Monday, October 29, 2018

#2093: Don Patton

Don Patton is a young-earth creationist, close associate of Carl Baugh of Paluxy River footprints-fame, and leader of Metroplex Institute of Origins Science (MIOS) near Dallas. Patton is often referred to as “Dr. Patton”, and he has claimed to have a Ph.D. (or a “Ph.D. candidacy”) in geology from Queensland Christian University in Australia, an unaccredited diploma mill. The WND calls him a “geologist,” which really should on its own be pretty good evidence that he isn’t.

A reasonably central figure in the creationist movement, Patton was for instance, because of his anti-science credentials, invited to testify before the Texas Board of Education during the 2009 evolution hearings, where his testimony was sufficiently insane – at the “no, The Flintstones is really a documentary”-level – to win the sympathy of board member Barbara Cargill and subsequently earn him the 2009 Crocoduck Award.

Patton is particularly famous for his quote-mining abilities and practices (a good collection here; another example is here), which often reach staggering levels of dishonesty, including quotes from The Origin of Species(like most creationists, Patton predictably thinks of Originas some sort of Bible for Biologists, being fully unable to comprehend that, as opposed to his own views, science, well, evolves) of questions Darwin raises without quoting his answers (thus suggesting to his readers that Darwin had none and throws his hands up), as well as a quotation with an ellipsis that spans four whole chaptersof the book. Otherwise, his claims are characterized by claiming that gaps in the fossil record is evidence against evolution (no, he really doesn’t get it), complaints about radiometric dating, as well as the “were you there” gambit that so nicely demonstrates the complete lack of grasp of the basic idea of science (i.e. testing hypotheses about the not-directly-observed by their observable predictions) so characteristic of young-earth creationists. Another illustration of his inability to distinguish scientific inquiry from religious dogma is his tendency to refer to biologists as “people with great faith in evolution” or “devout evolutionists.”

At least he was somewhat critical of a Chinese expedition’s claim to have found Noah’s Ark in 2010, but not for the obvious reasons. 

Diagnosis: As delusional as they come, and as so many of them Patton compensates for lack of reason with fundamentalist zeal. It would be fair to call him “dishonest”, but we suspect he is delusional enough not to notice himself. Tireless, though – we’ll give him that.

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