Embarrassing lure of creationism

You know the syndrome: Someone is caught in a scandal relating to sex, and then they take an offer to pose nude for pornography, and end up merely as a naked embarrassment to everybody.

Same syndrome, but mercifully, without the nudism (yet): Creationists taking it just a bit too far. Two examples.

Example 1: Don McLeroy, newly appointed to the chair of the Texas State Board of Education, was embarrassed by the release of tapes of a talk he gave in a church, demonstrating for anyone who didn’t already know that he’s opposed to teaching science in biology, especially if that science involves evolution. Bad enough?

He’s posted a transcript of the tape on his own website. It almost appears he’s hoping for an appointment as a “fellow” of the Discovery Institute.

McLeroy may have posted the transcript to try to correct a statement the transcripts say he made: “”Remember keep chipping away at the objective empirical evidence.”

At McLeroy’s website, it’s listed like this: “Remember keep chipping away with the objective empirical evidence.” It’s a subtle difference, but it suggests McLeroy is ill-informed enough that he thinks there may be evidence to support creationism, rather than devious enough to urge the denial of reality. Bob, at Hot Dogs, Pretzels and Perplexing Questions, wrote:

I’m not quite sure what to make of all this. Was it a Freudian slip? Did he innocently misspeak? Or could it be that he edited the text after the fact? Either way, I don’t think it makes that much of a difference. They have no objective empirical evidence of their own to chip away with, just the objective empirical evidence they stubbornly attempt to chip away at, and to no avail. I’ll leave the discovery of any other discrepancies as an exercise for the reader, at least for now.

McLeroy shows no desire to appear neutral, as employees of TEA are now required to be toward science — or “neutered” toward science, as one might say.

Example 2: McLeroy’s Islamist partner, Adnan Oktar ( aka “Harun Yahya”), is a continuing embarrassment. This isn’t news, but I stumbled across the actual images he pirated — and they are impressive.

The Atlas of Creation purports to show that no evolution has occurred between a few fossil forms and modern forms of animals — therefore, Oktar concludes in his book, evolution could not have occurred at all. Oktar couldn’t sell the book, so he sent copies of the thing to school libraries across Europe, and then to selected people and school libraries across North America.

The book is beautifully printed and bound, with hundreds of full color plates — it must have cost a fortune to produce.

And so, Oktar had to make economies somewhere. He chose to plagiarize photos and not bother with lawyers to procure rights to print the photos. He also chose to abandon the use of fact checkers, it appears.

And so we get embarrassments, like Oktar comparing this caddis fly, below, to one caught in amber, and concluding there’s been no evolution. The problem, as you can plainly see from the photo I borrow from Forbidden Music, is that the “living” example is actually a fishing lure; Oktar has plagiarized a photograph of one of Graham Owen’s wonderul fishing lures.

Graham Owen's caddis fly fishing lure, mistaken by Adnan Oktar for a live fly

Jesus urged his followers to become “fishers of men.” McLeroy and Oktar have confused such imprecations, horribly, with the hoax P. T. Barnum line, that there’s a sucker born every minute.

Owen’s lures are designed to fool fish. If McLeroy and Oktar have their way, Texas school children may end up as ignorant as the fish, and as easily fooled.

213 Responses to Embarrassing lure of creationism

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  2. Ed Darrell says:

    To whom are you addressing your post, Nathaniel?

    Whatever makes you think that belief in God precludes or excludes understanding science?


  3. nathaniel says:

    I love your unbelief in creation – you have such a strong faith in evolution.
    wow you dont belief in a creating God ! That must have taken some work over the years to get rid of that faith ! I hope you find it again – He loves you ±± :-)


  4. Ed Darrell says:

    The organism hasn’t been unchanged for millions of years. Harun Yahya lies.

    If millions of people visited that site and got bad information, may he burn in hell.

    You, FrederickK, appear to be one of the few who was suckered in. There is no indication visitors took Yahya’s yammering over Dawkins’ accurate information (which you do no justice to in your summary).


  5. FrederickK says:

    Harun Yahya’s including a picture of a model insect alongside a fossil caddis fly in his Atlas of Creation was an excellent thing from his point of view. The insect, a model of which appears in the Atlas, is in any case still living today. Living specimens are identical in appearance to the model. There are pictures of the living insect all over the internet. There is also no such picture in other editions of the book, and original pictures of the insect are provided instead. Dawkins seized in this as an error and published it on his web site. In the wake of that, various newspapers and websites that imagined this to be a great discovery immediately carried the report on Dawkins’ web site. The fact is, however, that contrary to what Dawkins thinks, the issue is not one that works against Harun Yahya. The Atlas of Creation was about how an insect living today, pictures of which can be obtained from a great many sites on the internet, has never changed over the last 25 million years. THANKS TO DAWKINS, MILLIONS OF PEOPLE HAVE NOW VISITED THE ATLAS OF CREATION WEB SITE, AND HAVE LEARNED HOW THIS ORGANISM HAS REMAINED UNCHANGED FOR MILLIONS OF YEARS.


