September 18, 2003
1st place at the Fellowship Baptist Creation Science Fair 2001

This is worrying: kids are doing "creation science" (an oxymoron by definition) experiments for a "Creation Science Fair":

Creation Education: Creation Science Fair 2001 (Google cache):

1st Place: "Using Prayer To Microevolve Latent Antibiotic Resistance In Bacteria"

Eileen Hyde and Lynda Morgan (grades 10 & 11) did a project showing how the power of prayer can unlock the latent genes in bacteria, allowing them to microevolve antibiotic resistance. Escherichia coli bacteria cultured in agar filled petri dishes were subjected to the antibiotics tetracycline and chlorotetracycline. The bacteria cultures were divided into two groups, one group (A) received prayer while the other (B) didn't. The prayer was as follows: "Dear Lord, please allow the bacteria in Group A to unlock the antibiotic-resistant genes that You saw fit to give them at the time of Creation. Amen." The process was repeated for five generations, with the prayer being given at the start of each generation. In the end, Group A was significantly more resistant than Group B to both antibiotics.

Hello? The World paging the baptists? If this project could be repeated under scientific conditions, we'd have a proof of God's existence and the youngest ever Nobel prize winners in history! I'm so hoping this science fair webpate a scam, a joke or a fake... That noone pollutes their kids with this nonsense... But then again... Anything is possible??!

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I like this one:

2nd Place: "Women Were Designed For Homemaking"

"Jonathan Goode (grade 7) applied findings from many fields of science to support his conclusion that God designed women for homemaking: physics shows that women have a lower center of gravity than men, making them more suited to carrying groceries and laundry baskets"

Posted by: Tor on September 18, 2003 11:21 PM

Yes, its a joke. :) Anything associated with jesussave.us or Landover Baptist is a joke. A damn funny one though. They have various websites claiming to be christian organizations, some very outrageous, some just realistic enough to be believable, and then they even have the organizations fight amongst each other. Jesussave.us has tried to get Landover Baptist 'shut down' among other things, just to get more attention to it all.

Its like the onion, but with religion. :)

Posted by: sam on September 18, 2003 11:33 PM

Sam,

thanks for the clarification! A hilarious joke it is/was too!! :-)

Posted by: Anders on September 19, 2003 11:40 AM

haha.. im glad i read the comments because i would have been fooled. funny enough though, sites like http://www.capalert.com/ _arnt_ jokes.

peace out

Posted by: Seele on September 19, 2003 01:09 PM

It's very possible that "prayer" could have helped the survival of the bacteria. If you increase the amount of carbondioxide in the immediate atmosphere surrounding a plant, you can improve photosynthesis. This can lead to increased energy for cellular functions, including division. This means greater chances of survival (increasing number of bacteria versus a finite quantity of active ingredient in the antibiotics).

If they were praying closely enough to the petri dish, there's a chance their breath would have supplied extra CO2 for the bacteria to use while the others could have been somewhat CO2 deficient in comparison.

Nevertheless, if this story is "real", they would not interpret that way. People really must learn to apply Occam's Razor. Is it an Almighty God that created the universe who gave these bacteria genes whose power may be unlocked by intense prayer OR, is it the fact I'm supplying more CO2 by breathing on them?

Or perhaps I'm putting to much thought into this parody. :-)

Posted by: [Si]dragon on September 19, 2003 02:42 PM

You know, after reading more from that site, I am not so sure they are a parody. And that is particularly distressing. Someone else pointed out that this site, like Landover Baptist, is a joke. I'm... speechless.

Posted by: [Si]dragon on September 19, 2003 02:57 PM

http://www.landoverbaptist.org/tos.html

says it all.

Americans are not THAT crazy. Well, maybe some of the Mormons and people who listen to the voices in their Rice Krispies......

Posted by: Valerie F. on September 19, 2003 05:05 PM

Quote: " If this project could be repeated under scientific conditions, we'd have a proof of God's existence and the youngest ever Nobel prize winners in history! I'm so hoping this science fair webpate a scam, a joke or a fake..."

IF this project could be repeated under scientific conditions we WOULD have a proof of God's existence, why don't you want this result? Sounds like you're not an atheist because you don't believe in God but because you don't WANT to believe in God. I'm an atheist too but if someone could proove the existence of God, I would have no problem believing in him.

I guess this is not exactly what you mean, or?

Posted by: The Provocateur on September 21, 2003 02:42 AM

Very good, Agnar ;-)

Ok if someone could prove God's existence, that would be an intrigueing prospect indeed ;-)

I'd probably want James Randi to doublecheck all experiments too ;-)

Posted by: Anders on September 21, 2003 03:55 PM

Rene Descarte proved God's existence by thought experiement. Try reading his Meditations on First Philosophy.

http://www.google.com/search?q=rene%20descarte%20meditations%20on%20first%20philosophy&sourceid=mozilla-search&start=0&start=0&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8
http://www.nd.edu/~afreddos/courses/intro/descarte.htm

As far as I recall, it was a pretty solid argument, although it's been a while since I've studied it. ;)

Posted by: [Si]dragon on September 21, 2003 05:58 PM

God's existence can be proved easily through calculating the probability that life arose by chance. Even taking into consideration miniscule variables the odds against life appearing without intelligent design are gargantuan.

Of course, contrariwise, these are the same odds *for* the existence of an creative intelligent being.

Posted by: Peter Grigor on September 23, 2003 06:29 AM

Peter, as long as the probability is not 0, why does the fact that the probability is small prove God's existence?

Posted by: Anders on September 23, 2003 01:07 PM

Whaever happened to all those atheists who said out loud "There is no God, because if there were, He would strike be dead for having just said that!" ?

Posted by: Stu Savory on September 23, 2003 02:11 PM

Anders:

At some point all high probabilities are accepted as proof, especially in experimental sciences. If an experiment has the same outcome for different experimenters there is still *some* probability that it won't have the same outcome next time.

Probabilities are all we have when it comes to proofs.

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