Monday, May 30, 2022

#2540: Kerry Bentivolio

‘Most deranged gohmert in Congress’ is a title with some serious contenders, but Kerry Bentivolio was a strong candidate when he represented Michigan’s 11th congressional district from 2013 to 2015 – even a lot of the people who voted for him seems to have realized as much when they voted him out in 2015. A former schoolteacher, reindeer rancher, Santa Clause impersonator, Iraq war veteran and actor in extremely low-budget movies such as the 9-11 Truther movie The President Goes to Heaven, Bentivolio is also a fringe conspiracy theorist who probably got elected more or less by accident after Thaddeus McCotter managed to miss the deadline. In 2014, Bentivolio participated at the “The Freedom Summit: Prepare to Govern!” conference together with Jim Garrow, a wild-eyed conspiracy theorist who believed that then-President Obama should be killed for treason.


In 2013, Bentivolio promised, in response to a request from a voter, to hold a hearing on chemtrails. It would be natural to interpret the promise as having been given just for show, but given Bentivolio’s antics, we’re not so sure. At one point, Bentivolio asked a Homeland Security spokesperson in a committee hearing about the “FEMA camps. And in 2018 Bentivolio hosted an antivaccine roundtable with state representative Jeff Noble, a couple of antivaxx activists (Amie Kremer, Gretchen Perry-Emery, Dave McDowell) and the antivaccine group Michigan for Vaccine Choice – two years before anti-vaccine conspiracies went well and truly mainstream among wingnuts. Bentivolio’s contribution to the event was to promise to “reform” the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 if reelected (here’s a reelection ad) and basically eliminate the Vaccine Court, which would not help parents who (falsely) believe that their children are vaccine-injured but might benefit their lawyers – as well as motivating pharmaceutical companies to stop producing vaccines given the already low profit margin. Bentivolio also swore that soldiers in his unit were more depressed and irritable, and that morale plummeted, after they received the anthrax vaccine in Iraq, though he hadn’t documented the observations. And that is a shining example of the phenomen known as biased memory recall of information.


Bentivolio has, of course, expressed anti-vaccine views more recently as well. Describing his opposition to COVID-19 vaccines, he stated thatthe problem with vaccines is we don’t really know the long term effects of those vaccines,” which sort of neglects the rather crucial comparison with the long-term effects of getting COVID, which we know to be worse.


Diagnosis: Wild-eyed though colorful fringe crank – not worse than some of the deluded loons currently in Congress, perhaps, but a terrible loon nonetheless.


Hat-tip: Respectful Insolence

Monday, May 23, 2022

#2539: Austin Bennett

The antivaccine movement has a penchant for violent rhetoric, and the rhetoric has arguably grown more violent in the last few years – and that process started even before COVID and Qanon. The consequences are, unfortunately, not that surprising. And though antivaxxer Austin Bennett’s 2019 physical attack on Richard Pan, a California lawmaker and vocal supporter of various bills that would limit vaccine exemptions in public schools, didn’t in itself cause much actual harm (more on the attack here), the tendency and what it represents – not only the chance of real violence, but the silencing effects of legitimate threats of violence – should scare us. And here’s the thing: If Bennett’s crazy, deranged, paranoid conspiracy theories about the world were true, they would arguably justify extreme measures. The crucial point is of course that the frantic, idiotic nonsense that fuels Bennett’s brain is laughably ridiculously false.


It is also worth pointing out that Bennett received plenty of support in the various antivaxx communities after the attack. Others, predictably, claimed that Bennett’s attack was a false flag operation designed to cast antivaxxers in a bad light – as if any effort were needed beyond their own to put antivaxxers in a bad light.


Bennett, who by the way actually tried to run against Pan for the California Democratic nomination for his Senate seat in 2018, is not only an anti-vaxxer. Indeed, his rants and videos arguably tend to be more focused on disseminating his ideas on chemtrails. We haven’t made any attempt to sort out his rather disordered and incoherent thoughts on those matters.


