Category Archives: Evolution

Creationist Wisdom #855: Preacher Visits Ark

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Chattanooga Times Free Press of Chattanooga, Tennessee. It’s titled Noah’s ark in…Kentucky?, and the newspaper doesn’t seem to have a comments section.

Unless the letter-writer is a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name — but today we’ve got a preacher. It’s Pastor Bo Wagner of the Cornerstone Baptist Church. We’ll give you a few excerpts from the rev’s letter, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

I began reading my Bible all the way through from year to year as a 9-year-old boy. My soul thrilled to read the adventures of the great heroes of God, my heart ached at the sin that caused so much harm, but above all my confidence soared in belief with every word it said as I compared it to the world around me.

Pastor Bo then explains what he saw as a 9-year-old that proved every word:

Genesis 3 spoke of the fall of man and the world being plunged into sin; I looked around and I saw that sin-filled world. Genesis 11 told of mankind being divided into nations and languages; I looked at the globe and saw nation after nation, representing language after language.

Wowie — just like it says in the bible — well, except for that “globe” thing, but that’s okay. Oh, wait — there’s more. He tells us:

And then in Genesis 6 I also read of a worldwide flood; and having already learned that many fossils of sea creatures are found high on the tops of mountains and even far out in remote deserts, there was an easy correlation in my mind. Sea creatures do not walk to the top of mountains or out into deserts; therefore those mountains used to be covered in water, just like the Bible said.

Ooooooooooooh! The Flood was real! But see this in the TalkOrigins Index to Creationist Claims: Seashells and other marine fossils have been found on mountaintops. Pastor Bo continues:

As I grew up, though, I came to know a different type of person from the churchgoers I grew up with. I first encountered them in college, these skeptics who disbelieved everything that seemed so obvious to me. And at the top of their list, the thing they held in the most derision, was the historicity of the worldwide flood and Noah’s ark. Their attacks usually ran along these lines. “How could you believe something so ridiculous, that tiny boat holding those millions of huge animals?”

The fools! Let’s read on:

I knew they were wrong, but I also knew that words would not suffice for people who had that flawed of a visual picture in their mind. And that brings me to the most recent excursion we took with 24 sweet folks from our church.

Where did Pastor Bo and those “24 sweet folks” go? He reveals the destination:

The Ark Encounter is the brainchild of Ken Ham. It sits in lovely Williamstown, Kentucky. It is a life-size reproduction of the ark using the dimensions given in the book of Genesis. It is massive; definitely not the tiny greeting-card caricature with animals hanging over the sides. It is said to attract around a million visitors a year, and the day we went it was so packed that I have no trouble believing that figure.

The rev believes ol’ Hambo’s attendance figures. Another excerpt:

The displays do a remarkable job showing the plausibility of housing and tending to the several thousand animal kinds that would need to be on the ark in order to properly repopulate and speciate the Earth. It has displays on the different nationalities that could easily have arisen afterward from the three sons of Noah and their wives, utilizing a Punnett square [Huh? — oh, see Punnett square] to show the genetic variability. It has amazingly lifelike creatures in pens on the ark, shows how much food and water would have been necessary for them and gives excellent displays of the effects of a worldwide flood, effects easily seen even in our day.

Wowie! It’s all there! Here’s more:

We will go back; we will most definitely go back. Will it convince everyone to believe? Certainly not. Even Jesus could not convince everyone to believe in him though he healed the blinded eyes, fed the multitudes, cleansed the lepers and raised the dead. But whether it convinces you or not, it is still worth the drive.

Hambo’s ark may not convince everyone, but it certainly convinced Pastor Bo. And now we come to the end:

A life-size reproduction of Noah’s ark? How could it not be?

How could it not be? An interesting question. What do you think, dear reader?

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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ICR: Genesis or Panpsychism?

Does our title mystify you, dear reader? Good. Prepare yourself for some weekend entertainment from the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom. It’s titled Evolutionary Mysticism and the End of Science.

It was written by Jake Hebert. This is ICR’s bio page on Jake. They say he received his Ph.D. in 2011 from the University of Texas and then — the same year! — he “joined ICR in 2011 as a research associate.” Jake’s entire working career has been at ICR. Here are some excerpts from his post, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Evolutionary secularists often fancy themselves as hard-nosed empiricists who are immune to the allures of “magical” thinking. However, as the inadequacies of materialistic naturalism become more and more obvious, we shouldn’t be surprised to see them embracing mystical ideas — a trend noted by ICR founder Dr. Henry M. Morris more than 30 years ago.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! What a beginning! Then he says:

The origin of life and the origin of consciousness are arguably the two most difficult things for evolutionists to explain. They must insist that life somehow came from non-living chemicals even though there is zero experimental evidence for this. Another naturalistic puzzle is that if humans are nothing more than material, biological machines, why are they self-aware? And if humans are just biological machines, why don’t other machines such as personal computers possess consciousness?

