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Dialogue with a Creation "scientist"

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"Top creation speaker" and CESM founder, Russ Miller

Creationists like the famed Kent Hovind claim to be "scientists" based on poor credentials or credentials that are completely unrelated to science. Hovind, for example, was a "high school science teacher for fifteen years" according to his own words, but even if that were true, it still wouldn't qualify him to be a "scientist" on any serious level. His credentials are best suited in teaching grade school science, not to being a professional expertised scientist. Although it cannot be said that ALL Creationists are lacking in education and actually have geniune degrees, Kent Hovind is not the only Creationist who poses as a "Creation scientist" when his credentials do not even come close within the realm of a particular expertise in science (e.g. biology, geology, astronomy, etc.)
 
Creationist Russ Miller, the founder of "Creation, Evolution, & Science Ministries" in Flagstaff Arizona, is one such example. Not surpisingly, the title of Russ' ministry is very similar to the ministry of Ken Hovind in his "Creation Science Evangelism". Even some of Hovind's "copyright-free" materials have been borrowed in Russ' Power Point presentations. After browsing many of his seminars, we decided to e-mail Russ on a few things to test his credibility and check for his assortment of facts and where they come from. Mr. Miller's e-mail address can be found at:cesmmrmiller@aol.com (Update: Mr. Miller has recently updated his website and is now using a new address at his very own original domain: russ@creationministries.org)
 
In one of our original e-mails to Russ, we provided some criteria for the available evidence at Mr. Miller's disposal:
 
Tuesday, 12/19/06
 
1) Evidence - Evidence that refutes the claim of Darwinists or can be further refuted in attempts to debunk the evidence that Creationists provide. You've provided photographs and have listed various creatures and events, but are these hoaxes, are they real, can they be confirmed?
 
2) Direct responses - To what evolutionists say regarding creationism, passing it off as faulty and unscientific. So far what I've Googled on this topic it seems Creationists keep using the same material that evolutionists call bunk and have listed these things as bunk numerous times over.
 
3) Scientific explanation - Relevant material that isn't just found on creationist websites. Material that isn't just found because it may support biblicial scripture, scientific laws that can be found in researched biology or textbooks real factual stuff. Not just because the creationists make somewhat of a good point.
 
Russ rebuts:
 
1) Everyone has the same evidence. Our starting presuppositions determine how we interpret the evidence. Most people that see both interpretations agree it fits the biblical claims much better than the Darwinistic claims. This is why Darwinists try to prevent people from seeing the creation side of the issues.
 
Response: Sure...Russ, that's exactly the case. Scientists expect to get the conclusions in their hypothesis and if the evidence differs they plan on covering up the real results with falsehoods.
 
In addition to this, Russ makes a very astonishing claim about science in general:
 
All sciences are erroneously based on Darwinism. I believed in Darwinism until I saw the facts which shoot it down.
 
Response: It should be self-evident to the reader at this point that Russ is labeling science to be an erroneous practice. If "all sciences are erroneously based on Darwinism" then Creationists are not scientific. Russ self-refutes himself and wants to convince his audiences that Creationists are the "true scientists."
 
2) Of course they call facts against their belief bunk, what else can they do except admit their faith in Darwinism is misplaced? Name calling is the last bastion for those who have little evidence to back their position.
 
Response: It isn't name calling, as Russ would have you believe. Most websites in response to Creationism actually tackle the arguments which in many demonstratable cases, seem to have a dash of dishonesty behind them. "Name calling" doesn't apply anywhere in this case.
 
3) Such as the Law of Biogenesis, Law of Entropy, etc?
 
Response: The Law of Biogenesis: yes. The Law of Entropy: no. The "second law of thermodynamics" is a common tactic used by Kent Hovind, which is more evidence that Russ undoubetly uses his poor science material. Entropy is the loss of work potential within a closed system. Being, that system or whatever is mechanistic; however, biological systems are open as they are living organisms. Some interesting information on the Law of Entropy can be found here: http://www.emc.maricopa.edu/faculty/farabee/biobk/BioBookEner1.html
 
We referred Russ to TalkOrigin's "Index to Creationist Claims" and these were some of his responses:
 
I have spent more time on the website you referred me to.  Thus far, it has greatly increased my faith in the arguments I use to refute Darwinism.  Although the site is well made, they use worn out arguments and substitute micro changes or biased interpretations of evidence for their 'proofs' against creation or for Darwinism.
 
Response: Russ fails to give specific examples of these "worn out arguments" or why they have "increased his faith". He merely speculates that they have biased interpretations.
 
When Russ felt that he grew tired of answering questions, he resorts to advertising his DVD's:
 
Friday 01/12/07
 
I have answered dozens of your questions. They are all covered in our DVDs. I suggest you get a set for your own edification. You can order a set thru our website.  God bless,  Russ
 
Response: Thanks, Russ. The only problem here is that you haven't answered much of anything. Russ does not go into any deep scientific detail to show that he knows what he is talking about. Questions concerning things related to molecular biology, for instance, should be answered if one has knowledgeable assertions on the subject.
 
In which case, many of Russ' assertions are poorly defended:
 
Chimpanzee vertebrate - On the seminar video "50 Facts vs. Evolution" Russ Miller tells us that "we have more backbone than chimps." We asked simply: "Where is the evidence that chimpanzees have less vertebrate than we do?" Russ says...
 
You can find the chimp info as quickly as I could.
 
Response: Hey Russ, thanks for the boost of confidence in trusting your assertions! But remember, the question specifically asked for scientific evidence on YOUR part. None was provided, just more distracting ways of trying to get someone off your back.
 
The DNA Code Barrier - Here we rebutted Russ with this link from TalkOrigins on what is otherwise known as the "Genetic Barrier". Russ responds:
 
The DNA Code Barrier is a scientific fact.  If you disagree, please refer me to a few examples of one kind, like a dog, that has the genetic data to form a non-dog. 
 
Response: Instead why not try answering the referred article or responding to anything just said? According to a credentialed TalkOrigins contributor with degrees in genetics: "The hypothesis of a "genetic barrier" was not originated by creationists. It arose almost a hundred years ago by biologists/evolutionists to describe the difference between macroevolution and microevolution." And: "Barrierists believe, like [Richard] Goldschmidt did, that macroevolution and microevolution are fundamentally different; however, unlike Goldschmidt, they use the absence of a macro-only mechanism as proof of a creator and proof against evolution. The reason for the absence of a macro-only mechanism is that the same mechanisms apply to both micro- and macroevolution. This is not an *easy out* explanation as they'd have laymen believe. It is backed up by genetic and biological observations and experiments. Goldschmidt was able to state his claim in 1940 because the science of molecular genetics did not exist then." Russ was made aware of the history of this, but his only response was to question the absence of evidence of a dog giving birth to a "non-dog."
 
Evolutionary mechanisms - Not so much of this is found in Russ' seminar besides the attack on pesticide resistances and switch-around retelling of how adaptions occur. We e-mailed Russ on two different major types of evolution: convergent and divergent.
 
All of these are micro-evolution/adaptations within the same kind. Kinds bringing forth after their kind, just as the Bible says will happen. These are caused by the sorting or loss of the pre-existing genetic data. Again, the only examples would be within the same kind--micro-adaptations.
 
Response: The sorting or loss of pre-existing genetic data? Russ must not have read carefully when convergent and divergent evolution describe the relationships between distantly/closely related families and how they evolve similar/different traits because of those relationships via environment. Convergent describes that similar environments will cause distant species to evolve similar traits and look alike; divergent evolution is where related species will evolve distinct traits due to radically different environments. Creationists, however, will look at these and say that they are the same exact species (i.e. "kind") and that the "Global Flood" practically segerated them into distant locations across the world.
 
Eventually we started digging at Russ for his credentialed fields to check and see if he was a real scientist and had a scientific background. On Russ' website, he gives the eerie impression that he does not wish to reveal his true expertise:
 
 
A former Theistic Evolutionist with 160+ college credits, Russ states, "I'm a General Manager. I make logical decisions based on existing information. After God removed the scales from my eyes I saw that modern science does not support Darwinism. I also realized evolutionary teachings are undermining the world's faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. I now put my trust in the young earth creation of Scripture, and have picked up my cross to do something about the false knowledge we are being taught".
 
Response: Russ' background is unspecified and rather ambigous. He states that he has "160 + college credits", however what were these credits in? Does Russ bother telling his audiences of whether or not he possesses the formal training as a scientist? The occupation as a "General Manager" is lacking in scientific analysis, does Russ have any scientific expertise at all?
 
Wed 08/08/07
 
You seem to think a person needs a degree in science to report on scientific findings.  I think the actual researcher needs to have an education in science, even though this means they will have been indoctrinated in Darwinian propaganda (which undermines true science).
 
Response: Actually yes, it is expected that if you are to call yourself a "scientist" you have the necessary credentials at hand. There is much more to being a scientist than having mere "education in science", there is also field work, experimentation, and peer-reviewed publishings.
 
The truly intelligent person will see through the bias to the observable facts.  I think a degree in journalism or business would be best to logically see the big picture. This is what they are trained to do. That is what a General Manager is trained to do: take input from multiple sources and come to a logical conclusion.  That is my background and is what I do.
 
Response: A degree in journalism is not efficient for making scientific observations and judgements. Journalism aids in many genres, especially history, but having the credentials of a journalist does not qualify you to be an historian. Russ has admitted to poor scientific credentials and therefore his background is rather questionable.
 
The same exact analogies and excuses are used over and over in repetition without any new discussion being offered:
 
I drive a Ford pickup, my neighbor has a Ford van--their dashboards are identical--it's not because they evolved from a moped!!  It's because they have the same designer.
 
Response: Yes Russ, we know. You make this quite clear in your seminar videos. Onto other things, where is the scientific evidence for the claims of intelligent design?
 
God created living things to bring forth after their kind so they could adapt to various conditions.  I call that an Intelligent Designer who knew what the future held for His creation. 
 
Response: This sounds exact to theistic evolution. But Russ is reluctant to even go there. Strangely, other Creationists including Russ counter examples like resistance to pesticides as "non-evolutionary" and that the creation already had the genetic material for that necessary resistance! Yet, why would a large portion of the ratio of a given insect population die out due to pesticides and a small portion would live? If there is original genetic material there to begin with, shouldn't they all survive?
 
At the end of the hopeless exchange, we finally told Russ our thoughts on "Creation science".
 
Tue 08/21/07
 
Russ, the fact that you possess no scientific credentials is your problem. It is your problem because you are intentionally and uncritically passing information onto churchgoers while you claim to be a "scientist" possessing no necessary background for labeling yourself as such. Video tapes and materials from other creationists does not make you a qualified scientist, Russ.
 
From our e-mail exchange and your inability to answer certain things by your own personal voice, it is inevitable that creationism and "creation science" is a complete joke.
 
This is his last reply:
 
I have never claimed to be a scientist. You are simply "in error" to insinuate so.
 
Response: This is outright blatant dishonesty. Russ labels himself a "Creation scientist" on the very homepage of his website under his advertisement for "Grand Canyon Creation Tour: Guided by Creation Scientist, Russ Miller", to view this for yourself, simply visit: http://www.creationministries.org. After Russ has been confronted on his weak credentialed experience, he now resorts to being simply dishonest about his very own claims. More below:
 
I claim to be a person who reports on facts discovered by scientific researchers.  I take the facts, apply logical thinking and communicate the information to a wide range of people.  If there is anything I report that is wrong scientifically, you have never pointed it out. The only logical conclusion is that this is because I am correct.
 
Response: Russ is taking material from other authorities and accepting it uncritically. There is nothing "logical" about passing uncritical, unscrutinized information around and posing as a "scientist" when no scientific credentials exist. Furthermore, Russ hasn't been proven "wrong scientifically" because he uses short little paragraphs to answer questions without really answering questions. The only conclusion to be drawn from this is that Russ is purposely lying in order to try and cover his hide.
 
Yes, human understanding is evolving, unlike the atom you mention.  Meanwhile, God is allowing me to reach tens of thousands of people.  Whether or not you like it is not my concern--so laugh about that.
 
Response: Good luck with your deceptively deluding ministry there Russ. We will be laughing as long as your ministry is around to stay.
 
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