Pharyngula

You’ve missed your chance

I told you that Answers in Genesis was trying to hire a geologist. You’ve blown it now, they’ve gone and hired a real pro.

The addition of Dr. Snelling confirms AiG’s continued efforts to meet the highest standards in its research in creation studies, according to AiG President Ken Ham. “Dr. Snelling’s stature among the scientific community should be an unequivocal sign to the academic world and the media that serious research is being conducted at AiG and its museum,” Ham said.

Oh, sure: “Snelling’s stature among the scientific community” is a significant indicator. Let’s see…

Oh, my gosh—Ken Ham was telling us the truth! This is a sign to the academic world and the media about what kind of serious research they’re doing!

Comments

  1. #1 Reed A. Cartwright
    June 19, 2007

    Maybe AIG was fooled by the bidding war between them and the DI for his services.

  2. #2 Brownian
    June 19, 2007

    Why would they want a real scientist? Aren’t real scientists responsible for the grand evil hoax that is evolution?

  3. #3 mark
    June 19, 2007

    Please visit http://www.needgod.com

  4. #4 N.Wells
    June 19, 2007

    AIG (at http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2007/06/19/renowned-rock-doctor ) describes him as “Dr. Andrew Snelling, one of the world’s most respected creation scientists specializing in geological studies,…”.

    This seems to me a bit like describing Satan as “christians’ most beloved supernatural entity at his specific level in their hierarchy of celestial beings.”

  5. #5 Infophile
    June 19, 2007

    Back in the early days of Particle Physics, if theory matched up with experiment to within an order of magnitude, it was considered a success. Two or three orders of magnitude off would have been considered “sloppy.”

    Snelling’s theory on the age of Earth differs from experiment by six orders of magnitude. That’s beyond sloppy, even if we apply the loose standards of Particle Physics instead of Geology. At this point, that’s just wrong.

  6. #6 Rey Fox
    June 19, 2007

    Or perhaps, prettiest pig in the waller.

  7. #7 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    June 19, 2007

    Please visit http://www.needgod.com

    Please visit here

  8. #8 Kseniya
    June 19, 2007

    Please visit http://www.needgod.com

    Uh-oh… I’m headed for Hell.

    “Dr. Snelling’s stature among the scientific community should be an unequivocal sign to the academic world and the media that serious research is being conducted at AiG and its museum,” Ham said.

  9. #9 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    June 19, 2007

    nice Kseniya

  10. #10 PZ Myers
    June 19, 2007

    Ick. “Living Waters” is the lowest of the low — despicable benighted god-botherers of the worst sort. They hang out around Morris, too, and every year at the county fair they’ll have a booth with those same stupid questions, and they’ll sit there telling little kids that they’re going to hell.

    I hate those guys. Really, I do.

  11. #11 Matt the heathen
    June 19, 2007

    Would you sell one of your eyes for a million dollars? How about both eyes for ten million? No one in their right mind would! Your eyes are precious to you… but they are only a “window” for your soul.

    I would sell one eye for five million dollars, I think. One million might not be enough, but let’s be real – there definitely is a price…

  12. #12 obscurifer
    June 19, 2007

    Living Waters. Wasn’t that in the movie The Abyss?

    I took a motorcycle safety class a few years ago. One of the instructors made a smart-ass remark that only one or two of us heard, then he said, under his breath, “I’m going to hell for that.”

    I replied, “I’ll save you a seat in my row.”

    He quipped, “OK. I get the water concession.”

  13. #13 Anton Mates
    June 19, 2007

    http://www.needgod.com

    Their quiz is broken. They claim I’ve had other gods before YHWH, even though I couldn’t possibly have–I’ve always been an atheist!

  14. #14 Berlzebub
    June 19, 2007

    Wow, PZ. You find this stuff out faster than I do, and I pass by the asylu… errr, museum twice every work day.

    I guess having eight to ten arms comes in handy.

  15. #15 Steve P
    June 19, 2007

    Living Waters has influenced many ignorant evangelical groups around the states. One of my favorites can be found at http://www.evtales.com. These guys are located around Hermosa Beach in CA, and I find it quite enjoyable to pester them on a regular basis. Come join the fun!

