Creationist Essay Contest… Who’s Entering?

A couple years ago, Marcus Ross received his Ph.D. in paleontology from the University of Rhode Island. His dissertation was “impeccable,” according to his advisor.

The topic: “the abundance and spread of mosasaurs, marine reptiles that… vanished at the end of the Cretaceous era about 65 million years ago.”

The problem was that Ross was a Creationist and believed the world was only a couple thousand years old to begin with. Therefore, he didn’t believe the very subject he was writing about.

I bring that up because there’s an opportunity that I’m sure some younger reader may want to take advantage of…

Greg Landry’s Homeschool Science Academy is offering some sweet prizes (laptop computers and Amazon gift cards) to students who submit the best entries in an essay contest.

The topic: “How Does Human Anatomy and/or Physiology Support the Biblical Account of the Creation of Humans?

Right… not “Does Human Anatomy” but “How Does Human Anatomy?” They’re assuming a falsehood from the outset.

Topic of Your Research Paper

The topic of your research paper should include some specific aspect(s) of anatomy and/or physiology of the human body. Be unique, creative, original — think outside the box — dig deep! Hint: lots of people write about the eye. It certainly is an incredible part of the anatomy and physiology of the human body. But, unless you focus on some small aspect of the eye and explain in detail how it supports creation, or have some unique take on the eye, you’ll be writing something  similar to many other people. Be unique, creative, original!

Someone ought to give this a shot.

Use the standard Creationist arguments, make stuff up like they do, and prose it up. Poe the hell out of this. Throw in a barb about Richard Dawkins, talk about the evils of evolution, and give props to an exhibit you saw at the Creation Museum.

Win the grand prize and then tell us all about it while typing on your new laptop :) Debunk your own research paper.

If you think this is somehow mean or rude, remind yourself that this “academy” is trying to brainwash children with this garbage. It’s encouraging children to miseducate themselves with Creationism. I don’t feel bad suggesting someone with some real science background enter this.

You must be between 11 and 18. The deadline is March 15th, 2010, so you have some time. If you’re a finalist, you’ll have to deal with a phone interview, but I’m sure you can handle that.

And if you feel bad about taking a prize away from a sincere person (albeit a Creationist), you can always donate your laptop to a good charity.

All the other details are here.

Maybe this is all futile. They’re judging essays based on “Scientific merit.” So I guess no one will win.

  • Valdyr

    Son of a bitch! I’m too old… this would’ve been incredibly fun. I do hope some 18 year-old gal or guy with epic writing skill will win with an awesome, heavily veiled satire.

  • ???

    Since I’m 18, I’m definitely tempted to… but laying on just the right amount of satire to sneak it past judgment seems an extremely formidable task. Besides, I have real papers to write. :P

  • http://negativentropy.blogspot.com/ Jennifer Gray

    Darn it! I’m 33.

    Hmmm. Could I say that God created me fully formed in 1991? :D

  • charfles

    I agree. Somebody really needs to “Sokal” this. Bonus points if you cite Ray Comfort.

  • Jason

    Homeschooling science? Is that just another name for Christian science? I prefer my science without a lunatic prefix, thanks.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    I remember a pastor once saying that we were lucky that the bible only says to tithe 10%. He said it could have easily said to tithe 90%. In that spirit, I suggest the following human physiology tips as proof of a creator.

    1. that we don’t tend to get arthritis until we reach middle age. We could all get arthritis in childhood.

    2. that cancer takes a while to kill us. It could easily kill us right away.

    3. that our memory doesn’t start to go until old age. it could easily start to go in adolescence.

    4. that our physical peak is in our 20′s. It could have easily been in our first couple of years.

    Yes, we are all blessed with a loving and merciful creator!!!

  • Stephen P

    Anatomical evidence for a creator? Well, there’s the fact that our legs happen to be exactly the right length to reach the ground.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    @Stephen

    Nice! :)

  • http://unmailblog.wordpress.com Tyler in SoCal

    Our mouth is pretty far from our anuses. Thank God for that one.

    Well, unless your tub-girl. Sorry.

  • BJ

    BEWARE THE IDES OF MARCH!!

    It would have been more apropos if the due date had been April 1 instead of March 15.

  • Colin

    It looks like even creationists are tired of hearing the design of the human eye argument!

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Maybe I’ll submit an entry about the “fact” that men have one less pair of ribs than women, because of the Eve creation story. I’ll have to lie about my age though.

  • Miko

    Ah, but are they judging on scientific merit, or “homeschooling” scientific merit?

  • http://chaoskeptic.blogspot.com Iason Ouabache

    It’s not “creation science” it’s “Zombie science”.

  • http://10plusyears.blogspot.com/ 10plus

    @Stephen- also, our arms are also exactly the right length to reach our crotches- I think it’s a sign that God wants us to masturbate.

  • selfification

    @10plus

    Obligatory link: SMBC

  • bronwynm23

    Hemant, I love your blog and will definitely keep reading it, but this post isn’t very “friendly.” I’d rather see a young person submit a paper debunking the common misconceptions that creationists have about anatomy. The paper will certainly be disqualified, but it would be honest. You could even post the paper on here so we could all congratulate that young person. :)

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    @selfification Obligatory link

    Now that is funny! :D

  • http://10plusyears.blogspot.com/ 10plus

    @selfification- seconded, that was hilarious :)

  • Andrew Morgan

    I’ll probably enter and lie about my age. I don’t really care, and they deserve to have to sift though more crap than they’ll get otherwise.

