It never fails to amaze me when I consider the hoops and twists creationists put themselves through in order to cling to their bizarre belief system. A couple of hundred years ago it was perfectly fine to say “God made everything just after tea-time on a nice October day in 4004 BC,” and drag anybody who went “erm…” off to a nice barbecue. Well, nice unless you were the person who went “erm”, of course.
Then came pesky atheist science, and those who clung to their Medieval beliefs (ironically whilst enjoying the benefits of electricity, medicine and computers) were faced with a dilemma: either face reality, or make up an immense amount of utter crap, in order to twist reality to suit their needs.
They chose the latter and thus was born the cult of Creationism – home of crooks like Hovind and shysters like Ham and the generally insane, like Terry Hurlbut and Richard Kent – the latter the “mind” behind the incredible exploding nostrils theory. I call it a cult because it seems that its followers deem it more important to prove that the Earth is only 6,000 years old, than to state that it was created by the Great Green Arkleseizure. They’re also fortunate in that they have the Flood myth to cling to, like a holy grail, because anything and everything can be explained away by the flood – from the craters on the moon, to continental drift, to how excess carbon-14 conveniently skews any dating attempts.
As Dr. Terry Hurlbut (a medical doctor I wouldn’t let near me with a tongue depressor) so handily phrases his source for all the carbon-14:
The Global Flood produced earthquakes of incalculable magnitude, enough to generate tremendous piezoelectrical potentials and essentially turn the earth into a fast-breeding nuclear reactor. Those earthquakes produced something else: significant quantities of very heavy transuranic elements, and other nuclides with an excess of neutrons. That many of these nuclides also produced carbon-14 from cluster decay is only reasonable to assume.
You have to remember that sitting on top of these incalculable earthquakes and worldwide nuclear reactor, with radiation levels a million times greater than they are today (according to the RATE Project) was a little wooden boat, apparently carrying a few people and some animals. And yet all that happened to them, was that their genes were a little fried, which means that we don’t live for 900 years today – well, according to Terry anyway. Thanks Noah! Would it have killed you to add a little lead sheeting?
There’s actually an interesting aside to this. From 1997 onwards, the Institute of Creation Research put a team of their “scientists” to work on the RATE Project – which set out to investigate the validity of radioisotope dating of rocks. Given that they were coming from the preconceived notion that the Earth is 6,000 years old and the rocks say otherwise, you can sort of guess what their findings would say. However, they found some rather interesting problems with the “Earth as nuclear reactor” solution – as you might know, thermal energy from radioactive processes is a major source of heat in the earth. Now, if you accelerate that process, you’d generate enough energy to evaporate the Earth… unless you had a friendly God handy. Or as the RATE Project put it:
The removal of heat was so rapid that it likely involved a process other than conduction, convection, or radiation … We believe it may be possible to discover how God did it (p. 763). Future research is suggested along the lines of Russell Humphreys’ idea of volumetric cooling based on relativistic principles even though this known phenomenon, the basis for red-shifting of starlight, does not apply to bound particles such as the earth. It is acknowledged that this approach, even if it were valid, has the difficulty of being uniform rather than selective as would be needed to cool only radioactive material and not, for example, the oceans.
In other words, the authors acknowledge that accelerated decay requires a most unusual heat removal mechanism that is outside the known laws of thermodynamics. When faced with such rank stupidity, it’s little wonder that their own are turning on them, with Answers in Creation accusing them of deception.
But I digress.
I was just partaking of some scene-setting for Terry Hurlbut’s latest post, in which he foams at the mouth because scientists DARE to speculate about extra-terrestrial life. I’m a little surprised that Terry doesn’t believe in aliens, seeing as I’ve already mentioned his belief that dinosaurs walk amongst us.
However, I’m not entirely sure if Terry does actually believe there are monsters in Lake Champion any more than he believes Noah spent a year bobbing around on top of Chernobyl’s big, big, BIG brother. It’s just stuff he has to believe, in order to fit the creationist world view. After all, everybody knows big ass dinosaurs were wandering around once upon a time, but where did they all go? Seeing as the Bible doesn’t mention the K/T extinction event, they have to go for the next best thing – the Flood. But seeing as Noah took two of every animal on board, dinosaurs must have survived! Although Terry did slip up by saying that Noah wouldn’t have to take swimmers on board. No, they could swim through the super-heated, massively radioactive water, until things returned to normal. Then again… that could explain the angler fish. Tell me God wasn’t having a bad day when She made that… AND it glows in the dark! Proof!
