Category Archives: Science

Creationist Wisdom #572: God, Not Science

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in The Southern Illinoisan of Carbondale, Illinois. The letter is titled God, not science, is the basis for truth. The newspaper has a comments section.

Because the 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 Stanley. Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

In response to Jon Alexander’s recent column When ‘God’ Kills Progress, I say He does not.

The column Stanley linked to is a good one, blasting a bible-quoting, science-denying Congressman over the issue of climate change. Stanley supports the science-denier. He says:

Where would our world be without Isaac Newton (physics), Louis Pasteur (biology), Werner von Braun (Apollo space missions), Raymond Damadian (MRI) and many other Bible-believing scientist?

We see that a lot, although they never mention Galileo. Yes, there have been and still are religious scientists. But the scientific ideas they’re known for weren’t in scripture. Nothing in science has ever been based on Genesis. Then Stanley gives us some counter-examples:

On the other hand, secular evolution has spawned such “reasonable” thinkers as Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot, who combined to murder over 30 million people.

Aaaargh!! Hey, that’s how these people think. They’re completely unhinged from reality. Stanley continues:

Leviticus doesn’t address thermonuclear reactions. [The earlier column mentioned that.] It does address conservation (chapter 7), personal hygiene (15), human dependence on blood (17), sexual immorality (18), caring for the poor (25), and many other issues, if you actually read it.

Should we bother to chase down those examples of biblical science? Okay, okay. Here’s what Leviticus 16 teaches us about hygiene: There are a few passages about washing before sacrificing a young bullock. That’s good to know. What about blood? Leviticus 17 talks about sprinkling the blood of sacrifices on the altar. Wait — there’s more. Verses 10 and 11 say:

10 And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood; I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people.

11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.

Stanley’s right. That’s great science! Here’s more:

God affirms government and obedience to it (Romans 13, 1 Peter 2). History gives valuable insight about governments. Those that respect God and the Bible prosper, while those that ignore God and use the Bible for toilet paper don’t.

Yeah, the bible is a great handbook for government. But for some reason, the American Constitution doesn’t establish a biblical monarchy.

Then Stanley criticizes Al Gore for traveling around in a Lear jet. That’s fine. Your Curmudgeon is no fan of Al Gore. Moving along:

God did promise Noah that “while the earth remains…seed time and harvest…shall not cease”. Conversely, the Climate Research Institute in England has been implicated in using bad data to promote the climate change agenda.

Yeah, okay. God promised there will be no climate problems. And now we come to the end:

So it all comes down to trust for me. Regarding this global “threat”, do I put my faith in highly speculative (and sometimes humanly manipulated) computer models, or the highly reliable word of God? I’ll stick with the word of God.

Well, that was mostly about climate change, which isn’t a big topic around here, but the anti-science attitude and the style of argument are the same as those used by creationists, so this is a good letter for our collection.

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

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Creationist Wisdom #569: Say “No” to Science

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Spectrum, published in Cedar City, Utah. It’s titled Secularism has no place in education.

Yes, dear reader, that’s a spectacular title. It’s difficult to believe, but the letter is equal to it. This is one of the better ones in our series. An icon below the headline gets you to the newspaper’s comments section.

Because the writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote her by using her full name. Her first name is Donna. Excerpts from her letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

l. The Constitution doesn’t authorize federal involvement in Education, period.

2. You say “science is not religion” but a Godless explanation of life IS the religion of Secularism.

Yes, that’s how she starts, with two numbered points. Her first point is correct — except for specialized situations like military training. As for her second point, well, we don’t need to say anything. Then she tells us:

Everyone has faith in something; either a Designer worldview or one that attempts explanation without God. Just don’t call that science!

Okay, Donna. Everything is religion. Happy? Let’s read on:

Our inability to explain a phenomena [sic] does not disprove it’s [sic] reality: “the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.”

That quote is usually attributed to Carl Sagan, and it’s often misused. It’s technically correct that if no evidence has yet been discovered to support an hypothesis, that doesn’t literally disprove the hypothesis (“conjecture” is a better word in this context), but until some verifiable, unambiguous evidence is presented, the idea can’t be taken seriously. Donna continues:

The NGSS [a reference to the evolution-friendly Next Generation Science Standards] mixes few facts with mostly environmentalism and nature worship, or Secular religion: explaining the universe without God. So much for “science is not religion.”

Yeah, so much for that! Now Donna gives us two more of her famous numbered points:

3. Evolution is a theory perpetrated as fact; while Scientist Michael Behe (National Academy of Science) says : “Life shows powerful measurable evidence of a Designer.” Why is his research rejected? I thought “science” included the “scientific method.” What a double standard.

