Category Archives: Intelligent Design

Albert Mohler: Gravity Waves Are Caused by Sin

We haven’t written about Albert Mohler for a long time — this old post is typical: Albert Mohler Insists on Young Earth Creationism. Mohler is president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.

Although Mohler is a young-Earth creationist, we’ve always been impressed by his entirely theological approach to the matter. He insists that the literal truth of Genesis is the essential foundation for his concept of Christianity, but he never disgraces himself with the nonsense of creation science — he simply rejects the conclusions of science. We think he’s wrong to do so, but he keeps his views within his faith, and — unlike a certain Seattle think tank — his life’s mission isn’t to crush science and establish a theocracy.

The website Baptist News Global, which describes itself as “an autonomous, nonprofit news organization that offers news, features and commentary every business day for a global audience of Baptists and other Christians,” has this article: Mohler applauds discovery of gravitational waves but says it doesn’t prove anything. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

A Southern Baptist theologian says astronomers study the universe not only through telescopes, but also a worldview lens that causes them to interpret their observations in ways contrary to biblical truth. Albert Mohler … said in a Feb. 12 podcast that new reports about the discovery of gravitational waves generated by the collision of two black holes 1.3 billion years ago aren’t intended to deceive Bible-believing Christians. Rather, he said, it’s the effect of sin on both the universe and cognitive ability.

That’s an interesting perspective. Then we’re told:

Mohler said part of being created in God’s image is an innate desire to understand and know the cosmos around us. At the same time, he warned, much of what is presented as scientific proof is at odds with the Bible, including the historical account of creation recorded in the opening chapters of the book of Genesis.

“Now to be candid, I don’t believe that the world is 1.3 billion years old, certainly not billions of years old,” Mohler said. “I don’t even believe that is actually millions of years old. But one of the interesting things we need to note here is that the scientists who believe that believe it because they are looking at certain patterns that, to their observation, tell them that. And what we need to note is this, if we ourselves were operating from a simply materialistic and naturalistic worldview, we would probably come to the very same conclusions.

He’s saying that the science, by itself, is persuasive. But then, of course, there’s the bible, which tells a different story. Let’s read on:

Mohler said Bible-believing Christians can share a sense of wonder at Thursday’s announcement even if they disagree with the secular interpretation of the discovery. “We step back and look at the situation and understand that something marvelous is being observed here,” he said. “Something was heard. Those instruments detected something.”

Yes, but what? Mohler explains:

“Christians don’t believe that what was heard is fitting a pattern that these scientists believe explains the universe, because we don’t believe the universe explains itself,” Mohler continued. “When we look at what was announced yesterday, we come to it with the full affirmation of all that is revealed in Scripture and of everything Scripture tells us about creation. And we come to understand that a world that is corrupted and affected by sin will actually give us — even through the scientific method — false data that can lead people to false conclusions.

Aha — we can’t rely on our astronomical instruments because what they tell us has been corrupted by sin. The article ends with a final quote from Mohler:

“And we also understand that we are fallen, fragile, fallible thinkers and so as we look at this, if we’re operating from a basically secular worldview, if we believe the universe is going to have to tell us the story all on its own, then there’s no way we’re going to come up with the right story.”

Okay, dear reader. With that, and our earlier post today, your Curmudgeon has given you both sides of the story. The rest is up to you.

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

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Curmudgeonly Thoughts on Darwin Day

Charles Darwin was born on 12 February 1809 — that’s 207 years ago today. His theory of evolution, in its conception and subsequent validation, is a great example of the scientific method, which liberated us from the blinders and shackles of supernaturalism. It’s one of the crown jewels of the Enlightenment, which is utterly despised by contemporary creationists. (This blog’s third post was Discovery Institute: Enemies of the Enlightenment.)

We know that creationists are feeling particularly ornery today, because we’ve seen it before — but this time it’s likely to be even worse for them. Or it certainly should be.

Why? Because in the past few days, the news has been all over the place that, in the words of PhysOrg’s headline: Gravitational waves detected 100 years after Einstein’s prediction. You already know about this, so a couple of excerpts should be sufficient:

For the first time, scientists have observed ripples in the fabric of spacetime called gravitational waves, arriving at Earth from a cataclysmic event in the distant universe. This confirms a major prediction of Albert Einstein’s 1915 general theory of relativity and opens an unprecedented new window to the cosmos.

[…]

“This detection is the beginning of a new era: The field of gravitational wave astronomy is now a reality,” says Gabriela González, LSC spokesperson and professor of physics and astronomy at Louisiana State University.

Nothing like that has ever happened regarding creationism. That’s because religion and theology appeared millennia before the scientific method was developed. They do different things and they use different methods, so the achievements of science are and will remain outside the experience of religion. Creationists will never — we repeat, never — have a moment like the one which just occurred regarding gravitational waves. They must forever sit on the sidelines, watching science go from triumph to triumph, while they take comfort in believing that we’re bound for the Lake of Fire.

And so, dear reader, your Curmudgeon wishes you a Happy Darwin Day!

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

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Mississippi Creationism Bill Doomed by Its Author

We’ve been writing about creationist legislation for a few years now, but this is the funniest thing we’ve ever seen.

