Saturday, September 13, 2014

#1152: Harold Slusher

Harold Slusher is one of the grand old men of contemporary creationism, and one of the original founders of the Creation Research Society. Like so many creationist heroes his credentials are questionable. He claims to have an earned PhD from Columbia Pacific University and an honorary DSc from Indiana Christian University. But Indiana Christian is a Bible college (alumni include Joseph Chambers and Rod Parsley), and Columbia Pacific is an unaccredited diploma mill and the alma mater of quite an impressive number of frauds, including Jerry Bergman. Slusher is not alone in this; fellow founding member Clifford Burdick, for instance, got his doctorate from the University of Physical Sciences in Arizona, which is a post office box at an unaccredited institute in Phoenix. Slusher is nevertheless on the CMI List of Scientists Alive Today Who Accept the Biblical Account of Creation, but one never associated the CMI with accuracy or accountability in any case. And Slusher’s work was still invoked by Donald Chittick during the famous McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education as scientific evidence for a young earth, though Chittick’s testimonial does not appear to have helped the anti-science side.

Slusher’s most influential contributions to pseudoscience are probably his attempts to explain away the presence of impact craters on nearly all solar system objects, which naturally creates rather insuperable problems for the Young Earth position. Slusher, with Richard Mandock and Glenn Morton (who later repudiated this claim ), claimed that impact craters on the moon are subject to rock flow, and so cannot be more than a few thousand years old. In other words, they were created during … the Flood. This is not a mainstream scientific position. Slusher’s 1971 paper in Creation Research Society Quarterly claiming that there was not as much cosmic dust on the moon as would be expected if it was 4.5 billion years old, was also widely influential (Kent Hovind used that one quite a bit). Even Answers in Genesis admits that it relies on measurement inaccuracies, however.

Diagnosis: Like we said: a grand old man of pseudoscience who has devoted his life to spreading falsehoods and making the world a worse place to live. He’s pretty old now, though he will probably never realize what kind of crap he devoted his life to. Sad.

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