Intelligent Design isn't intelligent, but YEC is scary

Most of the entries, and comments here at Panda’s Thumb are about the Intelligent Design strain of creationism. I actually spend more time trying to respond to creationists of the young Earther sort on different websites scattered in the cyberaether. Just as the Discovery Institute is the principle abscess of IDC, the Answers in Genesis Ministries, along with the Institute for Creation Research, and Dr.Dino are the main vectors of YECism.

I recently took a fresh look at four articles I have written about various falsehoods originating, or promoted by AiG personnel.

Ancient Molecules and Modern Myths Dino-Blood and the Young Earth Boiled Creationist with a Side of Hexaglycine: Sarfati on Imai et al. (1999) A Response to a Dubious Diluvium: A Tas Walker Creationist Fantasy

I found things that I would have written differently in each. Rereading Ancient Molecules and Modern Myths was frankly rather boring. John Baumgardner has promoted the idea mainly through ICR that geological/radiometric data should be ignored and as a supporting argument he claims that “fresh” bone protein has been recovered from unfossilized dinosaur bone. This is not true as a matter of fact or interpretation. I agree with Richard Dawkins that to profess YECism indicates you are either ignorant, stupid, insane or a liar. Baumgardner has a PhD from UCLA and is probably neither stupid nor ignorant. Because Baumgardner works at the center of US nuclear weapons research, I don’t know which of the remaining alternatives is more frightening. (I may retract that when he retracts the lies about osteocalcin he has spread since 1995). AiG is guilty of mindless repetition of Baumgardner’s lies which can be exposed merely by competently reading the relevant scientific literature. But, there is no getting around the fact that this is at times a rather technical paper, and rather boring.

I much prefer Dino-Blood and the Young Earth which exposed Carl Wieland’s long term and willful lies about research by Mary Schweitzer on the organic residues she found in a bone of a Tyrannosaurus rex. I had stalled on finishing this paper until I was challenged by AiG’s Jon Sarfati (posting under the pseudonym “Socrates”) to support my position that Wieland had lied about this research in spite of having the true facts repeatedly pointed out to him. But on rereading the paper, I should have explored more deeply how these lies echo throughout creationist writing.

I am actually thinking of adding a note to Boiled Creationist with a Side of Hexaglycine: Sarfati on Imai et al. (1999) to correct my initial impression that Sarfati was not only incompetent but was also making a veiled racist attack when he repeatedly emphasized the nationality of the researchers as Japanese. Ironically, they were not all Japanese. I now view Sarfati as merely incompetent.

The problem I now see in A Response to a Dubious Diluvium: A Tas Walker Creationist Fantasy is one of tone: I was too angry. That was how I felt at the time (and I am still angered by this sort of blatant distortion of science), but I now have better understanding of just how dark YEC reality filters are.

It is that denial of reality that makes YECs generally dangerous, because they insist that their mythos is God given and to contradict them is to be a dangerous “tool of Satan.” The YEC lives in a 16th century science mindset and I truly believe that only a shred of law prevents them from 16th century methods of enforcing their orthodoxy.

And, I am pessimistic that this bizarre belief can be easily exposed. Each of the little articles I wrote took significant effort, and required reading hundreds of pages of not only scientific literature but hundreds of pages of creationist screeds. Now that last bit was painful.