The other religiously-abused Canadian child

Mike Warren:

Felicity Corbin Wheeler of Revelation TV fame is a big fan of Brian Clement and the Hippocrates Health Institute.

Originally posted on Why Evolution Is True:

Now that Makaya Sault has died from her untreated leukemia, there’s another 11-year-old first Nations Child from Ontario (“J. J.”) getting “alternative (i.e., useless) treatment, and she’ll also die from the same disease unless someone intervenes. But in this case, a Canadian judge did look at the case, and refused to intervene. Judge Getin Edward, who will have blood on his hands if J. J. dies, ruled against McMaster Children’s Hospital, who wanted to force the child to continue chemotherapy. Doctors there say that J. J. would have had a greater than 90% chance of survival with chemo. But her parents wanted “alternative” and “aboriginal” treatment, though they took J. J. to the Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida, where they use quack nostrums like raw-food diets, lots of vitamins, and cold-laser treatment—hardly “native” healing.

Edward’s ruling was unconscionable; here’s how the National Post described it (my emphasis):

Justice Gethin Edward of the Ontario Court of Justice suggested…

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Scotland refuses to ban teaching of creationism

Mike Warren:

We tend to think that the teaching of creationism as being a problem in some American schools. The problem is rather closer to home than that.

Originally posted on Why Evolution Is True:

Schools in England and Wales aren’t permitted to teach creationism, but for reasons that I can’t fathom, the Scots refuse to join them. This came to light when, as reported by Scotland’s Sunday Herald, the Scottish Secular Society (SSS) discovered that a group of American creationists “had been working as classroom assistants at a primary school in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire.” (Note: it’s not clear whether this group actually taught creationism as science.)

The SSS petitioned the Scottish Parliament requesting explicit guidance on this issue (i.e., banning creationism the same way it’s done in the rest of the UK), but were turned back with this disappointing statement by a government official:

Tim Simons, Head of Curriculum Unit at the Scottish Government’s Learning Directorate, has written to the parliament’s petitions committee that there are no plans to introduce ban guidance called for by the SSS.

Mr Simmons [sic] said: “I can…

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Revelation TV & Dr Grady McMurtry

Dr Grady McMurtry is a big favourite of Revelation TV. He features regularly in their schedules and barely a week goes by without him making several appearances, either recorded or live. In particular, he is a regular guest (via Skype) on The Q&A Show along with Revelation TV founder and host, Howard Conder. In December 2014 Revelation TV embarked on The Q&A Roadshow which involved Conder and McMurtry visiting eight venues in various parts of the UK.

Who is Dr Grady McMurtry? He is the head of Creation Worldview Ministries based in Orlando, Florida, USA. According to his website, the organisation consists of himself and one associate. He’s not a big player on the creationist scene. Creation Worldview Ministries is more Conference North than Premier League, Stockport County rather than Chelsea FC.

What are his qualifications? Creationists are always keen to portray themselves as well qualified scientists and McMurtry is no exception. His website claims he is a Biblical Scientific Creationist and his qualifications are:

  • B S, University of Tennessee, Institute of Agriculture – 1968
  • M S, State University of New York, College of Environmental Science – 1972
  • D D, School of Theology, Columbus, Georgia – 1996
  • D Litt, Mid-Continent University, Mayfield, Kentucky – 2011
  • Past Regent of the School of Theology, Columbus, Georgia
  • Adjunct Professor, School of Theology, Columbus, Georgia
  • Florida Christian College, Guest Lecturer
  • 10 Years a Teacher of Evolution
  • 1 1/2 Years a Theistic Evolutionist
  • 40 Years a Biblical Scientific Creationist
  • Ordained Minister
  • Church Elder
  • Expert School Board Witness

Impressive? Perhaps not. Ecalpemos has taken a closer look at his credentials and it would seem that all that glisters is not gold.

Dr Grady McMurtry’s qualifications appear to consist of an undergraduate degree in agriculture (majoring in forestry) and a master’s degree in environmental science. His doctorate is in theology and from a non accredited private college that does not make doctoral theses available for public scrutiny. His second doctorate is honorary.

Ecalpemos concludes that his academic record suggests that he does not have an appropriate background to speak about science with any authority and I agree. Nevertheless, and I’m sure Ecalpemos would agree, we can form an opinion based on what he says rather than the letters behind his name.

