Because the universe is beautiful enough without having to lie about it


July 21st, 2008 Posted in Creationism, Natural Computation

I just remembered some fun I had a few years ago with the comedy Institute for Creation Research. For those of you who don’t know about this particular institution, it’s basically a pseudo-scientific front for extreme biblical literalist evangelical Christian nutjobs in their overt campaign to drag American education standards back into the dark ages.

But the great thing about them is that, because they believe in the young-earth model of creationism, they think that the Earth is actually less than ten thousand years old. No, really. Crazy, huh? And this pretty much guarantees that anyone with a degree of independent intelligence is unable to work there.  Which means that you can have all sorts of fun playing mind games with the people whose scientific understanding is so poor as to allow them to entertain such an absurd notion.  So I thought I would write them an email asking them if they knew anything about this evil computational trick called ‘evolutionary computation’ that a ‘friend’ had tried to show me just the other day.  As it happens, I’d been working on the subject for a couple of years by this point and it pretty-much makes a mockery of all creationist arguments about complexity. But I already blogged about that.

Their reply was mainly cut-and-paste nonsense, but it did begin with the following beautifully-worded personal reply:

Dear Colin,

Thank you for your emailed inquiry … to ICR. I have read your letter and understand that you are seeking the answer to the following question(s):
Q1:  Was it just a trick by a person saying that evolution is real by showing a computer program which claimed to find solutions to a difficult problem by ‘evolutionary computation’.

A1:  There is a suitable scientific word for such a declaration: baloney! All scientists must use scientific facts. Thus, we cannot answer any specific computer data that supports evolution, since you list none. Ask your friend to calculate how many mutations it would take to turn an amoeba into man, and how much time it would take. (Hint: evolution would need trillions x trillions x trillions x trillions of years. Cf. “The Mathematical Impossibility of Evolution” at (link now dead). See other ICR articles about mutations at (link also dead).

Remember folks, if you have any burning questions that you want to ask of the ICR, you can send them an email. Here’s their contact page. I suggest you don’t use your main email account as they’ll probably spam it. Oh, and if you get a comedy reply then feel free to mail it to me.

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