Creationist Wisdom #431: The Mummy Returns

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Arizona City Independent, a bi-weekly published by Casa Grande Valley Newspapers Inc. of Casa Grande, Arizona. The title is Creationism and science.

We don’t like to embarrass people (unless they’re politicians, preachers, or other public figures), but we’ll do it in this case. The letter-writer is
Pastor Jim Mumme of the Evangelical Methodist Church located in Arizona City, Arizona.

Does the name sound familiar? It should. That same preacher wrote an earlier letter for that same newspaper almost a month ago, about which we wrote: #418: Arizona Preacher. You’ll have to forgive our title, which is a childish play on the rev’s name. We’ll give you a few excerpts from his latest letter, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

After starting with a scripture passage and then a simplistic definition of matter and energy, we’re told:

When taking a psychology course at Arizona State College in Tempe, my professor would pose the question, “What is matter?” Then he would say, “Never mind.” He then would ask the opposite question, “What is mind?” and answer, “Never matter.” Then he would smile. Obviously, he was joking, but he also was being devious.

Try to think of one of God’s attributes as being pure energy, tremendously powerful, though invisible. One form of energy is light, and Jesus claimed, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12). One of God’s first commands was, “Let there be light!”

That’s a helpful way to think about it. Then the rev says:

Scientist Dr. Henry Morris wrote, “All matter is energy in motion, and light is the most basic form of energy.” He probably was thinking of how subatomic particles, invisible to humans, can be detected on photographic plates during attempts to split atoms, through the use of a machine similar to the cyclotron on the campus of the U. of California at Berkley. If the superconducting supercollider machine that was termed “genesis machine” and was supposed to have been built several years ago west of Casa Grande, Arizona had been built, living close to it would have familiarized all of us with the vocabulary we are using in this article.

“Scientist” Henry Morris — BWAHAHAHAHAHA! We’ve written about him a few times before — for example, see Henry Morris: the Ultimate Creationist, and also ICR’s Founder, Henry Morris: Exposed! You know this is going to be a great letter.

Oh, regarding the rev’s reference to the “genesis machine,” he may be thinking of the Superconducting Super Collider which was almost built in Texas (Arizona was competing for the project), but Congress cancelled the funding — along with the career plans of numerous American physicists.

Then the rev touches on some other science topics:

Just as the Hubbel [sic] telescope was hoped to discover the boundary of the Big Bang, which would have tended to support the hypothesis, but only found more thousands of galaxies as far as the lenses of the Hubbel [sic] could “see,” there may be an infinite component of the microcosm in subatomic (and subsubatomic, etc.) particles along the continuum from microcosm to macrocosm (the universe).

Ah yes, the Hubble was a big disappointment — it never found “the boundary of the Big Bang.” The rev also mentions Einstein’s alleged religious nature. Then he attempts to describe the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics, and he tells us:

Man can change matter to energy, and an example would be burning gasoline to run an automobile or coal to warm a building. But man cannot reverse the process. Man cannot turn energy into matter. Eventually, fossil fuels and even ethanol (made from grain), and even nuclear energy (radiated from uranium) would be used up. Even the heat from the sun would cease to exist, as it is known that the diameter of the sun is diminishing at a set rate every day. The universe actually is running down, the opposite from evolution’s claim that it is constantly developing (evolving, moving from simplicity to complexity).

How many errors are in the rev’s paragraph? For one thing, particle accelerators actually do convert energy into subatomic particles. As for the “shrinking sun,” see The Legend of the Shrinking Sun- A Case Study Comparing Professional Science and “Creation Science” in Action. In fact, the “shrinking sun” claim is so nonsensical that even AIG includes it in its list of bogus claims that creationists shouldn’t use — see Far Out Claims About Astronomy. The rest of the rev’s paragraph is the old creationist claim that the Second Law of Thermodynamics says evolution is impossible. The rev is certainly up-to-date on his creation science! Let’s read on:

One of scientists’ criticisms of creationism is creationism’ s claim of “creation ex nihilo” (Latin for “created out of nothing”). I think this is a valid criticism, for God only appeared to make the physical, material world out of nothing. He actually made the material world out of His personal energy (invisible, but not nothing), being omnipotent. If one believed that God created “out of nothing,” it would contribute to the belief that God is nothing, another absurdity.

Did you understand that? How wonderful for you! Skipping a bit (which you’ll want to read for yourself), the rev wraps it all up with this:

I love science, and I love Christianity’s doctrine of creation. Perhaps the above reasoning can help change the attitudes of some creationists and some evolutionists, at least a little.

Thanks for the help, rev. Great letter!

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

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15 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #431: The Mummy Returns

  1. A Poe-tent Dunning-Kruger stew, indeed!

    My facepalm regulator and laughter valve are both beyond salvaging.

  2. Rikki_Tikki_Taalik

    “What is matter?” Then he would say, “Never mind.” He then would ask the opposite question, “What is mind?” and answer, “Never matter.”

    It should be trivial then for Pastor Jim to produce an example (not an assertion) of a mind that isn’t embodied within a ‘meat’ brain …. right ?

    Because other wise I have no idea what he or his professor is talking about.

    (h/t Tracie H.)

  3. Charles Deetz ;)

    Another creationist with their own scientific explanation for how goddidit. Then he blows his scientific bent by admitting he believes in the “doctrine of creation”. Silly pastor, science is for scientists.

  4. God and energy?
    E=mc^2
    God is material?

  5. Using the same warped creationist view of the second law of thermodynamics then it should be impossible for embryological development to take place. You go from a single cell to an organism (i.e. human) composed of trillions of cells. How is that, rev? Try learning some real chemistry!

