The New Creationist

A UK-based creationist blog crossed my radar: The New Creationist. It seems to have been active since April, and is written by Paul Garner (bio here):

Paul Garner is a researcher and lecturer with Biblical Creation Ministries and the author of The New Creationism (Evangelical Press, 2009). He has a degree in Environmental Sciences (Geology/Biology) and is a Fellow of the Geological Society. He is married with two children and resides in Cambridgeshire, England.

As you might imagine, the blog takes a rather geological view of creation.  Biblical Creation Ministries are a charitable trust that supports two speakers, one of whom is Paul Garner, and it appears to be an offshoot of The Biblical Creation Society (though financially independent).  I was intrigued to see a link to BCM’s research.  Here we find the statement:

One of our longer-term goals is to raise the level of scholarship in origins studies by developing an active research agenda in addition to the speaking ministry. Our aim is to honour the Creator and serve the wider Christian community by undertaking high-quality, cutting-edge research.

That seems to be a little contradictory to me, but hey what do I know, I’m merely a research scientist and academic!  In fact BCM’s research interests seem to be those of Garner, and these are a little off the wall from a science perspective, featuring collaborations with a number of creationist organisations.  I have to credit The New Creationist with alerting me to a new word: baraminology.  Paul Garner seems very keen on it – I’d never head of it, but a quick Google search revealed a Wikipedia page, which includes this:

Baraminology is a creationist system for classifying life into groups having no common descent, called “baramins”. Its methodology is based on a literal creationist interpretation of “kinds” in Genesis, especially a distinction between humans and other animals. Other criteria include the ability of animals to interbreed and the similarity of their observable traits. Baraminology developed as a subfield of creation science in the 1990s among a group of creationists that included Walter ReMine and Kurt Wise. Like all of creation science, baraminology is pseudoscience and is not related to science, and biological facts show that all life has common ancestry. The taxonomic system widely applied in biology is cladistics, which classifies species based on evolutionary history and emphasizes objective, quantitative analysis.

From the BCM’s web page, it’s a quick hop to the Creation Biology Study Group, which seems to spend a lot of time considering baraminology (or as we might call it, “biblical kinds”). The CBSG tries hard to come across as all “sciencey” – with references to publications, to conferences etc.  Back to The New Creationist, a recent blog article featured a discussion of a recently discovered transitional fossil in the pinniped (seal) lineage, Puijila darwini (A Walking Pinniped).

If I’m honest, I’m struggling to accept the radical idea that the whole of the Caniformia might constitute a single ark kind (c.f. Wise 2009 pp. 141, 153). But then I look at Puijila darwini and I wonder whether the pinnipeds really were descended from a more terrestrial ancestor, perhaps one that was on board the ark.

(The Wise reference is provided) Interestingly, Garner doesn’t seem to take issue with Puijilla as an intermediary form, but seems to want to shoehorn it into a biblical flood mythology (he also introduces the term “sub-baraminic”, with which I’m even less familiar with than “baraminic”!).  This is in my view a fatal flaw – if one genuinely wishes to understand the world and how it came to be, one should be looking at evidence, and that evidence (as I’ve said before in this blog) doesn’t include a dusty old tome written by some wandering bronze-age middle-eastern tribes and a group of first millennium spin-doctors.

Those of a more rational mind-set might like to peruse the following blog articles about Puijila: Pharyngula, Laelaps, Not Exactly Rocket Science.

I feel a bit like Jeffrey in Blue Velvet, being drawn into a bizarre netherworld – not in this case of depravity, but one of deluded belief systems masquerading as scientific enquiry.

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  1. barriejohn’s avatar

    Don`t you remember those Physics experiments you used to do at school, where you knew what the required figure was (specific heat of some substance, etc), so you just worked backwards and came up with a set of experimental results that would give you that result (or were we particularly wicked at my school?). That is what these guys are doing! What on earth is the point of having "an active research agenda" and "undertaking high quality, cutting edge research" if you have already decided what the results are going to be, and that you will simply reject any inconvenient facts that contradict your previously held conclusions!! These people are cast in the mould of the old "Evolution Protest Movement", which I remember well from my own early teaching days, and which, according to Wikipedia, was set up to defend "the great truths revealed in Holy Scripture…against the opposition of Science falsely so called". I know – you really couldn`t make it up!!!

    Reply

    1. GrumpyBob’s avatar

      I think The New Creationist portrays a subtly different slant on the creationist agenda, one which uses scientific sentence structure and complicated "sciencey" words to advance their case. I am just waiting for Melanie Phillips to jump on this bandwagon.

      I particularly liked the stuff about "some semi-aquatic and aquatic mammals may not have been aquatic at the time of the global flood" – I suppose the aquatic animals wouldn't have snuffed it in the flood. (and where did all that water come from, and go to?)

