Good old Terry Hurlbut is at it again. I’m actually glad he’s sort of cut his ties with Conservapedia – besides using them to advertise is posts on his own modestly named “Conservative News and Views” blog – and I hope he does become more prominent in the mainstream Creationist movement (if such a thing exists). No really, I do – what with Hovind being in jail (for fraud) and Ham busy raising money (for his Ark theme park), there’s definitely an opening for a new crazy on the block.
And let’s face it, Terry Hurlbut fits that mould perfectly. This is a man (a medical doctor, I should add – although I wouldn’t let him near me with a tongue depressor) who really does believe the strangest stuff in order to convince himself that the world is only 6,000 years old. The really strange stuff comes with astronomy and his belief in the Great Flood. I’ve discussed some of his stranger outpourings in a previous post, but don’t think for a minute that this is some harmless crank. Ok, he is a harmless crank, but he has some very definite views about what life would be like, if creationists controlled science. Take medicine for example – and this coming from a doctor:
Medicine would abandon its hubristic seeking after “designer drugs,” its careless disregard of the possible functions of various organs (like the vermiform appendix), and its almost willful ignorance of the role of diet in human health (and animal husbandry). Creationism would reinforce the notion that mankind, and for that matter every animal, is specifically designed to use certain foodstuffs that are, in turn, specifically designed to serve as good, healthful food. Such a society would necessarily abandon the modern Western diet and rediscover the health-maintaining practices that the Bible mentions (and that are still current, in only slightly modified form, in the Middle East, and especially in Israel).
As PZ Myers so eloquently put it: “Oh, right. Let’s get back to the standards of health care of Palestine in the 1st century AD.” Terry also has views on what creationists would do to geology. Now, given his points later on, what he says here is important:
Geology would return to its pre-Lyell (i.e. continental drift is a liberal myth) understanding. The result might, perhaps, lead to improved fossil-fuel exploration, and would be more likely to lead to improvements in prospecting for uranium, thorium, and other radioactive minerals. The realization that radioactive elements on earth had their origins in a spate of ultra-high-magnitude earthquakes might lead to an investigation of whether more radioactive materials might suddenly become “discoverable” near the epicenters of any future magnitude-eight or stronger earthquakes.
The emphasis is mine.
In my previous post, I mentioned how Terry quite happily mentioned that dinosaurs survived the Flood, because Noah took them on to the ark and that they live happily amongst us today. Or as he put it,“We’ve got a pod of [dinosaurs] in Lake Champlain, Vermont, and the Canadians have them in Lake Okanagan, BC. There was a pod of them in Loch Ness, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re all dead by now, because that lake is so disgustingly polluted.“ This is by no means a new thing for our Terry, as he’s raised the issue several times in his blog. Here are a few examples:
- Possible live dinosaur photographed anew in England
- Loch Ness creatures might be dying out
- Lake Champlain might harbor a plesiosaur
- Lake Okanagan and its strange creatures
- Live dinosaurs more recent than appreciated
He also seems to think that the discovery of a living dinosaur would be the final nail in evolution’s coffin, because it would prove beyond all doubt that creationism is right. I mean, if scientists were to discover a living fossil, why they’d just throw up their arms in despair and give up and become Baptist preachers. You know, just like they did when the coelacanth was discovered… oh… wait…
Anyway, after a bunch of commentators on his blog all went O.O and “WTF?!” Terry promised to provide more laughs… er… I mean information of his living dinosaurs theory in a later post. And true to his word the man has delivered. He posts yet another article, which is along the lines of “Somebody filmed something strange off the Alaskan coast, therefore this is proof that a pod of dinosaurs is living there.”
Terry’s on about Caddy. which is most likely to be an oarfish. But to him it’s PROOF that dinosaurs live amongst us and therefore evolution is a lie and creationism is the One True Belief.
His post is full of bizarre comments, such as:
This last part led one commenter to say that this creature is a common bottle-nosed dolphin—in short, a whale.
