Creation gains adherents in Brazil

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The population of Brazil grows while those of other countries shrinks. And higher proportions of those people now believe in creation. That is, they believe that God created human beings and the world. More to the point, they believe that this happened 10,000 years ago, or more recently. This trend has run for at least seven years, while Brazil as a country grows richer, not poorer. These facts suggest that Brazil will be a powerful force in promoting creation, and specifically young-earth creation, worldwide.

Christianity in Brazil today

Yesterday, Andrea Madambashi of The Christian Post wrote that Brazil today has more evangelical Christians, and fewer Roman Catholics. She compared numbers of evangelicals and Catholics ten years apart. She also noticed one thing that suggests that the trend will only get stronger. Evangelical Christianity in Brazil is clearly a movement of the young. The Roman Catholic Church is the church of the old.

At first glance, one might take little from this article other than “out with the old, in with the new.” But the Question Evolution campaign points out one thing that Madambashi missed. That is: evangelical Christians are more likely to believe in creation than are Roman Catholics. This should surprise no one. Five years ago, Pope Benedict XVI denounced as “absurd” the clash between creation and evolution.

On one hand there is much scientific proof in favor of evolution[. This] appears as a reality that we must see and which enriches our understanding of life and being as such.

On the other hand, said His Holiness, evolution cannot say where everything came from, nor to what end. (Of course not. Evolution advocates frown at anyone who dares ask questions like that.)

This is where the Roman Catholic Church stands. Yet the RCC is yielding to the evangelical movement. And that movement is not so quick to believe the “scientific proofs” that so impressed His Holiness.

Creation in Brazil seven years ago

Rosinha Garotinho, who introduced creation into public schools in Rio

Rosinha Garotinho, Governor of Rio de Janeiro. Photo: Marcello Casal Jr/Agência Brasil, CC BY 3.0 Brazilian License

In 2004, Governor Rosinha Garotinho (a/k/a Rosinha Mateus) of Rio de Janeiro did something wild. She ordered that public schools in Rio would start teaching creation science as well as evolution. A year later, the Brazilian magazine Época surveyed the general public.

The results probably shocked them. Only nine percent of their sample accepted the strict naturalistic view of human origin. Fifty-four percent accepted old-earth creation, the idea that man appears millions of years ago but changed only as God said he would change. Thirty-one percent accepted young-earth creation.

Furthermore, 89 percent of the sample agreed with what Governor Garotinho did. 75 percent of the sample even said that creation should replace evolution in the schools.

Detractors of creation were quick to excuse the results. A government official blamed the wording of the survey. The head of the Brazilian Association for the Advancement of Science called the results a sign of poor-quality science education. But if that were true, then fewer people with advanced degrees should believe in creation than people without. (God forbid they should simply be wrong and the people finally getting wise to them!)

The survey results did not bear this out. Only ten percent of advanced degree holders accepted the naturalistic view, and six percent of non-holders.

Creation in Brazil and elsewhere moving forward

Consider, then, the trends. A politician in Brazil introduces creation into public schools. And the people say, in effect,

Go for it!

Seven years later comes evidence that young people in Brazil are embracing a new church movement that welcomes young-earth creation thought. And no one can, with justice, lay this to poor education.

Brazil is not even a poor country. It is rich, and getting richer. And some of them are spending their money to promote creation and “question evolution.”

Eric Kaufman (see video) recently told a secular audience that “the religious [shall] inherit the earth.” The reason: secular countries are not even having enough children to replace those who die every year. Their populations are shrinking, while populations in highly religious countries, like Brazil, are growing.

Creation advocates in Brazil are cooperating with creation advocates in the United States and elsewhere. The Question Evolution campaign is not the only example. The Northwest Creation Network’s “Encyclopedia of Creation Science” (CreationWiki) opened a Portuguese site three years ago. A Brazilian émigrée to the United States was its first contributor. This year, a Brazilian resident took that site over and started to expand it. This might or might not be significant: he was born in Rio, the same State where Rosinha Garotinho now governs.

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Eric Kaufmann: Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth? from Australian Broadcasting Corporation on FORA.tv

Editor-in-chief at | + posts

Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

71 Responses to Creation gains adherents in Brazil

  1. DinsdaleP says:

    So in a country with a deep Christian tradition, where the type of Christianity being practiced is trending towards fundamentalism, the majority of people polled supported the teaching of the creation narrative they believe their immortal well-being depends on.

    So if the argumentum ad populum in this case favors the YEC view, that should be held up as evidence that YEC is correct?

    Please.

    First of all, asking the general population what they feel should be taught in a science class as science isn’t valid, and you know it but disingenuously push it anyway. Just like Kitzmiller v Dover, this is about what constitutes science and what constitutes religion, and asking for opinions doesn’t make religion science.

    You’ve even admitted on this very site that people doing pure science without any prior exposure to either the “Big Bang/Evolution” perspective or the YEC perspective could not arrive at the YEC timeframes when asked “How old is the Earth” unless they were given the target age to shoot for. That’s the antithesis of science.

    China and India are growing in both population and economic influence – what do you think the survey results would be there?

