Category Archives: Science

Super Blood Wolf Moon — Aaaargh!!

This is a big crisis for us. A major omen will appear in the heavens this weekend, and the two websites we rely upon the most are both down. Well, NASA’s website is functioning, but it’s barely being updated because of the government funding shutdown. And then there’s WorldNetDaily, one of the wildest creationist sites in existence and a great source for end-of-the-world predictions. For some reason, their website is totally shut down.

So we turn to National Geographic. Their headline is How to see the last ‘blood moon’ eclipse of the decade. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

In a few nights, sky-watchers across the Americas will have a front-row seat to a rare cosmic event, as three lunar phenomena converge to give rise to what some people are calling a super blood wolf moon. [What?] While that may sound like a song straight out of a 1970s rock opera, it’s actually a term for a type of total lunar eclipse.

They explain:

During totality, the full moon does not disappear entirely and instead turns a rusty shade of red, earning it the moniker “blood moon.” This lunar eclipse happens to coincide with the wolf moon, the traditional name for the January full moon. What’s more, the moon on January 20 will be unusually close to Earth and so will be slightly bigger and brighter, making it a so-called supermoon.

Ooooooooooooh! That sounds ominous. National Geographic says:

Total lunar eclipses … happen only during a full moon, and only when the sun, Earth, and moon are precisely aligned so that the darkest part of our planet’s shadow completely blankets the lunar disk. This usually happens twice a year, on average, and each total eclipse can be seen from only one hemisphere of Earth.

The last total eclipse of the moon occurred on July 27, 2018, and was visible across Africa and parts of Asia. This year’s total eclipse will be the first to be seen in its entirety in North America in nearly three and half years. Americans missing this one will have to wait until May 26, 2021, to get their next chance at viewing a blood moon.

They also tell us:

Why is it also a super wolf moon? According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, Native Americans and colonial Europeans dubbed the January full moon the wolf moon, because wolves in the region would purportedly start howling in hunger due to midwinter paucity. This month’s wolf moon eclipse is even more special because the lunar disk will appear to be slightly larger than usual. The moon will be at perigee — its closest point to Earth — just 59 minutes before the height of the eclipse. This will make the lunar disk appear 13 percent larger and about 16 percent brighter than the average full moon.

Hey — did you notice what they didn’t tell us? Perhaps they’re trying to avoid a panic, or maybe it’s just bad editing, but they don’t give the date for this event. No problem. Your Curmudgeon knows how to Google. Assuming you’re in the Western Hemisphere, it’ll be this Sunday night, 20 January, and because there’s a midnight involved, it extends into early Monday, 21 January.

So now what? Our advice, as always when end-of-the-world events occur, is this: 1. Stay indoors and avoid looking outside. 2. If you have a basement or storm cellar, get into it and don’t come out until daylight. Otherwise, crawl under the bed and stay there. 3. Turn off all electrical appliances, lights, computers, etc. Don’t even use a flashlight. 4. If you have a hoodie, wear it and don’t take it off all night. 5. Avoid all carnal temptations, because at such times one is especially susceptible to the Devil’s influence.

If you remain pure in body and mind, you might survive. If not, we bid you farewell and close with this:

Thats all folks

Copyright © 2019. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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The Seven F’s of Creationism

Your Curmudgeon begins by asking for your indulgence during this post. For purely whimsical reasons, our points will begin with the letter “F.” Okay, here we go!

All the holy-moley creationists we’ve encountered are outrageously selective in their acceptance of the “science” found in the bible. They’re fanatical about the Fall of the First couple — Adam & Eve (we’ll count that as one “F.”) They’re equally fanatical about the Flood and the Fixed nature of animal “kinds” — that is, one “kind” can’t evolve into another. They’re also insistent about the Flexible speed of light, which is essential in order for the universe to be young and the stars — although millions of light years away – were instantly viable during creation week.

But that’s only four F doctrines. There are other “facts” in the bible that creationists simply ignore. Our favorite is that The Earth Is Flat! Dozens of bible verses say so, and none say otherwise, but most professional creationists aren’t Flat Earthers.

