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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Evolution and Global Warming — Illegitimate Sons of Scientific Consensus

Some of us do not go along with the consensus. We dare to question evolution and anthropogenic global warming. Some of us question one or the other, and some of us are radical enough to question both. When we speak up and express our doubts, we're often told that "it's the consensus" as if that was a reason to accept what "scientists say" and to stop asking questions.

First of all, saying that global warming is a consensus is the opposite of the truth, there are scientists who deny it, and not just a fringe element. There are also scientists who deny evolution and the Big Bang, including credentialed creation scientists. Don't get me started on the lie that Bill Nye perpetuates on how you must believe in evolution or science cannot happen...

Second, majority opinion does not determine truth. If you want consensus, go into politics. There are things that were considered to be scientific facts that were abandoned later on. True scientific inquiry does not seek to silence people with differing views. Instead, the evidence is examined and considered.

So, when should we doubt the "scientific consensus" of global warming?
A December 18 Washington Post poll, released on the final day of the ill-fated Copenhagen climate summit, reported “four in ten Americans now saying that they place little or no trust in what scientists have to say about the environment.” Nor is the poll an outlier. Several recent polls have found “climate change” skepticism rising faster than sea levels on Planet Algore (not to be confused with Planet Earth, where sea levels remain relatively stable). 
Many of the doubt-inducing climate scientists and their media acolytes attribute this rising skepticism to the stupidity of Americans, philistines unable to appreciate that there is “a scientific consensus on climate change.” One of the benefits of the recent Climategate scandal, which revealed leading climate scientists manipulating data, methods, and peer review to exaggerate the evidence of significant global warming, may be to permanently deflate the rhetorical value of the phrase “scientific consensus.” 
Even without the scandal, the very idea of scientific consensus should give us pause. “Consensus,” according to Merriam-Webster, means both “general agreement” and “group solidarity in sentiment and belief.” That pretty much sums up the dilemma. We want to know whether a scientific consensus is based on solid evidence and sound reasoning, or social pressure and groupthink.
 You can finish reading "When to Doubt a Scientific ‘Consensus’", here.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Puzzling Over Making the Pieces Fit

Whether creationist or evolutionist, atheist or Christian (or anyone else), we all have the same facts to work with. For instance, a fossil is a fossil. The differences are in the interpretations of the facts. (Ridiculous evolutionist assertion such as, "We have the fossils, we win" is discredited at this link on point nine.)

stock.xchng / chadou99
But to properly interpret the data, we must be aware of our presuppositions and worldview. Further, we need to know if we have enough information so that we can have a correct interpretation. Does an interpretation fit, or do we have to make contrived "explanations" to force it to fit? Sometimes we have to try again.
I held the plastic Coke bottle up and suggested we view it as a fossil. Both the atheists and myself had the same data in front of us. None of us were ‘there’ historically to observe what happened, so we had to find a way to ‘interpret’ the data in front of us—my imaginary fossil. 
Very quickly Peter and Paul suggested we would need more information in order to interpret this ‘fossil’. I agreed. All of us would need additional information in order to interpret the data. 
But what if the other information we had was wrong? Could we still ‘interpret’ this fossil with incorrect data? Of course not, they agreed. But the ‘scientific method’ had within it steps to check and confirm the accumulation of data collected along the way, they reminded me. I agreed that might be the scientific method, but these two atheists were about to learn a lesson about jigsaw puzzles. 
I suggested that the ‘facts’ of the universe were like a giant jigsaw puzzle. In order to complete the puzzle, you eventually have to get each piece in its correct place. Sometimes when you play with jigsaw puzzles, you find two pieces that seem to fit together, but later on you realize they don’t go together at all. So you pull them apart and try to find where they really belong in the puzzle.
You can puzzle this out in its full context at "The Street-Preacher's Guide to Jigsaw Puzzles".

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

"Cosmos" Evolution Propaganda Machine Oiled Up Again

The Evo Sith have been increasing their efforts to stifle critical thinking. Bill Nye the Propaganda Drone Guy's unimpressive performance in his debate with Ken Ham, Creation Sunday and Question Evolution Day spurred anti-creationists to crank up the propaganda and trolling the Web.

