The World Ends Tomorrow, Goodbye Everyone

This is very short notice, but we just saw this headline in London’s Daily Mail, a British tabloid: Will the world end on Sunday? Conspiracy theorists claim mysterious planet Nibiru will trigger apocalyptic earthquakes. They have over 2,000 comments. Here are some excerpts from the news story, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Nibiru was meant to destroy Earth on September 23 after a Christian numerologist claimed it was about to collide with our planet. After the prediction flopped, some have claimed Nibiru will instead trigger apocalyptic earthquakes on November 19 that will obliterate our planet.

That’s tomorrow! As expected, the government is trying to avoid a panic. The Tabloid reports:

In response to the rumours, a top Nasa scientist has said the planet can’t exist because its gravitational forces would have already stripped Earth of its moon. Dr David Morrison, an astronomer at Nasa Ames Research Centre, said if the system made it into the inner solar system, it would disrupt the position of the all planets, and ‘eject the moon from Earth’s orbit.’

Yeah, yeah. That’s what they always say. Then the Daily Mail tells us:

So-called Nibiru truthers claim Nasa is part of a conspiracy to ‘hide the truth’ from the general population while the ‘global elite’ escape to the safety of secret underground bunkers.

That’s what you’d expect from a bunch of government clerks. The news continues:

Dr Morrison’s comments were made during a podcast released by the Search for Extraterrestrial Life Institute (SETI) website. … When asked what would happen if Nibiru entered the solar system, Dr Morrison said: ‘If a big object was coming into the solar system its gravity would perturb the orbits of the planets, and we would have detected that long before it came close to the Earth.” … However, Dr Morrison said it was pointless describing what would happen as ‘Nibiru does not exist.’

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Yeah, right! Let’s read on:

Back in September, Nasa was forced to publicly state that Nibiru does not exist in an attempt to quell doomsday fears. ‘The planet in question, Nibiru, doesn’t exist,’ the space agency said in a statement. ‘Nibiru and other stories about wayward planets are an internet hoax. There is no factual basis for these claims. If Nibiru or Planet X were real and headed for an encounter with the Earth astronomers would have been tracking it for at least the past decade, and it would be visible by now to the naked eye. Obviously, it does not exist.’

They sound desperate. Another excerpt:

After Nasa’s predictions rang true when the apocalypse didn’t come on September 23, ‘Christian numerologist’ David Meade, who first claimed Nibiru was on its way in a series of YouTube posts, clarified his story. Mr Meade, who also writes for Planetxnews, said that the apocalypse has in fact been delayed, and was never predicted to arrive on September 23. Speaking to the Washington Post, Mr Meade said the date only marks the beginning of the end of times. ‘The world is not ending, but the world as we know it is ending,’ he said.

It’s a long article with lots of videos, so we’ll stop here. You’ll want to read it all for yourself.

Your Curmudgeon isn’t taking any chances, so we bid you farewell and declare the comments section to be used for what may be our last Intellectual Free Fire Zone. And of course, we close with this:

Thats all folks

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AIG: Why the Young Universe Looks Old

This is another reprint from Answers in Genesis (AIG) — the ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo). Today’s oldie-goldie is from 1995, but it’s still good, because their stuff is timeless. The title is Creation and the Appearance of Age.

The author is David Menton — that’s a link to AIG’s bio page about him. And this is his write-up at the Encyclopedia of American Loons: David Menton. Okay, here are some excerpts from his old essay, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

I am often asked if I really believe that God created everything in six, literal, 24-hour days — and I freely confess that I do find it difficult to believe uch a thing. Why, I wonder, would God spend an entire six days doing a miracle that would require of Him literally no time at all? … Still, the Bible clearly reveals God took six whole days to initially create everything to perfection; so, we must either take God at His Word, or presume to stand in judgment of all Scripture.

No one would dare to do that! Then he says:

Some Christians seem to have just the opposite problem with six-day creation — they find it difficult to believe that God could get the job done in only six ordinary days. They prefer to believe that the days of Creation were vastly longer than 24 hours — even over a billion years longer!

They’re fools! After that he tells us:

Still other Christians do not seem to doubt that God could have created everything in six ordinary days, yet insist that He didn’t because the universe just looks older than that. They point out that expert cosmologists have concluded that the universe gives every appearance of being at least 12 billion years old, and that the earth appears to be about 4.5 billion years old. … Is God then trying to fool us, or perhaps testing our faith by making things appear older than they really are?