The Q&A Roadshow visited the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Belfast on 6th December. The show was recorded and broadcast on 18th December.

Prior to the show questions were submitted by audience members. Howard Conder was responsible for choosing which questions were asked and Grady McMurtry provided the answers. The questions were predictable and covered most of the familiar creationist tropes, the age of the earth, carbon dating, second law of thermodynamics, genetic entropy, dinosaurs, the flood and so on. The topics were largely science related although evolution didn’t feature very much. The answers were also predictable, particularly to anyone familiar with creationist talks and writings. Dealing with all of the errors and misconceptions in the programme would be a major undertaking so I shall limit myself to the most egregious examples.

Throughout the show McMurtry refers to ‘evolutionists’ regardless of the topic being discussed be it geology, cosmology, astronomy, paleontology or archaeology. The term is, of course, used in a pejorative sense. Evolution is defined as descent with modification and the theory has nothing to say about the decay of the earth’s magnetic field or the geologic column. It’s almost as if McMurtry doesn’t understand what evolution is. At one point he says, “Evolutionists say things are getting bigger, better, faster, smarter.” No they don’t. Evolution doesn’t have a purpose. McMurtry either doesn’t understand evolution or is deliberately being misleading.

Speaking about the age of the earth McMurtry states that, “Evolutionists (there’s that word again) do not have one single scientific proof that [the earth] is old.” There is no such thing as a scientific proof and no reputable scientist would claim that there is.

Proofs exist only in mathematics and logic, not in science.  Mathematics and logic are both closed, self-contained systems of propositions, whereas science is empirical and deals with nature as it exists.  The primary criterion and standard of evaluation of scientific theory is evidence, not proof.  All else equal (such as internal logical consistency and parsimony), scientists prefer theories for which there is more and better evidence to theories for which there is less and worse evidence.  Proofs are not the currency of science. Psychology Today

During the course of the programme McMurtry dealt with carbon dating, genetic entropy, the earth’s magnetic field, the flood and the coexistence of humans and dinosaurs. Throughout, his lack of understanding of the scientific method is evident. Like his Premier League counterparts Ray Comfort and Ken Ham he starts with a conclusion,(the bible is the inerrant word of god) and attempts to construct evidence to support that conclusion.

Unfortunately the audience McMurtry speaks to are generally hearing what they want to hear.

Continue reading “Revelation TV & Dr Grady McMurtry”

Readers’ Comments

Over the last few days there have been a number of comments on my blog post Revelation TV & Felicity Corbin Wheeler Revisited. A number of interesting points have been raised, and rather than reply to individual comments I will attempt to respond to them here.

William Scully started things off with this post:

She has dropped the “Dr” title on her twitter account as well, I have asked for an explanation in a tweet, don’t expect I’ll get a reply. She is an odious woman, but on Revelation TV, she is in good company

William had spotted something I had missed. The Reverend Doctor is now plain Felicity Corbin Wheeler. I suspect that she is worried about the possible legal consequences of calling herself Doctor and handing out medical advice. Her (newly revamped) website has a very comprehensive Quack Miranda.

Legal Disclaimer: Any information provided on http://www.hippocratesineurope.com or http://www.felicitycorbinwheeler.org (this website), including its discussion forums, is for educational purposes only, is not medical advice, does not create a doctor-patient relationship or liability, is not exhaustive, does not cover all conditions or their treatment, and will change as knowledge and time progress.

The use of the word ‘odious’ prompted an angry response from Will.

like most people who are derogatory towards FCW i feel compelled to ask you.
Are you just being a little bit biased. Are you just following the crowd and acting out of a herd instinct and mentality. Are your claims that she is an “odious woman” based on clinical trials and double blind trials ? Or perhaps, based on anacdotal evidence. You know the type of evidence that Nucella on this Blog site calls “unscientific” reason.
There is a saying that goes: “As a man thinks, so He is” Then the question for you to answer is this: Are Your thoughts more a reflection of your own Being, Is it You that is the “Odious” one.
How pathetic of you, to make such a judgement of Being. I hope other’s think the same. You are probably an atheist which means you believe all life started a pond scum and became the beautiful specimin you are today. So why do you seek so eagerly the return to the pond scum from which you evolved from. Just goes to show you deny the very faith of evolution by your actions. At least FCW i believe would not wish to stoop to such low standards as you set for yourself.

