Creationist Wisdom #472: It’s Twue, It’s Twue!

Today’s letter-to-the-editor, like #443: Evolution and Sin, appears in the Carlsbad Current-Argus of Carlsbad, New Mexico. And today’s letter was written by the same preacher who wrote that earlier letter– Rev. Kurt Simmons of the Halegueno Street Church of Christ, which has no website.

The rev entertained us before, and he’s going to do it again. His new letter is titled Verbal inspiration and inerrancy of the scriptures. We’ll give you a few excerpts, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

Conservative evangelicals are sometimes criticized for belief in the inerrancy of scripture as originally penned. Liberal theologians who take a dismissive view of scripture charge that the Bible is false in various particulars, including the special creation of man, Eve being made from Adam’s rib, the age of the earth, the longevity of the patriarchs, and the world-wide flood.

Yes, rev, some do say that. What about it?

However, scientific debate on these many of these issues has tended to vindicate scripture. In fact, it is hard to get evolutionists to meet scientific creationists in debate these days.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! We’re all afraid to debate! Let’s read on:

Hard evidence for the theory of evolution is essentially nonexistent. Evolutionists are philosophically committed to a naturalistic paradigm and therefore must cling to their theory even though it is scientifically indefensible. Can any thinking person really suppose that innate matter is able to organize itself spontaneously into super-sophisticated, intelligently-designed, self-reproducing life forms? Talk about a leap of faith!

We love it when creationists speak disparagingly about a leap of faith. But the rev isn’t fooling around. He’s got facts on his side. Pay attention:

But if scientific skepticism has no real evidence falsifying scriptural accounts of creation and the age of the earth where does that leave the doctrines of verbal inspiration and inerrancy of scripture? Are there other disciplines that can show scripture is false or unreliable? What about history or archaeology, have these shown the Bible to be false?

The rev is mixing apples and oranges here. The creation account in Genesis is one thing, and written history is another. Watch as the rev uses one to “prove” the other:

Happily, the Bible has also withstood the tests of history and archaeology. For example, the February 2014 edition of Biblical Archaeology Review carried a feature entitled “50 people in the Bible confirmed archaeologically.” The list includes Israelite kings, Mesopotamian monarchs and other lesser known figures. In fact, the sheer volume of archaeological evidence supporting the Bible is overwhelming.

Uh huh. Hey, rev: Gone with the Wind mentions Robert E. Lee and Abe Lincoln, and we know they were real. Not only that, but a place called Atlanta really was burned by the Yankees. So that means Gone with the Wind must be true in every detail, right? Rhett and Scarlett were real people! Everything in the Iliad must be true too, because there really was a place called Troy. Here’s more:

The testimony of history also accords perfectly with the Bible. Virtually all history books trace mankind back to ancient Mesopotamia and the Fertile Crescent where all record of human existence suddenly stops (or begins). Beyond that, the record is completely blank: man appears on earth suddenly not 10,000 years ago! Thus, no external evidence from science, history, or archaeology falsifies scripture.

Right again! Written history doesn’t begin until the invention of writing. To know what happened before that, we need to dig deeper. But the rev doesn’t need to dig. Moving along:

That brings us to what the Bible says about itself. The apostle Peter, after giving his own testimony about Jesus, told his readers that they did not have to rely upon him, but also have the “more sure word of prophecy” …

[...]

According to Peter, then, the Bible’s prophecies are not the subjective thoughts and impressions of mortal men … . Rather, scripture represents the mind of God who spoke through apostles and prophets.

Ah yes, It’s twue, it’s twue! Not only that, but then the rev says:

Quite a claim, but one that has been fully accepted and embraced by some of the world’s greatest scientific minds, including Isaac Newton and Johannes Kepler, Galileo, and Copernicus.

Hey, if that ain’t proof, then what is? Oh, wait — didn’t Copernicus and Galileo dispute what the bible says about the Earth being the center of the universe? We seem to remember reading something like that, but we must be wrong. Here’s a final excerpt:

And if these great men of science accepted the Bible as the inerrant word of God, there is every reason for you or I to receive it as such as well.

