Pharyngula

Answers in Genesis started this so-called peer reviewed journal called Answers, and the latest publication therein is such a confused mess that I’m wondering if it could be a hoax. Here’s the abstract, but I think just the title alone would be sufficient to tell this is codified lunacy: An Apology and Unification Theory for the Reconciliation of Physical Matter and Metaphysical Cognizance.

Because one is tangible and the other intangible, the physical and metaphysical are generally
treated separately. But this dichotomy is illogical; at the very least it is inconsistent with reality, for
the two are inseparable. A basic introduction to the principle issues in quantum physics is provided
to stress two points: (1) our physical reality consists mostly of empty space, electromagnetic energy,
and information; and (2) the metaphysical implications of nonlocality as evidenced by studies in
entanglement, quantum teleportation, and zero-point energy. Then the impossibility of three
critical events is addressed: the spontaneous ex nihilo appearance of an exploding mass via its
own nonexistent energy, the spontaneous generation of organic life from inorganic nonlife, and the
spontaneous generation of a complex metaphysical reality from physical matter. This leads to an
apology for the necessity of a creator.

Finally, a theory is set forth that reconciles inorganic, organic, and animated matter with the
metaphysical realities of both the creator and the created. By coupling the metaphysical implications
of quantum physics with the biblical understanding of God’s attributes, the thesis is set forth that our
immediate physical reality–consisting of empty space, electromagnetic energy, and information–is
basically a hologram depiction of God’s intent. God spoke and it was so. Since creation, God’s Spirit
has continued to energize and interact with the universe in an entangled nature at the quantum
level. Similarly, the individual metaphysical reality (the spirit) of each animated being interacts with its
individual corporal body via this same entangled nature at the subatomic level.

Man being created in the image of God, freewill, the existence of evil, and redemption are also
addressed. And finally, because man is a special creature created in God’s image, it follows that
man, merely by intent, has within him the ability, at least in a limited capacity, to cause change to his
environment, this holographic reality; thus biblical healings and miracles occur. This concept could
also provide an explanation for certain other human-generated phenomenon.

It’s a long, rambling piece of nonsense which uses the author’s personal disbelief in evolution (formed as a young child!) as evidence, misrepresents many scientific theories (the Big Bang was a fiery explosion, evolution is a process to generate a metaphysically aware being), throws up Jesus as a scientific catch-all explanation, and ends in a flurry of Bible quotes. It’s incoherent; calling it a collection of musings would dignify it far too much, and imply more logic to his babbling than can be found there.

Here’s a perfect example of the kind of irrational leaps I’m talking about.

There currently exist a number of people who believe the Great Pyramids of Egypt were built by aliens to serve as navigational devices–an outlandish claim to be sure, but actually no more unwarranted than is Darwin’s evolution. One could argue their evidence and reasoning is as solid as that of Darwinism. What if a group of archaeologists were to take up this hypothesis and say: “Because some ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs seem to speak of bright lights and beings from the sky who taught technology; and because some of the giant stones, perfectly placed hundreds of feet high, weigh as much as 20 tons; we have concluded that the Great Pyramids of Egypt were constructed by aliens; and unless this can be proved incorrect we shall accept it as fact.” No one in their right mind would take them seriously. Yet this is exactly what Darwin’s proponents have done. From very sparse, selective, and controversial evidence at best, they have set forth the argument of a noncomplex universe in which simple life-forms slowly evolved into more advanced life-forms; and they expect it to be accepted as fact unless it can be proven wrong.

Wait … but these “Darwinists” are the ones who are arguing that extant, natural mechanisms led to the evolution of life on earth; we aren’t postulating alien intervention or a divine hand. It’s the creationists who, with no evidence, are proposing that the difficulty and complexity of biology means they can conclude that life was constructed by a designer deity. The author is blissfully unaware of the irony of his example.

The whole thing is a fact-free mess like that, and I’d have to spend the next few weeks ripping this up if I wanted to be thorough. I’d rather not. You’re all smart people, you can go laugh at the inanity without a tour guide.

Actually, it is so bad that I rather doubt that any of you are responsible for the article, despite some earlier talk when the journal was announced that someone should submit a pseudo-scholarly article to fake them out. Admit it, if you thought about it, no matter how briefly, you probably also were thinking that the hard part would be making the stupidity subtle enough that it would get past the AiG “reviewers”. Who would have thought you could just grab a collection of the dumbest things Kent Hovind or his ilk have said, slap them together with no sense of order, and polish out the corn-pone language, and presto, publishable creationist paper?

