and articles... which have opposed the modern literature on scientific Biblical creationism/catastrophism, the evidence is sound, and more and more scientists are becoming creationists all the time." [Henry Morris, History of Modern Creationism (1984), p.329-330.]
Morris was quite clear: the "modern" theory, the cutting edge science of 1984 was the theory that, 6,000 years ago, dirt turned into the human genome by sorcery. "All the time"-- when you sleep, when you wake-- the numbers of creationists increase.
Henry Morris, 1985: "There are still some die-hard uniformitarians who would question the first assumption but... more and more in the modern school of geologists are saying that everything in the geologic column is a record of catastrophe.” [Henry M. Morris, Creation and the Modern Christian, (1985), p. 241.]
By "catastrophe" he meant Noah's Flood. Morris was again clear: the "modern" school of geology, the cutting edge, the hipster trend-setters of 30 years ago were those who believed that giraffes, anacondas, kangaroos and dinosaurs queued up to get on board Noah's Ark. After the Flood, two kangaroos hopped from Mt. Ararat to Australia, anacondas slithered through Alaska to South America, etc.
Henry Morris, 1989: “Although the history of the earth and life has long been interpreted by the uniformitarian maxim... more and more geologists are returning to catastrophism.” [Henry Morris, "Evolution - A House Divided," Impact, 194, August, 1989, p. iii.]
More and more creationists are saying "more and more" all the time.  Twenty-two years after Morris, Dr. Don Boys (his biography does not tell us what his Ph.D. is in, exactly, but it's from a religious school) wrote at the Canada Free Press (whose slogan is "Without America there is no Free World") that creationists were still "more and more":
Don Boys, 2010: "No fruit fly, peppered moth or any other creature has formed a new creature through mutations and natural selection, and more and more top scientists are supporting that position. The co-holder of the 1945 Nobel Prize for developing penicillin, Sir Ernest [sic, Ernst] Chain, called natural selection and chance mutations a “hypothesis based on no evidence...”... The 1971 winner of the Nobel Prize in science, Dr. Dennis Gabor (died 1979) said: “I just cannot believe that everything developed by random mutations…” [Almost a Thousand Major Scientists Dissent from Darwin! Dr. Don Boys. Canada Free Press. May 2, 2010]
Boys doesn't just allot himself "more and more" scientists, he's now promoted them to "top scientists." To prove his point, Boys lists Ernst Chain and Dennis Gabor, who both died in 1979, some 34 years ago, before Henry Morris started saying "more and more." (The list to which he refers lists one, exactly one, member of the US National Academy of Sciences, that is, one living "top scientist.") Sure, there are "more and more" anti-evolution top scientists, in the cemetery.

Three years after Boys, lawyer and Intelligent Design proponent Casey Luskin, writing at the (misnamed, anti-evolution) website Evolution News & Views [ENV], tells us the science world is already what he calls "post-Darwinian"::
Casey Luskin, 2013: "As many ENV readers already know, we now live in a "post-Darwinian" world, where more and more evolutionary biologists are realizing that neo-Darwinism is failing, so they scramble to propose new materialistic evolutionary models..." [Casey Luskin, Three (or Four) Reasons Everyone Should Read Darwin's Doubt. ENV, April 9, 2013.]
There are still "more and more", and "Darwinism" is not just in crisis, it's already dead. Maybe long-dead, says lawyer Luskin. Since they've already won, why don't the creationists take a well-deserved vacation in this "Post-Darwinian World" that they've already saved?

Creationist Trope: "A Growing Number" or "An Increasing Number"

Not only are "more and more" scientists opposing evolution, but there is "an increasing number" or "a growing number" of scientists have turned to creationist or ID alternative theories.
Evan Shute, 1961: "I suspect that the creationist has less mystery to explain away than the wholehearted evolutionist. … I concede micro-evolution, of course, which is the origin by evolutionary processes of species, genera, and even families. An increasing number of thoughtful scientists seem to be adopting this view, which I should add is decades old, and far from being original." [Evan Shute, Flaws in the Theory of Evolution, (1961) p. 2.]
They're not just "an increasing number", they're "thoughtful" now too. (Those boring scientists who look up the definition of 'micro-evolution' and see that it means only and always evolution below the species level are just not "thoughtful" like the creationists who  think up random definitions for science jargon they don't understand.)

Twenty years later after Shute, their number was still growing and growing.
Henry Morris, 1981: “Matter of fact, there are now thousands of scientists who have become creationists, and these are in fairly recent years [recent as of 1981]. As a matter of fact most of us, including myself, once were evolutionists [sure you were], but have become convinced that creationism is a better scientific explanation. And so even though we represent a minority in science, it is a significant and a growing minority.” [Henry Morris in 1981 debate against Ken Miller.]
Henry Morris, 1982: “The discouraging situation [for creationists] of the early decades of this [20th] century is now [1982] going through a dramatic change. Instead of only a handful of Bible-believing scientists, there are now thousands. …the fact is that now, in every field of science, there can be found a significant and growing number of men and women who believe the Bible and are evangelical, witnessing Christians. …there are thousands who are unashamed literal creationists, believing that all things were created and made in the six solar days described in the first chapter of Genesis… Many have suffered one or another form of persecution for their stand, and yet they stand! ...However, it would not be appropriate to try at this point to do the same [give their names] for scientists who are still living." [Henry Morris, Men of Science, Men of God (1982), p.93-94]
Yes, of course it would be inappropriate to list their names. That would require them to exist. But trust him, there are thousands. Thousands, as of 1982-- and rapidly growing for twenty years! The theory of evolution is doomed.

Two years later, a Louisiana public school district was sued for teaching Morris-style "scientific" creationism in the Supreme Court case Edwards v. Aguillard. Dean Kenyon, the Young Earth creationist we met above, chimed in with an affidavit giving his expert creationist opinion. His best evidence against evolution was still the "increasing numbers" of creationists.
Dean Kenyon, 1984: "Although students generally hear only one side on the origins question, increasing numbers of scientists are now abandoning evolution for a new scientific version of creationism. Creationist scientists now number in the hundreds, possibly in the thousands, in the States and in other countries. This extraordinary development.... has resulted largely from analysis of new scientific data not available to Darwin... biological creation... in fact is scientifically stronger than biological evolution." [Dean Kenyon, Affidavit in the case Edwards v. Aguillard, 1984 .]
The "increasing number" of creationists lost badly in Edwards, but Kenyon would return twenty years later, now re-made as an Intelligent Design proponent, to play a role in helping a new generation of creationists badly lose another case badly. Which we'll come back to in a moment.

