Category Archives: Evolution

Creationist Wisdom #713: Don’t Be Gullible

Today’s second letter-to-the-editor appears in the Daily Journal of Park Hills, Missouri. It’s titled Nobody intends to be gullible, and the newspaper has a comments section.

Because the letter-writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote her by using her full name. Actually, we’re not even told her full name. Her first name is Jennie, described at the end as “a long-time resident of Fredericktown, an eclectic gatherer of stories, information, and experiences to share with whoever would like to read them.” Isn’t that sweet? We’ll give you some excerpts from her letter, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

Nobody intends to be “gullible,” but sometimes we are eased right into it, by our very own beliefs. We tend to trust that all doctors, ministers, police, scientists, etc., etc. are trust-worthy and on our side; that they are concerned with our welfare and standing by to help us. Not so. Some are one hundred percent trustworthy, and some are lacking.

We can’t argue with that. What’s the point? We’re told:

I can think of lots of examples to take onto the stump with me, but I’ll hold it down to two for this time: that will be medical records and evolution.

That’s a strange pairing. We’ll skip whatever it is that Jennie has to say about medical records. Let’s get to the evolution. She says:

The other thing I want to mention, is the audacity that some people show, to think they know more and better than the Almighty Creator and Savior of all.

Yes — some people are really outrageous about that. Jennie continues:

The rub is that people believe them because they claim “science” is behind them in this lie. Many who buy into the theory of evolution do not bother to read the Bible and see what God’s explanation really is.

The fools! Here’s more:

Some read it and discard the Holy Word, to put their stock in a theory began maybe 200 years ago devised by Charles Darwin.

Darwin published Origin of Species in 1859. Well, that’s almost 200 years ago. Moving along:

Others ignore it, thinking it doesn’t matter which way you believe. However this is very wrong. If this belief doesn’t mean to discredit God, why else would Satan be pushing it so hard?

Good question! Another excerpt:

Of course it matters when you essentially say that God doesn’t know what really happened in the beginning and that He was not the Creator, as He said he was.

Yeah! God said He’s the Creator. What more do you want? On with the letter:

Satan hopes that people will decide if they can’t trust God on that subject, how can they trust Him for anything else; salvation from their sins, help throughout their lives, deliverance from evil that is beyond mortal man?

You gotta be an idiot to trust Satan! And now we come to the end:

Oh yes, it matters. Souls are at stake. This is the reason we need to be concerned and to do whatever we can to stand up for God and His Word.

There you are, dear reader. Do you trust God, or Satan? It’s a big decision. Thanks for the letter, Jennie!

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Discoveroids: Proxima b Is the Big Test

Yesterday we wrote Proxima Centauri Has Planet in Habitable Zone, which we ended by saying: “Now we await the response from the creationists.”

It didn’t take long for the Discovery Institute to rise to the occasion. Well, “rise” may not be the proper word. This just appeared at their creationist blog: Put Up or Shut Up for Evolution? Nearest “Habitable” Planet Found Orbiting Proxima Centauri. It was written by David Klinghoffer, a Discoveroid “senior fellow” (i.e., flaming, full-blown creationist), who eagerly functions as their journalistic slasher and poo flinger. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

For materialists, the origin of life and the evolution of complex, even intelligent creatures needs to be a sure thing, or close to it, given a suitable planetary environment. Reportedly Earth-like exoplanets discovered up until now have been far away and difficult to check for signs of alien biology. Not so Proxima b, reported today … .

[…]

It’s a “game changer,” the “holy grail,” only a “hop, skip, and a jump” away, physicist Michio Kaku tells CBS, which characterizes the planet as a possible “Earth 2.0.”

Silly materialists! Let’s read on:

A closer look, though, reveals trouble in paradise. Liquid water — perhaps, but also a surface assailed by “ultraviolet and X-ray flares,” and a climate not well suited to make Earthlings, at least, feel at home.

We know all that. Nobody expects the Klingons to be living there. Klinghoffer continues:

All is celebration until it sinks in that with every discovery of a seemingly near-Earth-like planet, evolutionism comes a step closer to a put-up-or-shut-up moment.

What? Here’s more:

Unguided evolution must be baked into the cake, not only on Earth but anywhere like Earth. It must be something blind forces accomplish readily. If it could ever be known that only one planet in the cosmos was graced with biology, that would pose an insurmountable difficult for Darwinists.