Comments

  1. #1 Craig
    February 28, 2008

    There’s a debate with creationists going on on Slashdot at the moment over an article posted this morning about evolution.

    I’m just plain depressed after seeing people trying to refute evolution with comments like this, AFTER having had some things explained to them by others:

    “Genesis 1:31 “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning–the sixth day.”

    Please explain to me then why it is clearly outlined in the first chapter of the bible that there are seven seperate days? Are each of these “a long time” and are they all of different length? Reading the text literally in either Hebrew or English does not give the slightest indication of that.

    So please explain to me then, why is it clearly outlined that each seperate day has a different purpose? These days are sequential, they are not concurrent. The general scientific view of the origin of species, the origin of the universe and the origin of life is that all these things are happening at the same time. Man and mammals all evolved concurrently and continue to evolve, who knows when another intelligence species will popup at any time, right?

    Please explain to me why there would be millions of years of death before the first man of today? For a God that is perfect, surely a world that is “very good” (as mentioned in Genesis 1:31) would not have millenia of death, suffering, disease and killing as science entails?”

    “Genesis 1. If interpreted literally, like it is within the protestant church, implies that Earth and it’s life was created in 6 days and on the 7th day, God rested. Regardless of whether other people interpret it metaphorically or whatever, this is a serious claim.

    Such a claim should be investigated and not rejected at its face value. That is all that I am trying to say. As I said before, since the origin of species is a forensic science, you must keep all the doors open. Many claim that the evidence for evolution is overwhelming. However, many scientists and normal people alike disagree.

    These things alone should be reason enough to atleast investigate intelligent design (or atleast that the world was created rapidly). The question is, if the world was created so quickly, is science capable of explaining such things? How could you determine such a thing in experiments?

    This guy was raised a creationist and complains about people being “force-fed evolution.”

    Who was force fed?

  2. #2 Craig
    February 28, 2008

    oops. sorry, that didnt look so long in the preview.

  3. #3 Kimpatsu
    February 28, 2008

    I see that “Sokal” has now become a verb, as in “Who Sokaled AIG?” I wish someone would make a verb out of my name.
    Or, as Calvin once said to Hobbes, “I like to verb words… Verbing weirds language.”

  4. #4 Holbach
    February 28, 2008

    What psychobabble crap! I couldn’t even finish reading
    that insane bullshit! Good grief, is there no end to this
    rampant insanity?

  5. #5 X. Wolp
    February 28, 2008

    well it’s “peer-reviewed”, alright
    nobody ever said something about the nature of the peers though

  6. #6 hyperdeath
    February 28, 2008

    It’s a classical example of a “two gods” argument.

    One one hand, they have a sublime metaphysical being who fills the gaps that science (supposedly) can’t.

    On the other hand, they have their virgin-raping earth-flooding fig-tree-smiting superman, who (much like Santa Claus) leaves eternal life in their stocking.

    How exactly do they make the leap from “the necessity of a creator” to “Jeeebus is Lorrrrrrrrrd!!!!!!”?

  7. #7 Zeno
    February 28, 2008

    Damn. Someone beat me to it? But my paper on the Noachian water canopy isn’t done yet!

  8. #8 Zachary Kroger
    February 28, 2008

    “Admit it, if you thought about it, no matter how briefly, you probably also were thinking that the hard part would be making the stupidity subtle enough that it would get past the AiG ‘reviewers’.”

    LOL!!! Its funny cause its true. I contemplated making up some sort of rediculous argument and submitting it… but after downloading their format info stuff, I decided it wasnt worth the time.

    It would be funny, but not THAT funny.

  9. #9 Kimbits
    February 28, 2008

    I may be way off, but the more I read the various creationist attempts the more it seems to me they’re mentally stuck in highschool. It seems like they think copying the format of a piece of writing is the same thing as presenting something solid: Referring to things that others have wrote seems to equate to being well informed. It’s kind of interesting, and a little frightening.

  10. #10 chancelikely
    February 28, 2008

    I don’t know… it’s got that Timecube level of crazy where the individual just might believe it. I was certain that Fred Phelps was a joke (although a less literate one) when I first heard about him.

    kimpatsu: (v.) To be jealous of someone else’s name being turned into a verb.

  11. #11 Reginald Selkirk
    February 28, 2008

    Please explain to me then why it is clearly outlined in the first chapter of the bible that there are seven seperate days?

    Your comeback line: Please explain to me why four of those days are named after Germanic gods and the other three are named after astronomical objects/Greco-Roman gods.

