“It just comes down to what glasses you are wearing”…

THE flat young earthers are back, as creationist Stephen Moore explains why he’d like any new Causeway centre to include ‘information’ on its ‘biblical’ origins. He’d also like his theories to be included in the Ulster Museum, to explain how dinosaurs walked the earth with humans. However, last night God came to me in a dream and told me that the Giant’s Causeway was in fact created by a legendary Irish hunter-warrior called Finn MacCool, and I am disappointed that this widely-held and obviously sincere view is merely considered a legend and not as seriously as this ‘volcanic activity’ humbug. Perhaps I should start a petition. Or maybe I have more sense.

  • sam talks twaddle

    “There is clearly very few on this board who have any background in science”

    OK I could start by dragging out my scietific credentials but I’m too vain….

    This Sam chap is so typical of the narrow blinkered fundamentalists. There is no reasoning with them – they live in a la-la land. Their ultimate intellectual bankrupcy is illustrated by use of a computer and the internet. The tw&t;probably has a car and flies too…. suits him to use results of rational science, but when his faith based notions are challanged these benefits of science are set aside for crap about creationism and a planet a few thousand years old…Sorry in rational science you cannot pick and mix …

    Indeed there are a few scientists who are religious, but they are few and far between – I have come across less than five professionally in twenty years of international scientific interaction…and none could be seen as fundamentalist, more hedging their afterlife bets.

    His tedious referral to a retired Queen’s scientist is meaningless to a debate (I too could drag out a personal list of my member of this, fellow of that, chair of the other) – so what we have is schoolyard my dad is bigger than yours……. most emeritus go a bit potty in retirement…one of the perks – and it helps to be a bit controversal to keep up interest and overcome fact that retirement is here.

    finally his use of phrases such as “most brilliant Physics professors in the world” is utter bilge – totally irrelevant – but again symptomatic of the style of argument put forward by creationists… over blowing of reality.

    Face up to it Sam when you die – the lights go out and you decay away there is nothing else…. no comfort blanket… it might be hard to accept but that is the way it is, we don’t need purpose/reason we (humans, life, the Universe) just ARE, that is what is truely amazing and wonderous, not some lame folklore explanation… but then you DO need to open your mind to take in the facts, observations and evidence, and unfortunately for some that is just too big an ask.

  • NorthOfTheBorder

    I notice, Sam, that you count Michael Behe amongst your pantheon of great scientists who advocate the creationist view. Well, if you want to play the “my scientists are better than yours” game of which you seem so fond, you’d probably want to pick someone with a bit more credibility than Behe. This is a man whose stance on so-called “Intelligent Design” has caused his employers, Lehigh University, to publish what is essentially a disclaimer about Behe’s work on their web site, to emphasise that they regard it as simply not scientific.

    During the Dover trial on the teaching of ID in schools, Behe and other prominent creationists were called as expert witnesses for the defence. Under cross-examination, they conceded that Intelligent Design fails to meet the accepted definition of science. Not only that, but Behe admitted that his preferred definition of science, which Intelligent Design would meet, would also allow astrology to be considered a scientific discipline. In other words, Michael Behe’s thinly-veiled creationism is about as scientific as a Mystic Meg horoscope. The reference made above to intellectual bankruptcy seems particularly appropriate. Mind you I don’t know why I’m bothering to point this out as you seem blind to any and all evidence which undermines your position. Maybe there’s something about people of your star sign which makes them immune to reason?…

  • Regarding Noah’s Ark, forget where it was parked and where it was sunk. How big and fast was the thing. Simply to hold two of every creature on earth means one hell of a holding capacity, plus with only Noah and IIRC his wife to run the ship we’re talking a huge amount of automation. Next comes the problem of traveling to where all these animals are, many which would have been living in land locked countries.

    Did anyone here watch Firefly? River had an explanation for the Ark http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNhzjzH5XBE

  • Comrade Stalin

    The other thing about Noah’s ark is .. how did he keep all the species, and stop them from eating each other ? It rained for 40 days and 40 nights .. what did they all eat ? You can’t feed lions and tigers grass. Usually you feed them other small animals .. or wildebeest ? The two wildebeest on the boat must have been quite scared.. how did Noah keep things calm ?

    The ark story just doesn’t hold water. (oops)

  • RG Cuan

    the underlying legal, political, moral framework of our Judaeo-Christian society in Britain

    So Sam, God not only created the Giant’s Causeway but also redesignated N.Ireland as part of Britain. Impressive character, not even Orangeman can do that one…

  • Turgon

    Sam,

    I know you are not dying about the way I try to present my views. I have a fairly non confrontational and consensus building approach to evangalism.

    Incidentally I support entirely the position you took some time ago about Prof Nevin. The failure of genetic mutations to produce beneficial changes in humans is a problem for evolutionary biology. There are a number of explanations evolutionists proffer, but it is a problem for them. One that Prof Nevin is jusfitied in highlighting and is qualified so to do.

    I am a little less relaxed about your comment
    “I do think that anyone not taking the Bible literally will go to hell.”