Suddenly we switch to atheism and evolution. How did that happen? I’ve always considered Felicity Corbin Wheeler to be deluded, ignorant and narcissistic. I wouldn’t have used the word ‘odious’ to describe her – until now. Recently she has confirmed what I long suspected. She is an anti-vaxxer. I’ve blogged on that topic before and I consider anti-vaxxers to be the lowest of the low. Incidentally Will, atheism is a lack of belief in god and just that, nothing at all to do with evolution.

William Scully responded by asking about the dropping of the Dr title again, but Will has the creationist bit between his teeth and treats us to a rant about Cosmology, Astrophysics and Abiogenesis, seemingly under the mistaken impression that these are covered by the Theory of Evolution. William Scully persists but Will gets angry:

What !! No, You Can’t explain, Well I won’t be loosing any sleep over you.
So why not just crawl back into that prebiotic pool of slime your ancestors came from.
You won’t be too much of a loss to Humanity, because I doubt if you actually met its criteria anyway.

Then things turn really silly. Will comments;

 but as Nucella knows from her training as a nutritionist – if she really is one – it is information that gives birth to matter

What? I am neither female nor a nutritionist and have never claimed to be either. I could be a nutritionist if I wanted to be. It’s not a protected title in the UK so all I’d have to do is call myself one, set up a website and make lots of money by selling useless products to vulnerable individuals. For some people that’s a valid business model as Sheila Pringle has discovered.

Goodness me, this started out as a post re FCW, who does charge extortionate prices to help people, as a Christian and saying she works for God does she really need to charge so much, I tried wheatgrass and it seemed to upset me , she wanted £50 for an E Mail consulation to give me advise. She stated to me by E Mail that she worth that price, she gets free advertising by giving out her ideas on REV TV. Why has this ended up as a slanging match about creation, if people chose to disbelieve Gods word that’s up to them but they dont need to be so personal and abusive to other people on here. FCB also didnt answer my E Mail that was uncomfortable for her to read on some true facts, she isn’t a Dr of medicine anyway at all, she is running a business with REV TV as a real advantage and their discernment is dreadful they never answer you either just make threats, switch her off like I have is my opinion, if she wants to make such profit to fulfil her lifestyle out of people let her, she will answer to God and be judge one day.

Thanks Sheila for trying to calm things down and bringing the discussion back on topic. I suspect that Sheila and I come from entirely different perspectives but I think we both feel that Felicity Corbin Wheeler is exploiting people for monetary gain. Please correct me if I’m wrong Sheila.

Felicity Corbin Wheeler is currently using Revelation TV to promote another unproven treatment which will be the subject of my next blog post.

 

Edit.

A brief exchange of comments with Will resulted in this extraordinary outburst:

I am going to do what everyone should do on here and pull the plug on all your crap sick and ugly insults that your warped little humanoid brain can muster, No wonder Rev Tv don’t reply to you, you odious creature. most of the small number of posts here are years old so you obviously have a huge fan base, i don’t think. Well, i shall enjoy this last post because there won’t be anymore. I ‘m done with loser’s like you who can find no greater purpose for their life than devote their time moaning about christians. You really are a low life. I don’t spend my time doing that to atheists. There is nothing upbuilding and positive about you. Do you know what i will be so happy about when you read this, is the fact that others will read it and know your a first class jerk for all to see, while only a she male like you could have a name like Nutella.
Ayway, you can continue to be the odious little twerp you are, but you know it’s not even worth you replying to this because im out of here and you will never have the satisfaction of me reading your crap replies any more. So go into your bedroom and do what all lonely immature little boys do in private.

You are a has-been and i will never read the crap you sell on here again, so glad to be gone for good.

Yours Gone for good,

Ha ha ha hAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

There’s no answer to that.

Get Well, Stay Well?

