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25 May 2009

Someone Made a Monkey Out of Charles Johnson

The past couple of weeks have been really bad for Charles Johnson. He’s been schooled on a number of things, not least of which was his drinking of the DHS “veterans are a bunch of potential terrorists” Koolaid which blew up in his face. Well, looks like something else has gone a little sour for him – this one being the “evolutionary missing link” that was unveiled with much fanfare late last week. Charles, of course, was ecstatic. Here was his chance to validate his blog’s existence – much needed since LGF 1.0 began its ever-quickening slide into irrelevancy. Here was his chance to rub it in the faces of those mean, stinky ol’ creationists who had done so much damage his Alexa rating by forcing him to ban them for disagreeing with him. Charles linked to the article about the original discovery, eschewing post-quote commentary, which seems to be his way of projecting an air of self-satisfied vindication on some question.

Charles began ever-so-slightly to backtrack a few days ago, linking to a blog post at the New York Times which was lamenting the “rock star” mentality with which “Ida” (so the fossilized lemur is named) was being approached, via press conferences and whatnot. Commenting on the post, Charles had this to say,

“I understand the consternation scientists feel when they see these kinds of public relations techniques being used; it may be the first time a media event like this has been staged to promote a scientific discovery. But as long as the science is good — and in this case, the team of researchers worked on the fossil for two years before going public, and did publish a paper in the journal PLoS One — I can’t get upset over the PR push.”

In retrospect, Charles should have noticed the warning signs – when actual scientists didn’t share his enthusiasm for the widespread media coverage, he should have known something was up. Indeed, some of these scientists were worried because it appeared even then that Ida wasn’t quite what she was being sold as. Yet, Charles and his crew persevered onward, as did others in the left-leaning-but-pretending-to-be-right-leaning blogosphere with a vested interested in peddling evolution. For instance, Hot Air’s Allah Pundit opined,

”Well, a missing link, not necessarily the missing link, although insofar as it seems to confirm Darwin’s speculation about transitional species, it’s a huge coup for fans of Uncle Charlie. I love the smell of fossilized monkeys in the morning. Smells like … victory. If anyone needs me, I’ll be at the bar drinking champagne with Charles Johnson.”

Very cute, but also very pre-mature.

Today, Charles’ latest installment in the soap opera that is Ida was handed down over at 1.0. Charles linked to this article at OneNewsNow - 'Ida' an extinct primate - and that's all

Charles quotes from Ken Ham,

The ministry has stated: “Because the fossil is similar to a modern lemur (a small, tailed, tree-climbing primate), it’s unlikely that creationists need any interpretation of the ‘missing link’ other than that it was a small, tailed, probably tree-climbing, and now extinct primate — from a kind created on Day 6 of Creation Week.

and then comments,

Aren’t you glad that’s settled?

Because, hey, simply pointing out that Ida looks almost exactly like a modern lemur shouldn’t be a reason to call the veracity of evolutionist assumptions about the fossil into question or anything.

Yet, for reasons not necessarily all that dissimilar from Ham’s on a technical level, it seems that several specialists in the requisite fields are more or less agreeing with him that Ida is far from proof of a “missing link” between anything, and that it might indeed just be a dead animal, and nothing more.

”A fossil skeleton touted as a "revolutionary scientific find that will change everything" was unveiled today at a press conference in New York City. With Mayor Michael Bloomberg and filmmakers in attendance, an international team of researchers introduced the world to "Ida," the skeleton of a primate that, the team claims, may be a missing link between primitive primates and humans. But many experts aren't so enthusiastic. "It's an extraordinarily complete, wonderful specimen, but it's not telling us too much that we didn't know before," says paleoanthropologist Elwyn Simons of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina….

“Many paleontologists are unconvinced. They point out that Hurum and Gingerich's analysis compared 30 traits in the new fossil with primitive and higher primates when standard practice is to analyze 200 to 400 traits and to include anthropoids from Egypt and the newer fossils of Eosimias from Asia, both of which were missing from the analysis in the paper. "There is no phylogenetic analysis to support the claims, and the data is cherry-picked," says paleontologist Richard Kay, also of Duke University. Callum Ross, a paleontologist at the University of Chicago in Illinois agrees: "Their claim that this specimen should be classified as haplorhine is unsupportable in light of modern methods of classification."

Yeah, what he said.

Certainly, even by the evolutionists own criteria, the science supporting the “missing link-ness” of Ida is shoddy. This despite the fact that a few days ago, Charles Johnson was assuring us that the “science was good”, since, by gum, scientists had been working on it for two whole years, and it was published in a scientific journal!