  12. #12 Jason Failes
    February 28, 2008

    “thus biblical healings and miracles occur.”

    Wow. Most Christian apologists are busily making up excuses for why miracles and healing do not occur (we don’t have enough faith, god does not like being tested etc), but this fellow is going the opposite way: He deduces that miracles and healings must occur (and I guess we just must not be observing them, or it’s part of the Evil Scitheist Conspiracy to cover up all such events)

  13. #13 Stephen Wells
    February 28, 2008

    No, no, kimpatsu is a kind of Korean delicacy involving pickled squid.

  14. #14 Abbie
    February 28, 2008

    Please explain to me why four of those days are named after Germanic gods and the other three are named after astronomical objects/Greco-Roman gods.

    Actually, I’d like to know that. Somehow it always slipped my notice that Saturn was the odd god out.

  15. #15 dNorrisM
    February 28, 2008

    (Apologies to Paul Simon)


    but I would not be convicted by a jury of my peers
    Still crazy after all these years, LAWD still crazy
    after all these years

    Hmm, so if if we were made in god’s image, s/he may simply be schitzophrenic (A point alluded to by hyperdeath)

  16. #16 Paul Phoenix
    February 28, 2008

    If anything this is a theology paper. But it doesn’t look particularly good.

    C-

  17. #17 Peter Mc
    February 28, 2008

    If it’s not a hoax, there’s a Christian wordprocessing (called CrossWord?) package with a ‘bullshitizer’ function?

  18. #18 Rationalist
    February 28, 2008

    Good science. Really moves us forward. I look forward to our engineering colleagues making full use of this work to revolutionise medical science and other technology.

    Bravo.

    NOT.

  19. #19 kid bitzer
    February 28, 2008

    #14–
    and the moral of that story is: don’t mess with Saturn.
    he’ll eat you for breakfast.

    they don’t call him saturnine for nothing.
    (he has to pay them to do it).

  20. #20 hinschelwood
    February 28, 2008

    My favourite piece of pyramidiocy:

    If you mark the positions of the three pyramids on a map and then draw lines between the apexes, it forms a triangle.

    Nobody can argue with that. Very profound.

  21. #21 kid bitzer
    February 28, 2008

    #15–
    no, no–we’re made in his *image*,
    so that means we’re just *images*,
    so that explains why we’re all *holograms*.

    weren’t you paying attention at all?

  22. #22 Umilik
    February 28, 2008

    … what a depressing load of mental effluent.
    I tried to confirm some of the refs that had links – but alas, not one was accessible or they led to websites of organizations that did not provide further access to the actual “works” cited.
    Yes, I was surprised…
    Does anybody know who the author is ? There’s no info on any affiliation..

  23. #23 Kerlyssa
    February 28, 2008

    hinschel: What about pyramids that are built next to each other? Wouldn’t they form a line?

  24. #24 Richard Harris
    February 28, 2008

    …Earth and it’s life was created in 6 days and on the 7th day, God rested.

    So, this god thing rested, obviously because it was tired, eh! So the bugger can’t be perfect, yet the religiots claim that it is. Fools! Furthermore, if it took that long to create the Earth, including the rest of the Solar System, what about the galaxy, & 100 billion other galaxies – that’d take at least 10^22 days = 2.7^19 years, which is billions of times more than the age of the universe. Idiots!

    And man was created in the god thing’s image, they say. That bit kinda figures – their god thing’s a thoroughly nasty bit of work according their bible book.

  25. #25 Anon
    February 28, 2008

    Sounds like Vogon poetry to me.

  26. #26 Paul Phoenix
    February 28, 2008

    I’m worried it might be standing on the shoulders of giants. Wasn’t there a similarly revolutionary paper in the ‘Journal of Applied Fairyology’ last month? You know the same issue with the compelling paper on the hypothesis that Elvis is trapped in 11-dimensional space somewhere.

  27. #27 hinschelwood
    February 28, 2008

    Kerlyssa:

    Shhhh. Don’t spoil it. I like this fact so much, I don’t want anything like reality to get in the way.

  28. #28 Armchair Dissident
    February 28, 2008

    No, no, kimpatsu is a kind of Korean delicacy involving pickled squid.

    No, no, no! It’s Japanese for “Blonde hair” (well, close enough) :)

  29. #29 Graculus
    February 28, 2008

    Somehow it always slipped my notice that Saturn was the odd god out.

    Only in English. Given the habits of the rest of the English language, it’s really not surprising that it makes no sense.

