Category Archives: Evolution

Global Warming, Creationism, & the Flood

We found this at the Baptist Press website — the Southern Baptist Convention’s news service. Their headline is Ancient extinction: Climate change or Noah’s flood?, and they don’t have a comments feature. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Research published in the journal Science ties an ancient mass extinction to global warming and predicts a similar doomsday scenario for modern humans if they don’t curb climate change.

PhysOrg wrote about that recently — see Biggest mass extinction caused by global warming leaving ocean animals gasping for breath, and they link to the paper in Science, which you can’t read without a subscription: Temperature-dependent hypoxia explains biogeography and severity of end-Permian marine mass extinction.

The Baptist Press (which doesn’t italicize publication names) says:

But an evangelical paleontologist [Ooooooooooooh!] says the data researchers examined actually evidences Noah’s flood. [Hee hee!] There was an ancient mass extinction, said Kurt Wise, a paleontologist who teaches at Truett McConnell University in Cleveland, Ga. “But it was not only millions of times worse and quicker than [secular researchers] have modeled, it was an event God promised never to repeat.” The fossil records under consideration “do not in any way carry a warning about global warming, but they do carry a warning about forgetting God.”

Here’s Wikipedia’s write-up on Kurt Wise. With our bracketed inserts, they say he’s “an American young earth creationist who serves as the Director of Creation Research Center at Truett McConnell University [a bible college]. He has a PhD in paleontology from Harvard University. He writes in support of creationism and works for the Creation Museum [Hambo’s enterprise].”

His name has popped up a couple of times around here — see, e.g.: AIG: Transitional Species Are Really “Mosaics”. Okay, we know what we’re dealing with. The Baptist Press tells us:

Researchers at the University of Washington and Stanford University used a computer model in an attempt to establish the cause of a mass extinction indicated in the fossil record and dated by secular scientists at some 252 million years ago. [Gasp!] The computer model hypothesized that volcanic eruptions flooded the atmosphere with carbon dioxide, which trapped heat and consequently warmed the oceans. Warmer oceans meant less oxygen in the water, and many species went extinct as a result, according to a Dec. 7 article in Science. … The computer model also suggested doom in humanity’s future, the researchers wrote, if climate change continues at its present rate.

But that’s secular science, so it must be wrong. The Baptist Press reveals The Truth:

Wise, however, said the fossil layer dated by the Science authors at 252 million years ago actually was “laid down across this planet in a few days about 4,500 years ago during the flood in the days of Noah,” described in Genesis 6-9. The flood first “wiped out most of the species of the pre-flood seas,” Wise told Baptist Press in written comments, then began “burying animals on the land.” At the same time, “huge outpourings of lava were warming the waters of the flood.”

Lava isn’t mentioned in the bible’s description of the flood, but let’s not worry about that. What about the huge difference in the date of these events? The godless scientists say the extinction event was 252 million years ago, and Wise says it was only 4,500 years ago. No problem! The Baptist Press explains:

Amid such events, “radiometric decay was occurring millions of times faster than it’s occurring today,” said Wise, a Harvard-trained paleontologist. [Yes, a flood will do that!] Radiometric decay is the process by which radioactive isotopes lose energy in geologic and archaeological materials. Scientists attempt to date specimens by determining the proportions within them of radioactive isotopes and the products of their decay, then comparing that with the known rate of decay.

Because scientists without a Christian worldview [the fools!] assume radiometric decay always has occurred at the same rate, Wise said, their use of radiometric dating wrongly concludes sediments from Noah’s time “were laid down a quarter billion years ago, over the course of millions of years.”

That makes sense. Let’s read on:

Wise agreed with the Science authors that life was “snuffed out” and global warming occurred in the process. But humans should not worry about such global warming repeating, he said.

We shouldn’t worry? Why not? That’s explained at the end:

“The rainbow reminds us of God’s promise never again to destroy the world with a flood,” Wise said. “However, it is also a reminder that God judges sin, and He will again destroy the world because of human sin — although this time He will destroy it by fire.”

So there you are, dear reader. You can forget about global warming. The world will be destroyed again, of course, but not by a flood. And as long as you’re not one of those hell-bound secularists, you have nothing to fear.