Before those events (and others), propagandists were already desiring to combat the growing threat to evolution from the Intelligent Design community, and especially from biblical creationists. Using their stock logical fallacies like equivocation, straw man, arbitrary assertions and others, a retooled version of Cosmos began. Leftist atheist comedy animator executive producer Seth MacFarlane uses the same canned nonsense that Bill Nye uses: Evolution is vital to science. Neil deGrasse Tyson (a self-proclaimed agnostic that is virtually indistinguishable from an atheist) hosts the show.

Ironically, this is marketed as a science show, but it is filled with faith and evolutionary religious claims.

There are evolutionists who attack creationists when we point out that abiogenesis is impossible. They reply that evolution has nothing to do with the origin of life. That is the opposite of the truth, just examine a textbook or an
evolutionary documentary — including the new and improved (that is, more anti-critical thinking) Cosmos.

Here are three articles. The first one is by Ruby Faraday, written before the show came out and predicting what to expect. It is "The Remake of Cosmos — Coming to You in 2014". Second, from Creation-Evolution Headlines is "Cosmos TV Relies on Imagination, Not Science". Third, a detailed article at Answers In Genesis, "Cosmos Review: Standing Up in the Milky Way".


Sunday, March 09, 2014

Taking Another Bite out of Evolutionary Dogma

Today we are going to discuss calculus. No, not the math kind. The dental stuff. You know, tartar. But this is not about dental care. Instead, it is about calculus found on Medieval remains. The interesting part is that tartar seals in and preserves tiny particles very well. I'll move this along, don't want to get boring (snicker).

Antibiotic resistance is touted as evidence for Darwinism. A study of dental calculus in ancient humans shows the resistance already exists, and threatens the evolutionary icon.
Although is is bad science, Darwin's Drones get mouthy with the idea that antibiotic resistance is proof of evolution. "If there ain't no evolution, why d'ya gotta get a flu shot ev'ry year? Huh? Huh?" This kind of thing shows their lack of education on their own belief system. Also, creationists have been able to answer the flu shot remark.

Comparing DNA from ancient specimens with modern subjects, researchers were startled to find that some of the ancient pathogens preserved by calculus already had antibiotic resistance. One of the crowns of evolution is cracked again, leaving biblical creationists smiling.

An international research team led by Christina Warinner of the University of Oklahoma has published ground breaking research performed on ancient dental calculus. The research team involved thirty-two investigators at twelve institutions in seven countries. “Dental calculus,” Warinner explains, “is among the richest biomolecular sources yet identified in the archaeological record.” 
Calculus is derived from the Greek word Calcis originally used to describe limestone. Like a fossil locked in rock, biological molecules are captured in dental calculus with “exceptional preservation.” The findings upend the long-used iconic example of observable evolution: the development of antibiotic resistance. 
In a Science Daily interview, Matthew Collins of the University of York noted: “We knew that calculus preserved microscopic particles of food and other debris but the level of preservation of biomolecules is remarkable. A microbiome entombed and preserved in a mineral matrix, a microbial Pompeii.”
You can sink your teeth into the rest of "Ancient Calculus Upends Evolution Icon".

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Radical Environmentalism and the War on Humans

Many parts of the environmental movement are helpful. However, there are radical aspects that are very alarming.

— by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Many of us knew that environmentalism had extremist elements, but it is getting worse all the time and gaining mainstream acceptance. It started out innocently enough. Or seemed to.
  • Advertisements and articles about dirty water, air pollution and the like.
  • Speeches. 
  • The ecology flag.
  • Scientists predicting that another ice age is on the way. 
  • Magazine articles. 
  • News reports on the television. 
  • Songs. 
  • The Cuyahoga River caught on fire because of the pollution. 
Years later, the landscape had changed.
  • The worthy efforts to clean up the air and water had an effect, and control standards were put in place.
  • "Recycling" became the new popular thing, which was tainted by social bullying, taxation — and some places made it compulsory with taxation.
  • Merchants are calling products "green" and "environmentally friendly" (which may or may not be true) in an effort to jump on the ecology bandwagon to increase sales.
  • Agenda 21.
  • People were protesting animal experimentation in medicine and cosmetics, among other things.
  • Activists were releasing animals and causing vandalism in acts of eco-terrorism.
  • The violence of animal rights activists has been escalating.
  • Vegetarians accuse meat eaters of condoning the "murder" of animals.
  • Likewise, trophy hunting has been considered "murder". Melissa Bachman received death wishes after posting pictures of her kills.
  • Those predictions of a new ice age became "global warming", with a great deal of bad or even fraudulent science, politics and malevolent principles. Echoes of Stalin: Global warming "deniers" must be punished, and have been equated with "holocaust deniers". (This sounds like the fallacious lament of Darwin's Autons that creationists are "science deniers".) Use loaded terminology to manipulate emotions much, Bubbles?
  • Several years ago, Heidi Cullen of The Weather Channel wanted credentials stripped if weather broadcasters did not believe in anthropogenic global warming.
  • Nature worship is increasing.
  • Earth worship is on the rise, hand-in-hand with New Age buffet-style religious beliefs, and Earth is a living organism, even a goddess (Gaia), in a strange bit of pagan pantheism.
Just when you think that the extremists have reached their peak, the whole thing gets more intense.