    Of course, English being God’s own language (KJV), you could probably have the fundies going round in circles on that one forever.

  30. #30 Forrest Prince
    February 28, 2008

    I do not understand quantum physics. I necessarily do not, for were I to make the opposite claim that I do understand quantum physics it would be self-contradictory. Oh well.

    So, since no one can claim to understand quantum physics without being self-contradictory, how is it that we can talk about it at all without everything we say being mere speculation?

    Because, in fact, we do understand quantum physics to some extent, but because we’re intellectually honest we do not claim to understand it fully and completely. We claim to understand it tentatively, which is rational and responsible. It is this admission of tentative understanding which separates the scientist and the scientifically-minded from the crackpot.

    Creationists (and myriad others) are crackpots in this regard. They will take the feeblest grasp of understanding quantum concepts such as superposition and symmetry breaking and entanglement and confidently proclaim such nonsense as “See? This proves mind-body dualism!” i.e. the existence of the “soul”, or of consciousness independent of brain activity, or “This proves there must be a sky-daddy that simply thought the universe into existence.”

    Balderdash. Quantum physics only shows that the fundamentals of our existence are deeper than we have yet imagined. Which means of course that we have much yet to learn.

    I don’t know how the universe came into existence. I don’t know the answers to thousands of other grand questions. I may learn some of these answers some day, or I may not. It doesn’t matter. It is the ability to make that simple, honest admission “I don’t know” that allows me the peace of mind to live in an uncertain world. It is the fear of uncertainty that compels people to embrace religion and then rip off science as a cloak for their insecurity. A sad spectacle, indeed.

  31. #31 CalGeorge
    February 28, 2008

    Man being created in the image of God, freewill, the existence of evil, and redemption are also addressed. And finally, because man is a special creature created in God’s image, it follows that man, merely by intent, has within him the ability, at least in a limited capacity, to cause change to his environment, this holographic reality; thus biblical healings and miracles occur. This concept could also provide an explanation for certain other human-generated phenomenon.

    Hey, it’s nice to see someone isn’t afraid to use the word MAN to describe us human inhabitants of the planet. Woooooo!

  32. #32 Aaron
    February 28, 2008

    That whole thing REEKS of Ex Post Facto arguments.

    re: Zero Point Energy — hasn’t that been summarily dismissed by most research? I know that one crackpot lady who did the “What the bleep do we know” movie is a big advocate of ZPE, but I thought she was debunked…

    Did you notice how the paragraphs take on the traditional rhythm of AiG articles? (not surprisingly of course)

    – Premise
    – Premise
    – Premise …
    – Red Herring / Straw Man conclusion at end of paragraph

    I call it “Fallacy En Passant” (TM)

  33. #33 gerald spezio
    February 28, 2008

    Creating Christian buzz and brain damage thru the magic of buzzwords – a variant of linguistic determinism/framing.

    The “incommensurables” finally commensurated and presented for our bamboozlement.

    The site & geologist Snelling appear to be genuine.

    One rather obvious observation & more than a nit:
    Here is the last sentence from the abstract;
    “This concept could also provide an explanation for certain other human-generated phenomenon.”

    How could such a glaring misuse of “phenomenon” for phenomena (especially in this context) so easily pass careful editing and review, especially in such a world shaking assertive paper using science as the vehicle?
    It is highly improbable that any competent & sophisticated scientist, knowledgable in quantum physics, could make such a serious error?

    It is highly unlikely that a Sokal spoofer would expose his arse so obviously.

    The great success of the new age farce, “What the Bleep …”
    has not been lost on the Christian framer boys & girls.

  34. #34 Ted D
    February 28, 2008

    It seems like they think copying the format of a piece of writing is the same thing as presenting something solid: Referring to things that others have wrote seems to equate to being well informed. It’s kind of interesting, and a little frightening.

    Posted by: Kimbits | February 28, 2008 9:02 AM

    It really is like a cargo cult, isn’t it? “If we build something which looks like an airfield, planes will come and bring things to us.” “If we write something which has the form of a scientific paper, truth will be created and make us right.”

  35. #35 MissPrism
    February 28, 2008

    Hahahahaha!

    The section drivelling on about “When I was but a small boy, I was wont to gaze in wonderment at the stars” is hilarious whether or not it’s intended ironically.

    The other paper there – which insofar as I can be arsed to read it claims that retroviruses were put in our genomes by the Creator but have escaped and given us AIDS since the Fall – is even funnier.