  16. #16 Brownian
    June 19, 2007

    “This is what God did for you by sending Jesus to die on the cross in your place. So that you wouldn’t have to go to Hell, God sent his only Son, Jesus, to die on the cross–suffering the punishment that justice demands. Then He rose from the grave, forever defeating death!”

    Ah, an omnipotent, universe-creating god who is limited to only one son whom god sent to ‘die’ and then come back to life in payment to god so god can forgive us for transgressing against god. Who buys this story?

    I’m submitting this bullshit to the annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest for bad writing.

  17. #17 VWXYNot?
    June 19, 2007

    Please visit http://www.needgod.com

    Ha! I answered NO to “have you ever broken the 1st commandment?” (thou shalt have no other gods before me). I don’t believe in any gods, and back when I did it was the Christian god, so I’m pretty sure I answered correctly. I then got told that if I’d answered NO I must be lying, therefore I’d actually broken 2 commandments. Hilarious.

  18. #18 Ichthyic
    June 19, 2007

    Would you sell one of your eyes for a million dollars? How about both eyes for ten million? No one in their right mind would! Your eyes are precious to you… but they are only a “window” for your soul.

    if both of my eyes are worth ten mill, and they are nothing compared to my soul…

    I just won the lottery!

  19. #19 Jim Lippard
    June 19, 2007

    One of the little-noticed details in the Briese report about the CMI/AiG split is that Andrew Snelling was dismissed from CMI, for undisclosed reasons. After that termination, he worked as a contractor for the ICR, making $85K-$95K/year doing some kind of research work for them.

  20. #20 Roger Scott
    June 19, 2007

    Snelling is two faced according to this link
    http://home.austarnet.com.au/stear/realsnelling.htm
    Doing the Lord’s work sometimes requires these kinds of adjustments.

  21. #21 Andrés Diplotti
    June 19, 2007

    From http://www.needgod.com/010.shtml

    Think of it this way… Imagine you’re in a courtroom again, you’re guilty of many serious crimes. The judge says, “It’s a fine of $500,000, or prison.” You don’t have anywhere near that amount of money, so the bailiff begins to walk you out of the courtroom when someone you don’t even know appears. He runs up to the judge with a check and says, “I’ve paid the fine for you.” Now that the fine has been paid, the law no longer has any hold on you. You’re free — because of the gift you were given.

    Perhaps I’d feel a little better if the guy who made the law, the guy who judged me and gave the verdict, and the guy who will execute the sentence weren’t all the same guy who is now offering to pay my fine in exchange of servitude. Some people have a really, really weird notion of justice.

  22. #22 Andrés Diplotti
    June 19, 2007

    From http://www.needgod.com/010.shtml

    Think of it this way… Imagine you’re in a courtroom again, you’re guilty of many serious crimes. The judge says, “It’s a fine of $500,000, or prison.” You don’t have anywhere near that amount of money, so the bailiff begins to walk you out of the courtroom when someone you don’t even know appears. He runs up to the judge with a check and says, “I’ve paid the fine for you.” Now that the fine has been paid, the law no longer has any hold on you. You’re free — because of the gift you were given.

    Perhaps I’d feel a little better if the guy who made the law, the guy who judged me and gave the verdict, and the guy who will execute the sentence weren’t all the same guy who is now offering to pay my fine in exchange of servitude. Some people have a really, really weird notion of justice.

  23. #23 AJ MIlne
    June 19, 2007

    http://www.needgod.com

    Comedy gold, ‘mark’. But dude, I have bad news. These ‘Living Waters’ folks to which you have so helpfully directed us are hopelessly behind the times.

    I mean, yes, I know, you’ve got an earnest book that warns all and sundry of the cost of many standard crimes: lusting after others, telling lies, failing to worship a certain alleged magical sky guy… But hadn’t you heard?

    That book was the work of a false prophet. It’s all lies.

    The real gospel, I happen to have in hand, right here. I call it ‘the gospel of Dave’. It is the one true gospel, verily, and recently imparted unto one Dave Wilson, of Albuquerque, New Mexico (who still lives with his parents at age 30, yes, but is otherwise a pretty cool guy) by the One True God. You may be certain that is inerrant and represents the wishes of the One True God because: ta da! It says it is inerrant and represents the wishes of the One True God!…

    And since it is inerrant, this must be right.