  • GreyTheory

    Maybe it’s the “Not only is the glass half-full, but it’s leaking” mood at the moment, but does anyone else expect a Woobrain to pose as an evolutionist ‘converted’ after reading the ‘evidence’ for creation”..?

  • Laura Lou

    Oh my God. I really want to do this. And — phew! — I will just BARELY still be 18 by the time the deadline comes around. If any of you old fogies that can’t participate want to help me out, I would dearly appreciate it. :)

  • sc0tt

    I’m thinking the winner will be the one who spins up an example of circular logic so preposterous that it’s genius.

    Another idea:

    then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground,

    Might do a comparison of the elements that make up the human body and compare them to the elements found in a sample of dust (extra credit for finding a soil sample analysis from the Garden of Eden).

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    Laura, if you need a proofreader, I’m your guy :P

  • Siamang

    I’d rather see a young person submit a paper debunking the common misconceptions that creationists have about anatomy.

    What the heck would that accomplish?

    I’ve spent entire decades of my life refuting creationist bullshit. The internet’s got tons of that for anyone who looks.

    However, a good punking can do some good. If people realize that anyone can concoct creationist garbology, it may wake some folks up.

    but this post isn’t very “friendly.”

    Hemant, I propose a new law of the internet, Siamang’s law:

    As a Friendly Atheist post attracts new first-time commenters, the probability of someone claiming that the original post ‘isn’t very friendly’ approaches 1.

  • http://littlelioness.net Fiona

    The tongue. I’d tie the tongue in there somewhere. Since we’re over the use of tools, and since we cn teach other primates to sign, it probably needs to be a spoken language thing.

    Unless parrots actually DO mean what they’re ‘saying’?

  • Jack Bentley

    It has to be a paper on the penis. Think of the research. Why did god make my penis this shape? Are they all the same? Unfortunately, I’m too old to enter.

  • http://angelofharlots.blogspot.com Nena

    I am going to show this to my 13 year old daughter. She is a very good creative writer, has been exposed to plenty of conservative Christianity, and has a fantastic grasp of real science. She could easily combine those three elements and win this competition.

    As a bonus for me, if she wins the laptop, I can have her old one, which is newer than mine…

    I don’t know whether she will be able to get past the aspect of dishonesty in the paper, though…I’ve represented honesty as a pretty important moral value to her…

  • AnonyMouse

    Dang it, I’m too old! I had a really great idea, too.

    If anyone’s poking around looking for inspiration, here’s a topic you might consider: pain in childbirth. Humans are the only species who (normally) feel pain in childbirth, and Genesis clearly states that this is a result of the Fall, therefore God exists. Flesh out as you need.

  • http://vbsowmya.wordpress.com Sowmya

    Interesting contest! Never knew that anyone can pose a question like that as a topic! :)

  • jenwes

    Inspired…
    “might do a comparison of the elements that make up the human body and compare them to the elements found in a sample of dust (extra credit for finding a soil sample analysis from the Garden of Eden)”
    That is the ticket right there…and try to use the word irreducible a couple of times, kiddies…

  • Sven

    I’m also to old to enter. It would have been fun to, at least, mention Nathan Poe in there somewhere.

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverFrog

    In Richard Dawkins new book “The Greatest Show on Earth” he started calling the creationists “history deniers”. It is an apt phrase. If you take the a selection of the evidence and ignore whatever you don’t like the look of then you can come up with plenty of “proofs” for creationism.

    The biblical account for the creation of humans, if memory serves, goes something like this: Let us make man in our image, after our likeness..So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

    There are a number of ways a writer could approach the Genesis account. God supposedly “formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” so a writer could discuss our nostrils. Nostrils in human babies are actually very interesting in that they are not in the way when the baby sucks milk but still allow breathing. Also I’ve never heard of nostrils being used for a creationist argument.

    A writer could take the idea of man as an image of God and discuss the many perfections of man. We’re one heart beat away from death at any given moment. If your next heart beat doesn’t come you’re dead in about 4 minutes. So the created heart would have a backup system to reboot an ailing organ or two hearts that worked independently. If one stops you have time to get it going again.

    What about those vestigial organs and body parts that we don’t have. There’s no reason for our stomachs to contain an appendix except as the vestige of the cecum used by vegetarian animals to aid digestion of cellulose. Clearly we don’t have a coccyx as a vestige of our ancestral tails. Anyone who has had trouble with Wisdom Teeth is clearly going against God’s plan as we don’t need them. They are another vestige of a plant diet. We never get goosebumps either. These are a vestigial behaviour trait to raise the hairs on our monkey bodies to make us appear bigger and more threatening to predators. As created beings we don’t need such things.

  • http://nerdiah.blogspot.com nerdiah

    Mate, I’ve got your anatomical evidence right here:

    http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/b1e50c566e/further-proof-that-god-created-us

    (Warning: contains anatomical drawings, or you can just watch the version with the naughty-bits covered up)

  • Pingback: Creationists? At MY alma mater? « The Defiant Skeptic

  • Gabjoh

    When my brain fries from the “research” necessary to do this, I am blaming you, Hemant Mehta…


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