Category Archives: Science

Creationist Wisdom #605: Science Leads to God

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Daily Reporter of Greenfield, Indiana. It’s titled Natural world reinforces reason for faith. The newspaper doesn’t have a comments feature.

Unless the letter-writer is a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. But today we’ve got a preacher — Mike Hopper, pastor of Faith United Methodist Church. Excerpts from the rev’s letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

Atheists tell us that the universe and everything in it exists by blind chance, without cause, purpose, or meaning. This view taken to its logical conclusion leaves us with no basis for future hope. For atheists, there is no basis for hope when our lives are broken now, and nothing to believe in beyond death.

Verily, theirs is a wretched existence. But the rev offers hope:

Modern science is continuing to reveal new evidences for the existence of God and his creative power. When our lives are broken by poverty, drugs, divorce, serious illness and family problems, we have an eternal God who still loves us.

That’s a big help. Let’s read on:

An honest and thoughtful review of three universal scientific principles points us to God and His love for us. First, the principle of causality tells us that every effect we see in the universe had a prior cause. Nothing suddenly pops into existence from nothingness. [Mined quote from Robert Jastrow.]

God’s existence, of course, somehow violates the principle of causality, but the rev seems unconcerned. He continues:

Second, the principle of energy filling the universe takes us to the source of creation.

We didn’t know about the “principle of energy filling the universe.” It’s always good to learn new things. Here’s more:

Scientists have recently discovered that “Dark Energy” and “Dark Matter,” which cannot be seen or explained apart from the existence of God, make up 95 percent of everything that exists.

Aha — God explains dark energy and dark matter. We didn’t know that either. This is a great letter! Moving along:

The greatest power you can experience for solving personal problems is not human energy or effort, but divine energy flowing from a loving creator. Tapping into that energy requires only that you honestly seek God, and ask Him to help you.

That’s good to know. Another excerpt:

Third, life itself is providing increasing evidence for the existence of God. Abiogenesis (life springing from non-living things) has been widely supported for more than a century as proof for atheistic evolution.

That’s something else we didn’t know. This is amazing! On with the letter:

However, DNA and RNA molecules are so complex that no scientist has yet produced living and reproducing cells, which are the basic requirement for any human existence. [Quote from Jerry Bergman about “complexity that cannot be bridged by any known natural means.”] Life coming only from life points directly to a life giver.

We’ll skip the inspirational paragraph at the end, but we know you’ll want to click over there to read it. And so we leave the rev’s letter, with our understanding of things greatly enriched. Was it good for you too?

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

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A Tale of Bizarre Biological Research

From time to time we see reports of research we regard as ridiculous. Most often it’s done by sociologists, but this time it was biologists. The story is in PhysOrg: ‘Evolutionary fitness’ key in determining why some females more physically attractive than others. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Scientists from the University of Aberdeen have been working as part of an international collaboration co-ordinated by the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing to try and discover why there is a link between body fatness and perceived physical attractiveness.

Of all the questions that require investigation, few are more important than why svelte is more attractive than tubby. We’re told:

The study, which was funded by the National Science Foundation of China and involved researchers from 10 different institutions around the world, was published today (August 25) in the journal PeerJ.

That journal was started three years ago. Here’s a link to the paper: The relationship of female physical attractiveness to body fatness. You don’t need a subscription to read it online. Let’s stay with PhysOrg:

One idea about how we rate physical attractiveness is based on the impact that different aspects of our bodies (like body fatness) have on evolutionary fitness. For example, we know that above a certain body fatness females have greater risks of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease, and lower fertility, which might make fatter subjects less attractive. On the other hand, in the past fatter people might have had greater abilities to survive famines, making fatness more attractive. This might suggest there is an optimum level of fatness that is maximally attractive which is somewhere in between.

This is a problem that has puzzled scientists for millennia. We continue:

The study was coordinated by Professor John Speakman, of the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing and the Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. Professor Speakman explains: “Fitness in evolutionary terms comprises two things: survival and the ability to reproduce. What we wanted to investigate was the idea that when we look at someone and think they are physically attractive, are we actually making that assessment based on a hard-wired evolutionary understanding of their potential for future survival and reproductive ability?

Brilliant question: “When we look at someone and think they are physically attractive,” what are we really thinking? Here’s more:

To test their idea, the scientists built a mathematical model which combined the relationships between levels of obesity and the future risk of mortality from all causes, and the relationship between obesity and the future possibility of having children. This model predicted that people would perceive females with a body mass index (BMI) of between 24 and 24.8 as being the most physically attractive.

Researchers then tested the prediction on more than 1,300 people, both males and females, from the UK and nine other countries. Participants were shown 21 image cards showing females with different levels of body fatness and were asked to reorder them from least to most attractive.

They tested their mathematical model. This is really great research! What did they discover? We’re told:

In all the populations, males and females rated physical attractiveness of the female images very similarly. The very thinnest images with body mass index of around 19 were rated as most attractive. As fatness increased above that value, the less attractive they were rated. This contrasted the predictions of the mathematical ‘fitness’ model that there should be a peak in attractiveness around a BMI of 24 to 24.8.

Egad — their math model was wrong! Why? Moving along:

The reason for the discrepancy was revealed when subjects were asked how old they thought the people in the images were. In this exercise they judged that the fatter people were older. Age is itself a strong indicator of evolutionary fitness. When the age factor was included into the model the optimum fatness fell to a BMI somewhere between 17 and 20 – corresponding exactly to the images people found to be most attractive.