Six years after Kenyon, their number was still growing and growing:
Mark Looy, 1990: “Even though the large majority of modern scientists still embrace an evolutionary view of origins, there is a significant and growing number of scientists who have abandoned evolution altogether and have accepted creation instead." [Mark Looy, "I Think; Therefore, There is a Supreme Thinker," Impact, 208, October, 1990, p. i.]
Four years after, Henry Morris' son, John D. Morris, an engineer like his father, started taking up the family, um, business. He still continues his father's tradition of originality and innovation, replacing Henry's "significant and increasing number" with "in droves." And they say creationists aren't creative!
John D. Morris, 1994: “Even scientists are leaving Darwinian evolution in droves, recognizing that strictly natural processes, operating at random on inorganic chemicals, could never have produced complex living cells.” [John D. Morris, The Young Earth, (1994), p. 121.]
But his father kept a steady hand on the family business for decades. Twenty years after the elder Morris had said their number was "growing", and forty years after Evan Shute said their number was "increasing", their number was still growing and growing and growing.
Henry Morris, 2002: "Creation scientists may be in the minority so far, but their number is growing, and most of them (like this writer) were evolutionists at one time [sure you were], having changed to creationism at least in part because of what they decided was the weight of scientific evidence." [Henry Morris, "What are Evolutionists Afraid of?", Back to Genesis, No. 168 (Dec. 2002).]
Grant Jeffrey, 2003: “As a result of the tremendous advances in the study of genetics, molecular biology, and the acknowledgement that the fossil record does not provide any support for the theory of evolution, a growing number of scientists have either publicly rejected evolution or have expressed very serious reservations about Darwin’s theory. ” [Grant R. Jeffrey, Creation, (2003), p.168]
And now, respected historian "Professor" David Barton, who has proven Thomas Jefferson was a fundamentalist Christian and opposed evolutionary theory before it was invented-- "Professor" Barton, a scholar whose title is as reliable as his factual claims.
"Professor" David Barton, 2008: "This position of intelligent design... is now embraced by an increasing number of contemporary distinguished scientists, non-religious though many of them claim to be." [David Barton, "The Founding Fathers on Creation and Evolution" (2008).]
Not only are they "an increasing number", they've now been promoted to "distinguished", though we are not told what their distinctions are exactly, nor what their names are for that matter. Perhaps like Chain and Gabor, they're "contemporary" in the sense of having been dead for 34 years.

Creationist ministry Answers in Genesis also tells us at long last, in 2009  there is "a growing number".
Answers in Genesis, 2009(?): “The history of science (and humanity) is filled with majority views being incorrect. Evolution is another such idea. ...Finally, there are a growing number of scientists, creationist and not, who do not find the supposed evidence for evolution to be valid or acceptable. ...it is past time for... the myth of evolution itself—to be dismissed once and for all.” [Answers in Genesis, Undated, apparently 2009]
"Finally" they said, 28 years after Henry Morris first said they had "a growing number" and a half-century after Evan Shute said it. But in 2009, they got their growing number "finally", meaning there was no "growing number" before 2009.

We all agree it is "past time" for evolution to be dismissed, considering that creationists have been predicting its imminent death for... 30 years... 40 years... a half-century... how far back can we go? We'll see below.

Intelligent Design Proponents Agree: There are "A Growing Number" of These Geniuses 

What about Intelligent Design? Unlike Young Earth Creationism, ID proponents say that their beliefs are not religious nor supernatural. Darwinism is a religion, Intelligent Design is a science, they say. The pro-ID website Evolution News and Views repeats this constantly: ID is not creationism because it's not religious. "ID is not theology", as David Klinghoffer writes at ENV over and over, and Jonathan Maclatchie has gotten the memo:
Evolution News and Views, 2013: "...ID does NOT invoke a supernatural force to explain biological phenomena. This is because the scientific evidence, at least on its own, does not justify an inference to a supernatural cause. ... ID is not "a particular attempt to synthesize modern science and Christian faith." [Once Again, Why Intelligent Design Is Not a "God-of-the-Gaps" Argument. Jonathan Maclatchie. ENV. January 9, 2013.]
Here, with typical consistency, ID proponent H. Wayne House reminds us that "Intelligent Design" is another term for a set of beliefs about the supernatural:
H. Wayne House, 2008: “While incendiary rhetoric from parts of the scientific community disallows any challenge to Darwinian evolution, a growing number of scientists and experts support a supernatural origin of life, also known as the theory of intelligent design.” [H. Wayne House, Intelligent Design 101 (2008), Amazon product description.]
So since ID is supernatural, and also not supernatural too, that makes it totally constitutional to teach in public schools.

Let's go back 20 years, to the first ID textbook Of Pandas and People (1993), which was sold as "not creationist", and marketed to the public school market. Can you guess who wrote it? Well, if you wanted to write a public school textbook that would pass constitutional muster, who else would you hire but the same Dean Kenyon who back in 1984 had helped the creationist side lose Edwards v. Aguillard?

Yes, Dean Kenyon, still a Young Earth creationist, but now it's OK, because after the Aguillard defeat he also calls himself an Intelligent Design proponent. Pandas was written by Kenyon and Percival Davis and a bunch of ID proponents like Michael Behe and Young Earthers like Charles Thaxton and Nancy Pearcey who think "The Flintstones" is a documentary.

What was the best evidence against evolution that brain trust could come up with?
Of Pandas and People, 1993: “Today, however, the 'creative' role of natural selection is being questioned by a growing number of scientists." [Percival Davis and Dean H. Kenyon, Of Pandas and People, (1993), p. 67.]
"A growing number of scientists who study the fossil record are concluding that the structural differences between the major types of organisms reflect life as it was... [O]nly the long-held expectations of Darwinian theory cause us to refer to the in-between areas as gaps. If this is so, the major different types of living organisms do not have a common ancestry." [Ibid., p. 98.]
Why did the school board of Dover, Pennsylvania ever adopt Pandas, which would lead to their very expensive legal defeat?  Well, the Discovery Institute (DI), a think tank that promotes Intelligent Design, told them it would be a great idea, and they might get sued if they didn't.

In 1999 Stephen Meyer, DI philosopher and author of Signature in the Cell, and other DI fellows wrote a slick advertising brochure aimed at US school boards telling them that teaching ID in public schools was perfectly legal and Of Pandas and People was a great textbook. The best evidence for Intelligent Design that Stephen Meyer, DI philosopher, could concoct was that in 1999 there was still "a growing number" of scientists embracing ID (which Kenyon had been saying for two decades.)
Stephen Meyer, DeWolf & DeForrest, 1999: "Since the 1980s, a growing number of scientists have argued that...contrary to neo-Darwinian orthodoxy, nature displays abundant evidence of design by an intelligent agent. [They] advocate... the theory of intelligent design... [Intelligent Design in Public School Science Curricula: A Legal Guidebook. David K. DeWolf, Stephen C. Meyer, Mark E. DeForrest. 1999.]
Meyer and the DI warned them that school boards might get sued if they did NOT adopt an ID curriculum. You see, if public schools don't teach creation-- I mean intelligent design, that would be "viewpoint discrimination."
[Supreme court case] Edwards v. Aguillard encourages the teaching of other scientific theories... [A] school board that rejects a teacher's effort to teach the full range of scientific theories would place the board on a collision course with the First Amendment... Instead, we suggest, the school board should encourage the biology teacher to teach the controversy. This approach...provides it with the soundest footing from a legal standpoint." [Ibid.]
The Dover school board heeded Stephen Meyer's and the DI's dire alarms, bought their textbook, and lost the court case to the tune of $2 million. The day after that debacle, DI lobbyist Mark Ryland denied the existence of the DI document I quoted above; Ryland was immediately smacked down on camera in a public debate when another lawyer produced the document from his briefcase.