Someone forgot to tell Charles that, as with the internet, you shouldn’t believe everything you read in scientific journals. Once again, we see Charles jumping on a bandwagon he thinks will vindicate and validate him, without fully understanding what it is that he’s stumping for.

23 May 2009

Rush Limbaugh Hates Science!

Well, it seems that old Rushie has fallen from grace in Chuckles' dictionary.

Not being content in attacking pretty much every conservative figure there is (Jindal, Coulter, Glenn Beck, etc), the aging adolescent, has-been jazz guitarrist, Charles Johnson aka "Darwinist Rage Boy" is now angry at Rush Limbaugh. Rush's crime? Not worshipping Darwin.

As I think everyone knows, there has been a huge (darwinian) hype about a lemur fossil found in Germany, and nicknamed as "Ida". To make the story short, it's just a fossil of an animal that looks like modern lemurs. Nothing more nothing less.

Not for darwinists, of course. For darwinists this is the evidence they have been praying for. (Well, not praying, since they usually don't believe in a Personal God)

Rush Limbaugh, like any sane person, is skeptical of this (yet another) "missing link". Charles, who cannot accept that people don't believe that the world created itself, fumes and says:

It’s just pathetic that on a day when such an amazing scientific discovery is announced, possibly one of the greatest finds of all time, Rush Limbaugh gets on the radio and tells his millions of admirers that it’s meaningless bullshit.

Well , first of all, it's not "one of the greatest finds of all time". It's just a freaking fossil, for crying out loud.

Secondly, it is meaningless when we look at what it is suposed to confirm. The theory that postulates that the living world is the result of an undirected natural process, as opposed to intelligent design, is not "confirmed" when we find fossils of extinct animals. Where is the mechanism able to turn this animal into something other than itself? How do we know that this animal burried in there left any offspring? The hype around Ida is more religious fervor than empirical science.

This should be a day when all Americans — all human beings — are proud of what we can accomplish through science and research, and human intelligence. Discoveries like “Ida” happen once in a lifetime.

Hilarious. Notice the on going "boogey man" mentality displayed by Chuckles Johnson aka Darwinist Rage Boy, aka Icarus the Kid: if you deny that those bones are your great great great grandparents, then you hate ALL science. It never dawns on Darwin Boy's mentality that perhaps (perhaps) it is because of "science and research" that people don't buy the Darwian nonsense.

Right wing extremist Savage wrote a worthy article about the Darwin-Ida-Charles Johnson affair.

18 May 2009

Creatures that Defy Evolution - Part 1/3

17 May 2009

StopTheACLU to Charles: Sit Down, Chuckie!

Dude has seriously become as wacky as the posters at Daily Kos, Crooks and Liars, and Firedoglake. The consistent “let’s abuse those who do not believe in Darwinism and call them all Creationists” posts, the constant ones about the fascists in Europe which are meant to be attacks against Pam Geller, Robert Spencer, and a few others, and his moronic posts regarding the DHS right wing extremists documents, which proved that he either did not get the issue, or was a complete barking moonbat. Now, we get

Alan Keyes Arrested At Notre Dame With Radical Anti-Abortion Activist

Interestingly, that is almost the same language that the DHS report used, calling those who are anti-abortion right wing extremists, simply for being against abortion on demand. It’s also the same type of language that the pro-abortion folks use to attempt to paint those who are against baby killing as “outside the mainstream.”

Not one of these people uttered a word of protest when Notre Dame University tried to bring radical Islamist Tariq Ramadan to the school, to make him chairman of the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.

Perhaps that wasn’t their issue, Chuckles. It used to be yours. Maybe you could add the old graphicback, the one where the green football is attacking a Muslim extremist holding what looks like a human shield, and become a leader in the anti-Islamist movement again.

But Tariq Ramadan is in favor of the death penalty for homosexuals, so maybe they have that much in common.

Nice ad-hominem attack, painting all who are anti-baby killing as wanting the death penalty for homosexuals. Interestingly, this partisan screed comes in the same week we find out that a majority of American’s are now pro-life, and Norma McCorvey, the Roe in Roe v. Wade, is taking Obama, and Notre Dame, to task.

Over at blogmocracy, otherwise known as Little Green Footballs 2.0, Another Heartbreak for LGF: Most Americans Are Pro Life

LGF is really having a bad week, 1st the DHS memo was withdrawn which Icarus really defended. Now the myth that social conservatism is hurting the GOP has been exposed as a lie. I wonder how the “progressives” at LGF will spin this? They probably will ignore it since it shatters their beliefs..