Diagnosis: A paranoid, deranged idiot, and really a pretty minor crackpot in the antivaxx movement, whose only claim to fame rests on willingness to resort to violence – and yes, we do admittedly feel a bit ambivalent about giving him the attention of an entry here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

#2538: Owen Benjamin

Owen Benjamin – really Owen Benjamin Smith – is a wingut and alt-right internet celebrity, conspiracy theorist and promoter of pseudoscience. Back in the days, Benjamin was a relatively mainstream standup comedian and actor, even something of a minor celebrity, but at some point, he switched profession to YouTube crank, before being kicked off most mainstream social media platforms. He has also performed in several PragerU videos; intellectual bankruptcy is rarely signalled with more clarity. His descent followed a trajectory from Steven Crowder’s YouTube channel, through Washington Times coverage, to Joe Rogan’s podcast to InfoWars, to (this is as close to rock bottom as we can imagine) a show by Vox Day. Though he was banned from most mainstream social media platforms for various policy violations (some hate speech, some violations of terms of service), he temporarily returned to Twitter, Instagram and YouTube as a sockpuppet in 2020 to spread COVID-19 misinformation, before being re-banned. There is a good account of his descent into nonsense here.


Benjamin often presents his views as an attack on political correctness, but that is – obvious to all, really – really just an excuse for promoting all sorts of deranged nonsense, conspiracy theories and pseudoscience. His comedy act has been described as “the alt-right movement disguised as comedy”.


A recurring feature of Benjamin’s “comedy” routines and Instagram posts is antisemitism, including references to international Jewish conspiracies and suggesting that there is a massive Jewish influence in pornography, Hollywood and media (a notable example). Apparently Jewish people are secretly responsible for education programs that help children understand their LGBTQ identities; “nobody wants any of it and it’s all Jews!yells Benjamin: “It’s war Jews [and] sodomy Jews and they’re having a family feud at our expense.” Benjamin is an unapologetic holocaust denialist, and has for instance gone full in on the Neo-Nazi idea that Anne Frank was a hoax (Anne Frank “never existed” and is “even more of a hoax than the thunbergs story”), based partially on the easily debunked “ballpoint myth”. He has even stated that Hitler was trying to “clean Germany, clean it of the parasites, of the fleas”, and that “gays and Jews were considered the worst of the worst. Why? Because if they get power, they will destroy your entire civilization.” Just as the H-guy himself might have put it! Benjamin has apparently also posted fabricated writing from the Talmud to support his antisemitic conspiracy theories. (And yes, he also has a thing for Greta Thunberg, calling her “a little demon troll,” a “bitch,” and “a little gremlin”, all in the name of preserving Western Civilization)


The transgender rights movement, meanwhile, is ostensibly part of a eugenics program to lower the world population. Apparently Bill Gates is involved, too, because of course he is and Benjamin is a moron. In another example of red-pill thinking, Benjamin stated that Stephen Spielberg murdered child actress Heather O’Rourke by pedophilia in 1988: “She, according to the coroner, was sodomized to death on set.” No coroner has ever remotely hinted at anything such, of course, but it’s a claim regularly found on Qanon redpill sites with ‘truth’ in their urls. Benjamin also said he wishes the Spielberg family had been killed in the Holocaust.


Moreover, Benjamin has engaged in moon-landing conspiracy theories and even flat-earthism – in November 2019, he spoke at the Flat Earth International Conference in Dallas. Unsurprisingly a creationist, Benjamin’s crucial evidence against evolution is apparently his self-professed high IQ, which is greater than any scientist’s. And as Benjamin sees it, the fact that evolution is generally accepted among scientists is not only a matter of error, but of conspiracy: dinosaurs, for instance, are a “Smithsonian lie”.


And of course, Benjamin spreads coronavirus misinformation, urging people not to take the virus seriously (“fear is the virus” is a favorite line) and complaining about restrictions: “If the government says close your business, that doesn’t mean anything. That’s just a pedophile in a suit at a news conference.” The messages are, of course, full of anti-gay and anti-semitic rhetoric, referring to Jewish people as “grabblers,” and stating that it was statistically less likely that a Catholic priest is screwing kids than “a Jew is stealing money.” “What’s up with the Jews?” added Benjamin, “because there is something going on with it.”


The Great Bear Trail

In 2020, Benjamin purchased ten acres in Idaho for his “The Great Bear Trail”, purportedly a community “self sufficient and not depending on those with ideologies that are oppressive to mankind.” One pitch to donors described it as “a new Ruby-Ridge-style compound”. The effort has, predictably, led to some legal trouble, largely because of the expected lack of planning and failure to apply for relevant permits – it doesn’t help that his neighbors are understandably less than pleased to have “[a]nother racist zealot with a ‘compound’ nearby”.


The project has been criticized e.g. by experienced Idaho journalist Mike Weland. In response to the criticism, Benjamin published a video where he mocked Weland for using a wheelchair, called him “the pedophile guy,” and made fun of the wheelchair ramps in his home.