    The actions in Brazil were the result of a single fundamentalist Christian government official dictating educational policy for a limited section of the country (not all of Brazil), with no input from science educators. That’s about as dishonest as it gets when you try to portray Creationism as being regarded as equal or superior to naturalistic science in teaching science itself. It was an order from a non-scientist forcing a popular religious belief to be taught as if it was science.

    Small wonder why conservatives in Texas are trying to get critical thinking skills removed from curriculums there – it’s much harder to convince a reasoning, logical person that creationism is valid science. Stop teaching people how to thing for themselves, and then it’ll be that much easier to dictate what kids should be taught as “science”.

  2. Fergus Mason says:

    “The survey results did not bear this out. Only ten percent of advanced degree holders accepted the naturalistic view, and six percent of non-holders.”

    Uh, that does indeed look like “fewer people with advanced degrees should believe in creation than people without.” Educated Brazilians are nearly twice as likely as uneducated ones to accept science.

    Admittedly both sets of numbers are pretty dismal compared to those from more advanced countries, but it still seems clear that Brazilians with advanced degrees are less likely to believe in supernatural explanations.

    In any case this is just an argument from popularity. The status of a scientific theory has nothing to do with popular opinions of it. I’ve seen the evidence for evolution and I don’t care if a million non-biologists don’t understand it; I do understand it, and I’m convinced.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      Not that much fewer.You didn’t get the point: only ten percent of even the ones having the biggest cap-and-gown bragging rights accepted the methodological naturalism (read: atheism) that passes for origins science today.

      • DinsdaleP says:

        Apparently you haven’t gotten the point either, Terry. No amount of opinion polls can change what the nature of valid science is, and even if 100% believed in creationism that wouldn’t make it science.

        • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

          Aside from what’s valid and what’s invalid, the point of the article is that the argumentum a populo would appear to take the creation side, not the evolution side. I don’t rely on that to say that creation is correct. I have a lot more evidence to support that, evidence that I have presented here many times.

      • Fergus Mason says:

        “only ten percent of even the ones having the biggest cap-and-gown bragging rights accepted the methodological naturalism (read: atheism) that passes for origins science today.”

        I’d be interested to see what percentage of Brazilian scientists accept methodological naturalism. I’d guess it’s round about the same 99.8% found among scientists in every other country.

        • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

          I suppose we’d have to define what a scientist is. May I suggest perusing the hundred-odd static pages at a new site that pays tribute to scientists, going back to Leonardo da Vinci, that supported creation.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “May I suggest perusing the hundred-odd static pages at a new site that pays tribute to scientists, going back to Leonardo da Vinci, that supported creation.”

            Why bother? As no scientist before 1859 was aware of a valid theory of evolution it doesn’t much matter. Since 1859 belief in creationism among scientists has collapsed, to less than 1% among biologists, because there’s a better explanation now.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            Not better. Just one that better appeals to their pride.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “Not better. Just one that better appeals to their pride.”

            No Terry, it’s better. For example, where does creationism predict antibiotic resistance? What does creationism tell us about safe insecticide use? How can creationism help in developing resistant crops?

            Evolution can do all these things. Evolution is a better explanation.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            Antibiotic resistance does not falsify either creation or evolution. But about those pesticides and “resistant crops”: funny you should ask. Do you really want to eat genetically modified foods? You do realize, I trust, that the population of Europe has a Frankenstein complex about GMF and GMO. And, according to experts whose opinions I respect, for good reason.

            The real reason we have pests and weeds to deal with is that farming is now in the hands of large outfits—corporations, “Limited” companies, Aktiengessellschaften, call them what you will. They tend to plant one crop, year after year after year, on large plots. This —monoculture— attracts pests, and in large numbers.

            I mentioned pride. This is why. The foolish pride that convinces men that they came into existence without God, also tells some of them that they can do anything they want, and somehow “improve” on the “random” wild. In fact, you don’t mess with the work of the Master.

            Not every evolutionist thinks this way. Some of them say, “Don’t ignore foods that have stood the test of (deep) time.” But that often leads to such conclusions as: “Don’t eat cereal, or bread, or anything baked. Your body did not ‘evolve’ to process that. You’re just going to dump a lot of sugar into your bloodstream, and wind up with diabetes.” Now as it happened, Type II Diabetes Mellitus is now the most common ailment for which you see advertisements for home remedies (and even home testing apparatus!) in the United States. (When I was a lad, the number-one ailment was degenerative joint disease, or “arthritis.”) But the reason for that is all the processed sugar in our processed foods.

            The evolutionists don’t even agree on what insight they can draw from their “great breakthrough.” With the result that some of them want us to eat like—well, wild men. While others think they can improve our food or even us.

            Creation says that God designed man and gave him a proper diet. Nothing and no one can improved on that diet. Nor on the traditional practice of crop rotation, which too many farmers have now abandoned.

            So evolution often gives the wrong insights. Worse, the pride to which it appeals, drives humanity to do some pretty crazy things. And leave them wondering why it’s look to your left, and look to your right, and one of you is going to get sick.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “Do you really want to eat genetically modified foods?”

            Humans have been eating genetically modified food for thousands of years. Only the method of genetic moification has changed.