(PS: this post is completely the work of myself, and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the owner of Stop The ACLU or any other posters, so, if anyone wants to go off on someone, go off on me.)

16 May 2009

Conservatives have no problems with real science

In his latest attacks against the voices who refuse to worship Darwin, Charles "Darwinist Rage Boy" Johnson reveals his knowledge (or lackthere of) concerning the issue "darwin versus design". I got tired of having him spew the same mantra over and over again, so I decide to make a short post about some of the things he says.

but “intelligent design” creationism has absolutely no legitimacy as a scientific theory

Depends on how you define "scientific theory", Darwinist Rage Boy. If you define "science" as the enterprise which denies a priori any Inteligent Causation for the biosfere, then yes, ID is against "science". However, if by science you mean "knowledge", then ID is a much more robust scientific theory than the theory of evolution.

There isn’t a single peer-reviewed paper that supports it

Oh really? What about these, Darwin Boy? Or what about the article authored by Dr Stephen Meyer, which caused darwinists to go insane? It had peer review, as Dr Richard Sternberg says on his site, but even so, since it advocated ID, darwinists didn't like it one bit.

So what do you mean with "there isn't a single peer reviewd paper that suports it", when there are some around?

there are no reputable scientists who promote it

Who defines what makes a scientist "reputable" or not? The darwinists? Is Scott Minich a "reputable" scientist?

and the most famous (actually, the only) biologist identified with ID, Michael Behe

This is the kind of statement that makes Darwinist Rage Boy look childish.

So in all the world, the only biologist who advocates an Inteligent Cause behind the design in the living world is Michael Behe? What about Jonathan Wells, who has degrees in Biology too? Perhaps he is not a "reputable biologist", right Charlie?

To end, here is another precious gem

This is why so many people believe the GOP has a problem with science — because it does.

Who are those "people"? Liberals? It wouldn't be the same people who advocate global warming, abortion and embrionic steem cell research, would it?

The truth of the matter is that conservatives have no problems with science, but only with naturalism. Darwinist Rage Boy conflates the two as if those are one and the same.

15 May 2009

Most Americans are Pro Life

LGF has been attacking and smearing social conservatives. The theory that is popular at progressive blogs like LGF, is that GOP is in trouble because of issues like abortion. Well, here is a big heartbreak for Kid Icarus and other progressives; a majority of Americans are now pro-life!
More Americans “Pro-Life” Than “Pro-Choice” for First Time

PRINCETON, NJ — A new Gallup Poll, conducted May 7-10, finds 51% of Americans calling themselves “pro-life” on the issue of abortion and 42% “pro-choice.” This is the first time a majority of U.S. adults have identified themselves as pro-life since Gallup began asking this question in 1995.


The new results, obtained from Gallup’s annual Values and Beliefs survey, represent a significant shift from a year ago, when 50% were pro-choice and 44% pro-life. Prior to now, the highest percentage identifying as pro-life was 46%, in both August 2001 and May 2002.

This debunks the myth that it is the GOP’s pro-life stance that is hurting the party. If anything it may be one of the few things keeping the party on life support.

LGF is really having a bad week, 1st the DHS memo was withdrawn which Icarus really defended. Now the myth that social conservatism is hurting the GOP has been exposed as a lie. I wonder how the “progressives” at LGF will spin this? They probably will ignore it since it shatters their beliefs.

10 May 2009

Why in the World Was I Banned from Little Green Footballs?

In case many of you don't know, Little Green Footballs is a Right-leaning blog run by Charles Johnson. It focuses mainly on radical Islam, but no topic appears to be off limits. Lately, he has focused heavily on Evolution, why Intelligent Design should not be taught in schools, why Ron Paul is a racist, why Glenn Beck is crazy and the prevalence of Fascism in Europe.

When I was blogging exclusively for Copious Dissent a few months ago, Charles linked to my posts. One time he linked to my discussion about Evolution, another time he linked to my analysis of an Indiana University Study. In fact, LGF is still a permanent link on Copious Dissent.

Not only has Charles approved my material in the past, but his audience loves my content as well.

The way I know that Charles' audience loves my content is because Charles added a spinoff link section to all his posts, which I routinely linked to Copious Dissent and some YouTube videos. (Ironically, this feature led me to nominate LGF for Right Wing News' best blog design award). While most links in the spinoff link section receive at most a +10 rating, I have received a link rating as high as +93, and several above +50. In short, I was a regular guest on LGF, and anyone who cared to follow the LGF links would have known me to be a regular guest.