Well there you are, dear reader. Not only is there no evidence whatsoever for evolution, but written history supports every detail in the bible, and so did Galileo. Therefore, so should you.

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

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A Bold New Theory & Free Fire Zone

Time Cube

Having been inspired by The Time Cube, and being supremely secure in our reputation as a globally esteemed blogger, your humble Curmudgeon forthwith reveals to an eager world his own theory — the result of years of solitary research. We call it the Galactic Jellyfish Theory.

We shall give you only an outline here, which will be more than enough to keep you thinking for weeks to come. A more detailed explanation will be published in the Curmudgeon’s very own peer-reviewed journal, which is — ahem! — this humble blog. Okay, here are the basics:

Every galaxy is alive! They are essentially like jellyfish, swimming in the vast Aether Ocean. What we call the Big Bang was their last mating season, when they all got together and … well, you know. Since then they and their offspring have been scattering, as they scrounge the aether for food.

They are intelligent — supremely so — but they take no notice of us. To them we are less than microbes. In due course, it will be time for another mating season, and they will once again swarm together. That will be the end of us and the universe as we know it, but when the begetting is done, they will once more disperse and a new universe will begin. This has been going on eternally, more or less.

Now, while your dazed minds attempt to grasp the awesome magnitude of what we have revealed, feel free to use the comment section as an Intellectual Free Fire Zone. And if you think you have a better theory, don’t hold back. Tell us about it.

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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Discoveroids’ Revolutionary Revival Meeting

The Discovery Institute, as you know, has a long history of holding creationist revival meetings to promote their peculiar theory of intelligent design. Their events are usually held at churches, unless they can rent a place at a location that will give them some prestige, like a university or a museum. But this time they’re doing something new.

Their article announcing the event is You’re Invited! More than 100 Churches and Other Groups Will Co-Host “Science and Faith” Simulcast on Sunday, September 21. A simulcast? Hosted by more than 100 churches? This sounds like a major new development. Let’s see what’s going on. They say, with bold font added by us:

On September 21, more than a hundred groups across the United States and Canada will host a simulcast on “Science and Faith: Are They Really in Conflict?” The event features Oxford University’s John Lennox, Discovery Institute’s Stephen Meyer, and BreakPoint radio’s Eric Metaxas.

Who are those creationist stars? Two of the names are known to us. John Lennox isn’t officially a Discoveroid, but he participates in many of their revival meetings. Stephen Meyer is not only Vice President of the Discovery Institute, he’s also a Senior Fellow, whom the Discoveroids praise for his book about the Cambrian “explosion,” Darwin’s Doubt. He was a central figure in the infamous Sternberg peer review controversy.

The third name, Eric Metaxas, is one we’ve only run across once before. He’s an admirer of the Discoveroids, and he runs a group in New York that has hosted a speech by Meyer. We discussed that event in Discoveroid Stephen Meyer in the News. Okay, back to the Discoveroids’ announcement:

More than sixty co-hosting groups have agreed to make their simulcast available to the general public, so you are cordially invited to attend.

They provide a link for that, and later they have other links where you can see a list of the sponsoring organizations (they’re almost all churches), and where you can get even more information. Let’s read on:

Here is what’s on the agenda! Has science disproved God? Or do new scientific discoveries actually provide compelling support for faith?

Are those supposed to be alternative propositions? The answer to both questions is “no.” In this next excerpt, they sound just like Ken Ham:

More than half of teens in youth groups plan to pursue careers related to science or technology. Yet surveys show that nearly a third of Christian young people think “churches are out of step with the scientific word we live in,” and a quarter of them believe “Christianity is anti-science.” These views are likely reinforced when they attend college, where 61 percent of biologists identify as atheists or agnostics according to a recent survey.