    The gospel of Dave, however, has slightly different commandments you are now required to follow… and seeing as you’re probably not yet familiar with them, allow me to impart them unto you:

    1) Actually, the deity doesn’t care if you have other gods before it… so long as you stuff two baby carrots up your nose (one in each nostril… this is very important), and send us all a picture of this. You may post the link to this forum.

    2) Lust is okay, too, so long as you wear a snorkel, mask, flippers, and an unpleasantly revealing Speedo, in public, every second Sunday, and walk down the main street singing ‘Oh, I enjoy being a girl’. Of this, we will require video.

    3) But, tho’ lust is now okay (subject to the prior requirement), breathing is now a sin.

    Have you ever breathed?

    What? You have!?

    Next, I suppose, you’re going to tell me that you have also (4) eaten, (5) defecated, (6) urinated, and (7) slept…

    Yep, all verboten, I’m afraid. Dave’s god is actually okay with your mammalian sex drive, but any expression of all the other basic biological drives are now sins in its stead, I’m afraid.

    Sorry, ‘mark’. Bad news, dude. You need Dave’s god.

    But send us the video and the photo. We’ll put in a good word for you.

  24. #24 woozy (god free for 45 years)
    June 19, 2007

    Ha! I answered NO to “have you ever broken the 1st commandment?” (thou shalt have no other gods before me). I don’t believe in any gods, and back when I did it was the Christian god, so I’m pretty sure I answered correctly. I then got told that if I’d answered NO I must be lying, therefore I’d actually broken 2 commandments. Hilarious.

    By the same logic (except I never believed in the christian god), I also answered “no” to the 1st commandment question. I wasn’t called a liar. Odd. Still, I’m going to hell.

    But it said it’d answer two questions. It never answered if I was a good person in God’s eyes!

  25. #25 woozy (god free for 45 years)
    June 19, 2007

    Ha! I answered NO to “have you ever broken the 1st commandment?” (thou shalt have no other gods before me). I don’t believe in any gods, and back when I did it was the Christian god, so I’m pretty sure I answered correctly. I then got told that if I’d answered NO I must be lying, therefore I’d actually broken 2 commandments. Hilarious.

    By the same logic (except I never believed in the christian god), I also answered “no” to the 1st commandment question. I wasn’t called a liar. Odd. Still, I’m going to hell.

    But it said it’d answer two questions. It never answered if I was a good person in God’s eyes!

  26. #26 Berlzebub
    June 19, 2007

    I took the needgod test, and the results were stupifying. It’s like the entire Bible. No matter what you say, it conflicts somewhere else.

    I need to remember to post about this one. It’s just too funny to pass up.

    Oh, and apparently having lustful thoughts about my wife is adultery. Figure that one out!

  27. #27 woozy (oops)
    June 19, 2007

    Oops, I’m a liar.

    It did say I was. I just didn’t read carefully. (refering to #17 BTW).

    No-one’s ever kept the first commandment????

  28. #28 ron
    June 19, 2007

    “Ah, an omnipotent, universe-creating god who is limited to only one son whom god sent to ‘die’ and then come back to life in payment to god so god can forgive us for transgressing against god. Who buys this story?”

    Idiots. It would actually be a sacrifice if jesus stayed dead, like real sacrificial victims. or if jesus stayed in hell to suffer in the place of people that believed in him instead of instantly rising all the way to a cushy job as VP in heaven, jumping in front of many more qualified candidates that had been slaving for years in God’s Universe Inc. But I guess being the boss’s son has its benefits.

  29. #29 james
    June 19, 2007

    how the hell do you get to go to heaven on this stupid test?

  30. #30 woozy (I guess they couldn't afford a programmer)
    June 19, 2007

    How weird. So no matter what you answer you get the same result. Everyone is going to hell (because everyone has broken the first commandment). And even if you are saved and take the test again, you get the same result and are going to hell.

    What the heck is the point of harping on and on about hell if everybody’s going there?

    A friend of mine is going to hell for using the pages of her bible to roll a joint when she was fifteen. I admire her creativity. I’m going to hell for lying about being an athiest. Kinda boring.

  31. #31 Ole
    June 19, 2007

    And a quick search for articles by ‘Snelling A’ or ‘Snelling A*’ in Web of Science reveals six published papers between 1979 and 1987. Cited a total of 28 times since then. This would be OK for a recent graduate or somebody doing his/hers first postdoc, but not to claim that “Dr. Snelling’s stature among the scientific community should be an unequivocal sign to the academic world and the media that serious research is being conducted at AiG and its museum.”