This of course makes me wonder why my "Devil's Advocate" account was banned from LGF.

It all started yesterday when Charles made a post lamenting that Ron Paul was becoming mainstream. Evidently, Ron Paul proposed HR 1207, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009, a bill that would launch an audit of the Federal Reserve System, and which has attracted 112 co-sponsors. When Paul introduced the Federal Reserve Board Abolition Act just two years ago, no other members of Congress signed on.

Aside from linking to a New Republic article, arguing that Ron Paul is a closet racist and open conspiracy nut, Charles went one-step further. He called Ron Paul's economic theories "weird," and appeared to complain that Paul's economic theories are gaining traction. The latter is where I differ with Charles.

Let me first say that I didn't vote for Ron Paul; I voted for Mitt Romney. Had Fred Thompson or Rudy still been in the race, I would have voted for them. Then I would have voted for Mike Huckabee. In my opinion, Ron Paul should not have been President.

Nevertheless, had we had 435 Ron Pauls in the House of Representatives for the last 30 years, we would have a balanced budget and be in great economic shape. In fact, Ron Paul is right on almost everything when it comes to economics.

This led me to write the following message to Charles in the comments:
Charles, I think you need to elaborate better on this. I didn't vote for Ron Paul; I didn't agree with his foreign policy. I didn't approve of Lew Rockwell's racism. But, one thing that Ron Paul has been right about is economics.In essence, Ron Paul stands for Capitalism, No Bailouts, Free Trade. I stand for all those things.

This issue with the Fed, is based on the Austrian theory of the Business cycle, understood by F.A. Hayek and Ludvig Von Mises. Essentially, it is the idea that price controls always create misallocation of resources, so why do we accept the Federal Reserve setting "price controls" on our money via interest rates.

I think you need to explain why you're against Ron Paul's economic policies on paper, because he happens to be right on those narrow issues.
Subsequently, some people attacked me for ignoring Ron Paul's Gold Standard support. I responded by citing three books that are instructive on the Gold Standard, including Milton Friedman's Money Mischief, Thomas E. Woods, Jr.'s Meltdown and Ludwig Von Mises essays for the Gold Standard.

While I am not for the Gold Standard...yet, nor abolishing the Federal Reserve...yet, there are very legitimate arguments for the Gold Standard and abolishing the Fed that do no include Alex Jones' conspiracies. While most people would be ready to revolt if Barack Obama called for price controls on oil, we seem to be completely okay with the Fed. setting "price controls" on our money via interest rates below market value.

Moreover, since every reputable economist understands that poor Federal Reserve policy caused the Great Depression and contributed to much of the recent economic climate, some argue to let the free market via gold set the price of our money. In fact, I argued it wouldn't take long for the prices to correct themselves just like any other commodity once the system was set up.

Again, I'm not advocating this yet, but it is important to understand the arguments because many of them are valid, and I didn't even touch the Austrian Theory of the Business Cycle. At the very least, transparency of the Federal Reserve is a good idea, which Ron Paul supports.

But, all this was just too much for Charles I guess. As soon as I started the debate, Charles banned me saying,
"Now I get it. 'Devil's Advocate' is the fifth sock puppet you've registered at LGF. Get off my website."

It is my understanding that a "sock puppet" is a fake account used for hateful messages.

As I mentioned above, and you can follow my links, I have been a regular on LGF, and clearly not a "sock puppet." Yes, I had registered two accounts on LGF for my friends on my computer a long, long time ago because Charles only opens registration at random times. But, I never made comments with those accounts. Either way, what Charles said was patently false, and wouldn't explain why Charles had linked to my content knowing I was a "sock puppet."

In fact, I only got in two other disagreements with Charles in the past. One time I disagreed with Charles that Glenn Beck is just as bad as Janeane Garofalo. Another time I defended George Will when Charles attacked him for citing faulty sources dealing with Global Warming.

