Monthly Archives: June 2015

Speaking of Favorite YEC Hecklers: How to Copy-and-Paste Cowboy Bob’s Hilarious Howlers

I’m a big fan of Young Earth Creationist, Cowboy Bob Sorensen. His antics assure us all that Poe’s Law remains alive and well.

Indeed, when I first came upon his Piltdown Superman website, I assumed him to be just another Bible-hating troll who thought it was original and funny to mockingly portray the ultimate caricature of the science-ignorant, scripture-illiterate, rabidly angry creationist. [Contrary to these hyper-angry-creationist stereotypes which get all of the attention online, most rank-and-file YECs are neither as rabid nor as ridiculous. Please, readers: Do not assume that all YECs are like the leaders and the loudest activists of the creationist anti-evolution movement. Most YECs are good people who are simply naive and prone to be overly trusting of the wrong people, but they are neither  intentionally deceptive nor mean-spirited, and certainly not as arrogant as the millionaire entrepreneurs who have built the lucrative origins industry.]

Yet, after a few forum exchanges with Bob, I began to suspect that he might actually be the real thing, the angry YEC activist. As it turned out, I was late to the realization of Bob’s angry campaign’s against science:

The Cowboy’s entertainment value goes beyond his self-contradictory rants. Anyone wishing to share with others his most comic nuggets of “wisdom” soon realizes that he’s so insecure about his own rubbish that he tries to make his text unavailable to the user’s clipboard copy-and-paste sequence. (As mentioned in the above link, he often gets caught red-handed in terms of deceptive quote-mines and pseudo-science so he vainly tries to retain deniability by re-editing his biggest bloopers once they are exposed. Accurate quotations from his websites being archived and later used against him are among his greatest fears.)

How to Copy-and-Paste a Cowboy Cowpie

There’s a number of nifty ways to work around Cowboy Bob’s fear of being quoted. Yet, rather than provide a lot of detailed procedures for the many kinds of browsers or promoting various software utilities, I’ll give you a crude but easy-to-remember means of copying-and-pasting Bob’s latest bumbling blooper that should work in most Windows computers and their browsers. (The same general principle can be applied to virtually any OS and its browsers.)

0) To practice this procedure, use your browser to visit:

1) Read down the webpage and find two of Bob’s very typical fibs:  “Lucy is about to be shelved” or how about:

Many think that science is the ultimate source of truth, and they
forget (or do not even know) that many indisputable science facts have
been discarded over the years. Take a look at phlogiston, f’rinstance.

You can use either of those science-denying blunders for what follows–as you learn how to copy-out and paste the text using the procedures described below.

{By the way, readers of this blog as well as anyone with a basic history of science background know that “Phlogiston Theory” was never a theory of modern science. It was an ancient philosophy based on the even more ancient concept of elemental humors, which also produced the ancient practice of bloodletting. The pioneers of modern chemistry used the scientific method to debunk all such derivations of ancient philosophy. This particular lie along with the Lucy-misrepresentation was debunked in the Bible.and.Science.Forum’s blog article: An Open Letter to Young Earth Creationists Who Misrepresented the News About Lucy.}

2) Notice that–thanks to paranoid Bob–you can’t highlight and COPY the text, as you routinely would, when you wish to share such texts with others.

3) With your mouse pointer positioned approximately at the text you want to copy, do a right-mouse-button click to bring up the browser’s sub-menu.

4) Take note of the words/phrase which introduce the text segment you wish to copy.  (You will need them later on to find the text in the source code for the page.)

5) Select (by clicking on or by means of the indicated keyboard character) the menu-choice View Page Source

6) You should now be viewing the source code behind Bob’s insult to your intelligence (i.e., the evolution-hating webpage.)

7) Use the Find command (I use ctrl-F) to find the words/phrase you remember from Step #1 above. [Remember that the words/phrase may occur more than once on the webpage and in the source code.]

8) Use your routine copy-and-paste command sequence to copy out the segments of text you want to paste into your word-processor or email.  

[I strongly recommend that Windows users replace the wimpy Windows clipboard with a freeware utility like Ditto, my personal favorite. It not only let’s me see and utilize my last ten clipboard contents, I can edit them there and know that all of them get permanently archives for later recall.]