Here is ID Proponent and DI fellow the Reverend Jonathan Wells, author of The Myth of Junk DNA and Icons of Evolution, using a totally non-religious argument in a a totally non-religious document originally titled “Unification Sermons and Talks by Reverend Wells”, Unification of course referring to Rev. Sun-Myung Moon’s Unification Church, famous for its enforced conformity and mass weddings. 
The Reverend Jonathan Wells, 2000: “I asked God what He wanted me to do with my life, and the answer came not only through my prayers, but also through Father's [Rev. Sun Myung-Moon’s] many talks to us… He also spoke out against the evils in the world; among them… Darwin's theory… Father's words, my studies, and my prayers convinced me that I should devote my life to destroying Darwinism… When Father chose me… to enter a Ph.D. program in 1978, I welcomed the opportunity to prepare myself for battle

…I am one of a growing number of highly-educated and articulate critics of Darwinism… These critics include embryologists, paleontologists, biochemists, molecular biologists, medical doctors, philosophers, and even lawyers. Unfortunately, the North American science-and-religion establishment has largely turned a deaf ear to these critics, preferring instead to abandon classical theology... [This is] analogous to the last years of Soviet communism. A small, powerful elite controls all the official information outlets while the evidence against the official position swells quietly, like a wave building offshore. Someday soon [relative to 2000]… the wave will break. I predict that the Darwinist establishment will come apart at the seams, just as the Soviet Empire did…”

[Original Title: Unification Sermons and Talks by Reverend Wells. a.k.a. "Darwinism: Why I Went for a Second Ph.D." Jonathan Wells. Earliest Wayback Machine archive: 22 Jan. 2000.]
So there is still "a growing number", but now they have been promoted to "highly educated and articulate."

There is nothing religious in the Reverend Wells' sermon about how Jesus Christ appeared to him in the human form of an elderly Korean man [as his church believes Rev. Sun Myung-Moon is the incarnation of God, Jesus Christ, returned to Earth] to order Wells to destroy Darwinism, or in Reverend Wells' demand that "classical theology" be re-imposed on the "science-and-religion establishment." No, that's pure science, as we know because Wells tells us he is "highly-educated", and he says there are lawyers who hate evolution too. Nothing religious here, especially since, three years after appearing on the internet, the title of the article was changed (sometime between the Oct. and Dec. 2003) to “Words of the Wells Family.” Remember, ID is science, and Darwinism is religion, since, as we all know, like Anthony Wiener's penis, that which is removed from the internet will can never be retrieved.

Here is just one of the countless predictions made by ID theorist William Dembski, all equally successful:
William Dembski, 2007: “It will be interesting to see how the National Center for Science Education deals with the growing number of non-religious ID proponents.” ["ICON-RIDS: Non-Religious ID Scientists and Scholars.", by William Dembski. Uncommon Descent, June 16, 2007.]
Dembski's prediction here is compared with the facts.

As you can see, the number of "highly educated" proponents of Intelligent Design was "a growing number" in 1993, "a growing number" six years later in 1999, "a growing number" the year after that, "a growing number" seven years later in 2007, and "a growing number" in 2008. By 2013 there were "more and more." By now the number must be astronomical.

So Exactly What Number Is "The Growing Number"?

For 1963, we have actual, real numbers for the number of creationist scientists (shocking, I know) thanks to historian Ronald Numbers. When the Creation Research Society, the precursor to the Institute for Creation Research, was formed, it was very difficult for to meet their goal of just ten creationist "scientists." To get to just ten they had to loosen their standards, classifying any engineer or anyone with a Master's Degree in science as a "scientist." The story of how difficult it was for the CRS, under the leadership of fanatical eugenicist creationist Willam J. Tinkle, to get even ten loosely-defined creationist "scientists" is told by Numbers in his history book The Creationists: From Scientific Creationism to Intelligent Design. If that's just the USA, then worldwide, let's say the number of creationists was 20 or in the low tens.

Since the early 1960's, we have only the numbers of creationists provided by creationists themselves to rely on. What do creationists say about their own numbers?

In 1972, Henry Morris gave us a ballpark figure:
Henry Morris, 1972: "There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of scientists today who once were evolutionists but have become creationists in recent years. I myself was one of these, having accepted the evolutionary theory all through college... Many other scientists today can give a similar testimony." [Henry Morris, The Remarkable Birth of Planet Earth (1972), p. vi]
In 1981 and for decades thereafter, as we saw above, Henry Morris confidently stated many times that the number of Bible-believing creationist scientists was in the "thousands." Moreover, he insisted every year or two that the number was "a growing number" and there were always "more and more" every year for decades, so, 32 years later, there should be... oh... maybe tens of thousands by now?

In the 1990's, Russell Humphreys, creationist, gave us a very precise figure. You'll recall that Humphreys, among other work, has proven the Earth is 6,000 years old by doing measurements on helium in zircon crystals, a study which was such cutting edge creation science that it took a half-dozen real scientists to extract which of his numbers were completely made up. Here is Humphreys being interviewed by CMI creationist Carl Wieland, and Wieland asks him the tough, hard-hitting questions.
Carl Wieland: "...How many professionally active scientists would also hold to Genesis creation?"
Humphreys: "I’m part of a fairly large scientific community in New Mexico, and a good number of these are creationists... Based on those proportions and knowing the membership of the Creation Research Society, it’s probably a conservative estimate that there are in the US alone around 10,000 practicing scientists who are Biblical creationists."

Wieland: "That’s encouraging. Dr Humphreys, thank you very much."

[Creation in the physics lab. Interview by Carl Wieland. Creation 15 (3):20–23. June 1993]
As usual with Humphreys, he does not show the calculations whereby he arrived at his published numbers. But creationists are used to being intellectually challenged with penetrating questions, such as Wieland nailing Humphreys with "That's encouraging. Thank you." Creationists call that peer review.

As you see, the number was "thousands" in 1981 and "ten thousand" in the USA alone by 1993. You will note that the increase is about one order of magnitude per decade-- a point I will return to.

Clearly, if there are tens of thousands of creationist scientists, their achievements and discoveries must be uncountable. We can all agree, their achievements and discoveries really can't be counted.

Now let's check with Republican presidential candidate Michele 'Bug Eyes' Bachmann.


Michele Bachmann, 2006: “There is a controversy among scientists about whether evolution is a fact or not... There are hundreds and hundreds of scientists, many of them holding Nobel Prizes, who believe in Intelligent Design.” [Video Debate uploaded Oct. 12, 2006. See also: Top ten Michele Bachmann moments. The Week, October 27, 2009.]
On the one hand, it seems like the number's gone down because it went from "ten thousand" to "hundreds and hundreds." On the other hand, creationists now have been awarded huge numbers of Nobel Prizes! Hooray! They've actually been promoted! (It's possible Bug Eyes was thinking of Chain and Gabor, who again, died 34 years ago.)

But wait, the number was clearly not "hundreds and hundreds" in 2006 because that same year, Kent Hovind gave a much better number.

Hovind, also known as "Dr. Dino" and Federal Prisoner #06452-17, is currently serving a federal prison term of ten years, but since he's creationist, he thinks it's six days. One of the most ethical and honest of all creationists, Hovind was convicted in federal court of 58 felonies, having destroyed records, threatened federal agents, structured bank transactions to evade reporting requirements, and while in jail conspired with his creationist son Eric Hovind (still not in jail!) to conceal property deeds and vehicle titles to prevent seizure of his property as payment for his massive debts. "Dr." Hovind (he insists on the "Dr.") got his Ph.D. from Patriot Bible University, a double-wide trailer in Del Norte, Colorado, which currently charges about $1,500 per doctorate. (The first line of his doctoral dissertation was, "Hello, my name is Kent Hovind", one of its few sentences without a spelling error.)
Federal Prisoner #06452-017, 2006: “According to the Washington Times [...] 55% - barely over half of the scientists - believe Darwinian evolution.” [Kent Hovind, Truth Radio 26 May 2006 @ 10:30 (Tape 1), cited at http://kent-hovind.com/quotes/evolution.htm]
Since the number of scientists is in many hundreds of thousands, and since Dr. Dino counts 45% of them as anti-Darwinist, that means that by 2006, there were hundreds of thousands of anti-Darwinist scientists.