After my banning, I sent Charles three emails hoping that he would remove the ban. He didn't respond via email. Instead he wrote the following in the comments:
"Anyone who wants to defend Ron Paul's insanity needs to explain why he is a frequent guest on the Alex Jones conspiracy show, gave the keynote speech for the John Birch Society's 50th anniversary meeting last year, and took money from the neo-Nazis at Stormfront and refused to return it when it was revealed.And that's just scratching the surface of the problems with this guy. He's a creationist, he's connected with the hardcore extreme right paleocons at the Robert Taft Club, and much, much more."
And this.
The reality is that almost no reputable economists believe the gold standard is a viable basis for a modern economic system. One of the main causes of the Great Depression, in fact, was ... the gold standard. If we ever had a government that tried to re-establish the gold standard, our current economic troubles would look like a walk in the park. It's a recipe for global disaster.And the idea of abolishing the Federal Reserve is nearly as crazy.
Well, in fact many reputable economists believed the gold standard is viable and necessary, including F.A. Hayek and Ludwig Von Mises (what lightweights I might add), and the Federal Reserve caused the great depression...not gold.

So, I know this is a long post, but I think I understand the rules of LGF now:

1) Don't ever support Ron Paul's economic policies, even if you don't support Ron Paul;

2) Don't ever support Glenn Beck;

3) Don't ever support Michele Bachmann;

4) Don't ever support someone who believes in Creationism even if you yourself believe in Evolution; and

5) Don't ever question Charles even if you supported him for 2 years.

You will be banned!

09 May 2009

The Designer Apparently Designs Like Humans Do

Here at UD we’ve heard over and over again that unless we “know” who the Designer is, then we can’t infer design. For example, if we were to argue that we’ve never seen the ancient Native Americans who fashioned arrowheads from stone, yet we are able to infer design in arrowheads nonetheless, the Darwinian side would respond saying, “Yes, but that’s because the Native Americans are humans like ourselves.”

PhysOrg.com has an article about the microRNA, miR-7, which has been found to regulate a network which brings about uniformity among humans. The article is interesting in itself, but most interesting is this comment by one of the lead authors, Richard W. Carthew:

When something is changed, say the genetic sequence of a molecule or the temperature of the organism, the network responds to compensate for the change and keep things intact. . . . This design is similar to the principle that engineers use to design safety features into products.”

Unless some Darwinist can mount some kind of sensible objection, then I guess we here at UD can safely, and reasonably, conclude that whoever the Designer is, he ‘designs’ like human engineers do. Thusly, the opposite is true: if we find human engineering-like design in biological systems, then we can conclude that we have encountered the/a Designer. And Darwinists can kindly drop this type of argument from their repetoire.

04 May 2009

Are Secular Geologists Ready to Consider a Global Flood?


30, 2009 — Everyone knows the Bible tells the story of a global flood in Noah’s day. Creation scientists argue that its effects would have left visible evidence today – including most of the sedimentary layers and most of the fossil record. Secular geologists have laughed off this story since the 18th century as nothing but myth, of course, but a paper in the Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences suggests that some of them are re-evaluating the role of “megafloods” in earth history. Some megafloods might be considered as “global planetary phenomena.”

Author Victor R. Baker was not thinking of Noah but of a more recent fellow, J Harlen Bretz (see 07/25/2008). In his paper, “The Channeled Scabland: A Retrospective” in the May 2009 Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences,1 he retold the story of the brave geologist who bucked the established and proposed an “outrageous hypothesis” for the scarred landscape of eastern Washington state.

His 1927 proposal that an ice-age megaflood scoured the extensive channel network in a matter of days was met with scorn and derision. Baker wrote, “the geological community largely resisted his bold hypothesis for decades, despite an enthusiastic, eloquent defense thereof” – Bretz was finally vindicated in the 1960s and his theory is the new consensus.

Baker clearly states the reason for the rejection of Bretz’s hypothesis. Geologists would not even consider such extensive processes, because their worldview assumptions could not accommodate them:

The prolonged nature of the Spokane Flood controversy arose in part because of the adherence of many geologists to substantive and epistemological presumptions of uniformitarianism (see sidebar) that were erroneously thought to underpin their science (Baker 1998). According to a common, mistaken application of the uniformitarian principle, cataclysmic processes, like those responsible for the origin of the Channeled Scabland, were considered to be unsuitable topics for scientific investigation. To counter this presumption of uniformitarianism, Bretz could only provide meticulously described field evidence for inspection by those willing to seriously consider it. The eventual triumph of his hypothesis, against its initially antagonistic reception, set the stage for the resurgence of a new understanding of geological catastrophism, which is perhaps most prominent today in the acknowledged role of impact cratering in Earth’s history.