We assume that the Discoveroids’ revival, like all religious revivals, is intended to increase church attendance. Very scientific. Their article continues:

Other questions to be addressed during the simulcast include:

• Just how “scientific” are the claims of leading atheists?
• Are human beings the result of an unguided Darwinian process?
• Does nature supply evidence of intelligent design?

Are you thrilled, dear reader? Are you motivated to tune in to hear the simulcast? If you’re still undecided, they wrap it up with this:

The simulcast will be of interest to everyone, but it will be especially helpful for parents and their middle school, high school, and college-age kids. Tell your friends!

So there you are. If you’re in the mood for some of that ol’ fashioned, down-home, foot-stompin’, hand-clappin’, psalm-singin’, floor-rollin’, rafter-shakin’, old-time creationism, now you know where to find it.

And there’s one thing you gotta admit: The Discoveroids know how to promote a scientific theory!

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

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The Laws of Nature Don’t Change, #2

This is another post to refute a constant claim of young-Earth creationists that the laws of nature in the past were wildly different from what they are now. Our first post about this, which refers to several different examples of evidence, is Hey, Creationists: Laws of Nature Don’t Change.

Why do creationists insist that the laws of nature were different in the past? It’s obvious — if the laws of nature haven’t changed, then radiometric dating methods are accurate, geological forces currently at work were behaving the same in the past, the speed of light wasn’t wildly faster in the past to get distant starlight to Earth almost instantaneously, and the waters of the Flood couldn’t suddenly come from and then go to somewhere, somehow. That means the universe described in Genesis is utterly impossible. See The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Creation Science.

To defend what’s written in Genesis, creationists declare that scientists don’t know what they’re talking about, because the constancy of the laws of nature is an arbitrary, unverifiable assumption. After all, they say, you don’t know what things were like back then. Were you there?

Well, we weren’t there, but we can see things that were there. Light, for instance. There’s a great article in PhysOrg on this: Three eyes on the sky track laws of Nature 10 billion years ago. They say, with bold font added by us:

Astronomers have focused the three most powerful optical telescopes in the world on a single point in the sky to test one of Nature’s fundamental laws. An international team, led by researchers from Swinburne University of Technology, observed a quasar – the extremely bright surroundings of a supermassive black hole – using the Very Large Telescope in Chile and the W M Keck Observatory and Subaru Telescope, both in Hawaii.

Why are they all looking at that quasar? We’re told:

The quasar light passed through three different galaxies, some 10, 9 and 8 billion years ago, on its way to Earth. These galaxies absorbed a characteristic pattern of colours out of the quasar light, revealing the strength of electromagnetism – one of Nature’s four fundamental forces – in the early and distant Universe.

That’s really good! Let’s read on:

“We spread the light very finely into its component colours, producing a rainbow with a `barcode’ pattern of missing colours. We can then measure electromagnetism by `reading’ this barcode,” said Tyler Evans, Swinburne PhD student and lead author of the new study.

This is the published paper — a 24-page pdf file: The UVES Large Program for testing fundamental physics – III. Constraints on the fine-structure constant from 3 telescopes.

Back to PhysOrg, will skip some stuff about coordinating the three telescopes. Here are the results:

[Associate Professor Michael Murphy, who co-authored the work said:] “Once corrected, all three telescopes gave the same answer: electromagnetism hasn’t changed, within a few parts per million, over 10 billion years. I think this is the most reliable measurement of its kind so far”. The team is now making similarly careful measurements in many other galaxies.

One more excerpt:

“With our new techniques and new quasar observations recently complete, we can make the most accurate check to see whether electromagnetism’s strength really is changing or not,” Associate Professor Murphy said.

What will Hambo and his flock do now? They have two choices: (1) ignore these observations; or (2) mention and dismiss them as the desperate ravings of secularists. Either way, ol’ Hambo is going to stick with his claim that “historical (or origins) science” is worthless, because it’s based on arbitrary, unverifiable assumptions, and the only way to really know what things were like long ago is to read the bible.

Scientists have a somewhat different approach — they observe reality. If reality and scripture disagree, well, the choice of which one to go with is up to you, dear reader.

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

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