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

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Ticket Sales for Hambo’s Ark — November 2018

This is becoming one of the most eagerly anticipated features of our blog — thanks to the ceaseless efforts of our clandestine operative in Kentucky, code-named “Blue Grass.” He has once again provided us with the latest official ticket sales figures for people visiting Ark Encounter — the creationist tourist attraction built by Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia.

As you know, Hambo has to pay a safety tax of $.50 (fifty cents) to the City of Williamstown for each ticket sold, and the results are available through the Kentucky Open Records Act (KORA). Our operative showed us a copy of the latest Monthly Safety Assessment Report. It reveals that Hambo’s Ark Encounter sold 40,193 tickets in November 2018, resulting in a fee due to the city of $20,096.50.

Now the question is: What were the ark’s ticket sales for the same month during the preceding year? As we reported in Hambo’s Ark — True Figures for the 2nd Year, in November of 2017 the Ark sold 51,914 tickets.

This November there were 11,721 fewer tickets sold than in November of 2017, which is more than a 22% decline. Nevertheless, we’ll give Hambo credit for selling a lot of tickets. Although the numbers keep dropping, he’s probably taking in enough revenue to keep things going.

We know what Hambo’s response to this news will be, because he says the same thing every month. He’ll say that the secularists are spreading misinformation about his glorious ark because there are enormous numbers of uncounted visitors, due to the fact that little children get in free with their ticket-buying parents, and lifetime pass owners don’t have to buy a ticket each time they visit.

And we’ll respond again by saying that those factors were also true last year, and it doesn’t change the fact that actual ticket sales have declined — so there’s less money coming in.

We don’t know if the recent declines in ticket sales will continue. The important thing is that despite Hambo’s claims to the contrary, the numbers aren’t increasing. It’s quite the opposite — at least for now.

As before, it’ll be fun to watch Hambo’s reactions when the press reports his ticket sales figures. And we’re grateful to our clandestine operative for his excellent work.

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

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‘Design Science’ from the Discovery Institute

This is a good example of … well, something at the creationist blog of the Discovery Institute: Gecko, Fairyfly, Manta Ray: Animals Push the Limits of the Possible. It has no author’s by-line.

Right up front, we note from their title that the creatures they mention “push the limits of the possible.” That means they’re not doing anything impossible, so whatever it is we’re about to hear about is consistent with natural law. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

If humans cannot yet achieve these feats with our best engineering knowledge, what are we to think of humble animals that make the semi-miraculous look routine?

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Humans can’t breathe in water, as fish do. Are we supposed to regard them as “semi-miraculous” and fall to our knees as we contemplate the wonder of it all? Let’s find out what they’re babbling about. They say:

A favorite animal for bio-inspired science, the gecko has earned more claims to fame beyond its ability to walk on walls and ceilings. (That trick, you remember, relies on a property of adhesion at the atomic level called the van der Waals force.) Yes, robot designers would love to imitate that feat. And think of the wannabee spider-kids that would be thrilled to open a holiday present to find a costume that would let them walk up walls like Spider Man. Fabrics with microscopic hairs imitating the gecko footpads might just make that possible someday (to the horror of moms).

Okay, what of it? They tell us:

But adhesion is not the only trick for these lizards popularized in car insurance commercials. Geckos can also walk on water! Believe it or not, geckos are among the few animals (including basilisk lizards and grebes) that can skitter across the surface of water without sinking.

Ooooooooooooh! Where are they going with this? Let’s find out:

Watch the video from The Conversation [link omitted], where Jasmine Nirody from the Rockefeller University in New York describes how her team figured out the unique way geckos solve this problem. … Who taught the gecko atomic theory? [It must be the intelligent designer — blessed be he!] … Show this video [link omitted] to your kids — that is, if you are prepared to have to buy a gecko for the holidays to satisfy their pleadings afterward. Indulge their curiosity about animals with superpowers while you can, because it might inspire them to become design scientists.

