Exposing PseudoAstronomy

November 11, 2011

Creation Research’s Education Person Shows Own Stupidity


Introduction

This is a short post in the wake of my 3200-word last post on Mike Bara. Yes, it’s an ad hominem, but it’s oh-so-juicy.

The Site

The Institute for Creation Research, a young-Earth creationist, um, institute, has news stories that I often use for fodder on my blog. They also have started up a “Science Essentials” website that has blog posts and resources for teaching students that modern science is false and young-Earth creationism is the only thing that works. Yes, that sounds harsh, but no, I am not exaggerating.

Peter over at Eye on the ICR blog has been posting a lot about them. I recommend reading any single one of his posts on it and you’ll see what I mean.

The site is mainly a blog in its content that is written by Dr. Rhonda Forlow. Her degree is a BS in psychology and special education, an M.Ed. in educational leadership and policy analysis, and an Ed.D. in educational leadership. Notice that no where in there does it include common sense nor actual science.

Spam

Blogs get spam comments. They are usually very obvious and they are caught by spam filters. My own blog currently has 39 spam in the filter since I last emptied it two days ago. An example message is by someone named “critical illness online quote” with a long URL for their web address and e-mail address and a message that contains the text, “Thanks for that awesome posting. It saved MUCH time :)” along with a link to their site.

Another example message in my spam filter is by a person named “best dogs for kids” with the message “Its like you read my thoughts! You appear to grasp a lot approximately this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I feel that you simply could do with some % to power the message house a little bit, however instead of that, this is magnificent blog. A fantastic read. I will definitely be back.”

As I said, these are really obvious and clear. And they should be to anyone with oh-so-many advanced degrees in education and psychology.

But Dr. Rhonda doesn’t seem to know this.

An Example

Again, I got this from Peter, but if you for example go to Rhonda’s first post, at the time of this writing there are 25 comments. When I first posted a comment on her blog, there were a few less. One of the comments is by someone named “download music to my phone” with the message, “I wanted to thank you for this great I definitely loved every little bit of it. I have you bookmarked your web site to look at the latest stuff you post.”

Another is by “MP3Million” with the text, “Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely helpful for me.” In both of these, the URL to the spam site was left by Dr. Forlow.

Even more amazing is that the message after that by MP3Million is by Dr. Forlow. She replies to MP3Million’s request with, “For now, the postings are scheduled for 3 times per week, with an occasional 4th or 5th post. However, please check out our website at http://www.icr.org for free access to over 12,000 science articles. You will find more specific information there.”

That’s right folks, she thinks these are real people.

Censorship

I actually tried to – fairly politely – post to her blog to let her know that these were spam and that her actual replies to them did not lend much credibility to what she writes. The comment went through automatically.

I checked back a few hours later and my comment was removed. The spam was still there. Her response to the spam was still there. I tried to post again, and this time nothing happened. The only reason I can figure is she blocked my IP address from posting.

Still Goin’!

I just checked back, a day later (I’m writing this early Friday morning) and there’s a post by a person named “Palo Alto disability rights attorney” with the spam URL still linked from the name and the comment “Good Article. You do a good job. Thanks again.”

Final Thoughts

I checked through a few of her other posts. I found a comment from “Cheap Flights,” “r c helicopter reviews,” and others.

As I said, I realize this is a total ad hominem. But at some point you just have to call crap when you see it. This is one of those times. The vast majority of the world – in fact the majority of Americans, despite our image among many and despite our Republican presidential candidates – do not take young-Earth creationists seriously. The creationists don’t need any help in looking foolish. Things like this help them look even more clueless.

And, deleting my comment trying to point out that she was letting spam through and responding to it but not deleting the spam further illustrates the “head in the sand” that creationists do when confronted by information they don’t like. I’m not really annoyed that she deleted my comment, nor am I upset. I’m more flabbergast than anything else. I don’t like stereotypes, I’ve tried to avoid being a stereotype for the last 10 years. But actively working to ignore someone pointing out some small stupid thing she’s doing just feeds more into that stereotype of creationists.

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