Wednesday, July 09, 2008

We the sheeple

A pseudo-scholarship vignette

The July issue of Acts & Facts is out from the Institute for Creation Research. Since ICR includes “Research” in its title, you know those folks must be serious, painstaking scholars. Here's one of them in action, Henry M. Morris IV, namesake and scion of Henry Morris the so-called flood theorist:
When the United States of America was founded on July 4, 1776, the signing of the Declaration of Independence was preceded by prayer at the urging of Benjamin Franklin, the senior statesmen of the fledgling nation. It was certainly no coincidence, then, that the very first sentence of this historic document acknowledged God as Creator (“nature's God”).
There are only a few small problems with Morris's account. First of all, it was during the drafting of the U.S. Constitution, not the Declaration of Independence, that Franklin reportedly suggested that the convention begin each day's business with prayer. The tale has grown in the telling.

James Madison took notes during the constitutional convention and recorded Franklin's motion: “I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to officiate in that Service.” Madison also reported that Franklin's motion died without action. After some discussion, the prayer proposal was superseded by a motion to adjourn, which carried.

In addition to misplacing Franklin's motion in time, Morris also assumes it was adopted and that our founding fathers quickly bowed their heads in prayer. We know that several of the founders were religious (a few were even clerics), but others were known to be dubious about traditional Christianity, with Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson leading this list. Morris thinks nothing of the fact that Jefferson chose the phrase “Nature's God” when he penned the Declaration. (What would Morris think if he knew that Jefferson wrote both words in lowercase as “nature's god” in his rough draft?) By relegating God to a possession of nature, Jefferson was most likely employing a bit of deistic finesse, citing a deity to assuage the knee-benders among the founding fathers without any genuflection on his part.

Of course, if I were an ICR scholar, I could just state it as fact. It's easier that way.

The good news!

I would be remiss if I failed to note that there are opportunities for people with academic degrees to be ICR “scholars.” To emphasize its devotion to academics, ICR never fails to cite the degrees of its writers and staff. If an ICR employee holds a doctorate or a master's degree, you can be certain that it will be appended to the end of his or her name at every opportunity. Even Henry M. Morris III gets into the act, listing “D. Min.” after his name. After all, what's better than a degree in ministry to establish your credentials in scientific research? (On the other hand, poor Henry M. Morris IV is—except for the Roman numeral—suffix free.)

The July issue of Acts & Facts calls for people to join the ranks of ICR's crack team of creation researchers, but those who answer the call need to understand that their conclusions have already been conveniently provided by the biblical account in Genesis. That makes it all much easier!
ICR is growing! We now need additional Ph.D. science faculty and researchers in geology (both soft-rock and hard-rock), astronomy/cosmology, paleontology, and science education. Thankfully, our life-science faculty is strong (and young), but we need to recruit and train those who will be the creationist scientists for the coming decades. The basic qualifications are: Ph.D. from a reputable school in the desired field, complete agreement with the ICR tenets (both biblical and scientific), and a “fire in the belly” for the creationist ministry. If you are such a person—or if you know such a person—get a resumé to us soon. We are ready to hire and are diligently looking for God’s warriors to “stand in the gap” (Ezekiel 22:30).
My favorite part is the comment that applicants should have degrees from a “reputable school.” I guess that leaves out “Dr.” Kent Hovind. Or, for that matter, any graduate of ICR's unaccredited graduate school.


Yoo said...

Despite creationists sucking completely in biology research, and instead of trying to (uselessly, in my opinion) improve their research in biology, they just have to spread their suckage to history. :(

Interrobang said...

Speaking as someone who's gotten paid money to write history before, "Hey, you kids, get outta there before someone gets hurt!"

Saint Onan said...

Should we be popularising the term "history-mining" to describe how creo-scholars select only the facts that suit their case?

Edit suggestion: Shouldn't the last sentence of the penultimate paragraph read as

"..., citing a deity to assuage the knee-benders among the founding fathers without any genuflection on his part."

Zeno said...

"History-mining" is not a bad term to describe creationist revisionism. Thanks for the suggestion, Saint Onan.

And, yes, you're right, of course. The "with" should have been "without" and is now fixed. Thanks for the assist.

Anonymous said...

Check out these tracts:




I know you poke fun a Creationism, but can you scientifically refute it? Can you scientifically prove to me that there is no GOD, or that Evolution is scientifically true? Just wondering. By the way, David M. A. hands these things out by the thousands.

Zeno said...

BloggerJack, what a delight you are. Chick tracts. You actually recommend that people read Chick tracts, which are among the weakest and most comical form of pro-religion and anti-science propaganda. Is that the best you can do?

Science (including evolution) seems to be doing all right despite having been "disproved" by Jack Chick's little comic books.

Yoo said...

You mean BloggerJack wasn't doing satire? I really can't understand how anyone could be serious when they say something like BloggerJack has.

Zeno said...

You can never tell, Yoo. Especially since "blogger jack" is sometimes used as a synonym for "troll". But I did tell him he was amusing, so I'm sure I made him happy and validated his reason for living.