Then there’s the Fixed central location of Earth — see The Earth Does Not Move! For some inexplicable reason, creationists all seem to accept the solar system, which is outrageously un-biblical.

And how about the Firmament? It’s mentioned several times in Genesis 1. It divides the waters, the stars are set in the firmament, and heaven is above it. The firmament shows God’s handiwork, yet creationists refuse to accept it.

We’ve undoubtedly overlooked other “science” facts in the bible that creationists routinely ignore. Some are too trivial to bother with. Others aren’t, but they don’t fit into our “F” treatment — like the value of pi. So we’re calling upon you, dear reader. What have we left out? What other “truths” of bible science are creationists ignoring?

We conclude by repeating our challenge to creationists: Those who claim that they follow the path of holiness by being young-earth creationists are deceiving themselves if they do not proclaim the scriptural truth of all the F doctrines — including Flat Earth, the Firmament, and the Fixed central location of the Earth. Creationists who reject any of the foregoing are hereby declared to be hypocrites and blasphemers, who will spend eternity in the lake of Fire.

Copyright © 2019. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Discoveroids Say SETI Is Creation Science

Vomit

Get the vomit bowl handy, dear reader, and you should probably put on a poncho too. This one from the Discovery Institute is certain to cause massive heaves. It involves SETI (the Search for extraterrestrial intelligence), a topic they despise because they fear one day it will demonstrate that we’re not the unique purpose of the universe created by their supernatural designer — blessed be he! Nevertheless, they claim SETI is using their methods.

It’s an old topic with them — see Discoveroids: SETI and Intelligent Design, and also More on SETI & Intelligent Design.

Their latest is titled Government Funds…Intelligent Design?, and it has no author’s by-line. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Some research projects involving ID principles are acceptable to the mainstream scientific community. [What?] Guess which one got government funding, too. If you guessed SETI, you’re right. SETI would not exist if it were not possible to distinguish intentional signals from natural ones.

Vomiting yet? The Discoveroids claim that detecting an obviously artificial signal is the same thing as noticing that a microbe has a flagellum. Then they say:

Because the term SETI carries some political baggage, the preferred buzzword these days is “technosignatures.” Coined by SETI career person Jill Tarter in 2007 as a contraction of “technological signatures,” they are indicators of “technological activity…which could indicate not only life but advanced intelligence.” Last April, according to Universe Today [link omitted], the Congressional Appropriations Bill directed NASA to “to begin supporting the scientific search for technosignatures as part of their larger search for extra-terrestrial life” (emphasis added).

How could this be happening in the Trump administration? (Sorry, we couldn’t resist.) Back to the Discoveroids. They tell us:

The S-word SETI has remained a golden albatross on NASA’s neck, making administrators skittish to bring it up again. “Technosignatures” is just abstruse enough to evade most Congressional waste hunters. A related jargon word, “astrobiology” has succeeded well at NASA. In fact, the search for generic “life” in space has become a principal goal throughout the agency. Hardly a planet or body gets reported without highly imaginative speculations about life there.

Enough of that. Let’s get to the creationism — or “intelligent design” as the Discoveroids prefer to call it. They get to it slowly:

As exciting as it might be to find microbes or plants on another world, though, the real tingly feeling among SETI enthusiasts comes from the dream of communicating with other minds — or even just knowing they exist. … [N]o creature besides the human being uses tools to make tools. No other mammal builds radio telescopes to beam messages into the lonely void, seeking answers to philosophical questions that have nothing to do with reproduction, fitness, or survival. The I in SETI specifies a targeted search for this kind of intelligence: minds who build things for a purpose.

Yes, we know. Where’s the creationism? Here it comes:

The commonality of SETI with ID is inescapable. [Huh?] By funding the search for technosignatures, no matter how modest the funding level at this time, NASA is essentially funding ID research. Technosignature hunters may argue that ID is not applicable, because, in their view, the alien beings evolved by Darwinian evolution. The actual methods of search, however, as well as the search targets, involve design by intelligent beings.