Yesterday we wrote Mississippi Creationism: New Bill for 2016. It’s one of those typical attempts to sneak creationism into the public schools, based on the Discovery Institute’s Academic Freedom bill. We’ve critiqued their model bill here: Curmudgeon’s Guide to “Academic Freedom” Laws.

The legislative genius who gets credit for being the lead author of the bill is real estate salesman Mark Formby. That’s his page at the Mississippi legislature’s website. Formby probably doesn’t realize it yet, but he has already destroyed his bill with a single press interview.

We present to you, dear reader, some excerpts from Bill would allow teachers to promote creationism, which appears in the Hattiesburg American, located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The bold font was added by us:

Rep. Mark Formby, R-Picayune, said a constituent told him a teacher had been questioned after bringing up the theory of creationism, or the religious belief that the universe originated from acts of divine creation.

“I just don’t want my teachers punished in any form or fashion for bringing creationism into the debate. Lots of us believe in creationism,” Formby, the chairman of the House Revenue and Expenditure committee, said. “To say that creationism as a theory is any less valuable than any other theory that nobody can scientifically prove I just think is being close-minded.”

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Formby’s version of the Discoveroid bill has the same misleading language we’ve seen so many times before, about teaching “critical thinking skills” and the “scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses” of theories like evolution. And it has the foolish cover-language that despite its obvious purpose — which Formby has just admitted — it “shall not be construed” to promote any religious doctrine.

Those bills have never fooled anyone. Even Formby knows what it is, but creationism is such a common belief in Mississippi that it doesn’t occur to him that he’s supposed to lie about it. The newspaper says:

While the bill states objective debates should be allowed, Formby said he hopes the bill would allow teachers to express their opinions as well.

Hey — why not? Who needs objectivity in a science class? Let’s read on:

“If a teacher believes in global warming, she should be able to say ‘I believe in global warming,’ then if she believes the Earth was created by a Supreme Being, that maybe there are other theories than the big bang theory where there was nothing, then nothing exploded and created something.”

Yeah — anything goes! We continue:

There are no punishments laid out in the bill for administrators or school board members who interfere with a teacher’s discussion of these topics, but Formby’s hope is that if the bill becomes law, teachers could point to it to challenge any complaints.

Right — creationist teachers need academic freedom.

Aside from Formby’s catastrophically honest interview — which will surely kill his creationist legislation — his bill may have other problems: The Hattiesburg American tells us:

The bill was referred to the House Education Committee, which Rep. John Moore, R-Brandon, chairs. Moore, who is listed as a co-author on the bill but has not carefully reviewed it, said it is unlikely he will bring it up. “We’re very limited on the amount of legislation we move forward,” Moore said. “This has a long way to go to make it through the process, if I even bring it up.”

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! The bill is likely to die in committee, even without Formby’s interview. Then the newspaper quotes some remarks by Glenn Branch of the National Center for Science Education. That’s good stuff, and you’ll want to click over there to read it. Well, here’s one quote. He said that under Formby’s proposal:

“There’s no reason a teacher couldn’t say that women or blacks are inferior, or … that the Earth was flat or the sun goes around the Earth, and then couldn’t be shut down by the administration.”

Glenn can probably stop worrying about Mississippi — at least this time around. But there’s always next year.

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

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Creationist Wisdom #655: Best Letter Ever?

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Waterloo Region Record of Kitchener, Ontario. The letter is titled So many theories , and the newspaper doesn’t have a comments section.

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!

The theory of evolution begins with the Big Bang, where all matter and antimatter of the universe was primordially compacted at infinite density or zero size but exploded billions of years ago.

Every sentence of John’s letter is like that. It’s pure gold! Then he says:

A black body radiation in the background of the heavens is assumed to be the remnant of the explosion.

“Assumed.” BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Before the Cosmic microwave background was found, its existence was predicted, because it was a necessary consequence of the Big Bang, and its existence was inconsistent with every competing theory. Let’s read on:

But the evolution of life demands the impossible change of dead matter into plants and living creatures, which animate and multiply.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! “Impossible change” of dead matter into “plants and living creatures” (plants aren’t alive), which “animate.” This is fantastic stuff! Let us, ah, animate ourselves to John’s next brilliant sentence:

And that people change the surface of the earth whereas animals leave it as it is.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! What does that mean — gopher holes disprove evolution? John continues:

We also invent iPads and put humans on the moon with rockets because we have spiritual faculties.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Here’s more:

Evolution is a theory for the past which is not observable and it makes animals out of men. It has to be accepted by faith, like the vast ages, for evolution and expansion.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Moving along:

The latter [expansion] is verified by a redness of receding galaxies according to the Doppler shift but the red can be intrinsic also.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Yes, Edwin Hubble was a fool! He failed to realize that the strict association of each galaxy’s “intrinsic” redness and its distance from us is just a coincidence. Another excerpt:

Further, ages for evolution and expansion do not contradict one another but the agreement is still theoretical.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Yes, it’s merely “theoretical” that every field of science is consistent with every other. And now we come to the end of John’s magnificent letter:

Ultimately we have a free choice to believe in human theory or in the Scriptures based on faith only.

John has made his choice. Go, dear reader, and do thou likewise.

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

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