      Reply

    2. GrumpyBob’s avatar

      I like the blog's subtitle – "Building Scientific Theories on a Biblical Foundation"

      Reply

    3. barriejohn’s avatar

      That`s nothing to what the Muslims are claiming on several blogs, as you probably know! Apparently, Old Mo was the greatest scientist who ever lived, and the Koran is full of the most amazing, detailed and verifiable scientific facts, many of which have astounded modern scientists with their accuracy!! Sadly, they really DO believe all this horse shit, so it`s no wonder that there are so many suicide bombers, in my view, as they are completely nuts!!!

      Reply

    4. Jaco’s avatar

      Most interesting to read from a complete materialist view that creation science is flawed. Never ever has anyone of the materialist view me convinced of finding missing links. There is totally no evidence for evolution from one species to another. Let alone how life has developed from dead material. Where does information came from? We have never seen in our total lifetime that it came out of nothing. How does information come out of nothing. It doesn't help if you put all kind of computerlanguage into a box, hoping that eventually after millions of years a working program will evolve.

      Try to be open for more than only a materialistic worldview. I say that despite of some really bad scientific approaches of creationists. However their view of common ancestors within the area of sorts and races is a very likely model to see where so many differences within sorts come from. Take the whole sorts of dogs, foxes, wolfs, hyena's and so on. Even all kinds of cats can have a common ancestor within their kind. That helps to understand why micro-evolution within kinds or sorts can happen so fast and why there is totally no evidence for missing links between kinds or sorts. That's because a designer has put all this variation into some of computerprogram called DNA. That's a better explanation then to search for some sort of self-helping mechanism that has to explain how this alive world has come into being.

      BTW if not all is correct English, that's because I'm Dutch

      Reply

    5. Jaco’s avatar

      Most interesting to read from a complete materialist view that creation science is flawed. Never ever has anyone of the materialist view me convinced of finding missing links. There is totally no evidence for evolution from one species to another. Let alone how life has developed from dead material. Where does information came from? We have never seen in our total lifetime that it came out of nothing. How does information come out of nothing. It doesn't help if you put all kind of computerlanguage into a box, hoping that eventually after millions of years a working program will evolve.

      Try to be open for more than only a materialistic worldview. I say that despite of some really bad scientific approaches of creationists. However their view of common ancestors within the area of sorts and races is a very likely model to see where so many differences within sorts come from. Take the whole sorts of dogs, foxes, wolfs, hyena's and so on. Even all kinds of cats can have a common ancestor within their kind. That helps to understand why micro-evolution within kinds or sorts can happen so fast and why there is totally no evidence for missing links between kinds or sorts. That's because a designer has put all this variation into some of computerprogram called DNA. That's a better explanation then to search for some sort of self-helping mechanism that has to explain how this alive world has come into being.

      BTW if not all is correct English, that's because I'm Dutch

      Reply

    6. Jaco’s avatar

      Most interesting to read from a complete materialist view that creation science is flawed. Never ever has anyone of the materialist view me convinced of finding missing links. There is totally no evidence for evolution from one species to another. Let alone how life has developed from dead material. Where does information came from? We have never seen in our total lifetime that it came out of nothing. How does information come out of nothing. It doesn't help if you put all kind of computerlanguage into a box, hoping that eventually after millions of years a working program will evolve.

      Try to be open for more than only a materialistic worldview. I say that despite of some really bad scientific approaches of creationists. However their view of common ancestors within the area of sorts and races is a very likely model to see where so many differences within sorts come from. Take the whole sorts of dogs, foxes, wolfs, hyena's and so on. Even all kinds of cats can have a common ancestor within their kind. That helps to understand why micro-evolution within kinds or sorts can happen so fast and why there is totally no evidence for missing links between kinds or sorts. That's because a designer has put all this variation into some of computerprogram called DNA. That's a better explanation then to search for some sort of self-helping mechanism that has to explain how this alive world has come into being.

      BTW if not all is correct English, that's because I'm Dutch

      Reply

    7. Jaco’s avatar

      Most interesting to read from a complete materialist view that creation science is flawed. Never ever has anyone of the materialist view me convinced of finding missing links. There is totally no evidence for evolution from one species to another. Let alone how life has developed from dead material. Where does information came from? We have never seen in our total lifetime that it came out of nothing. How does information come out of nothing. It doesn't help if you put all kind of computerlanguage into a box, hoping that eventually after millions of years a working program will evolve.

      Try to be open for more than only a materialistic worldview. I say that despite of some really bad scientific approaches of creationists. However their view of common ancestors within the area of sorts and races is a very likely model to see where so many differences within sorts come from. Take the whole sorts of dogs, foxes, wolfs, hyena's and so on. Even all kinds of cats can have a common ancestor within their kind. That helps to understand why micro-evolution within kinds or sorts can happen so fast and why there is totally no evidence for missing links between kinds or sorts. That's because a designer has put all this variation into some of computerprogram called DNA. That's a better explanation then to search for some sort of self-helping mechanism that has to explain how this alive world has come into being.

      BTW if not all is correct English, that's because I'm Dutch

      Reply

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