Sunday, May 20, 2012

Vision Forum under Siege by Gay Activists

Vision Forum, which provides family-building books, films, CDs, and toys to Christians, has come under siege by gay activists for their defense of traditional marriage. This is from their email bulletin:

In the early hours of May 17, Vision Forum began to receive the first in an ongoing and unprecedented attack to neutralize our website. The attack coincided with what appears to be a concerted and ongoing effort from within the atheist and homosexual community to manipulate an online poll to VF readers, and transform the VF Facebook page into a forum for homosexuals and opponents of Christianity to mock Christianity. The attack successfully curtailed our ability to make some products available to customers today, successfully undermined the integrity of an online poll, and was successful in placing profanities, blasphemies, and offensive content on our Facebook page.

Here is the story as we presently understand it:

Vision Forum is a ministry dedicated to the defense of the Christian family. We believe that God alone has the right to define marriage, and it is intended to be between a man and a woman. Over the course of the last week, Vision Forum has been posting articles expressing our opposition to President Obama’s declaration in favor of same-sex marriage. We have pointed out the anti-Christian and unbiblical nature of the President’s support of homosexual marriage. We have pointed out that his declaration promotes an agenda which is inconsistent with the historic statutory and common law foundations of Western law which are rooted in Christianity. We have also pointed out that the President has unleashed a nationwide campaign of scoffing at Christianity and the biblical definition of marriage.

On Wednesday afternoon, we launched a poll through Doug’s Blog which asked the question: Do you support President Obama’s declaration favoring same sex marriage?

As of midnight that night, there were just under 1,600 votes, approximately 90% of which expressed disapproval for the President’s support of homosexual “marriage. ” By 7 o’clock the next morning, the number of votes had jumped to just under 25,000 voters, and the demographic had switched to close to 90% of Vision Forum readers voting in favor of the President’s declaration. We realized that something fishy was going on for there to be a 2000% increase in pro-sodomite voting during the early hours of the morning.

The D-DOS Attack on Our Website

But something else was also afoot.

Around 3:00 a.m. Thursday morning, Vision Forum began experiencing a Distributed Denial of Service (D-DOS) attack on the website, This type of attack uses large numbers of compromised computers, hundreds in this case, to send repeated requests to a website in an attempt to overload it. The result is that it can become very difficult, if not impossible, to use a website under such an attack.

If you were one of the hundreds of people who had problems loading the Vision Forum pages yesterday, it is because of this D-DOS attack which coincided with the efforts of others to populate our Facebook page with inappropriate material, and to undermine the integrity of our poll.

What is Causing the Inflated Pro-Homosexual Results?

At the time of this writing, the poll shows more than 50,000 voters, more than 47,000 of which support same-sex marriage. The numbers are growing with almost exact frequency each minute, and the proportionality of the votes have remained a general constant, at least since we have been tracking it early this morning.

Is this a case of the “people speaking”? Hardly!

There are two explanations for the dramatic change in proportionality of the vote and massive increase in voters. First, the pro-sodomite community could have rallied more than 40,000 supporters to vote in a time period of the last ten hours or so. This would show the power of anti-Christian hate groups to create a viral response to Christians who take a public stand against redefining marriage to accommodate the homosexual agenda.

How Anti-Christian Groups Deliberately Manipulated the Data

The second primary explanation is that the poll was deliberately manipulated by an individual or individuals wanting to interfere with the poll. An online poll of this kind provided by the PollDaddy service used on Doug’s Blog could easily be skewed through use of a macro script or browser plug-in such as the iMacros add-on for Google Chrome.

So what happened?

The evidence indicates that internet trolls and activists have tampered with at least a portion of the polling process.

We have verified, for example, by mid-afternoon that at least 4,500 of the votes are duplicates coming from the same IP address. This is almost indisputable proof that “there is something fishy going on.” Another 17,000 votes are from outside the United States of America, which means either that Vision Forum is either experiencing an unprecedented amount of international traffic, or that individuals may be using anonymizing networks to make their IP addresses appear unique while actually “rigging” the poll in their favor. It does not appear to be a hack of PollDaddy’s servers, but instead someone employing an automated script to vote repeatedly.