  32. #32 Rob Coover
    June 19, 2007

    On the page http://www.livingwaters.com/articles_growth.shtml
    it says that “88% of children raised in evangelical homes leave the church, never to return.”

    I would shout Hallelujah for the good news, but I don’t think I can trust any of their figures.

  33. #33 Pablo
    June 19, 2007

    To second Ole’s comment, I got the same results. However, I will just note that the publication list looks basically to be from his graduate work. IOW, he hasn’t published anything in the scientific literature since grad school. Twenty years of no scientific publications is not the mark of a research scientist with any “stature in the scientific community.”

    Once again, these people show that they don’t have a clue about science. A PhD does not give you stature. It only lets you play the game on your own. Stature is earned by saying something useful in the field. Snelling hasn’t done that since 1987.

  34. #34 Brownian
    June 19, 2007

    Um, hello? Why would Dr. Snelling even bother trying to get something published subject to peer review by a bunch of godless atheists, humanists, and other secularists? We know they’d just suppress his work so they can keep pubLIEshing articles purporting to support EVILution.

    Clearly, his lack of peer-reviewed work is a testament to his integrity and commitment to the TRUTH of the BIBLE.

    Note: Instead of producing EVILdence, I capitalised the words I’m emotionally invested in. That way you know my opinion won’t be swayed by your facts.

  35. #35 jimmiraybob
    June 19, 2007

    It was the best of geological times, it was the worst of geological times……

    A Tale of Two Geologists:

    Dr Alex Ritchie, The Skeptic’, Vol. 11, No. 4, pp 12-15

    (a) Dr A A Snelling 1 – creationist geologist, a director of CSF and regular contributor to, and sometime editor of, the CSF’s quarterly magazine, Ex Nihilo (now CREATION ex nihilo).

    (b) Dr A A Snelling 2 – consulting geologist who works on uranium mineralisation and publishes in refereed scientific journals.

    Snelling 1 seldom, if ever, cites articles written by Snelling 2 and Snelling 2 never cites articles written by Snelling 1.

  36. #36 Kseniya
    June 19, 2007

    “88% of children raised in evangelical homes leave the church, never to return.”

    Wow. And what does this tell us? Anything? It suggests, to me, something similar to what my mother told me about why she cut herself off completely from her profoundly dysfunctional family of origin. (We can dismiss that as anecdotal, of course.)

    Once again, these people show that they don’t have a clue about science.

    Pablo, you are heart-warmingly uncynical. I think what is shows is they are clueful about public relations. They have their PhD Geologist, and by the grace of Gumby, they’re going to parade that PhD around for all it’s worth.

    (stuff about eyes, souls, and lotteries)

    The eyes may be the windows to the soul, but… Murine, good – Windex, bad. Please don’t ask me how I know this.

  37. #37 Kseniya
    June 19, 2007

    jimmiraybob: Oh my! That is interesting.

  38. #38 Gork
    June 19, 2007

    “… serious research is being conducted at AiG and its museum …”

    Har-dee-har-dee-har-har-har! Oh, that’s rich, that’s really rich …

    Oops, I wet myself.

  39. #39 woozy (geez talk about graft!)
    June 19, 2007

    still obsessing about the http://www.needgod.com site

    (refer to comment #21)

    Ha, good point! But it’s even worse that the law maker seems to have put in a law in which it is logistically impossible not to break for the apparent purpose of soully (ha! I’m such a wit!) entrapping endentured servants. I imagine such a law might be “1. All citizens must be registered at birth. 2. The duty of registration cannot be delegated to others or to legal guardians without the delegatee’s written consent.”

    Okay, I finally get the “quiz”. Everybody is going to hell and Everybody deserves to go to hell. The only way out is servitude to Jesus.

  40. #40 Brownian
    June 19, 2007

    “Dr. Snelling’s research has demonstrated that a global flood more than 4,300 years ago explains most rock layers and fossil deposits found around the world. Building from this foundation, Dr. Snelling has made predictions as to what should be found if a catastrophic global flood actually happened (e.g., the existence of extensive rock layers).”

    Let’s look at this, albeit superficially, since it’s not all that specific.

    Dr. Snelling’s research has demonstrated that a global flood more than 4,300 years ago explains most rock layers and fossil deposits found around the world.