            “The real reason we have pests and weeds to deal with is that farming is now in the hands of large outfits—corporations”

            No, farmers have always had pests and weeds to deal with. This is even referred to in the bible, which I cite only because it’s the one source you’re guaranteed not to argue with.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            “Have been eating GM foods for thousands of years.” Hybridization is not the same as modern GM. Modern GM means “recombinant DNA.” It means splicing in genes that don’t even come from the original crop species. That kind of meddling we’ve never seen. (I take it you do not sympathize with your neighbors who call GM foods “Frankenfoods.” This is why. Baron von Frankenstein, in the celebrated novel, sewed together a human being by using an arm from one man, a leg from another, a heart from yet a third, et cetera ad nauseam. In like fashion, the inventors of GM foods use tailored genes to make a plant resistant to a weed killer. You sure you want to eat that?)

            As to the pests: farmers always knew how to deal with pests. They didn’t start the chemical spraying until they put aside everything they knew about crop rotation.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “It means splicing in genes that don’t even come from the original crop species. That kind of meddling we’ve never seen.”

            Really? Bacteria do it all the time. In fact every one of our own cells contain DNA from another species, as does every plant cell. That’s what keeps us alive.

            “I take it you do not sympathize with your neighbors who call GM foods “Frankenfoods.””

            Not at all. They have no idea what the’re talking about.

            “This is why. Baron von Frankenstein, in the celebrated novel, sewed together a human being by using an arm from one man, a leg from another, a heart from yet a third, et cetera ad nauseam.”

            No he didn’t. None of that is even mentioned in the novel. Which, yes, I have read.

            “They didn’t start the chemical spraying until they put aside everything they knew about crop rotation.”

            Crop rotation has to do with soil nutrients, not pests. Monoculture DOES encourage pests, but that’s largely the fault of US agricultural subsidies.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            Maybe bacteria “do it all the time.” But wheat does not. Nor rye, nor corn, nor rice, nor any other staple crop.

            Crop rotation can keep pests under control in this way: the pests cannot count on a steady diet, year after year, of the same stuff to “graze” upon.

            By the way: I have no brief for the farm subsidy program, either. That does not benefit the kind of gentleman farmer whom I have come to know personally.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “Crop rotation can keep pests under control in this way: the pests cannot count on a steady diet, year after year, of the same stuff to “graze” upon.”

            Well, history’s against you there I’m afraid. Societies which practiced crop rotation have suffered from pest-induced famine as far back as records go. Not all pests are crop specific; many will happily munch on whatever you choose to plant.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            Many, but not all.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “Many, but not all.”

            Not all, but enough.

            We’re in agreement that monoculture is bad (not to mention its creation of the absurd US high fructose corn syrup industry, which means among other things that Coke bottled in Kabul tastes better than the American stuff) but locusts and any one of a hundred other insects are quite capable of devastating even rotated crop.

  3. TheEgyptian says:

    According to this article, it is OK for politicians to impose a particular world-view upon student in public schools by decree (if it’s a worldview that the author agrees with).

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      Actually, Governor Matheus simply said to teach creation and evolution side-by-side. That’s hardly an imposition. The imposition would be to teach one side only.

      Then again, the Brazilians need to show a bit more imagination: abolish the public schools, and then the question of “government imposition” disappears.

      • DinsdaleP says:

        Actually, Governor Matheus simply said to teach creation and evolution side-by-side. That’s hardly an imposition. The imposition would be to teach one side only.

        Except that “creation” in this case is a religious doctrine, not objective science, and she ordered it to be taught as if it were scientific theory.

        Every person who claims to be a “Creation Scientist” starts with the foregone conclusions of a single religious text and makes sure that every conclusion they reach matches that predetermined set of answers. That’s not true science and you’ve even admitted as much on this site.

        Ordering a school district to teach a single religious doctrine as science is as much an imposition on the integrity of education as teaching historical fiction in history class and telling the students it’s actual history.

        • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

          And evolution isn’t a religious doctrine? To be more specific, it is an anti-religious doctrine, one that takes the place of religion while professing to be its diametric opposite. The creation advocate says, “Someone created me. How wonderful!” The evolutionist says, as did Actor Danny DeVito in The War of the Roses:

          We came from mud! And after 3.8 billion years of evolution, at the core, we’re still mud.

          Every consistent advocate of evolution starts with the foregone conclusions of atheism. “There is no God; we’re just a cosmic crapshoot, and In the Beginning, a pair of dice rolled and came up eleven.” Or rather, eleven centillion. Or a larger number than that. And the evolution advocate, like his pseudo-Copernican counterpart in astronomy, forces the data to match the predetermined conclusions. Which are whatever “the consensus” deems fitting at the moment.

          The central premise of evolution has always been: all who profess any religion, no matter what it is, are nuts. And if they still do so as adults, someone ought to throw them into the nut house.

          • DinsdaleP says:

            And evolution isn’t a religious doctrine? To be more specific, it is an anti-religious doctrine, one that takes the place of religion while professing to be its diametric opposite.

            Evolution is a branch of science, not a religion at all. It involves theories, it’s falsifiable, and has over 100 years of observation and experimental evidence to back it up. Most importantly, any concept in evolution has the potential to be refuted, discarded and replaced with a concept that better fits the evidence.