Amazing! What did the scientists learn from this? Here it comes:

This suggests that we find thinness in females so attractive because we equate it with youth – a BMI of 17-20 corresponds to the average BMI of a young 18-20 year old with maximal fertility and minimal risk of future disease. This was to be consistent across European, African and Asian test groups. Historical exposure to famine does not appear to have been an important factor driving the link between fatness and attractiveness.

We’re shocked — shocked! — that a woman’s ability to withstand famine isn’t a factor when men make judgments about attractiveness. We won’t make that mistake again! And we are pleased to have told you about this vital research.

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

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Creationist Wisdom #604: Climate Change

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in The Pantagraph, a daily newspaper in Bloomington, Illinois. It’s titled Climate and weather in God’s control. They have a comments feature.

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 John. Although John is primarily focused on climate change, which is not a big topic around here, we think his letter belongs in our collection.

As you’ll soon see, John’s views on climate change are closely related to the fact that he’s also a creationist. An earlier letter of his appeared in that newspaper a month ago — Don’t put too much trust in technology — in which he said:

Today, men trust in man’s technology and give almighty God no consideration, not realizing that prophecy has been fulfilled, that God has opened man’s mind to knowledge of this sort only about 120 years ago and, because of this knowledge, man trusts himself and has been driven to utter turmoil and confusion, almost at wit’s end of how to solve the economic and moral problems facing them now.

Because of unbelief and sin on Earth, around 2348 B.C. God produced the Genesis flood that destroyed every living thing on Earth, except the contents of Noah’s ark. Today God is still in complete control.

Excerpts from John’s new letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

Scientists and others are worried about climate change. I believe they are deceived because of unbelief of the almighty God. There have been floods and droughts, volcanoes, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes from the beginning of mankind 6,000 years ago. These could cause climate change but only if God allows it.

Foolish scientists! Why don’t they listen to John? Then he says:

[An earlier] letter contained results from a popular newspaper’s research of the question, “Do you believe in God?” Sixty-four percent said “no” or “not sure,” while only 36 percent said “yes.”

How horrible! Let’s read on:

My thought is, what would be the outcome if the question was asked, “Do you believe in Jesus?” I believe the percentage would be much less than 36 who answer “yes.”

Egad — maybe he’s right! That explains why we have so many problems. This is the rest of John’s brief (but inspirational) letter:

It’s certain our nation needs to turn to the Bible and find the truth that also leads to the prophecy being fulfilled before our very eyes.

John is worried. His letter worries us too. What do you think, dear reader?

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

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The Discoveroids’ Hitler-Darwin Theory Refuted

We are constantly being told by the Discoveroids that Darwin’s theory led directly to Hitler, and communism, and Stalin, and Mao Tse-tung, and Dr. Josef Mengele, and numerous other horrors.

This is remarkable, considering that science can only flourish in freedom. It began with the Greeks, and it has greatly accelerated since the Enlightenment. How is it possible for the Discoveroids to associate science with tyranny?

In the real world — which is far from the world of creationism — there is evidence to contradict the Discoveroids’ claims. For example, Stalin rejected evolution in favor of the crazed beliefs of Trofim Denisovich Lysenko. And as we’ve often discussed, Hitler never even mentioned Darwin in his writings, although Churchill did. We have no idea what Mao thought about Darwin, if anything, but we’ve never heard of any original science coming out of China during his reign.

We found a new article today in Science, published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. It’s titled How the Franco dictatorship destroyed Spanish science. It says:

Francisco Franco ruled over Spain from 1939 until his death in 1975. His nationalist, authoritarian regime had a brutal grip on the country’s political and cultural life — but also on science, according to Education, science and ideology in Spain (1890–1950), a recent book published in Spanish.

The article is an interview with Castillo Martos, one of the authors. It’s all good, and we recommend that you read it, so a few excerpts will be sufficient to make our point. We added a bit of bold font for emphasis:

Question: What other means did Franco’s regime use to control academic inquiry?

Answer: We found unpublished data about prohibitions in Spanish universities banning Darwin’s books. The Franco regime defended the literalism of the Bible, which was considered an infallible account, inspired by the word of God. Scientific ideas that contradicted it, such as Darwinist evolution, were considered unacceptable.

How surprising! Although Franco’s Spain stayed out of World War II, they were friendly to the Hitler regime — see Spain and World War II.

In response to another question, Martos said:

Under Franco, the CSIC [Spanish National Research Council] was in the hands of the Opus Dei. That’s the reality.

Here’s one more excerpt:

Question: Are dictatorships in general bad for science?

Answer: We see similarities between what happened in Spain and other dictatorships in Portugal, Greece, or Germany. Science, and knowledge in general, have to develop and progress free from any ideological bonds, be they religious or political. That’s what no dictatorial regime can tolerate or admit.

We’re very confused! The Discovery Institute insists that science leads to terrible consequences. Their Wedge Document says so — see What is the “Wedge Document”? Specifically it states:

The social consequences of materialism have been devastating. As symptoms, those consequences are certainly worth treating. However, we are convinced that in order to defeat materialism, we must cut it off at its source. That source is scientific materialism. This is precisely our strategy. … [The theory of intelligent design (ID)] promises to reverse the stifling dominance of the materialist worldview, and to replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions.

But reality strongly suggests that the Discoveroids have it completely backwards. Well, that’s no problem for creationists. Whenever their beliefs conflict with reality, they reject reality. That’s the essence of creationism.

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

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