Diagnosis: Described as a typical example of what happens when you OD on red pills, Benjamin is mostly a laughable moron shunned even by other altright sympathizers. Given how he systematically goes for lunacy, he could potentially be useful as an anti-fact checker – if Benjamin suggests something, it is evidence that the opposite is correct.

Friday, May 13, 2022

#2537: David & Jason Benham

The Benham brothers, David and Jason, are the spawn of legendary anti-abortion and anti-gay activist Flip Benham, and themselves hardcore fanatics and promoters of hate and bigotry. Both are Liberty University graduates (and currently fellows at Liberty University’s Standing for Freedom Center), Minor League Baseball players, and filmmakers (a number of Christian films, some of which have been relatively successful with certain groups), and probably most notable for their alternative, for-profit model for Christian mission work termed ‘missioneering’, which, we admit, is among the most quintessentially American ideas we have ever encountered. Their missioneering work have included virtual assistant and business services, CrossFit gyms in North Carolina and ample space on American Family Radio to push their ideas.


In 2014, HGTV announced a home improvement reality television show with the brothers. The plans were cancelled after HGTV was made aware of the dismal nature of the brothers’ characters and their work as anti-gay extremists. Christianity Today claimed that the show was cancelled because the brothers were “too Christian for cable”, which would be correct only on an interesting definition of “too Christian”.


Work as anti-gay extremists

Among the examples cited to HGTV was David Benham’s 2012 protest outside the Democratic National Convention, where he asserted that “homosexuality and its agenda” was “attacking the nation” and that “demonic ideologies” were infiltrating “our universities and our public school systems.” Also relevant was David Benham’s work to promote and supportNorth Carolina Amendment 1, a referendum that would ban same-sex marriage and civil unions in the North Carolina constitution. He also compared same-sex marriage with Nazi Germany, because of course he did. He later did claim that he never compared gay rights advocates to Nazis, but he could make that claim because people like the Benham brothers are so good Christians that they have been granted an exception to the general ban on lying whenever it suits them, a privilege they use to the full.


Like a lot of hateful anti-gay activists, the brothers are careful to point out that they’re “not there to bash” gay people, e.g. when they arrange anti-gay demonstrations, but rather, in Jason’s words, “to tell them that Jesus loves you just the way you are, but he refuses to leave you that way.” They also call gay people “destructive” and “vile” “filth” and claim that gay people are out to destroy the nation because they are under the influence of demonic ideologies. But it’s all a way of telling them that Jesus loves them, we guess, and should never be mistaken for “bashing”. Here they explain their love for gay people by claiming that the homosexual “agenda is led by Satan. In particular, the brothers are not trying to fight gay people, but are rather engaged in a spiritual war against Satan and demonic forces, the forces that, as usual, are out to silence Christianity. “It’s a spiritual fight,” Jason Benham said. “Silencing” in this context is when gay people criticize the brothers for calling them “vile” and “filth” and for engaging in “bashing”; offering such criticism is a terribly demonic thing to do.


For of course, the Benham brothers are the victims here. According to the brothers, “discrimination against gay people simply does not exist. To say otherwise is disingenuous at best and misleading at worst.” By contrast, American Christians are exactly like the victims of ISIS! Because just like ISIS silences their victims by beheading them, critics of antigay twats like the Benham brothers silence them by quoting them verbatim. At least that’s how the brothers described it when they complained about how they were silenced at a massive conference broadcast on C-SPAN. Jason Benham also likened himself and his brother to Jesus Christ. In other words, they clearly struggle mightily to figure out how comparisons work.


The Satanic origin of gay marriage and gay relationships is a recurring topic in their speeches and interviews. According to Jason, Satan is behind both gay relationships and abortion rights because he hates reproduction; David, meanwhile, claims that same-sex marriage is the “ultimate attack” on God [it’s not clear that he knows what ‘ultimate’ means, but it sounds dire] and “a mask for Satan.” And the brothers truly sawthe inside of the devil’s lair” when they lost their TV show and became victims of “the thought mafia that targets Christians”. Here is a summary of a talk David gave at one of David Lane’s supposedly “non-political” rallies in North Carolina. According to the brothers, hurricanes striking the U.S. are also a warning for the U.S. to repent for “breaching the boundaries” of God on gender, sexuality and marriage.