            All religions, not just Christianity, are based on beliefs, not evidence. Attempts to falsify and replace those beliefs with improvements are considered heresy, not refinements.
            Religions start with conclusions and make sure that every observation of the natural world must fit the dogma, and not the reverse.

            You make the mistake of concluding that anything which does not conform to your religious doctrine is by definition “anti-religion”, and somehow accepting it is tantamount to accepting an attack on your faith. Sciences like astronomy and evolution are unconcerned with any religion – only with observations, evidence and explanations.

            An evolutionary biologist focuses on changes over time; focusing on the origin of life itself is a different discipline. This is the same as the distinction between astronomers who focus on the observable universe versus the scientists who focus on origin of the universe itself. No quote from a movie or old TV show will ever suffice to change that reality.

            Your black-and-white interpretation of a religious tome is challenged in so many ways by the observations of the natural universe around us that you’re quick to conclude that many branches of science act in a conspiracy set to destroy your faith, and that this somehow makes them an “anti-religion” in your mind. That’s the key, Terry – this all takes place in your imagination, and in the imaginations of others like you.

            You love to fall back on generalizations, and assume that “Every consistent advocate of evolution starts with the foregone conclusions of atheism”. You don’t know that for a fact – that’s just an opinion that backs up your belief. You yourself have acknowledged the acceptance of evolution by the Catholic Church and complained about it – unless you have a novel definition of “atheism”, that undermines this particular generalization easily.

            Finally, I shouldn’t be surprised that you keep accusing naturalistic scientists of conspiring to have their conclusions agree to a predetermined set of results just to vex YEC believers. In reply, I don’t need “15 Questions’ to make the point , just this one will do: If all Bibles, religious tomes AND science texts were removed and no one started with ANY pre-stated assumptions about how old the Earth & universe is, whether life changes over time, etc., but they were taught the basics of the scientific method, what kind of conclusions would people reach given enough time?

            Bottom line is, the central premise of evolution says nothing about any religion. If any religion winds up being in contradiction to the observed universe around us, maybe you need to think more about which one simply exists as it does for all to discover, and which is the crafted product of mankind?

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            And evolution is not based on beliefs?

            Evolution is based on the absence of God. And so it has to s-t-r-e-t-c-h to explain absolutely everything as a crapshoot.

            “If all Bibles, religious tomes AND science texts were removed and no one started with ANY pre-stated assumptions about how old the Earth & universe is, whether life changes over time, etc., but they were taught the basics of the scientific method, what kind of conclusions would people reach given enough time?”

            I’ll tell you: without anything to rebel against, they might say,

            Hm-m-m-m…why do we see all these patterns? Why is it always the same? Is there really anything special about this pattern, that we see it again, and again, and again?

            Do you realize that if any of the fundamental constants of nature were just a little bit off, we wouldn’t even be standing around to talk about it?

            Did you say that anything found this deep underground is millions of years old? Well, now, wait a minute. This is fresh meat! Here, smell it! Now you’d think it would be hard as a rock if it were that old. What gives?

            And look at this! Shrimp! It looks as good as anything you’d haul out of the Gulf of Mexico. What? You dug that out of a deep hole in the ground? You have GOT to be KIDDING!

            Look at these layers, here in the Grand Canyon. All nice and neat. Now if the Colorado River carved this channel in billions of years, where did all the dirt wind up? We should have a big pile of it at the mouth of the Colorado. So where is it?

            Look at this plume of limestone thrusting up from the bottom. Know what that reminds me of? A bubble in a lava lamp. Wait a minute—I’ve seen this sort of thing whenever an earthquake strikes a waterlogged bit of ground. The ground turns liquid, like mud. Just like this!

            What’s this tree doing here? It goes through two or three layers. You’re telling me that those layers took millions of years each to lay down? Then why didn’t this tree get cut off above the deepest layer?

            Say, how old is this rock? When did this lava dome get laid down? Half a million years ago? Are you sure? Funny—I saw this volcano blow its top ten years ago. What gives? Let me see your quality-control records. I want to know how you could get caught like that. Do you know that any hospital laboratory that made that kind of mistake would get shut down for its pains? What kind of a place do you run around here?

            Why is the moon backing away from us? Hm-m-m-m, can’t be any older than two billion years. But you said the earth is four and a half billion years old. Sorry—won’t wash.

            Whoa! I ask you to launch a satellite in orbit around the Moon, and you can’t even get it to fly straight! How could you lose it? Oh—so the Moon’s mass is uneven. How do you suppose that happened? Could that have anything to do with the Moon being tidally locked to the earth? And that more than four out of five of the craters of the Moon are on its far side? And what’s at the bottom of these smooth areas? Why, this is basalt! This is volcanic! Now when was the Moon volcanically active? When those “masscons” of yours got laid down? What happened—seven big impacts? But you said that a GIANT IMPACT splashed the Moon away from the Earth to begin with. Now just a minute, neighbor—what happened to that impactor? Why doesn’t that remain as a masscon on the earth?

            I don’t know about you, but a bunch of things don’t add up. I don’t think this earth can be as old as you say. And I think there’s a lot more to life on earth than a bunch of crapshoots. Do you know how many Elevens you’d have to shoot to win anything close to the Game of Life? Why, I can’t even count the number of zeroes between the decimal point and the number one. p < 0.0000000000000000000000000000000000000000....forget it. I'd be writing zeroes beyond the orbit of the Moon before I wrote the numeral 1. Something's missing here. Now what's going on?