For more current numbers, here is a recent writer of letters to an Oklahoma paper.
Joshua Ashwood, 2012: "Psalm 14:1 declares that fools say there is no God. The apostate Charles Darwin didn’t want to believe in God, so he devised the modern theory of evolution... So according to scripture, Darwin was a fool and all that subscribe to his anti-God theory are idiots. Should Christians listen to a pack of fools...? ...Evolutionists are simply part of the wicked unbelieving world.

Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur and Henry Morris are but a few of the thousands of scientists who did and do believe that scientific evidence supports special creation, the earth’s young age, Noah’s flood, etc., instead of evolution. These men are genuine scientists every bit as much, if not more so, than evolutionary scientists." ["Evolution Proves Ungodly Folly." Joshua Ashwood. Muskogee Phoenix [OK]. October 4, 2012.]
Well, Louis Pasteur didn't believe in a young Earth or Noah's Flood. But what's important is that, as the letter writer says, creationist Henry Morris, author of The Genesis Flood, is just as great a scientist as Isaac Newton or Louis Pasteur, even though Morris was a civil engineer, who in his entire life, never once invented an original hypothesis that was tested and confirmed by observation. Still we know he was a greater scientist than Charles Darwin or Alfred Russell Wallace or Watson and Crick or Marie Curie or Motoo Kimura or Tomoko Ohta or Jacques Monod or Jack Szostak, because engineer Morris believed dirt turned into the human genome by sorcery and dinosaurs were carried on Noah's Ark, while those other punters rebelled against God.

The same year, conspiracist tabloid WorldNetDaily, Anders Breivik's favorite source of religious inspiration for kid-killin', put the number at hundreds.
WorldNetDaily, 2012: “To put it simply – no Darwin, no Hitler,” said [Rev. D. James] Kennedy

All this [Holocaust] happened, said Kennedy, because of a set of theories based on “a crumbling scientific foundation.” As WND reported recently, hundreds of Ph.D. scientists are now stepping forward and publicly dissenting from Darwinian theory. [Stunning Darwin-led-to-Hitler video - $4.95 today only! WorldNetDaily. Jan. 17, 2012.]
If "hundreds" seems like a disappointment, fear not. You'll recall that in 2012 physicists announced the discovery of the long-predicted Higgs Boson, causing creationists all over the Internet to explode into rage. This triumph of science made many creationists want to chew the face off the next physicist they saw, no doubt an arrogant atheist.

Physicist Sean Carroll presented himself for face-chewing. When Carroll released his book about the discovery of the Higgs boson, creationist "ChosenByGrace" wrote the following review. Here she blames the theory of evolution for America's national debt, and says evolution and atheist physicists have enslaved Americans.
ChosenByGrace, 2012: "Sean Carroll is a typical atheist physicist who arrogantly disregards creationists... he does not even acknowledge they exist... The liberal media and filled with money sapping money-obsessed morons, willing to indebt any generation of Americans into becoming slaves. It's already happened, and Americans in general are all debt slaves because of atheism-theoretical-physics cultists like this, and the idiot atheists who worship delusional morons like this. This man won't acknowledge theistic scientists let alone creationist ones... That is arrogant, a delusion of grandeur, bigoted, and "extremist" in the way liberals use it. It's great he claims that "you can do good science" despite believing in God... but why did he then... not acknowledge the millions of scientists who say the reason the universe exists is because God willed it? This is what happens when you care more about money... than having truth." [Amazon Review of Sean Carroll’s Particle at the End of the Universe, by Chosenbygrace Notworks "eternian.wordpress.c0m", Nov. 13, 2012.]
So there you go, there are now millions of creationist scientists. Now that's a growing number! But just how fast are they increasing?

Is There a Trend in the Claimed Numbers of Creationists?

Let's see if we can spot a trend in the above claimed numbers.

1963: creationists in the low tens, according to historian Numbers.

1972: creationists in the "hundreds or thousands", according to Henry Morris.

1982: definitely "thousands" of creationist scientists, according to Henry Morris.

1993: ten thousand in the USA, perhaps tens of thousands worldwide, according to Russell Humphreys.

2006: Hundreds of thousands, according to Kent Hovind.

2012: "Millions" according to "ChosenByGrace Notworks."

There's a clear pattern: the number of claimed creationist scientists increases by one order of magnitude per decade.

If this trend continues, that means that by the year 2072, there should be two trillion creationists. Their bodies will, very quickly, form a sphere larger than the planet Earth.

By the year 2492 creationists will number 2 x 10^52. Let us assume each creationist can be fit into a volume of one cubic meter, folded up tight. By 2492 they will form a man-sphere 26 light-years in radius, expanding outward at the speed of light.

Clearly, it is time for us evolutionists to admit defeat.

Maybe there are "Fewer and Fewer" Creationists? Nooo!

But if creationists have already won-- if evolutionary theory is already dead, as they have claimed again and again for more than 100 years-- how can they claim to be victimized by the establishment? How can they claim they are martyrs? And why should we donate money to their ministries if they already won the debate?

Well, the answer is that when they need to be martyrs and victimized, there isn't "a growing number" of creationists after all, when it's necessary to raise a suitable alarm. Consider this 2011 warning siren from ICR about "a growing number" of evolutionists:
Ford, Lawrence E. 2011: "[M]ost scientists today refuse to acknowledge... the overwhelming evidence of design in the world around us points to any kind of Designer...

 ...[T]wo or three decades ago there were dozens of private Christian colleges that maintained a biblical doctrine of creation. Today, only a handful have resisted compromise.

Evangelical seminaries today are filled with professors who... train pastors that it’s okay to teach evolutionary ideas... placing science over Scripture...

That a majority of the science establishmentmost of them atheists—-believes these evolutionary ideas does not provide a sound basis for Christian doctrine. And yet, a growing number of Christians are content to allow atheistic, naturalistic ideas and people to govern their view of the Bible..." [Ford, Lawrence E. 2011. Confronting Evolutionary Ideas. Acts & Facts (ICR). 40 (1): 4-5]
That's not the kind of "growing number" they claimed before.

Here is the blog "Naturalis Historia", very sympathetic to creationism, which commits the sin of trying to keep track by name of how many creationists there actually are. "Natural Historian" asks: how many Ph.D.'s do creationists really have doing research?
[Natural Historian, 2012]: "...where are the future generations of creation scientists? ...Answers in Genesis has had some younger hires in the last decade some of were fairly fresh PhDs... but at AIG their time is spent giving talks and writing newsletter articles rather than doing any scientific research. They filter news stories and form creationists responses... but they aren’t generating new data or... creating a positive testable scientific paradigm.

Creation Ministries International (CMI) has a couple of PhD scientists on staff that received their degrees within the past 20 years... The Institute for Creation Research (ICR) has two legitimate younger PhD scientists ([Glen] Jeanson [sic] and [Jason] Lisle) both of which [sic] are actively engaged in some research and writing...

ICR [Institute for Creation Resarch] had a graduate school offering degrees in biology and geology for at least 15 years. Part of the goal of this graduate school was to train the next generation of creation scientists. Where did they all go? ...I have found fewer than five creationist scientists on the payrolls of organizations today that list a graduate degree by ICR in their educational background.

I have to believe that when Henry Morris formed ICR he envisioned hundreds of scientists today actively applying the creation model to the historical sciences not just mouthing support for it. That... obviously hasn’t happened despite the proliferation of creation science organizations...

Creationists list hundreds of PhD scientists who are creation scientists but this is not the same as saying there are hundreds of creation scientists doing creation science. The majority of these PhD scientists are simply scientists who are Christians and believe in the cause of creation science and most are likely not even familiar with the evidence for creation science.

