Saturday, May 17, 2014

#1042: Spike Psarris


Spike Psarris used to be an engineer in the United States’ military space program. He claims (as so many others) to have “entered that program as an atheist and an evolutionist. He left it as a creationist and a Christian.” He currently runs the website creationastronomy.com (Phil Plait is not impressed by his work here), which is dedicated to “exposing the bankruptcy of the evolutionary model, especially in astronomy,” a statement so detached from anything resembling understanding of what he is talking about that it counts as pretty much conclusive evidence that Psarris was never an “evolutionist” to begin with but your standard liar for Jesus. Now, Psarris is aware of this charge, and he has a response. In short, astronomers use the word “evolution” and talk about e.g. “the evolution of stars”; therefore … well, in Psarris’s mind what they are talking about has some connection to biological evolution. Psarris never explains why, but that is because Psarris does not have the faintest clue what he is talking about. He also complains that astronomy today has solved many of the problems of astronomy in the past, which apparently shows that it is a lie – as he puts it: “It’s not my fault if the evolutionists keep changing their minds about their ‘truth’.”

That’s the level at which Psarris’s pseudoscientific denialism is pitched. To see it in more detail, you can download his DVDs, in which he explains his creationist astronomy in an accessible manner. You will look in vain for actual science or research. But creationism has always been about outreach, not research.

Despite the inanity of his work, Psarris has some fans in the creationist community. Bob Enyart and Fred Williams have been caught praising his work. Here is something called The 4th Day Alliance trying their hand at creation astronomy as well. It is … what it is, I suppose.

Diagnosis: Firmly located at the more helplessly moronic end of the creationist spectrum. His influence is probably limited to people who are already irrevocably reality challenged.

16 comments:

  1. Evolutionary theory is moronic, and becoming more and more bankrupt as time goes on. As Spike has said in his lectures -evolutionists keep inventing ridiculous scenarios to explain their theory. For example - rogue asteroids to explain a multitude of problems that would otherwise show a much younger universe.

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    1. I strongly suggest that you do not only look at creationist videos. Look at the other side. As far as I know there is one website that discusses all creationist claim with reason and science. That is:
      www.talkorigins.org
      If you can find one argument that is not answered on that site than answer this post.

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    2. Another creationist who immediately starts off on a purported higher ground by belittling anyone who opposes their POV!! typical. Jesus , if he exists, is an ET..Phone home Christian soldiers!!!

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    3. When l am teaching evolution to senior high school students, l never suggest that they change their faith. Instead, l explain how Darwin who was a devout Christian and who trained for the clergy, struggled to understand why the almighty would go to so much trouble to create many versions of a particular animal e.g. beetles of which there 3000 know to science. In his around the world trip on the Beagle he came across plants and animals not mentioned in the Bible, and he couldn't explain logically why. So many species of birds , so many lizards, so many plants some that flower and others that don't, so many fishes, snails, deer, snakes. But why? Why does the planet need so much species diversity. This is the conundrum that befell Darwin, and for most of his life he tried to explain why the almighty would make so many different species and for what plausible purpose. Why wasn't the whole 8,000,000 species of plants and animals on Noahs arc, or how did they fit on?

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    4. That is very easy to explain; you almost answer your own question within the question itself.

      No Christian denies microevolution; it can be directly observed all around the world.

      When the bible says that God created different forms of life according to it's "kind," Christians have the common sense enough to know that the term "species" is a modern form of classification which was only invented a few hundred years ago. If you resort to classifying different "kinds" of animals in your question using terms like "lizards" or "snails" or "deer" or "snakes" then is it not reasonable that God did so as well?

      Christians do NOT believe that Noah put 2 of every "species" on the ark; they think he put 2 of every "kind" (2 canine, 2 feline, 2 bear, ect.)

      It is also common sense that the animals would probably be young animals for obvious reasons (Smaller in size, able to procreate afterwards).

      Different "kinds" of animals changing in many different ways (microevolution) after the flood is no problem for Christians; in fact, it makes perfect sense! The physical environment was drastically different after the flood, so its only reasonable to expect animals to adapt to new environments (Within the limits of their DNA). You might see an elephant start to look more like a wholly mammoth over the generations if a worldwide flood lowered the temperature of the earth and caused an iceage for example. Or you might see a wolf produce different breeds of dogs after several hundred years of domestication for example.

      3 Questions for you now...

      • Every day there are literly billions of examples of living creatures reproducing after their own kind... when have humans ever witnessed MACROevolution (A flower produce anything other than a flower; a bacteria produce anything other than bacteria; a bird produce anything other than a bird)?

      • If there was NOT a world wide flood, then why are there mass graveyards of dinosaurs and other animals (The size of small states) with evidence of drowning in mud? Or traces of ocean algie in all the cride oil we find around the world? Or ancient flood stories all over the world?

      • If every living thing that exists today was produced from something that was ALIVE, then why do you think that life originated from non-living materials?

