Category Archives: Science

Ken Ham Believes Babylonian Science

It is generally agreed that early versions of Genesis were first committed to writing during the period known as the Babylonian captivity, starting in approximately 600 BC. The degree to which the Hebrews appropriated the views of their more advanced conquerors isn’t known — except that the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh existed in 2100 BC (written versions have been found from a few centuries later), and it undoubtedly served as inspiration for the tale of Noah and the Flood. Some have even suggested that it influenced the tale of the Garden of Eden.

Young Earth creationists insist that what they call creation science — based on Genesis — must be true, and all modern science to the contrary is not only blasphemous, but it’s based on false assumptions — i.e., verifiable observations and testable hypotheses. Given the Babylonian influence on Genesis, one might be curious about Babylonian science. Go ahead, search for it. Wikipedia has no entry for that topic, which isn’t surprising — there was nothing we’d recognize as science in those days. What we call science is quite new — it began with people like Galileo and Newton, and it incorporates the logic of Aristotle — of which the Babylonians knew nothing.

Nevertheless, the Babylonians weren’t idiots. Like other cultures of their time, they had some technology, such as agriculture and metallurgy, and they built cities. They had a calendar. Astronomy was primitive, as with all cultures before the invention of the telescope. Being limited to naked eye observations of the heavens, they believed The Earth Does Not Move. And being limited in geographic knowledge by their primitive transportation methods, it’s understandable that they thought The Earth Is Flat. Those beliefs found their way into several scripture passages, which we cited in those two links.

Although young Earth creationists have abandoned the idea of a flat Earth, despite its unambiguous biblical support, and most seem to have accepted the idea that the Earth moves as part of the solar system, they still insist on the truth of everything else in Genesis. Why?

The creation scientists at Answers in Genesis (AIG) — the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — posted this a few days ago: Biblical Authority and the Book of Genesis. It was written by ol’ Hambo himself, so you you know it’s authoritative. You’ve heard all this before, so we’ll give you only a few excerpts, with bold font added by us:

If you can’t trust the Bible when it talks about geology, biology, and astronomy, then how can you trust the Bible when it talks about morality and salvation? The issues of morality and salvation are dependent upon the history in the Bible being true. God does not separate morality and salvation from geology, biology, and astronomy. However, it’s popular today for liberal scholars to claim that the Bible doesn’t speak about science.

But if Hambo is so devoted to what the bible says, then why doesn’t he believe the Earth is flat? He’s never explained that. He does, however, think it’s the center of the universe — see The Center of the Universe, where AIG says:

Present astronomical knowledge recognizes no singular geometrical point in our universe — in accordance with evolutionary ideas. Consequently, there is no geometrical center and also no defined edge. No place in the universe has a special position.

[…]

However, the earth occupies the central position in the entire universe because of its God-given role, even though it may not be in the geometrical center. The first astronomical object that God created was the earth; this clearly indicates its importance amongst all of the other stars and planets. God’s attention focuses on this planet …. . The clearest indication of the earth’s central position is that God’s own Son was sent here.

You might think that if they can wiggle around like that — and completely ignore the numerous biblical declarations that the Earth is flat — they ought to be able to accommodate the rest of science. But you’d be wrong. Back to Hambo’s essay:

You see, the Bible teaches about geology. It states that there was a global Flood. The Bible also teaches about biology. God made distinct kinds of animals and plants. The Bible deals with astronomy. God make the sun, moon, and stars on Day Four for signs and for seasons. Now the Bible doesn’t deal with chemical equations or the laws of physics that helped put man on the moon, but the Bible does give the big picture in geology, biology, and other sciences, to enable people to have the right way of thinking about the universe.

Uh huh, the big picture. Let’s read on:

The history in Genesis 1–11 is foundational to the rest of the Bible. Incidentally, liberal teachers understand the best way to get rid of the Bible. First, get rid of the history (the geology and so on), because once the history’s gone, it’s then just some pie-in-the-sky religion, divorced from its foundation, and ultimately it will collapse. The Bible has been disconnected from the real world and relegated to just a collection of stories. No wonder people are leaving the Church.

The essay is far too long. Here’s one last excerpt:

Friends, we need to contend for the faith. There is a spiritual battle in this world, and it’s about time Christians were willing to stand up for what we believe, be bold, and deal with these issues. The creation movement is part of a movement that God has started to get people back to the foundation of His Word, beginning with Genesis.

