Whipping a dead moth

Peppered moth
Peppered moth on a branch, courtesy of Michael Majerus. In case you cannot see it, look in the inset directly to the right of the larger photograph.

That again! Someone at AIG, Dr. Tommy Mitchell, a retired physician, has raised some hoary old objections to Bernard Kettlewell’s pioneering research on the peppered moth, Biston betularia. Indeed, the story is so hackneyed that Dr. Mitchell opens with the words, “Stop me if you have heard this tale before.” We have heard it before, and Dr. Kettlewell (also an MD, incidentally) and his research have survived with flying colors.

Doctor Mitchell brings up an attack by Judith Hooper in her book Of Moths and Men. I outlined research undertaken by Ian Musgrave and me to refute Ms. Hooper in a PT article and expanded on it here. I will have no more to say, except that our research conclusively refutes Ms. Hooper’s charges of falsifying the data, and to his credit Dr. Mitchell demands more proof. Indeed, he admits that “others involved in this area have collected data that validates Kettlewell’s original conclusions.”

Then what is all the fuss about? Doctor Kettlewell’s research has been validated, and Dr. Mitchell agrees that “[n]atural selection can easily be seen in nature.” His conclusion? In effect, they are still moths.

Dinosaurs, Dragons, and the Bible at the Creation “Museum”

Secular media enticing children
"Secular" media enticing children with images of dinosaurs.

Every Thursday, Answers In Genesis (AiG) features a live video on their YouTube channel. Last week (October 3, 2019) was a video titled Dinosaurs, Dragons and the Bible. The speaker this week was Mr. Bodie Hodge, a mechanical engineer, and perhaps more importantly, Ken Ham’s son-in-law. Hodge isn’t as polished a speaker as his father-in-law, but was well received by his live audience. He has a blue-collar, down-to-earth style, mixed in with occasional banal jokes.

A few scenes that showed part of the audience indicated more than 100 people at the Creation “Museum” watched the presentation; the YouTube video stats indicate thousands have watched it online. The in-person audience appeared to be dominated by older people; lots of grey hair.

Hodge presented the standard young earth creationist false claims about dinosaurs that you may be familiar with. He illustrated most of his talk with innumerable AiG cartoons produced by their in-house artist, Dan Lethia. Below is my summary of the talk. I won’t bother to try to refute everything said; I encourage you to watch the video to see, first hand, the level of young earth creationist (YEC) pseudo-reasoning in dinosaur paleontology.

Of course, Hodge tries to make disagreements about dinosaurs due to most scientists having a “Secular viewpoint” as opposed to his “Biblical viewpoint,” which, of course, is the only one supported by God. Hodge thinks there is something sinister about paleontology being presented to children and the general public and illustrated his feelings with the cartoon that opens this post. Apparently, the guy in the bow tie is supposed to be AiG boogeyman Bill Nye, smirking with possible evil intentions.

Religion as a conspiracy theory

Book cover
Front cover of the book Theology and Science: From Genesis to Astrobiology, as displayed on the publisher's web page.

Taner Edis, with whom I once had the pleasure of co-editing a book, Why Intelligent Design Fails, has just posted a splendid article, Cosmic Conspiracy Theories: How Theologies Evade Science. The article, which we will get to in a minute, is evidently Chapter 7 in the book Theology and Science: From Genesis to Astrobiology, edited by Richard Gordon and Joseph Seckbach and published last December. If you want to buy the book, it will set you back approximately £120.

Professor Edis examines the views of young-earth creationists, intelligent-design creationists, and liberal theists. He avers, for example, that young-earth creationists claim that science supports their arguments, or at least that it would if it were practiced properly. Since they purport to rely on evidence, they do not develop what Prof. Edis calls a complete cosmic conspiracy theory. On the other hand, since they have to explain why science will not accept their proofs, they have to fall back on conspiracy theory: the entire scientific enterprise conspires to conceal the truth about the creator.

AIG blames school shootings on teaching science


Another guest commentary by Dan Phelps.

Cartoon from the movie, "Creation versus Evolution: Why It Matters."

Last Thursday (September 26), AIG put their latest weekly video recorded live at the Creation “Museum” on YouTube. This latest offal offering was given by Bodie Hodge, an engineer working for Answers in Genesis. Mr. Hodge’s main qualification seems to be that he is Ken Ham’s son-in-law. Most of his talk, “Creation versus Evolution: Why It Matters,” is a forgettable theological discussion with poorly reasoned slams against modern science. The most offensive part appears about 58 minutes in, where Hodge shows the ludicrous AIG cartoon, above, that claims public school students are taught many objectionable things that lead to murderous students. In reality students are taught none of the subjects in the cartoon, except possibly for evolution. Hodge ignores that most public school teachers are actually religious and no one, religious or not, teaches these creationist boogeymen. Hodge follows the bizarre AIG party line of claiming science education leads to school shootings.