Category Archives: Science

Creationist Wisdom #907: Science Is a Fairy Tale

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the News-Gazette of Champaign, Illinois. It doesn’t look like they have a comments feature. The letter is titled Philosophies are posing as science.

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 Bill. Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, some bold font for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]. Here we go!

The word science simply means knowledge. [Huh?] The Darwinian atheists have hijacked the field of science and redefined science to mean naturalism. Naturalism means that the only explanation for the universe, humanity, all plants and animals is by natural processes.

That’s how ol’ Hambo defines science, and he does it because it’s nearly meaningless — see Creationism and Science. The National Academy of Sciences defines science as: “The use of evidence to construct testable explanations and predictions of natural phenomena, as well as the knowledge generated through this process.” Anyway, Bill says:

Basically, the religion of atheism [Hee hee!] is the only explanation for our existence. All their scientific endeavors are already foregone conclusions because their definition of science is exclusively naturalism.

Bill is definitely a fan of Hambo’s website. Then he tells us:

The Big Bang philosophy is an atheistic explanation of the universe. Ninety-six percent of the stuff (dark matter and dark energy), we do not know what it is. Based on this fact, it is ludicrous to say the Big Bang Theory is based on fact.

Right — no facts. Genesis is so much better! Bill continues:

Another ludicrous non-scientific theory is that life came from non-life through natural processes. Also, there is no evidence in the fossil record of molecules to man based on natural processes. [Groan!] The atheistic worldview is a fairy tale.

That’s more Hambo stuff, including the “molecules to man” expression. Let’s read on:

Biblical Christianity is redemption, reconciliation and restoration to our creator. There is no conflict between my Biblical beliefs (Genesis) and science.

How can Bill’s religion conflict with science when it’s based on no observable facts? It’s just something that’s out there — way out there. Another excerpt:

The atheists have not disproven God and the Bible. I am vehemently opposed to atheism and unproven atheistic philosophies masquerading as science.

Science is all about observing and explaining reality. It doesn’t worry about disproving fairies, leprechauns or a thousand other folk-beliefs for which there is no evidence. But wait — Bill has evidence, and he tells us what it is:

Romans 1:20: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”

Can’t argue with that! And now we come to the end:

By the way, everyone believes in God at the moment of death, even the godless unrepentant atheist.

We haven’t died yet, so we can’t argue with that either. Great letter, Bill!

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Nobel Prize for ‘Directed Evolution’

There are a zillion headlines about this today, and the creationists are certain to take notice. We’ll use the article in Nature, titled ‘Test-tube’ evolution wins Chemistry Nobel Prize.

You can read it online without a subscription, and we know you’re going to click over there, so we’ll just hit the main points. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and this time we’ll leave out the occasional Curmudgeonly interjections:

Ways to speed up and control the evolution of proteins to produce greener technologies and new medicines have won three scientists the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Chemical engineer Frances Arnold, at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, is just the second woman to win the prize in the past 50 years. She was awarded half of the 9-million-Swedish-krona (US$1 million) pot. The remaining half was shared between Gregory Winter at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK, and George Smith at the University of Missouri in Columbia.

What did they do? Nature says:

Arnold carried out pioneering work in the 1990s on ‘directed evolution’ of enzymes. She devised a method for inducing mutations in enzyme-producing bacteria and then screening and selecting the bacteria to speed up and direct enzyme evolution. These enzymes, proteins that catalyse chemical reactions, are now used in applications from making biofuels to synthesizing medical drugs.

“Biology has this one process that’s responsible for all this glorious complexity we see in nature,” she told Nature shortly after the prize announcement on 3 October. But although nature operates blindly, scientists know what chemical properties they want to get from an enzyme, and her techniques accelerate natural selection towards those goals. “It’s like breeding a racehorse.”

You know that a certain creationist outfit in Seattle is going to grab that phrase “directed evolution” to claim this is evidence for you-know-what, but let’s keep reading. Nature tells us:

Arnold also faced an uphill battle when she put forward the idea of evolving proteins in the lab, says Dane Wittrup, a protein engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. At the time, researchers thought that they would be able to sit down at a computer and rationally design proteins to carry out specific functions. “It was counter-cultural at the time,” he says. “But now, by and large, directed evolution is how the work is done.”

Nicholas Turner, an organic chemist at the University of Manchester, UK, agrees. “Pretty much every enzyme that is used for commercial-scale application will have been through some form of directed evolution,” he says.

This is our last excerpt:

“This year’s prize in chemistry rewards a revolution based on evolution,” said Claes Gustafsson, chair of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry 2018, during the prize announcement. “Our laureates have applied principles of Darwin in the test tubes, and used this approach to develop new types of chemicals for the greatest benefit of humankind.”

Okay, now lets sit back and wait for the creationists to claim that this proves they were right all along. Yeah, except that a lot of beneficial medicine is being produced this way — not by the cosmic designer. And of course, creationists have no explanation for why diseases exist in the first place — unless they want to trot out Adam & Eve. Anyway, it’ll be fun to watch their reactions.

