Our slumber was once again shattered by blaring sirens and lights flashing on the wall display of our Retard-o-tron™. The blinking letters on the wall said WorldNetDaily.
WorldNetDaily (WND) is the flamingly creationist, absolutely execrable, moronic, and incurably crazed journalistic organ that believes in and enthusiastically promotes every conspiracy theory that ever existed. WND was an early winner of the Curmudgeon’s Buffoon Award, thus that jolly logo displayed above this post.
We were directed to two articles in WND — yes, two! We’ll give you some excerpts from each, with bold font added by us
The first is Why E.T. isn’t phoning home. We’ve written about this subject recently (Charles Krauthammer and the Fermi Paradox) and the WND article discusses not only the recent discovery of more extra-solar planets, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) and the Fermi Paradox, but it also quotes from the same Krauthammer essay about which we wrote. After that, everything sensible is dismissed in a blizzard of creationism. We’ll skip the familiar material and start in the middle of the WND article:
All of these questions, all of this confusion, all of this hand-wringing is based, of course, on materialist (atheist) philosophy. It evolves, so to speak, from the view that – as Krauthammer put it – we are “a lonely species in a merciless universe.” There is no God, so we are on our own and must fend for ourselves – unless there’s some similarly “lucky” planet out there where, as with Earth, all of the necessary elements to sustain life are present at astronomically unimaginable (i.e., impossible) odds.
We’ve never considered SETI to be an atheist enterprise, but that’s because we don’t think like the writers at WND. Then the article moves into familiar creationist territory:
You see, the problem for materialists is that the narrative into which they invested all their hopes – a chaotic universe formed by pure chance – has been decimated in recent decades by the discovery of dozens of finely-tuned equations governing our universe (Earth’s axis, the force of gravity). Not only that, but the accompanying knowledge that if any one of these equations were slightly altered, life on this planet would simply not be possible.
That’s the fine tuning argument, which we often encounter in creationist writings. It’s a close relative of the anthropic principle, which we discussed in Common Creationist Claims Confuted. As we said there:
It shouldn’t surprise us that everything we discover about the universe is consistent with our existence — were it otherwise we wouldn’t exist. But it doesn’t follow that the universe exists for the purpose of our existence.
Anyway, creationists love the fine tuning argument. It’s really just a dressed-up refinement of the God of the gaps. Meanwhile, back at the WND article, its author is busy dumping a few quotes taken out of context, to “show” that famous scientists agree with him. Then he takes a swipe at the concept of the “multiverse,” claiming it’s a desperate attempt to explain why our universe is so perfect for us, and he says:
Yet even the multiverse theory, as speculative as it surely is, doesn’t explain the origin of the laws of nature, or tell us why a universe made of matter should obey laws.
We could write at length about why “matter should obey laws,” but we’ve done so before and we won’t burden you yet again. Essentially, how could anything that exists do otherwise than behave in accordance with its characteristics? Thus we observe that there are “laws” of nature. Let’s read on:
So although, as atheists argue, their “logic and anti-isocentrism assures us that we are not unique,” the actual evidence continues to bolster … isocentrism, or geocentrism, the idea that man is unique and that we are at the center of the universe (not speaking of our physical location, but our place in the heart and mind of a loving Creator).
Aaaargh!! We continue:
This idea, which they reject so resoundingly, is at the core of the biblical creation account, that we are God’s special creation and that He designed this planet uniquely and especially for us. … So they continue searching breathlessly for signs of friendly planets supporting extraterrestrial life, while at the same time coming up with explanations why nothing and no one has been found.
Here’s where the writer gets “clever,” in a creationist sense, as he joins the Fermi Paradox with his fantasy that the fossil record is as silent as alien signals:
[I]f materialist philosophy is accurate, there should be many of them [aliens], and we should literally be getting bombarded with radio waves and messages. But we’re not.
In much the same way, if Darwinian evolution were true, the landscape should be littered with transitional fossils which Darwin himself said would have to be found in great abundance over time for his theory to be substantiated. Yet despite the fact that his prediction was made about a century and a half ago, those fossils are still missing. They are nowhere to be found, except for a handful of “breakthrough discoveries” which have appeared from time to time, only to eventually be reclassified as purely human or animal remains, or to invariably be exposed as hoaxes.
Yes, there is no list of transitional fossils. It’s been just one Piltdown Man after another. Here’s how the WND’s essay ends:
Not to worry, though. As Krauthammer also relates, astronomers assure us that it will only be a year or two more before we have our long-awaited close encounter of the third kind. Contact. Say what you want about atheists, they are devoted people of faith. And for them, notwithstanding the fact that they don’t believe in an eternity, hope somehow always springs eternal.
Enough of that. Here’s the second WND article we found today: Inspirational historical works for homeschoolers. The third book it recommends is “America’s God and Country Encyclopedia of Quotations” by Bill Federer. It’s described as follows:
This exhaustive compilation of statements highlights America’s noble heritage. Discover countless profound quotes from Founding Fathers, presidents, statesmen, scientists, constitutions, and court decisions for use in speeches, papers, debates and essays!
The article gives a few quotes from that book, introduced with this question: “Do you know who said the following?” One of those quotes is familiar to us, and we took the time to check one other. Here’s the first:
To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances… could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.
Below the quotes are the answers. That one is correctly attributed to Charles Darwin. However, it’s wildly out of context, and it’s one of the most common and insidious of all creationist misrepresentations. We explained all that in in this post, Evolution of the Eye, so we won’t repeat ourselves.
The second quote, which we checked, is this:
Whoever shall introduce into public affairs the principles of primitive Christianity will change the face of the world.
That one is attributed to Benjamin Franklin, but it certainly doesn’t sound like him. He was an unchurched Deist, and he boasted of it in his Autobiography. We wasted a lot of time searching online collections of Franklin’s writings, but we couldn’t find the quote from the WND article. Finally we figure out why. It’s described here: Fake Quotations: Franklin and Primitive Christianity.
We’re not going to waste any more time on the few other quotes in the WND article. We assume that the rest of them, and the whole the book, are of equal quality — that is, worthless and fraudulent.
And so we take our leave of WND for today. But we’ll say this in their favor: They’re awesomely consistent.
Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.