Category Archives: Evolution

Why Would Anyone Build an Ark?

Noah's Ark (by Edward Hicks, 1846)

Noah’s Ark (by Edward Hicks, 1846)

You’re all aware of Ark Encounter, the project planned by Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia, famed for his creationist ministry, Answers in Genesis (AIG) and for the mind-boggling Creation Museum.

Various commentators, including your humble Curmudgeon, have been writing about Hambo’s Ark, with due attention to the bond issue, the tax incentives, the various church and state entanglements, and the overall absurdity of a theme park designed to attract the most ignorant segment of the population. But we’ve started to wonder about something else. Aside from tourism and its expected profits — regarding which we have no objections — we’ve been asking ourselves: Why Noah’s Ark?

Of all the possible religious symbols in our culture, the Ark seems to be among the least significant. If you were to ask a sample of religious folk about scriptural tales that symbolize or are important to their faith, some might mention the original sin of Adam & Eve, or maybe the crossing of the Red Sea, or the miracle represented by a manger scene, or the Crucifixion — but our guess is that virtually no one would list the Flood and Noah’s Ark among the first things that come to mind. Yet ol’ Hambo is building an Ark. Why?

The Flood is among the least believable miracles in the bible. In our unique terminology — see The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Miracles — it’s a Category Two miracle, one which is easily refuted because it’s contradicted by verifiable geological and biological evidence.

In discussing why ol’ Hambo and AIG are building an Ark, we want to be very careful. We’re not accusing Hambo of anything. His motives are his own, and we don’t know what’s going on in his mind. He has often said that the purpose of his Ark is evangelistic; it will enable him to reach millions of souls. Okay. That’s what he says. As we all know, Hambo is a holy man, motivated solely by holy thoughts. So even though he’s not using his own funds for the project, we accept that his motivation is holy.

But what if such a project were to be undertaken by someone with lesser motives? We’ve been speculating about what those motives might be, and this little essay is the result. However, we want no ambiguity on this point: we’re not talking about Hambo’s motives. Those are undoubtedly noble.

One advantage of something like the Ark project is that it’s a huge construction job. Anyone can build a manger or put a cross on a hill, but building an Ark is a big deal. Why is size an advantage? Surely we don’t need to spell it out for you, but we will.

Every corrupt politician knows that one of the best ways to squeeze some illegal gain out of his position is to control the spending of government funds. Almost every day, a brief glance at the headlines reveals some of the ways a politician can get money for himself out of a public spending project. Contractors, suppliers, consultants, and labor unions are always grateful for government jobs, and in the political realm they know they have to — cough, cough — show their gratitude.

But please, dear reader, we want no misunderstanding here, so again we say — with emphasis! — that ol’ Hambo would never consider such behavior. Why? Because Hambo is a holy man, an honorable man. His motives are pure, and corruption is impossible where he’s involved. Of that you may be certain. Those who contribute to Hambo’s Ark may be confident that all is well.

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

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

Australian Creationist Professor Is Expelled!

You’re all familiar with the Discovery Institute’s constant wailing about how brilliant and courageous professors who dare to challenge the “stifling dogma” of “Darwinism” are routinely “expelled” from their academic positions because of the cruel “bullying” of the “Darwin only” lobby.

The Discoveroids even have an embarrassingly shabby creationist “documentary” about this evil phenomenon — Expelled — starring that dashing, heart-throbbing screen idol Ben Stein, about which see Expelled Exposed.

Today we’ve learned about yet another professor who seems to have fallen prey to this ruthless campaign. In The Australian, the nation’s the biggest-selling national newspaper, located in Sydney, the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia, we read Unpoetic emails derail Sydney Uni professor Barry Spurr. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

The University of Sydney has suspended one of its eminent professors and ordered an investigation after he allegedly referred to Tony Abbott as an “Abo lover”, Aboriginal people as “human rubbish tips”, Nelson Mandela as a “darkie” and Desmond Tutu as a “witch doctor”.

