A post at Pharyngula about a creationist spammer named Nick Lally led me to Creation Science Alive, a site “dedicated to teaching the scientific truths that support the creation account as detailed in the Bible.”
When your mission statement is internally contradictory, you have two primary choices: recognize that you have undertaken the impossible, and either revise your mission or abandon it entirely; or forge on in determined ignorance, marshaling elements of support for your mission that are as untenable, dishonest, and misguided as the goal itself.
Obviously, the purveyors of CSA have answered the LORD’s calling and risen to the challenge, with a Web site jam-packed with…well, hold that thought; the first thing one notices about the site is not its content but its telltale circa-1994 design and generally unsophisticated presentation, as evidenced by:
- Links created from whole paragraphs of text.
- Large, colorful, bolded and italicized “can’t miss” fonts.
- Excessive use of exclamation points.
- Wild inconsistencies in styling (remember, on the creation Intertubes, God has yet to invent CSS).
- A seemingly random application of commas, capitalized words, etc.
Strangest of all is the way the words forming the items in the left menu run together. This is evidently an effort to imbue the site with panache, but it only leads to confusion. For example, “Theomegaconcept” probably breaks down into “The omega concept,” but I read it as “theo-megaconcept”–an overriding ideaof some sort derived from belief in a god, perhaps.
As for the content, there is nothing crafty or, I venture to opine, intentionally misleading about it. The claims made here are simply the product of supremely primitive minds that have internalized unconditionally the most basic and timeless memes and talking points of low-luminosity creationists everywhere. This paragraph, part of a sonorous front-and-center screed about the evils and failures of evolution, offers a good representative sampling (emphasis mine):
In today’s Darwinian culture, those of us believing in Biblical Creationism are scorned and laughed at as if we were some medieval illiterate clinging to old wives tales and ill-contrived fables. The good news is that strong and faithful men and women are standing up and sharing facts that support Genesis, understanding that: if we believe in evolution, it is illogical to believe in creationism; if we don’t believe in creationism, then why should we believe anything else in the Bible; if we don’t believe the Bible, why should we believe God; if we don’t believe in God, why should we employ His moral codes; and if we don’t employ His moral codes, then we are free to decide for ourselves what is right and what is wrong – and deciding for ourselves is what we have been doing. Deciding for ourselves has filled our prisons, killed our unborn, and given rise to one of the deadliest diseases mankind has ever known. I believe evolution is one of the greatest and most successful lies since the serpent told Eve ‘You can be like God.’ Make no mistake about it, evolution is an assault on the very foundation of Biblical Creationism; therefore, it is an assault on the Bible.
The bolded sections represent examples of a creationist doing what creationists so often do best–destroying their own argument by unwittingly and convincingly arguing on behalf of the opposition. Yes, creationists, though not generally illiterate, are by definition clinging to fables. Rejecting Genesis does indeed open the door to rejecting the whole ball of biblical wax, insofar as treating it as sound or even remotely reliable science is concerned.
However, once the writer begins tossing out non sequiturs, all pretense to credibility and rational thought processes disappears. Evolution is suddenly charged with filling prisons (mostly with Christians, as it happens), “killing” foetuses, and producing an unidentified lethal disease. In terms of the latter, perhaps he’s talking about AIDS, which indeed owes some of its lethality to evolutionary processes, but not, of course, to the elucidation of evolution by scientists–the author would do well to explain here the reasons behind the Black Plague and other infectious monstrosities that felled millions of people well before Darwin’s dangerous ideas began to clarify in his head in the mid-1800’s.
Anyway, I only clicked on a few links; the site is plainly a capering wreck of Young Earth nonsense, clumsy straw-man tackling, canards that even Answers in Genesis won’t stoop to using anymore, misunderstandings, desperate hermeneutics and exegeses, and so on. But I did get a kick out of the “Biographies” page (again, emphasis mine):
Nick Lally is a retired science teacher, who taught science from an evolutionary point of view in the public schools for 25 years. It is his desire to teach the truth he has become educated about as opposed to the inaccuracies he taught as part of his public school curriculum. He is a member of good standing with the Creation Study Group of New Jersey, Inc.
Teri Lally holds a Masters Degree in education with a background in biology, and is currently pursuing her doctorate. She has been involved in education and writing curriculum for the public school sector for over 20 years. Teri was a driving force in creating Creation Science Alive. She is also an accomplished equestrian and gardener.
RoseAnn Salanitri is a former court reporter and Christian bookstore owner, as well as a published creation science writer. She has been a well respected Bible teacher for over a decade and has a heart for science as well as the Lord. She is a founding board member of Veritas Christian Academy and is also a member of good standing with the Creation Study Group of New Jersey, Inc. RoseAnn also serves on the Leadership Council of the New Jersey Family Policy Council, an affiliate of Focus on the Family.
This leaves unanswered at least two critical questions.
One, just how competitive is the creation science publishing market>
And two, how does one become a member in bad standing of a creation study group?