  6. Rikki_Tikki_Taalik

    @Biokid

    Joe Felsenstein once pointed out that under that faulty creationist view of the second law even grass and weeds growing in your yard would violate it.

    One has to be willfully ignorant, incredibly stupid, or just plain intentionally obtuse to not understand that simple photosynthesis knocks that argument into the dirt.

  7. Ceteris Paribus

    Pastor Jim Mumme hopes:

    “Perhaps the above reasoning can help change the attitudes of some creationists and some evolutionists, at least a little.”

    It already did. Now every time I see a mention the “Hubbel” telescope I will always envision a Pastor covered by big slabs of melted Queso Grande.

  8. “Man can change matter to energy, and an example would be burning gasoline to run an automobile or coal to warm a building. But man cannot reverse the process.”

    Burning gasoline or anything else is NOT a valid example of converting matter into energy. He refers to stored chemical energy being released – not energy created from mass conversion. Mass/energy conversion takes place at the subatomic level and has nothing to do with chemical interactions or burning anything. The example is totally out of context and entirely invalid.

    I wonder if that creationist hominid ever actually read a science journal. Probably not. Too many big words. All the science he needs is in Genesis. He seems to be blissfully unaware that back 1997, scientists successfully converted pure energy into material particles and it made world news. They created an electron/positron pair (positron = antimatter).

    Out Of Pure Light, Physicists Create Particles Of Matter
    Date:
    September 18, 1997

    Source:
    University Of Rochester

    Summary:
    A team of 20 physicists from four institutions has literally made something from nothing, creating particles of matter from ordinary light for the first time. The experiment was carried out at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) by scientists and students from the University of Rochester, Princeton University, the University of Tennessee, and Stanford. The team reported the work in the Sept. 1 issue of Physical Review Letters.

    REFS:
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/09/970918045841.htm
    http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/ciencia/secret_projects/project077.htm
    http://discovermagazine.com/1997/dec/lettherebematter1297

    Even some scientists don’t quite state it correctly. Stating that they “literally made something from nothing” is not good wording for any competent scientist to use. Light is not “nothing”. Non-scientists might take it literally and get confused. Science is difficult enough without applying invalid terminology when describing its workings.

  9. So, God is energy? Specifically, if he’s similar to light, he’s electromagnetic energy? In other words, photons? Well, we can detect photons! Can the Good Rev provide us with an idea of what wavelength of light God operates at? Is God in the RF (radio-frequency) range? If so, is that the “hissss” I hear in the background when I’m not tuned to any station? Does this lend credence to that whole EVP thing? If he’s of a higher frequency (greater energy photons), does this mean he operates primarily in what we (for us terra firma humans) refer to as the “thermal band” (between 1 – 14 microns)? Does that means he’s heat? I realize many people think God is “hot”, but I never considered it as a literal idea. But this would lend credence to all those “Ghost Hunter” shows that use thermal imaging.
    Or is God of even higher power, meaning he’s somewhere between 380 – 780 nanometers wavelength? This would be a problem because this is in the visual range. We humans would literally be able to see Him.
    No, that doesn’t make sense. God must be much greater energy, probably in the x-ray / gamma ray band. I mean, since God can be anywhere, and only x-rays / gamma rays have enough energy to be everywhere, then that must be it!
    Problem solved. God is gamma rays. Put on your tinfoil hats, kiddies.

  10. Well, those definitions of energy and matter are not too bad, but it doesn’t take Mummey long to go completely off the rails.

    “Try to think of one of God’s attributes as being pure energy, tremendously powerful, though invisible. One form of energy is light, and Jesus claimed, “I am the light of the world”
    Light being visible – you know, it enables human beings to see things – it follows that Jesus is not divine.

    “Man cannot turn energy into matter.”
    Except that man totally can, simply by moving faster (that’s what Relativity is about).

    “Did you understand that?”
    Actually yes! According to our Arizonian Mummy his god has used Modern Physics (whether Relativity or Quantum Mechanics or both) to turn his own limitless energy into the matter of our Universe or something. It totally contradicts the previous quote, but hey, we are not expecting Mummeys to be coherent and consistent, are we? (Though apparently Jay does).
    Ah, TomS got it too.

  11. God is real. God is a construct the purpose of which is to 1) explain the unexplainable (God of the Gaps); and 2) control the behavior of others. The fact that God exists only in the minds of humans does not lessen the fact that God exists. God exists as the form of energy that activates the neurons in some people’s brains.

    I defy anyone to prove otherwise.

  12. @Biokid
    It is interesting how many of the creationists’ arguments against evolution turn out to work just as well (if not better) against reproduction.
    Scientific Storkism is not just a parody.

  13. lanceleuven

    “Perhaps the above reasoning can help change the attitudes of some creationists and some evolutionists, at least a little.”

    Hmm…perhaps…but then again…parhaps not.

    “The universe actually is running down, the opposite from evolution’s claim that it is constantly developing”

    Wow. Just…wow.

  14. This is a brief footnote to the rev’s claim that “Man cannot turn energy into matter.” We just found this at PhysOrg: Scientists discover how to turn light into matter after 80-year quest. It hasn’t been done yet, but some experimentalists will soon be working on it.

  15. I just discovered Pastor Jim myself. I took a slightly different tact, “Pastor Jim Mumme is an Idiot”
    http://stonesnbones.blogspot.com/2014/05/pastor-jim-mumme-is-idiot.html