  36. #36 Russell Seitz
    February 28, 2008

    Force-feeding evolution requires proper tools
    http://adamant.typepad.com/seitz/2008/02/juggernaut-bite.html

  37. #37 Ian
    February 28, 2008

    #23 Kerlyssa: “Wouldn’t they form a line?”

    The three pyramids at Gizeh aren’t actually in a perfectly straight line (some people have used this to claim that they represent an Earthly depiction of Orion’s belt) so technically you could, I’m guessing, make a triangle from them, but it would be a very odd-looking one.

    The fact that the creationists are looking at this shows nothing more than that they’re as bent out of shape as are the pyramids! LoL!

  38. #38 Mike from Ottawa
    February 28, 2008

    If you mark the positions of the three pyramids on a map and then draw lines between the apexes, it forms a triangle.< .blockquote>

    But what’s really spooky is it’s an EXACT triangle, one with exactly THREE sides! How could the primitive Egyptians have come up with a triangle with EXACTLY THREE SIDES all on their own!!!!!!

    I must admit that I kimpatsu Sokal.

  39. #39 Carl
    February 28, 2008

    I am telling you all now, this will be the next effort by creationists. ID is gone because it has been ruled out in the courts for being too much like religion, but this will replace it, at least the first couple sections of this. It will be genuine physics with some metaphysical crap sprinkled in.

  40. #40 Kampar
    February 28, 2008

    There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

    I’m willing to bet that this is the first ever paper, scientific, pseudo-scientific, or just plain batshit crazy talk where this sentence appeared as the last line in the concluding statement. Judging by my scanning of the rest of the paper, I would guess it’s the reader’s own eyes and dental work that are set to suffer.

  41. #41 Glen Davidson
    February 28, 2008

    Plenty of questions remain in cosmology, so I don’t think that some skepticism regarding it is out of order (not that Allen’s “skepticism” counts for anything).

    But there’s nothing mysterian about biological evolution at all. Basically, it’s old-fashioned Newtonian science (with a little QM thrown in today), in line with “God’s laws,” or however else the creationists want to portray the order of the universe.

    This idiot is relying on the mysterious matters in cosmology to pretend that there is something mysterious about biological evolution.

    I could, just for the sake of argument, concede everything in cosmology as being so much woo like his Bible is, and still I’d be pointing out that evolution is all cause and effect reasoning, much like Newton’s laws gravity or of motion. The complexity is much greater, yes, but the simple fact of relationship was recognized even prior to modern science. Now we have the genetic evidence that solidly establishes the relatedness of all life, making even relatedness less mysterious than when medievalists recognized it.

    This is standard practice for creationists/IDists, and part of the steaming plate of dogshit that Ben Stein’s trying to serve to us. Point to mysteries in the universe, and pretend that evolution is a part of the remaining mysteries. Well, in its basics, evolution really isn’t mysterious at all, it can be seen as one of the simplest inferences of all that life is alike because it is related via normal reproduction, and it is also one of the best established small-t truths in science.

    If it’s a Sokal-hoax, it’s a waste of time, because this variety of weed grow rank and profuse from the pile of dung that is creationism.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  42. #42 Dunc
    February 28, 2008

    Who would have thought you could just grab a collection of the dumbest things Kent Hovind or his ilk have said, slap them together with no sense of order, and polish out the corn-pone language, and presto, publishable creationist paper?

    Pretty much anybody who has been paying attention. That’s the entire modus operandi of the creationist movement in a nutshell.

  43. #43 speedwell
    February 28, 2008

    “…some people have used this to claim that they represent an Earthly depiction of Orion’s belt…”

    Oh, really? Some ancient Egyptians looked up in the sky and said, “Hey, you know what? Those three stars look like the belt of that hunter guy from that story the Greek guy told us”? Hmm, intriguing.

  44. #44 Wade
    February 28, 2008

    Since physics and especially High Energy Physics is my hobby, I did keep reading through the morass. It starts sad with the author’s misinterpretations to fit a preconceived metaphysics. But eventually you do get the quote that really does explain everything, “In time I learned that logic can never convince passion. Irrespective of one’s education, without a purposed conscious intervention, one’s passion transcends one’s logic and reason.” A-ha, now I understand.

  45. #45 ennui
    February 28, 2008

    Teh only reason you sciencey smarteypants can’t understand the finer points of holographic reality, is that you were not homeschooled.

    It really doesn’t matter that much, though. The rapture is in 2012, so then you’ll see for yourselfs. (This is also known as the moment of disentanglement to our scientism experters.) God is awesome!