I wish I was kidding. In Terry’s world, dolphins are, in short (pun intended) a whale. It’s also funny where Terry gets to the section about what Caddy may be. In his mind there’s only one option – “Cadborosaurus is most likely a plesiosaur. Pods of plesiosaurs seem to live in Lake Champlain (Vermont and Quebec), Lake Okanagan (British Columbia), Lake Windemere (England), and Loch Ness (Scotland).“ However, he seems convinced that Loch Ness is horribly polluted, which would have resulted in the Nessies dying out.
Of course, where it gets really fun, is when Terry has to face up to the real world intruding into his column by way of the comments section. Full marks to Terry for leaving it open, although his replying to his detractors could do with some work. It’s one thing to spout nonsense, you should at least be able to defend it. Unfortunately, Terry fails rather miserably at this point.
For example, when somebody points out that some of the “evidence” used in the video Terry posted is the so-called “Doctor’s photo” of Nessie, which has since been proven to be a hoax, Terry’s first response is “I admit no such thing as you accuse, about the Loch Ness creature not being real.“ This is a clear comprehension fail because the original comment was “…there is reference to the pictures of the Loch Ness Monster, which are an admitted hoax.” When his error is pointed out, he replies, “That goes to show only that one man exhibited a retouched photograph.” Yes, Terry, but it’s a retouched photograph that you’re using to push your theory.
On the subject of theories, it seems Terry’s a fan of the conspiracy variety, as evidenced by his ominous “It’s time you changed your assumptions about what is legitimate, and what is not” reply, when a poster questioned the legitimacy of his theory and he immediately hints that the evil mainstream media would suppress any news of this finding – presumably because they don’t want scientists to turn into Baptist preachers.
It’s when talk turned to the ark itself, that things really get fun. Terry’s response to a request for proof that Noah did take two of every animal into the ark, is the typical “Where is your proof that it didn’t happen?” but then he goes on to make a rather startling claim:
Noah brought specimens of every land animal on board, and every flying animal. He didn’t have to bring the swimmers on board.
Now I’m not religious, but – unlike many fundies, I’ll wager, I have read the Bible and it seems as if God was pretty clear, both on what was going to die and what Noah had to take on board.
From Genesis 6:17 we get:
And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.
Now, you could argue that “the breath of life” indicates lungs and therefore excludes fish, but whales and dolphins and plesiosaurs have (and had) lungs, and therefore would appear to be on God’s hit list.
In addition, from Genesis 6:19 we get:
And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female.
“Every living thing of all flesh” – now, maybe I’m wrong, but that would include swimmers in my book. Of course, where the Bible disagrees with a fundie, the fundie must be right, because only they really know what God meant. It’s thinking like this that gives rise to abominations like racist bigot Andrew Schlafly’s Conservative Bible.
And let’s just say Terry is right, and the swimmers were left in the water, along, presumably with ducks and turtles and starfish, etc, etc. Well how on earth could they have survived the waves of pressure in the water, as the crust collapsed with enough pressure to fling water at the moon, resulting in the craters there, not to mention the rapid temperature changes. On top of that, they had to contend with the Earth becoming one giant nuclear reactor. But don’t take my word for it. Remember the underlined bits above? Well, add to that the following gem from Terry:
Radiation, from the formation of radioactive elements in the earth’s crust (from the magnitude-10-to-12 earthquakes attendant on the Flood) and the “cluster decay” of those elements into carbon-14 and other such poisons, diminished the life span of man by ninety percent, and in a hurry.
No fishermen survived, because the seas were too violent for that. Noah’s Ark was the only ship that could survive.
So, the radiation was strong enough to fundamentally damage Noah and his family’s genes, thus reducing their lifespan, as well as wipe out the other fishermen (by the way, wouldn’t Noah’s big-ass boat be just as likely to crack between the troughs of waves as the little fishing boats were like to be swamped?) but all the swimmers that were in the sea, escaped unharmed. Amazing! I have raised these questions in the comments section of Terry’s post. Sadly, no coherent reply yet.