... for a movement that claims the evidence is overwhelming for a young earth and with 30 solid years of training and recruiting... the response has been rather underwhelming."

[“The Next Generation of Creation Scientists?”, Natural Historian, Naturalis Historia (Blog), Oct. 28, 2012]
Now why is this heretic getting numbers that we know must be wrong? Welll, Henry Morris warned us very clearly back in 1982 that "it would not be appropriate to try at this point to [give the names] for [creationist] scientists who are still living." It's not appropriate to actually keep track of living creationists by name and count them by name. If you do that, you'll get numbers which are not thousands nor millions! Henry Morris clearly said that was not allowed, why don't people listen!?

How Much Research Do Creationists Really Publish?
 
OK, so they have very few Ph.D.s. But maybe those few make a lot of discoveries and inventions and publish a lot of original research. How many research articles do creationists publish? Are there "more and more"?
[Natural Historian, 2012]: "There are three main research journals that publish creation science articles... So who is writing for these journals?... I went through all the issues of theses journals from 2011. Here are quick back of the envelope calculations:
2011: 60 Total Publications by 29 Authors

Creation Research Science Quarterly (CRSQ) – 15 articles by 9 total authors
Journal of Creation – 29 articles by 15 authors
Answers Research Journal – 16 articles by 12 authors

That would be 60 total publications by 29 authors. It is only 29 authors because several not only published multiple articles in a single journal but also published in at least two of the three journals.

Three of these authors (Joubert, 10; Bergman, 8; and Oard, 6) provided for 18 of the 60 or almost 1/3 of all primary creation science publications in 2011!

The CRSQ has been around since 1965... Going back 15 years to 1996 I count 25 total articles by 14 authors with five of those (more than 1/3) being the same authors as published in 2011. Going back to the 1970s and 1980s the journal regularly published 20-30 articles per year though typically by less than 50% that many authors. The trend has been toward fewer articles by even fewer authors.

Sampling the last 20 years it appears that Reed, Oard, Bergman and Froede are responsible for up to 25% of all the publications... it is really remarkable how many active writers in the 1980s are still publishing articles after 2010.

There is a new creationist organization called Logos Research Associates... Cross referencing... I estimate at least 3/4 of the individuals are more than 50 years old and 1/2 probably more than 60.

...ICR and AIG... I am sure would love to hire more real Ph.D scientists to bolster this positions. If anyone can agree with Ken Ham about the specifics of the creation account there should be a job there for them.

...only 60 research articles in 2011 don’t tell the whole story. Of those [60] a good portion involve analysis of theological concerns rather than scientific. Many of the scientific articles are not based on new data collected but are more like commentaries and speculations... Very few actually propose hypotheses for which new data is collected and analyses to test those hypotheses...

...a 50 year old hypothesis if it were great at explaining the features of the earth’s land-forms it should be attracting a much greater professional following yet the average age of the intellectual drivers of the creationists movement is going up year after year."

[“The State of Creation Science as Measured by Scholarly Publishing”, Natural Historian, Naturalis Historia (Blog), Nov. 3, 2012]
What's that? Four authors, some of whom are certainly not scientists (Jerry Bergman insists he is, but he has never published scientific research) are responsible for one-quarter to one-third of all creationist articles on Earth in the last 20 years? More than half are over 60 years of age?

But, what about Intelligent Design? Those people state clearly they're real scientists, not creationists, and praise themselves and each other as "highly-educated." Surely they've got some cuttin' edge research... right?

While creationists have three journals to themselves, ID proponents have just one, Bio-Complexity, their flagship (and really only) journal. Mathematician Jeff Shallit runs the numbers on their cuttin' edge research, keeping track of its authors (and editors, usually the same people.)
[Jeff Shallit, 2012]: "...pseudoscience is sterile: the ideas, such as they are, lead to no new insights, suggest no experiments, and are espoused by single crackpots or a small community of like-minded ideologues...

Here is a perfect example of this sterility: Bio-Complexity, the flagship journal of the intelligent design movement. As 2012 draws to a close, the 2012 volume contains exactly two research articles, one "critical review" and one "critical focus", for a grand total of four items. The editorial board has 30 members; they must be kept very busy handling all those papers. (Another intelligent design journal, Progress in Complexity, Information, and Design, hasn't had a new issue since 2005.)

By contrast, the journal Evolution has ten times more research articles in a single issue (one of 12 so far in 2012). And this is just a single journal where evolutionary biology research is published; there are many others.

But that's not the most hopeless part. Of the four contributions to Bio-Complexity in 2012, three have authors that are either the Editor in Chief (sic), the Managing Editor, or members of the editorial board of the journal. Only one article, the one by Fernando Castro-Chavez, has no author in the subset of the people running the journal. And that one is utter bilge, written by someone who believes that "the 64 codons [of DNA are] represented since at least 4,000 years ago and preserved by China in the I Ching or Book of Changes or Mutations".

Intelligent design advocates have been telling us for years that intelligent design would transform science and generate new research paradigms. They lied."

[The Sterility of Intelligent Design". Jeff Shallit. Recursivity (Blog). December 09, 2012]
To sum up, in the year 2011, Young Earth creationists published 60 articles, and most of
them were not even scientific research. In 2012, ID proponents published four articles and only half were research. Let's be generous and say 64 articles for Young Earth and ID creationism combined.

For comparison, how much research is published on evolution? Les Lane ran the numbers on how many published science articles have "evolution" as a keyword in the Science Citation Index (online). He shows that in 2011, there were 43,903 such articles, and the next year, that increased by 5,214. Thus, the year-over-year increase in articles published on evolution is 7,147% larger than the total number of articles published on creationism and Intelligent Design combined-- and most of the creationist articles, and half the ID articles, are not real research, but apologetics, theology, and social commentary.


Back in 1991, there were 12,008 articles on evolution, and by 2012, there were 49,117 articles, a 309% increase in 21 years, and an average increase in evolution-based articles of 8% per year.

But still, creationists did have 64 articles about science, right? Sciencey science, and that means creationists are real scientists, and that means there's a controversy and we must 'teach the controversy.' In order to see how sciencey creation science is, let's look at a recent [2013] article in Answers Research Journal, the flagship journal of Answers in Genesis, which Ken Ham announced with great fanfare as a 'peer-reviewed scientific research journal'.
Simon Turpin, 2013: "This paper will demonstrate that human physical and spiritual death, together with the death of animals, came about through the disobedience of one man by examining nine key [Bible] passages: Genesis 1, 2, and 3; Acts 3:21; Romans 5:12–21; 8:19–22; 1 Corinthians 15:22–55; Colossians 1:15–21 and Revelation 21–22...

There are three lines of evidence in Genesis 1 that rule out the possibility of any kind of death or disease before Adam’s disobedience: the length of the days of creation, the vegetarian diet prescribed to man and animals in Genesis 1:29–30, and God’s declaration that His completed creation was very good." [“Did Death of Any Kind Exist Before the Fall?”, Simon Turpin, Answers Research Journal 6 (2013): 99 –116.]
There you go: creationists do have cuttin' edge scientific research, it's just that their research is uh, Bible reading, but it's real cuttin' edge Bible reading.

