Water Is Wet. Dog Bites Man. Answers in Genesis Maligns Atheists.

Terry Mortenson has a blah blah blog post, ironically posted under “Thoughts“, and favorably linked to by loser-to-science Ken Ham, that opens thusly:

Over the years the American Atheists have been having some serious problems with social behavior at their national convention. So they have developed a code of conduct for the 2014 conference. It is interesting to observe the things they tolerate (e.g., many kinds of sexual immorality) and the things they will not tolerate (e.g., lack of social etiquette). It should also be noted that Christian conventions do not need to post such a code of conduct because the attendees have been redeemed by the grace of God and gladly submit to His code of conduct in the Bible.

But in an atheist worldview, these atheists have no basis for this code. In their view there is no God and therefore no moral absolutes.

This is straight from atheist bingo, right next to the one about atheists eating babies. The idea that you need an invisible father figure to tell you whom not to stick your baby-making bits into has been around since before this selfsame invisible father figure created the world 6,000 years ago. But these days, it’s usually considered ever so slightly gauche to so blatant about it.

Can we put the immoral atheist, along with the lazy Mexican and the hook-nosed Jew, in some box marked “Bogus stereotypes: do not use”, and padlock the box and then encase it in cement and dump it in the ocean?

Apparently not.

Anyway, Mortenson continues:

In a related news item, the University of Virginia hosted a conference on February 10, 2014, involving top leaders of six secular colleges and universities to discuss the topic of sexual misconduct among college students. This is a vexing problem. Research shows that 20% of college women at secular schools have been sexually assaulted, but only 12% of the victims report the incident. But given the depravity of man and that these schools are dominated by evolutionary thinking that destroys any basis for moral absolutes, this behavior is not surprising.

My first thought was that while it’s appalling that 20% of women at these schools have been assaulted, and shameful that 88% of such assaults go unreported, Mortenson gives us no reason to think that Christian schools are any better. After all, if there’s one thing we’ve learned from the ongoing Catholic pedophilia scandal is that if you got raped, it’s probably your fault for looking attractive and slutty and stuff, and that God hates people who rock the boat.

So if 20% of women at secular schools have been assaulted, what’s the figure for Christian schools, where demon evolution isn’t taught?

Let’s bear in mind also that in the past week or so, we’ve had the story of Bob Jones University shutting down an investigation about sexual assaults on campus, which certainly looks as though the investigators were about to uncover something that would make the school look very bad.

There was also the story of Patrick Henry College (“God’s Harvard”) blowing off allegations of sexual abuse.

And just for good measure, we’ve had the news of Archbishop Roger Mahony withholding information from police in an investigation into sexual abuse.

Mortenson can rail about evilution allowing child rape, but it doesn’t seem as though God’s law is much better.

If I have to choose between the tribe that says it’s not okay to rape women and also allows two men to have consensual anal sex in the privacy of their hotel room; or the tribe that pretends that rape doesn’t exist, and if it does exist, it’s the victim’s fault; then I know which one I’m going with.

The Ken Ham vs. Bill Nye Debate

I watched the debate between Bill Nye “The Science Guy” and Ken Ham, director of Answers in Genesis, the outfit that runs the creation museum in Kentucky.

When I heard that Nye had agreed to the debate, I thought it was a bad idea, for all the usual reasons, and in particular that it would give creationism too much credibility: if you put Neil DeGrasse Tyson on stage with someone who thinks we can travel to mars by growing pixie wings, the latter has a lot more to gain than the former. Pixie-wing-guy gets to brag that he discussed issues with a prominent scientist, whereas Tyson has to admit that he wasn’t allowed to laugh pixiw-wing man out of the room.

And so it was last night. A man who basically believes that, as Robin Ince put it, “Magic Man done it!” got to share a stage with a man who has mountains of real-world evidence behind his assertions.

Having said that, it didn’t turn out as badly as I feared. Not so much because Nye did well, though for the most part he did. Rather, because Ken Ham did a pretty good job of explaining what young-earth creationism is: it has nothing to do with evidence (he said in the Q&A that there was nothing that could change his mind) and everything to do with believing a particular interpretation of the Bible.

It’s traditional to say that no one’s mind is ever changed by such debates, but that’s not always the case. I don’t know how many people were on the fence last night. But if any of them didn’t know what creationism was before, they do now. As stealth-creationist Casey Luskin puts it:

People will walk away from this debate thinking, “Ken Ham has the Bible, Bill Nye has scientific evidence.”

I haven’t done an extensive search, but the consensus seems to be that Nye won the evening. Yes, that’s what you’d expect from sites like Pharyngula or Friendly Atheist or Daily Kos, but Uncommon Descent, Evolution News & Views seem to agree as well. Charisma News doesn’t have any comments, gloating or otherwise. The Blaze’s comments seem about evenly split between “Ham won” and “Nye won”; given its readership, I would’ve expected it to tilt much farther toward Ham’s side.

I’m also surprised at how big a deal this was. I’ve seen plenty of these sorts of debates over the years, but typically they don’t interest anyone except the sorts of wonks who actually follow this stuff. But this one was streamed live on CNN, and covered in the Washington Post and on NPR. So it’s possible that a lot of people who haven’t thought much about creationism have now been introduced to it, and hopefully shown that it’s not science, not even close.

See also

Stop Calling Neocreationists Creationists, Dammit!

Here’s the blurb attached to the latest episode of the Intelligent Design the Future podcast:

On this episode of ID the Future, Casey Luskin exposes how evidence given for macroevolution in The Language of Science and Faith is too weak to hold any weight. In their book, Francis Collins and Karl Giberson make the all-too-common claim that macroevolution is merely microevolution over a prolonged period of time. Are the proposed mechanisms really as simple as they sound? Luskin discusses the insufficiency of Collins and Gibersons’ argument in Part 5 of his continued review of The Language of Science and Faith.

Gosh, it’s nice to know that ID is not creationism, nosirree! It’s a completely different thing altogether, you betcha!

But wait, what’s this? Huh. It turns out that “Microevolution is true but not macroevolution” is on Answers in Genesis’s list of arguments that creationists shouldn’t use.

Okay, maybe there’s a difference between ID and young-earth creationism after all, if Luskin is still pushing arguments that even AIG has disavowed.

Ken Ham Is Not Ashamed, for Some Reason

Not too long ago, in a post entitled
I Am Not Ashamed,
Ken Ham, director of that epicenter of idiocy, Answers in Genesis,
criticizes Christians too wimpy to admit that they still believe in
fairy tales. He urges all True Christians™ to embrace their
inner crazy and proudly proclaim their gullibility to the world.

AIG will lead this charge by erecting billboards with the theme of
I Am Not Ashamed
Some examples include

If I might suggest a few others:

The Bible speaks for itself on pr0n:
There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses.
Ezekiel 23:20

The Bible speaks for itself on revenge:
Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.
Psalm 137:9

The Bible speaks for itself on whether the Earth is round:
an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world
Matthew 4:8

The Bible speaks for itself on 401(k)s:
Take therefore no thought for the morrow
Matthew 6:34

You get the idea. I’m sure you can come up with your own suggestions.

There is one bright spot for Mr. Ham, though:

The Bible speaks for itself on intelligence: