Answers Research Journal volume 2
|The divine comedy|
Volume 2 of the Answers Research Journal was published in 2009 and promised more content than the 2008 volume. Only seven papers appeared in the first nine months but a rapid run of papers over the period October to December boosted this to 16. (Hence, in reality volumes 1 and 2 contained the same number of articles!)
Volume 2 articles
Preview: 14 papers are in preparation as of December 31, 2008! That's what a real journal gets in a day or two!
How many times do we have to say it? Just because there are dissenting opinions about a field of science doesn't make the overall science wrong or account for changes in a theory to correct itself. It certainly does not mean that creationism is right. This article reads like a long blog entry. There is a question, here, too as to how this article helps to establish the creation model as promised by the journal. Yes, it's your journal, AiG, but you ain't sticking to your mission as promised.
Another paper that does nothing to establish a creation model, which should have been outright rejected according to the criteria above. In fact, it's a book review, not a journal article. The take-home message is that creationists should give up on using the ad hominem attack that Darwin stole the theory of evolution by natural selection because it is easily demonstrated as false. Whilst surprisingly refreshing, it is not science.
- Tom Hennigan, February 18, 2009
Symbiosis between fungus and plants is a reason for religious people to take care of the earth. It does not support a godly created earth one bit.
- John D. Matthews, March 25, 2009
This article by a repeat author tries to filibuster a topic to lead people to concluding it is valid. However, looking at this article's table 2: Global extinctions is not evidence for "uniformitarian" view because it is "no support--observation only" makes it clear that Matthews does not understand science. What the author doesn't understand is that real scientists make observations first, and then make hypotheses that suggest other observations to make. Science does not start with its conclusionu and attempt to backfill explanations. Furthermore, that global extinctions are "almost 100%" support for a "visible Flood model" but "no support" for a "uniformitarian" [i.e., scientific] model is almost exactly backwards.
- Dr. Andrew Snelling and Dallel Gates, April 8, 2009
Editor-in-Chief Andrew Snelling publishes his fourth paper in ARJ, again about the radiohalos.
- Two months go by with nothing.
- Jean K. Lightner, June 10, 2009
Lightner, a repeat contributor (why solicit new authors?), reinterprets genetic data in terms of the creation/flood model. Except, of course, there is no linking the non-original data (does anyone actually measure anything in this field?) to the creation or flood model, and the account fails to explain the mutation rate required to account for the genetic diversity in 4000-ish years from four alleles. Indeed, "There remains a tremendous need for more detailed studies of within kind genetic variability to determine the types of changes that have occurred." Perhaps one should find evidence for "kinds" first.
- Have the ARJ authors gotten bored? One article in four months? No articles for three months? That's it? ARJ is well behind for the fourteen papers we were promised.
- Joseph W. Francis and Georgia Purdom, September 23, 2009
This paper talks about the fledgling field of "creation microbiology" (although the relationship to regular ol' microbiology is not clear). In its attempt to "organize the field of creation microbiology," the authors review the literature combining creationist and scientific literature and propose to classify microbes according to baraminological concepts. No new experiments are performed, and no evidence links microbes to the Genesis account.
- Yingguang Liu and Charles Soper, September 30, 2009
Largely a discussion of retroviruses, virus genomes which have become incorporated into other genomes. This is basically a review paper of research done by other people on this topic. It does raise challenges to creationism such as:
However it dismisses these as simply being examples of common design or after-The-Fall degradation of the genome. No evidence is presented for either of these explanations, just the statement that it is a better alternative explanation to natural selection.
Even creationist Todd C. Wood is uncomfortable with this one, as he says, the authors "spend most of the paper on the 'function' of ERVs, and their hypothesis unfortunately goes underdeveloped." 
- Daniel C. Criswell, October 7, 2009
Another long review of the current literature. If you are interested in the current research on the serial endosymbiotic theory (SET), that is that modern cells are the result of several cells living together over 2 billion years ago, all of the reference in this paper except one would be a great place to start. Inside every cell in your body are, what we will loosely call, sub-cells such as the mitochondria, which it is widely accepted once lived a life separate from the "parent" cell. However, as it could perform a function the parent cell could not, it was "accepted into" the parent cell where it was allowed to live and they have been co-evolving ever since. Unsurprisingly, creationists have criticized the theory before — CreationWiki's entry dates back to 2007, and Michael Behe criticized it in Darwin's Black Box — hence this article is hardly original.
What makes this paper strange is it discusses SET at length until the last three sections. The paper then starts to discuss E. coli experiments. It notes that antibiotic resistant E. coli grows at only 20% of the rate of normal E. coli and so conclude this mutation cost "information" and hence reduced fitness. In an attempt to move back to the SET, they discuss an experiment where Salmonella was placed inside E. coli and they mostly interfered with each other's metabolic pathways; they conclude multiple steps must be involved in endosymbiosis. In the penultimate section they pull out a creationist paper, based on a computer simulation, which found that mutations accumulate with time and the net effect is negative. Combining this with the previous evidence, they conclude there is no possible pathway for endosymbiosis, therefore creationism is correct.
