The Evolution of Creationism

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by Gordy Slack
Chicago Sun-Times (Illinois), page 2B
November 18, 2007

Two years ago, Pennsylvania federal Judge John Jones III handed down a stunning decision that many said would take down the intelligent design movement. But American creationism doesn’t die. It just adapts.

Decades earlier, when the courts deemed creation science — proto intelligent design — a religious view and not constitutionally teachable as science in public schools, it adapted by cutting God off its letterhead and calling itself “intelligent design.” The argument for I.D., and for “scientific creation theory” before it, is that evolution isn’t up to the task of accounting for life. Given biology’s complexity, and natural selection’s inability to explain it, I.D. thinking goes, life must be designed by a, well, designer. I.D.ers skirted any mention of God, hoping to avoid getting snagged on the First Amendment’s prohibition against promoting religion by arguing that I.D. was just a young and outlying science.

In the Pennsylvania case, Kitzmiller vs. Dover, Judge Jones ruled that if you want to teach intelligent design in science class, first you have to show that it is a distinct species from its earlier, creationist form, not just a modified type. You’ve got to show us the science part, he said. Besides, Jones declared, your intelligent designer is obviously God.

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A Review of Stellar Remnants: Physics, Evolution, and Interpretation

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by Danny R. Faulkner
CRS Quarterly, Volume 44 Number 2, Fall 2007, pp. 76-84.

Astronomers think that stars end their existence as one of three possible stellar remnants. In recent decades, astronomers have amassed a tremendous amount of observational data and theoretical models to support an evolutionary interpretation of stellar remnants. We survey this topic and discuss possible creationary responses to it.

Recent issues of this quarterly have contained articles dealing with stellar remnants (Davies, 2007; DeYoung, 2006). In this article, we explore three topics. First, we review the types of stellar remnants recognized in the astronomical field. Second, we briefy describe the observations and physics that support the identification of these objects. Third, we discuss the evolutionary framework that astronomers generally think explains these different objects. In the conclusion we will discuss some of the possible creationary responses to these evolutionary ideas. As creationists, we reject evolutionary explanations and ought to respond to them with criticisms and creationary alternatives. However, in our critique of these evolutionary ideas, we must be very careful that we do not mistakenly “throw the baby out with the bath water” by dismissing some of the conclusions that are based upon good observations and physics. As difficult as it may be, we must separate the evolutionary speculations from the well-established ideas.

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The Ultrastructure of Lichen Cells—Part 1

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by Mark H. Armitage and George F. Howe
CRS Quarterly, Volume 44 Number 1, Summer 2007, pp. 40-53.

Lichens are a life-form composed of a fungus called the “mycobiont,” growing in close union with some alga or blue-green bacterium known as the “phycobiont” (Howe and Armitage, 2002). Some workers consider this to be a symbiotic union, while others see it as a mild form of parasitism. Lichen pigments probably play many important physiological roles, while their brilliant colors provide considerable aesthetic enjoyment (Howe and Armitage, 2003). The versatile array of lichen asexual reproductive bodies and other features of the lichen upper surface have been illustrated by using scanning electron photomicrography (Armitage and Howe, 2004). Lichen algae and fungi are woven together forming “tissues” that resemble the tissues of unrelated “higher plants” in a generalized fashion (Armitage and Howe, 2006). In this two-part article (our fifth lichen paper) we show that the cellular ultrastructure of lichen provides evidence favoring design and direct creation. Our hope here, as with the other lichen papers, is that the readers’ knowledge of the Creator and their esteem for His handiwork will be enhanced by the study of lichens.

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German minister caught in creationism row

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by Derek Scally in Berlin
Saturday`s Irish Times (Ireland), page 11
July 21, 2007

A German minister for culture and education has come under fire for suggesting that the biblical story of creation should be discussed in school science classes.

The suggestion by Karin Wolff, culture minister in the western state of Hesse, appears to call into question the separation of church and state in German schools and has caused alarm among leftwing politicians.

They are wary of the “creationist” teachings of some evangelical Christians in the US, in particular the idea of “intelligent design”: that many life forms have elements too complex to be explained by the random process of evolution, proposed by Charles Darwin in 1859, and must instead have had a creator.