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “Evolution is based on the absence of God.”

            No it isn’t. Evolution is based on the observable differences between the organisms that used to be alive and the ones that are alive now, and the role of mutation and natural selection in explaining those differences. The existence or otherwise of gods isn’t even mentioned anywhere in the theory. Many prominent evolutionary biologists are practicing christians. Outside the USA most practicing christians happily accept evolutionary theory. The only reason you think it’s anti-religious is that you’ve decided it must be. It isn’t. It’s science. It has nothing to do with religion at all.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            You still don’t get it. Biological evolution has its basis on a false premise: that the earth is billions of years old, and that it took those billions of years to lay down the layers of the geological column. If, on the other hand, a major event laid down all those layers in a year (or less time than that), the whole argument falls like a house of cards.

            And your argument about “outside the USA” grows weaker still. It was already weak for Abraham Lincoln’s famous reason (“You can fool all of the people some of the time”, etc.). The Brazilian experience challenges even the basic premise.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “If, on the other hand, a major event laid down all those layers in a year (or less time than that), the whole argument falls like a house of cards.”

            Except such a claim is, of course, nonsense. How does “flood geology” or Brown’s hydroplate rubbish account for the finds of fossil forests layered one on top of the other? How does it account for varves, or layers from lake beds with thousands upon thousands of repeated seasonal pollen sequences?

            The geological column was not laid down in a year. The idea would be laughable if it didn’t retain so much influence in the USA.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            Easy! Have you never heard of laminar flow, or hydrological sorting? And those “seasonal pollen sequences” are only your opinion. Were you there? Did you benefit from H. G. Wells’ Time Machine? Hmmm?

            I thought not.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “And those “seasonal pollen sequences” are only your opinion.”

            No Terry, they’re not anyone’s opinion. They’re observed facts. When you have layer after layer of seasonally sorted pollen, with spring species always below summer species, repeated hundreds or thousands of times with no mixing, that’s not opinion. It’s evidence of layers laid down over hundreds or thousands of years. Unless you care to propose a hydrological mechanism that can flawlessly sort pollen in such a manner?

            For example:

            http://www.mendeley.com/research/influence-of-rainfall-seasonality-on-african-lowland-vegetation-during-the-late-quaternary-pollen-evidence-from-lake-masoko-tanzania/

            “A rhythmite deposited in a lake near Interlaken in Switzerland consists of thin couplets each containing a light-colored layer rich in calcium carbonate and a dark layer rich in organic matter. Proof that the couplets are annual, and therefore varves, is established on organic evidence, first recognized by varves, is established on organic evidence, first recognized by Heer(1865). The sediment contains pollen grains, whose number per unit volume of sediment varies cyclically being greatest in the upper parts of the dark layers. The pollen grains of various the upper parts of the dark layers. The pollen grains of various genera are stratified systematically according to the season of blooming. Finally, diatoms are twice as abundant in the light-colored layers as in the dark. From this evidence it is concluded that the light layers represent summer seasons and the dark ones fall, winter and spring. Counts of the layers indicate a record that is valid through at least the last 7,000 years B. P. ” ~ Richard Foster Flint, Glacial and Quaternary Geology, New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1971, p. 400.

            http://www.agu.org/meetings/fm07/fm07-sessions/fm07_PP23A.html

            There are more such references, Terry. A lot more.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            I’ve got references to beat yours. Someday I’ll share them.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            Correct version of the quote from Flint, 1971:

            “A rhythmite deposited in a lake near Interlaken in Switzerland consists of thin couplets each containing a light-colored layer rich in calcium carbonate and a dark layer rich in organic matter. Proof that the couplets are annual, and therefore varves, is established on organic evidence, first recognized by Heer(1865). The sediment contains pollen grains, whose number per unit volume of sediment varies cyclically being greatest in the upper parts of the dark layers. The pollen grains of various genera are stratified systematically according to the season of blooming. Finally, diatoms are twice as abundant in the light-colored layers as in the dark. From this evidence it is concluded that the light layers represent summer seasons and the dark ones fall, winter and spring. Counts of the layers indicate a record that is valid through at least the last 7,000 years B. P. ” ~ Richard Foster Flint, Glacial and Quaternary Geology, New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1971, p. 400.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “I’ve got references to beat yours.”

            I doubt it.

            “Someday I’ll share them.”

            How about now?

  4. JT says:

    You must also remember that half of Brazilian children do not finish their primary education. Three out of four adults were functionally illiterate. The top 10 percent of the Brazilian people represented 47.75 percent of the total income received, 19% live below the poverty line.

    So, much like the American South, it’s a perfect breeding ground for creationism – poor and uneducated.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      Then how come ninety percent of those who have the advanced degrees still accept creation, and not evolution?

      • Fergus Mason says:

        “Then how come ninety percent of those who have the advanced degrees still accept creation, and not evolution?”

        Advanced degrees in what, Terry? If someone has a PhD in, say, physics or maths, his opinions on evolution carry exactly as much weight as those of a burger flipper. What percentage of Brazilian biologists are creationists? My bet is it’s less than 1%.