And here is the Benhams on how the sexual revolution is forcing itself on everyone and how the revolution “has no capacity for reason. It has no ability to see its own hypocrisy or discern its hopeless future. It just forces itself on others regardless of cost or consequence.” It’s a strikingly weird column. But it was the same observations that led them, in 2017, to skip Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl halftime show to protest by prayer how the “vine of Sodom has pierced and penetrated our nation at one of the biggest sporting events of the year.”


Religious freedom and related issues

Like so many fundies, the Benham brothers like to claim that Christians are persecuted in the US today, and in a column for the WND, they nicely explain what they mean by more or less explicitly stating that Christians are persecuted because they are prevented from forcing others to conform to their religious views (example), citing as examples of persecution the fact that public schools are not allowed to force students to pray, read the Bible or use the classrooms for religious instruction. In general, they warn against a separation of church and state, citing George Washington with “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible,” which is a fake quote. According to the brothers, religious freedom is also the cause of violent events in the US at present.


The brothers are also famous for their campaigns against Islam. According to David Benham, they were labeled ‘antil-Muslim’ several places after they, on September 11, 2011, “went to New York City and I remember watching radical Muslims marching through our streets screaming, ‘Allahu Akbar,’ and I stepped into the middle of the street and I began to proclaim the gospel and let them know that that stuff is not welcome in our nation.” Of course, that Muslim march took place entirely in David’s imagination – the reality/imagination is a distinction they systematically struggle with. The brothers did take part in a march against Islam, and specifically the so-called Ground Zero mosque, on that date, however.


In 2016, the brothers received the “National Heroes of Faith Award” from Vision America, whereas their father, Flip, got the “Don Wildmon Pastor Award.” Anyone with even a minimal level of normal decency would hang their heads in shame after being thusly marked.


There are decent resources on the Benham brothers here and here.


Diagnosis: Incoherent wingnut fundies, and particularly egregious examples of the deeply American tradition of making hateful bigotry and dominionism a for-profit venture. They enjoy relatively high profiles in the religious right insane-clown circus, however.

Monday, May 9, 2022

#2536: Charles Benbrook

One of the leading anti-GMO activists in the US, Charles M. “Chuck” Benbrook is an agricultural economist, pesticide litigation consultant and former adjunct professor with the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources (CSANR) at Washington State – a job fully funded by the organic food industry with no independent funding or funding from the university. Benbrook was also scientific advisor for the organic industry research organization The Organic Center, which does not mean that his efforts, or those of the center, were particularly science-based. Benbrook is best known for his promotion of pseudoscience and his willingness to use any tactic and gambit possible, no matter how dirty, to defend the efforts of the industries that hire him from actual scientific research and data, and to influence public opinion, as well as to produce strikingly flawed studies in support of said industries (the efforts are, for Benbrook and his side, a matter of winning, not of ensuring that they are actually right through evidence and genuine research). What’s really worrying, though, is how many people view him asan authority worth listening to.


During his time at the CSANR, Benbrook directed the organic industry-funded “Measure to Manage” program, and conducted several studies also funded in their entirety by the organic food industry, which also paid for his lobbying efforts to require that genetically modified organisms be labelled. His contract with Washington State was terminated after he “forgot” to disclose his industry-funded conflicts of interest. It is noteworthy that Benbrook also directed the National Academy of Sciences’ Board on Agriculture from 1984 to 1990, but was ultimately let go, after several warnings, because he used the authority of his position to promote pseudoscience and conspiracy theories – what the NAS more diplomatically described as public comments on incomplete research that did not reflect the views of the academic professional reviewers at the Academy.


Since his NAS days, Benbrook has primarily been working as an expert for hire. He was, for instance, chief ‘scientist’ at the Organic Center, a ‘research’ organization funded by the organic industry and operating under the management of the Organic Trade Association, relationships that the center did not want to be publicly known – it really is striking, and really a system feature, how anti-GMO and anti-pesticide activist groups like to run the shill gambit and appeals to Monsanto, falsely accusing those who disagree with them of being bought and paid by industry interest on whatever flimsy (and often non-existent) multiple-degrees-of-separation line they can imagine, while being themselves entirely in the pocket of and producing research results to order from Big Organic. From a cynical point of view, the dynamics are understandable. The research underpinning the scientific consensus on GMO or glyphosate safety is demonstrably largely free of industry-related conflicts of interest. And if you apply just a bit of reason, it should really be obvious how ridiculous the claim is that studies that show that GMOs and pesticides are safe are compromised by Big Industry interests: It really isn’t in the best interests of said industry to influence results so that it looks like things are safe and effective when they really aren’t: as the industry very well knows, mistakes in the assessment of safety of their products will come back to harm them down the road. For the anti-GMO activists, the situation is different: their goal isn’t to establish the safety of their own products, but to undermine public confidence in others’ products: And then, why would truth, accuracy and accountably matter? There is a reason why FUD tactics are effective. It’s worth noting that the only major case of scientific misconduct in research on glyphosate that has come to light is … yes, precisely: Benbrook’s.