A Message from 1905

I will finish with the Nazi philosopher Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Adolf Hitler's mentor and a fierce anti-Darwinist, writing in 1905. In his own time he saw "the English sickness", evolution, being "shaken off" for good.
Houston S. Chamberlain, 1905: “If we might not say that this craze [Darwinism] is only the last belated straggler of romanticism and Hegelism in alliance with flat English utilitarianism, and that a hundred years will not have passed before it will be judged as men to-day judge alchemy, … if we did not see around us … an energetic shaking off of this “English sickness”, as the Zoologist Friedrich Dreyer called it in a happy phrase, we might abandon all hope of a future for Science and culture.” [Houston S. Chamberlain, Immanuel Kant (1905), Vol. II, Chapter 6 “Plato”, p. 129]
Yes, clearly, evolutionary theory will be treated as a laugh, a joke-- like alchemy! ha ha!-- one hundred years after Chamberlain wrote that, which would have been... 2005.

"More and more" scientists are abandoning evolution. "An increasing number" are embracing creationism. There are so many of them-- so many.

Let's not ask what they've achieved, all those hundreds and thousands and millions of creationist scientists. Let's not tot up all that they've discovered. Since there are millions of them, they must have made millions of discoveries and millions of inventions. It must be incalculable. Literally.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Discovery Institute Face-Plants at Facebook

For the last week or two, a huge knock-down drag-out Internet free-for-all has erupted between scientists, science writers and Intelligent Design creationists that has spread across several blogs, ID creationist websites, and FaceBook, where the IDologues banned several critics (including myself) from commenting on their page. Commenters at Facebook effectively exposed the dishonesty of the scientific "facts" made up and published by the creationists, so they got banned. Since the purges at FB, the ID creationists have retreated behind the wall of their totalitarian blog-state "Evolution News & Views" where comments are verboten, whence they continue to hurl an endless series of ad hominem attacks, safe from fear of exposure by the sort of pesky scientific facts that would certainly appear in a free comment zone, if creationists ever again permitted free comments.

The initial topic this free-for-all were the claims made in a recently published ID creationist booklet called "Science and Human Origins" which claims to be able to prove that all human beings could have descended from just Adam and Eve, who were not descended from any simpler creatures but "designed separately"-- a euphemism meaning "created supernaturally." Thus, ID has taken an explicitly creationist position. Previously, ID proponents had often pretended that ID was not creationism because, supposedly, in their definition of ID, they asserted "Creationism typically starts with a religious text". But the new ID book drops the facade and promotes Adam and Eve directly, with chapter titles like "The Science of Adam and Eve." What's next-- the Geology of Noahs' Flood, or the Neurology of Balaam's Talking Donkey?

The book was written by Casey Luskin, a creationist lawyer, and Douglas Axe and Ann Gauger. Axe and Gauger work for the Biologic Institute, the allegedly "experimental" arm of the pro-ID Discovery Institute, though its published experimental output has been modest by the standards of molecular biology labs. Axe and Gauger have modest publishing records, but can actually do simple molecular biology experiments, comparable to what would have been adequate in the 1980's, although to their target audience it looks like gee-whiz cuttin' edge science. (The creationist audience, frankly, is impressed by making hydrogen burn, if a fellow creationist lights the match.)

At first the creationists of the DI were furious that no evolutionist paid attention to their new book. Waah! Then they were furious because they got what they asked for: an evolutionist reviewed their book. Waah! Paul McBride, a blogger and grad. student in genetics in New Zealand, published a detailed five-part review of the new book, effectively trashing it by comparing it to scientific facts.

The creationists went ape-shit when they got what they asked for-- attention. Denyse O'Leary, the "journalist" who blogs as "News" at Uncommon Descent, implied that McBride was lying about Gauger's genetical arguments:
If the girl [Ann Gauger] is making some sense, they [McBride] have to make up something she didn’t say, so they don’t have to address what she did say. [O'Leary at UD]
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe "the girl" is pushing 60. Of course, O'Leary did not bother to read McBride's review before criticizing it.

At "Evolution News and Views", they unleased the Klinghoffer. David Klinghoffer is a mad non-scientist whose modus operandi is all ad hominems, all the time, and who (like most posters at ENV) never permits free comments that might cause him to be confronted with pesky facts.

Case in point here: Klinghoffer sneeringly calls McBride "Darwinist Hero of the Hour" without fear of contradiction. Then he insinuates the young reviewer never read the book:
"...scientists at reputable universities, shy from actually reading [ID] material... At best, they'll find someone else who claims to have read it and rely on his say-so..." [Klinghoffer, emphasis added]
Riight. Klinghoffer uses innuendo to suggest McBride only claimed to have read the book that McBride dissected in a five-part review that is 1/3 as long as the book itself. But the real Klinghoffer art, the genius, comes out here:
The reviewer, Paul McBride, writes about the book at his blog that no one before ever heard of...Together they [scientists] lift up the hitherto obscure McBride on their shoulders... [Klinghoffer, links in original]
I see what you did there! To get to McBride's blog, you have to click on the hyperlinked phrase "no one before ever heard of". Now that's classy-- that's the real Klinghoffer art.

Who needs a science degree when you have a doctorate in asshole?

Next he unleashes his inner Hans Landa:
"I find this suspicious."
I find zees zuspishus! Achtung! Stormtroopers, fire ze machine guns into ze floorboardz!
"They seem to be afraid of directly confronting ID arguments. Why would that be?"
Hm. Creationists like the DK seem to be afraid of confronting McBride's review. Why would that be?

Again: all of that DK's posts and most posts at ENV forbid comments. Consequently, Klinghoffer can, and does, write post after post that consist of nothing but infantile ad hominems, science-free, and need never be confronted with pesky contradicting facts.

(So what does McBride say that scares them so much? McBride highlighted critical scientific problems with every major claim made in the book, all of which were invalid. Briefly: there are huge numbers of studies of human genetic diversity that refute the creationist claims; there is just far too much genetic diversity among humans to permit us all to be descended from only Adam and Eve, even in the last 4 million years; and, as for the fossil record, creationist Luskin labored mightily to re-bury some transitional fossils, at least-- yet they keep poking annoyingly out of the ground. Some of the flaws McBride found in their work were disputed by Ann Gauger here and by Doug Axe here. McBride's response was that their responses do not address the facts that nullify their assertions.)

What Would Happen If Creationists Permitted Comments?

When the FaceBook page for the Biologic Institute made the mistake of opening comments, chaos broke loose. It is rare for any evolutionists to get a chance to directly confront creationists or IDologues anywhere on the Internet-- almost all creationist and ID websites have essentially closed comment policies. So many evolutionists are just itching to take a whack at them.

Thus at the BI's Facebook post, which pointed to Klinghoffer's promotion of Luskin et al.'s book, evolutionists began posting right in their faces comments full of pesky scientific facts that challenged Luskin's quote mining and fact-inventing.

Beware actually reading this Facebook thread now-- many commenters (including myself) were banned and all their comments deleted, so some of the back-and-forth now appears incoherent.

The remnants still there begin with a back-and-forth in which an anonymous moderator identified only as "Biologic Institute" loses very badly in an argument over the fossil record against evolutionist Nick Matzke. The creationist "Biologic Institute" tries to argue that there are gaps in the hominid fossil record, by quote-mining paleoanthropologist John Hawks from 2000.

Matzke smacks him down by citing the very scientist that "BI" himself cited as an authority-- John Hawks-- who says that genus Homo could be a direct descendent of Australopithecus, and Matzke conveniently gives us a link to Hawks' webpage on Homo habilis.

Losing badly infuriates the creationist "Biologic Institute", so he or she threatens to squash all discussion and run away.
BI: And you [Matzke] haven't given any evidence for your story either. "could well be due to" is not evidence. I am closing this discussion because we are talking past each other. Our responses will be posted separately at www.biologicinstitute.org.
Mathematician Jeff Shallit shows up to kvetch.
Shallit: You're closing the discussion because you're losing the argument badly, it seems to me.