Baker has just said that the majority consensus can be wrong – for decades – because of worldview bias, or epistemological presumptions (i.e., presuppositions about what we know and how we know it). These presumptions do not arise from the scientific evidence, but in spite of it: Bretz had the evidence, but his colleagues refused to see it, because in their worldview, such topics were “unsuitable ... for scientific investigation.” This is not a discovery from science. It is a statement of philosophy about science. In the sidebar on uniformitarianism to which Baker referred, he said this:

Uniformitarianism is a regulative principle or doctrine in geology that unfortunately sometimes conflates (a) the pragmatic application of modern process studies to understanding the past (actualism) with (b) substantive presumptions that deny effectiveness to cataclysmic events. As recognized by William Whewell, who invented the term, meaning b is contrary to the logic of science (Baker 1998).2

(For information about Whewell, see the June 2007 Scientist of the Month.) Most of Baker’s paper reviews the evidence in the Channeled Scablands for a megaflood when Lake Missoula breached its ice dam, sending a million cubic feet of water per second towards the Pacific. The evidence includes coulees, cataracts, gravel fans and bars, streamlined residual hills and islands, giant current ripples in the shape of dunes, and large isolated boulders.

He discussed the high-energy processes that left this evidence: vertical vortices (kolks), plucking and cavitation, bedrock erosion and transport. “The scabland megaflooding exhibited phenomenal sediment transport capability, as evidenced by the boulders that were entrained by the flow,” he said. He showed a picture of an 18m boulder that was transported 10 km by the raging waters. The car beside the rock looks small by comparison.
What is the lesson of J Harlen Bretz and the Spokane Flood controversy? Baker discussed this in the ending paragraphs, entitled, “Megafloods as Global Planetary Phenomena”. Have geologists been misapplying uniformitarian presumptions, ignoring evidence for megafloods all around them, on the earth – and even on Mars?

Bretz thought the landforms of the Channeled Scabland to be unique (Bretz 1928a). “Nowhere in the world is there known or suspected,” he wrote (Bretz 1959, p. 56), “a story at all comparable to what we read from the scabland forms.” He reasoned that its uniqueness might make his Spokane Flood hypothesis more acceptable to those who held to the generalization that landscapes are created by the prolonged action of noncataclysmic processes. In recent years, however, cataclysmic flood landscapes with many similarities to the Channeled Scabland have increasingly been documented in many parts of the world (Baker 1997, 2002, 2007). Spectacular examples of GCRs [giant current ripples] are found in central Asia (Baker et al. 1993, Carling 1996, Rudoy 2005), along with immense gravel bars and scour marks (Rudoy & Baker 1993, Carling et al. 2002, Herget 2005). Megaflood streamlined hill morphologies occur in the glacial lake spillway channels of central North America (Kehew & Lord 1986) and on the floor of the English Channel (Gupta et al. 2007). Most surprising to Bretz, however, would be the discovery of scabland-like morphologies on Mars (Baker & Milton 1974; Baker 1982, 2001; Komatsu & Baker 2007).
In addition to stimulating discoveries of cataclysmic flood landscapes, studies of the patterns, forms, and processes evident in the Channeled Scabland have informed understanding of processes that occur at smaller scales in modern bedrock channels that are impacted by extreme, high-energy floods (e.g., Baker 1977, 1984; Baker & Pickup 1987; Baker & Kochel 1988; Baker & Kale 1998). Slackwater deposition by scabland flooding at the mouths of various valleys tributary to the Cheney-Palouse scabland channels (Bretz 1929, Patton et al. 1979) was used to infer flow depths along those channels (Figure 10). This methodology proved to be critical in stimulating the development of that form of paleoflood hydrology that utilizes paleostage indicators for the reconstruction of relatively recent (late Holocene) floods, thereby increasing our understanding the frequencies of rare, modern high-magnitude floods (Baker 1987, 2006, 2008b). Indeed, one can envision a kind of investigation that inverts the usual reasoning process whereby studies of common, small-scale processes are extrapolated to the domain of less common, unobserved large-scale processes.

What should future geologists do? Baker ended by discussing future challenges to understanding the Channeled Scablands. One problem, for instance, is that the volume of water stored in hypothetical Lake Missoula seems “insufficient to account for the indicated levels of maximum inundation throughout the Channeled Scabland and adjacent area.” One possibility is “subglacial outburst flooding from under the Cordilleran Ice Sheet,” he suggested. Details aside, Baker had a concluding remark about bold hypotheses, the nature of scientific inquiry and understanding, and the need to think outside the box:

In retrospect, studies of the Channeled Scabland might be viewed as concerned with the unique origins of a single landscape. However, this remarkable landscape was not studied to test a preexisting hypothesis or theory (e.g., erosion and deposition by high-energy megaflooding). Instead, discoveries about the Channeled Scabland are leading scientific inquiry to the recognition of what can now be seen as related phenomena, such that a completely new theory is required. The resulting rich set of research opportunities traces back to a single imaginative hypothesis proposed in the 1920s by J Harlen Bretz. Though these opportunities may now be pursued with techniques that to Bretz would have seemed almost magical, the most important pathway to advancing understanding remains that which is best exemplified by Bretz’s most lasting contribution: informed and insightful geological fieldwork.

