Monday, February 27, 2012

#303: Michael Oard

And now we are back to the creationists. Michael Oard is associated with Answers in Genesis and has published several creation “science” articles in their in-house journal Answers. Together with Peter Klevberg he has contributed “Green River Formation Very Likely Did Not Form in a Postdiluvian Lake”. Indeed. For the junk rag Creation he has written, among other things, “Do Rivers Erode Through Mountains”. His answer is that a global flood must be assumed. The geological evidence is … absent. He has also written the book “Flood by Design”. You see where this is going.

Thing is, Oard – who is a meteorologist – is obsessed about taking geology back from those evil “evolutionary geologists” (Don Batten’s term – Batten would have merited inclusion in our Encyclopedia were he not Australian). Oard also denies the existence of black holes and dark matter. Apparently his area of expertise is endless. He has become modestly known for his own theory of the origin of the moon but claims to be suppressed by – you guessed it – evolutionary astronomers. If nothing else works, Oard is pretty quick to appeal to the “different worldview” gambit. But of course, it applies exclusively to evolutionary scientists, who only confirm their preconceptions and are blinded to the alternatives – not to himself.

With one “Beverly Oard” (presumably a wife) he has also written what passes for a creationist science book, “Life in the Great Ice Age” – a picture book designed for homeschool use, appropriate for kids aged 6–8, and another excellent illustration of what creation “scientists” are trying to achieve. It has nothing to do with science, of course, but everything to do with converting kids to Jesus.

He has, predictably, denied AGW – which is promoted by “uniformitarian scientists”. Just as geology, astronomy and biology, I suppose.

Diagnosis: Why are all these deluded, conspiracy-mongering religious fanatics also so blatantly dishonest? In any case, Oard is as deluded and dishonest as they come.


  1. To the writers of this site:

    Thank you for putting in the time and effort to expose religious wackos for who they really are. Keep up the good work.

    1. I saw his lecture and found he had a valid argument concerning the observable and the ability to reproduce a theory scientifically. It is difficult to have a honest debate with haters - meaning deist haters.

    2. Forgot to mention earlier the even Stephen Hawking no longer believes in Black holes and he was the inventor of the theory! So you have a very weak argument as to why Michael Oard is a loon because he doesn't believe in the theory when Mr. Hawking doesn't believe it either!

    3. Dear Christy Smalls.

      I don't think you are in a position to judge the "validity" of Oard's argument when you know so little about the topics. You may have found it "convincing", but that is a different matter. Talking about "to reproduce" a theory is a rather profound misunderstanding.

      Hint: Would you say that no person can be convicted in a court case because the evidence is worthless? After all, there is no replicability of evidence in court cases? No? Likewise with most science. Replicability is a criterion for scientific *experiments*, not for scientific theories and hypotheses. *Testability* is the requirement you are looking for, and evolution and claims about the age of the earth are eminently testable (perhaps this is helpful)

      You also need to check your facts. From where do you get the idea that Hawking does "no longer believe" in Black holes? Clearly your sources are lying to you - and if you actually wanted to figure things out this would probably be an easy place to start.

      Third, I am pretty sure you don't mean "deist". Neither you nor Oard are deists (hint: deists rejects the divinity of Jesus and will certainly accept evolution and an old Universe - deism was, however, a popular view among the Founding Fathers). I think you mean "theist". But how do you get from the fact that we call Oard out as a loon to the claim that we hate theists? Really? Are people who reject young earth creationism in general theist haters? Have you really thought about how silly that inference is? ("these people call young earth creationists ignorant, therefore they hate Jesus"? You are aware that there are plenty of religious people who accept science, right?

      Finally, we are not interested in having a debate with Oard. The theory of evolution is a firmly established scientific theory. Oard is a fringe denialist crackpot who doesn't understand even the basics of the views he are criticizing. He has nothing to contribute to any serious debate or the development of science. Debating him is pointless, but it is worth calling him out as the fun die crackpot he is.

    4. A brief search online yielded a Hawking lecture from as recently as 2008 on the topic of black holes. He may have updated his view of them (as science does) and still apparently "believes in them."

  2. Your verbiage is unnecessarily emotional and inflammatory. Site facts, do not assassinate character.

  3. cognitive dissonance reduction slander

  4. I'm a little behind this post, but I couldn't help but notice G.D. stating that evolution was "a firmly established scientific theory." When in reality it is, at best, a hypothesis and more accurately a religion. Scientifically a theory is "an explanation or model based on observation, experimentation, and reasoning, especially one that has been tested and confirmed as a general principle helping to explain and predict natural phenomena. Evolution, at least in the sense that most people use it (Macro), cannot be observed, tested, hasn't been confirmed and there are no fossils that support the changing of one species to another. That aside both evolution and creationism don't qualify for the "theory" description. However, we can take actual evidence and facts and use them to support our beliefs or theories (in the common usage of the word). Science doesn't prove anything right (Phil Higuera) but it can prove thing wrong and "support" hypotheses. Long rants on discussion posts are usually fruitless (in my opinion). However, I see the need for quality, logical discussion about our common origins and our earth. Discussions involving different beliefs help us to broaden our knowledge base and solidify our own beliefs. I am not ashamed to admit that I am a creationist, I have studied at MWSB (check it out at and was taught scientific creationism by Michael Oard. I also have an A.S and am pursuing my Bachelor's at University of Idaho, point being that I have had an exposure to both sides of the spectrum and love talking with folks about all of it.