"Rights" for animals, a lawsuit for chimpanzee rights, and even stories about the rights of plants are in the news. Farmer Francois might be in a lot of trouble because he not only violated the rights of plants, rocks, soil, worms, snakes and other animals when he tilled the soil, but he violated even more rights of nature when he harvested his crop!

"Nature" is being given rights, and humanity is hated for being humanity. The idea of human exceptionalism is ridiculed. And yet, only humans can be punished. Nobody is punishing the early bird for getting the worm, or the lion in the mighty jungle killing its lunch when it should be sleeping tonight. Sorry, but nature is violent, not harmonious.

One response to this has been, "You first".
There is an extreme irony here. While biblical Christianity has no problem with caring for the environment, practicing ecology and the humane treatment of animals based on stewardship of the earth, much of this extremist stuff comes from evolutionary thinking. Animal, plant, nature rights are based on the ancient pagan religion of evolutionism and its modern pseudoscience. That is, we all evolved from the same bit of slime, so humans are not special. But evolution is "survival of the fittest", so to be consistent, we are at the top of the food chain and should be able to do whatever we wish. Their whole premise is fundamentally flawed and inconsistent; humans are exceptional, even by evolutionary beliefs.

In addition, there is an unfortunate backlash. Like when a Christian is having a dialogue with someone in an aberrant or apostate religion and says, "Your religion teaches...", there is often a denial of that teaching because the member of the group is uninformed about official policies. Similarly, people may tend to react to someone who simply wants to clean up the environment, eat natural foods, drive an environmentally-friendly vehicle, do recycling and other "green" things because they are convinced that they are doing the right thing — and others may think those people want to bomb medical research facilities or kill millions of people. No need for hasty generalizations or guilt by association, people!

Normally, I would be about done at this point. However, a half-hour video called "The War on Humans" was recommended to me by a fan of The Question Evolution Project, and I also saw people posting links to it on various social media. (It is embedded at the end of this article.) I thought, "I'm not a big fan of the Discovery Institute, even though they do have good scientific research. But the video isn't so long, I may as well". 

In addition, I bought the e-book by Wesley J. Smith. The War on Humans was only $1.99 USD, and available in Kindle and EPUB versions. It is short, only 126 "pages" according to my Kindle, but the main part of the book ends on page 99. Wesley backs up his claims with extensive documentation. He also does not waste time impressing us with his brilliance, instead making the book readable and injecting occasional humor. I liked it, and did not think I would be interested.

Wesley Smith may or may not be a Christian, and I doubt that he is a creationist (the Discovery Institute is definitely not a creationist organization). But he does show respect for the Bible on the few occasions that he mentions it. Also, he describes himself as a Global Warming "agnostic", believing that there is some of it, but not enough to justify the hysteria and attempts to enact coercive laws.

I found out that the nature rights and Earth worship have evolved (heh!) into the Deep Ecology Movement, and is quite alarming. People are the enemy, humans are maggots. Some extremists are suggesting mass genocide of billions of people. In addition, totalitarianism is recommended, these people must rule the world or it will die. You think I am making up these misanthropic ideas? Not a chance. They are documented.

From here, I will add my own thoughts to some of the things I read in his book.