    So, the existence of rock layers can be explained by a global flood, huh? Okay, let’s go with that. What are the implications then?

    Building from this foundation, Dr. Snelling has made predictions as to what should be found if a catastrophic global flood actually happened (e.g., the existence of extensive rock layers).

    Uh, what? The global flood theory, apparently supported by the existence of extensive rock layers, goes on to predict the existence of extensive rock layers?

    Am I somehow wrong in my interpretation of this paragraph?

  41. #41 David Marjanovi?
    June 19, 2007

    Please visit http://www.needgod.com

    That site presupposes the existence of God, mark. If you assume your conclusions instead of reaching them, you will not convince anyone.

    (Now let’s see if Lowercase mark is a hit-and-run troll, or if he ever comes back.)

  42. #42 David Marjanovi?
    June 19, 2007

    Please visit http://www.needgod.com

    That site presupposes the existence of God, mark. If you assume your conclusions instead of reaching them, you will not convince anyone.

    (Now let’s see if Lowercase mark is a hit-and-run troll, or if he ever comes back.)

  43. #43 David Marjanovi?
    June 19, 2007

    Everybody is going to hell and Everybody deserves to go to hell. The only way out is servitude to Jesus.

    Maybe.

    (Apparently they believe in good works rather than in SOLA FIDES. I thought they are Protestants?)

  44. #44 David Marjanovi?
    June 19, 2007

    Everybody is going to hell and Everybody deserves to go to hell. The only way out is servitude to Jesus.

    Maybe.

    (Apparently they believe in good works rather than in SOLA FIDES. I thought they are Protestants?)

  45. #45 blf
    June 19, 2007

    Please visit http://www.needgod.com

    Why?

  46. #46 chaos_engineer
    June 19, 2007

    Wait, wait, wait! Real geologists think that Snelling’s work is merely “sloppy”, as opposed to “boneheaded” or “dishonest” or “not even Geology”? That’s a real coup for AiG! At this rate, it won’t be too long before they’ve got a supporter who does “uninspired” or even “mediocre” work!

    Would you sell one of your eyes for a million dollars? How about both eyes for ten million? No one in their right mind would! Your eyes are precious to you… but they are only a “window” for your soul.

    I’d sell one eye for a million dollars. I don’t think I’d sell both eyes for ten million, but I’d sell both eardrums or both feet.

    Who do I need to talk to in order to get the money? The website didn’t say.

    Oh, and as to the specific function of my eyes to serve as a window for my soul…I’d give that away for free to anybody who really needed it. I’m too busy to let my soul interface directly with my eyes; I’ve been relying on my optic nerve and parts of my brain to do the boring preprocessing work.

  47. #47 lawilson200
    June 19, 2007

    Brownian wrote:

    The global flood theory, apparently supported by the existence of extensive rock layers, goes on to predict the existence of extensive rock layers? Am I somehow wrong in my interpretation of this paragraph?

    No, I think your interpreation is correct. Ham is fond of saying (I am paraphrasing) “that the best evidence for a “global flood” is a billion dead things buried in the ground. And what do you find? Billion of dead things buried in the ground.” So based on this logic, the mere fact we have stratified layers is sufficient to establish a global flood.

    If I knew that geology was going to be this easy, I could have saved myself the money and time and avoided the bachelor degree that I had earned in geology. Oh wait. Since I went into a completely different career field (occupational safety and health) my geology degree was a waste of money anyway.

    However, at least I know more about geology than Snelling does.

  48. #48 Keith Douglas
    June 19, 2007

    lawilson200: Looks like Ham could also solve the perennial problem in epistemology of how explanation works, too. NOT.

  49. #49 Lepht
    June 19, 2007

    oh, i’d sell an eye all right. if i can pay for the rest of my studies for the rest of my life with depth perception, i’m all for it.

    how much are we willing to bet that Snelling’s citations are mostly from people fisking his papers?

    Lepht

  50. #50 Ichthyic
    June 19, 2007

    Uh-oh… I’m headed for Hell.

    don’t forget:

    go through the main gate, right at the squid pits, and straight on to the endless bad sci-fi marathon. Make Joel Hodgson happy.

    oh, we just added a naming contest for the thing; entries being accepted until 7/7/07. Prizes to be awarded by Joel himself.