Michael Behe is a member of the National Academy of Sciences? We searched, but couldn’t find his name listed. Well, phooey on them! Behe is a Discoveroid senior fellow. Moving along:

4. Evolution from apes, global warming, people’s destructive impact on the earth, and the implication for de-population, are taught as facts, not theories. The “fact versus faith” premise is misleading when “facts” are cherry-picked, while research that disproves an agenda is rejected. It takes “faith” to believe the Secular religion labeled as “science.”

Words fail us. And now we come to the stunning climax of the letter:

The statist religion of Secularism has NO PLACE in our education system.

There’s nothing we can say, dear reader. We’ll leave that to you.

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

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Ken Ham: Geocentric Universe, No Aliens

The Creationists' Universe

The Creationists’ Universe

That illustration shows the creationists’ view of the universe. We see man, the climax of creation — and certainly no kin to no monkey — standing on the immovable flat Earth which is supported by pillars, and the sun goes around the Earth. Our world was created to be the principal focus of divine attention. That’s how the bible describes things, so that’s what a true creationist believes. There’s nothing else out there worth knowing about.

We’ve posted a few times before about creationism’s view of life on worlds other than Earth. The last time was Ken Ham: Aliens Are Going to Hell!, in which he said:

I’m shocked at the countless hundreds of millions of dollars that have been spent over the years in the desperate and fruitless search for extraterrestrial life. … Of course, secularists are desperate to find life in outer space, as they believe that would provide evidence that life can evolve in different locations and given the supposed right conditions! The search for extraterrestrial life is really driven by man’s rebellion against God in a desperate attempt to supposedly prove evolution!

Now we have a new essay from Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia, famed for his creationist ministry, Answers in Genesis (AIG) and for the infamous, mind-boggling Creation Museum.

Ol’ Hambo’s latest is Alien Life a Decade Away from Discovery? This is important, because Hambo is not only the world’s holiest man who understands scripture better than anyone else, he also understands science better than anyone else. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

The media has once again been buzzing with the claims of secular astronomers that alien life is just a few years away from sure discovery. Reportedly, NASA’s chief scientist Ellen Stofan predicted that, “We’re going to have strong indications of life beyond Earth within a decade, and I think we’re going to have definitive evidence within 20 to 30 years.”

Hambo gives some quotes from her recent remarks, but it might be better if you watched her for yourself in this brief video. Then Hambo says:

Evolutionists are convinced they’ll find life in outer space because if evolution occurred here on Earth, then it must have occurred somewhere else. According to secularists, Earth is not special. In their view, it’s just one of many places where, over the supposed billions of years of the universe’s history, life managed to come from non-life and begin the process of evolution. Despite a lack of evidence, scientists are becoming increasingly convinced that life will be found soon. … But from a biblical perspective we shouldn’t expect to find life in outer space.

Does the bible really say that? Not explicitly. Hambo prudently says:

Now, we are not told in Scripture if there is no life on other planets or moons.

That’s true. In fact, other planets are barely mentioned, and there’s no hint that any of them have their own moons. As we’ve noted before, the entire bible mentions the planets only once — in 2 Kings 23:5. According to the King James version:

And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven.

The only thing we’re told about other planets is not to burn incense unto them. Nevertheless, Hambo knows what’s out there and what isn’t. He continues:

Life did not evolve on Earth or anywhere else but was specially created by our Creator as Genesis clearly tells us. Isaiah tells us that Earth was formed to be inhabited (Isaiah 45:18) and Earth is clearly the focus of God’s attention. It is to Earth that God Himself came down in the person of Jesus Christ to dwell among men and die and rise again for our salvation. Christ did not come and die for Martians or other extraterrestrials — He came as the “God-man” to die for mankind, descendants of Adam and Eve. So we have good reason to say that there isn’t intelligent extraterrestrial life, and it’s doubtful that there is even microbial life in outer space, though Scripture doesn’t completely rule out the possibility.

Hambo’s right again. Scripture doesn’t rule out extra-terrestrial microbial life; however it doesn’t mention microbes on Earth either — yet they’re everywhere. Make of that what you will.

Okay, that’s it for aliens. Now get ready for the geocentric universe:

According to secularists there is no center of the universe, so Earth isn’t in any kind of special place. It’s simply a rocky chunk that was in just the right place in our solar system for life to evolve. But the biblical perspective is much different. We might not be the physical center of the universe, but we are the theological center of the universe. It is Earth — not the sun, moon, stars, or other planets — that was created first by God on Day One of Creation Week. In fact, after God created the heavens and the Earth, He focused for three days on Earth before He turned again on Day Four to the heavens. These heavens were created, at least in part, to give God glory and to show His handiwork to the world (Psalm 19:1). It is Earth — not Mars, Jupiter, or some exoplanet in another solar system — that is God’s footstool (Isaiah 66:1; Acts 7:49). And it was to this little planet that God sent His Son, Jesus Christ.

