Category Archives: Evolution

Creationist Wisdom #638: Science Is Corrupt

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Laconia Daily Sun of Laconia, New Hampshire . It’s titled Science, I believe, will continue to be as corrupt as it is today. The newspaper doesn’t have a comments feature.

Because today’s 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 John. Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

Some time ago I believed and wrote the same, that the evolutionary paradigm would not yield until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.

That’s a perfectly reasonable belief. What happened to change John’s mind? He tells us:

After considerable investigation into the intelligent design movement I no longer believe that that is the case. The scientific evidence supports the intelligent design model. There is a core group of scientists who seems determined to soldier on until the evidence wins the day. The paradigm will shift.

Ah, John now thinks “a core group of scientists” at the Discovery Institute will vanquish evolution even before Jesus returns. Won’t that be wonderful? Let’s read on:

I’m not so sure that this will be the good news for the Christian church that one might expect.

Huh? Why not? John tells us:

Had the paradigm shifted some time ago or even if it were to shift today, even with the eroded state of our constitutional protections today, it might be enough to resurrect real First Amendment protections of freedom of religion. That would be a good thing. But I’m afraid that it won’t happen that way.

We’re confused about John’s hope for a resurrection of “real First Amendment protections of freedom of religion,” but let’s continue reading to learn why he thinks that won’t happen:

Science, I believe will continue to be as corrupt as it is today, and as it has been co-opted for political purposes today in climate change, and in the theory of evolution, so will this science be co-opted to prop up the one world false religion that will require the worship of the false Christ at the threat of death to those who refuse. It will be used to prop up a theocracy like that which conservative Christians have been falsely slandered of promoting; only it will be a false religion.

Wow — science is a false religion that will prop up a theocracy that will threaten death to all who reject it! Here’s more:

Those who support the consensus view today, who are deluded into thinking that they are avant-garde, when they are really merely supporters of the status quo; will themselves become vigorous supporters of this new paradigm as if they knew it all the time. It’s what they do.

John predicts that you, dear reader, will support the new scientific theocracy of death! And now we come to the end:

Many saints will be martyred at this time, and then the Lord will return in the clouds as he said.

Egad! John predicts that creationists will become martyred saints, and not even the Discoveroids can prevent it. Only then will the Lord return.

It’s a frightening vision, but maybe John is correct. It probably won’t be long before we all find out.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Two Anniversaries Today: “Origin” and Lucy

Today is the 156th anniversary of the publication of Darwin’s Origin of Species in 1859.

As if that weren’t enough, it’s also the 41st anniversary of the 1974 discovery of Lucy, the fossil of a species now known as Australopithecus afarensis. If you use Google, you’ll see Lucy in a progression of human evolution.

Ol’ Hambo just posted a rant about Lucy: Will Obama Celebrate Lucy Today?. One excerpt should be sufficient:

[Today’s] Google Doodle highlights where our culture is headed. Our supposed evolutionary ancestry is increasingly being celebrated — but it’s nothing more than a major tenet of the religion of naturalism. Google isn’t promoting science — they are promoting an interpretation of the past that is a key idea in the atheistic religion of naturalism. But as our culture moves farther and farther from biblical authority, we can only expect this kind of celebration of our alleged evolutionary past to continue, even creeping into the church.

But Lucy wasn’t a human ancestor. She’s just an extinct variety of ape. There is nothing about her to suggest that she’s a transitional form between ape-like and human-like. It’s simply an interpretation of the fossils from an evolutionary worldview.

So there you are. Darwin’s book has been incredibly influential, and Hambo ain’t no kin to Lucy. That’s the news today — at least so far. Feel free to use the comments for an Intellectual Free Fire Zone.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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The Incredible Mind of Ken Ham

This is a remarkable opportunity, dear reader. You are about to get a rare look into the mind of the holiest and most knowledgeable man who ever lived. We’re talking about Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia. He’s famed for his creationist ministry, Answers in Genesis (AIG), and for the mind-boggling Creation Museum.

This just appeared at ol’ Hambo’s blog: A Thought I Wanted to Share with You Today. Wowie — the great man has had a thought and he wants to share it with us! Aren’t you excited?

Hambo says, with a bit of bold font added by us:

A thought I wanted to share with you today — How do the secularists get people to falsely believe in a fairy tale like molecules-to-man evolution?

