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Sunday, January 25, 2009

On Creationist/ID sources, on motivations

Hell might not be frozen over, but how about the UAB? Global warming, my camel's hump!



Do I only get information from Answers in Genesis? Am I some whacko living in my Mom's basement on Cheetos and Diet Dr. Pepper and friends only with a cat and a bunch of online sycophants?

Actually I have multiple certifications and about six years of University training plus another couple of years of technical schooling. I was vetted to receive and did have a Top Secret clearance by the US government. I am a professional with six kids, three grandkids, one awesome wife, three dogs and two fishtanks. I am a youth leader and, gee, people I know like me! It is within the realm of possibility that I am not a whacko...then again I am my point of reference.

Let me go around the corner to get to where I am going here. Give me some time to set the stage.

Two of my favorite authors during my formative years were Bernard Malumud, who wrote perhaps the most wonderful and terrible baseball book of all time, The Natural (the book being both quite different and better than the movie) and Herman Wouk, whose The City Boy (about a grade school kid) spoke to the very depth of me as a grade school kid. Malamud was a Brooklyn boy, the son of Russian Jews and Wouk was of similar heritage, from the Bronx. I was an inner-city kid but from a smaller city and different heritage but it did not matter. They spoke to my soul.

Schohen, I want you to know that I believe that the world of the New York Jew brought out the best in some remarkable people, like Malamud or Herman Wouk, as creative young people raised in a cauldron of cultures being boiled together in a stew that was part of the making of America. Is it racist to think that Jews in (late 19th and) 20th century New York produced an inordinate number of great writers and probably the environment of the tenements flung an inordinate amount of athletes and authors and singers and actors of all nationalities and religions out into the world of fame like corks from a bottle of champagne. I am not prejudiced against Jews as individuals or as a nationality/creed, the opposite if anything. I hope you readers who have never discovered either Malamud or Wouk will now go and read. Some of their works have been made into movies but never have movies been able to capture the flavor of a good Malamud or Wouk.

In any event, Malumud wrote a short story called The Magic Barrel and there is a passage within that story that describes the state of my mind not long before I discovered faith in Christ, a time of personal crisis as I saw what was truly within my heart. In this portion of the story, a rabbinical student about to become a Rabbi reconsiders his very faith and his avowed profession:


Her probing questions had somehow irritated him into revealing—to himself more than her—the true nature of his relationship to God, and from that it had come upon him, with shocking force, that apart from his parents, he had never loved anyone. Or perhaps it went the other way, that he did not love God so well as he might, because he had not loved man. It seemed to Leo that his whole life stood starkly revealed and he saw himself for the first time as he truly was—unloved and loveless. This bitter but somehow not fully unexpected revelation brought him to a point of panic, controlled only by extraordinary effort. He covered his face with his hands and cried.

The week that followed was the worst of his life. He did not eat and lost weight. His beard darkened and grew ragged. He stopped attending seminars and almost never opened a book. He seriously considered leaving the Yeshivah, although he was deeply troubled at the thought of the loss of all his years of study—saw them like pages torn from a book, strewn over the city—and at the devastating effect of this decision upon his parents. But he had lived without knowledge of himself, and never in the Five Books and all the Commentaries—mea culpa—had the truth been revealed to him. He did not know where to turn, and in all this desolating loneliness there was no to whom..."

That passage sums up my state of mind when I had a similar moment of self-revelation. I quit my college classes taken that semester and fell into a world of debauchery and lawlessness as I saw no reason or sense to existence and no one to turn to or depend upon other than my fallible self. It was a quest for Truth that led me first to despair before one day finally coming to know God.

It is simply not true that I mindlessly was indoctrinated into Christianity. My realization was a part of a long journey in search of meaning and truth that I will continue to take until I take my last breath. If I am no longer wondering and searching and thinking, why am I breathing? Some are smarter than me and some not, no matter, we are all called upon to take who and what we are and do are best. This I now believe because I believe now I am here for a purpose and was created rather than simply happened.

I post this because I have been accused of being rather shallow, as I only post articles from one or two sites to bolster my claims in the scientific realm. Think me shallow if you will, but I cannot allow the idea that my sources are few and unreliable go unchallenged. On the contrary, I post articles from a vast array of sites and there are many organizations and many associations of good scientists who are somewhere between smart and utterly brilliant and who stand for Intelligent Design if not creation by God. My side may have goofs like "Dr. Dino" Hovind and the other side might have the ridiculous Richard Dawkins but there are always people on the fringe. The ID/creationist world is filled with great minds who go against the evolutionist flow.

It is not true that I get all my information from Answers in Genesis or the Institute for Creation Research, even though both are great sites. That accusation marginalizes so many of the terrific resources available and the thousands upon thousands of scientists who do not blindly fall into lockstep with the herd. Here are just a few other organizations/site of note:

Apologetics Press Online

True Origins

Creation Research Society

Creation Ministries International


The Bible Creation Society


Access Research Network

Darwin's Predictions

Intelligent Design

Darwinism Refuted

Discovery Institute

Revolution against evolution

Darwin Busters

Leadership U

Creation Wiki

Cornwall Alliance

Watts Up With That (voted 2008 best science weblog)

Detecting Design

Biola U


Planet Daily

Science and Environmental Policy Project

...and many, many more. I subscribe to monthly and quarterly peer-reviewed digests and publications as well as magazines and bulletins online and in print from various scientific sources. I also access NASA and National Geographic and other standard science-related sites so I can keep up with the latest propaganda, er, information.

