Ark Park disinvites Daniel Phelps

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Several weeks ago we reported that Daniel Phelps had received a “Dear Danny” letter from Ken Ham and the Ark Park. You may have noticed that on the third page of the letter, “Danny” was specifically invited to “join Ken Ham and other leaders of the Ark Encounter project … for one of two special events on either October 4 or 5, 2013.” Alas, poor Danny received a very terse letter, which says in its entirety

[Update, October 4, 2014. Earlier today I received a press release, which I summarize in the 17th comment below, dated today at 3:15 pm.]

Mr. Phelps,

Your request to attend the AiG supporters event on Oct. 4 and 5 is declined.

Joe Boone

Not even the courtesy of a proper greeting (Dear Mr. Phelps) or a complimentary close; does no one teach these people how to write a proper letter? It is no wonder they cannot raise sufficient money and have to hornswoggle the city of Williamstown.

Meanwhile, today NPR carried a short piece devoted to several so-called Arks. I was most amused by the ninny who compared Noah’s Ark with climate change – does he really think that climate change causes earthquakes and tsunamis? I am afraid the answer is “yes.” I suppose we should be grateful, on the other hand, that he accepts the reality of climate change.

Mike Zovath of Ken Ham’s Ark Park was interviewed for the report and noted that Noah and his crew had to “deal with 12 million tons of waste every day.” How would they have dealt with it? “‘Very, very carefully I think,’ Zovath says. ‘I’m not sure how they did that.’” Not sure how they did that?! What he means is that he has not the foggiest idea, and the Ark Park is a monumental scam.

59 Comments

his crew had to “deal with 12 million tons of waste every day.” How would they have dealt with it? “‘Very, very carefully I think,’ Zovath says. ‘I’m not sure how they did that.’”

Not a problem for the Ark Park, anyway.

They’ll just sell it as creation science.

Glen Davidson

Butt weight, just where did they get the figure 12 million tons of waste every day? Then does that mean 12 million tons of intake were consumed every day to produce that outflow?

DavidK said:

Butt weight, just where did they get the figure 12 million tons of waste every day? Then does that mean 12 million tons of intake were consumed every day to produce that outflow?

It’d almost certainly have to be more than 12 million tons. 12 tons of waste that the animals didn’t absorb + the stuff they did absorb. Some critters eat dung, but probably not enough to balance it all out.

Yet another thing about this whole “Ark” business that doesn’t pass the sniff test.

Whenever creationists open their mouths on such subjects, all sorts of humorous pictures come to mind.

A few months ago we already calculated the amount of energy per second, per square meter being deposited by the flood if the waters came from “the canopy.” That worked out to be something like 1.6 x 108 watts per square meter, or about 400 megatons of TNT going off every second over every square meter of the Earth’s surface.

Now we have the waste disposal issue going on in the midst of all that energy deposition.

If the ark was 450 ft x 75 ft x 45 ft (137 m by 23 m by 14 m) and was completely filled with water which has a density of 1000 kg per cubic meter, then the mass of a boatload of water would be about 4.4 x 107 kg.

Now getting rid of 12 million tons of waste per day amounts to ejecting 10.9 x 109 kilograms of waste per day up over the rails. The way to calculate the work done is to take the center of mass to be 7 meters below the top deck and raise the weight of the entire mass up 7 meters. We simply use mgh/t, where g = 9.8 m/s2, and t = 1 day.

So that works out to be 8.6 MW, or 11,600 hp. If the power a human generates is about 120 W, then you need 72,100 people shoveling crap 24/7.

Now if Noah could train all the animals to do projectile elimination, then presumably – with the terror of 400 megatons per square meter going off every second - the animals could be induced to project all that “stuff” up and over the rails provided that Noah opened up the entire top deck; which would then create other problems.

But then the animals below would be blasting the animals above and much of that “stuff” from below would be deflected back. So Noah would have to teach all the animals a choreographed set of moves that would keep the crap flowing freely up and over.

And all this would have to be taking place while the ark is heaving and rolling (and so are all the animals and humans).

But expending that much projectile energy would emaciate all the animals in a hurry; so they would have to eat and metabolize at the same or higher rate and at the same time. So in addition to all that “crap” being generated and projected, there would have to be a constant supply of food at an even higher rate because energy conversion is not 100%.

I don’t think these creationists have worked out the implications of their ark story.

You may be interested in the comments on the waste problem from the early Christian writer, Origen:

Certainly since Scripture related nothing about the places which we said were set apart for the excrement of the animals, but tradition preserves some things, it will appear opportune that silence has been maintained on this about which reason may sufficiently teach of its importance. And because it could less worthily be fitted to a spiritual meaning, rightly, therefore, Scripture, which rather fits its narratives to allegorical meanings, was silent about this.

Homilies on Genesis 2.1 (page 75) translated Ronald E. Heine Catholic University of America Press, 1982 volume 71 of The Fathers of the Church, A New Translation

Mike Elzinga said:

Now we have the waste disposal issue going on in the midst of all that energy deposition.

If the ark was 450 ft x 75 ft x 45 ft (137 m by 23 m by 14 m) and was completely filled with water which has a density of 1000 kg per cubic meter, then the mass of a boatload of water would be about 4.4 x 107 kg.

Now getting rid of 12 million tons of waste per day amounts to ejecting 10.9 x 109 kilograms of waste per day up over the rails.