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    5. But there is a huge question that no creationist who believes in microevolution seems ever willing to answer: If we have genetic adaptation of minor traits *what mechanism is it that prevents these traits from accumulating*? Once you accept microevolution, you have sort of given the game away unless you can point to, and empirically support, a mechanism that could conceivably block accumulation. Microevolution sort of entails macroevolution.

      As for your three questions:
      1. I don't think you understand evolution. I can point you to e.g. the Lenski E.coli experiments and suchlike, but if you are asking for "a flower producing anything other than a flower", you don't understand the basics of how evolution works, and should probably not make claims about it. If you want a brief intro to the *evidence* for common descent, you could start here.
      2. The "mass graveyards" of dinosaurs and other animals is a bit of an exaggeration, but would be compatible with e.g. local floods and shifts. Floods are rather common. They are also a natural source of myths, and the myths of one group of people will influence the myths of another group. There are also thousands of years separating the origins of these myths. The (conclusive) evidence *against* a global flood is too variegated to sum up here, but I've yet to see any creationist even trying to give an even remotely coherent response to, say, the fossil layer problem. (Animals scrambling to get away doesn't exactly explain how certain plants systematically occur, and massively so, in higher layers than certain animals).
      3. This is not a question about evolution, but about abiogenesis. The theory of evolution has nothing to do with that question. It's a question for biochemistry, and they're coming up with some interesting stuff there.

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    6. G.D., you wrote, "But there is a huge question that no creationist who believes in microevolution seems ever willing to answer: If we have genetic adaptation of minor traits *what mechanism is it that prevents these traits from accumulating*?"

      They don't accumulate. At best plants and organisms retain all of their inherited gene pool. Some lose variability through speciation.

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      G.D., you wrote, "Once you accept microevolution, you have sort of given the game away unless you can point to, and empirically support, a mechanism that could conceivably block accumulation. Microevolution sort of entails macroevolution."

      There is no such thing as evolution: micro or macro. There is only adaptation, which is simply a reshuffling of the inherited gene pool, and speciation, which results in a loss of genetic variability.

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      G.D., you wrote, "I don't think you understand evolution. I can point you to e.g. the Lenski E.coli experiments and suchlike, but if you are asking for "a flower producing anything other than a flower", you don't understand the basics of how evolution works, and should probably not make claims about it.

      All Lenski proved is, if you torture thousands of generations of bacteria, you end up with a lot of tortured bacteria.

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      G.D., you wrote, "If you want a brief intro to the *evidence* for common descent, you could start here [link]."

      There is not a shred of evidence for common descent, G. D..

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      G.D., you wrote, "The "mass graveyards" of dinosaurs and other animals is a bit of an exaggeration, but would be compatible with e.g. local floods and shifts. Floods are rather common."

      How would you explain the almost non-existent erosion between and within sedimentary layers, the almost non-existent bioturbation, the near absence of top soil between layers, and the presence of closed marine fossils in virtually every sediment layer, including those in the highest mountain ranges?

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      G.D., you wrote, "They are also a natural source of myths, and the myths of one group of people will influence the myths of another group. There are also thousands of years separating the origins of these myths. The (conclusive) evidence *against* a global flood is too variegated to sum up here, but I've yet to see any creationist even trying to give an even remotely coherent response to, say, the fossil layer problem."

      There is no "fossil layer" problem, except maybe for the evolutionist. The geological strata and embedded fossil record support a global flood. They scream a global flood!

      Other serious fossil-related problems for the evolutionist are the existence of disparity before diversity, and abrupt appearance followed by stasis. You can add to that the flatness of coal seams (top and bottom,) with some coal seam benches (the sediment between coal seam layers) only a few inches thick, which virtually nullifies the so-called "swamp theory".

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      G.D., you wrote, "(Animals scrambling to get away doesn't exactly explain how certain plants systematically occur, and massively so, in higher layers than certain animals)."

      I am not sure what that has to do with anything.

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      G.D., you wrote, "This is not a question about evolution, but about abiogenesis. The theory of evolution has nothing to do with that question. It's a question for biochemistry, and they're coming up with some interesting stuff there."

      Evolutionists attempt to separate evolution from the origin of life because there is no rational or plausible explanation for the origin. Frankly, life is impossible without supernatural intervention, and every rational evolutionist knows it. For the record, many evolutionists do consider the origin to be a part of evolutionary theory.

      Dan

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  2. So if science hasn't yet explained a problem, the solution is the magic sky voice? That is creationism at its best guys.

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  3. If you can't debate Spike's scientific assertions, then kill the messenger with ridicule and name calling. It is an old atheist trick.

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    1. "assertions"

      Assertions don't need to be addressed. They need to be supported in the FIRST place. Understand?

      Oh, and I'm not an atheist.

      But I'm certainly not religious and I accept facts and evidence.

      --

      You do understand that the bible IS the claim and NOT evidence for it's claims/assertions?