Over the last decade, Benbrook has also served as expert witness in several GMO- and pesticide-related lawsuits. Since 2014, he has been a paid litigation consultant for mass tort pesticide litigators on class action cases involving glyphosate, paraquat, and chlorpyrifos.


In 2018, Benbrook established the Heartland Research Study and Heartland Health Research Alliance, LTD, which is a front for the organic industry – they were notably funded by organic grocery magnate Mark Squire, as well as leading anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist (and also anti-glyphosate activist) Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. The study group works to establish at least a perception of a connection between pesticide use and health issues for women and children in order to promote a shift to organic production methods and the use of organic pesticides that are at least as dangerous as conventional ones. (What counts as an organic industry-accepted pesticide and what doesn’t is based on appealing to nature and seems in practice to be determined by relatively arbitrary, pseudo-theological agreements between industry leaders.)



Benbrook has produced a number of studies whose methodology ranges from fair to sloppy to straight-out pseudoscientific. Among the most famous is a 2012 garbage study funded by the organic industry that concluded that genetically modified foods have resulted in increased pesticide use, putatively because weeds are growing resistant to glyphosate – even people not paying particular attention to the antics of anti-GMO activist may have picked up on that one. The rather crucial flaws of the study include failing to take into account the fact that glyphosate is less toxic than other herbicides (so that net toxicity may decrease even if total herbicide use increases) and pulling estimates out of his own ass because data provided by the National Agricultural Statistics Service don’t in fact distinguish between GM and non-GM crops.


That study in particular promoted Benbrook to being someone mainstream media would seek out as an actual expert on issues related to pesticides or GMO, and they would often portray him, implicitly or explicitly, as an independent commentator rather than someone who was completely on the payroll of industry interests. Benbrook has of course extensively exploited his position to systematically lobby journalists to provide sympathetic coverage of his work and the industry interests that pay him, for instance to provide coverage of his pro-organic milk study. As opposed to how media portrayed it, the vast majority of independent research (which Benbrook’s was emphatically not) on the topic was sharply critical of that study, but you would never guess from the media coverage.


There is some further discussion of Benbrook’s research efforts here.


(More) Anti-GMO Activities

Benbrook is a prolific speaker and signatory to various petitions. A recurring feature of his contributions is, of course, attempts to poisoning the well by suggesting conspiratorial collusions between researchers, industry and regulatory systems, in particular to promote the idea that one cannot trust GMOs because the regulatory systems in place rely too much on studies supplied by companies that develop such foods. Of course, as mentioned above, the claim is false, The irony is that, as Amy Levy and Julie Kelly point out, Benbrook himself “has been bankrolled by the organic industry for years and his research is always favorable to the anti-GMO organic industry. […] Quite simply, the money trail behind Benbrook’s latest work can be directly traced to the organic industry that greatly profits from any bad news about Monsanto, glyphosate or GMOs.”*


*Teachable moment: The dynamics here nicely illustrate the difference between a fallacious ad homiem and legitimate IBE inferences – though it might immediately look like both Benbrook, on the one hand, and Levy & Kelly, on the other, appeal to questionable motivations, there is a world of difference: Benbrook commits an ad hominem fallacy because he appeals to industry funding to question studies on GMO safety without engaging with the actual studies; Levy & Kelly, on the other hand, starts by establishing that Benbrook systematically draws the wrong conclusions, and then point to vested interests to explain why that is the case. There is a golden rule of rational debate (and if anyone knows the reference, please tell us) stating that you are not allowed to try to explain why someone is wrong before you have shown that they are, in fact, wrong. Benbrook violates that rule; Levy & Kelly don’t.


You can find a decent illustration of Benbrook’s level of integrity here.


(More) Anti-Pesticide Activities

According to serious studies, organic foods do not confer significant health advantages compared to conventional foods. Benbrook, of course, is not particularly happy with that conclusion and has campaigned extensively in various media to get official institutions to dismiss studies that conclude that glyphosate is safe based on careful research and rather adopt the views Benbrook’s gut feelings tell him are correct. According to actual expertsBenbrook’s conclusions conflict with virtually all peer reviewed studies, including two recent studies in PNAS and Nature.”


