Creationist Wisdom #1,048: Ancient Aliens Fan

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Gaston Gazette of Gastonia, North Carolina. The letter is titled Love the human — hate the virus, and it’s the second letter at that link. The newspaper says their comment feature isn’t working.

Because the 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 Kenneth. Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, some bold font for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]. Here we go!

I am a [skeptic], agnostic about religion and only wonder about spiritual things because of a few events in my life — Only watched John Edward’s “Passing Over” because my wife did.

That was a weird opening sentence. The word “skeptic” was like that in Kenny’s letter — brackets and all, so we’re skeptical about his skepticism. And we know nothing about that movie — or TV show — or whatever it is. Based on the rest of the letter, we’ll regard Kenny as a creationist. He then says:

I like science fiction and ancient aliens [Groan!] so about 5 years ago, watching alone, I tuned to Oprah where her guest was a scientist whose experiments proved that good and bad human thoughts about identical lab cultures have healing or debilitating powers on other bacteria.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Well, we shouldn’t laugh. If the “scientist” Kenny watched was on the Oprah show, he must be at the top of his field. After informing us about that amazing work, Kenny reveals even more scientific wonders:

Since then [within the last five years], man has determined there is dark matter and energy — even proven black holes. [Wow!] We are pretty sure of these things because of their effects on what we observe — just like the scientist about good thoughts having a positive effect on bacteria cultures and bad thoughts the opposite. Can our thoughts affect a virus?

What a great question! If our thoughts can affect bacteria, why can’t they affect a virus? Then he makes an amazing suggestion:

I would not shut the door to vaccines and other methods of dealing with it but — and the news media can help by reminding us that this virus is bad and needs to die — if we all prayed, meditated, hoped (whatever you wish to call it) that the this virus would die and it worked, it would not only help but open the door to a better understanding of the universe.

Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant! Kenny ends his letter with this:

What have we all got to lose? I’ve even got a catch phrase = Love the human — Hate the virus.

You gotta admit, dear reader — that was a great letter!

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13 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #1,048: Ancient Aliens Fan

  1. Derek Freyberg

    “Kenneth, what’s the frequency?”

  2. Retored Prof

    Don’t be too quick to discount Kenneth’s claim that we can influence living things with our thoughts.

    My wife had a cat that could not be trained to use a litter box. It also had a chronic nasal condition that caused it to snot all over stuff. Its temper was not nasty or anything. It just had no endearing qualities to make up for the other nasty ones. I was never cruel to the cat–went ahead and helped feed and water it. I even built it an outdoor cage with a roofed loft and a dirt floor where it did not need a litter-box. Every time I had anything to do with it–in fact every time I happened to think of it–I would repeat the mantra, “I wish that cat would die.”

    I had complete faith that if I kept at it long enough, the wish would come true. And it did. It took several years, but I got ‘er done.

  3. jimroberts

    this virus is bad and needs to die — if we all prayed, meditated, hoped (whatever you wish to call it) that the this virus would die and it worked, it would not only help but open the door to a better understanding of the universe.

    It would certainly open the door to a different understanding of the universe: but our present understanding is based in part on prayer and so on never having worked in the past, so I suspect they won’t work now and we won’t modify our understanding of the universe.

  4. There is the possibility that the virus is not dangerous, but what is dangerous is the reaction gone awry: the cytokine
    storm. The virus is only part of nature, not an evil agent. Only creatures which can chose evil over good can be called bad.
    What if this virus is acting like a natural vaccine, immunizing humans against a far more dangerous virus which is to come?

  5. The positive and negative thoughts altering bacteria cultures sounds suspiciously like the work of Masaru Emoto, the pseudoscientific quack that actual skeptics regularly eviscerate.

  6. I’m heading for the nearest coat closet to think and pray so the virus will die.
    Clearly self flagellation, bathing in urine and smearing feces on your skin, while effective in fighting the virus according to well acknowledged christian sources, are not going to be as effective as thinking really hard so the virus will die.

  7. chris schilling

    “I like science fiction and ancient aliens so about 5 years, watching alone, I tuned to Oprah…

    [I] love a good non-sequitur as much as the next [skeptic] but [Kenneth] takes it to dazzling new levels.

    On the other hand, who’s to say that [Oprah] and her numerous [guests] aren’t, indeed, ancient aliens?

    (Also, brackets are useful — you can hide all sorts of secret but telling information in them. For instance, if you insert brackets around key words in the Bible, like ‘forty’ and ‘stiff-necked’ — [forty]; [stiff-necked]; etc — it becomes coded and Kabbalah-ish, and gets Madonna’s nipples very erect (Madonna, as in Ciccone, not…ah, never mind).

  8. Dave Luckett

    It seemed that the scribes who wrote Genesis had a more liberal attitude to evil than Kenneth. Humans alone ate of the Forbidden Fruit. They alone had the knowledge of good and evil, but also the guilt of disobeying to acquire it. Perhaps that means that humans will reap greater rewards, or suffer worse pains. But that is doubtful. Ecclesiastes 3:21 has “Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth?”

    One thing is clear enough: at least the traditional doctrine is that the animals, lacking the knowledge of good and evil, are innocent. Except for the serpent, the subtlest of all the beasts of the field, which is singled out for punishment for his temptation of the woman. But that aside.

    A virus is by some definitions not actually alive, being incapable of self-replication from its own biochemistry. If animals are innocent, the bundle of complex chemical reactions that is a virus is, if anything, more so. That being the case, calling a virus “bad” and meaning it in a moral sense seems grotesque. One might as well claim that the storm, or the falling rock, or the law of gravity itself, is “bad” in the same sense.

    But hey, why not hope, meditate and pray for its demise? I don’t suppose it can hurt. But do it as Jesus instructed, in your room behind closed doors, without going near anyone else, eh?

  9. Some viruses attack bacteria.
    But some bacteria are helpful
    It’s difficult to sort out nature into being good and bad.

  10. Michael Fugate

    Do you think it is due to teleology being wrong?

  11. Kenny apparently doesn’t know, as Dave Luckett and others here surely know, viruses aren’t alive. They have no metabolism, and can’t synthesize anything or reproduce on their own. When their nucleic acid gets into living cells, it subverts the metabolism of the animal, plant or bacterial cells so the cell’s metabolic machinery manufactures new virus particles from the code sequence in the virus DNA or RNA. And I sincerely doubt that, whatever he thinks he saw on Oprah, bacteria respond to thoughts. At least none of the ones I’ve worked with in labs appeared to care what I thought about them. Of course, I never thought to pray that the ones I’d put in the autoclave would happily survive. Gee, did I miss a Templeton prize?

  12. “we’ll regard Kenny as a creationist”
    Wait, wat, not so fast. Does he reject evolutin theory?
    No. No rejection of evolutin theory.
    But he’s every inch as looney. So thanks, for it has been a while since we could enjoy a looney tune like this one.

    @TomS: “Some viruses attack bacteria.
    But some bacteria are helpful
    It’s difficult to sort out nature into being good and bad.”

    Yup. The coronavirus for instance caused lockdowns, which caused a less polluted atmosphere. Hail Covid-19!
    (Also, if it manages to kill off 90% of humanity then climate change will be reversed)

  13. Techreseller

    Kenneth may be a loon. He may or may be not be a creationist. And his writing is muddy and difficult to parse. However, he is correct on the attitude. thing. While the effect is unexplained, people who come down with various diseases that have a positive attitude about recovery, do recover either at all or more quickly than those who with a “bad” attitude. Just firmly believing the treatment will work or your immune system will work does have positive measurable results. Not world shaking, but statistically significant.