[You may want to copy the texts along with the coded commands and then use your word-processor or email editor to eliminate everything but the desired text segments.]

9) Now you can share Cowboy Bob’s detritus with others.  (Keep in mind that some browsers let you choose Paste or Paste as Plain Text. Always use the latter–or disable the RTF feature.) 

Most Young Earth Creationist websites carefully censor and ban anyone who dares to comment in any way which disagrees with the “creation science” party line–or even to ask an embarrassing question which exposes the holes in their pseudo-science and tradition-based Bible interpretations. Of course, many disable comments entirely. Yet, Cowboy Bob Sorensen takes that paranoia much further–not wishing his own words to be used against him.  [Until I started looking at his source code, I thought he might be using a text-to-graphic converter–which would have made this simple procedure ineffective. I should have realized: never over-estimate Bob.]

Hypocrisy At Its Best

Cowboy Bob also entertains through irony and self-contradiction. Here’s an example of Bob’s hypocrisy as he complains about a commenter on a Worldview Warrior forum:

Unfortunately, Haywire is a proven liar and incapable of reason. He loves to twist words…

So, let us all fully grasp what Bob is saying here: He changed Ashley Haworth-Roberts’ name from “Haworth” to “Haywire”–and then Bob complains, “He loves to twist words.” Isn’t that classic! And that’s a big …

“Tu quoque to you too!”

Now our readers can appreciate why Professor Tertius’ is so entertained by yet another clown-prince of YECdom. Yes, Bob’s only an amateur but the guy really does try his best to keep up with the Hovinds and the Ham Man.

Yes, while living in a glass house, your complaints about “a proven liar” and “incapable of reason” have a hollow ring.  Yet, many will hope you will continue to do what you do. Your impassioned troll tales try just as hard to discredit Young Earth Creationism as anything produced by Kent Hovind or Ken Ham. Those professionals just have the unfair advantage of much larger audiences and the bank accounts to match. In the amateur category, you at least deserve an Honorable Mention. After all, everybody loves an underdog.

Sadly, some will assume that Bob’s behavior is based upon and endorsed by the scriptures. Not at all. However, you can find plenty of similar people in Jesus’ day. The Messiah dealt with lots of hypocrites. He didn’t hesitate to call them what they were: “white-washed sepulchers.”

Just as in the first century, the loudest enemies of Jesus’ teachings continue to appoint themselves the final judge of all others by saying “Those who disagree with us/me are of Satan.” Yet, Jesus said, “By their fruits you shall know them.”

Accordingly, whenever YECs like Cowboy Bob call Professor Tertius “an atheist masquerading as a Christian”, the legalists who trust in their favorite traditions remind us that pharisees don’t change their strategies as the years go by.


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Young Earth Creationist Hecklers Are My Favorite Hecklers.

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Many who think they are familiar with the Bible are only familiar with particular types of traditional interpretations of the Bible. I see that often with the Young Earth Creationists who protest my articles and think that they are going to instruct me in interpretations that I’ve never heard before.

[To be fair, there are also those at the other end of the belief/non-belief spectrum who think that they are going to tutor me on Biblical studies and religious studies factoids I’d somehow never heard of. A few of those hecklers even tell me that all religious studies professors joined university faculties in order to proselytize for their religion. When I point out that my department chair was an atheist who faithfully attended synagogue every sabbath and that there is basically no evangelism (i.e., proselytizing) in Judaism, they go into brain lock.]

Pointing out the exegetical errors as well as the theological bloopers and scripture-illiterate side-splitters of famous Young Earth Creationists gets me a lot of nasty emails from “creation science” fans. Yesterday a Ken Ham groupee rebuked me with what he apparently thought was the very worst of insults: “You make friends with atheists!” Considering that he probably assigns atheists to a contempt scale at least one step below “publicans and sinners”, I asked him if he thought Jesus would make friends with atheists. He wrote back and said: “Of course Jesus would make friends with atheists. But you are even lower than atheists because you are an evil compromiser!”

At least he didn’t call me a son of Satin which still remains my all-time favorite insult from an angry Young Earth Creationist. (I assured the exasperated fundamentalist lady that my late father was a life-long farmer and never had any ties to the fabric industry. Perhaps she thought him guilty of the mixing of fabrics as in Deuteronomy 22:11. We raised sheep but not flax, and the government bought most of the wool in those days.)