Presently, a user is claiming responsibility for skewing the results using a macro script of this kind. As early as 1:00 a.m. on Thursday morning, a link to my blog post with this polling question “Do you support the President’s stand on same-sex marriage?” was shared in the Atheism section of the social site Reddit, encouraging visitors to participate. The item received more than 500 responses including acknowledgements of participation, many of which contained specific statements in opposition to the Christian definition of marriage.

It was on the Reddit atheist forum that a user boasted of their use of a specialized computer script to dramatically inflate votes in our poll in favor of President Obama’s position and urged other readers of the Reddit forum to employ the same method to further skew the poll results. Several of these individuals identified themselves as homosexuals and posted glee-filled obscenities about their behavior within the context of their attempt to hijack our poll. Their boasting simply reveals what the common IP addresses point to — the manipulation of the poll by a few, thus rendering the results highly imbalanced.

Pro-Homosexual and Atheists Target the VF Facebook Page

But if bots and macro sabotage scripts were not enough, atheists, sodomites and pro-homosexuals from around the world targeted our Facebook page to populate it with hundreds of profanities, hateful dialogue, scoffing, blasphemy, and more. This prompted the posting of the following statement:

This Facebook page has been targeted by the atheist and homosexual community, members of which have generated a spate of posts which violate the guidelines of this page. We remind our readers: We are a Christian company that takes seriously the Third Commandment. It is one thing to charitably post an alternative opinion, it is another to mock God, his Scriptures, or to take His name in vain. If you use this Facebook page for scoffing (Proverbs 22:10), for posting defiling communications, or if you in any way violate the Third Commandment in your posts, or encourage others to do the same, you will be deleted and banned. ”

What Are We to Make of This Attack?

Last year, atheist groups targeted the Facebook page of Ken Ham, filling it with pornographic material and hateful and filthy language. Yesterday Vision Forum was the object of attack (and still is). Tomorrow, it will be someone else.

While these plots to sabotage our poll and website, or to pollute our Facebook page with inappropriate dialogue can be a nuisance, they are not surprising. In fact, they are entirely predictable. They are a predictable tactic of radical groups known for bad behavior, groups made up of individuals who have little respect for Christianity or decency. What Vision Forum is presently experiencing is the predictable consequence of taking a stand against the radical pro-homosexual and atheist communities.

Of course, the battle on the Vision Forum website points to a much bigger and defining cultural battle that confronts us today: Will we embrace God’s program for marriage and the family and seek to personally model it in all its power and beauty, even as we fight for its sanctity — or will we cave to societal pressure and call “evil, good ” as it relates to homosexual behavior and attempts for unlawful recognition of practicing homosexuals, in defiance of God’s standards given to us in the Bible? The choice is simple: God’s law or chaos.

May God Receive All the Glory

Since our inception, Vision Forum has embraced the Bible as the standard for all of life and has sought to encourage the restoration of the biblical family by reinforcing godly masculinity and femininity — calling on men to act as noble men and women to embrace the high calling of virtuous womanhood and biblical femininity. Part of this mission has been to extol the glories of godly marriage as first pictured in the Garden when God brought Eve to Adam as his perfect helpmeet. The institution of marriage was the capstone of Creation Week, as God declared that “it is not good that man should be alone” (Gen. 2:18); that Adam needed a wife to aid him in his dominion work. Eve was God’s gift to Adam, and through Adam’s union with her, they were to bring forth children — to “be fruitful and multiply” — even as they worked together as dominion stewards of God’s creation. It’s this grand model of God-ordained marriage that Vision Forum has sought to advance since our founding more than fourteen years ago.

The battle against biblical marriage is likely only to escalate. As the pressure increases, we as Christian must fight against compromise and uphold God’s standard concerning this foundational institution.

Your grateful friend in the battle
Douglas Phillips
President, Vision Forum Inc.

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How did Animals Cross the Ocean? Evolution says, uhhh...

Evolutionists have three totally different methods they they mix and match to explain the distribution of animals and plants across the face of the earth: Land Bridges, Oceanic Dispersal, and the Pangaea supercontinent. If one doesn't sound right, try the other! Is this Science? Are we in the midst of another paradigm shift and a return to “a science of the improbable, the rare, the mysterious, and the miraculous”? Or maybe the worldwide flood of the Bible offers a better explanation...

