Sunday, May 9, 2021

#2469: Kevin Anderson


Anderson with David McNabb

Kevin Anderson is a director of the Creation Research Society and a young earth creationist. Apparently, he also has a real degree in microbiology, which makes him one of vanishingly few creationists with genuine and relevant credentials and something of a sideshow star in the creationist circus – you’ll see him make appearances e.g. in Thomas Purifoy’s “documentary” Is Genesis History? Yes, Betteridge’s law applies, though the film actually tries to answer the question unequivocally in the affirmative: after all, its crucial premise is that “[t]he gospel of Jesus Christ therefore stands or falls along with the historicity of the first chapters of Genesis,” so they didn’t have any choice: evidence or reality be damned. The main target, after all, is “theistic evolutionists” and the case for the central thesis is accordingly made on theological, not scientific, grounds. 
Anderson has published several papers in venues like Answer in Genesis’s vanity house journal Answers, and is a regular contributor to creationist conferences (oh, yes: young-earth creationists do the full cargo cult science routine), for instance on the (mythical) discoveries of soft tissue in dinosaur remainscreationists love those, since findings of soft tissues could be used to suggest that there is something wrong with the dating procedures used by mainstream science (and the absence of such is actually compelling evidence against recent dinosaurs, but creationists tend not to consider contrary evidence as falsifying).
Like many other creationists, Anderson is not particularly happy with the fact that the evolution of the beneficial mutation of lactase persistence in humans is a rather startling example of evolution in action; together with creationist mainstay Georgia Purdom, he has tried to suggest that lactase persistence “[r]ather than being an example of evolution in action, adaptive mutation is an awesome witness to God’s design of bacteria,” because just so. The results were published in the Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Creationism, which is certainly refereed by Anderson’s and Purdom’s peers.  
Diagnosis: Yes, they might come across as confused, almost pitiful village idiots, but we really shouldn’t forget that creationists and religious fundies remain a major force in the US today, and Anderson is a relatively central figure.

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