I considered telling my critic that compromise can be a good way to encourage harmony because it recognizes the wisdom of choosing one’s battles wisely. Yet, I would also tell him that affirming what is known to be true about the evolution of life on earth is not compromising the truth. It is recognizing the truth–and didn’t Jesus tell us to seek the truth and embrace it? But I knew that that wouldn’t do any good in convincing him of anything. You just can’t out-pietize a self-righteous YEC who thinks he’s on a roll. (Just as a rolling stone gathers no moss, you can roll a YEC in evidence and he will gather no insights.)

Then I recalled something a wise man said about the ballistics of nacreous calcium carbonate crystals produced by mollusks when targeting a particular type of even-toed ungulate. So I sent the first sentence of this paragraph to him as my reply.

Haven’t heard from him since.

(c) 2015. Professor Tertius & the Bible.and.Science.Forum at
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If you enjoyed this blog article, we think you will also like:
Evolution-Denialism: It’s About Feelings, Not Just Facts
An Open Letter to Young Earth Creationists Who Misrepresented Lucy News



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Even when mocking Miley Cyrus, Ken Ham embarrasses himself by exposing his ignorance of evolution.

{In a matter of just a few hours, this blog article by Professor Tertius has already brought the largest reader-visitor volume by far in the entire history of the Bible.and.Science.Forum. We gladly welcome so many new readers and encourage everyone to also check out the very popular draft of Prof. T’s in-progress autobiography. As reviewer Steve Poole described it, “Everyone’s favorite ex-YEC, ex-octogenarian both entertains and educates readers through his first-person account of the darkest day in the history of creation science and YECism.”  Share this link with friends and foes alike:

The April Fools Day Massacre & the Seven Deadly Questions YECists Dread.

“We should all challenge those annoying, science-illiterate fans of the ‘Question Evolution Project’ with Professor Tertius’ hard-hitting, creation-science-destroying barrage at the Bible.and.Science.Forum blog.  He conclusively demonstrates that the Bible says nothing to deny evolutionary processes and billions of years–and that angry, origins-industry entrepreneurs misleading so many science-illiterate Christians must end their obsessions with popular traditions and start paying attention to the Hebrew Bible text, thereby ending their unnecessary war on science.”}

TODAY’S BLOG:  Ham doubts The Theory of Evolution’s explanation of Miley Cyrus’ sexual preferences.
[Looks stupid as a result. Film at 11.]


Miley Cyrus recently declared that she was apparently willing to have intimate relations with most anybody of legal age–but not an animal.   Ken Ham thought that made no sense and insisted on chiding Ms. Cyrus in a rambling rant. [I know. The AIG website is composed of very little other than rambling rants which make no sense.]

Here’s Ham’s core complaint:

Question for her: Why not involve an animal? On what basis does she decide that? Besides, if there’s no God and she’s just a result of evolution, then she is merely an animal anyway. And those she interacts with sexually are just animals—so why not any animals? In other words, she has decided to draw a line for some reason—but what reason?

Well, Ken, if you would actually bother to learn a little bit about evolution, you would discover that it has much to do with survival and reproduction. And, believe it or not, evolution has made all animals, including Homo sapiens sapiens, desire to have sex primarily with others of the same species. (Ken would probably prefer the word “kind” and in this case I won’t argue the issue. When it comes to sex, it takes all kinds. And no doubt Ms. Cyrus will find hers.)

All of this is obviously new to Ken, so I’ll say it again: evolution explains a lot about survival and reproduction. Why do you suppose that is, Ken?  I would bet that it is because only sex with another of the same species is going to produce viable offspring which can also reproduce and pass along genes.

So, Miley Cyrus’ preference for sex with other humans but not with other kinds of animals makes complete sense in evolutionary terms.  Not sure why Ken finds it unexpected. Yet human-with-human sexual relations also makes complete sense in terms of the Book of Genesis as well!  So why are you complaining, Ken?

We can’t help but notice that this is yet another instance where the Bible and Science simply have nothing to fight about and Ken Ham really should just chill out and accept it: Humans prefer sex with other humans and not other species of animals. I’d say that her ruling out sex with non-human animals makes complete sense for anyone who understands The Theory of Evolution and for anyone who understands Genesis in the Bible.