More pertinent perhaps, the maximum displacement of the boat is 4.4 x 107 kg, or 44000 tonnes Even if we generously assign Gopher Wood a slight negative density that allows all this mass to be payload, each creature needs not only to process about 250 times its body mass of input per day, but a mass equivalent to the capacity of the boat has to be (magically) loaded and subsequently ejected every 5 minutes. To keep the boat afloat, let’s halve the payload to allow 22k tons of stores aboard at any moment. So they need to be consuming 500 times their body mass per day, with a maximum transit time (Distribute, chew, digest, excrete, eject) of just 2.5 minutes.

Slightly tipping the numbers in their favour, they may have been clever enought to include the exhaled CO2 in the waste total. However, on the assumption that the input food source was 80% water 10% carbohydrate, 10% indigestable, we need to get over a million tons of oxygen into the boat per day, and a couple of millions of tons of CO2 out. To keep the CO2 levels sub-lethal, order of magnitude calculations suggest the entire boat would need to be a hypersonic wind tunnel, which on the plus side suggests there would be no requirement to actually shovel shit!

Dave Lovell said:

… each creature needs not only to process about 250 times its body mass of input per day, but a mass equivalent to the capacity of the boat has to be (magically) loaded and subsequently ejected every 5 minutes. To keep the boat afloat, let’s halve the payload to allow 22k tons of stores aboard at any moment. So they need to be consuming 500 times their body mass per day, with a maximum transit time (Distribute, chew, digest, excrete, eject) of just 2.5 minutes.

… which makes me wonder about the original figure of 12 million tons per day. On my most productive days, I don’t produce 250 times my body weight in waste per day. If I did our bathrooms would have to be many times the current size of our house.

If you put enough organisms into the Ark to produce 12 million metric tons of waste per day, would they even fit before they Went To The Bathroom? I think that these figures are just a more pungent way of asking whether representatives of all species would fit in the Ark.

Well when they actually scam somebody into paying to construct their little fantasy land, then stock it with animals, they are in for a big surprise. What? You mean it isn’t going to actually float? You mean it isn’t going to actually have any animals? What’s the point? Are they trying to prove that the magic flood was impossible?

And this doesn’t even take into account all of the miracles needed to construct and load the ark in the first place, or all of the miracles needed to keep everything alive after the magic flood. And then there are the genetic consequences of severe bottlenecks in the recent past for every single species on earth! Which of course there is absolutely no evidence of in humans or any other species.

The miracles just keep coming. And all of this to teach those poor, wayward humans a lesson. I sure hope it was worth it. I sure hope they learned never to do those awful things again. Wait, ..;. what? Oh, I guess it was all just one gigantic waste of time and miracles. You would think that god would have known better.

Mike Elzinga said:

Now getting rid of 12 million tons of waste per day amounts to ejecting 10.9 x 109 kilograms of waste per day up over the rails.

[…]

I don’t think these creationists have worked out the implications of their ark story.

It’s less of a problem than you think. The Discovery Institute produces far more than that in a day, and they easily disperse it over the internet. As they do so, they impress their generous patrons, who eagerly provide them with additional funding, to maintain the production of waste. If it works for them, it could have worked for Noah.

Getting rid of any amount of waste on a boat? Easy. It just goes over the side. So celebrate Noah as the first known major environmental polluter.

I do have to wonder, though, why all the ancient ocean invertebrates, extinct fishes and such classy sea-going reptiles as the plesiosaurs didn’t survive despite Noah’s neglect to build massive aquaria on the ark. They had enough water, dontya think, to make it through 40 days of rain?

And lo, Noah did command the animals to go in multitudes of two by twos to the rear poop deck,

And there he commanded them, in harmony, eject their masses upon the clean waters,

And this, Noah, said, would be continued day after day, for the well would never run dry,

And in this manner did Noah propel his Ark forward in the once clean waters of the earth.

https://me.yahoo.com/a/2O55.ARwtv2R[…]jSKjokvZXxRQ–#d629a said:

Getting rid of any amount of waste on a boat? Easy. It just goes over the side. So celebrate Noah as the first known major environmental polluter.

I do have to wonder, though, why all the ancient ocean invertebrates, extinct fishes and such classy sea-going reptiles as the plesiosaurs didn’t survive despite Noah’s neglect to build massive aquaria on the ark. They had enough water, dontya think, to make it through 40 days of rain?

Eutrophication.

Dave Lovell Wrote:

Slightly tipping the numbers in their favour, they may have been clever enough to include the exhaled CO2 in the waste total. However, on the assumption that the input food source was 80% water 10% carbohydrate, 10% indigestible, we need to get over a million tons of oxygen into the boat per day, and a couple of millions of tons of CO2 out. To keep the CO2 levels sub-lethal, order of magnitude calculations suggest the entire boat would need to be a hypersonic wind tunnel, which on the plus side suggests there would be no requirement to actually shovel shit!

DavidK Wrote:

And lo, Noah did command the animals to go in multitudes of two by twos to the rear poop deck,

And there he commanded them, in harmony, eject their masses upon the clean waters,

And this, Noah, said, would be continued day after day, for the well would never run dry,

And in this manner did Noah propel his Ark forward in the once clean waters of the earth.

So it appears that Noah invented the first ramjet.

In order to generate that 8.6 MW, Noah may have harnessed part of that 1.6 x 108 watts per square meter, or about 400 megatons of TNT going off every second over every square meter of the Earth’s surface, to get it started. 8.6 x 106 watts compared to 1.6 x 108 watts/m2 x 137 m x 23 m = 5.0 x 1010 watts. That gives an efficiency of about 1.7 x 10-3%.

However, part of that energy deposition onto the Earth’s surface would have to have been manna. Maybe the Bible got the time of the manna mixed up.