I’ve blogged before about Revelation TV and its promotion of Felicity Corbin Wheeler (here and here) but feel moved to do so again. Felicity Corbin Wheeler, who in her present incarnation is no longer described as the Reverend Doctor, has a weekly show titled ‘Get Well. Stay Well’. The programme is hosted by Cyrus Fernando, a relatively new presenter on Revelation TV. Mr Fernando is no Jeremy Paxman and the format is for him to ask a series of obviously rehearsed questions which give FCW the opportunity to reel off the details of a wide-ranging number of quack therapies which, she claims, will prevent disease and/or cure disease. Most of these are diet-based with an emphasis on the supposed benefits of juicing.  To emphasise the point, Cyrus and Felicity usually have a glass of freshly prepared juice in their hands. Ironically Cyrus, being conspicuously overweight, is a poor advert for Felicity’s methods,  as are many of Revelation TVs presenters.

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The programme broadcast on 6th June 2014 was devoted to extolling the supposed benefits of the Gerson Therapy. This particular form of quackery has been around since 1928 and yet in all that time, “Gerson’s therapy has not been independently tested or subjected to randomized controlled trials, and thus is illegal to market in the United States”. Cancer Research UK says, “Available scientific evidence does not support any claims that Gerson therapy can treat cancer. In fact, Gerson therapy can be very harmful to your health.”

Quacks rarely allow scientific evidence to get in the way of a marketing opportunity and Felicity Corbin Wheeler is no exception. She introduces Dr Patrick Vickers who is, it seems, the new face of the Gerson Therapy.According to his website, “Giving up careers in professional golf and entertainment, Dr. Patrick obtained his undergraduate degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Life University before going on to receive his doctorate in Chiropractic from New York Chiropractic College in 1997.” He’s not a dietician, a medical doctor or an oncologist, he’s a chiropractor. In North America,  chiropractors can use the title Dr but in the UK they are not considered to be registered medical practitioners. Felicity Corbin Wheeler avoids making this clear.  Sense About Science has a useful summary which evaluates the evidence for the efficacy of chiropractic.

Most of the programme is taken up with Cyrus Fernando introducing YouTube videos of Patrick Vickers explaining the virtues of Gerson Therapy. As we all know YouTube videos trump peer-reviewed scientific research any day of the week. In between the videos Felicity Corbin Wheeler adds some commentary and it is interesting to note how frequently what Patrick Vickers says is in direct conflict with the advice given by Felicity Corbin Wheeler. She waves this away by saying that different doctors have different ideas.

There is no evidence that Gerson Therapy has ever cured anyone of anything. It’s just another way of preying on the weak and vulnerable and separating them from their money. Revelation TV continues to promote this sort of nonsense.

Ray Comfort & The Talking Snake

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Ray Comfort posted this on his Facebook page:

“This isn’t a Jungle Book. Snakes don’t talk.” Nick Murray

Do animals have a language? Do they communicate (talk) to each other? My dog shows me that he understands English when he obeys me, when I speak English. He also tells me (in his own language) when he wants something to eat or drink. Every night, at around 6:00 PM, he goes into the back yard and speaks with another dog a couple of doors down (in the language of dogese). The dog he speaks to him always answers. Do elephants or dolphins have a language in which they speak to each other? How about whales? Of course they do. Parrots manage to talk without vocal cords.

How ironic, that people who believe that they are animals mock the thought that any animal could talk.

The post is referring to the story in Genesis 3.1 which describes the events in the Garden of Eden which led to the Fall of Man. For Christians, especially fundamentalists who believe that the Bible is the inerrant word of God, the story is of special significance. It justifies their belief in Original Sin and the need for atonement.

We have come across Ray Comfort before. He espouses a particularly aggressive form of creationism and constantly rails against atheism and evolution which he sees as responsible for all the evils in the world. Inevitably he takes up ridiculous positions as evidenced by his statement above.

Do animals have language?  – No they don’t.

Do they communicate (talk) to each other? – Some communicate with each other but they do not talk.

My dog shows me that he understands English when he obeys me, when I speak English. – No he doesn’t. He recognises the sound of your voice.

Do elephants or dolphins have a language in which they speak to each other? – No, they can’t speak but they can communicate.

Parrots manage to talk without vocal cords. – Parrots are mimics. They can’t talk.

Is Ray Comfort ignorant or is he stupid? Animal communication is a complex area of study. Ray Comfort claims expertise in a scientific field because he has read the bible. Not for the first time – or the last.