But as for whining origins ministry entrepreneurs…not so much.

(c) 2015. Professor Tertius & the Bible.and.Science.Forum at
All rights reserved. Email us at address for permissions on reposting and publication.

If you enjoyed this blog article, we think you will also like:
Evolution-Denialism: It’s About Feelings, Not Just Facts
An Open Letter to Young Earth Creationists Who Misrepresented Lucy News


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Rev. Tony Breeden “knows” the “clear, plain meaning of Genesis.” Does he really?

Today the Bible.and.Science.Forum was cc’d on a rather condescending and dismissive email from Rev. Tony Breeden, who directs yet another Young Earth Creationism ministry, this one apparently called Defending Genesis.  The first link I clicked on the ministry’s History page took me to a West Virginia “creation science group” where an apparently not so current event page announced that they would be viewing some Kent Hovind DVD at their January meeting. (Rev. Breeden appears to consider all other Christians with any other view on origins to be “compromising” Christians, or worse, and seeing how he does not hesitate to take cheap shots at everyone he can, I’d wager that he gets lots of cheap shots in return, with the Kent Hovind and the West Virginia associations being much like red flags and “Kick Me!” signs for those who are prone to respond to his cheap shots with cheap shots of their own.)

I found myself dissecting Rev. Breeden’s cheeky email in a detailed reply and even decided to send a reciprocal “REPLY TO ALL”, although I doubt if many of the infamous YEC ministry “celebrities” and organizations in the address list ever read emails which might possibly educate them on science or the scriptures, especially when it comes from a “compromising Christian” foe like me. I may share excerpts of my email reply in the future but today I just wanted to react to one of the lamest of Young Earth Creationist justifications that I found on his Compromise Creation webpage at   [As happens on occasion, WordPress is refusing to let me insert a link, so I apologize for the raw address that is not automatically clickable. I gave up on retries.] Here’s what he said:

“This page is dedicated to posts dealing specifically with Old Earth Creationism [OEC], such as Thesitic Evolution, Progressive Creationism, Gap Creationism and similar Creationist stances which compromise the clear, plain meaning of Genesis to try to account for the long-age assumptions of uniformitarianism and which attempt to incorporate evolutionism into God’s Creative process.”

Considering how many interpretations/views can be found even among Bible-believing Christians of remarkably similar doctrinal positions, I find this claim remarkable. Moreover, how likely is it that a modern-day reader of an English Bible translation (of a several thousand year old Classical Hebrew text from a very different culture) will easily know the “clear, plain meaning of Genesis”?

Now I’m not saying that understanding an ancient text in translation is beyond any hope of comprehension, as some post-Modernists might claim. Yet, most of us have lived long enough that when someone insists on prefacing a statement with “Everybody knows that…” and “Without any doubt…”, we usually have reason to be cautious about what an author declares so presumptuously.   Moreover, especially when dealing with scripture, what is the “clear, plain meaning” may only be “clear” and “plain” only to the person making the claim–and the proclamation is obviously (!) a not-so-subtle attempt to convince the reader that anyone questioning the writer’s confident declaration is obfuscating what is allegedly beyond all doubt. (One might just as well say “Even the youngest of children can see that what I’m saying is true!”)

I do believe that there are many “clear and plain” meanings to be drawn from countless Biblical texts. Indeed, I consider Genesis 1 to be among them! However, the “clear, plain meaning” which I draw from Genesis 1 is not at the level of detail of Breeden and other YECists. To me it’s simplest, clearest, plainest, and even obvious meaning is that Israel’s God created everything and is superior to the deities of neighboring peoples.

What is not so obvious to those who are not familiar with Hebrew language and culture is that the ancient Hebrews were far less temporally/chronologically-oriented. (Their language didn’t even have the kinds of verbal tenses which we would expect.) Therefore, I seriously doubt that ancient readers gave much thought to Genesis 1 as being focused on the details of what the creator did so much as on WHO did the creating. I will not explain this further in this article because that topic deserves its own treatment.