But all this raises the issue of the shapes of those animals. In order to intake food and oxygen, process and burn, and then eject solid waste that was 250 times their body mass each day, they would have to have the shape of Dave’s hypersonic wind tunnel. What would be the temperatures inside these animals at this rate of burning fuel? Could their guts withstand the temperatures? Would these animals have had cooling fins?

I’m sure Ken Ham and his crew will have worked this all out and will be blasting their customers with similar excrement if and when they build their replica of the ark.

And who is paying for this ark; some poor taxpayers in some nearby town?

You guys are all doing some pretty impressive math but you’re starting with a very wrong assumption that comes from Matt passing on an apparent mis-quote recorded in the NPR article.

A quick word search of “waste on Ark” at the AIG site brings one to an article where 12 U.S. tons is identified as the amount of waste that is estimated to have been dealt with daily. Not 12 million tons.

The error here is in the transfer of information … whether a mis-speak by Mike Zovath or a mis-quote by Kenny Malone.

And lo, Noah did command the animals to go in multitudes of two by twos to the rear poop deck,

And there he commanded them, in harmony, eject their masses upon the clean waters,

And this, Noah, said, would be continued day after day, for the well would never run dry,

And in this manner did Noah propel his Ark forward in the once clean waters of the earth.

Yes, some of the food spoiled, so they powered the ark by jet propulsion, aka the “screaming hersheys”

fittest meme said:

You guys are all doing some pretty impressive math but you’re starting with a very wrong assumption that comes from Matt passing on an apparent mis-quote recorded in the NPR article.

A quick word search of “waste on Ark” at the AIG site brings one to an article where 12 U.S. tons is identified as the amount of waste that is estimated to have been dealt with daily. Not 12 million tons.

The error here is in the transfer of information … whether a mis-speak by Mike Zovath or a mis-quote by Kenny Malone.

I just knew a creationist would quibble over that and still not get it.

There is no “misquote;” as one can readily learn from the interview with Zorvath. Zorvath’s quote is irrelevant, and it shows that creationists never think.

We already dealt with the issues of methane buildup, no ballast, the ark construction, and other issues of ventilation and seaworthiness of the ark much earlier on PT.

Not one creationist knows how to do simple high school level calculations about energy deposition on the Earth; whether all that water came from “the canopy”, boiled up as superheated steam from the Earth’s mantle, or from the energy required to dig ocean basins and build up continents. There isn’t any way to calculate the energy without coming up with enormous numbers that would fry everything on the planet instantly.

The 400 megatons of TNT going off every second over every square meter of the Earth’s surface is an accurate estimate of the energy dissipation taking place at the surface of the Earth. Everything else pales in significance, even if the the “misquote” was not a “misquote.”

Creationists never get the point because not one of them has even a high school education in the basic sciences.

I have just received a press release from Mr. Phelps, in which he outlines what we reported on PT in the link cited above. He goes on to note that both he and reporter Joe Sonka of the Louisville paper, Leo Weekly, were barred from the meeting. Mr. Phelps goes on to argue,

Sure, they can bar access to anyone they want from their event. However, considering that the City of Williamstown is involved with the issuing of bonds, the Commonwealth of Kentucky is spending millions of tax dollars upgrading the I-75 exit at Williamstown, and that the Ark Park may receive millions of dollars in tax incentives, some transparency is deserved. AIG and the Ark Encounter obviously will not let me attend because of my past blog posts on The Panda’s Thumb .… What is the Ark Encounter hiding? Why are they afraid of a skeptic witnessing their sales pitch for bonds? Denying Mr. Sonka and myself access to this event is particularly ironic considering that Jesus associated with beggars, thieves, and prostitutes. In contrast, Answers In Genesis and the people behind the Ark Park are apparently afraid of scientists, journalists, and similar wicked people. This seems inconsistent with AIG’s supposedly Christian mission.

I cannot comment on AIG’s Christian mission, nor would I compare Mr. Phelps and Mr. Sonka to beggars, thieves, or prostitutes, but it seems obvious to me that if AIG is going to rely on municipal bonds and other tax incentives for their financing, then they ought to have an obligation to admit the press and other interested parties. Or do they not understand about moral obligations?

Whether it’s 12 million tons or 12 tons, it’s fitting that they pulled that number out of their ass.

Matt Young said: I cannot comment on AIG’s Christian mission, nor would I compare Mr. Phelps and Mr. Sonka to beggars, thieves, or prostitutes…

Oh, I don’t know…there is always the quote from Moliere,”Writing is like prostitution. First you do it for love, and then for a few close friends, and then for money.” Journalism and blogging are forms of writing, after all…

This reliance on Municipal bonds is a huge red flag.

Some cities in the past have done similar things and the operations ended up BK and the bonds defaulted on. IIRC, one was a city in the midwest that floated Munis for an amusement park.

NYT:

Muni Bonds Not as Safe as Thought By MARY WILLIAMS WALSH Published: August 15, 2012 Municipal bonds, widely seen as one of the safest investments, actually default more often than most people realize, according to research issued Wednesday by economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. etc.

Unrated Munis have a higher default rate than rated. These look like “industrial development bonds” which default often. Usually, the guaranteor is the entity that gets the money i.e. Ark Park. From the NYT’s above, Although industrial development bonds are issued by a municipality, “the entity standing behind the debt is a profit-making company, so analysts rate them as corporate credits, he said.”

Williamstown would have to be negligent to stand behind these bonds. Not that it can’t happen though. Most likely the Ark Park is the obligator. Considering that they couldn’t raise money from the rubes, hard to see who would buy the bonds.

Mr Elzinga thank you for the smile and chuckle; heh!