The Discoveroids, of course, already know that life on Earth is unique. That’s because their intelligent designer — blessed be he! — arranged the universe so that we’re the The Privileged Planet. Moving along:

Imagining life elsewhere, in the absence of evidence, is more comfortable when Earth-like planets are conjectural, distant, or both.

True. When we had no evidence other than our own world, we were free to speculate that the same natural forces that resulted in life on Earth could do the same elsewhere if conditions were favorable. Creationists use that same data point but reject the blasphemous notion that life is the result of natural forces — thus their claim that life on Earth is a miracle, which can’t occur anywhere else, especially intelligent life. Another excerpt:

The planet orbiting Proxima Centauri is uncomfortably nearby. [Hee hee!] The more Earth-like the exoplanet, the closer it is and the easier to probe for any signature of life, the more materialism may be forced to consider the possibility that a key premise was in error.

See what’s happening here, dear reader? The Discoveroids are making a desperate bet. They’re betting everything — as if they ever had anything — that there’s no life on Proxima b. If there isn’t any, which is certainly possible, then they’ll claim the game is over and they’ve won. But what if some kind of life actually does exist there? They’ve got that covered too. This is the end of Klinghoffer’s post:

Intelligent design can live easily with the idea of inhabited worlds beyond Earth. The more difficult “evolution” looks, though, the more it looks like design.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! As extra-solar planets keep getting sighted, the Discoveroids have been gradually changing their position in a desperate attempt to hedge their bets. Lately they’ve been saying, reluctantly, that there could be some kind of primitive life out there, but surely no intelligent life — see Klinghoffer’s Latest Thoughts on Aliens. So if no life (except maybe bacteria) is found on Proxima b, they’ll be jumping with joy and claiming that evolution has been disproved. It doesn’t take much to make a creationist happy.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Creationist Wisdom #712: The Only Explanation

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Lincoln County News, a weekly newspaper in Newcastle, Maine (popu1ation 1,752). It’s titled The Only Viable Explanation, and the newspaper has no 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 Rev. David O’Donnell of the Faith Baptist Church of Newcastle. We’ll give you a few excerpts from rev’s letter, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, and some bold font for emphasis. Okay, here we go:

The scientific method is limited to that which can be tested, reproduced, or falsified. Anything which lies outside those parameters is not science, but is in the realm of faith.

Not bad. The rev doesn’t mention that science is based on verifiable evidence, but he probably understands that — at least your benevolent Curmudgeon will make that assumption — for the moment. Then he says:

The theory of intelligent design is ridiculed as “religious doctrine” and pseudo-science, while the justification for the ridicule is that creation is unprovable, therefore unreliable. Yet so is the theory of evolution unprovable and therefore unreliable. Therefore, evolution is a faith-based theory and not empirical scientific fact. Evolution is an unguided process of natural selection.

Oooops — we were wrong. The rev has no understanding of the role that evidence plays in science, nor does he know what a theory is. Let’s read on:

The theory of evolution is woefully inadequate to explain the observable universe today. The universe is a universe governed by laws. Where did those laws come from? The first law of thermodynamics, inertia, states that matter can only be changed but can be neither created nor destroyed. Where did the matter come from that was involved in the “Big Bang?”

Hey — the rev is right — the theory of evolution doesn’t explain those things! He continues:

Evolution is nothing more than a search for an explanation of the origin of life that does not include God. I believe the intelligent design model answers far more questions than the evolutionary model. Yes, I firmly believe that God created this world.

The rev may be on to something — the God of the gaps theory explains everything! Here’s more:

Here are some other questions that evolution cannot answer. How did life spring from non-life? How did every species develop male and female at the same time with all the reproductive organs and components necessary to bear offspring? How did our cellular information evolve, where each cell in our body communicates with the rest of the body, all 37.2 trillion of them? How can our body replicate DNA, exactly 3.7 billion pieces of information, 242 billion times a day? How did our thought process evolve? How did our memory evolve? By what evolutionary process can the eye be explained? The questions are endless.