  6. […] comes as the State Board of Education begins rewriting science standards for Texas schools. The chairman of the SBOE is a committed creationist who publicly says he hopes to get creationism into the standards and textbooks in Texas, […]


  7. […] Oktar: He’s the guy who publishes all those nasty anti-evolution and anti-science books, steals photos for his high-cost, low-information “atlas” of creationism, and successfully sued to […]


  8. Ed Darrell says:

    No, that’s just one tree that goes back to 4,767 years. Using other trees at that and other sites, dendrochronologists have taken the count back past 9,000 years — one guy I spoke with a few weeks ago said one of his profs said it was 12,000 years. That’s using at least two trees, but that’s pretty good for hard evidence, irrefutable as it comes from the hand of God, as they say.

    You asked for citations, I pointed out that you had made a wild claim completley unsupported by evidence. I pointed out that your rebuttal then was unsupported by any evidence, as is your claim here that “these sites prove nothing.” Not only is your claim unsupported by evidence, you seem to misunderstand what the evidence really is.

    The most accurate dating of the Earth’s age is about 4 billion years. The universe is not 27 billion years old (in its present incarnation). Was that a typo, or are you getting your numbers from shredded magazines found under the doghouse?


  9. evolution is false says:

    these sites prove nothing and in fact if they take the oldest tree(“Methuselah” at 4,767 years,) it still proves nothing only that it to is trying to say that the world could and maybe only 4,767 years old and the world is somewhere around that time frame

    if the most accurate reading of the earth is 27billion years old (with only 1% waver for errors of the time noted) then this could be quikly shot down including the so called million old trees that where and are dead


  10. Ed Darrell says:

    To a claim that tree rings can’t be relied on earlier, I said:

    “In repeated tests, since the beginning of history, trees have been found incapable of lying. Therefore, the counts they give are accurate, in almost every case.”

    Eif said:

    more so then not are they of being the type of telling a lie

    A retreat to the Babylonian faith, ascribing a spirit to each tree! How remarkably 8th century B.C.!

    Eif, you make wild assertions, such as your foolish claim that tree rings can’t be trusted, completely bereft of any citation, and then you have the gall to say the claim stands unless others offer citations? Whew!

    Dendrochronology is one of those sciences originally based in the Christian-influenced assumption that God is behind the cycles of nature, and therefore truthful completely. Do you have any citation to suggest the early Christians in science were in error in that assumption? Do you have any data to suggest tree rings have not been amazingly accurate anywhere on Earth?

    Here’s a site that will ground you in the basics, if you bother to read it:

    Here’s a more encyclopedic site:

    And more:

    Please observe what happened here. A creationist made a wild claim, unsupported by any evidence. Confronted with a clear rebuttal, the creationist claimed the rebuttal might not be accurate because the rebuttal, while not challenged by any data or argument, was not supported by citation. A 15-second search turns up several reputable laboratories working in the field, with extensive explanations for the science and a few brilliant examples of its application.

    Why didn’t the creationist bother to get the facts so easily obtainable?


  11. evolution is FALSE says:

    “Science as commonly understood in the modern day has only really been available since the 19th century. Before that, humanity had little choice but to make up religious stories to explain the world around them – for example, believing that the sun was Ras firey chariot racing across the sky or that the Earth was flat.
    Of course, since the rise of science … these stories have been shown to be false. However, several thousand years of cultural ingraining has left certain such superstitious stories hard to expunge from society, even though the evidence is clearly against them”

    i would like to point out a specific religion (not really religous) christianity wich has none of these believes and is the oldest

    Explained above. Religion is no more than the product of early human ignorance, trying to find explanations for the world they saw around them.

    in a way yes (but you dont say what a nice earth rise you say what a nice sun rise the evolutioner himself)(the christian God tryed to love the human race he made things esier for them but then they rebel

    You have one unreliable witness who says Darwin recanted and a reliable one who says he did not. Which one will you believe, hm? Of course, even if Darwin did recant then it changes nothing about the theory at all – since, as stated, it relies on observable evidence and not the word of any one man.

    this has nothing to do with proving/disproving the theoryi dont care what darwin said on his death bed allot of people “say” things on their death bed

    This technique was invented and developed
    COPIED FROM http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dendrochronology

    EXACTLY it was invented it wasent found that is another reason you need to go to school again to learn how to read

    wiki is not a very reliable source please find a more in stone site

    Carbon dating is actually very accurate within a certain range. You get beyond that range and it starts to not be as accurate. However, there are many other isotopes and other substances used to date things extremely accurately.



  12. evolution is FALSE says:

    just like all evolutioners you dont site any references
    please do so so that we may fully edify the right from the not so shures


  13. evolution is FALSE says:

    “In repeated tests, since the beginning of history, trees have been found incapable of lying. Therefore, the counts they give are accurate, in almost every case.”

    more so then not are they of being the type of telling a lie


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