Fittest Meme, wow! Nothing else bugs you about the story? Number of animals on so small a ship? No metal techniques to cover the instability of an all wood hull? The noise? Nocturnal-diurnal animal problems? Feed? Where did the water go, and where did it come from? Incest of Noah and the kids? Kangaroos? Lack of any mammals (save bats, for obvious reasons)on several pacific islands? How did fresh water animals survive the all salt water planet? The fact there are older Middle Eastern varients of the same tale? It’s just bat shit crazy? Why are some animals native, or extremely localized? And as is pointed out here, getting rid of all the shit? There are mountains, and mountains of other objections, just get going with these; you may want to start an institute. First build a library, stock it with one book, ‘the Bible’!

DavidK said:

And lo, Noah did command the animals to go in multitudes of two by twos to the rear poop deck

No wonder that first dove chose not to come back to the boat.

Mike Elzinga said:

I just knew a creationist would quibble over that and still not get it.

I always love that page, Mike.

Especially their insistence that the ark was plausible since the eight members of team Noah would have to care for “only” 16,000 animals.

And maybe it wouldn’t even that bad since some of the animals would be babies.

I can see the Norman Rockwell image now, grandma Noah in her rocker with two fluffy penguin chicks in her lap, lovingly regurgitating some fresh fish for the little tykes.

stevaroni said:

Mike Elzinga said:

I just knew a creationist would quibble over that and still not get it.

I always love that page, Mike.

Especially their insistence that the ark was plausible since the eight members of team Noah would have to care for “only” 16,000 animals.

And maybe it wouldn’t even that bad since some of the animals would be babies.

I can see the Norman Rockwell image now, grandma Noah in her rocker with two fluffy penguin chicks in her lap, lovingly regurgitating some fresh fish for the little tykes.

Why would some of the animals be babies? According to the myth, they were all mated pairs capable of walking!

KlausH said: Why would some of the animals be babies? According to the myth, they were all mated pairs capable of walking!

It’s a creationist fudge to explain how the Noah’s could have cared for so many animals.

The idea is that the larger animals, maybe things like elephants but especially creatures like brontosaurs, could have been on board as juveniles, therefore ameliorating the feeding requirements.

This is, of course, poppycock but when you’re already seriously proposing 8 bronze-age shepherds building a 5000 ton boat complete with skylights and conveyor belts, filling it up with all the worlds critters, and sailing it through an month-long monsoon… well, what’s a little more lunacy about baby dinosaurs going to hurt?

Must have been an interesting trip… “Honey! Where did you put the pangolin food?”

stevaroni said:

KlausH said: Why would some of the animals be babies? According to the myth, they were all mated pairs capable of walking!

It’s a creationist fudge to explain how the Noah’s could have cared for so many animals.

The idea is that the larger animals, maybe things like elephants but especially creatures like brontosaurs, could have been on board as juveniles, therefore ameliorating the feeding requirements.

This is, of course, poppycock but when you’re already seriously proposing 8 bronze-age shepherds building a 5000 ton boat complete with skylights and conveyor belts, filling it up with all the worlds critters, and sailing it through an month-long monsoon… well, what’s a little more lunacy about baby dinosaurs going to hurt?

Must have been an interesting trip… “Honey! Where did you put the pangolin food?”

It remains that the Bible explicitly says that the animals were taken as pairs, “male and his mate”, which excludes infants. Anyway, one might consider that growing sub-adults might have a greater demand for food than fully-grown adults. (Ever have to feed a teenager in your house?)

BTW, most Ark enthusiasts choose the version of the story in which the Ark was afloat for about a year. (There being two versions of the story intertwined in the Bible which differ on certain details.)

And most Ark enthusiasts say that there was no carnivory on the Ark, so that rather than ants or whatever, one had to take plant-based pangolin chow.

TomS said:

It remains that the Bible explicitly says that the animals were taken as pairs, “male and his mate”, which excludes infants. Anyway, one might consider that growing sub-adults might have a greater demand for food than fully-grown adults. (Ever have to feed a teenager in your house?)

BTW, most Ark enthusiasts choose the version of the story in which the Ark was afloat for about a year. (There being two versions of the story intertwined in the Bible which differ on certain details.)

And most Ark enthusiasts say that there was no carnivory on the Ark, so that rather than ants or whatever, one had to take plant-based pangolin chow.

Now wait just a minute, The magic flood was after the magic apple don’t ya know. So there was sin in the world and therefore death and carnivory already. Get you story straight man. You are never gong to fool anybody with any of that made up nonsense. Unless you are one of those guys who claims that plants were not alive. :)

Especially their insistence that the ark was plausible since the eight members of team Noah would have to care for “only” 16,000 animals.

And so no training in the care of wild animals is necessary, right? We’ll see if the Ark Park hires 8 untrained people to take care of their animals. That should be more than sufficient, right?

Karen S. said:

Especially their insistence that the ark was plausible since the eight members of team Noah would have to care for “only” 16,000 animals.

And so no training in the care of wild animals is necessary, right? We’ll see if the Ark Park hires 8 untrained people to take care of their animals. That should be more than sufficient, right?

I like to imagine the shifting in the cargo on the Ark. Remember that we’re talking about weather so violent that it could carve out the Grand Canyon. And the Ark was not designed for stability in stormy weather (what stopped it from doing 360-degree rotations on all axes?). Picture the elephants and giraffes being thrown about.

TomS said:

And most Ark enthusiasts say that there was no carnivory on the Ark, so that rather than ants or whatever, one had to take plant-based pangolin chow.

Well, in the spirit of “glass half full” it seems that that forward-thinking ark pilot could arrange for a nearly inexhaustible supply of termites if he set things up right. So that would probably keep many of the birds and a lot of things like the “anteater kind” and “mole rat kind” happy.

DS said:

Now wait just a minute, The magic flood was after the magic apple don’t ya know. So there was sin in the world and therefore death and carnivory already. Get you story straight man.

Bad, bad, sinful pangolins! No bugs for you!

TomS said: Picture the elephants and giraffes being thrown about.

Cleaning up after two seasick brontosaurus.

That’s the only mental ark image you’ll ever need.

here are different types of “belief”.

Aggressively claiming to believe that Noah’s Ark accounts are “literally” true is a very strange type of belief.

Before modern science, it was sort of passively taken that there was no reason to doubt that a global flood had occurred a few thousand years ago. At the same time, it was highly uncontroversial to make statements suggesting that the ark story should be considered metaphorical in nature. I can’t think of any medieval scholastic philosopher known for bothering to defend the idea of a “literal” reading of Noah’s ark, for example. I’m willing to be enlightened, but I can’t think of one.

For all the bloody campaigns against “heresy” in Christianity, none focused on the Noah’s ark story, nor any “literal Genesis” claims. They were virtually always about more abstract issues, like “the nature of the trinity”, whether a sacrament given by a sinful priest was still good, and so on.

The only person I’m aware of in the history of the world who was ever persecuted for heresy within Christianity, for stating doubts about the literal truth of the ark story, is William Dembski. As regular readers know, he recanted his heresy and kept his job. (Obviously, other less well known figures at post-modern “Bible colleges” may have faced the same dilemma, but he’s the only one I know about.)

It makes no sense to take it “literally” and then argue with science on that grounds, because if you take it literally, it had to be magic. Either there was a totally magical global flood and ark about 4000 years ago - in which case the fact that the ark is physically impossible and all the evidence has magically disappeared, even to the extent of archaeological records of unflooded civilizations at the time in Egypt, Mesopotamia, China, the Indus Valley, etc, is irrelevant, because it was all magic to begin with - or the story is symbolic.

The bizarre claim that there is some scientific support for the not-even-internally-consistent ark stories is pure politics in the guise of religion. It signals submission to a post-modern right wing ideology cult. It has no basis in either rational thought, nor any longstanding traditional Christian theology.

I understand that it would cause excruciating psychological pain to the likes of “fittest meme” to admit this. The fact that they are willing to block out critical thinking to make the claim is in itself evidence of their identity commitment to the ideology behind the claim. As I’ve said before, it would take methods that are rightfully illegal, inhumane, and unethical to “change the mind” of a brainwashed creationist, and doing so might provoke them into some kind of dissociation disorder and/or psychosis.

However, they don’t “believe” it in the sense that they believe that the sun shines.

What they believe is that they must make themselves believe it, by blocking critical thought, or they will face either ostracism, or, if they were to all stop claiming to believe it, the decimation of their constructed group identity. That’s what they really believe, and that, in fact, probably IS “literally” true.

Thanks.

I would only add that “literal” traditionally understood in Christianity as one of the four ways of reading Scripture (literal, allegorical, tropological and anagogical) did not have the peculiar narrow (when convenient) meaning of the Fundamentalists.

Mike Elzinga Wrote:

Creationists never get the point because not one of them has even a high school education in the basic sciences.

You ruined an otherwise excellent comment with your use of the word “creationist(s).” Certainly the great majority of evolution-deniers in the general public, and many anti-evolution activists, either lack a (decent) high school education in the basic sciences, or forgot what little they learned in the one they got. But if we are going to call activists like Michael Behe or William Dembski “creationists,” that is simply not true. But that is not a defense of them, and in fact is the exact opposite. These people know enough of the math and science to misrepresent it effectively to most audiences. They know what to leave out, when to backpedal, and when “the coast is clear” enough to be a little politically incorrect.

Many of these activists, especially of the ID-peddling variety, know that there’s no evidence for a global flood. When Dembski encouraged people a few years ago to take it “on faith” despite lack of evidence, critics got all giddy. At least one even called him a YEC, then had to backpedal when shown that Dembski clearly and repeatedly admitted acceptance of an old earth. In fact there wasn’t much else Dembski could have said, and still keep is job at the seminary.

harold Wrote:

What they believe is that they must make themselves believe it…

I think it is far more accurate to say “What they believe is that they must make their audience, and maybe themselves believe it…”

As we discussed many times over the years, it may be that some of those activists are just selling snake oil for fun and profit, but it’s prudent to treat them as “innocent until proven guilty.” But “innocent” only means that they are genuinely afraid that the “masses” must believe fairy tales, or will behave as if all is permitted. As radical, unrepentant authoritarians, they see themselves on another level than their audience. If they do tell the stories convincingly enough to convince themselves, that’s another matter. One we’ll never know for sure unless and until we’re capable of reading minds.

Now, if I may speculate on which activists might be convincing themselves as well as their audience, I would say that it’s most likely the ones who risk stating some testable claims regarding “what happened when,” namely the Biblical OEC and YEC peddlers. ID peddlers may genuinely believe that some designer is involved, but there’s no reason to assume they believe any more than that, “on faith” or on evidence.

Frank J said:

harold Wrote:

What they believe is that they must make themselves believe it…

I think it is far more accurate to say “What they believe is that they must make their audience, and maybe themselves believe it…”

As we discussed many times over the years, it may be that some of those activists are just selling snake oil for fun and profit, but it’s prudent to treat them as “innocent until proven guilty.” But “innocent” only means that they are genuinely afraid that the “masses” must believe fairy tales, or will behave as if all is permitted. As radical, unrepentant authoritarians, they see themselves on another level than their audience. If they do tell the stories convincingly enough to convince themselves, that’s another matter. One we’ll never know for sure unless and until we’re capable of reading minds.