    Be there or be…

    well, we all know you’ll be there.

  51. #51 Mike Haubrich
    June 19, 2007

    lawilson200: Looks like Ham could also solve the perennial problem in epistemology of how explanation works, too. NOT.

    Posted by: Keith Douglas | June 19, 2007 08:32 PM

    I learned from Borat that “Not” jokes are very funny. NOT!

  52. #52 T. Bruce McNeely
    June 20, 2007

    I’d sell both of my testicles for 10 million…

    but you’d have to pick them up from my ex-wife.

  53. #53 JimC
    June 20, 2007

    Apparently they believe in good works rather than in SOLA FIDES. I thought they are Protestants?)

    Surely they didn’t screw that up also, but I think further ‘reading’ shows sola fides is their belief.

  54. #54 American Scot
    June 20, 2007

    http://www.needgod.com
    I’ll see you all in Hell!

    “Perhaps you feel safe because you don’t believe in Hell. This can be likened to standing in the middle of a busy highway and shouting, “I don’t believe in trucks!” Your belief or disbelief in trucks will not change reality. The same applies in this situation.”

    Uh no, it’s not even close the same thing!
    I can see a truck, I’ve seen a truck. Hell I’ve even driven a fucking truck!
    How is a place that has never been seen by any living human be reality?

  55. #55 Dahan
    June 20, 2007

    My eyes would cost you, but I’ve got a deal for you. I’d be happy to GIVE my soul to any interested party. Just let me know where it is and I’ll box it up and send it off to ya within 3 business days. Shipping included!

  56. #56 arachnophilia
    June 20, 2007

    “Dr. Snelling’s stature among the scientific community should be an unequivocal sign to the academic world and the media that serious research is being conducted at AiG and its museum,” Ham said.

    not to spell out the obvious, but shouldn’t conducting serious research be an unequivocal sign to the academic world and the media that serious research is being conducted at AIG and its museum?

    we have these things called “papers” and “peer reviewed journals” and bringing back a fossil or two wouldn’t hurt. you know, stuff that would actually be physical evidence of the research that is supposedly being conducted? because doing research involves something more that “lying to the public” and “hosting an internet site.”

    or are we, you know, supposed to take that claim on faith too?

  57. #57 csrster
    June 20, 2007

    Andres: you’re forgetting that the same guy also created you _already guilty_. Thanks for nuthin’ 🙂

  58. #58 trcarroll
    June 20, 2007

    Rather than my eyes being a window to my soul , I believe my optic nerve has attached to my rectum . I see a rather shitty outlook for religion .

  59. #59 Christian
    June 20, 2007

    From http://www.needgod.com/010.shtml

    Think of it this way… Imagine you’re in a courtroom again, you’re guilty of many serious crimes. The judge says, “It’s a fine of $500,000, or prison.” You don’t have anywhere near that amount of money, so the bailiff begins to walk you out of the courtroom when someone you don’t even know appears. He runs up to the judge with a check and says, “I’ve paid the fine for you.” Now that the fine has been paid, the law no longer has any hold on you. You’re free — because of the gift you were given.

    Perhaps I’d feel a little better if the guy who made the law, the guy who judged me and gave the verdict, and the guy who will execute the sentence weren’t all the same guy who is now offering to pay my fine in exchange of servitude. Some people have a really, really weird notion of justice.

    And that’s not the only instance of weird justice. In the analogy above the judge accepts the payment of money which has transactional value as opposed to suffering.

    So while there is nothing remarkable about him accepting the stranger paying your fine, I’m sure he would not have accepted the offer of the same person to go to prison in your stead. And the same applies for any other form of corporeal punishment.

    I have yet to see a modern justice system that claims that these kinds of punishment are in any way transferable.
    But this is exactly what the apologists overlook when constructing their silly analogies. And for some unknown reason they always use the payment of money when they try to explain why this Jesus guy had to die for our sins.

  60. #60 Petter Hesselberg
    June 20, 2007

    American Scot @ #50, the needgodders did get one thing right:

    Your belief or disbelief in (trucks/hell/whatever) will not change reality.

    Now, if only they’d followed that thought just a little further…

  61. #61 Science Goddess
    June 20, 2007

    At the risk of being slammed (again), I’d like to address the soul. As in “how do we know we don’t/have one?” Come on, folks, we’re scientists, and of course we can’t measure the soul. We can’t see, feel or hear it. It doesn’t show up on any of our meters. But then again, we couldn’t measure parts of the electromagnetic spectrum until we invented the radio.