    I am unsure. The Lord will save whomsoever He will. That is a pretty fundamental supposition of calvinism. The dying thief on the cross. Did he have time to believe the literal truth of the bible? Take a modern day death bed convertion. The newly saved person may not have time (nor mental capacity) to accept the literal truth of the bible. Take a new Christian in North Korea who has only a limited understanding of the bible, tending to have little access to it. They will not have necessarily developed a view on its literal truth before the state catches them and as far as I am aware Christians in North Korea still may be killed for their faith.

    There is a grave danger in the above quote that you are providing something which we can do to achieve our salvation (believe the literal truth of the bible). This may not yet be a gospel of works but could be perceived as the begining of such.

    Does my four year old or my two year old believe the literal truth of the bible? I will teach them so to do but clearly they cannot yet. As such are they saved if (God forbid) they die in childhood?

    Sam you scaresly need me to remind you of Paul’s answer to the Phillipian gaoler’s question Acts 16 verses as marked:

    30And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

    31And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

    32And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.

    33And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.

    34And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.

    Sam I also believe in the literal truth of the bible and in creationism; I am, however, unconvinced that the strategy you adopt is necessarily the best way to present the winsomness of our Lord in this generation.

    I do think, however, that you are frequently unfairly pilloried for your views.

    In fairness though I have also been a little unfair to you. I would support you a lot more on these issues if I had studied them enough. I have not and am quite happy to say honestly that I believe in creationism and the literal truth of the bible because that is what I feel God has asked me personally to do.

    Your biggest problem is of course that evolution is not a single theory. It is a unifying set of theories which are involved in genetics but also relate to geology, archeology and as we see from Malcolm Redfellow even language.

    You can never present a fully rounded defence of creationism in each of these areas as you (or anyone else) cannot know enough about all of them. I wish you well in your endavours. Remember though those who oppose you find it a lot more difficult to dismiss you if you are unfailingly polite and conceeding the odd point is not necessarily a weakness.

    Regards

  • Dewi

    Once again I advise “Guns Germs and Steel” by Jared Diamond. You can get it second hand on amazon for threepence. Turgon, please read it and get back to us.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Turgon:

    The failure of genetic mutations to produce beneficial changes in humans is a problem for evolutionary biology.

    This statement suggests a misunderstanding of evolutionary theory, which does not predict “beneficial changes in humans” or any other species.

    Secondly the existence of “problems” is inherent for science. If there were no problems, then we would possess all of the knowledge in the entire universe, at which point all science would stop and the discipline would become completely redundant. I don’t expect that day to come any time soon, if ever – our brains are unlikely to have the capability to handle or even comprehend all of the possible facts of the universe.

    It is taken as read that a given theory is imperfect, but the best available. That does not mean there are problems; it means that the search is on to provide a better theory which explains the available empirical evidence. Prof. Nevin has not done that yet, and so evolutionary theory as we know it stands.

    You can never present a fully rounded defence of creationism in each of these areas as you (or anyone else) cannot know enough about all of them.

    I can’t see how Sam’s contributions can be regarded as a rounded defence of creationism. All he does is post links, obsess himself with the qualifications of other people who agree with him, and spout nonsense about people not understanding science even though it is patently obvious that he doesn’t grasp a shred of it himself. If anything, he does the cause damage.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Sam

    How did the emus and polar bears get to the Ark?

  • RepublicanStones

    see gonzo the polar bears swam to austrailia then jumped on the emu’s back and the emus flew to the holylands, but then the polar bears liked sitting ontop of the emus, which meant the emus couldn’t fly, so with all the polar bears sitting on the emus, the emus gradually evolved into flightless birds. damn….hows that for creationism????

  • Michael

    How clever of them two Kiwi birds…Kiwis cant swim or fly…..to get all the way back to New Zealand from Mt Ararat in Eastern Turkey.

  • Indeed there are a few scientists who are religious, but they are few and far between

    There are many, many, religious scientists. Richard Dawkins says otherwise, but then again one of the more mystifying things about Dawkins has always been the way that the high priest of atheism is treated like a prophet by his followers.

    Anyway, in my view, one of the most interesting scientists who are Christians is John Polkinghorne. I’ve been waiting for ages to have an excuse to link to him on Slugger…

    There are also a fair number of drones in the world of science and research who are fundamentalists, or even creationists; thinking back to University days, the science subjects were always full of CU types. The (alleged) perfection and precision of science attracts a certain sort of fundamentalist mind.

    At the same time, it doesn’t really surprise me that a liberal Anglican priest played a key role in the discovery of the quark. It’s that comfort with uncertainty, and comfort with living in the realm of the imagination that is often the cornerstone of really interesting discoveries.

    The Dawkinsites and the creationists always strike me as being opposite sides of the same coin – certain that they already know the explanation for everything. Personally, I think that asking the questions is more interesting than having the answers. Oh, and I’m not tagging all atheists with the Dawkins tag lest we go down that particular road to flamewar.