Selections from Biogeography: A Creationist Perspective, by Bill Johnson.

(These selections by Marko Malyj are of the article published in Creation Research Society Quarterly Journal, Volume 48, Number 3, Winter 2012)

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Why is it that animals and plants are not equally distributed over the face of the earth? Why are some animals, like giraffes and lions, confined to only one location—Africa, whereas other plants and animals are either ubiquitously or discontinuously distributed? Biogeography, or the geography of life, has been an active field of study for centuries. Early creationists tried to explain these distributions a variety of ways. Universal Flood geologists postulated that all animals dispersed from the Middle East. Can this be true? From the mid-nineteenth century to the present, evolutionists have dominated the biogeographical debate, and creationists have largely remained silent on the issue. As a result, it is commonly believed that evolution best explains the geography of life. But macroevolutionary biogeography is far from proven.

Land Bridges

Until recently, it was widely accepted that the continents as we know them have always been in their current locations. Belief in the permanence of the continents led many evolutionists to explain distributions by postulating land bridges between the continents. These land bridges crisscrossed every ocean and were thrown up or torn down wherever and whenever their theory required. Up until the second half of the twentieth century, most evolutionists employed this line of reasoning. Ernst Haeckel is a case in point:

The Lemuria land bridge of nineteenth-century geology.
Even Europe and America have been directly connected. The South Sea at one time formed a large Pacific continent... The Indian Ocean formed a continent which extended from the Sunda Islands along the southern coast of Asia to the east coast of Africa (Haeckel, 1892, pp. 375–376).
Everywhere there was a disjunct distribution to explain, evolutionists like Haeckel “sharpened their pencils and sketched land bridges between the appropriate continents” (Corliss, 1970, p. 61). Some of the land bridges were small and plausible; others, such as the landmass that stretched across the entire Pacific Ocean to allow bears, raccoons, and other animals to gain access to the American continent, were of continental proportion. After the fauna and flora reached their appointed destination the evolutionists’ “eraser disposed of the bridge when it had outlived its usefulness as evidenced by the divergence of species on the sundered continents” (Corliss, 1970, p. 61). The problem with continental land bridges and their sudden disappearance after they served their purpose was that in nearly every case there was absolutely no geological evidence for their existence. The only reason for their construction was to explain away the puzzling distributions of life.

Even Darwin, who was once an avid land bridge builder, eventually saw just how convenient it was to throw up land bridges to explain distributions. In a letter to J. D. Hooker he noted that some conjure up land bridges “as easily as a cook does pancakes” (Darwin, 1959, p. 432).

Oceanic Dispersal

Another way to explain the puzzling distribution of life is to have animals and plants crossing formidable water gaps by means of rafting, or, in the case of birds, postulating island colonizations achieved by transoceanic flights. Ernst Mayr used oceanic dispersal to explain how the banded iguana came to reside in the south Pacific.
The lizard family Iguanidae is confined to the Americas, except for one genus (with two species) found in Fiji and Tonga …a long time ago they floated there on logs and flotsam carried by ocean currents (Mayr, 2001, p. 32).
Mayr’s explanation seems plausible until one realizes that the Fiji Islands are 5,000 miles away from America. Granting a generous thirty miles of drift per day for this treacherous journey (which required a sail mate of the opposite sex), the iguanas would have arrived in Fiji eight months later!

Mayr and Phelps claimed the Hawaiian Islands house many land birds that supposedly migrated there from the American continents. These birds would have had to fly over 2,000 miles without the aid of intervening islands to serve as “steppingstones” (Mayr and Phelps, 1967). Some of these long-distance colonizations
seem miraculous.
How about the dispersal of freshwater fish (i.e., cichlids) found only in Africa and South America? Phillip Darlington, the most prominent biogeographer of the twentieth century, flirted with a south Atlantic land bridge but favored the hypothesis that these fish traveled out of Africa, up through Asia, across the Bering land bridge, down North and Central America, and finally into South America (Darlington, 1957). The most amazing part of this story is the disjunct distribution is also explained by extinction in the intermediate parts of a wide distribution that did not leave a single fossil behind!