There is an unbiased introduction to glyphosate here for those in need of a primer.


Diagnosis: This is perhaps the war that the denialist side is most likely to win, at least in the short term; there is already an obvious asymmetry between those who claim that GMOs and glyphosate are safe, even though that claim is backed by scientific consensus – since it really is in their self-interest that the research is careful and accurate – and the denialists backed by Big Organic, whose FUD strategies would really see little benefit from being truthful and accurate. And the case of Charles Benbrook is a pretty vivid illustration of the asymmetry. A substantial threat to civilization.

Friday, May 6, 2022

#2535: Larry Bell

Larry Bell is a professor of architecture and space architecture at the University of Houston, co-founder of several high-tech companies, long-term contributor to Forbes (and, not the least, Newsmax), and climate change denialist. Bell does, of course, have no expertise in any issues related to climate, and has not puclished any articles in peer-reviewed journals on any subject related to climate. He has, however, written a (non-peer-reviewed) book Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax about how “politics is responsible for the global warming hoax.” There is a compact but decent (though a bit old) profile of him and his contributions here.


One of Bell’s favorite techniques in his opinion pieces is the Gish Gallop, where the point is to score a rhetorical win by utilizing Brandolini’s law or the bullshit asymmetry principle, i.e. by swamping anyone who disagrees with nonsense PRATTs. So Bell will tell you e.g. that climate has changed before (true but irrelevant), that NASA studies report that the oceans are entering a new cooling phase (they don’t – hint: that an article contains the phrase “ocean cooling” in the headline doesn’t mean that it purports to show that the oceans are cooling; you ought to read beyond the headline), that the sea level hasn’t risen (simply wrong), that he Northwest Passage has been open before (not in recorded history), that Greenland ice caps have accumulated and snow growth (which is true, but predicted by warming – the major issue is the loss of ice at the edges), and so on, and so on. There is a good takedown of one of his efforts here (another representative example is mentioned here).


In 2017, Bell was one of the signatories of a petition organized by Richard Lindzen ( urging President Trump to pull the US out of the United Nations international convention on climate change. Lindzen desicribed his list as containing signatures from “more than 300 eminent scientists and other qualified individuals”. Bell, being not remotely a climate scientist, is presumably representative for that list of characters. Bell is also a recurring speaker at the Heartland Institute’s International Conferences on Climate Change, e.g. in 2014.


Diagnosis: A not completely insignificant force in the denialist circus. Though the denialism of many of his associates is obviously ideologically motivated, Bell often comes across more as a kind of Giuliani to the industry giants to whom climate change is really annoying. And no, he is not, by any stretch of imagination, an expert on climate.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

#2534: Michael Belknap

Michael Belknap is a former veterinary technician and currently “Zoo Keeper at Answers in Genesis” and “assistant content writer for the attractions division of Answers in Genesis”, which might make him partially responsible for a lot of not-entirely-harmless anti-science bullshit.


As a young-earth creationist and Biblical literalist, Belknap is eager to distort reality, disregard the facts and go far into absurdity to defend his view of things. Like some of his AiG fellows, he is at least aware that some people may have worries about the feasibility of Noah’s Ark, and he has devoted a considerable amount bullshit production to address some obvious concerns, such as the piece ‘Fantastic Voyage: How Could Noah Care for the Animals?’ which tries to respond to a few of them. Needless to say, he fails miserably (indeed, he mostly just gives up). He gave the topic of ark feasibility another shot (with Tim Chaffey) in ‘How Could All the Animals Fit on the Ark?’, which chose the obvious approach of not actually addressing any of the concerns.


Here is a summary of Belknap’s take on ‘DNA day’, which, according to Belknap, is mostly a neo-pagan atheist celebration, given that Watson and Crick were primarily “motivated to study and comprehend DNA out of an eagerness to see faith in God and belief in His Word undermined.” According to Belknap, however, Watson and Crick failed, ostensibly primarily because DNA is not a code but poetry, and poetry requires a poet.


Diagnosis: No, not a central player in the young-earth creationist anti-civilazation movement, but as an ‘assistant content writer’ for the Ark Park or Creation Museum attractions, Belknap’s contributions will be seen by quite a number of people, and some of them will probably mistake it for something other than egregious bullshit.