  5. JT says:

    Also, if Creationism is so fantastic, name one current scientific breakthrough that can be directly attributed to creation science.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      If the “scientific community” were willing to accept, say, the Hydroplate Theory, they might have a way to predict earthquakes, and to predict what we’re likely to find in deep-space exploration. Not to mention an insight into where one might find the most dangerous near-earth asteroids and meteoroids.

      You cannot name for me any scientific breakthrough attributable to evolutionism.

      • JT says:

        And you believe in the Loch Ness monster, so maybe education levels don’t enter into it.

        As for Walt’s theory, well, if it’s submitted for review and testing, it might be accepted. However, merely standing in the background yelling “I’m right! I’m right!” doesn’t make it a viable scientific theory. If it’s anybody’s fault that hydoplate is ignored, it’s Walt’s, because he refuses to submit it to the scientific community for approval. And saying they’ll reject it makes you a conspiracy theorist, not right.

        And for that matter, nobody in the Creation science ranks have disproved Kent Hovind’s water canopy theory. That’s the problem with never submitting anything for peer review. If you can’t sort out your own theories, how can you expect respectable science to do it?

        And to answer your question:

        Evolution is an extraordinary breakthrough in its own right. It explains how, through a series of simple steps, every living thing on the planet came into existence. These days, evolutionary concepts are being applied to fields such as electronics to help create efficient circuits. In computer science, genetic algorithms, which are based on evolutionary concepts, are very effective in many kinds of artificial intelligence applications. There are many evolutionary breakthroughs, and the first person this pamphlet provided admitted it. As for the second, he forgets evolutionary theory is not only beneficial to medicine but also agriculture. In 1970, Norman Borlaug was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize because his understanding of the theory of evolution and genetics helped him mass produce crops to feed millions of people. Also, evolutionary psychology and neuroscience investigates the complexity of biological characteristics that give rise to psychological disorders and neurotic behaviors by developing an understanding of evolution. Evolutionary psychology examines psychological traits such as memory, perception, and language from a modern evolutionary perspective.

        The quote from Dr. Skell is a prime example of an appeal to authority. That is to say that as a chemist he is speaking outside his field when he refers to evolution. Evolutionary physiology is a distinct field, and there is a journal devoted to molecular biology and evolution. Any study of DNA sequences over time or sequence comparison between organisms could be considered evolution biochemistry or molecular biology. Skell’s assertion about evolutionary medicine is unsupported. The distinction between “experimental biology” and “evolution” is a straw man, as there are experimental instances of evolution.

        There’s a recent case of a young burn victim, who had skin grafted on to her, that had been cloned in a totally separate environment.

        Your question is a strawman, like saying “Why study quantum mechanics” it doesn’t do anything.

        And you haven’t answered the original question – hanging onto one man’s theory that you happen to like, is not creationism providing anything useful.

        I ask you again – what has creation science discovered that is being used by mankind. The only reason it exists is to validate your religion.

        • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

          “Evolution is a breakthrough in itself”? Not if it’s a lie. And with so many touted proofs of evolution turning out to be frauds, I don’t see how you can defend it.

          And I don’t see what biological change has to do with electronic design, or any of the other examples you named.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “with so many touted proofs of evolution turning out to be frauds”

            Yawn. Piltdown Man and Haeckel’s drawings. Old news, Terry, and not in any way damaging to the theory in any case. When we have evidence like Lenski’s bacteria, whines about 90 year old ape skulls look pretty desperate.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            And Java and Nebraska Men. And I remind you: Richard Lenski still jealously guards his data, the way Barack Obama is jealously guarding the likely smoking-gun memos anent Operation Fast and Furious, and for the same kind of dishonorable reason.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “And Java and Nebraska Men.”

            How recent were they, Terry? And how many scientists accepted them?

            “And I remind you: Richard Lenski still jealously guards his data”

            Hardly. It’s all online. Here it is: http://myxo.css.msu.edu/PublicationSearchResults.php?group=aad

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            Those are his publication credits, not the specific numbers that he used (or fudged) to conclude that he got a new species of Escherichia from a strain of Escherichia coli.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “Those are his publication credits, not the specific numbers that he used (or fudged) to conclude that he got a new species of Escherichia from a strain of Escherichia coli.”

            The numbers are in the papers, Terry. I’ve read them.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            Not the raw numbers, but only the derived numbers, after he’d cleaned them up.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “Not the raw numbers, but only the derived numbers, after he’d cleaned them up.”

            *sigh*

            Terry, we’ve been through this before. The only “cleaning up” done was to discard contaminated populations, because they weren’t relevant to the experiment. The only “rawer” data that Lenski could release is the actual bacteria, and he’s already said that he’s willing to do that.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            Unless and until Mr. Lenski is more willing to have an honest debate about what his numbers really mean, the cloud of suspicion will always hang over him. You can go over this, as you put it, until the Doomsday in which you refuse to believe, happens. But you will not make that suspicion go away.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “Unless and until Mr. Lenski is more willing to have an honest debate about what his numbers really mean, the cloud of suspicion will always hang over him.”