    What if there is some kind of universal consciousness? We can’t measure it on our “soul-meter”, but we dimly feel its existence, which we interpret as religion (not literally [grin]).

    Richard Dawkins would call this “non-overlapping magesteria”, and he’d be correct. At least until we develop a “soul-meter”

    SG

  62. #62 Chris Rowan
    June 20, 2007

    No fair! I was out in the field and couldn’t apply!

  63. #63 Jeebus
    June 20, 2007

    Of course, we can’t ignore what The Simpsons have to say on the subject…

    Lisa: I would like to say grace. Ahem. Lord, have mercy on my soul…and Mom’s soul…and Dad’s soul…and Maggie’s soul…and let every soul in Christendom —

    [Bart throws a fry at Lisa]

    Marge: Bart!
    Bart: I can’t take this any more. I want my soul, and I want it now! [runs out]

    Homer: Bart, you didn’t finish your spaghetti and Moe balls!
    Homer’s brain: Silence, you fool. It can be ours!
    Homer: [eating] Run, boy! Run! Run for your life, boy!

    🙂

  64. #64 Dahan
    June 20, 2007

    #57

    “What if there is some kind of universal consciousness? We can’t measure it on our “soul-meter”, but we dimly feel its existence, which we interpret as religion”

    What if the number 42 really IS the answer to the question of life, the universe and everything? What if the universe really IS nothing more than an atom in a giants fingernail? What if I really AM the only sentient being and I made all you up? Gimme a break. That’s a pretty ignorant way to approach reality.

    With regard to the soul’s ability to not be measured you state that “we couldn’t measure parts of the electromagnetic spectrum until we invented the radio.”

    Well, yeah, one of the many differences is that we didn’t have a very large percentage of the populace believing in the electromagnetic spectrum on a “dimly felt feeling” before its discovery who decided law and social structure on it’s whim.

    Don’t you get it yet? The “What if” game is infinite in it’s possibilities, making it worthless. The “dimly felt feeling” is easily accounted for in other-than supernatural ways. Try to deal with reality, honest, it’s not that bad. Lots of us do and are really happy and productive members of society.

    What if I didn’t actually reply to your post? What if I’m the ghost of Douglas Adams? Or what if the soul really is the equivalent of Prestor John’s christian kingdom? What’s more realistic when you look at the facts?

  65. #65 John Marley
    June 20, 2007

    Please visit http://www.needgod.com

    I wrote a post about this ‘test’ a few weeks ago.

  66. #66 Margaret
    June 20, 2007

    That nut Snelling gave a colloquium on the 6000 year old Earth at the place I work, and there’s a video of it available on our internal network. Did I mention that I work for a U.S. government lab located on a U.S. military base? Similar nuts, like Michael Behe, have also given talks here.

  67. #67 MikeM
    June 20, 2007

    I took one semester of geology in college in about 1980. Slept through most of it because of the amount of overtime I was working at the time. Got a B in it.

    Bet this makes me more qualified for the job than the clown Ham hired.

  68. #68 Margaret
    June 20, 2007

    Bet this makes me more qualified for the job than the clown Ham hired.

    Ham is not known for his skill in hiring. See this article about the actor hired by the cretin museum as Adam.

  69. #69 woozy (my IQ would dry out french bread after a few hours)
    June 20, 2007

    MikeM said:

    “I took one semester of geology in college in about 1980. Slept through most of it because of the amount of overtime I was working at the time. Got a B in it.

    Bet this makes me more qualified for the job than the clown Ham hired.”

    Well that depends on the hiree’s criteria.

    The guy’s legit, which in and of itself is kind of scary, so in that sense he’s a better geologist than you or me (I’m about the same as you). On the other hand he was willing/eager to sign the “museum’s” afidavit of faith claiming evertything in scripture is true and any evidence or reasoning that contradicts scripture is false. I’d like to believe most scientific organizations would consider anyone willing to sign such a document a betrayer of science. In that sense this guy could have a Hawkin’s like IQ and complete mastery of Geology and still you and I would be better canidates. On the other hand, the museum’s criteria are, of course, some-one who will conclude new world/creationism claptrap, declaim “evolutionism”, and appear legitimate with a degree and all. In that light, this schnook is near ideal. Admittedly his IQ is probably hot summer day rather than Hawkin’s roast a Ham IQ and his adaquecy at Geology appears to be mediocre at best (published a few legitimate (non-creationist) articles; last one in 1990), but this is probably as good as creationism gets.