Yet, I will say that if I were pressed for my personal view on Genesis 1, I would say it is basically a “Hymn of Tribute to the Creator” and that the author uses a seven day week to put the power of God ELOHIM into human perspective:  God can create the universe [expressed in Hebrew via the idiom “the heavens and the earth”, i.e., “everything above and all that is below”] in a single week.  This in no way denigrates the text and the same fundamentalist Christians who are fine with similar literary genres elsewhere in the Old Testament nevertheless on a rigidly literal interpretation of Genesis 1 as an “obvious historical description” [even though it lacks many of the features we would expect and includes various features we wouldn’t expect] because their Young Earth Creationist traditions demand it.

Nevertheless, my primary purpose in this article on the “clear, plain meaning of Genesis” is to explain why we must be careful about such simplistic and presumptuous claims.

Foremost among our cautions is the simple fact that language translators are often forced to make difficult choices which may make the end result look far more “plain and obvious” in translation than in they knew the text to be in the original language.  To illustrate that reality, I cite an example shared by a fellow Bible translation conference speaker of years ago. Unfortunately, I can no longer recall his name. Yet, I know that he did a lot of work with Wycliffe Bible Translators/Summer Institute of Linguistics and he said that this was from the experiences of one of the field translators whom he assisted as a regional consultant. Over the next thirty years I’ve cited his example countless times as it illustrates that a literal translation sometimes distracts from and even contradicts the intended meaning of a text and reminds us of the dangers of the “clean, plain meaning” of a Biblical text.

When Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock….”, the plain and simple meaning to a typical modern English reader is: “A friend wants to see you.”   Yet, in that Amazonian rainforest culture, “the plain and simple meaning” was obviously this:

1) There is an enemy at my door.
2)  He is knocking to determine if anyone is within the home.
3)  If nobody responds to his knocking, he will assume that he can go in and steal my property OR he can burn down the home and get revenge for something without being seen by anyone inside.
4) If somebody responds to his knocking, he can run away before anybody catches him or accuses him of being a thief.

Again, those interpretations of “Behold, I stand at the door and knock…” are the obvious clear, plain meaning of that familiar English Bible passage among many of the peoples living in the Amazon River basin when the Bible translation team was doing their work there.

Moreover, despite the naive claims of some fundamentalist Christians, the Biblical languages and cultures entail many of the same kinds of language complexities, ambiguities, and difficulties.  The myth that Biblical Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic are somehow immune from such problems and are “perfect languages” [whatever that means] is yet another “everybody knows that” factoid that misleads the naive and linguistically uninformed.

Obviously, if reading and interpreting the Biblical text of Genesis 1 was “clear, plain, and simple”, we could at least expect Christians (if not all English readers) to agree on the meaning–but it isn’t and we can’t.  Indeed, most of us prefer to live in reality and most Christians are honest enough to admit that legitimate disagreements exist. So unless one is going to insist that “my view is automatically the correct one and all others are wrong”, one must admit the complexities and potential ambiguities of the various Biblical texts. Accordingly, the “clear, plain meaning of Genesis 1” remains one of the lamest of Young Earth Creationist arguments.

What did the Bible translator decide about “Behold, I stand at the door and knock”?  Because a literal rendering of the well-known evangelism passage would be so misleading, he chose to go with a dynamic equivalent type of translation philosophy:  “Behold, I stand at the door and call.” In that culture, a visiting friend would never knock like a thief. He would call out the name of his friend and politely announce his visit. Yet, the change would probably mystify most people–until someone explained the cultural issues.

Very complex topics often strike the uniformed person as remarkably simple. When one knows so little about the massive evidence for billions of years–and that radiometric dating is just one of many scientific methodologies for determining the age of geologic strata and fossils–it is incredibly easy to assume that all of the world’s brilliant scientists are ignorant and that a science-illiterate pastor is fully qualified to chide them for their errors and magnanimously tutor them on where they went wrong. If the Kruger-Dunning Effect ever needed a poster-child, Rev. Tony Breeden would have a very good shot for a full-ride scholarship. Ignorance of both scientific and scriptural evidence remains the best qualification for starting one’s own “creation science” ministry organization. Smug condescension towards “compromising Christians” and overbearing hubris and dismissive scorn towards those annoying “materialist scientists” are not explicitly stated in the “creation science” ministry leader’s job description but they don’t have to be.  Although not totally essential to do the job, those “skills” are easily mastered.

