The cure for cults that want to deny others
their freedom of speech is more freedom of speech
-- Fredric Rice

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Creationist Cults

The notoriously bizarre Institute for Creation Research (sic) cult routinely publishes equally bizarre religious notions which they wish to pretend are some how scientific. This text file takes some of the cult's own bizarre publications and takes a look at them in extract to show just how nutty (verging on the insane) these "Modern Day Flat Earth Society" nuts actually are.

Copyright by The Skeptic Tank, 2002, all rights reserved. Permission is granted to disseminate this criticism freely provided no fees or costs are associated with the document's free distribution among academia and the lay public.


Here we have a propaganda piece by "Doctor" Gish, one of the more widely notorious individuals at the ICR cult, offering his opinions on "When Is A Whale A Whale?" The answer may very well be, "When it's not ajar" since what follows is certainly going to be a joke. Let's go see.

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Evolutionists are desperate in their search to find transitional or intermediate forms to validate their theory of evolution.

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"Doctor" Gish is lying. Not only is every life form on Earth today an "intermediate form," the extant geological record is filled with transitional fossils, a lengthy list of which can be found on a number of web sites and which are available upon request to The Skeptic Tank at FRice@SkepticTank.ORG.

One wonders why this poor fellow some how doesn't know about what real scientists have uncovered for the extant record since he presumes to pretend to know something about the subject.

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If, as they believe...

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And of course it's not a question of belief or disbelief. Fossils speak for themselves and one is left either accepting what their own senses and their own reason are telling them else one is left adopting religious occultism to try to deny what their own senses and reason are telling them.

The unsalted nut goes on a bit, then we come to another admission of ignorance:

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One would not have to be an expert paleontologist and anatomist to recognize, for example, a structure halfway between a forelimb and a wing..

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It seems this "doctor" managed to avoid learning about bats during his "scientific creationism research." But that's to be understod since bats debunk utterly Mr. Gish's relgious notion that there are no "transitional forms." Bat "wings" and forearms are combined to form an effective but rather haphazard flight propulsion system which make bats successful in their evolutionary economic nitch. One can't wish them away because one wants to pretend that one's gods say they can't exist.

As mentioned before, _everything_ currently living on Earth is a "transitional form." All of the species of plants and animals on Earth are subject to the slow and eventual speciation process which are complete when a parent specied is unable to successfully sexually reproduce with its decendants. The fossil record is flled with endless examples, all of which are available to any creationist to go and look up for herself.

It's a common phenomena that The Skeptic Tank experiences. We'll get cultists sending e-mail demanding to know where the transitional fossils are, some demanding evidence for "missing links." When the cultist is given a few dozen of the hundreds of entries in the lists The Skeptic Tank maintais, either the creationist falls predictably silent else -- more commonly -- the cultist responds with a denial that the transitional fossils are transitional and the cultist demands more.

Seemingly cretionists want a sample from every successfully- reproducted genetic variation from the cloud of DNA differences contained within a species. Okay, give them one: Humans. Work up a genetic make-up of samples from the broad spectrum of humanity and one gets a picture of genetic variations of the species, all of which are "transitional forms."

In this propaganda piece, the nut tries to pretend that because the fossil record is incomplete, it must mean that evolution doesn't happen some how:

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... Olson states that if we seek the ancestries of the marine mammals we run into a blank wall as far as intermediate stages between land and sea are concerned...

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So presumably unless the fossil record is complete, it should be completely ignored. And in fact what the nut doesn't mention is the fact that one doesn't "hit a blank wall." What one encounters in the fossil record are _gaps_ in the record. Here we have the cult complaining about mammals. One can trace the introduction of mammals back in time to when they diverged from the reptiles and one can find animals living today that are neither true mammals or true reptiles.

The ICR cult continues to try to pretend that an incomplete fossil record some how means that evolution doesn't happen:

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Speaking of whales, Colbert said, "These mammals must have had an ancient origin, for no intermediate forms are apparent in the fossil record between the whales and the ancestral Cretaceous placentals.

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Since I don't have photographs of myself growing up over the years, I guess I don't exist. Since this cultist doubtlessly doesn't have such photographs of himself taken on a daily basis since his "creation," we can safely assume that he likewise doesn't exist -- if we're to use his faulty logic.

What's telling is the need to switch gears:

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In their eagerness to produce evidence to bridge this enormous gap...

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Before the complaint was that a blank wall was hit. Now he admits that what the fossil record actually contains are gaps. Such gaps are "bridged" (actually filled in) routinely as the fossil record continues to be examined and fossils continue to be classified. When scientists started collecting and classifying fossils the gaps in the record were much larger. During the past ten to fourteen decades the fossil record has been considerably filled in and there continues to be gaps that will be filled in as more and more work is done on the fossil record.