They’ve said that before — see AIG: Our Geocentric Universe, but we understand the necessity for repetition. With only one book in the AIG library, their repertoire is limited. Here’s another excerpt:

Many people hope that discovering extraterrestrials will help us answer the deepest questions of life like “where did we come from?,” “where are we going?,” and “what is the meaning of life?” But these questions won’t be answered by hypothetical extraterrestrials! They are only answered in God’s Word. Scripture alone provides the answers to the deep questions that we ask.

Right. One book is all you’ll ever need. Hambo finishes with a reminder from the greatest event in his life — his debate with Bill Nye:

At my debate with Bill Nye “The Science Guy” last year and in response to a question about where matter came from, I answered: “There is a book” (God’s Word). That Book explains where matter came from, the origin of the universe and life, what our human problem is (sin), and the solution to that problem: Jesus Christ.

Now you know all you need to know. In fact, it’s all there is or ever will be to know. Toss out your other books and forget everything your teachers told you. Pay no attention to what those godless scientists are doing. Go to the Creation Museum and learn what you need to know. Do it now, before it’s too late!

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

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John Scopes Was Arrested Today

Today, 05 May, is the 90th anniversary of the day in 1925 when John Scopes was arrested for teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution in a Tennessee public school.

It is well worth remembering that despite endless moaning and wailing by creationists about “Darwinist” bullying, “viewpoint discrimination,” and other forms of persecution, nothing remotely like that has ever happened to a creationist. Creationists don’t have to meet secretly in the catacombs. They are totally free to preach, lecture, sell their books, and display their films at churches, bible colleges, creation museums, or any other facility willing to offer them meeting space, and no one ever thinks to interfere.

The Discovery Institute promotes Expelled, their “documentary” narrated by Ben Stein, allegedly detailing the horrors experienced in academia by creationist professors, but as is explained in Expelled Exposed, the Ben Stein film is nothing but distortions and anti-science propaganda.

The only adverse consequences facing a creationist teacher in a secular institution are failure to get a job he wants, or failure to have his teaching contract renewed, or in extreme cases — like that of John Freshwater — getting fired for violating school policy. But those who have achieved tenure, like Michael Behe (a Discovery Institute “senior fellow”), aren’t fired. He’s still a professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University, although he does endure a bit of ridicule. His colleagues at Lehigh have publicly disassociated themselves from him by issuing this statement: Department Position on Evolution and “Intelligent Design”. But that’s as bad as it gets for creationists. No creationist has ever been arrested and fined, like John Scopes was.

Nevertheless, creationists are quick to point out that they have their martyrs. There’s Stephen Meyer, Vice President and “senior fellow” of the Discovery Institute, whom the Discoveroids praise for his book about the Cambrian “explosion,” Darwin’s Doubt. Meyer was a central figure in the infamous Sternberg peer review controversy. And there’s Guillermo Gonzalez, another Discoveroid “senior fellow” who failed to get tenure at Iowa State University and who ended up teaching at some bible college. He’s a co-author of the classic creationist book, The Privileged Planet, a “fine tuning” argument applied to Earth. He’s one of the creationist martyrs featured in Expelled, but since then he’s been hired by Ball State University, where we assume he’s a Discoveroid sleeper agent.

On the other hand, we’ve seen historical examples of of the consequences that were faced by secular thinkers when religious doctrine was official policy. The examples range from being poisoned, like Socrates, to being burned at the stake like Giordano Bruno, or, like Galileo, to “merely” being threatened with torture, forced to recant his teaching about the solar system, and then being kept under house arrest for the remainder of his life. Galileo’s confrontation with the Inquisition (see the Galileo affair) is the all-time classic example of reason vs theocratic tyranny. We think it even outranks the trial of Socrates, who was executed for “corrupting the youth” of Athens by encouraging his students to question authority.

We emphasize that despite endless propaganda to the contrary, it’s never scientists who commit those atrocities. Science is a product of the Enlightenment — particularly the Scottish Enlightenment, which (quoting from the Wikipedia article) “… asserted the fundamental importance of human reason combined with a rejection of any authority which could not be justified by reason.”

If creationists ever do any research — with verifiable results — that contradicts evolution and supports their “theory,” it will be published in science journals. If there’s a genuine scientific controversy — as there was, for example, in the days when Big Bang theory was challenged by Steady State theory — both theories will be in the textbooks. Litigation won’t be necessary, nor will there be any need for creationists to organize grass-roots movements or to sponsor legislation to get their ideas into the public schools. No genuine science has ever resorted to such activities, but it’s typical of pseudoscience.

So today’s the day when we remember John Scopes. His trial for violating Tennessee’s Butler Act is a striking contrast to all the silly claims of mistreatment we constantly hear from the creationists. Let’s not forget that throughout history, all the genuine persecution has been by religious fanatics, never by scientists.

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

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