    1. You don't have the faintest clue what you are talking about, Earl, but you don't care that you make a fool of yourself in public. Evolution is easily testable, and just as "observable" as any other science: From your theory, you derive certain predictions. If those predictions are wrong, your theory is falsified. If the predictions are correct, your theory is confirmed (despite your handwaving gesturing toward Popper-style falsificationism, which you evidently don't understand either). Evolution is thus tested in precisely the same manner as any theory in chemistry or physics (creationists who claim that there is a difference between "observational" and "historical" sciences just don't know how scientific testing works.)

      Evolution makes an astounding number of testable predictions; for instance:
      - Anatomical homologies e.g. between vertebrates. Finding a mammal with a different body plan would falsify common descent. If common descent were false, however, there is really no reason why we should find these anatomical homologies (insects and trees have very different body plans).
      - Deep homologies; same here
      - Junk DNA and vestigial organs
      - The existence of pseudogenes and shared errors across species (the list is long)
      - Fossils. Common descent predicts that we will find certain fossils in certain geological strata and not in others. This is an extremely strong test for evolution, and the success is absolutely astounding. If common descent were false, there would be no explanation for this remarkable fact.
      - Transitional forms. Plenty have been found, but creationists usually don't even want to look.

      The list goes on, but I betcha you're not really interested, Earl. Few scientific theories have been as thoroughly tested, and with such astounding success, as the theory of evolution. Heck, why are there no six-legged mammal species? The non-existence of six-legged mammal species is predicted by common descent; if you found one, common descent would be in trouble. Creationism cannot explain this - God created six-legged insects, after all; why no six-legged mammals? And yes, this is a test for evolution, and it's observable.

      As for alternatives to evolution, Intelligent design has yet to come up with a single testable prediction, and is as such not a scientific theory. Young-earth creationism, on the other hand, is testable. It predicts that stars are invisible from Earth, that coral reefs cannot exist, that there is no ice layering, that e.g. the rocks of the Kaibab Plateau must have the solubility of granulated sugar, and so on. Young-earth creationism is testable, and has been thoroughly falsified.

      Advice to Earl Law: Try to understand how science, scientific testing and evidence works (take a critical thinking class or something). Then try to look into the actual observable consequences of evolution. Perhaps then you'll stop making a fool of yourself on the Internet.

    2. Hi, 

      Firstly, I am an atheist, not a creationist. I am also not an evolutionist. Second, please take the time to do some research and understand that when you say,” Evolution makes an astounding number of testable predictions,” the internet is a resource you should use to back up your points. You are wrong in every point you make. For instance:

      - Regarding “Anatomical homologies”: One animal in particular comes to mind: the platypus. It has mammalian fur, mammalian milk and a beaver tail. However, it also lays reptilian eggs, the males have reptilian poisonous venom. It also has a duck bill. The platypus also has no stomach, like about 50 fish species, which is weird. So there you go. A perfect example which discredits your point on “Anatomical homologies”. 

      Also, all 26 animal phyla are present at the end of the Cambrian era, about 500 million years ago. No new phyla have evolved since or before that time. Again, this discredits your “Anatomical homologies” point. All animal body types appear all at once, with fully functioning parts.

      - Junk DNA: There is no such thing as “junk DNA”. All DNA has a purpose. Most of what was thought as “junk” actually has one of the most import roles DNA came have: gene regulation.

      - Pseudogenes: As with junk DNA, “…pseudogenes play essential roles in gene regulation of their parent genes, and many pseudogenes are transcribed into RNA. Pseudogene transcripts may also form small interfering RNA or decrease cellular miRNA concentration. Thus, pseudogenes regulate tumor suppressors and oncogenes.” So, of course all animals have pseudogenes. 

      - Vestigial organs: They are not useless;

      - Fossils: Geological strata is defined by the fossils it contains. Paradoxically, fossils are defined by which geological strata they are found in. Also, there are many, many anomalous fossils found in older strata and older fossils found in younger strata:

      - Transitional fossils: not even close. The link you posted, Rationalwiki doesn’t understand the differences between the phrases, “scientists believe” (who? Belief is not fact) and “scientists know” (fact, without presupposition).

      Also, fossils don’t tell a story of lineage due to circular reasoning, I.e. fossils date the rock strata and the rock strata date the fossils.

      Furthermore, the DNA "tree of life" differs from the RNA "tree of life" and both differ from the fossil record's "tree of life". All 3 cannot be correct. 

      On every point you are wrong. I am not a creationist, I am a rationalist. Both evolutionists and creationist are wrong and do not have compelling arguments

      Good day.

  5. I AM a real geologist and I read Oard's Only One Lake Missoula Flood (Ancient glacial Lake Missoula). Clearly he is not a geologist, and not actually a real scientist, for he picked and chose aspects of geologic data that 'could' be construed in his Creation way, but he excluded data that unequivocally would reject his One Flood hypothesis. He's a fake and it's sad that others who are not given the real data, and who are not geoscientists, might actually believe him.