I just learned there is something called the Institute for Creation Research, a place where one might be tempted to assume research takes place since it’s in the name (until one remembers that it’s about creationism). Here’s one attendee’s anticlimactic account of his visit:
I know there is a lot of… scientific evidence — we are here at the Institute for Creation Research — and there is a lot of, really, all science, it just points to the validation of the Genesis account.
My morbid curiosity took over, and I had to learn more about this place where science goes to die. As the boy says, there must be research because “research” is in the name! Is this like one of those pregnancy crisis centers that provide counsel on neither crisis nor pregnancies? What does this creation research look like? Do they sit around a table and read the bible together? Do they have tea with the pope and discuss his information conduit to Jesus, wherein Jesus shares all sorts of factoids? Tell me more! I want to dance through the Sistine Chapel and shout “peer reviewed articles” and “Genesis!”
The Institute for Creation Research’s website provides “Quicklinks” on the lefthand menu–the important links. They literally consist of an option to subscribe to their newsletter, a link to their store, a place to donate (naturally!), a generic sitemap, and a link simply titled “Bible”, which is a search engine to find the passage you’re looking for based on keywords. I tried to find a passage on narwhals, but no luck. I guess the Jews and early Christians just didn’t care about Arctic mammals.
On another menu, there is yet a third menu called Publications, which leads to a submenu called Technical Papers, which then leads to a subsubmenu with a solitary link titled In-depth Peer-reviewed Scientific Articles. For real. The effort is palpable. Methinks the lady doth protest too much. OK, I’ll bite, what are all these in-depth, peer-reviewed, scientific articles?
An afternoon of scrolling and clicking revealed an ongoing series of blog posts by their panel of Creation Researchers™, carefully recruited because of their advanced degrees in pop science fields and a willingness to be staff “Science Writers” for this website. No, I did not fudge their title.
A Review of Original Tissue Fossils and Their Age Implications comes to us from a Biotech M.S. and argues that quick decay rates in organic tissue “are more consistent with an earth history spanning thousands, not millions, of years”. Related articles link us to such gem think-pieces as “Righteous Friends”, “Undeserved Suffering”, and “Still Searching for Geology’s Holy Grail”.
Next up, we have a Genetics Ph.D (!!!) who gifts us with New Research Evaluating Similarities Between Human and Chimpanzee DNA, wherein he explains that only 70% of chimpanzee DNA is similar to that of a human, and that is totes a low number, guys. Ergo, God. Quod erat demonstrandum.
We have some more pieces on Evidence of Catastrophic Earth Movements, which I didn’t realize were even in question & in need of additional evidence. For fuck’s sake, the Himalayas fell 3 feet from earthquakes this week. Then we have a shocking (!) take on No Salamander Evolution Evidence, Past or Present from a M.A. Zoologist. Won’t anyone think about the salamanders!? Our favorite Science Writer, the biotech, then asks the important questions like Saturn’s Enceladus Looks Younger than Ever. Yeah, Saturn. Your moon look suspiciously young to be out drinking. Is she even 21? (Personally, I think Enceladus looks like a well aged blue cheese.)
I went on to find a post by a nuclear physicist named Cupps (who somehow got himself employed at Fermi) aghast that a science magazine made the statement “Beliefs are built on nothing”. He goes on to unironically cite Merriam Webster’s definition of belief and argues very profoundly that, nuh uh, science beliefs are built on nothing and religious beliefs are built on things. Checkmate, scientists.
The geneticist had some more thoughts on how we all can’t possibly be descended from Africans (ew, no!), and to make his case he uses the biblical Tower of Babel tale, wherein God orchestrates an instantaneous culture diaspora after he knocks it down. I imagine this happening much like how my niece once took a bat to her Lego tower and shouted “God is dead!”. Who knew a six year old could channel Nietzsche so flawlessly? Like auntie, like niece I suppose. I swear, I’m perfectly respectful of my brother’s wishes regarding her being raised Catholic and never interfere; she sends me snapchats of ghosts and vampires all on her own. Rather than challenge the entire field of anthropology, a hobby the other Science Writers seem ready and eager to take on, the geneticist is more cautious and acknowledges up front that “language traits and genomic variability in populations change as people migrate to new areas” but that they “are inextricably linked”, and that “there is a relationship between human dispersal and linguistic variation“, as published by the National Academy of Sciences. HOWEVER, he doesn’t like it, and would really appreciate a second looksee regarding all that Africa stuff.
Finally, we come to a Physics M.A. who likes to study atmospheric electricity and–I shit you not– “focuses much of his work on climates before and after Noah’s Flood”. His research includes such nuggets as The Ice Age and the Flood: Does Science Really Show Millions of Years? and Manganese Nodule Discovery Points to Genesis Flood. In the latter, he argues that the existence of manganese lumps at only some sediment levels of the Atlantic seafloor support the global flood story. While secular scientists (his classification, not mine) are busy studying the nature of manganese deposits on the seafloor before jumping to publication, Mr. Physics explains that “creation scientists have a very simple explanation for these observations”, because of course they do. I mean, have ya even read that paragraph in Genesis? It’s right there! By the way, I have also read Oedipus the King, and so I know that sphinxes exist and pose riddles to weary travelers. Within that same blog post, he also ties the 6,000 year old earth concept with his opinion that radioisotope dating is all kinds of not good. I mean, radioisotope dating says that sometimes manganese collects on things for millions of years, and sometimes it doesn’t. WHICH IS IT, SCIENCE?
I wonder if science did prove a global flood 1 million years ago, would they just take it, celebrate that “science proved Noah’s tale!” and forego the odd earth age calculation? Or is it all or nothing? Like, “no, it has to have happened within the last 6,000 years!” The last few thousand years have a fair amount of oral and written history associated with it that automatically discredit such a story. After all, if only Noah and his family survived, why would most cultures have a tale about experiencing and subsequently surviving floods? Then Genesis was wrong, and loads of people survived all over the globe. Additionally, the timelines of various cultures’ flood tales don’t line up with each other. Pre-radio cultures had no way of knowing how widespread their floods were… if their village(s)/region flooded, “everything” flooded as far as they knew.
Dear idiots, I’ll tell you why everyone has their own version of a flood story: because it rains almost everywhere, and so the occasional flooding of crops and homes is a universally shared experience, just like being attacked by animals, seeing the stars, or watching an eclipse…. also things about which all cultures have stories (or even build religions around). The fact that others share your perfectly mundane experience is not empirical evidence supporting your culture’s specific oral tradition where a deity makes a man with no naval experience build a boat large enough to carry animals who, if left to their own devices in nature, would all eat each other, all so that God can kill off the world with rainwater. The top of Mt. Everest is not inhabitable and doesn’t even have olive trees. 6,000 years is not a long enough time for one family to reproduce enough to fill the globe with 7 billion people whose ethnic differences and migratory histories are so diverse that they must by their very nature predate 6,000 years. Get over yourselves.