Had enough yet? No? Okay, here’s another excerpt:

This is where the news about the NASA workshop becomes curious. The search for extraterrestrial technology requires ID principles, but the workshop attendees, a Who’s Who of SETI Darwinians, dare not use the forbidden phrase “intelligent design.” [The cowards!] Browsing the articles, we find their alternative words and phrases, but the same ideas:

We’ll skip several paragraphs of Discoveroid language games. Here’s their final paragraph, which is virtually incomprehensible:

Incidentally, nobody seems to be complaining about “methodological naturalism” (MN) [i.e., the scientific method] in this new SETI program. Suppose they find a technosignature. They will have found evidence of a mind at work — the mind of a being they know nothing about. It might not even be physical, for all they know. Would the metaphysical naturalists call such a discovery outside the bounds of science? We all know what minds can do, such as creating Mount Rushmores and Eiffel Towers. If it would be senseless to limit the explanation for our monuments to natural causes, it is just as senseless to require MN for explaining alien technosignatures.

That’s it, dear reader. According to the Discoveroids, SETI involves their unique brand of supernatural science, and if anything is found out there it will be proof of Oogity Boogity! So what do you think? Should we “teach the controversy,” or should we compassionately commit the Discoveroids to a lunatic asylum?

Copyright © 2019. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Flat Earth Belief Is Increasing

The Cosmic Aardvark

We’ve been looking for an opportunity to display our picture of the Cosmic Aardvark — who preceded all lesser gods — and this looks like the perfect time.

PhysOrg has this disturbing article: Why do some people believe the Earth is flat? Surprisingly, the one thing they don’t mention is that the bible is a flat Earth book — see The Earth Is Flat! Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

If you type ‘flat Earth’ into Google, you’d be joining a group of people that have helped to triple the search term over the last couple of years. In fact, a recent YouGov poll found that only around two-thirds of Americans aged between 18 and 24 believe that the Earth is round.

We have long suspected that the new generation are confused and misguided about almost everything, and now we’ve got some confirmation. It’s not just our Curmudgeonly nature. Those gull-durned kids really are crazy! PhysOrg says:

Although the idea the Earth is flat has been scientifically discredited [Gasp!], there seems to be a growing belief in the conspiracy theory. And it’s getting more traction than some of the other conspiracies out there, like chemtrails (which proposes that a plane’s long-lasting condensation trail is actually made up of chemical or biological agent).

Interest in most of these other far-fetched theories remains stable but the flat-Earth movement is growing, particularly in America. And it has some high-profile supporters. From basketball players to musicians, rappers to TV hosts, a number of celebrities are jumping on the flat Earth bandwagon.

How can scientists compete with basketball players, musicians, and rappers? After several paragraphs explaining the Earth’s actual shape, which we’re skipping because we assume you know that stuff, they tell us:

Well, in part, according to School of Culture and Communication lecturer Dr. Jennifer Beckett, it’s due to a general shift towards populism and a distrust in the views of experts and the mainstream media. “It’s really about the power of knowledge, and that increasing distrust in what we once considered to be the gatekeepers of knowledge – like academics, scientific agencies, or the government,” Dr. Beckett says.

In this kind of environment, “it becomes really easy for once-fringe views to gain traction. You get a bunch of people around you who are constantly reaffirming your belief.” Dr. Beckett also notes that the burgeoning movement speaks to how so-called social media “influencers” can now hold more sway than an expert in the field.

We hope the creationists aren’t reading this. PhysOrg continues:

Dr. Beckett notes that the flat Earth community uses various social media platforms in distinct, overlapping ways in order to create a kind of ecosystem around their beliefs.Youtube becomes a content hub, Facebook becomes an administrative one-stop shop for that hub, and Twitter continually pushing out the messaging,” she says, likening Youtube to a sort of alternative documentary channel for flat earthers.

PhysOrg goes on and on. They don’t seem to have any answers, but you may enjoy reading what they have to say. Even if you don’t, we’ve displayed our picture of the Cosmic Aardvark, and that makes the whole thing worth while.

Copyright © 2019. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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