1. Baker, VR. The Channeled Scabland: A Retrospective. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences. Vol. 37: 393-411 (Volume publication date May 2009; doi:10.1146/annurev.earth.061008.134726).
2. Baker VR. 1998. Catastrophism and uniformitarianism: Logical roots and current relevance. In Lyell: The Past Is the Key to the Present, ed. DJ Blundell, AC Scott, Spec. Publ. 143, pp. 171–82. London: Geol. Soc.

Hallelujah! A secular geologist finally gets it. Geological science is not always driven by evidence, but by presumptions. This is one of the most remarkable papers from a secular journal in recent memory. It contains lessons for history of science, philosophy of science, rhetoric of science, and the interplay of logic and empiricism.
Before continuing, let the reader understand that Victor Baker is not doubting long ages and evolution. He believes, for instance, that multiple flooding events from Lake Missoula occurred over many thousands of years, the last occurring about 14,500 years ago. It would be unfair to portray Baker as supporting creationist Flood geology. Baker would undoubtedly be angry to be tarred with such associations. Nevertheless, it is certainly fair to take the same principles and methods he advocated and think outside his box, too. Maybe he is on the right track but doesn’t go far enough.
Consider first the empirical evidence. Baker evaluated evidence of high-energy transport processes that are certainly not uniformitarian. Creationist Flood geologists date the Spokane Floods as post-diluvial (i.e., after the global Flood of Noah’s day). The same kind of evidence of high-energy transport, though, is visible throughout the deeper layers of the Grand Canyon. The Great Unconformity, for instance, displays a sudden scouring of the top of basement rock, on which sit most of the sedimentary layers. This Great Unconformity is arguably a worldwide phenomenon. So here is prima facie evidence for a global megaflood in earth history. Right on top of this flat surface (where evolutionists put an imaginary time gap of a billion years) lie the sedimentary layers of the Tapeats Sandstone. In the Tapeats are huge boulders, suggesting the same high-energy transport Baker inferred in the Scablands – not slow deposition over millions of years. The Tapeats, and layers above all the way into the Redwall, show soft sediment deformation in places. Fault lines extend all the way from bottom to top. Most of the contacts between the formations are flat, suggesting there were no time gaps between them. Evolutionists invent time gaps of 10 million years, 60 million years, even 100 million years between some of these formations, just to keep them in sync with their evolutionary assumptions, but you can see with your own eyes that the layers are flat, like a layered cake, with no evidence of the passage of time between them. These are other strong evidences of megaflood far exceeding anything in the Channeled Scablands. To the unbiased mind, the same kind of inferences made at Scablands can be extrapolated at Grand Canyon to infer a megaflood of global proportions. Genesis 6-9 then can be re-examined as a historical record, not myth. It left empirical evidence of its power.
Consider also the philosophical and logical lessons of this paper. For decades, from the 1920s to the 1960s, uniformitarian geologists had blinders on. Their worldview prevented them from seeing evidence that was there for the looking. This should be remembered when creationists are criticized for having “religious motivations” for their scientific models. That criticism cuts both ways. Terry Mortenson, in The Great Turning Point, documented how it was anti-Biblical worldview bias that turned Lyell, Hutton and the other founders of uniformitarianism into apologists for billions of years. Quotes from Lyell show he had a conspiratorial attitude, with a goal of turning the universities against the Scriptural geologists. Like Darwin, these moyboys (pushers of “millions of years, billions of years”) did not “discover” their theories in the data; they instituted a framework for interpreting the data (04/29/2009). This framework served (and continues to serve) to insulate their evolutionary philosophy from falsification. They have put blinders on with their own biased hands.
Baker praised J Harlen Bretz for providing “informed and insightful fieldwork” in support of his bold hypothesis. It took years for that fieldwork to cut through the dogma of the uniformitarians, and now, neo-catastrophism is enjoying a renaissance after 150 years of dogma. Guess what: creationist geologists have been doing “informed and insightful fieldwork” for decades, too. It doesn’t get seen much by the mainstream secular scientific societies, because they have a vested interest in maintaining their evolutionary worldview from serious challenge. But it is good work. You can find it in published journals from the Creation Research Society, Creation Ministries International, Institute for Creation Research, Answers in Genesis and Center for Scientific Creation, among others. You can also see the Flood evidence with your own eyes by taking one of Tom Vail’s rafting trips down the Grand Canyon (see Canyon Ministries; highly recommended for fun as well as education).
Victor Baker did not propose a global Flood like that described in Genesis, but he did bring in some much-needed fresh air into the discussion about how science should be conducted. He pointed out the propensity for worldview bias, even among the leading geologists of the world, that can blind them from evidence for half a century. Nothing in his paper advocates a global megaflood – but nothing rules it out, either. The principles and historical lessons he advocated should liberate those not beholden to blinding uniformitarian presumptions to ask, boldly, “Noah’s Flood – why not?”
Next headline on: GeologyDating MethodsPhysicsBible