This is so confusing! David continues:

The appearance of age in the things that God created is a much-debated issue in contemporary Christian scientific circles. Can God — or more accurately — would God create something that at the very moment of its creation has the appearance of age? The short answer to this question may be: How else? How, indeed, could God create anything that did not appear to us to be aged (like a fine wine) at the moment of its creation.

Huh? If he wanted creation to look new, then it would look new. What’s going on here? Let’s read some more:

Think of any one thing that our omnipotent God might instantly create out of nothing by the power of His Word. [Skipping some examples.] Maybe you thought of a visible star — depending on its distance from the earth, its light might appear to have been traveling for over a billion years to reach your eyes. All of these things would have the appearance of age and an ongoing process at the very moment of their creation.

Ah, that’s David’s solution to the distant starlight problem. Another excerpt:

Nowhere is the appearance of age and pre-existing process more interesting than in the sudden creation of the first human being. The Bible tells us that Adam was completely formed (presumably as an adult) before there was ever a woman on the earth. At the very moment of his creation, Adam would surely have appeared to us to be the product of a long growth and development process. … It’s no wonder that for centuries artists have been at a loss to portray just what the first couple’s abdominal region looked like — did they or did they not have a belly button? (You will note that artists generally avoided the whole issue by conveniently covering their midsections with nearby foliage.)

We’re left wondering about Adam’s belly button. Here’s more:

This whole line of thinking gets us into what is called a “first cause” problem. We live in a “cause and effect” world, where every action causes a reaction and is itself the result of a previous action. Everything appears to be an ongoing process for which we are incapable of really grasping a beginning. This is all popularly expressed in the age-old question: “What came first, the chicken or the egg?” If we say the chicken, we will be asked from whence the chicken came; yet if we say the egg, we will be asked from whence the egg — and so round and round we go. Somewhere, there had to be a beginning to this cyclical process we call the chicken and the egg. The Bible tells us that God created every bird out of nothing on the fifth day of the creation week, and that they have been reproducing after their kind ever since [scripture reference].

Is you head spinning, dear reader? Don’t worry about it. Just keep reading:

Of course, none of this will satisfy the crass materialists who will demand to know where God came from and will scream foul if you tell them that God is eternal. … If you ask the materialists where the material of the Big Bang came from, they will either tell you it came into existence out of nothing, or it’s eternal!

You can’t argue with those people! And now we come to the end:

We may conclude that the Lord is captive to neither time nor process. The Psalmist says of God, “For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past” [scripture reference]. How much time after all does a yesterday take?

David has solved the problem. It’s quite simple, really. You gotta believe!

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Discoveroids Denounce the Church of Naturalism

We’ve seen ol’ Hambo claim that Evolution Is a Religion. Now that theme is being adopted by the Discovery Institute.

They just posted How Naturalism Morphed into a State Religion, written by Denyse O’Leary. This is her bio page at the Discoveroids’ website, which also has a charming photo of her. We’re told: “She received her degree in honors English language and literature.” Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Key naturalist doctrines such as the multiverse cannot be established on the basis of evidence. As we have seen, however, naturalists (nature is all there is) are gradually becoming comfortable with setting aside the decision-making tools of science, such as testability, falsifiability, and Occam’s razor, in favor of acceptance of consensus. And they are happy to dismiss reason.

[*Groan*] We’ve never seen a poll of scientists showing how many actually accept the idea of Multiverse. Wikipedia’s write-up has an impressive list of both proponents and skeptics, and a good summary of arguments against the concept — e.g., there’s no evidence for it, and the idea is inherently untestable. It’s an understatement to say that the multiverse is far from an accepted theory. Denyse, however, treats it as if it were unquestioned bedrock science. And so, with the “key naturalist doctrine” of the multiverse as her main argument, she says:

Thus naturalism becomes a state church. Serious challenges to naturalism, no longer defensible on such discredited bases as evidence or reason, must be regarded as both treachery and heresy because no separation of church and state is envisioned.

The Discoveroid essay is not only huge, it’s also painful to read, so we’ll just skim it for the wildest parts. Denyse tells us:

Admittedly, naturalism differs from most religions in its disdain for evidence in principle. … By contrast, most religions have been established and defended on the basis of evidence. The evidence is often rejected by others or, at any rate, not considered decisive, but few have thought that they did not need any evidence.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh yeah, but creationism, including intelligent design, is solidly supported by evidence. She asks:

Can naturalism reject all need for evidence or reason and still thrive as a state religion? If history can repeat itself, let’s keep an eye on some straws in the wind. We can see if any large number of them are blowing in any one direction and if their numbers increase over time.