So it’s quite possible for the Loch Ness monster to exist for Terry – in fact, it’s necessary, because it proves the Creation. And he knows that they do exist – whole pods of them, in fact – because there have been a couple of scattered sightings and some dodgy photographs. Then again, we’re talking about somebody who bases his entire belief system some guy that nobody has ever seen, so his criteria for what constitutes “evidence” are probably pretty flawed.
One thing that can’t exist, however, is aliens. You see, the Bible doesn’t mention them – Ezekiel’s Magic Wheel notwithstanding – therefore they don’t exist. Nope, God created this big, huge, massive universe, solely for us. If that’s the case, then frankly, She did a crappy job – sticking us out on the arm of a fairly insignificant galaxy, orbiting a puny little star. If it is just us, and we’re here for the sole purpose of worshipping God, then one would think that the least that monomaniacal bitch could do, is give us a sky filled with gas giants, auroras all over the place and a nice purple hue to the air. Is that too much to ask?
Terry is also one of those who descends into spluttering indignation when those pesky scientists do something that conflict with his beliefs. In this case, three scientists have published a paper entitled “Would Contact with Extraterrestrials Benefit or Harm Humanity”, which Terry – full of righteous indignation – calls “a national disgrace.” He also pins the blame firmly on NASA – that nasty, God hating, Obama loving bunch of commies. He even speculates “Why is an agency of the United States government seriously worrying about armed extraterrestrial intervention in human affairs?” The reason for this, is one of the 3 authors of the paper, Shawn D. Domagal-Goldman, works for NASA’s Planetary Science Division. The other two authors, are both based at Pennsylvania State University, but that doesn’t register on Terry’s radar. In addition, the paper was published in Acta Astronautica, which is described as a journal of the International Academy of Astronautics, which publishes “original contributions in all fields of basic, engineering, life and social space sciences and of space tech.”
Now personally, I don’t think it’s such a bad idea. If we’re searching for life, shouldn’t we at least have an idea of what to do if we turn up something nasty. It’s a bit like the Aztecs having a plan to deal with “strange bearded pale people, carrying diseases, thunder sticks and worshipping a false god, who arrive from across the sea.”
However, Terry’s indignation isn’t because of somebody wasting his tax dollars writing academic papers. No, it’s because – once again – somebody is going after his God. As Terry puts it:
Extraterrestrial civilization, especially when “advanced,” is a God-substitute. When men forget God, they always look for a substitute. The uber-modernists of the Sixties substituted “modern science” or “future science.” Postmodernists doubt that now, and look for other things. Like extraterrestrial civilizations.
Yup – Terry rejects this out of hand, because it’s a substitute for God. This isn’t based on fact, merely Terry’s opinion. Then again, fundies are big on forcing their opinions on others.
He goes on to rant:
An agency of the United States government is actually worrying about an event that can never happen. And they are doing it with taxpayers’ money (one author’s salary, plus the research grant). This would be funny were it not so sad. NASA began with a mission to show a potential enemy that the United States could, at need, build a low-earth-orbital strategic bomber. It continued with an exploration program to rival that of Christopher Columbus. Now we see it speculating vainly about a visit from afar. It cannot even make up its mind whether these “Visitors” would intend good or evil.
Terry, there’s no easy way to say this:
You are a hysterical, lying, cocksucker. Nowhere in the paper, is the research ascribed to NASA, outside one of the authors being a NASA employee. It’s also hysterical to see that NASA is just fine when it’s showing “the enemy” that the good ol’ USA can develop a low-earth-orbital bomber to sow death and destruction, but DAMN THEM if the “Aeronautics and Space Administration” actually start pondering about space. Typical Christian fundie – bombs good, science bad.
In addition, going by Terry’s own standards of what constitutes evidence, I think I can say, without any shadow of a doubt that aliens exist and have visited earth. I’ve seen the pictures, so it must be true. And therefore probably refutes the Creation. In fact, here’s one for Terry:
However, in closing, I must agree with one thing Terry said. It probably will never happen. This wonderful universe of ours is simply too vast – the distances between us and our neighbours are eye-watering in their scope.
Which makes his assertion that we’re alone, because his god says so, even more idiotic.