So there you are. Hambo — on behalf of God — is engaged in a spiritual battle. The really tragic part is that he’s battling for Babylonian science — which doesn’t exist. But that’s where he wants to take his stand.

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

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WorldNetDaily: NASA UFO Conspiracy

Buffoon Award

Things were really quiet this weekend, but suddenly something really big was brought to our attention by the blaring sirens and flashing lights of the Drool-o-tron™. The blinking letters of its wall display said WorldNetDaily (WND). As you know, WND was an early winner of the Curmudgeon’s Buffoon Award, thus the jolly logo displayed above this post.

The Drool-o-tron™ had locked our computer onto this article at WND’s website: Report: NASA cuts live feed as UFOs fly past Earth.

Wow — that’s the most exciting headline we’ve ever seen! WND has a very active comment section at the end. Their article says, with bold font added by us:

Mysterious footage said to depict three UFOs racing by Planet Earth is causing an out-of-this-world discussion on YouTube, as some people think it’s proof-positive of alien life. The 4-minute long video titled “UFO Mysteries: UFOs, Angels Or Biological Creatures Seen Leaving The Earth?” was uploaded a week ago and has more than 214,000 views.

“Mysterious footage”? UFOs? This is what they’re talking about:

As they say, the video is almost 4 minutes long, and YouTube has over 260 comments. We watched the thing. The first minute and a half is nothing. The UFOs which then show up are also likely to be nothing. Nevertheless, WND tells their drooling readers:

The video, reportedly shot from the International Space Station, shows three unidentified flying objects shooting upward out of Earth’s atmosphere. Just when the lights appear to blast off the planet, the video feed is cut by NASA, with a message subsequently displayed on screen stating: “Please stand by. The High Definition Earth Viewing experiment is either switching cameras, or we are experiencing a s temporary loss of signal with the International Space Station.”

Clearly it’s another government conspiracy. The rest of WND’s article is a bunch of the YouTube comments that they though were worth repeating, followed by some quotes from a couple of newspapers that have reported on the video.

A skeptic may think it’s not much of a story, but it was good enough for WND. Hey — it makes as much sense as creationism. Let us know what you think of it.

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

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What Is the Mysterious Pyramid on Mars?

Pyramid on Mars

Strange things are out there. Surely you all remember when we posted this a few years ago: First, Face on Mars. Now, Arrow on Titan. NASA tried to explain it all away, but questions linger. Then the Daily Mail, a tabloid which is the UK’s second biggest-selling daily newspaper, gave us more news last year about which we wrote Obama’s Face on Mars!

Now, adding to the ever-increasing bewilderment, that same tabloid has this astonishing headline: Alien hunters discover a ‘PYRAMID’ on Mars and claim the ‘near-perfect’ structure was built by an ancient civilisation. The story has generated over three hundred comments at the tabloid’s website. Here are some excerpts from the news story, with bold font added by us:

In their latest bizarre claim, conspiracy theorists say they have found a replica of one of Egypt’s Great Pyramids on Mars. Citing the ‘near-perfect design and shape’, they say the pyramid could be evidence that an ancient civilisation once lived on the red planet

YouTube channel, ParanormalCrucible, used video footage taken by Nasa’s Curiosity Rover on May 7 to back up its claims. ‘None of the Curiosity Rover’s subsequent photos taken at 20 to 30 sec intervals in the following few minutes and the subsequent photos hours later, included the object,’ wrote UFO site Exopolitics. ‘It appears that the Nasa operators of Curiosity deliberately chose not to take another photo or zoom in on the pyramid. ‘If they however did so, none of these subsequent photos were released to the general public.’

The Daily Mail links to some dubious places, so we’ll let you click over there if you want to pursue their sources. But they certainly make this sound like a NASA coverup! Then we’re told:

ParanormalCrucible goes further, claiming the ‘near perfect design and shape’ means the pyramid is: ‘the result of intelligent design and certainly not a trick of light and shadow’.

Aaaargh!! Intelligent design! It certainly looks like it from the NASA photograph which adorns our post. We copied it from the newspaper, assuming it’s not copyrighted. Let’s read on:

But the story strikes a note with conspiracy theorists who believe that civilisations, including our own, have secretly visited Mars and established colonies there.