Here are some of her “straws in the wind”:

Reluctance to face institutional corruption or doctrinal problems honestly.We commonly hear, for example, that “science is self-correcting!” A more honest appraisal shows that there is no “uniform self-correcting mechanism.” If there were such a mechanism, a non-naturalist explanation would probably be required, along the lines of divine providence.

[…]

Ruling out of order evidence that challenges the system. For example, the fact that we live at a time in the universe that is optimal for science observation is treated as one of a vast chain of coincidences rather than evidence for fine-tuning of the universe for life because, irrespective of quantity, quality, or specificity, there can be no evidence for fine-tuning, by decree. But the multiverse can be promoted openly, a metaphysical concept, without evidence.

Ignoring failures that are an explicit consequence of the doctrines espoused, vowing, of course, to press on without serious reflection. No meaningful progress has been made in, for example, understanding the origin of life, the human mind, or unique features of human evolution and study of our universe has fostered a swamp of bizarre speculation in order to avoid the fact of fine-tuning.

Science is so messed up! She continues:

None of this would matter much if naturalism were the sort of state church that just decays quietly without incident. Unfortunately, its ambitions (explaining the cosmos and the human mind in natural terms, for example) are unreachable. The resulting frustration leads directly to the persecution of doubters and dissenters as traitors and heretics. They, rather than the church, must be to blame.

That explains the difficulties the Discoveroids are having. Here’s more:

[A]s we have seen, naturalism today means, among other things, proceeding without evidence. It’s not hard to see why the naturalist finds traditional theists and other non-naturalists a problem: Theists tend to be modern rather than post-modern and to believe that evidence, reason, and choices are real and that they matter. They are implicit enemies of the post-modern naturalist project. The controversies cannot simply subside; one side or the other must win.

Scientists are not only irrational, they’re totally ruthless. Let’s skip to the end of this mess:

In other words, no threat to science today is in any way comparable to that posed by the state church of post-modern naturalism.

So there you are, dear reader — another brilliant essay from by Denyse O’Leary. Her conclusion? You are the threat to science, and the Discoveroids are bravely struggling to save it.

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Something Is Missing

The website Newsmax is described by Wikipedia as:

… an American news and opinion website founded by Christopher Ruddy … described as influential in American conservative circles. In 2015, Newsmax was ranked the third most trafficked political news website in the United States by comScore.

They have a post titled Newsmax’s 100 Most Influential Evangelicals in America, which begins by saying:

Evangelicals come from many different Christian denominations, but they all have a common belief in the holiness of scripture and the centrality of faith in Jesus Christ for their lives. The Pew Research Center estimates that about 25.4 percent of Americans, or about 62 million adults, are evangelicals.

[…]

This Newsmax list of the 100 Most Influential Evangelicals in America includes pastors, teachers, politicians, athletes, and entertainers — men and women from all walks of life whose faith leads them to live differently and to help others in a variety of ways.

Their list includes several names with which you’re probably familiar, a few of whom have been mentioned in our humble blog. Some of those familiar names are: Billy Graham (listed as #1), Mike Huckabee, Jerry Falwell Jr. (current president of Liberty University), Mike Pence (Vice President of the US), Sarah Palin (John McCain’s running mate in 2008), and an ark-load of others.

Number 87 the list is Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), whom they describe like this:

A speaker and authority on biblical creationism, Ham founded Answers in Genesis ministry, which built the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Kentucky.

Listed above Hambo as #64 is Eric Metaxas, who is often featured at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog. Hey — speaking of the Discoveroids, way up in the top half of the Newsmax list, at #44, we find this:

Howard and Roberta Ahmanson — This wealthy financier couple has funded faith-based projects including intelligent design research, many Christian higher learning institutions, and other prominent Christian organizations.

Did you get that? They said: “faith-based projects including intelligent design research.” As you know, Howard Ahmanson is one of the generous patrons of the Discoveroids, and he also appears on their Board of Directors.

Newsmax introduced their list by saying that it included “pastors, teachers, politicians, athletes, and entertainers — men and women from all walks of life.” But something’s missing. Can you guess what it is?

One your Curmudgeon’s peculiar talents is noticing what doesn’t exist. It’s not easy to see what isn’t there, but often the thing that’s missing is very revealing, so we try to be aware of things that don’t exist when we perhaps they should. (It’s like Sherlock Holmes and the dog that didn’t bark in Silver Blaze).

Come on, this one is easy. There are no scientists on the Newsmax list. Not one! Make of it what you will, dear reader.

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