I went to the institute for creation research website (icr.org) to see if they still have a radio program and apparently they’re now heavily attacking evolution and repeating a lot of the same old myths and misconceptions (and apparently they no longer allow people to call in, which explains how they‘re able to do so). They have a link to a website with a series of slick, polished, professionally made ads promoting various claims about the bible, creationism and evolution called “That’s a fact”. The videos ironically contain many false claims. I thought I’d elaborate on a few.
This one seems to be just meant to inspire fear of god, it explains that we can’t outrun natural disasters because tsunamis travel at 600 miles per hour. In reality what travels that fast is only the pressure wave under a thousand feet or so of water, mostly due to the relatively incompressible nature of water which translates the energy of earthquake vibrations under the ocean extremely efficiently, especially at great depths where the water is under high pressure. When that pressure wave reaches shallow water and forms the actual wave (tsunami) it slows down to the speed of a leisurely drive to work. For instance here is a video of someone surfing a tsunami wave – according to this creationist video the surfer should be traveling roughly the speed of a slow moving bullet. Is he, or is the “institute for creation research” really bad at research? You decide.
This one claims that the fact that soup gets cold and cars break down disproves evolution somehow, and the video vaguely alludes that this has something to do with the second law of thermodynamics. The video avoids the flaws with this long debunked claim that the second law contradicts evolution by simply not stating what the second law is or how it contradicts evolution and just implying everything vaguely. It says instead that the second law is “what scientists use to describe” things that break down and that the second law makes “some scientists” doubt that evolution can improve anything. What the second law actually is is the observation that in an isolated system all things tend to break down into simpler forms. An isolated system is a system with no energy being fed into it, which in other words means that you need energy in order to build complexity. In biological terms a baby needs food in order to grow, and without food (energy) it will not gain complexity overall. If the creationist interpretation of the second law (that building up complexity violates the laws of physics) were accurate and true it would make not just evolution impossible but all life and complexity. Building a car in the first place would be impossible.
The video then claims that entropy and decay make perfect sense from a christian point of view because of the fall of eve (and has a picture of an apple rotting). This is stupid because an apple doesn’t rot because of entropy, it rots because it’s being actively eaten by bacteria which are using it’s energy to build up complexity. And the bacteria that decompose a dead person’s body also actively digest our food. Entropy, bacteria etc isn’t a drain on the universe, it’s part of what makes t he universe work the way it does.
This one is just silly. It attempts to rationalize the existence of specialized teeth in carnivores by simply ignoring them and pretending everything is a herbivore or an omnivore. I learned in like 4th grade (in a catholic school) that omnivores (that eat both meat and vegetables) have teeth for both cutting/tearing and grinding, like your front (cutting) and back (grinding) teeth. Whereas a herbivore has only grinding teeth:
and this fella:
Ain’t eating a lot of veggies.
But according to the video, animals like crocodiles use their sharp teeth to open walnuts and coconuts, lol. I’m not kidding, they actually say this.
The video also suggests that the fact that eating too much meat is bad for you supports the bible because god’s “original plan” was not to eat meat and that god only gave us “permission” to eat meat after the flood. Setting aside the theological implications of a perfect god who has to go with plan B, and the total absence of any kind of evidence that this historically took place and the fact that I don’t think the bible even says this, setting all of that aside, eating too much meat is bad for you but eating too much of anything is bad for you. The reason we generally can’t eat “too much” of most vegetables (the ones that aren’t toxic that is) is simply because they’re almost entirely made up of water. If a steak was 80% water we could fill up on steak every day and not get fat too. Also the fact that we cook meat which breaks down the nutrients into fats, which is good if you’re living in a hut somewhere and might starve, but bad if you sit around eating all day.
“So again, is the institute for creation “research” doing it’s research? Or are they just acting like they have in the hopes that you won’t?”
This one claims that the genesis flood story was passed on by many cultures. It leads with the legend of the native american Hualapai tribe which according to the video has an account of a global flood that includes “an old man similar to noah, as well as a dove”.
I looked up their flood story, tell me if you think they’re telling the same story:
“The Hualapais say that it was one of theircultural heroes, Pack-i-tha-a-wi, who made the Grand Canyon. There had been abig flood, and the earth was covered with water. No one could stir butPack-i-tha-a-wi, and he went forth carrying a big knife he had prepared offlint, and a large, heavy, wooden club. He struck the knife deep into thewater-covered ground and then smote it deeper and deeper with his club. Hemoved it back and forth as he struck it further into the earth, until thecanyon was formed through which all the water rushed out into the Sea ofthe Sunset. Then, as the sun shone, the ground became hard and solid, as we find it to-day.“
The video goes on to say that many other cultures have stories involving a flood, and most of them say that some people survived in boats, and this proves the global flood really happened. Ignoring that floods are common and early people who didn’t have water pumped to their houses had to live on or near flood planes so their villages were routinely washed out to sea so it makes sense many cultures would have stories involving floods the same way every culture has stories about sex, death and other universal things – ignoring that, OF COURSE these myths will all say that some people survived, and OF COURSE these myths will often mention boats as a means of survival, that’s the only way the myth works. You can’t sit around the campfire telling how every last person drowned to death once without somebody saying “I call bullshit, how are we alive? And if everybody died how do you know it happened?” Then the next time they tell the story they say some people survived and passed on the legend.