The creationist point of view fits the scientific and historical evidence to explain our existence and that of the Universe better than the naturalist materialistic "just so" stories of evolution. I would not insult my readers by having only one source for material. Of course, much of what I know is based on the Bible. I believe the Bible is the best, most reliable source of the early history of man and the only account of the creation of the Universe. I believe creation itself is evidence of design, not chance. There are many thousands of great scientists and scholars and journalists and professionals from related fields who would generally or completely agree with me.


Anonymous said...

So much for patting yourself on the back, Radar, but...

(1) all this shows is that if you don't get all your information from Answers In Genesis, you get the vast bulk of it from sources that are very, very similar to AIG (and it doesn't exactly surprise me that you consider Conservapedia a credible source).

(2) you can pat yourself on the back all you want with your alleged certifications, but the proof is in the pudding: if simple reasoning escapes you even when it is presented to you in the simplest terms possible (or you disingenuously evade it), then it is - conversely - certainly within the realm of possibility that you are a "whacko".

Add to that your belief that the entire scientific community is one big conspiracy (witness your little NASA/National Geographic "propaganda" snark), and the odds of you being a whacko are not exactly reduced.

(3) I have no doubt that you're a likeable guy in person (and we're not demons either), but what does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

I have a bunch of responses to your various blog posts of late, but I've been traveling and haven't had the time to finalize them. Will put them up soon as I have an hour or two.

-- creeper

radar said...


Well, as it happens my opinion is this: Peer review is a member's only club. I will post next to back up this charge. In any event, since peer review is dogmatic and unwilling to review or consider all but the orthodox viewpoint in several areas of science, science is crippled thereby.

The people like me phrase was a joke...never heard the phrase? The credibility of the information I post is not related to whether I am likeable or not.

Yes, all the scientists arrayed against Copernicus and Galilleo thought they were right as well.

IAMB said...

You keep saying that whole "members only" thing about peer review. Fact is, since court decisions are part of public record one can look at all the decisions for the last couple decades regarding creationism where that very argument has come up, and guess what? The courts have asked to see either submitted or rejected creationist papers to back up the claim.

Surprise... not one has ever been brought forward, and that's when your side had the chance to back their claims up for all the world to see as a matter of public record.

You guys have had multiple chances to show the world that you're being unfairly excluded from scientific publications. Why haven't you? I mean, how can you honestly make the claim that you're being excluded when you haven't even bothered to try?

Perhaps you should consider that you've been lied to, and not by us evil evolutionist types.

scohen said...

"Perhaps you should consider that you've been lied to, and not by us evil evolutionist types."

Iamb, we have pointed this out to Radar several times, yet he persists.

I really don't understand why he still defends people that treat his intellect with such disdain.

WomanHonorThyself said...

Global warming, my camel's hump!
..haha preach it brotha!!

radar said...

This circular reasoning never ends. Reminds me of the old Catholic Church, when members were told not to read anything without the official imprimateur emblazoned on the first page of the publication. That is, once Catholics were allowed to read anything at all. The Catholic Church has changed considerably but that is another subject...

Scientists have had their papers denied by referees and ignored by peer review well beyond the point of putting up brick walls. Scientists lose tenure, their jobs, are denied grant money just because they dare to consider anything but the gospel of naturalistic materialism. Then you expect them to produce peer-reviewed papers for a court that is predisposed to ignore them? When creation proponents have presented evidence in such cases the evidence has been rejected. Your accusation is without merit and reveals an anti-intellectual bent within the orthodox scientific community.

highboy said...

"but what does that have to do with the price of tea in China?"

I had to pause and think about what the heck you were talking about here before I determined it was an expression. I do have a small small minute patch of blond hair. Maybe that's it.

IAMB said...

Radar, you missed the point...

The courts weren't asking for peer-reviewed papers in many cases... they were asking for specific examples of unfair exclusion in the form of papers that had been submitted and either ignored or rejected.

Let me make this perfectly clear: none were ever produced. I'll say it again: how can you - with a straight face - say creationists are being unfairly excluded from mainstream journals when they've never even tried to publish in one? How?

And you're still reciting the Expelled party line, despite having the blatant dishonesty of the movie's claims pointed out to you.

And another that really irks me: in your "What Shall I Fear" post you said the following:
How do we explain dinosaur remains with actual flesh and blood still intact?

Actually, to be honest it flat-out pisses me off because I went to the trouble a couple years ago to send you the actual peer-reviewed journal papers discussing this very thing and thus you should know damn well that you're misrepresenting Dr. Schweitzer's work with this statement. I suppose it bothers me most because it's not just your creationist sources lying to you, but you've started down that path as well. Not. Cool.

I had higher expectations of you than to blatantly lie about something you could be so easily called out on... or did you forget that I sent you the stuff? Because, you know, I could always dig through my email and resend it to make my point.

IAMB said...

And accusing me of anti-intellectual bent? That's pretty damned low. Look in a mirror sometime.