BI: No, it's because I have other work to do, and these comments will be addressed in the other forum.

Shallit: ...where comments are not allowed.
[BI Facebook page]
Ooh snap!

It was at about this moment above-- when "Biologic Institute" was threatening to silence all discussion-- that Carl Zimmer, a science writer and author of Parasite Rex, wandered onto the BI's facebook page to ask this very easy, very simple question, in a seemingly harmless comment, that would send the ID train completely off the rails.

Biologic Institute vs. Zimmer: Can A Brother Get A Reference?

It was a very simple, very simple, easy, small, seemingly harmless, non-technical question that finally made all ID creationists everywhere go berserk.

Backstory: Carl Zimmer had been puzzled by a post at ENV by Klinghoffer, with the spooky, ooga booga title "A Veil is Drawn Over Our Origin as Human Beings." Wooooo! That's the kind of great old pseudo-science ooga booga, like "Ancient Aliens" or "In Search Of", real "Bermuda Triangle", old school 1970's ooga booga.

(Of course, scientifically, saying "A Veil is Drawn Over Our Origin as Human Beings" is like looking at a tree lying on its side in the forest and saying "A Veil is Drawn Over The Cause of the Tree's Horizontal Posture.")

Here DK is flogging Luskin et al.'s book, and he presents as a key argument of the book, their claims about human chromosome 2. Fact: humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes, several ape species have 24 pairs. Why? If humans evolved from apes, the simplest scenario is that two ape chromosomes got fused end to end.

Fact: human chromosome 2 looks coarsely like two ape chromosomes, fused end to end. Human chromosome 2 has two parts: one part has genes that are homologous with those on ape chromosomes 2a, arranged in the same order [synteny] as the ape chromosome 2a; and its second part has genes that are homologous with those on ape chromosomes 2b, syntenic [in the same order] with 2b. Normal chromosomes are capped with repeating DNA elements called telomeres, and human chromosome 2 has extra telomeric repeats in the middle, between the 2a-like-part and the 2b-like-part, where a fusion would have occurred if they were fused.

Evolutionists point to that as a testable prediction for evolutionary theory: if humans and apes are descended from common ancestors, and if the number of chromosome pairs differs by 1, there should be one human chromosome looking like a fusion of 2 ape chromosomes.

But Klinghoffer disputes this: instead of acknowledging that chromosomal structure supports the evolutionary interpretation, he instead insists the evidence contradicts it. We must be clear on what that DK wrote because the creationists try to take it back later, when it got challenged. DK wrote:
"But the idea of such an event [chromosome 2 fusion] having occurred at all is itself far from sure. The telomeric DNA parked in the middle of chromosome 2 is not a unique phenomenon... there's much less of it than you would expect from the amalgamation of two telomeres. Finally, it appears in a "degenerate," "highly diverged" form that should not be the case if the joining happened in the recent past, circa 6 million years ago, as the Darwinian interpretation holds." [Klinghoffer at ENV]
Let us be clear that DK's two points are:

1. The evidence is against the "Darwinian interpretation" that chromosome fusion happened, and
2. Thus it is "far from sure" that chromosome 2 fusion ever happened.

Both points would be silently revised later when the creationists were challenged.

Seeing that crap, Carl Zimmer wants to know where the words that DK put in quotes, "degenerate," "highly diverged", came from. But Klinghoffer's posts, like most at ENV, forbid comments.

So Zimmer posts his question at the BI's Facebook page, right at the moment when the moderator "BI" was threatening to ban all further comments.

Zimmer asked where the words "degenerate" and "highly diverged" came from. Who wrote them? Simple question, right? Who wrote those words. It's not something hard, like explain who created the Intelligent Designer. It's easy. Where did you get those words from?

Ironically, Zimmer's original comment asking this question, like many others, was deleted by the Biologic Institute, so you can't see it at their FB page now. Continuing with that thread:

Bob Bennett: "they plan to shut down the thread" is pretty much the main rhetorical strategy of ID I've noticed

BI: Nick, this is not the place for a substantive discussion. But we are open to have the discussion in another arena... many of your criticisms will be addressed in up-coming posts at Biologic's website and Evolution News and Views...

Zimmer: Where is a place for substantive discussion? You presented a link above to a site [Biologic Institute] that has no comment thread. The writer there [Klinghoffer] makes all sorts of puzzling claims with no evidence. For example, he claims that DNA that is evidence for chromosome fusion "appears in a 'degenerate,' 'highly diverged' form that should not be the case if the joining happened in the recent past, circa 6 million years ago, as the Darwinian interpretation holds." Where is the scientific evidence for this? Or is this merely the opinion of the author? If we can't ask these questions at the site you linked to, then why can't we find out here?
[BI Facebook page]
The "Biologic Institute" responds by saying the evidence is in the book, and that CZ should buy the book. This exasperates CZ, who points out that such an easy question, regarding references, can be easily and quickly answered, without the need to buy a whole book.

(The book was published by Biologic Institute Press, apparently their in-house publisher, so they're getting the profits from the sales.)

Zimmer also points out that when people ask him simple, easy questions about the many books he wrote, he just answers the question, without demanding people buy the book. So CZ pleads and begs, but no one at the Discovery Institute will describe the origin of the words they quoted about chromosome 2. CZ tries to shame them into telling him their source: he gets evasion and changing the subject.

Thus the evolutionist Paul McBride, who wrote the 5-part review of the book, looks up the citation and posts a comment with the citation in it, thus finally answering Zimmer's question.

Can you guess what happens next? "Biologic Institute" deleted McBride's comment that had the answer to the question in it. The presumed reason is that they set a 100-word limit on comments-- just short enough to prevent substantive science from getting in the way.

Our story so far: the Discovery Institute refuses to answer simple, easy questions about the origin of the "facts" claimed in their books. If an evolutionist answers the question, creationists delete that answer.

The creationist response grew increasingly surreal. Klinghoffer showed up, challenging Zimmer to debate the authors about the “facts” in the book whose origin or source no one at the DI could specify. Zimmer declined to debate about their "facts" of unspecified origin; CZ just wanted to know where the "facts" came from.

So I posted a comment at their Facebook page saying that I would debate them in Zimmer's stead, on two conditions:

1. All posts at "Evolution News & Views" will be open to comments forevermore. Freedom!
2. No word length limit.

I got this response: <crickets>

(The comment in which I offered to debate the creationists would later be deleted when they banned me.)

Predictably, that DK went off to the ENV website to crow victory: creationists had defeated evolutionists, because they challenged Zimmer to a debate and he turned them down. That proves evolutionists are cowards who run away from debates. Klinghoffer never mentioned me, and still didn't post the citation Zimmer originally asked for.

Of course, brave DK wrote this courageously at the ENV website which bravely forbids all comments, due to their sheer terror of scientific facts. So the Discovery Institute is metaphorically hurling random shit-balls over the top of a wall.

The creationists at "Biologic Institute" made several accusations that none of the critics had read the book. So I read the book-- right there on Facebook-- and right on their own Facebook page, I wrote a detailed review of Chapter 4 (the chapter about chromosomal fusion and genetics) complete with scientific references and citations-- all that in perhaps ~100 comments, each less than 100 words (because the DI enforced a 100-word limit on evolutionist comments.)

Klinghoffer then posted at ENV announcing that still no “Darwinists” had read Luskin’s book, except McBride, so all “Darwinists” were criticizing that which they had not read. He wrote that after I had demolished every page in chapter 4, dissecting Luskin’s “figures” and citations, logic, etc. That DK implicitly accused me of having not read the book, from which I had provided page numbers, Luskin quotes, etc. and posted them on their own FB page.