The video then claims that because some parts of the world were once under water this proves there was a global flood – the reality is that none of the geological evidence is consistent with that, we find whale fossils in the desert and fish fossils on mountain tops which proves they were once under water, but we don’t find these things on the same layers which would have to be the case if they were all under water at the same time. The reality is that mountains and continents are pushed out of the ocean by tectonic activity and we can measure the rates at which mountains, continents and islands are growing out of or shrinking into the ocean (don’t worry, they’re very slow).
So again, is ICR doing their research, or trying to prevent you from doing yours?
This one is particularly sleazy. It says that while bacteria evolve and gain new traits like the ability to resist antibiotics and other drugs, they aren’t really “evolving” because scientific studies have proven that they’re still bacteria, and the text description says they haven’t evolved because they’re not a new “species” of bacteria. The sleazy part is two-fold – one they pretend this is something that scientists have proven through experimentation as though this were something worth actually testing (when it’s really scientifically incoherent) and that science is somehow on their side, and two, they pretend it matters at all. Bacteria isn’t a species, it’s one of the three categories all living things on the planet fit into.
This is the family tree of all life – there are all different kinds of bacteria just like there are all different kind of eukaryotes (multi-cellular organisms). The claim that scientists bred thousands of generations of e-coli and found that they were “still e-coli” is bullshit, not only was that not what they were testing for, but there is no absolute definition of species and the concept of species doesn’t even apply to bacteria which reproduce asexually and have no definable lineage. Two dogs are a part of the same species because they can breed with each other sexually, bacteria don’t have sex, they swap DNA randomly in patterns that cannot be traced. As somebody once described it it’s like if you went swimming in a pool and drank some water and now you’ve got eyes that are a different color. “Bacteria” is the broadest grouping of single-celled life and any group that evolves from bacteria is still considered bacteria no matter how much it changes because the term defines it’s lineage as much as it’s nature, the same way that if you’re born with six fingers on one hand you’re still considered biologically human because you are descended from humans. This is just pseudoscientific bullshit.
I saved the worst for last. This one starts out talking about plastic surgery for no reason and segues into the age of the earth and says that “scientists” tell us we will grow old some day but that “some believe” the earth “formed spontaneously and quite accidentally from the big bang”. First of all the planet did not form from the big bang any more than the twin towers were knocked down by the oklahoma city bombing. They’re two events which, while they coincide in the same universe are more or less unrelated. And yes the formation of the round earth from molten rock was spontaneous and “accidental” the same way any liquid forms a ball “spontaneously and accidentally” in zero gravity. If you want to know how the mountains and rivers and so on formed it’s more complicated but I guarantee you it is the result of spontaneous, blind forces.
Then they say the crap about carbon-14 in diamonds. The carbon-14 isn’t in the diamond, it’s in trace amounts in all air on the planet and the test to see what is in a diamond requires burning a diamond (which requires oxygen) and so the trace materials in the oxygen you use to combust the sample shown up in the test results. It’s contamination of the sample made necessary by the way the test is done. Honest technicians and scientists acknowledge it for what it is, dishonest creationists present it as something else.
Then they repeat the claim about dinosaur blood cells and “squishy” tissue which has shown to be fossilized and contain no DNA (the earliest fossilized cells date back to 3.4 billion years ago, fossilized cells is nothing new) and the elastic feel of the “tissue” has been attributed to fossil contamination from younger fossilized slime.
They then say that spiral galaxies and “blue stars” can only be seen if those formations are young – no rhyme or reason or logic is given to support this random statement. The actual facts are that “blue stars” are very large and therefore yes have to be relatively young, though by “young” they have to be in the order of millions of years old, rather than stars like ours which are billions of years old. This is irrelevant however because we witness star formation in telescopes all the time, so this argument is like saying kittens only live a few years so this kitten proves the universe is only a few years old:
The kitten is praying you don’t fall for that bad logic.
As for spiral galaxies having to be “young” to be observed and this proving the universe is young, I honestly haven’t the faintest idea what they’re talking about. The nearest spiral galaxy to ours is the andromeda galaxy and it’s 2.5 million light-years away, which means we’re seeing it as it existed 2.5 million years ago (since that’s how long it takes the light to get here). And how a galaxy could even form in a few thousand years is beyond me since just one complete “swirl” of our milky way galaxy takes around 250 million years. Think about it, for the earth to go around the sun once takes 12 months, for the solar system to go around the entire galaxy takes much, much longer. If you were traveling from one end of the galaxy to another at the speed of light (the fastest it is possible to travel) it would take you about a hundred thousand years to get to the other side. So the idea of galaxies just swooshing together quickly is just stupid.
I might do more later if I feel like it. Rec if you think the institute for creation “research” is full of shit. Or if you liked the science content. Or if you’re just nice : )