    Kinda scary that anyone capible of earning a legitimate science PhD. would be able to cling to the New World claptrap. And vice versa.

  70. #70 Science Goddess
    June 20, 2007

    Thanks, Dahan, for clearing that up. I won’t post such revolutionary stuff again. Many in this group seem more interested in bashing the spiritual than in discussing some of the more interesting “unknowns” out there. Even though I’m a hard scientist, I’m a soft atheist. Much softer than most of you guys.

    SG

  71. #71 woozy
    June 20, 2007

    #66

    Well, I wouldn’t say the folks of this group want to “bash” the spiritual so much as the folks of this group have utterly no interest in the spiritual, have long ago formed very firm opinions upon the spiritual based on rational and empirical methods, and as fans of PZ have low tolerance of soft thinking and religious apologists.

    Okay, I guess they do want to “bash” the spiritual, but you say that as though it were a bad thing. I’m kind of interested in the spiritual but as an athiest I really view them as psychological and mythological aspect of the human condition. However really isn’t the place to discuss them as I doubt others of “the group” are in the least bit interested.

    The question (yours?) about “what if there were a soul” and what if there we some future way to measure it… Well, when and if science discovered the evidence and the method for measuring it, science would study it then. Could there be a “soul”? Well, there is conscience in the brain… Could there be a “soul” elsewhere? Well, first of we’d have to define what we mean. As the brain forms thoughts, what is the “soul” supposed to be other than that? And if we did define it differently, why should we have any reason to believe such a thing exists? Basically, other than attempting to prove or disprove a religious belief, there seems to be no meaning or reason to the question.

  72. #72 Dan
    June 20, 2007

    Science Goddess:

    I won’t post such revolutionary stuff again. Many in this group seem more interested in bashing the spiritual than in discussing some of the more interesting “unknowns” out there.

    You’d think that someone who calls herself “Science Goddess” would understand that idle speculation about vaguely defined socio-religious constructs based on absolutely no evidence whatsoever doesn’t qualify as science.

    But apparently not.

  73. #73 Caledonian
    June 20, 2007

    I think the emphasis is on ‘Goddess’ and not on ‘Science’.

  74. #74 Dan
    June 20, 2007

    Well, I was going to make a crack about her atheism not being the only part of her that’s gone soft.

  75. #75 Caledonian
    June 20, 2007

    That’s not fair – her cranial arteries haven’t gone soft, they’re as hard as a rock.

  76. #76 MikeM
    June 21, 2007

    woozy #65

    Well, you’re right. Dang. There goes my attempt at humor.

    I’d throw the scientific method at it, and already I’m ahead. Sure, I’d have a lot to learn about geology, and I’d try not to falsify data to support a faulty hypothesis. Crap. I’d be a lousy YEC.

    I can’t even be funny any more. I feel gyped, dammit.

  77. #77 Keith Douglas
    June 22, 2007

    Science Goddess: Well, for one thing, what the soul is supposed to do as it stands in your post is ill defined. Also, if it is not made of matter, one does run quickly into conservation law problems.

  78. #78 Duae Quartunciae
    June 24, 2007

    Have you noticed that both Andrew Snelling and Ken Ham are Australians?

    Indeed, Answers in Genesis is pretty close to being an Australian export to the USA. It gets better; or worse, depending on where you live. There is a nasty little split between the Australian parent body and the USA group. The Australians are now “Creation Ministries International”; with the USA still being “Answers in Genesis”. The lawsuit concerns, amongst other things, a fight over subscriptions to the magazine. A major source of income for the Australian group used to be their sales to Americans of Creation magazine. (See Answers in Genesis lawsuit.) So that’s another export. And recently, CMI has set up an office in the USA, mainly to keep selling the magazine. Perhaps we can foist another couple of creationists off to the USA office.

    Is that OK with you guys?

  79. #79 PZ Myers
    June 24, 2007

    No, actually, I think it’s an act of war.

    Is it OK if we send a few marines your way?

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