Now, if I may speculate on which activists might be convincing themselves as well as their audience, I would say that it’s most likely the ones who risk stating some testable claims regarding “what happened when,” namely the Biblical OEC and YEC peddlers. ID peddlers may genuinely believe that some designer is involved, but there’s no reason to assume they believe any more than that, “on faith” or on evidence.

Yes, there are authoritarian leaders and authoritarian followers. What I wrote here describes authoritarian followers.

What they believe is that they must make themselves believe it, by blocking critical thought, or they will face either ostracism, or, if they were to all stop claiming to believe it, the decimation of their constructed group identity. That’s what they really believe, and that, in fact, probably IS “literally” true.

Of course, authoritarian followers do create and limit their own authoritarian leaders. The leaders must pander to and expand existing biases. If Rush Limbaugh told his listeners to wear their underpants on the outside of their pants, or possibly even to commit mass suicide, a good number would do it. But if he went on the air and said that Barrack Obama isn’t such a bad guy, he’d lose his current followers. As a charismatic manipulator, he might be able to build a new following, but he’d lose the ones he has now.

Some of the leaders of the movement may be identical to the followers, except more dynamic and charismatic.

Others almost certainly secretly hold one of the stances you describe - either the “Straussian” view that it’s all nonsense but the masses must believe it in order to preserve social order, or a conscious or barely repressed awareness that it’s nonsense, they don’t care, and they can make more money more easily by parroting it in an “educated sounding” way than by doing anything else.

As you also say, it’s pretty much impossible to know which is which, barring something like an open mike moment of a DI Fellow laughing at the suckers or some such thing. And it doesn’t really matter which is which.

Frank J said:

Mike Elzinga Wrote:

Creationists never get the point because not one of them has even a high school education in the basic sciences.

You ruined an otherwise excellent comment with your use of the word “creationist(s).” Certainly the great majority of evolution-deniers in the general public, and many anti-evolution activists, either lack a (decent) high school education in the basic sciences, or forgot what little they learned in the one they got. But if we are going to call activists like Michael Behe or William Dembski “creationists,” that is simply not true. But that is not a defense of them, and in fact is the exact opposite. These people know enough of the math and science to misrepresent it effectively to most audiences. They know what to leave out, when to backpedal, and when “the coast is clear” enough to be a little politically incorrect.

Many of these activists, especially of the ID-peddling variety, know that there’s no evidence for a global flood. When Dembski encouraged people a few years ago to take it “on faith” despite lack of evidence, critics got all giddy. At least one even called him a YEC, then had to backpedal when shown that Dembski clearly and repeatedly admitted acceptance of an old earth. In fact there wasn’t much else Dembski could have said, and still keep is job at the seminary.

When I use the term “creationist” in this context, it means ID/creationist, the socio/political movement that seeks to replace evolution with sectarian doctrine in the public schools; the movement formally started by Henry Morris and Duane Gish when they founded the Institute for Creation Research.

Especially in this context, namely Panda’s Thumb, that is all I ever mean; nothing else.

I am acutely aware of the state of science education in this country; I spent quite a few years during my career within the scientific community trying to help fix it.

So that use of the term “creationist” was not a slam against those outside the ID/creationist movement who don’t know much science or have forgotten what they once knew. These folks aren’t engaged in endless mud wrestling and word-gaming of concepts and trying to eliminate science, and anything that covers the topic of evolution, from the schools.

The “fittest meme” character who complained about the 12 million tons is one of those sectarian ID/creationist characters to which I refer when I used the term “creationist”. He was engaging in worthless mud wrestling without any clue whatsoever about the real issues. He couldn’t – and I claim will not - understand a basic concept in science if his life depended on it.

As far as Dembski, Behe, Sewell, Abel, and the rest of the clowns at ICR, the DI, and AiG are concerned, I will assert that either their understanding of high school level science is verschlecht or they are blatant liars; it makes no difference in its socio/political effect. If they were being honest in “going public” with their assertions about scientific concepts, or were trying honestly to educate others, they would assume a conscientious responsibility for getting things right; but they are not doing that, they are propagandizing and screwing with people’s minds instead.

The followers of the ID/creationist movement take their cues from their leaders and practice their word-gaming debating tactics endlessly in complete ignorance of basic scientific concepts.

Mike Elzinga said:

Frank J said:

Mike Elzinga Wrote:

Creationists never get the point because not one of them has even a high school education in the basic sciences.

You ruined an otherwise excellent comment with your use of the word “creationist(s).” Certainly the great majority of evolution-deniers in the general public, and many anti-evolution activists, either lack a (decent) high school education in the basic sciences, or forgot what little they learned in the one they got. But if we are going to call activists like Michael Behe or William Dembski “creationists,” that is simply not true. But that is not a defense of them, and in fact is the exact opposite. These people know enough of the math and science to misrepresent it effectively to most audiences. They know what to leave out, when to backpedal, and when “the coast is clear” enough to be a little politically incorrect.

Many of these activists, especially of the ID-peddling variety, know that there’s no evidence for a global flood. When Dembski encouraged people a few years ago to take it “on faith” despite lack of evidence, critics got all giddy. At least one even called him a YEC, then had to backpedal when shown that Dembski clearly and repeatedly admitted acceptance of an old earth. In fact there wasn’t much else Dembski could have said, and still keep is job at the seminary.

When I use the term “creationist” in this context, it means ID/creationist, the socio/political movement that seeks to replace evolution with sectarian doctrine in the public schools; the movement formally started by Henry Morris and Duane Gish when they founded the Institute for Creation Research.

Especially in this context, namely Panda’s Thumb, that is all I ever mean; nothing else.