Continental Drift

Generalized reconstruction of the supercontinent,
Pangaea in latest Paleozoic time.
 In the 1960s many evolutionists opted for what is called vicariance biogeography, i.e., that most plants and animals were widely distributed on the super continent Pangaea and the discontinuities we observe today are largely due to the breakup of this continent. The cichlids, along with other fish, would not have had to travel tens of thousands of miles from Africa to South America (as Darlington claims); they needed only to disperse a short distance while the continents were still together. With vicariance it appeared that evolutionary biogeography was saved from the embarrassing theories of the past. Or has it?

For example, if the continents were once connected, why are there not more fauna and flora similarities between the southern continents?

Also, it requires many taxa to have originated preceding the breakup of Pangaea. Recently, evolutionary dating methods have shown that many plants and animals evolved after the continents separated. This would include freshwater fish (i.e., aplocheiloid, cichlid), ratite birds, parrots, frogs, baobab trees, and anolis lizards (Briggs, 2003; De Queiroz, 2005). Evolutionists are now forced to acknowledge that longdistance dispersalism must have played an even greater role than many have suspected.

So which is it, Land Bridges, Oceanic Dispersal, or Pangaea? Are we in the midst of another paradigm shift and a return to “a science of the improbable, the rare, the mysterious, and the miraculous” (Nelson, 1978, p. 289)?

Is this Science?

Evolutionary biogeography has now come full circle. The “recent flood of evidence” that McGlone and others talk about is not evidence, per se; rather it is lack of evidence for drift. Alan De Queiroz (2005, p. 70) notes, “A main objection to dispersal hypotheses is that they are unfalsifiable and thus unscientific … However, this can be countered by noting that, if plausible vicariance hypotheses are falsified, then dispersal is supported by default.”

The explanations given for the dispersal of freshwater fish are just as eclectic. Evolutionists originally postulated a land bridge between Africa and South America (Eigenmann, 1909). Darlington (1957) followed this idea by moving these fish across almost every continent. Along came vicariance with its explanation of short-distance dispersal before the continents fragmented (Stiassny, 1991; Murphy and Collier, 1997).

Now that many freshwater fish are judged as too young to have been moved by drift, the explanation is that they are tolerant of saltwater and made the long journey across the Atlantic Ocean.

Biogeography can “explain” every distribution in a multitude of ways, while never making a prediction that could subject the theory to falsification. Even evolutionists have long recognized that it is an explain-all theory. How is this Science?

We began by with the early creationists, who were Universal Flood geologists. They postulated that all animals dispersed from the Middle East, as suggested by the Biblical worldwide flood described in the book of Genesis. In the second part of this article, we will reexamine this old viewpoint. It turns out to be a far superior explanation.

References (selected)

Briggs, J.C. 2003. Fishes and birds: Gondwana life rafts reconsidered. Systematic Biology 52:548–553.
Corliss, W. 1970. Mysteries Beneath the Sea. Crowell, New York, NY.

Darlington, P. 1957. Zoogeography: The Geographical Distribution of Animals. John Wiley and Sons, New York, NY.

Darwin, C. 1959. Life and Letters of Charles Darwin. Basic Books, New York, NY.

De Queiroz, A. 2005. The resurrection of oceanic dispersal in historical biogeography. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 20:68–73.

Eigenmann, C. H. 1909. The fresh-water fishes of Patagonia and an examination of the Archiplata – Archhelenis theory. In Scott, W.B. (editor), Reports of the Princeton University Expedition to Patagonia 1896–1899, pp. 227–374. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.
Haeckel, E. 1892. The History of Creation. Appleton, New York, NY.

Mayr, E. 2001. What Evolution Is. Basic Books, New York, NY.

Mayr, E., and W.H. Phelps. 1967. The origin of the bird fauna of the south Venezuelan highlands. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 136:273–327.

Murphy, W.J., and G.E. Collier. 1997. A molecular phylogeny for aplocheiloid fishes (Atherinomorpha, Cyprinodontiformes): the role of vicariance and the origins of annualism. Molecular Biology and Evolution 14:790–799.

Stiassny, M. 1991. Phylogenetic interrelationships of the family Cichlidae: an overview. In Keenleyside, M.H.A. (editor), Cichlid Fishes: Behavior, Ecology and Evolution, pp 1–35. Chapman and Hall, London, UK.