If you want to dive into that mess of goo, dear reader, go right ahead. We’re not going to bother with any of it, but we won’t stand in your way. We assume that the rev’s theory can answer those questions, and that he will reveal it to us. Moving along:

The simple conclusion is that evolution is an inadequate faith-based theory, a theory that sates complex life evolved from simple life. The law of irreducible complexity dispels that notion.

The “law” of Irreducible complexity? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Another excerpt:

Admittedly, there is some indication of micro-evolution (adaptations of species). Where are the new life forms that evolution should, by the very nature of the theory, be producing? There are only extinctions taking place.

That was devastating! And now we come to the thrilling end, where the rev answers all the questions he raised:

I believe that intelligent design/creation is not only a credible explanation for life as we know it, I believe it is the only viable explanation for life.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! What a wonderful letter! Thanks, rev.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Proxima Centauri Has Planet in Habitable Zone

The European Southern Observatory (ESO) has made the long-awaited announcement. At their website they have this headline: Planet Found in Habitable Zone Around Nearest Star. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Astronomers using ESO telescopes and other facilities have found clear evidence of a planet orbiting the closest star to Earth, Proxima Centauri. The long-sought world, designated Proxima b, orbits its cool red parent star every 11 days and has a temperature suitable for liquid water to exist on its surface. This rocky world is a little more massive than the Earth and is the closest exoplanet to us — and it may also be the closest possible abode for life outside the Solar System. A paper describing this milestone finding will be published in the journal Nature on 25 August 2016.

There’s already a news item that appears in Nature: Earth-sized planet around nearby star is astronomy dream come true, and you can read without a subscription. We’ll stay with the ESO announcement. They say:

Just over four light-years from the Solar System lies a red dwarf star that has been named Proxima Centauri as it is the closest star to Earth apart from the Sun. This cool star in the constellation of Centaurus is too faint to be seen with the unaided eye and lies near to the much brighter pair of stars known as Alpha Centauri AB.

[…]

Guillem Anglada-Escudé explains the background to this unique search: “The first hints of a possible planet were spotted back in 2013, but the detection was not convincing. Since then we have worked hard to get further observations off the ground with help from ESO and others. The recent Pale Red Dot campaign has been about two years in the planning.”

The Pale Red Dot data, when combined with earlier observations made at ESO observatories and elsewhere, revealed the clear signal of a truly exciting result. At times Proxima Centauri is approaching Earth at about 5 kilometres per hour — normal human walking pace — and at times receding at the same speed. This regular pattern of changing radial velocities repeats with a period of 11.2 days. Careful analysis of the resulting tiny Doppler shifts showed that they indicated the presence of a planet with a mass at least 1.3 times that of the Earth, orbiting about 7 million kilometres from Proxima Centauri — only 5% of the Earth-Sun distance.

Guillem Anglada-Escudé comments on the excitement of the last few months: “I kept checking the consistency of the signal every single day during the 60 nights of the Pale Red Dot campaign. The first 10 were promising, the first 20 were consistent with expectations, and at 30 days the result was pretty much definitive, so we started drafting the paper!”

Let’s read on:

Although Proxima b orbits much closer to its star than Mercury does to the Sun in the Solar System, the star itself is far fainter than the Sun. As a result Proxima b lies well within the habitable zone around the star and has an estimated surface temperature that would allow the presence of liquid water. Despite the temperate orbit of Proxima b, the conditions on the surface may be strongly affected by the ultraviolet and X-ray flares from the star — far more intense than the Earth experiences from the Sun.

What about habitability? ESO continues:

Two separate papers discuss the habitability of Proxima b and its climate. They find that the existence of liquid water on the planet today cannot be ruled out and, in such case, it may be present over the surface of the planet only in the sunniest regions, either in an area in the hemisphere of the planet facing the star (synchronous rotation) or in a tropical belt (3:2 resonance rotation). Proxima b’s rotation, the strong radiation from its star and the formation history of the planet makes its climate quite different from that of the Earth, and it is unlikely that Proxima b has seasons.

Here’s one more excerpt:

Guillem Anglada-Escudé concludes: “Many exoplanets have been found and many more will be found, but searching for the closest potential Earth-analogue and succeeding has been the experience of a lifetime for all of us. Many people’s stories and efforts have converged on this discovery. The result is also a tribute to all of them. The search for life on Proxima b comes next…”

So there it is. Close enough for exploration, although that will take quite a bit of time. Now we await the response from the creationists.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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