Ultimately this paper is one long Gish Gallop. The author tries to paint themselves as knowledgeable with a detailed literature review, only to pull out the irreducible complexity and God of the gaps arguments at the end. Not wanting to get ad hom here, but how many microbiologists work at Bible software companies?
- Frank Sherwin, October 14, 2009
Yet another research-free diatribe about a microorganism before and after the Fall, making conjectures about the transition from neutral or beneficial to pathogen. No argument for special creation is presented beyond "the Scriptures teach" and the quoting of Genesis. Things are referred to as having "overt design features" without any explanation as to what these features are and why they could not have evolved. Essentially a review paper about amoebas with the literal truth of the Bible taken as an a priori; no scientific evidence for this position is provided or cited.
- Ira S. Loucks, October 21, 2009
Let's see if this is science:
“”The purpose of fungi in recycling organic material is consistent with an originally perfect creation. In the current debate between philosophical naturalism and biblical creationism, an important sticking point involves the relationship of life and death in the history of the universe. In the evolution paradigm, death is a necessary means of progress for advancement of organisms from simple to more complex. As part of the process of natural selection, it is a tool to allow for adaptation of organisms to various environmental niches. This stands in contrast to the role of death according to the Bible, where death is an enemy that will be destroyed when all of creation is restored to its original state after Christ’s return (1 Corinthians 15:26). This highlights the incongruity between the biblical creation and evolution worldviews: if spiritual and physical death are not a consequence of sin, then the Christian faith is vain because Christ had no reason to die and rise again. Therefore, the role of death in biology is crucial in this worldview debate.
One has to wonder about what hypotheses can be developed to show that "death is an enemy" and what evidence will be collected to support it. It looks like we will have to wait until the Rapture for this one. (And PS to the editors: Your articles are out of order on your webpage.)
- Georgia Purdom, October 28, 2009
Another long review paper about bacteria and still no evidence is presented for special creation. In fact most of the paper is dedicated to how bacteria
evolves adapts. Other than a few references throughout the paper such as "[t]his concept is in direct opposition to the biblical creation model", otherwise it reads like a grad student's literature review. It is only at the end in the conclusion where the author tackles the problem of creation research.
“”From the creation perspective, all bacteria were originally created “good” and important for many biological processes from the digestive processes of humans and animals to biogeochemical recycling in the environment. The vast majority of bacteria still perform these functions today. However, the Fall and subsequent curse placed on creation has altered some bacteria resulting in their pathogenicity leading to disease and death. Bacteria possess very specific and complex pathogenic mechanisms that cannot be explained merely as the result of mutations. A creation model is needed to understand how bacteria become pathogenic in a post-Fall world.
So why was one not presented? Oh, no, wait; we have one.
“”In order to survive in a post-Fall world, God designed bacteria with mechanisms to adapt. These include adaptive mutation (Purdom and Anderson 2008), HGT of GEIs, and likely many others that have yet to be discovered. As bacteria were displaced to new environments these mechanisms were crucial to their survival. Pathogenicity should be rightly viewed as a “side effect” of bacterial adaptation and survival in the post-Fall world and not part of God’s original “very good” (Genesis 1:31) created world.
There are no suggested hypotheses to test, no experiments, no analysis. Just a review of the literature and a straight-out denial of evolution, with no evidence presented to support this position.
- Terry Mortenson, November 11, 2009
It is on! Young Earth creationism vs.
Old Earth creationism intelligent design. Answers in Genesis' Terry Mortenson gets stuck into the Discovery Institute's William Dembski's proposal for why evil exists in the world. Bible quotes fly around and much frothing at the mouth ensues, but very little science comes to light. As this is supposed to be a science magazine we will concentrate on that and leave the armchair philosophy to the amateurs.
The only discussion of any science is to editor-in-chief Andrew Snelling's Rate project, which is trying to shoehorn radiometric dating into the young Earth model. Dembski dismisses this research as unconvincing, proving the stopped clock principle. Mortenson responds pretty much by accusing Dembski of heresy and being insane.
“”Therefore, since God has so clearly spoken, it is nothing short of “insanity” for us to doubt His Word and instead believe the fallible interpretations of that cursed creation by godless “insane” men with darkened minds who have invented the old-earth and old-universe theories based on unscientific, philosophical, anti-biblical assumptions!
His cure for this is that Dembski should buy and watch DVDs available through Answers in Genesis so he can be convinced of the overwhelming evidence for a young Earth.
This research-free rant against a fellow pseudo-theologian in a supposedly creation science journal is pretty much all the explanation you need as to why real scientists don't bother debunking creationists, and the job has been left to a bunch of piss-takers on the internet.
- Jonathan L. Bartlett, December 2, 2009
The creationists finally figured out that using the terms "beneficial" and "deleterious" doesn't saying anything about design. Hence, they decided to just right out define mutations as "design-consistent" and "design-inconsistent."