      Well, if you did. You likely wouldn't have written what you did.

      And, name calling goes both ways.

      But the scientific side doesn't need to stoop that low. It has facts and evidence to support it. ;-)

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  4. Atheists (scientists) have devices to determine the age of the universe. All you have to do is disprove it. Oh yeah I forgot - "You weren't there." Checkmate!

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    1. You and I believe that a Jew from Judea was crucified on a cross in Jerusalem as threat to Roman authority. Nothing unusual there. It happened a lot at the time. However we also believe he rose from a dead three days later. That's more of a rare occurrence and most people don't believe it. We do. ...but we weren't there.

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  5. I am a Christian with training in Geology. I find this guy's quote mining and general scientific illiteracy just as annoying as any Atheist. There is a spectrum of views on origins within the Christian community and there always have been. For example, in the fourth century Augustine of Hippo, AKA Saint Augustine, said he thought that God created the whole world in one instant, fully formed. If he were alive now though his views would undoubtedly be different. I doubt he would have believed the world was literally created in seven days. I have never really understood why some people insist on seeing Genesis 1 as an account of the material origins of the world when even a cursory reading shows it to be a poem. Poems almost always use quite a bit of artistic license in the way they talk about whatever their subject is. Many Old Testament scholars observe that this passage focuses on God's sovereignty over every domain of creation rather than on how he made it all. It was never intended as some kind of ancient science. Electrical engineers who think they are qualified to be astrophysicists should not try to force it to become so either.

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    1. Augustine also wrote that the creation was finished in 6 days, that the earth is no more than 6,000 years old, that the day is 24 hours, and that the biblical narrative is accurate, including the flood:

      "In the creation God finished His works in six days, and rested on the seventh. The history of the world contains six periods marked by the dealings of God with men. The first period is from Adam to Noah; the second, from Noah to Abraham; the third, from Abraham to David; the fourth, from David to the captivity in Babylon; the fifth, from the captivity to the advent of lowliness of our Lord Jesus Christ; the sixth is now in progress, and will end in the coming of the exalted Saviour to judgment." [Schaff, Philip, Augustine, Reply to Faustus the Manichaean, "Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers Ser 1 Vol 04." Charles Scribner's Sons, 1887, Book XII.8, p.185]

      "As to those who are always asking why man was not created during these countless ages of the infinitely extended past, and came into being so lately that, according to Scripture, less than 6000 years have elapsed since He began to be, I would reply to them regarding the creation of man, just as I replied regarding the origin of the world to those who will not believe that it is not eternal, but had a beginning, which even Plato himself most plainly declares, though some think his statement was not consistent with his real opinion. If it offends them that the time that has elapsed since the creation of man is so short, and his years so few according to our authorities, let them take this into consideration, that nothing that has a limit is long, and that all the ages of time being finite, are very little, or indeed nothing at all, when compared to the interminable eternity." [Schaff, Philip, Augustine, City of God, "Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers Ser 1 Vol 02." Charles Scribner's Sons, 1886, Book XII.12, p.233]

      "It is plain that the day then was what it now is, a space of four-and-twenty hours, determined by the lapse of day and night; the month then equal to the month now, which is defined by the rise and completion of one moon; the year then equal to the year now, which is completed by twelve lunar months, with the addition of five days and a fourth to adjust it with the course of the sun. It was a year of this length which was reckoned the six hundredth of Noah's life, and in the second month, the twenty-seventh day of the month, the flood began,—a flood which, as is recorded, was caused by heavy rains continuing for forty days, which days had not only two hours and a little more, but four-and-twenty hours, completing a night and a day. And consequently those antediluvians lived more than 900 years, which were years as long as those which afterwards Abraham lived 175 of, and after him his son Isaac 180, and his son Jacob nearly 150, and some time after, Moses 120, and men now seventy or eighty, or not much longer, of which years it is said, 'their strength is labor and sorrow.'" [Ibid. Book XV.14, p.295]

      "This Sabbath shall appear still more clearly if we count the ages as days, in accordance with the periods of time defined in Scripture, for that period will be found to be the seventh. The first age, as the first day, extends from Adam to the deluge; the second from the deluge to Abraham, equaling the first, not in length of time, but in the number of generations, there being ten in each. From Abraham to the advent of Christ there are, as the evangelist Matthew calculates, three periods, in each of which are fourteen generations, — one period from Abraham to David, a second from David to the captivity, a third from the captivity to the birth of Christ in the flesh." [Ibid. Book XXII.30, p.511]

      Dan

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  6. The ideological spin you put on facts is inconsequential to the veracity of the observed fact. Mr Psarris's work is invaluable precisely not because of the ideological spin he personally favours but for the many observational facts he had collected and presented us with. They are those facts many of which on their own as single scientific observations prove the incorrectness and even falsehood of mainstream cosmological and evolutionary models.

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  7. Why isn't Richard Dawkins on this list of "loons"? He promotes intelligent design?

    Dan

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