Well, dear reader? You don’t have the answer to those questions, do you? Admit it — godless science has failed! Your Curmudgeon once offered an admittedly speculative proposal — that consciousness is nothing more than a neurological short-circuit, by which the brain senses its own activity. Most animals probably lack this ability and merely react to the external world. The first animal born with some neurons affected by this mutation must have been quite an oddity; but its unique brain served it well, so it survived and produced offspring. Anyway, Jake tells us:

Some evolutionists think they have an answer — a personal computer is conscious. And not just personal computers, but everything else in the universe! This belief, called panpsychism, holds that consciousness is a fundamental feature of matter itself, not just something humans possess. According to panpsychism, everything has some rudimentary level of consciousness, even individual particles. If this were true, then a self-aware object could perhaps move by its own volition apart from any outside influences. Incredibly, this is what some scientists are actually suggesting.

We never heard of Panpsychism, but Wikipedia has an article on it. You can study it if you want to, but we’ll ignore it and move on. Jake says:

The Bible provides a reasonable explanation for the existence of life and consciousness, both of humans and animals (Genesis 1:20-31, 2:7). God created mankind, and we have both an immaterial, spiritual component and a physical one. Likewise, the “higher” animals possess a possibly lesser form of nephesh [Hun?], consciousness, according to Genesis 1:21. But because evolutionists reject the Bible’s explanation, they are forced to propose ideas that have the potential to undermine not just future scientific advancements but also the vast scientific knowledge that has already been attained!

Wow! What’s he talking about? Jake explains:

For instance, why use Newton’s Laws of Motion to infer an object’s path through space if the object can change its own motion at will? If an object starts to move, did it move because an unbalanced external force acted on it or because the object chose to move? Do secular physicists really want to go down this path? And if they do, what is this going to do to science — especially physics?

Oaky, we’re convinced. No panpsychism for us! Let’s read on:

Evolutionists claim that acceptance of creation thinking will stifle scientific progress, but the exact opposite is true. We have modern science today largely because the founders of science had a Christian worldview.

We discussed that old clunker in Common Creationist Claims Confuted. If you go there, scroll down to “Great scientists of old were creationists.” Okay, here’s the end of Jake’s article:

This is one more reason why the creation vs. evolution controversy is not just a side issue. What one believes about origins is of immense practical importance. All scientists need to humble themselves before their Creator and get back to Genesis.

We urge you to follow Jake’s advice, dear reader. Humble yourself! And abandon your foolish belief in panpsychism.

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Discovery Institute: Their 2016 Tax Return

Once again, we go through the annual chore of discussing the Discoveroids’ latest tax return. But we have to warn you that your Curmudgeon has neither the skill nor enthusiasm needed for reading these things. All we can do is give you what we see as the highlights. Therefore, don’t rely on our interpretation — you should reach your own opinions.

With that disclaimer, we bring you the thrilling news that the latest tax return of the Discovery Institute is now available — you can see it here: Discovery Institute Form 990 for 2016 (it’s a 54-page pdf file).

So you can make comparisons, we discussed their 2005 return in Discovery Institute: Who and What Are They?, and then Discovery Institute: Their 2006 Tax Return, and then Discovery Institute: Their 2007 Tax Return, and then Discovery Institute Tax Returns: 2008 & 2009, and then their 2010 tax return, and then their 2011 Tax Return, and then their 2012 Tax Return, and then their 2013 Tax Return, and then their 2014 Tax Return, and most recently their 2015 Tax Return.

The first item of interest on the 2016 tax return, on the first page, is the Discoveroids’ gross revenue — from “contributions and grants,” ignoring revenue from other items like investment income. Here’s what the latest return shows, with historical information from their older returns described in our earlier posts:

2016: $5,461,966
2015: $5,773,002
2014: $4,698,817
2013: $3,876,700
2012: $4,964,321
2011: $5,433,226
2010: $4,323,149
2009: $4,509,577
2008: $5,179,188
2007: $4,256,588
2006: $4,165,847
2005: $2,784,188

Interestingly, their revenue from “contributions and grants” was $312K less than the year before — which was their best year ever. Although lower then the previous year, 2016 was their second-best year — at least since we’ve been paying attention.