Instead the Biologic Institute banned me from their Facebook, and deleted all my comments with scientific references and citations. (I saved them to my own files.) They banned several other people, including Doc Bill and Rando.

When I first got banned, no reason was given. When other commenters complained, they gave the reason that I was "uncivil."
Biologic Institue: "Insults are removed. Not genuine, civil discussion on the scientific argument. BTW, all posts over 100 words are deleted, friendly or unfriendly."
 Really? Let's take a look at my last comment before they banned me, and you be the judge whether I was "uncivil." I was satirizing Klinghoffer's "A Veil Is Drawn" ooga booga post at ENV.
"A veil is drawn across the origin of the "facts" claimed by Luskin, Axe & Gauger in their book. From what source did the "facts" claimed by Intelligent Design proponents originate? Mankind may never know."
Guess they can't handle satire, so they banned me, and deleted all my comments. The trouble here is that for creationists, facts are "uncivil."

At this point I began to suspect that "Biologic Institute" was in fact David Klinghoffer.

ID proponents consider facts to be insults (which I guess they are in a way, because actual facts reveal how mendacious they are with the quote mines and dishonest paraphrases of sources), and they consider insults to be facts, which is why so many of their posts consist of nothing but ad hominems: as we see in the many posts of Klinghoffer, Denyse O'Leary and Cornelius Hunter.

And now, Cornelius Hunter. Creationist Dr. Cornelius got into the "Zimmer asked a question-- attack him!" bandwagon, accusing Zimmer of being a liar and criminal, in a blog post called "Carl Zimmer Doubles Down on Chromosome Two Lies and Misdemeanors." It is an execrable piece of writing, devoid of science, like much from Dr. Cornelius. 

Zimmer asked a simple question which no creationist dared answer. Dr. Cornelius dared not answer Zimmer's simple, simple question. Klinghoffer's and Luskin's sources must be concealed, no matter what. Dr. Cornelius durst not reveal their sources. They're like King Solomon's diamond mines.

Instead, Dr. Cornlius accuses Zimmer of lying because
"...he [Zimmer] demanded that skeptics of the chromosome two argument show why the evolutionary fusion hypothesis is not possible...Of course no such claim was made." [Cornelius Hunter]
Bullshit, Dr. Cornelius. Here's what Klinghoffer wrote:
"...there's much less of [telomeric DNA in the middle of chromosome 2] than you would expect from the amalgamation of two telomeres. Finally, it appears in a "degenerate," "highly diverged" form that should not be the case if the joining happened in the recent past, circa 6 million years ago, as the Darwinian interpretation holds." [Klinghoffer at ENV]
Klinghoffer clearly states that the evidence means chromosomal fusion could not have happened --not that chromosomal fusions never happen, but that it could not have happened in chromosome 2 in the last 6 million years-- because 1. there is not enough telomeric DNA, and 2. because it is supposedly "degenerate" and "highly diverged." Klinghoffer says the evidence precludes chromosomal fusion.

Such a claim was made, and Dr. Cornelius is bullshitting his audience again. (To give Dr. Cornelius credit, he's the only ID proponent with an open commenting policy, unlike all the other Stalinists.) The rest of Dr. Cornelius' long, dreary post had no science in it-- just the usual psychoanalysis, where Dr. Cornelius changes the subject from genetics (inconvenient for them!) to armchair psychoanalysis of the motivations of those darn atheist Darwinists. Intelligent Design is not a competitor of Darwinism, it's a competitor of Freudianism-- call it Fraudian psychoanalysis. Impugning people's motives they can do. Copy a citation? Nah.

Five days of insults, accusations and personal attacks were directed at Zimmer, and people were banned and comments were deleted left and right, but no creationist would reveal Luskin's sources!

Finally Klinghoffer (indirectly) revealed Luskin's sources. He copied into a post at ENV about one page from Luskin et al.'s book, which indirectly referenced Luskin's sources (no bibiliography page, alas).This was enough for Zimmer to deduce them.

Thus Zimmer was finally able to compare what the sources said to what Luskin and Klinghoffer said they said. And now we see why their sources had to be concealed like King Solomon's diamond mines.

In a long and marvelous blog post, Zimmer showed Luskin's sources on the chromosome 2 telomeric repeats do not say what Luskin said they say. Luskin's dishonesty was frankly exposed... certainly not the first time.

Luskin's worst tricks involve his misrepresentation of this 2002 paper by Yuxin Fan et al. Luskin presents the paper as having evidence against the fusion of human chromosome 2 in the eyes of its authors, when the authors in fact present evidence pointing to the opposite conclusion. Luskin employs several tricks to misrepresent Yuxin Fan et al., but I will direct you to Carl Zimmer's blog post which exposes Luskin's dishonesty quite neatly.

I will add this to Zimmer's points: Luskin cites Fairbanks' book Relics of Eden, which in fact says
"Of the 158 [telomeric] repeats, 44 are perfect copies of TTAGG or CCTAA. In most cases, the remaining repeats differ from the standard sequence by no more than one or two base pairs."
But Luskin in his book writes this as:
As evolutionary biologist Daniel Fairbanks admits, the location only has 158 repeats, and only “44 are perfect copies” of the sequence. [Luskin et al., Science and Human Origins, pp. 95-96, emphasis added]
Note how cunningly Luskin inserts his word "only", not in the original, to imply that this number is too low, thus challenging evolution. His source did not say 44 is too low-- this is Luskin's invention.

There are many other tricks employed by the quote miner, neatly dispatched by Zimmer above.

Of course the creationists did not admit defeat. Au contraire, Luskin doubled down. He attempted to defend his quote-mining in this response to Zimmer, where he digs himself in a deeper hole-- adding more examples to the list of his dishonest paraphrases of sources, again claiming they said things they did not say.

At Carl Zimmer's blog I wrote a long comment dissecting Luskin's doubling down on dishonest quote mines in Luskin's latest response.

Conclusion

Complete victory for science and reason. Defeat, humiliation and ingnominy for the forces of superstition and endarkelment. Shame on you-- shame. Let us now assign credit to the heroes.

First, Paul McBride for writing a detailed review of Luskin's book.

Second, Carl Zimmer for looking up Luskin's and Klinghoffer's sources and comparing the sources to their words thus exposing their dishonesty.

Third, Nick Matzke for kicking the tail of "Biologic Institute" so badly that they threatened to silence all discussion.

Let us assign ignominy to the hissable villains.

First, Casey Luskin. It is exhausting to battle his life-long addiction to quote mines. It is time for his family to arrange an intervention, to sit him down and say, "Casey, this has gone on for years. You must stop quote mining. You must go cold turkey. Just stop."

Casey, do you think dishonest quote mining leads to new scientific discoveries? Can you cure diseases with your quote mines?

Second, David Klinghoffer, who defends quote mining, blames Darwin for Christian evils like Nazism and slavery, and has nothing to offer but ad hominems, while never permitting comments on his posts. It isn't just that he has nothing to offer but ad hominems-- it's that he accuses scientists of cowardice and of running from a fight-- while Klinghoffer himself never permits comments on his posts. Scientists would love to take a whack at that DK if he ever opened comments. He just throws random shit-balls over the wall while hiding at ENV. This is cowardly behavior. Klinghoffer is the ultimate juvenile feline.

Third, Cornelius Hunter. His blog posts are science-free; now they're just about armchair psychoanalysis. He didn't even read Klinghoffer's post before defending it.

Without ad hominems and quote mines, creationist ID proponents have nothing. Nothing.