“Cosmos” Episode 7 Tonight

Tonight’s episode of Cosmos: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY, hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson, is titled “The Clean Room.”

Among other topics, it includes a look at the work of Clair Cameron Patterson (1922 – 1995) at the California Institute of Technology. According to Wikipedia:

In collaboration with George Tilton, Patterson developed the uranium-lead dating method into lead-lead dating, and by using lead isotopic data from the Canyon Diablo meteorite, he calculated an age for the Earth of 4.55 billion years; a figure far more accurate than those that existed at the time and one that has remained unchanged for over 50 years.

That should elicit an amusing response from ol’ Hambo’s website. They’ll be denying that anyone could know anything about the past without the testimony of an eyewitness, and they’re sure to ask: Were you there? Of course they’ll claim that they know the past because they rely on scripture, which is God’s own account of things.

But Hambo wasn’t there when Genesis was written, so he has no clue as to whether it was dictated by Yahweh. We can be certain that it was transcribed by men, who undoubtedly used the then prevailing Babylonian view of the world. It wasn’t very accurate, but it was the best they could do at the time, and their limited knowledge about the physical world is irrelevant to their moral insights.

Considering how the creationists continue to cling to the 3,000 year-old “science” in Genesis, in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary that has been reliably accumulated since then, one might reasonably ask them: Why are you there instead of here?

The closet-creationists of the Discovery Institute probably won’t complain about the age of the Earth, but they’re certain to find something they consider to be an insult. Much of what we know insults them because of their rejection of science (which they dismiss as “materialism”), in favor of their mystical designer. Their ceaseless attempts to be taken seriously are an irresistible invitation to insults — as if they were all wearing “kick me” signs.

If you watch the show tonight, let us know what you think of it. We’ll have later posts about the reactions from the science deniers. As always, that will be the most entertaining aspect of tonight’s Cosmos episode.

Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Aaaargh!! Weekend Free Fire Zone

Aaaargh on rug

As you noticed, Aaaargh!!, one of your Curmudgeon’s two splendid Dobermans, is watching this thread. We took that pic this morning, while he was under our desk. He’s back there again, so y’all better behave!

This is a holiday weekend, with little news and reduced traffic. We’ve got the place all to ourselves. What we’re going to do is toss in a few items we ran across, but that didn’t justify a stand-alone post.

First, as you’ve undoubtedly heard, in what may be the next stage in your evolution, In sex-reversed cave insects, females have the penises. PhysOrg tells us:

During copulation, which lasts an impressive 40 to 70 hours, female insects insert an elaborate, penis-like organ into males’ much-reduced, vagina-like opening. The researchers speculate that the insects’ sex organs and sex-role reversal may have been driven over evolutionary time by the resource-poor cave environment in which the bugs live. Males of the genus provide females with nutritious seminal gifts in addition to sperm, making it advantageous for females to mate at a higher rate.

We assume the little bugs are happy, and if it works for them, nothing else matters.

Elsewhere, we found a press release that informs us: Intelligent Design Co. is Releasing an Enamelware Pour Mason. We have no idea what they’re talking about, or how they chose their company name, but they must like it. Inspired by our great President, we say unto them: If you like your company name, you can keep your company name.

And now it’s time for an Intellectual Free-Fire Zone. As with all our free-fire zones, we’re open for the discussion of pretty much anything — science, politics, economics, whatever — as long as it’s tasteful and interesting. Banter, babble, bicker, bluster, blubber, blather, blab, blurt, burble, boast — say what you will. But avoid flame-wars and beware of the profanity filters.

We now throw open the comments to you, dear reader. Have at it!

Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Creationist Wisdom #417: An Easter Letter

Creationists can’t even write a coherent letter-to-the-editor about Easter. Today’s letter appears in the Topeka Capital-Journal of Topeka, Kansas. The title is God is the answer.

We don’t like to embarrass people (unless they’re politicians, preachers, or other public figures), so we’ll just use the letter-writer’s first name, which is Darrell. Here are a few excerpts from his letter, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Okay, let’s go:

Where did we come from? What are we doing here? Where are we going? If God didn’t create us, who did? Does nothing create nothing?

