Category Archives: Science

Letter #1,077: Creationism in School — Why Not?

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette of Little Rock, Arkansas, the state capital. The letter is titled Evolved … or created, and it’s the third letter at that link. The newspaper has a comments feature, with only one comment so far.

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

How the Earth began cannot be proven, because none of us were there when it happened. [Wow! She’s right!] Our schools allow for only one view: evolution. [Yeah, Darwin’s theory of how the Earth began!] I find it much easier to believe in creation as the beginning of life. Why?

Virginia tells us why:

To believe in evolution, you must believe that everything came into existence out of nothing. [Gasp!] I believe if that’s what happened, it’s the only time that has happened. We know you cannot make anything out of nothing.

You gotta admit, Virginia has a good point there. Then she says:

By contrast, to believe in creation you believe an intelligent being designed everything we see. [Ooooooooooooh! That solves the “creation out of nothing” problem!] I believe the universe, the Earth, the seas and everything in them scream “design.”

Yes — you can hear the screaming! After that, Virginia gives us some examples:

Take the human body. Could anyone come up with a better design?

Wowie — she’s right again! Pay no attention to the Curmudgeon’s post titled Buffoon Award Winner — The Intelligent Designer. Virginia continues with another example:

Take just the human hand, as an example. At the end of two arms we have two hands, perfectly placed in proportion to our body. [Perfectly placed!] A thumb and four fingers on each hand are the exact length needed for tying a shoe lace or fastening a button. [They’re perfect!] Our hands receive directions from our brains so that we grasp, hold, write, type, cook, sew, or build. Some hands are especially gifted and enabled by their brain to play musical instruments, write literature, create jewelry, and build furniture, homes and skyscrapers. On and on I could go about just the subject of hands.

Verily, your hands are a miracle! And now we come to the end of Virginia’s letter:

In summary, I see no harm in discussing the possibility of creation along with the theory of evolution in the schoolroom.

She’s right, you know. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the next generation of school kids were taught to think like Virginia?

Copyright © 2021. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

Hambo Teaches You About the Birds & the Bees

The incredible range of wisdom possessed by Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), never fails to amaze us. As you know, he’s the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else. But that’s not all!

Hambo’s new article at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), his the creationist ministry, is certain to dazzle you. It’s titled “Modern Science” Says There Are Six Sexes? Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

A few weeks ago CNN published a news piece [Link omitted!] that contained the statement, “It’s not possible to know a person’s gender identity at birth [Huh?], and there is no consensus criteria for assigning sex at birth.” Such a statement is obviously anti-science — the “consensus criteria” for establishing “sex at birth” has been known since Eve gave birth to Cain, and Adam said, “It’s a boy!” Well, CNN isn’t alone at being anti-science.

Hambo is correct in saying that CNN isn’t alone at being anti-science, but he probably wouldn’t agree with us about who else is a scientific ignoramus. Anyway, he says:

A Democratic state legislator in Texas, who attended Harvard, recently stated, “I want us to all be aware of recognize [sic] is that modern science obviously recognizes that there are many more than two biological sexes. In fact, there are six . . . ”

Hambo’s link is to an article in the Washington Times, but it’s behind a paywall. Here’s another story about it in the New York Post: Texas lawmaker sparks backlash for declaring there are six sexes — not two . They identify him as State Rep. James Talarico. Okay, back to Hambo, who tells us:

Does modern science really recognize “six really common biological sexes” in humans? No. There are two: male and female. [Remember that, dear reader!] The “gender identities” so popular today are not biological sexes — they are determined by the feelings of the person claiming the gender identity. But feelings do not determine truth.

This may be the first time we’ve ever agreed with Hambo about anything. But then he declares:

Instead of relying on our feelings, we must turn to the Word of God for absolute truth and, by the power of God’s spirit and the gospel, line our feelings up with God’s Word and truth.

Ah yes, that’s how to determine The Truth. Hambo continues:

Rep. James Talarico went on to state, “The point is that biologically speaking, scientifically speaking, sex is a spectrum, and oftentimes can be very ambiguous.” What does he mean by this? Well, he’s pointing to the fact that not everyone is XX (female) or XY (male)—“but also single X, XXY, XYY and XXXY.” But do abnormalities in sex chromosomes really mean there are “six really common biological sexes”?

This is not a subject your Curmudgeon has ever studied — or cared about. But Hambo cares, so let’s read on:

No. Abnormalities in chromosomal development are just that: abnormalities, deviations from the norm. Abnormalities do not constitute a new biological sex. Rather, they are a disorder of normal human development. …

Also, these abnormalities are not the same thing as so-called “gender identity.” Transgender, gender fluidity, and everything else LGBTQ activists are pushing have nothing to do with biology — it has everything to do with psychology, how a person thinks and views himself or herself. It’s not a problem of the body. It’s a problem of the mind!

Your Curmudgeon is skipping a lot so we can get out of this topic. Aha — here’s Hambo’s final paragraph:

Those who struggle with gender dysphoria don’t need chemicals, body mutilating surgery, cross-dressing clothes, new pronouns, and a new name — they need the gospel message that changes hearts and lives for eternity and gives them a new identity rooted in Christ.