            Professor Lenski has illustrated quite clearly what his numbers mean: colonies with the cit+ mutation grow to a higher density than those without because they can use an additional food source. That’s all in his papers. There is no cloud of suspicion except at Conservapedia, which made an utter fool of itself over the issue. Even mainstream creationists and ID proponents accept Lenski’s findings. If you think he’s hiding something then say what you think it is, but all the relevant data have been released. If Lenski had anything to conceal he’d hardly offer to give out samples of his mutants, would he?

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            Ah, yes. A professor. With professor values.

            I’ll leave you with this: Marcus Porcius Festus, Roman Procurator of Judea, once blurted out in open court (Sanhedrin v. Paul of Tarsus, tried before King Herod Agrippa II) that Paul of Tarsus was a maniac, and that all his book learning had driven him insane. Of course, Paul showed well enough that he was not a maniac.

            And you, sir, are no Marcus Porcius Festus!

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “Ah, yes. A professor. With professor values.”

            Ignoring the peculiar CP-esque smear, yes, science is done by doctors and professors. It comes down to who’s qualified, and laymen aren’t. The days of the gentleman naturalist pottering in his study are over, sadly.

            “I’ll leave you with this: Marcus Porcius Festus, Roman Procurator of Judea, once blurted out in open court (Sanhedrin v. Paul of Tarsus, tried before King Herod Agrippa II) that Paul of Tarsus was a maniac, and that all his book learning had driven him insane. Of course, Paul showed well enough that he was not a maniac.”

            Irrelevant. If you think Lenski is hiding something, say what you think is missing from his published data. Otherwise it just looks like another attempt to smear him.

        • Fergus Mason says:

          “As for Walt’s theory, well, if it’s submitted for review and testing, it might be accepted.”

          Not a chance. It would be laughed out the door because it’s so blatantly ridiculous. That’s why he won’t let it be peer reviewed, of course, and why he plays so dirty to avoid actually having to step up to his “debate challenge.”

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            And we all know the truth about that one, and it does not lie with you.

      • Fergus Mason says:

        “If the “scientific community” were willing to accept, say, the Hydroplate Theory”

        Oh dear. It isn’t a theory, Terry; it’s just a book written by a layman. It’s also utterly nonsensical. It predicts nothing and is wrong on so many levels it’s hard to know where to begin, although the release of enough heat to sterilise the planet is as good a place as any.

  6. DinsdaleP says:

    Unless and until Mr. Lenski is more willing to have an honest debate about what his numbers really mean, the cloud of suspicion will always hang over him.

    That’s a detour from the obvious point you avoid with Professor Lenski. You’re bickering over seeing irrelevant numbers, and holding up his refusal to waste his time on that as if he were hiding something. Meanwhile, he’s offering anyone qualified to handle them properly the actual samples so they can reproduce the experiment for themselves. That’s the pinnacle of scientific professionalism, and people like yourself dodge it because you don’t want to be confronted with a uncomfortable truth when you can hide behind doubt instead.

    To use a birther analogy, you’re arguing that you haven’t seen the original, unedited delivery-room notes because the official records aren’t “unfiltered” enough for you. Professor Lenski is responding to that by effectively saying, “Here, take the keys to my time machine and watch it happen for yourself – all you need is to be a qualified time-machine pilot”. The offer is never taken up, because you know what you’re going to see if you take the trip, and don’t have the courage to face it and accept the conclusions that must follow.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      Is he? Since when? Why don’t you post the link, and I’ll pass it straight to Mr. Schlafly.

      Put your money where your—er—fingers are.

      • Fergus Mason says:

        “Is he? Since when? Why don’t you post the link, and I’ll pass it straight to Mr. Schlafly.”

        No need, Terry. He told Schlafly that himself in an email, dated 23 June 2008. His exact words were “So, will we share the bacteria? Of course we will, with competent scientists.”

        • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

          Oh, yes, there is a need. Lenski’s definition of “competent scientist” turns out, as should surprise no one, to be “one who agrees with him and trusts him implicitly on this whole evolution question.”

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “Oh, yes, there is a need. Lenski’s definition of “competent scientist” turns out, as should surprise no one, to be “one who agrees with him and trusts him implicitly on this whole evolution question.””

            Nope. Lenski’s definition is laid out in his email to Schlafly, and it is a scientist who has a demonstrated capability to work with bacteria and the necessary equipment to do so. Here they are, again in his own words:

            “(i) affiliation with an appropriate unit in some university or research center with appropriate facilities for storing (-80ºC freezer), handling (incubators, etc.), and disposing of bacteria (autoclave); and (ii) some evidence, such as peer-reviewed publications, that indicate that the receiving scientist knows how to work with bacteria, so that I and my university can be sure we are sending biological materials to someone that knows how to handle them.”

            I don’t see that as at all unreasonable.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            It might be interesting to call his bluff.

          • MatthewJ says:

            “It might be interesting to call his bluff.”

            Is this just now occurring to you? Obtaining his samples and replicating/refuting the experiment was proposed on Conservapedia in 2008. I think it was even brought up here at one point last year. Rather than coordinate with someone from ICR or The Center for Origins Research or the Discovery Institute or any number of creationist organizations to do so, both you and Schlafly instead chose to pursue this quixotic ‘show me the data’ angle. Can you even articulate what you would expect to find in this ‘data’ you demand that would be a better disproof of Lenski’s conclusions than obtaining samples of his bacteria and directly demonstrating contamination or plasmid introduction or some other factor? Behe alone should be able to do this sort of project in his sleep, for crying out loud.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “It might be interesting to call his bluff.”