Ms Wolff, a theologian and former religion teacher, told the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper that she saw “no contradiction between biological evolution and the biblical explanation for origin of the world”.

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Portuguese Newspaper Spotlights Creation Museum

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No EUA, a abertura de um museu dos erros
by Thomas Dévry
Publico (Portugal), page 8, P2 section
10 Jul 2007

Fundado pelos criacionistas, um museu recém-inaugurado no Kentucky apresenta uma história do mundo decalcada da Bíblia com muitos dinossauros à mistura.

a Por uma razão desconhecida, as crianças americanas passam um tempo considerável a engolir tudo que podem sobre dinossauros. Não é, pois, de admirar, que um museu que procure moldar o espírito das crianças exiba quantidades generosas de triceratopos, diplococos e outros estegossauros, em plástico ou animados, tal como se fossem robôs. Instituições sérias, como o Smithonian Museum, em Washington, já recorreram a esta estratégia de atracção dos mais novos.

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French newspaper coverage of Answers in Genesis Creation Museum

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Aux Etats-Unis, l’ouverture d’un musée des erreurs
by Thomas Dévry
Liberation (France), page 6
July 7, 2007

Pour une raison inconnue, les petits Américains passent un temps considérable à ingurgiter tout ce qu’ils peuvent sur les dinosaures. Il n’est donc pas étonnant qu’un musée qui cherche à modeler l’esprit des enfants déploie quantité de triceratops, diplodocus et autres stégosaures, en plastique ou animés tels des robots. Des institutions fort sérieuses, comme le Smithonian Museum à Washington, sont passées par là. Mais voilà, à Petersburg, au coeur des collines du Kentucky, les tyrannosaures et quelques vélocirapteurs batifolent en parfaite harmonie aux côtés d’enfants souriants (en plastique aux aussi). Ce tableau, propre à effrayer tout spectateur de Jurassic Park, a le don de hérisser le poil de n’importe quel naturaliste qui sait que les dinosaures et les humains ont raté leur rendez-vous de 60 millions d’années. Pas ici, car nous sommes au musée de la Création, fondé sur la parole littérale de la Bible (Ancien et Nouveau Testament), qui fait remonter l’âge de notre bonne vieille planète Terre à 6 000 années maximum.

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Science Fiction Goes Back to the Future in Nature

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Nature July 5 2007The science fiction issue
Nature, Vol. 448, No. 7149, pages 1-104

05 Jul 2007

In this special issue of Nature, we celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the ‘many worlds’ interpretation of quantum mechanics with an editorial, two news features, an essay and a commentary presented together in the science fiction web focus.

Also this week is the return of Nature’s award-winning weekly science fiction short story series, Futures.

View the July 5, 2007 Nature table of contents


One tonne soup. Villagers brewed dinosaur bones.*

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Power-hungry Chinese ate dinosaur fossils
The Washington Times Daily, page A10
July 5, 2007

BEIJING (AP) — Villagers in central China dug up a ton of dinosaur bones and boiled them in soup or ground them into powder for traditional medicine, believing they were from flying dragons and had healing powers.

Until last year, the fossils were being sold in Henan province as “dragon bones” at about 2 yuan, or about 25 cents, per pound, scientist Dong Zhiming told the Associated Press yesterday.

Mr. Dong, a professor with the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said when the villagers found out the bones were from dinosaurs they donated 440 pounds to him and his colleagues for research.

“They had believed that the ‘dragon bones’ were from the dragons flying in the sky,” he said.

The calcium- rich bones were sometimes boiled with other ingredients and fed to children as a treatment for dizziness and leg cramps. Other times they were ground up and made into a paste that was applied directly to fractures and other injuries, he said.

The practice had been going on for at least two decades, he said.

Mr. Dong was among a team of scientists who recently excavated in Henan’s Ruyang County a 60-foot-long plant-eating dinosaur, which lived 85 million to 100 million years ago. Local officials held a press conference Tuesday, showing off the find to the public for the first time.

Another two dinosaur fossils were being excavated in the area, which is rich in fossilized dinosaur eggs, Mr. Dong said.

View Washington Times article

* Headline from The Guardian (UK).