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Self-Published Genius #79: God and NASA

Today we have an amazing addition to our series about Self-Published Geniuses, where we bring you news of authors with a vanity press book in which the author claims to have made paradigm-shattering discoveries, and announces his work by hiring a press release service.

The press release is titled Robert Nance’s “It’s Not Rocket Science; It’s All about Faith” is a Phenomenal Recounting of the Author’s Eventful Life of Space Science and Personal Circumstances, issued by PR Web, which describes itself as “the leader in online news distribution and publicity.” It says, with some bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

“It’s Not Rocket Science”: a gripping and potent account of Robert Nance’s journey in the field of astronomy, in business, and as a loving family man. “It’s Not Rocket Science” is the creation of published author, Robert Nance, a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his contribution to the Apollo 13 Mission Operations Team, a pleasure boat business owner, and a sales manager for a BMW dealership in Richmond, Virginia.

Wow — the author sounds like a real person! The press release quotes him:

Nance shares, “The Lord had gotten me to that point through a long list of improbable events. As I write this, I am far more amazed than I was at the time. When you are young, you think anything is possible. When you are older you realize that things like this just don’t happen unless the Lord is with you, guiding you step by step. So much had been accomplished in the two short years that I had been at NASA [the National Aeronautics and Space Administration]. I give the Lord all the praise and glory.

The Lord gets the credit for what NASA accomplished! Then we’re given this useful information:

Published by Christian Faith Publishing …

We must interrupt that sentence. Christian Faith Publishing is a name we keep running into. Here’s their website: Christian Faith Publishing. It leaves no doubt — they’re a vanity publisher. They even let authors pay their fees on a monthly installment plan. Okay, with that, and the press release, we know the book qualifies for our collection.

Let’s return to that sentence from the press release:

Published by Christian Faith Publishing, Robert Nance’s new book is a sublime example of science and faith working together and proving [proving!] the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent God, unbound by the laws of the universe yet comprehensible enough to be relied and trusted upon.

That, dear reader, is one of the most stunning claims we’ve ever encountered. Read it again. Let it sink in.

There’s nothing else of interest in the press release, except that they link to a promotion on YouTube. It’s the sort of thing we’ve seen from this publisher before — less than a minute long and not terribly informative.

So we looked for the book at Amazon. Here it is: It’s Not Rocket Science: It’s All about Faith. They have a preview feature, but we didn’t look into it. Hey — the book costs only $16.95 in paperback, and it’s got 246 pages. There’s only one review so far, but it gives the book five stars!

So there you are, dear reader. You can’t resist, can you? Go ahead — buy the book. You won’t regret it.

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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ICR: It’s a Young Solar System

You gotta see this one from the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom. Their post is titled Our Young Solar System.

It was written by Jake Hebert. This is ICR’s bio page on Jake. They say he received his Ph.D. in 2011 from the University of Texas and then — the same year! — he “joined ICR in 2011 as a research associate.” Jake’s entire working career has been at ICR. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Secular astronomers insist our universe is 13.8 billion years old and our solar system is 4.6 billion years old. These claims contradict the Bible’s clear teaching of a recent six-day creation.

Those secular astronomers are fools! Jake says:

In spite of the secular scientists’ claims, the enormous amount of data collected by unmanned space probes in the last half-century strongly confirms that the planets, moons, and comets in our solar system are quite young. Even when favorable old-universe assumptions are made, the data suggest that the maximum possible ages for these bodies are much, much younger than 4.6 billion years. And since these are maximum, not minimum, possible ages, the age estimates are consistent with a solar system that is just 6,000 years old.

Jake then goes around the solar system, presenting his arguments as to why everything is young. It’s way too much bother to debunk it all. You can read his whole post if you like. Here’s a brief sampling of what awaits you: Jake tells us:

Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune all give off more energy than they receive from the sun. If these bodies are billions of years old, why did they not become cold and dead eons ago?

[…]

Secular scientists believe comets are leftovers from the formation of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago. Beautiful comet tails form when solar radiation causes ices on comet nuclei to vaporize as the comet draws near to the sun. Since comets lose material every time their elliptical orbits take them close to the sun, they should disintegrate in, at most, hundreds of thousands of years. If the solar system is billions of years old, why do all these comets still exist?

[…]

[S]cientists were shocked when images taken by the New Horizons spacecraft showed that the dwarf planet Pluto is still geologically active, despite its small size. This activity requires internal energy to drive it, but secular astrophysicists don’t know how tiny, distant Pluto could have maintained this energy for billions of years.

Here’s the end of it:

Since the Creator Himself has testified in His Word that He created everything recently, should we really be surprised that the scientific data confirm this?

Go ahead, dear reader. Click over there and read it all. We’re sure you’ll agree that Jake made the right decision when he decided to spend his entire career at ICR.

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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