Egad! That’s an ark-load of indiscreet remarks. Most people have heard of Mandela and Tutu, but for those who may not know, Tony Abbott is the Prime Minister of Australia. We know you’re interested, so let’s learn a bit more:

Barry Spurr, Australia’s only professor of poetry, also rails against “Mussies” (Muslims); “fatties, darkies and chinky-poos”.

It’s an all-inclusive list of insults. Let’s read on:

In a statement this afternoon, a spokeswoman for the university said Professor Spurr was suspended, effective immediately, from teaching “and is precluded from attending any University campus”. She said the university was “deeply disturbed by reports offensive emails were sent by a member of its academic staff from a university account” and that it takes the allegations very seriously.

The article goes on at length about how everyone is horrified by the professor’s statements, and they all express their strong disapproval. We are also given the professor’s defense:

Professor Spurr defended his comments by claiming they were part of a “whimsical linguistic game” with a colleague with whom he would try “to outdo one another in extreme statements”.

Ah yes, a whimsical linguistic game. We continue:

Professor Spurr’s comments, which appear in a series of emails obtained by New Matilda [whatever that is], are given added significance because of his recent role as a consultant for English literature on the federal curriculum review. In the final report, released last week, Professor Spurr argued that too much weight was given to indigenous writers and history in the English curriculum and it needed to be reweighted toward “western Judaeo-Christian culture”.

Okay, but we began by saying that Spurr was a creationist. Where do we find that in the news story? Skipping several more quotes from people who find Spurr’s remarks to be “sickening” and “disgusting,” the article briefly informs us:

Professor Spurr recommended a return to the Bible – which he believes is the foundational text of Western civilisation – with tales like Noah’s Ark to be a focus.

Aha! There it is. We’re not told about any criticism of his obsession with Noah’s Ark, but that’s the key to the story from our point of view. Professor Spurr is obviously a creationist, yet that peculiarity doesn’t seem to bother anyone. Perhaps his “whimsical linguistic game” is just a convenient cover story the Darwinist bullies are using, to conceal their true motive for expelling the professor. We’ll probably never know.

There’s one thing we can safely predict: Although the professor is a creationist — and a young-Earther at that — the Discoveroids won’t be complaining that he’s being unfairly expelled. They probably won’t even mention him. Whatever they may think of the groups he insulted, he’s too toxic for their public relations operation, so he’s not a martyr they want to support.

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

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

Bruce Chapman Defends James Tour

Yesterday we wrote about James Tour: Creationist Organic Chemist. It’s probably just a coincidence, but today the guy is being defended by none other than Bruce Chapman, whom we affectionately call “Chappy.” He’s the founder and president of the Discovery Institute.

Chappy’s position makes him Lord High Keeper of the Discoveroids’ Wedge strategy, and the ultimate leader of all cdesign proponentsists. Therefore, when Chappy speaks, creationists pay attention — and so do we.

Actually, he may not be the Discoveroids’ president any longer. As we reported five months ago in What’s Happening to Bruce Chapman?, their most recently-filed tax return says he’s no longer president. But he’s still their chairman, so he’s still a big deal.

Chappy’s latest contribution to the Discoveroids’ creationist blog is Detective Columbo of Chemistry: “I Don’t Understand Evolution”. He says, with bold font added by us:

In the spirit of Peter Falk’s classic TV character Detective Columbo, whose method was to apologize for a lack of comprehension until he finally solved the mystery, a renowned chemist says he doesn’t “understand” evolution. What he means, he subsequently makes clear, is that Darwin’s theory doesn’t make sense to him.

We saw a few episodes of that show. Columbo pretended to be dense, but he always solved the crime. Clever beginning, Chappy. Now let’s get to it:

Dr. James Tour of Rice University, regarded as one of America’s fifty top scientists, is quoted by Christian News about his innocent-sounding discussions with fellow scientists in private.