After all, there are so many other science-denying YEC leaders to emulate.  Rev. Tony Breeden’s websites will show the young aspiring origins ministry entrepreneur how to preserve man-made traditions while ignoring the Biblical text and to never let scientific and scriptural evidence get ahead of traditional YECist dogma. After all, anything else would be “compromising”.

(c) 2015. Professor Tertius & the Bible.and.Science.Forum at
All rights reserved. Email us at address for permissions on reposting and publication.


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THINKING SMALL. (Ken Ham: Rejecting the actual past, yet stuck in the past.)

I’m neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet. (The Bible.and.Science.Forum is a non-prophet organization.) Yet, I’m willing to make a prediction.  Ken Ham’s Ark Park will be the sinkhole that sinks his ship, financially speaking.

Ken Ham is stuck in the business models of the past–think post-WWII Disney Land but without any of the more than can-be-seen-in-a-day variety and wonder–and is determined to pursue a frighteningly expensive theme park that has no chance of succeeding without enormous ongoing cash infusions. 

Considering the huge price tag of the project, the sure-to-balloon cost overruns, and the enormous maintenance and operational costs of whatever the result, the tourist attraction’s mediocre location makes it unsustainable. (That is already the case with the Creation Museum but Ham will continue to cover that from donations and mail-order revenue.) Even a prime location wouldn’t help all that much. Moreover, prime locations tend to come with huge price tags and Sinai-sized property taxes and impact fees.

If not for the ego factor and traditional thinking, Ham could perhaps be prodded to think more broadly, to prioritize his ultimate objectives, and to consider a cost-return analysis of the various ways he can convince the general public to accept (or at least consider viable) “creation science” and his brand of Young Earth Creationism. I wonder if anyone has told him: “Investigate where Internet-based technology is headed and invest your money in intersecting with it 5 and 10 years out.” Wouldn’t both common sense and likely impact-per-dollar-spent point away from a perpetual budget-straining, brick and gopher wood tourist attraction and towards far more exciting technology reaching a far larger audience? For starters, how about something far more exciting and cutting-edge than AIG’s bland websites? And why not escape the constraints of physics and biology by leaving the real world entirely behind (while nevertheless appearing to deal with it) using virtual reality and the next wave of 3D realism?

While the Internet remains the best way to reach the most eyeballs, Ham could, for example, invest in “technology-based tourist attractions”, using the IMAX theatre business model. Imagine airport concourse advertising and highway billboards inviting visitors to Branson (MO), Colorado Springs (CO), Dollywood, and other evangelical Christian regional Meccas as well as more traditional theme and amusement park destinations shouting “Live the Bible: Experience Ken Ham’s Noah’s Ark Encounter!” (Branson would be a good trial location. Link the attraction to a steady calendar of AIG “creation science” seminars and a steady stream of conference traffic–such as Christian Booksellers Convention and homeschooling conferences–and the cost-return comparison would blow any Ark Park out of the water.)

Executed well, you’d even see some of the celebrities of the ID and YEC movements permanently move to such a place just as many music entertainers purchased homes in the Branson area so they no longer have to tour. (Their audiences come to them.) Add some real estate developers marketing “the ultimate Young Earth Creationist retirement community” and you’d have a fundamentalist Promised Land.

Even if Ham spends the anticipated $150 million on an Ark Park where everything falls into place beyond his wildest expectations, once Christian vacationers within 1200 driving distance have visited, few will return. After perhaps five years or so, operational/maintenance costs will outstrip admission revenue. But imagine what $150 million invested in virtual reality 3D “tours” of Noah’s Ark: under construction, ark loading, the first day of rain, another routine day of ark life, and “rest at Ararat”. [New readers of this blog: I’ve got no beefs with the ancient text–but I have lots of complaints about “creation science” spin.]

Of course, even a few million dollars could beef up the AIG website to produce something far more impressive than the text-heavy, uninspired, and (I’ll say it) amusing but repetitive jukebox of tiresome old songs. (There’s only so many arrangements and styles of “Historical Science Blues”, “Were You There?”, and “Same Data. Different Interpretations” before the monotony turns maddening.) Yet, if Ham really wants to turn Americans to “creation science”, why doesn’t he invest $150 million in actual scientific research–and produce the kinds of milestone scientific discoveries that could give him credibility.

Yes, I may not be a prophet but it’s fun to imagine an alternate reality where Ham cares about actual science.


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