Like evolution, the extreme Green movement is rooted in ideology and uses incomplete, inaccurate or even fraudulent science to forward its agenda. In addition, watch for loaded terminology to manipulate emotions. Loaded words plus the penchant of people to reflexively accept what "scientists say" or "studies show" lead to people being led like sheep. People treat scientific studies like Scripture, reading into them almost whatever they want.
Smith makes an excellent point here:
And then there is the attempt by some self-appointed “science advocates” to corrupt and co-opt the scientific method as a justification for a misguided philosophy known as scientism. Scientism mistakenly asserts that science can not only tell us the way things are and how things work, but also identify right from wrong. Too often in the environmental area, scientists have moved from revealing the objective to promoting the subjective. As this book will make clear, that is when matters often go seriously off the rail.
We will also explore how the Green Movement has become brown. What do I mean? “Progressive” (Red) agendas too often subsume legitimate environmentalist (Green) concerns. When red is mixed with green, it creates brown. By allowing itself to become explicitly anti-capitalist and free market in its sensibilities and messaging, the Green Movement has browned, which—along with ideological zeal—explains the growing inclination of environmentalists to embrace authoritarian solutions.
One item on the agenda for Deep Ecology is to destroy technology and go back to the horse-and-buggy days, or worse. That's brilliant! Then those of us in technologically advanced countries are unable to help underdeveloped countries. Starving children in Africa? Rampant disease? Famine that might be solved through better agriculture? Let 'em die, there are too many people on this planet anyway.

With blanket assertions of religious fanaticism, the Green extremists want their own moral system that is based on their arbitrary standards. A neo-Earth religion would be the rule. Communist China has been praised by these people, and it is known for forced abortions. Contraception would be required as well. There are projections that the population of the planet will be off the charts in a few decades, but that had been falsely prophesied before. Wesley writes, "Strong constraints? Loss of freedom? What's the difference between this and ecofascism? And how far down will our population have to plummet to satisfy Gaia?" Maybe ninety percent of humanity must be exterminated. I wonder if they'll call the Daleks for help.

Smith notes that there is money in promoting climate change alarmist "science". (For that matter, the same applies for evolution, there's money in claiming to find transitional forms and so forth.) They appeal to "scientific consensus" to shut up the "deniers" and suppress true scientific inquiry. The global warming panic is a way to make us give up our freedoms, even to the point of criminalizing the denial of global warming!

Nature and Earth, in the pantheistic pagan view, is becoming personalized. Not only is this arbitrary, but it is the fallacy of reification. Yet again, Deep Ecology advocates are using terminology to play on emotions so they can manipulate unthinking people. PETA used "holocaust on your plate" to try to browbeat people into becoming vegans as well as giving up leather sofas and handbags. 

I have to stop referring to my notes now. The book will be unpolluted (I made another funny!) by my commentary, and I encourage you to read it. People who are unfamiliar with e-books should know that there is free software and there are free applications to read e-books on your devices. You can get the software in various places, including Barnes and Noble (for EPUB) and Kindle (for their version, which is a variation of Mobi).

My problem with The War on Humans is that Wesley J. Smith does not go far enough. But his worldview is probably different than mine, and he did manage to make his points. What he did, he did well. And don't forget the video at the bottom of this article.

Smith goes on about "human exceptionalism", and gives one hint where it comes from:
Granting “rights” to nature distorts the very meaning of the term. Generally stated, rights are properly understood as moral entitlements embodied in law to protect the lives and liberty of all people. Rights are not earned: They come with the package of being a member of the human race. This principle was most eloquently and succinctly enunciated in the Declaration of Independence with the assertion of the self-evident truth that “all men” (and women) are “created equal” and are therefore “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,” among which “are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Yes, humans are exceptional. As I stated earlier, much of the problem with this extremist Green activism, the Gaia goddess worship, the pantheism, relegating humans to the same as just another animal — all of this devaluing of human life is rooted in evolutionary thinking. We are all just modified pond scum. What right does an evolutionist have to complain about the pedophile that abused and murdered a child? It's just one blob of chemicals rearranging another blob of chemicals.

An evolutionary worldview is irrational. (If you keep this in mind when reading the book and watching the video, you'll see what I mean.) Evolution requires chance, mutations, lots of time and so forth. In that case, science is not possible because nothing can be consistent and predictable. Logically, there can be no absolute standard of right and wrong.

Human exceptionalism is a result of mankind being created in God's image. The biblical creationist worldview has the necessary preconditions of intelligibility. Evolutionism is an excuse to justify rejecting the Creator, who have given revelations of himself in the Bible. Since he is the Creator, we need to find out what he has to say. While we still can.

Edit: Dr. Jonathan Sarfati showed me an article at CMI that was written in 2007. I thought the subject of the article was one of the people quoted in The War on Humans, there was so much similarity. No, it was just someone with the same misotheistic evolutionary mindset. You can click here to read Melbourne Atheist: The Exterminator.