What a question! We won’t waste your time with silly remarks. Let’s get into it. Hambo tantalizes us by restating the question:

How do they get so many people to believe in an incomprehensible process, that matter gave rise to life and all life evolved by natural processes?

Eagerly, we read on:

Well, they indoctrinate people to falsely believe in an incomprehensible amount of time — billions of years. Given so much supposed time, people think anything can happen!

Ah, so that’s the trick! Hambo continues:

But one can have as much time as one can imagine, and life could never arise by natural process — it’s an impossible process.

Those secularists can’t fool ol’ Hambo! He’s smart! Here’s the rest of it:

And because of man’s sin nature, many will believe an impossible process (that life arose by natural processes) instead of believing in the one true God for which “nothing will be impossible” (Luke 1:37).

That was pure gold! Now, dear reader, we can say that we have truly lived. Hambo has shared one of his thoughts with us.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Faith-Based and Evidence-Based Thinking

The controversy between evolution and creationism is only one example of the distinction between faith-based and evidence-based thinking. In this modest essay, we’ll attempt to distinguish between the two. Your Curmudgeon knows nothing about psychology (or sociology, or theology) so it’s likely that experts in those fields will find fault with this essay. Nevertheless, we’ll give it a try.

We’re all capable of thinking in either mode, but some people prefer one and regard it as supremely preferable the other. The faith-based way of thinking about the world seems to be the first way humans did things. Thousands of cults have arisen to provide reasons why things are the way they are. But evidence-based thinking was always present to some extent. It had to be or we couldn’t have survived. Poisonous herbs were avoided, useful activities (e.g., agriculture) were adopted, boats had to be watertight, etc. But along with such evidence-based activities, faith-based thinking flourished.

The surprising thing — at least to us — is that when evidence-based thinking successfully explained how certain things happened (lightning, disease, etc.), faith-based reasoning not only persisted, but was preferred by a large portion of the population. Why? Tradition? Tribalism? Laziness? A warm and fuzzy feeling? We don’t know.

Both thinking methods have “filters” to keep out what are believed to be bad ideas. You know how fact-based thinking works. It’s the essence of the scientific method, one of the finest achievements of the Enlightenment.

Those who engage in evidence-based thinking want data — verifiable data — that isn’t merely someone’s subjective experience based on his dreams or revelations received in a trance. Even if the data contradicts what may be a pet theory of ours, we’ll go with it and abandon (or at least revise) the now-superseded theory. Data is paramount, and our personal desires and preferences are irrelevant — see Advice for Creationists.

Faith-based thinking also uses filters to screen out undesired evidence and beliefs. For a good description, see Morton’s demon, described by its discoverer like this:

Morton’s demon was a demon who sat at the gate of my sensory input apparatus and if and when he saw supportive evidence coming in, he opened the gate. But if he saw contradictory data coming in, he closed the gate. In this way, the demon allowed me to believe that I was right and to avoid any nasty contradictory data.

For the typical, walking-around creationist, flat-Earther, UFO probe enthusiast, or other goofball cultist, Morton’s demon may allow him to pursue something that appears to be a normal life. The person affected, despite his delusions, may never know that he has failed to live a truly informed existence. Such people are like those Japanese soldiers that were sometimes found in the jungles of remote Pacific islands, decades after the war ended, unwilling to admit defeat. There’s a Wikipedia article on the phenomenon: Japanese holdout. In the case of creationists, it’s not military zeal or fanatical patriotism that motivates them — it’s an advanced case of Morton’s demon. See also Discovery Institute: The Die-Hards.

But the question arises: Don’t evidence-based thinkers sometimes reject useful ideas that are faith-based? Our answer may be controversial, but we think the proper response is “No.” We don’t reject the ideas that people get from their trances and dreams. But we put them aside and don’t accept them or seriously consider them until they can be objectively verified — see Bring Me An Angel Detector!

Also, there are some unverified ideas that are at least in principle verifiable. But unlike faith-based beliefs, such ideas don’t originate as revelations. Dark Energy is a good example. String theory is another. Those aren’t rejected. Rather, they are considered as potentially useful scientific ideas. Things like that prevent us from breezily summarizing the difference between faith-based and evidence-based thinking as the difference between fantasy and reality.

That’s all we can say at this point, but you probably have your own insights to offer. We look forward to them.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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