In November, a woman named ‘Jackie’ called into American radio station, Coast to Coast AM, with a ‘confession’ that she had witnessed suited men running on the red planet in 1979. Jackie said she was working as part of a ‘downstairs’ team downloading telemetry from a Viking Lander when she saw the humans via live feed. ‘I wonder if you could solve a 27-year-old mystery for me,’ she asked the presenter. ‘That old Viking rover was running around. ‘Then I saw two men in space suits – not the bulky suits we normally used, but they looked protective. They came over the horizon walking to the Viking Explorer.’

Jackie’s story sounds credible, doesn’t it? What else is NASA hiding from us? The news continues:

According to Jackie, six other Nasa workers saw the two humans walking on the red planet’s surface. Jackie’s claim follows a similarly bizarre theory by physicist Dr John Brandenburg who believes an ancient civilisation on Mars was wiped out by a nuclear attack from another alien race.

That guy must know what he’s talking about — he’s got a book listed at Amazon: Life and Death on Mars: The New Mars Synthesis. Back to the Daily Mail for one last excerpt:

Dr Brandenburg says ancient Martians known as Cydonians and Utopians were massacred in the attack – and evidence of the genocide can still be seen today. He claims his theory could explain the Fermi Paradox – namely why, if the universe is abundant with life, we haven’t heard anything from anyone else yet. He warns, though, that we need to be fearful of an attack on our own planet, and should mount a manned mission to Mars to know what we’re up against.

Wow — this is really exciting news! We’ll be watching for updates, so stay tuned to this blog!

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

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Stephen Hawking: No Time Travel, No Afterlife

This is at the CNET website: Stephen Hawking waxes dismal on time travel and the afterlife.

There’s nothing especially new here, but it’ll drive the creationists crazy. Besides, if it’s Hawking, that’s good enough for us. After some unnecessary introductory fluff, they say:

[I]n a BBC documentary that aired this week, astrophysicist Stephen Hawking offered nothing but bad news. Hawking was speaking with Dara O’Briain, a comedian who also happens to have studied theoretical physics.

That’s an interesting background for a comedian. They provide a brief video from the documentary if you want to watch it: Dara O Briain meets Stephen Hawking. It’s only three minutes long. Then CNET tells us:

O’Briain was keen to know whether time travel was possible, especially the back-to-the-future kind. He mentioned that in 1992 Hawking had offered the “chronology protection conjecture,” which insisted that if time travel were possible, it certainly could never be backwards time travel. O’Briain, therefore, sniffed that Hawking had ruined the Terminator movies.

Wikipedia has a writeup on that: Chronology protection conjecture. We have our own “Curmudgeon Protection Conjecture,” according to which nature allows no tampering with the past because it might interfere with the existence of your Curmudgeon. Anyway, how did Hawking respond? Let’s read on:

Hawking wasn’t impressed. He wasn’t impressed with the idea that we might one day be able to use black holes to travel back in time, either. He said: “If you jump in a black hole, you will meet an unpleasant fate.”

No argument there. The article continues:

Not even messages, said Hawking, could be sent back in time. This led O’Briain to muse, as Hawking was sitting there: “All science fiction is dead. Thank you, Stephen Hawking.”

Humbug! SF writers — and presumably most readers — don’t literally believe in time travel, but it’s a fun fictional concept. Here’s more:

Hawking wasn’t any more optimistic about humans reaching distant planets. He said: “The present breed of humans won’t reach the stars.” The distances are too great. The radiation exposure would be too severe.

That’s depressing. Moving along:

The only hope he offered — one that surely excites many at Google — is to “genetically engineer humans or send machines.”

There’s no explanation about why that idea would excite “many at Google.” Another excerpt:

But then O’Briain reached the subject of God. Hawking explained he wasn’t persuaded that the Earth was created by God in seven days. He prefers the scientific explanation of the Big Bang.

It was six days, but that’s a trivial matter. On with the article:

Hawking has previously declared that he doesn’t believe in God. But what about an afterlife? Couldn’t we still believe in that? Couldn’t we hope that there might be something beyond this absurd existence?

This is Hawking’s answer:

Hawking sniffed: “I think the afterlife is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”

So there you are. We’re looking forward to the creationists’ reaction.

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

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