We have to ask what we ask every year. After burning through all that money – more than $55 million in the years we’ve displayed above — what do the Discoveroids have to show for it? As in the past, we leave that as an exercise for you, dear reader.

The next item that interests us is the breakdown of their spending according to activity. That’s disclosed in question 4 on page 2 of the return. For their three biggest programs, here’s what they spent: The first item was $4,034,611, which is almost 74% of their revenue. The next two items are $245,599 and $187,693. You have to hunt around to find out what those items are. For each item it says “see additional data,” and there’s no clue where that is. These forms are a bureaucrat’s delight! Anyway, we assume that $4 million item is their creationist activity, because that’s how it’s been in the past.

Page 7 lists their officers, directors, etc., and it discloses their compensation. Looking at the Directors first, they list Bruce Chapman, Chairman. He’s the only Director who was paid, and it was $79,560. Last year it was $82,306, and the year before it was $122,906.

Howard Ahmanson continues to be listed as one of their directors, without compensation. It’s long been known that he’s a patron of the Discovery Institute. There are a dozen other directors listed. They receive no compensation, so we assume they’re also patrons — but we really don’t know. They also list Steven Buri as President. He was paid $150K, and John West (whom we call “Westie”) is shown as Vice President. He got $126K. Page 8 lists some other employees. Stephen Meyer, who has no title, got an amazing #250K. The year before it was $200K.

There’s probably an ark-load of other information buried in that form, but we can’t look at it any more. If you find something of interest, please let us know.

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Evidence of Aliens Discovered on Mars

Look what we found in the Daily Star, a tabloid published in London. Their headline is: Alien drone crash on MARS? Shock claims of relics left behind by ancient Martians, and they have a comments feature. Here are some excerpts from the news story, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

The grainy image believed to have been snapped by NASA’s rover on the red planet appears to show “an ancient drone abandoned” on its surface. The object supports US-based scientist John Brandenburg’s theory that archaeological relics were left behind by ancient Martians, said ufologists. Plasma physicist Mr Brandenburg has previously said Mars had a developed a civilisation in the distant past, which had a terrible and cruel ending.

Who is John Brandenburg? He’s not in Wikipedia, but RationalWicki has a write-up on him. They say:

John E. Brandenburg is a plasma physicist who went somewhat off the rails in 2012 and started proclaiming that he saw clear evidence of a thermonuclear war on Mars in the distant past. This off-beat idea attracted the attention of woo-peddlars and gave a mighty boost to sales of his books — both the non-fiction books and the science fiction books that he wrote using the nom de plume Victor Norgarde.

He also has an ark-load of videos at YouTube. Okay, back to the Daily Star. They tell us:

Mr Brandenburg believes a nuclear war took place about half a billion years ago and evidence of the genocide can still be seen today.

The plasma physicist claims “anyone who can read a map” can see the the nuclear explosion sites. His theory is that a civilisation, like the people of the Bronze Age on Earth, developed on Mars, but were wiped out by a more advanced alien aggressor from another planet. Mr Brandenburg said that ancient Martians were massacred in the giant nuclear attack.

This is very exciting! The tabloid continues:

He bases his theory on data collected by NASA from Mars he says shows “weapon-signature” isotopes showing the two massive nuclear “airbursts” in the Northern regions of the planet. He says what he identified was a thin layer of radioactive substances including uranium, thorium and radioactive potassium on Mars.

Why hasn’t NASA told us about this? Let’s read on:

And ufologists believe the object in the picture is the ultimate evidence that such civilisations existed on Mars in the distant past and is a piece of hardware that survived the test of time.

The tabloid article is full of pictures — and videos. They’re very persuasive! Another excerpt:

YouTube user Paranormal Crucible added: “The anomaly which appears to be the result of intelligent design [Gasp!] was photographed by the rover as it surveyed the area around rock nest at Gale Crater. “In my opinion this object is an extraterrestrial drone possibly built by the indigenous Martian populace or perhaps it was deployed by an off world alien species who were exploring the Martian surface. This object was found a few years back, but I will be re-visiting some old discoveries and shedding new light on what they could actually be.”

That’s the end of the news article. So what do we make of this astounding information? It comes from reliable sources, and your Curmudgeon has long suspected that NASA has been concealing The Truth from us. So we’re convinced. How about you, dear reader?

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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