            It would be fascinating. Find a creationist scientist with a lab and do it. I can’t wait to find out what happens.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “Behe alone should be able to do this sort of project in his sleep, for crying out loud.”

            He could, except Behe accepts Lenski’s work as valid.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            Does he? Got a link?

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “Does he? Got a link?”

            Of course I have:

            http://www.evolutionnews.org/2010/12/michael_behes_quarterly_review041221.html

            Behe throws in a couple of red herrings about loss of function, which aren’t relevant – nothing in evlutionary theory says functions can’t be lost, quite the opposite in fact – but he has no issues with the conduct of the experiment itself.

  7. Fergus Mason says:

    By the way Terry, I wrote an article about defensive firearms. Please, let me know what you think.

    http://www.helium.com/items/2339444-how-to-choose-a-weapon-for-self-defence

  8. DinsdaleP says:

    I’ve been away for a while, so this is in reply to Terry’s comment on 7/15 at 8:45pm. I don’t have time to respond to every one of these, but here are a few key points:

    Patterns exist all over in the universe, both in the inert and the biological context. That’s a property of all matter and energy baing build on the same fundamental components, and subject to a consistent set of natural laws for physics, chemistry, etc. This is not proof of a designer, just of consistency.

    Of course I realize that if certain constants of nature were different we wouldn’t be having this conversation, but they are what they are, and that’s a moot point.

    The Grand Canyon? Try this link: http://gogoevolution.blogspot.com/2005/11/where-did-all-that-material-go.html

    We’ve been through your Mount Saint Helens example before. Knowingly submitting new samples to be tested using techniques intended for old samples is bad faith, not science. It’s the difference between handing a lab tech a vial of urine and saing “I’m not sure where this comes from – can you treat it as a blind sample and tell me what you can about it?”, versus submitting dog urine to someone who tests human urine for human traits, and then claiming that a false positive for a human trait means the human-trait tests themselves are invalid.

    Regarding your trees & layers, limestone plumes, properties of the Moon, etc., a person following the scientific method will log the data observed and measured, come up with a hypothesis to test if they can, and if they can’t, then cool – that means there’s more to be learned. The Moon is a great example – theories to its origin are subject to revision as we learn more, as anything in science should be.
    Life is pretty amazing, and this planet has gone through several extinction events that reset things back to near zero, but fortunately not quite. We stand here as the current occupants against incredible odds, but the fact that they were incredible doesn’t mean that life wouldn’t have happened – it just would be different than our current experience.

    I’m reminded of a great monologue by the character Jon Osterman in the graphic novel Watchmen:

    “Thermodynamic miracles… events with odds against so astronomical they’re effectively impossible, like oxygen spontaneously becoming gold. I long to observe such a thing. And yet, in each human coupling, a thousand million sperm vie for a single egg. Multiply those odds by countless generations, against the odds of your ancestors being alive; meeting; siring this precise son; that exact daughter… Until your mother loves a man she has every reason to hate, and of that union, of the thousand million children competing for fertilization, it was you, only you, that emerged. To distill so specific a form from that chaos of improbability, like turning air to gold… that is the crowning unlikelihood. The thermodynamic miracle.”

    That each of us turned out to be who we are after all this history, whether it’s billions of years or even 6,000 is pretty amazing when you think about it. I have three biological sons, each half me, half their mother, and yet each is so wonderfully unique. I hope to see my own great-grandchildren, and if I’m lucky enough to do that, the odds of any one of them turning out to be “just so” after only 2 generations from me are everyday miracles of probability. This doesn’t disprove the existence of God, but it makes one pause and appreciate the “Thermodynamic miracles” that happen around us every day with no supernatural intervention required.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      And the laboratory could always say, “New sample; undetectable age.” Instead they reported an old age. No sense crying “Foul!” when you didn’t even recognize the foul ball as a foul ball. That’s an epic failure of quality assurance. Any hospital laboratory that made a mistake like that would have been shut down for its pains. As I am in a direct position to know.

      • DinsdaleP says:

        They reported the results that were returned from the tests, which were designed to work with older samples, not newer ones.

        You also ignore the obvious point that a single incompetent lab does not invalidate the same scientific tests when used properly by competent labs. There’s no reason to believe this lab was incompetent since they were being misled from the start, but the point remains.

        Try presenting other, legitimate critiques of dating methods, please.

        • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

          A. A. Spelling et al., in 1993, obtained some rather striking results that give the lie to your assumption of “one incompetent lab.” They sent samples of a fossilized tree, and of the basalt rock it was buried in, to three different laboratories. The wood dated at 37,000 years old (that is to say, BP, which means “Before Present” in this context). The rock dated at over a million years old. Geochron Laboratories was involved, along with two other laboratories that made the same or similar mistake.

          In that episode, three different laboratories returned results suggesting that, over a million years following a volcanic eruption, somebody dug a hole, shoved a tree into it, and carefully filled the hole in again, and in a way that no geologist could reliably detect.

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