01 May 2009

Dhimwit of the Month: Charles Johnson

Little Green Drama Queen

The excellent Religion of Peace site gives a monthly "Dhimwit of the Month" award, and the winner for April is none other than libelblogger Charles Johnson: "April 2009 Dhimwit: Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs" (thanks to Kasper).
“Robert Spencer posted a veiled threat today to attack me physically.” Charles Johnson, LGF April 26, 2009 [...]Still, no one could have anticipated Johnson getting so worked up over a petty grievance that he would betray courageous allies who already have a hard enough time battling Islamic violence and tyranny in an age of politically correctness.

Johnson's strange tale of paranoia and rage is probably best told by others. What we will say is that his once-promising blog is, today, little more than a narcissistic venue for pursuing personal vendettas and promoting rigid viewpoints on a narrow range of issues. At one time, LGF was an advocate of free speech and a reliable opponent of Islamic totalitarianism. Now Johnson literally bans opposing viewpoints and spends much of his time smearing anti-Jihadis and “creationists” with the same shady tactics once used against him. [...]

Filtering out contrary opinion also seems to have deepened Johnson’s sense of moral certitude to the point that he is attacking former friends, such as Robert Spencer (Jihad Watch), Pam Geller (Atlas Shrugs) and many others, with unnecessary hair-splitting and flimsy “guilt-by-association” slurs that are unconstructive and highly divisive. (Hence his Dhimwit nomination).

In fact, Charles Johnson is now CAIR’s point man for attacking its own critics - apparently dethroning the goofy “Reverend” Jim Sutter, a freeloading two-time felon who pretends to be a decorated combat veteran with three PhDs and fluency in eleven languages. Despite having been exposed as an utter fraud, Sutter's specious attack on Robert Spencer is still being promoted by the desperate CAIR. (Ironically, the phony rev's only other claim to fame is internet censorship – with one of his targets in 2007 being LGF itself).

Johnson’s slander of Robert Spencer (and others) is only a bit more sophisticated than CAIR’s, although no less shallow. In order to establish that the founder of Jihad Watch is a bigot (or Nazi) who hates Muslims and Jews, it is first necessary to ignore what Spencer actually says about Muslims, Jews, Nazis and bigotry. Once this restriction is in place, an intricate “Six Degrees” linkage is concocted between the hapless Spencer and real-life neo-Nazis through some sort of Rube Goldberg-like sequence of personal associations. Somehow this is supposed to fool people into believing that Robert Spencer, a staunch public defender of Israel and chronicler of hate crimes against Jews, for example, is actually a closet anti-Semite.

Of course, Spencer’s support for Israel is one reason why he periodically brings down CAIR's wrath – and the irony doesn’t end there. The connection between Spencer and true Nazis is downright imaginary compared to the fact that CAIR and the Islamist terror group Hamas actually share the same parent organization. More importantly, although Spencer openly condemns neo-Nazis, CAIR adamantly refuses to condemn Hamas as a terrorist group even though its members routinely murder Jews!

So our message to Charles Johnson is… Good god, man – what are you doing? Being used by the likes of CAIR? Sinking to the clownish level of a Garofalo or Olbermann? Implying that Jewish Pam Geller is a neo-Nazi and affable Robert Spencer is about to pull out a nine and throw down on you?

Come on now, Charles. You don't belong on this list. The bitterness is making you look small. Time to ditch this childish paranoia and move back into the real world... where the love is. Come on back to your homies.

All will be forgiven... and we promise not to let anyone call you a fascist!


Read it all.


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