Profound questions. Darrell is a deep thinker — very deep. His next paragraph makes that unmistakable:

Think about this. There is a pool of water 300 feet across and 40 feet deep in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The Indians call it “Kitch-iti-kipi,” or “the big cold water.” It is fed by underground springs that flow at a rate of more than 10,000 gallons of water a minute at a temperature of 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

Here’s some more information from Wikipedia: Kitch-iti-kipi. They say it’s Michigan’s largest natural freshwater spring, which creates an oval pool measuring 300 by 175 feet, and it’s a major tourist attraction. Darrell says we should think about it. While you’re thinking, we’ll read on:

What are we doing here? If there is intelligent design by God, are we created to do nothing or are we created to seek God and to work with what has been put on this earth?

Ah — intelligent design! Well, assuming intelligent design, then what’s it all about — should we: (a) do nothing; or (b) seek God? It’s gotta be one of those two logically opposite alternatives. Darrell continues:

God has been seeking people down through the ages. Could not the God, who created us, give us salvation and eternal life?

The answer is obvious. Here’s more:

Where are we going? Remember that the cross at Easter time is empty, because as it says in John 3:16-17, “God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never die.”

The cross is empty at Easter time? What does that mean — it’s not empty the rest of the year? Well, whatever. Moving along:

God did not send his son into the world to condemn its people. He sent him to save them.

Right. He sent Adam & Eve to condemn us. And now we come to the end:

Pray, “Help me find your cross and then I can make it safely home to Heaven.”

Great letter, Darrell. But we have one lingering question: Why are we supposed to think about that pond in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan?

Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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AIG: The Fountains of the Deep

A month ago we wrote Massive Creationist Ecstasy Alert!, about a geological discovery of evidence suggesting the existence of large volumes of water deep beneath the Earth. We predicted that an inevitable creationist festival of Drool was certain to follow, claiming that this is proof of the fabled “fountains of the deep” that fueled Noah’s Flood.

It’s taken some time, but we finally have what we’ve been waiting for. It’s from the creation scientists at Answers in Genesis (ol’ Hambo’s online ministry), and the author is Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell. Her bio page at AIG says she’s a physician, board certified in obstetrics and gynecology. She’s a creationist gynecologist, but now she’s dabbling in geology. Her article is Diamond with Ringwoodite Reveals Water Deep in Earth’s Mantle. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

More than just a place of molten rock, earth’s mantle apparently harbors a watery zone able to hold an ocean of water. Analysis of a diamond volcanically coughed up from deep in the earth and recovered in Brazilian river gravel has serendipitously revealed water-containing ringwoodite, a testimony to the presence of both water and the elusive olivine polymorph under the earth.

She devotes several paragraphs to describing the discovery. There are better places to read about that, starting with those linked in our earlier post, so we’ll skip that and get to the good stuff. Here it comes, in a section labeled Fountains of the Great Deep:

As we examine this discovery in light of the history of the global Flood documented in God’s Word, we see that water not only changes everything about the way a planet works in the present, but also about 4,300 years ago at the time of the global Flood. Dr. Snelling explains:

“Snelling” isn’t identified, but it must be a reference to Andrew Snelling, one of AIG’s creation scientists. Mitchell, the creationist gynecologist, quotes Snelling, the flood geologist:

What is the profound significance of this discovery? It confirms the capacity of the mantle to have housed the water that was released when the fountains of the great deep were broken up to commence the Flood, and the huge volume of water that was released through these fountains for as much as 150 days, providing more than enough water to help submerge the whole globe, just as described in Genesis 7:11–24.

Verily, just as the Good Book says. Then, in a section labeled Catastrophic Plate Tectonics, there's another quote from Snelling:

So this study seems to confirm a major component of the catastrophic plate tectonics model. The break-up of the earth’s crust into plates and the resultant continental sprint was initiated by the cataclysmic release of the waters for the Flood through these fountains of the great deep.

That links to an article written by Snelling in 2007: Can Catastrophic Plate Tectonics Explain Flood Geology?, which you can read if you like, but we’re not going to bother with it. Here’s the last paragraph of the creationist gynecologist’s article:

Though we were not there at the time of the global Flood, God in His Word, primarily in Genesis chapters 6–9, has provided us with an eyewitness account of the violent events that remodeled the earth’s surface. The geology we see today has been strongly influenced by the global Flood, and Bible-believing geologists like Dr. Snelling note that what we see is consistent with biblical history. The Bible’s history helps us understand what we see in nature and to understand that our world did not require billions of years to take its present shape. This latest discovery is likewise completely consistent with biblical history.

So there you are. The creation scientists are happy, and so is your Curmudgeon. Why is the Curmudgeon happy? Because our prediction of a creationist Deluge of Drool has been confirmed.

Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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