Sunday, March 17, 2013

#471: Jonathan Bartlett

Roseanne Barr is weapons-grade nuts, and she has therefore started a cleaning operation of her website and reputation since looking weapons-grade nuts might look bad when you’ve decided to run for president; according to herself she suffers, or has suffered, from mental health problems, and we generally wish to avoid such cases (though this one is harder to explain away).

No such easy escape for Jonathan L. Bartlett. Now, Bartlett is hardly a big fish in the creationist movement (in fact, I have trouble finding any more information, except that he hails from Oklahoma), but he has made some interesting contributions to Answers in Genesis’s house journal Answers. His “Towards a Creationary Classification of Mutations” at least contains the discovery that the terms “beneficial” and “deleterious” don’t analytically imply design. So instead Bartlett define mutations as “design-consistent” and “design-inconsistent”. Insofar as creationism is hardly a falsifiable theory in any case, guess how many actually observed mutations fall into the latter category. Bartlett does indeed develop some “criteria” for design-consistency, such as whether the “mutation […] occurs at a significantly higher rate than the average mutation rate for the organism.” Goodness knows why that would indicate design, however, and Bartlett sure doesn’t tell us (which is especially curious given the predominant creationist assertion that all mutations are “loss of information”). Be sure to also look up Ira S. Loucks’s “Fungi from the Biblical Perspective” in the same volume (the name is allegedly a pseudonym for a “high-ranked researcher at a University in Eastern US”).

In daily life Bartlett is apparently a member of the Creation Research Society, but his “research paper” seems to be his main claim to notability.

Diagnosis: Insignificant fundamentalist denialist fanatic; but although there are hords of Bartletts out there they deserve a representative in our Encyclopedia. Bartlett fills that role nicely.

1 comment:

  1. Are "hords" some kind of evolutionary descendants of "herd" and "hordes?"