I am acutely aware of the state of science education in this country; I spent quite a few years during my career within the scientific community trying to help fix it.

So that use of the term “creationist” was not a slam against those outside the ID/creationist movement who don’t know much science or have forgotten what they once knew. These folks aren’t engaged in endless mud wrestling and word-gaming of concepts and trying to eliminate science, and anything that covers the topic of evolution, from the schools.

The “fittest meme” character who complained about the 12 million tons is one of those sectarian ID/creationist characters to which I refer when I used the term “creationist”. He was engaging in worthless mud wrestling without any clue whatsoever about the real issues. He couldn’t – and I claim will not - understand a basic concept in science if his life depended on it.

As far as Dembski, Behe, Sewell, Abel, and the rest of the clowns at ICR, the DI, and AiG are concerned, I will assert that either their understanding of high school level science is verschlecht or they are blatant liars; it makes no difference in its socio/political effect. If they were being honest in “going public” with their assertions about scientific concepts, or were trying honestly to educate others, they would assume a conscientious responsibility for getting things right; but they are not doing that, they are propagandizing and screwing with people’s minds instead.

The followers of the ID/creationist movement take their cues from their leaders and practice their word-gaming debating tactics endlessly in complete ignorance of basic scientific concepts.

This is clearly very true. In fact, it’s one of the first things I noticed about political ID/creationists, when I first learned about them circa 1999, was their ignorance of science, and their lack of concern about that ignorance.

I remember the first time I saw somebody claim that biological evolution violated 2LOT. I’m no physicist, but it’s obvious in every way that it does not. First of all, biological evolution is observed, it happens. Second of all, molecular biology and biochemistry are studied with the same tools as other related branches of chemistry. Any respectable biomedical degree requires some basic physics, math and chemistry; without it you can’t understand the biomedical work.

I did expect, though, when I engaged, to be treated to some type of serious attempt to defend the claim. I expected them to produce equations and efforts to model the thermodynamics of “evolution”.

Instead, what I quickly observed was that the people making the argument simply had no clue about thermodynamics, nor about biological evolution, and had no interest in having a clue. They were mindlessly parroting memorized slogans, with no understanding, and no wish to understand.

The same with every other scientific topic they touch. They use “science-y” words but show no insight whatsoever, certainly not the insight of a gifted high school student.

Of course there’s the Dunning Kruger effect, but this is almost beyond that.

Not to mention that an inconsistency between two accepted theories would only indicate that one of them was wrong; it would need more detail to determine which of them was wrong.

That’s in addition to the already made point that the various sciences are not isolated from each other; they’re all talking about various aspects of the same universe.

And also (and I’m sure that this has been pointed out quite a few times on this blog), any argument purported to say that evolution violates some law of thermodynamics, would also be arguing that growth and reproduction do so as well, which is basically arguing that biology already violates thermodynamics, regardless of whether or not evolution is involved, in which case claiming the inconsistency between evolution and physics isn’t really an argument against evolution to start with, but an argument against the physics that’s being referenced.

(Am I rambling here? Ah well, so be it.)

Henry

The answer should not be very hard for a real christian,repeat after me GOD DID IT!

Henry J said:

And also (and I’m sure that this has been pointed out quite a few times on this blog), any argument purported to say that evolution violates some law of thermodynamics, would also be arguing that growth and reproduction do so as well, which is basically arguing that biology already violates thermodynamics, regardless of whether or not evolution is involved, in which case claiming the inconsistency between evolution and physics isn’t really an argument against evolution to start with, but an argument against the physics that’s being referenced.

(Am I rambling here? Ah well, so be it.)

Henry

The main difference between AiG/ICR and the DI is that AiG/ICR monster mash through the garden of science in broad daylight, while the DI sprays defoliant at night.

Henry J said:

Not to mention that an inconsistency between two accepted theories would only indicate that one of them was wrong; it would need more detail to determine which of them was wrong.

That’s in addition to the already made point that the various sciences are not isolated from each other; they’re all talking about various aspects of the same universe.

And also (and I’m sure that this has been pointed out quite a few times on this blog), any argument purported to say that evolution violates some law of thermodynamics, would also be arguing that growth and reproduction do so as well, which is basically arguing that biology already violates thermodynamics, regardless of whether or not evolution is involved, in which case claiming the inconsistency between evolution and physics isn’t really an argument against evolution to start with, but an argument against the physics that’s being referenced.

(Am I rambling here? Ah well, so be it.)

Henry

Myself, I particularly like to point out that many of the arguments which are brought up against evolutionary biology hold with at least as much strength as arguments against growth and reproduction. It’s interesting just how many of them are so poorly thought out.

But, moreover, I think that it is good to take this kind of approach particularly WRT 2lot, because arguing about thermodynamics can give the impression that there is something deep and complicated about the anti-evolutionary argument. That there really is a scientific controversy that real scientists can have differing opinions on: “I didn’t understand a word that they were saying, but that ID fellow sure held his own against the Darwinist.”

harold said: What they believe is that they must make themselves believe it, by blocking critical thought, or they will face either ostracism, or, if they were to all stop claiming to believe it, the decimation of their constructed group identity. That’s what they really believe, and that, in fact, probably IS “literally” true.

Very interesting post Harold, and I would love to really truly know what is going on inside the heads of some of these more rabid fanatics. But I know there are some people involved in PT who did grow up (and shared) in strong creationist/fundamentalist communities and at a later date come to completely repudiate that background and acknowledge science. Maybe one of those commentators could give some insight on what is actually going on inside the head of a creationist fundie in regards a global flood? (though it wouldn’t be completely accurate, this would be the insight from someone who did have something going on inside their head which led them to getting out).