Now you’ve learned that Hambo not only knows more about religion and science than everyone else, but he’s also more compassionate than everyone else. What a guy!

Copyright © 2021. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

How Discoveroids Should Debate Design Skeptics

This one isn’t very long, but it’s amusing. We found it at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog, and it’s titled How to Discuss Intelligent Design with Skeptics. It could easily have been titled “How does a drooling creationist pretend to have something to say?” Anyway, 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]:

On a new ID the Future episode [Ooooooooooooh! A Discoveroid podcast!], Tom Gilson — author, senior editor with The Stream, and occasional contributor to Evolution News — tackles the question of how best to discuss intelligent design with friends and associates skeptical of ID. Download the podcast or listen to it here. [Link omitted!]

The Stream sounds like something that occurs in the bathroom, but it’s a website that sometimes publishes Discoveroid articles. Gilson writes articles that appear in both places. We’ve encountered him before — see The Ultimate Discoveroid Blog Post, and we referred to his post as “a multisyllabic blast of pseudo-scientific flatulence.”

Fortunately, the Discoveroid post isn’t very long, so it’ll be tolerable to get through it. The Discoveroids say:

There is so much misinformation about the theory of intelligent design that many well-intended people reject not the actual theory but a silly caricature, a straw man.

We’re being accused of presenting you with “a silly caricature, a straw man” instead of the actual theory of intelligent design. Maybe that’s true. The Discoveroids tell us:

They don’t realize that ID is not an argument from ignorance but an inference to the best explanation based on positive evidence for design and negative evidence against competing materialistic explanations.

Ooooooooooooh! The Discoveroids’ “theory” is based on evidence for design and against evolution. Have we been avoiding those “truths”? Let’s find out. The Discoveroid post continues:

It involves what is known as abductive reasoning, a standard mode of reasoning in the historical sciences.

Ooooooooooooh! That sounds impressive. Wikipedia has an article on Abductive reasoning, which says:

It starts with an observation or set of observations and then seeks to find the simplest and most likely conclusion from the observations. This process, unlike deductive reasoning, yields a plausible conclusion but does not positively verify it. Abductive conclusions are thus qualified as having a remnant of uncertainty or doubt, which is expressed in retreat terms such as “best available” or “most likely”.

Very impressive! Indeed, the creationists’ favorite argument — God of the gaps — can be seen as an example of abductive reasoning. Let’s return to the Discoveroids’ post. This is all they have left to say:

When in conversation with someone who understands none of this [A Darwinist fool!], Gilson suggests using the Socratic method and, in particular, three questions designed to turn down the heat, promote dialogue, and draw the other person into a discovery of the actual theory of intelligent design.

Ah yes, the Socratic method, described by Wikipedia as:

… a form of cooperative argumentative dialogue between individuals, based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to draw out ideas and underlying presuppositions.

The Discoveroids’ recommended technique may be fine for arguing certain exotic political theories, but perhaps you noted that after all their blather, there was no recommendation of the Scientific method, which involves observation, skepticism, and rigorous testing of hypotheses. Why, dear reader, do you think that was avoided?

Copyright © 2021. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

Actual Evidence that Intelligent Design Is Real

This morning we were supremely confident in our opinion that the “theory” of intelligent design was pure hogwash. And then … well, judge for yourself, dear reader.

We were conducting our daily internet sweep for news about “intelligent design” and this popped up: Top 10 Best Small Trash Cans 2021. We were certain that it was nothing, but out of curiosity we clicked on it. As the title suggested, it was about trash cans, and there were pictures of all ten of them. We were puzzled, because we couldn’t imagine why the phrase “intelligent design” was used in that item. So we searched for it, and to our astonishment we were taken item number ten, which had this headline:

10. Umbra Skinny Sleek & Stylish Bathroom Trash, Small Garbage Can Wastebasket for Narrow Spaces at Home or Office, 2 Gallon Capacity, Bronze

Immediately below that was descriptive information, beginning with the phrase “intelligent design.” Here’s what it says, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Intelligent design: regardless of its slim profile, skinny trash can maintain as much as 2 gallons and options an built-in deal with for straightforward transport and disposal of contents making it a great trash can for toilet

Isn’t that amazing! The descriptive text continues:

• Enhances your decor: not like an [sic] bizarre small rubbish can, this trash can makes a press release with its fashionable colours and distinctive finishes and was designed to boost your current décor [sic]

You gotta be impressed! Then it says:

• Materials kind: polypropelyne. skinny is ready to match into compact, unconventional locations and make a recent, daring assertion

• Matches virtually anyplace: a trendy trash can [Wow!] with a contemporary slim design that appears nice and simply matches into slim openings and odd areas in your toilet, bed room or workplace

• Sturdy & straightforward to wash: fabricated from super-strong polypropylene, skinny trash cans are sturdy, straightforward to wipe clear with a humid fabric, and encompasses a rounded backside [Hee hee!] with no crevices for filth, grime, or liquids to get trapped in

• The unique slim trash can: designed by david quant for umbra, skinny takes an on a regular basis family important from mundane to magnificent

That’s the full description of item number ten, and it made a believer out of us. No more will we laugh at the Discoveroids. We’ve seen the evidence, and now we’re convinced that intelligent design is real. How about you, dear reader?

Copyright © 2021. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.