This leads to some interesting assertions on the part of the creationists: "A mutation which occurs at a significantly higher rate than the average mutation rate for the organism is likely to be design-consistent." How does one determine the rate of one mutation? Is it just 1 divided by the time over the last mutation? Might it be better to use waiting time statistics to determine if the mutation is random? Is exposure to radiation and carcinogens "designed?" And why is a more rapid mutation consistent with design? Aren't all mutations loss of information? The other criteria are not much better.
- Terry Mortenson, December 16, 2009
In this article, Mortenson summarizes what young-earth creationism is, provides supposed support for a young earth and rhetoric against evolution, and then rips apart theologians critical of the view. Much of the presented evidence against evolution is arguments from incredulity based on how God ought to be:
“”If the day-age view or framework hypothesis or any other old-earth view is true, then what kind of God is it who would create the earth instantly and then leave it covered with water for millions of years and then create dry land and plants and let them produce for millions of years before He made the sun? And what kind of God would make the sun, moon, and stars to enable man to measure time, but then wait billions of years before He made man to measure the time? Or if we reject the order of events in Genesis 1 and say that the evolutionary order of appearance of the different creatures and the time-scale are correct, we have other problems. What kind of God would create the earth 4.5 billion years ago and let it exist for one billion years before He made the first microscopic creatures (protozoans)23 and then waited another 2.875 billion years before He made the first metazoans24 and then waited another 625 million years before He made Adam, who was the ultimate goal of His creation and was made to rule over all the animals, most of whom lived and died before Adam was created?25 This is a bizarre, wasteful God, and nothing like the wise and omnipotent Creator revealed in Scripture. And if God really created in the order and over the long timescales that evolutionists claim, does this not make God a deceiver or a liar when He inspired Moses to write the Genesis 1 account of the order of His creative acts, which is so contradictory to the evolutionary order of events of history?
Unfortunately, incredulity is not evidence.
Mortenson provides three primary reasons for the rejection of old-earth creationism (and other non-young-earth creationism): weak exegesis of the relevant Scriptures; inadequate consideration of the relevant creationist literature; and inadequate consideration of the impact of the Fall. Like the other rejection of physical evidence in the article, these criteria are all biblical with no significant attempt to incorporate the actual physical evidence. As usual, the rationalization of young earth creationism is ineffective.
- Jerry Bergman, December 23, 2009
This paper fails again to present anything original and does not help to establish a creationist model. Indeed, there are cases of fraud in science and humans are fallible, but that doesn't mean that the fossils are not evidence, even if it is fragmented. Human evolution is well established through chromosomal fusion evidence and much other fossil evidence, so looking at paleoanthropology isolated from the rest of biology is inappropriate. A regular science journal would reject this gossip piece, especially since every single item in the article is unoriginal. Honestly, how many times will creationists cite Piltdown man?
A blogger puts it best:
“”Another thing that Bergman fails to do is to at all illuminate what has not been faked, that is, the majority of all work in the field ever. He does not illuminate what is agreed upon, and leaves the ignorant reader (ARJ's reader) with the false impression that there is no consensus on anything, which happens to be a fetid load of dingos' kidneys.
Volume 2 Retrospective
- The authors of ARJ continue to attempt to discredit evolution through character attacks, as evidenced by "intolerance", "fraud and forgery" in article titles. One ARJ author even attempted to discredit ID this year. This does nothing to establish a creationist model.
- Quite a few articles were on microbes and fungi. No article (except perhaps the radiohalo article) contains an original experiment, and none link a designer to the evidence cited.
- Many articles cited standard creationist fare: Piltdown man, polonium radiohalos and incredulity about evolution. As usual, whenever the creationists get stuck, they revert to a Bible quote. There is little original thought here.
- Jerry Bergman is a well-known YEC'er. See the wikipedia page on him, or rather don't see it as it was deleted for non-notability.
- Although Bergman claims to have taught geology at Northwest State College in Archbold OH, his bio at AIG shows that he has no formal qualification in that subject.
- See here for another of Dr. Wood's pieces.
- Todd Charles Wood's blog may be found here. Wood is more realistic than many of his creationist peers, as he is quoted as saying, ""We cannot keep pretending that there is no evidence for evolution. We reject serial endosymbiosis not because it's scientifically inadequate (as you've seen here, it's quite compelling) but because it is inconsistent with the biblical record of creation. According to the Bible, we know creation is true by faith (Heb. 11:3)" in this post.
- Tom Hennigan is a supposed "evolutionist turned creationist": http://creationwiki.org/Tom_Hennigan
- A lambasting about Snelling's conflicts of interest that appeared after this paper appears here.
- Behe, Michael J. Darwin's Black Box New York, Free P: 1996, pp.188-189.
- A rather unusual repeat pseudonym. "Ira S. Loucks" had an abstract from the Microbe Forum published in the first volume.
- Answers Research Journal: The gift that keeps on giving...me piles (Bing McGhandi, Happy Jihad's House of Pancakes blog, 2009-12-24)