  • see gonzo the polar bears swam to austrailia then jumped on the emu’s back and the emus flew to the holylands

    Which is why emus have red cones on their heads; it’s a race memory of those drunken nights annoying the neighbours in Jerusalem Street.

  • Did I miss the relevant link to the ‘The Seattle Times’, http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/travel/2003987917_websteves04.html also available through Newshound?

    I was exploring the much-loved Ring of Kerry, assuming I’d be seeing quaint pubs, sheep farms, and plush Emerald Isle beauty. But Conner was determined to complement the traditional sights by showing a different side of this touristy destination on the Iveragh Peninsula…

    We finally reached the water’s edge. On a shiny slab of mud-turned-to-rock, Conner reverently showed me faint tracks, declaring, “These are tetrapod tracks.” He said many archaeologists believe this is the place where the first fish slithered out of the water on four stubby legs 385 million years ago onto what would become the Isle of Saints and Scholars.

    So Kerry is just 384,993,989 years ahead of Antrim in evolutionary terms?

  • Turgon

    Malcolm,
    Fine, in 384,993,989 years we unionists might accept a united Ireland. Everyone happy now?

  • Shawn

    or you might be extinct Turgon. evolve or perish as they say

  • Turgon

    Shawn,
    Good answer

    Regards

  • Turgon @ 07:36 PM:

    Throwaway, but sincerely-held. remarks like that sadden me, because they point to a curious inversion of time and context. Does this seem familiar?
    Hearts with one purpose alone
    Through summer and winter seem
    Enchanted to a stone
    To trouble the living stream.
    The horse that comes from the road.
    The rider, the birds that range
    From cloud to tumbling cloud,
    Minute by minute they change;
    A shadow of cloud on the stream
    Changes minute by minute;
    A horse-hoof slides on the brim,
    And a horse plashes within it;
    The long-legged moor-hens dive,
    And hens to moor-cocks call;
    Minute by minute they live:
    The stone’s in the midst of all.

    Too long a sacrifice
    Can make a stone of the heart.
    O when may it suffice?

    Ireland, north and south, is going through profound change, social and political, and long overdue. Ireland’s future, north and south, should be made in the island, not elsewhere.

    There are a number of things we can no longer afford: irredentism; ‘no surrender’ stubbornness, and drift.

    May I draw everyone’s attention to a powerful and convincing argument in today’s ‘Irish Times’ by Michael Casey, former chief economist of the Central Bank and now a board-member of the IMF?

    It is a stinging critique of successive RoI governments’ tendency “to adopt soft-option policies whenever possible … the line of least resistance … to maintain the status quo.”

    Much of what he says is applicable to Stormont (not least in regard to the Causeway centre) as well as Leinster House:
    “Most important decisions on Irish life are now taken not by Irish governments but by the EU and the US. At one bound Ireland has gone from one colonial master to two others. We now have no control over a large swathe of social legislation, domestic interest rates, the exchange rate. We have less control over the fiscal policy and, because of the US multinationals, little effect on the supply-side of the economy. And deep down this is exactly how we want it because it protects us from the burden of decision-making…
    “It is ironic that we have more Ministers than ever at a time when the need for political decision-making has virtually disappeared. The notion that the government ‘runs the country’ is absurd.”

    He argues that populism leads to:
    “Clientism and stroke play [which] run counter to the notion of excellence, hard work and real decision-making. Short-term political strokes also give rise to a culture of petty corruption which is bad for business especially in a global environment. The emergence of real entrepreneurship has been impeded by strokes and wheezes. Entrepreneurs are supposed to take risks, not operate on the risk-free basis of inside information.”

  • Turgfon

    Sorry Malcolm,
    I do not want to fall out with you. I do not try humour often but it was an attempt. I fear you are reading a little too much into that post. I think Shawn’s answer is actually more apt and given more in the spirit of my initial comment.

    I have nothing much to do tonight in the cave and there is not much happening on slugger at the moment is there? I guess I could look at making some new clothes. I need to look my best when Osama Bin Allister has his meeting in case I am allowed to come. Ah the excitment for us prodiban is almost at fever pitch. Maybe I will try cleaning the cave, it is a bit messy at the moment.

    Anyhow my apologies if I offended you

    Regards

  • Nah! Sorry: I’m a bit scratchy tonight.

    I still rate that article by Casey, though.

    Still further off-topic:

    Had to sit through a spiel by Senator Shane Ross last week, which oozed complacency about too many aspects of the “Celtic Tiger” for comfort. Not a single mention of the disaster which is the Republic’s health infrastructure, for one obvious example.

    Incidentally, Ross’s annual three-hour debate in the Seanad is about broadband, and why the Republic is so far behind NI. That comes up in the next week or so. I doubt it will be widely reported.

    Ross’s other beef is the old chestnut (resurrected by the Greens) to change the basis for university representation in the Seanad. The result of that would be the elimination of Trinity as a separate constituency, and the stifling of independent voices in the Senate. Since Trinity electors, in the recent past, have sent the likes of Mary Robinson, the Cruiser, and David Norris to the Seanad, I reckon that’s significant.