“Design scientists”? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! They continue:

How small could you make a flying animal? The fairyfly is so tiny, it matches the cross section of a human hair! It’s hard to believe you can pack enough cells in this insect (not a fly, but a kind of wasp). Wingless varieties average 0.139 mm in length. … How do they get so small? For one thing, their cells are smaller than normal, and everything is downsized to the extreme. Ooooooooooooh! … A diagram shows a fairyfly at comparable size to a paramecium, a one-celled animal. This is astonishing! How can this insect have enough space to pack organs and tissues, let alone wings?

Are you rolling on the floor, drooling in ecstasy? Not yet? Then click over there and read what they say about the filter-feeding of the manta ray. That will surely cause you to toss away your science books and embrace the other-worldly wisdom of the Discoveroids. Now we come to the end:

That’s all for now, but with millions of species of animals out there, all suited for their environment with ingenious mechanisms at the limit of physical possibilities, we don’t expect to run out of similar material soon.

There’s another material they won’t run out of either, but we’ll let you guess what it might be. Anyway, that’s the latest creation science from the Discoveroids. Are you impressed, dear reader?

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

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Can Government Be an Intelligent Designer?

From time to time we write about how evolution and free enterprise are in conflict with intelligent design and socialism. It always enrages some of you, but a Curmudgeon expects that. For example, see Obamacare and Intelligent Design, which links to several earlier posts.

Well, dear reader, it’s a weekend and we need some entertainment, so today we’re doing it again. We found a great article by Gary M. Galles, a professor of economics at Pepperdine University. It’s titled The myth of intelligent (government) design, and it appears in Marianas Variety, a newspaper published in Saipan, the largest island of the Northern Mariana Islands, a commonwealth of the United States in the western Pacific Ocean. They have a comments feature. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

A FEW years back, intelligent design was a red-hot controversy. It has cooled since, but it doesn’t take much to stir the embers. When British astronaut Tim Peak repeated his openness to an intelligently designed universe this year, he was attacked with rejuvenated enthusiasm. One Guardian story responded by quoting, among others, evolutionary biologist Matan Shelomi about problems with our eyes: “Who designed these faulty things? The answer can’t be a God, because a God so incompetent in designing vision sensors isn’t worth worshipping.”

That’s standard stuff criticizing intelligent design. Now the professor turns to politics and economics: He says:

What I find striking about such an “imperfection as proof against believing in something” standard is seldom applied to government, which affects us, and often assails us, every day. That is, why don’t we use that criterion in evaluating whether government is intelligently-enough designed to believe it will solve our human problems?

A centerpiece of calumny against intelligent design as science is that it is neither proven nor provable. However, is it proven or provable that government — whose only superior ability is in coercing others — advances Americans’ life, liberty, or happiness by its ubiquitous intrusion in our lives? Our founders certainly did not believe so. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution imply nothing of the sort. And our experience since has certainly been far from perfection. As a result, is there any reason to believe that government overriding ever more of our choices will give us better results?

After that he tells us:

Can we conclude that government policies and programs work so well, with each intricate part fitting together so seamlessly, that we should credit their designers with sufficient intelligence to trust still more decisions to them? And if not, why should we believe in demanding that government “do something” about every perceived problem, old or new, real or imaginary?

Why would we think that moving decisions to government will result in more intelligent arrangements? There is no way a government plan can replicate the market system’s integration and productive use of the vastly different and overlapping knowledge of each of its participants, coordinated without government central planners. Consequently, moving decisions to government throws away reams of valuable, detailed information that millions of individuals know, leading to less intelligent results.

This is pure gold! We’re not going to excerpt much more because we want you to click over there to read the whole thing. But we can’t leave out the final paragraph:

When you spend your own money, you don’t delegate crucial decisions to designers with extensive records of failure. They are not intelligent enough in the relevant ways to let them decide for you. But saying we need the government to do more — on no better evidence, as so many candidates in the midterm elections did — is no more sensible. Intelligent government design is not established, and the “faulty things” that American public servants create cannot possibly justify our faith in them.

Okay, dear reader, after you’re read it all, consider this: If you’re so certain that intelligent design is ghastly science — which it is — then why in the world do you want government to be the intelligent designer of our lives?

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

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