You remember. Jimmy Tour says he has top secret conversations with other brilliant scientists, and they all whisper that they don’t understand the origin of life. We’re supposed to believe that it’s something they’re afraid to reveal in public. Let’s read on:

Tour signed Discovery’s Scientific Dissent from Darwinism years ago when the National Center for Science Education asserted that only a handful of scientists doubt Darwin’s theory. Our list of dissenters started at 100, then grew to 800. At that point we stopped inviting people to sign it because their names on the list were used by Darwinists to persecute them professionally. Some lost their jobs.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! They stopped at 800 because their creationists were being persecuted! We’re supposed to believe they could have had tens of thousands of names by now, but the Darwinist bullies intimidated everyone. It couldn’t be that some of them lost their jobs because … well, we don’t need to spell out the problems a creationist might encounter in the academic world. It would be the same if someone signed a statement that he didn’t accept the solar system.

Chappy continues:

However, Tour doesn’t seem to have been hurt.

True. That goes for Michael Behe too. Tenure means something. But Chappy is staying with his Darwinist bully scenario as the reason they “closed” their list at 800. His final paragraph says:

Is that possibly because chemists are more open-minded than biologists? Or is the dirty little secret about Darwinism — that it has more public advocates in science than private believers — becoming more apparent?

Well, Chappy, if the “dirty little secret” is out, then you don’t have to be afraid to open up your Scientific Dissent from Darwinism for more signatures. Of all the scientists who are out there — over 120,000 just in the American Association for the Advancement of Science — show us how many you can get. Or is 800 the best you can do?

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

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

Creationist Wisdom #484: Biblical Law

Today’s letter-to-the-editor was written by a man who really understands things and who doesn’t hesitate to share his wisdom. His letter appears in the MetroWest Daily News of Framingham, Massachusetts, and it’s titled A disregard for biblical law. There’s a comments section at the end, showing only one comment at the moment.

Because today’s writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. His first name is Milton. Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

It is apparent, regarding the homosexual lifestyle, you and your frequent columnist Eugene Robinson disregard the moral law from the God of the Bible. Could it be that the secular humanism you display in your editorials and columns deny the existence of such a One?

A provocative beginning! But we don’t think or write about the subject of Milton’s concern. Does he get around to creationism? Yes, he does — in the next sentence:

Acceptance of Darwinism, that a complex, biochemical, electromagnetic marvel as the human body could have come into existence by chance, is a delusion.

The human body is an “electromagnetic marvel”? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! And what does “acceptance of Darwinism” have to do with homosexuality? Let’s read on:

Sir Fred Hoyle computed the probability of one living cell occurring by chance on the earth as comparable to a whirlwind passing through a junkyard to produce a Boeing 747. A Darwinian atheist, he postulated the living cell of intelligent-design origin came from outer space!

We know all about Hoyle’s junkyard tornado. But we don’t see any connection to homosexuality. Milton’s letter continues:

In the 19th century the stated benefit of Darwinism was marginalization of the Creation account and removal of the biblical standard of sexual morality.

That was the “stated benefit of Darwinism”? Wow — it’s a free love cult! Whoopie! Here’s more:

God established marriage between a man and woman for procreation, blessed the marriage of Moses to an Ethiopian woman, condemns sodomy (homosexuality) as an abomination and destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of it.

And that means what to us? Milton explains it:

All nations that ignore Him go down to the grave. But if we humble ourselves, seek His face and turn from our wicked ways, He promises to forgive our sins and heal our land. Isn’t the ballot box an appropriate starting place?

Good advice! The next time you get your electromagnetic carcass into a ballot box, check the “No” boxes for Darwinism and homosexuality. And don’t forget to check the “Yes” box for God. Milton’s last sentence is a bit of a puzzlement:

And read Washington’s First Inaugural Address: The colonies won independence getting, after seeking, God’s help.

We’ve read it. You can read it too: Washington’s First Inaugural Address. Washington said lots of vaguely Deistic things, like:

No People can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the Affairs of men more than the People of the United States. Every step, by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency.

Washington was a splendid product of the Enlightenment, and he obviously read Adam Smith (The Wealth of Nations was published in 1776.) His use of Smith’s “invisible hand” phrase in a deistic context is a nice rhetorical flourish. But whether Washington would agree with anything today’s letter-writer says is a question we’ll leave to you, dear reader.

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

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article