…something going on inside their head which led them to getting out

Or perhaps more than one something, more than one aspect.

I think that would be interesting to explore. Is there more than one “something” in there, for example? Is it a single order, or is it a combo platter?

“Getting out” stories are not always cut-n-dried. Sometimes things are more involved.

FL

daoudmbo said:

Very interesting post Harold, and I would love to really truly know what is going on inside the heads of some of these more rabid fanatics. But I know there are some people involved in PT who did grow up (and shared) in strong creationist/fundamentalist communities and at a later date come to completely repudiate that background and acknowledge science. Maybe one of those commentators could give some insight on what is actually going on inside the head of a creationist fundie in regards a global flood? (though it wouldn’t be completely accurate, this would be the insight from someone who did have something going on inside their head which led them to getting out).

Well I can relate my own experience. I was raised by a Baptist minister and a Sunday School teacher. I was told that evolution was a lie, but I was also taught to value truth and learning. When I enrolled in biology courses in college, I fully expected to find that the science supported my preconceptions. Alas, exposure to the facts quickly taught me that I had been deceived. No one tried to persuade me, no one denigrated my faith, no one tried to farce any sort of conversion on me. But when the facts were presented simply and clearly it became obvious that what I had been taught in church did not confirm to reality. It was difficult to accept and even more difficult to admit to my family members. In fact, I am still paying the price to a certain extent.

In retrospect, I suppose that the outcome would have been the same if I had chosen to study geology. You either value the evidence or you don’t. The only way to maintain your incorrect preconceptions is to avoid facing the evidence. That is a strategy that some seem to think is commendable. The fact that it is an illogical and ultimately self defeating strategy never seems to penetrate with that type.

I will always be thankful to my parents for teaching me to value the truth, even if they were not happy with where it lead me.

Interesting deconversion story, DS. Thanks for putting it on the table.

daoudmbo said:

harold said: What they believe is that they must make themselves believe it, by blocking critical thought, or they will face either ostracism, or, if they were to all stop claiming to believe it, the decimation of their constructed group identity. That’s what they really believe, and that, in fact, probably IS “literally” true.

Very interesting post Harold, and I would love to really truly know what is going on inside the heads of some of these more rabid fanatics. But I know there are some people involved in PT who did grow up (and shared) in strong creationist/fundamentalist communities and at a later date come to completely repudiate that background and acknowledge science. Maybe one of those commentators could give some insight on what is actually going on inside the head of a creationist fundie in regards a global flood? (though it wouldn’t be completely accurate, this would be the insight from someone who did have something going on inside their head which led them to getting out).

You couldn’t have a more perfect answer to your question than what’s been provided here by DS and FL.

Remember, we’re talking about creationist science denial, not about religion.

DS approached science with a biased but non-authoritarian mind, and from a background of religious teachings that were something more than merely a post-modern justification of/code for a mainly social and political ideology. He was ultimately able to accept the evidence.

FL exemplifies the psychological process I described.

KlausH said:

stevaroni said:

Mike Elzinga said:

I just knew a creationist would quibble over that and still not get it.

I always love that page, Mike.

Especially their insistence that the ark was plausible since the eight members of team Noah would have to care for “only” 16,000 animals.

And maybe it wouldn’t even that bad since some of the animals would be babies.

I can see the Norman Rockwell image now, grandma Noah in her rocker with two fluffy penguin chicks in her lap, lovingly regurgitating some fresh fish for the little tykes.

Why would some of the animals be babies? According to the myth, they were all mated pairs capable of walking!

And while on that topic…was it one pair…or seven and two

Genesis 6:19-20: 19-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. 20-Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive.

Genesis 7:2-3 02-Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. 03-Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.

Maybe the pair of each was a minimum, and the larger number of the “clean” ones was so they’d have something to eat later?

Henry J said:

Maybe the pair of each was a minimum, and the larger number of the “clean” ones was so they’d have something to eat later?

The standard explanation is that there are two versions of the story woven together, the “Yahwist” (J) and the “Priestly” (P). (There is a vast amount of literature on this “Documentary Hypothesis”.) This explanation also accounts for other duplications and conflicts in the story (such as the length of the Flood). Remember that the difference between “clean” and “unclean” is not spelled out in detail until much later, in the story of the Exodus, so Noah’s family could not reasonably be expected to observe those dietary rules.

I still want to know if sauropod and theropod dinosaurs were “clean” or “unclean”, and the justification thereto.

You would need a space larger than the interior of the entire ark to comfortably house just ONE group of seven brachiosauruses, for instance.

One more theory about why no dinosaurs got through the flood, from Dan Piraro, at Bizarro.

Was one of those Boner’s Ark? (And if so, which one? :D )

Oh God, I

Henry J said:

Was one of those Boner’s Ark? (And if so, which one? :D )

OYG, I actually recognize that reference. Was that comic strip real or have I just dreamed it?

Was that comic strip real or have I just dreamed it?

Yes.

the Commonwealth of Kentucky is spending millions of tax dollars upgrading the I-75 exit at Williamstown

the whole thing always has been a scam to improve real estate values in the area with “improvements” paid for by taxpayers instead of the real estate investors.

it’s a time honored scam in a LOT of areas.

The fact that it is an illogical and ultimately self defeating strategy never seems to penetrate with that type.

It’s too bad FL won’t comprehend what you said there.

Sometimes things are more involved.

come on Floyd.…

one of us…

one of us…

you know you want to.

you know you NEED to.

why else come here for years?

admit it: it’s been a cry for help, all this time.

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This page contains a single entry by Matt Young published on October 3, 2013 8:07 PM.

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