Since this creationist nut wants to demand that his deity constructs waved a magic wand and created everything whole, he seems to want scientists to wave _their_ magic wands and produce a text book listing the entire special history of the Earth in one fell swoop.

Nobody ever said that creationists were bright.

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...and in doing so not only to verify their expectations but also to enhance their reputations and advance their careers...

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That comment is rather bizarre. New classifications of previously unclassified fossilized species are always attributed to the people who uncover and classify them. Indeed, the honor of giving a name to a sample of a previously unclassified species if given to the archeologist or paleontologist which found and classify them. The person's names get entered into the text books and computer files adding a minor piece of the growing fossil record.

Perhaps the ICR cult feels annoyed that they have reputations they would rather forget whereas scientists can live or die based upon their reputations. Mention the name of a creationist to an academic and the result is often outright laughter else knowing smiles and maybe the comment, "yeah, I know what you mean." Then mention the name of a scientist and what ensues is a meaningful and thoughtful discussion of the scientist's work and merits.

Quite simply creationists are religious nutters not in the same classification -- one might argue not in the same species -- as scientists.

The ICR cult then goes on to complain about Pakicetus inachus, voicing the usual complaint that animals refuse to die quietly and leave every part of them for scientists to recover whole. It seems that creationists feel they can safely ignore fossils if they're not complete skeletons.

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The fossil material consisted solely of the posterior portion of the cranium, two fragments of the lower jaw, and isolated upper- and lower- cheek teeth....

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In other words hard and dense bones, exactly what one expects to find. Presumably the ICR cult would like the whole skeleton before they'll accept the one-time existance of an extinct species.

The cult goes on at length mentioning fossilized finds real scientists have dug up over the years... Ah, this is amusing. Give the cultists a transitional whale and here's what they say about it:

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_The Plain Dealer_, along with its article, has a good picture of the fossil. When some of the ICR staff looked at the picture with the knowledge that Thewissen and fellow workers called this creature a whale, they laughed. Evolutionists may claim that this was because of ignorance of subtle distinctions of anatomy; on the other hand, associating the word "whale" with a creature with large and powerful front and hind legs does seem a bit ludicrous to skeptics....

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This is known as "poisoning the well." The cultists were given a transitional form of the whale, the cultists looked at it, decided they didn't want to accept it since it didn't meet with their religious occultism, and -- to head off the amusement of scientists who point out the cult's deliberate ignorance -- pre-emptively dismiss the fact that they're deliberate in their ignorance.

Curiously there's no mention of the leg bones found in living whales in this propaganda piece. Maybe the ICR cult wished them out of existance, too.

The cult goes on again at some length trying to deny what the fossil record is telling them. Let's see if we can find anything that doesn't consist of a lengthy denial of the fossil record. It looks like we have to come to the cult's "Conclusion" section:

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What may we conclude from all of this?

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That Gish seems to be an idiot. But I suspect that wasn't the cult's objective.

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Most evolutionists, certain that whales and other aquatic mammals must have evolved from land mammals, would stretch their imagination to whatever extent necessary to declare that Ambulocetus, a creature with powerful forelimbs and hind limbs (the latter bearing hooves), unable to dive to any significant depth or to hear directionally under water, was nevertheless, a whale.

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What I think we're seeing here is the creationist belief that there are "kinds" because the classical Christanic mythologies were translated to describe "kinds" in the Sumarian flood myth. What the cult is trying to do is play word games, asking for transitional forms of the whale and then, when presented with one, glibing proclaiming, "that's not a whale!"

Okay, call it a "flibacockle" if you want but it's still a transitional form of the whale and playing pretend won't make it dsappear.

The cult concludes with pointing out previous misclassifications of fossil samples presumably to try to make its followers think that anything that scientists come up with are prone to error. And in fact we see the cultist make this statement:

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... Piltdown Man, a fraud that was nothing more than the jawbone of a modern ape and a human skull;

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Some how the ICR cult "forgot" to mention that it was a Christian cultist that is commonly recognized as having been the perpetrater of that hoax and that it was done deliberately to deceive scientists because of religious occultism.

And of course the scientific method works so well because it has within it the dictate that evidence which disqualifies a previous theory calls for the modification or removal of the previous theory. Science progresses because nothing is every carved in stone. At the same time creationist cultists are still stuck in the past going back sdome 2,300 years because their occultism demands that they continue to worship mythologies told around the camp fire by ignorant savages.


Any text written by the creationist cult which may be quoted within this criticial examination of the creationist cult is provided according to U. S. Code Title 17 "Fair Use" dictates which may be reviewed at http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.html


"You can lie about ICR all you want." -- Jason Daniel Henderson

"Thank you for your permission however there's never any need to.
Creationist propaganda is already self-debunking." -- Fredric L. Rice

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