Barry Williams (the Skeptic, Vol.12, No.3 p.36)
Our thanks to the unnamed reader in Albany WA who sent us a creationist "comic" which was being handed out in the town. Entitled "Big Daddy?", the booklet was a fair average example of the sort of specious drivel the creationist sect uses to infect the minds of our children. It consisted, as usual, of various lies, half-truths and distortions about evolution, but the really startling bit came when the protagonist, a clean-cut young Christian, finally demolished the evil professor with this physics question.
"What is the binding force of the atom? ... The protons have positive charges. One law of electricity is that - like charges repel each other! Being that all of the protons in the nucleus are positively charged - they should repel each other into space. What holds them together?"
The Prof responds, in a small voice, "I don't know", to be followed by the C-CYC's denouement, consisting of various quotations from the Bible showing that Christ holds nuclei together.
Actually, it is the strong nuclear force that holds nuclei together against the effects of electromagnetic repulsion. This force was proposed in the mid-1930s and had been given its definitive description in the theory of quantum chromodynamics by the late 1960s.
As "Big Daddy?" has a Copyright date of 1972, and is still being distributed 20 years later, one might wonder why the perpetrator of this nasty little piece of distilled ignorance was still using supernatural agencies to account for natural forces, long after those forces had been demonstrated. But then one should remember that creationists use a similar type of logic to describe everything.
While we Skeptics do not pretend to know the mind of God, we would be surprised if any self-respecting deity looked with favour on the practice of peddling lies to children.
The problem with the creator postulated by the creationists is that he comes across as being a bit dim. Rather than having him capable of inventing useful techniques like evolution, relativity or quantum physics, they would rather have us believe that he does it all by sleight of hand like some sort of cosmic Uri Geller. God, if he exists, really should be cleverer than that.