  46. #46 danley
    February 28, 2008

    This is that Lynne McTaggart shit I was telling you about. Quantum ignorance. Lawyers and investigative journalists now adjudicate physics. What bullshit. She thinks that quantum particle physics applies on a macro scale. She confuses complex wave function and probability density for her own inductive woo-woo. The only thing authentically void in a zero-point vacuum in McTaggart.

  47. #47 billybob
    February 28, 2008

    I think that you all missed the point, the article was written for semi-literate bible thumping folks south of the Mason Dixon line.

    After reading the first paragraph their aching brains deem it to be high fahlootin science stuff that supports their superstitions and they reach for another can of Bud.

    That the article is gibberish is irrelevant, so is religion, but as idiotic as the essay is the
    average fundie sees it as intellectual support
    for their faith.

    The pastors who pick the pockets of their prey know the scholastic, intellectual or emotional limitations of the faithful.

  48. #48 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 28, 2008

    Or, as Calvin once said to Hobbes, “I like to verb words… Verbing weirds language.”

    The basic question of polysynthesis: “Why noun when you can verb?”

    Zero Point Energy — hasn’t that been summarily dismissed by most research?

    You can borrow energy from the vacuum. That’s how radioactive decay works, for example. But you have to pay it back. The longer you want to keep it, the less you can borrow. You can cheat the Law of the Conservation of Energy, but it will get you.

    How could such a glaring misuse of “phenomenon” for phenomena (especially in this context) so easily pass careful editing and review, especially in such a world shaking assertive paper using science as the vehicle?

    Well, “principle” instead of “principal” (the adjective) got through, too. But then, “tuberocity” got through in Nature. :-|

  49. #49 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 28, 2008

    Or, as Calvin once said to Hobbes, “I like to verb words… Verbing weirds language.”

    The basic question of polysynthesis: “Why noun when you can verb?”

    Zero Point Energy — hasn’t that been summarily dismissed by most research?

    You can borrow energy from the vacuum. That’s how radioactive decay works, for example. But you have to pay it back. The longer you want to keep it, the less you can borrow. You can cheat the Law of the Conservation of Energy, but it will get you.

    How could such a glaring misuse of “phenomenon” for phenomena (especially in this context) so easily pass careful editing and review, especially in such a world shaking assertive paper using science as the vehicle?

    Well, “principle” instead of “principal” (the adjective) got through, too. But then, “tuberocity” got through in Nature. :-|

  50. #50 MikeM
    February 28, 2008

    Can’t we just use SCIgen?

    http://pdos.csail.mit.edu/scigen/

  51. #51 Pat
    February 28, 2008

    Magical imitation: if I act like a scientist I become one! This hearkens back to the paintings of animals on cave walls: if I can picture them, they become mine. Or Cargo Cults. It’s really something of a schizophrenic worldview; it truly suffers some of the delusional thinking and paranoia that afflicts some individuals.

  52. #52 Kay
    February 28, 2008

    #24
    “that’d take at least 10^22 days = 2.7^19 years, which is billions of times more than the age of the universe. Idiots!”

    I guess that’s why we are seeing a dearth of miracles here on earth as of late…It’s a little busy on the otherside of the universe. It also explains why it’s not answering any of my prayers! (drat)

  53. #53 Ginger Yellow
    February 28, 2008

    “A basic introduction to the principle issues in quantum physics is provided”

    But not a basic introduction to English spelling.

  54. #54 James C.
    February 28, 2008

    Dang, PZ. I think you invented a new sport.

    I’m starting a Perl script now to spider creationist papers, slap together sentences, and put a random name at the top.

  55. #55 Zombie
    February 28, 2008

    I stopped at “quantum”.

    I love physics, I really do, but everybody that goes goggly and metaphysical over the word quantum seriously needs to, as the kids say these days, DIAF.

    IMHO the alleged “wierdness” of quantum mechanics is merely a suggestion that our brains only evolved to cope with a certain scale, and beyond that scale our intuition does not serve us. It is the cognitive equivalent of discovering the earth is not the center of the universe: our brains are not “meant” to understand the universe, and to the extent we do, it is a monument to the hard work of many great scientists (and a hell of a lot of students) that we got as far as we did.

    There are of course no metaphysical implications to quantum mechanics by definition. QM is physics and in the final analysis rests purely on measurement and experiment. Interpretations of QM are only that: interpretations.

    PS for the old farts, DIAF stands for Die In A Fire. See also any videogame-related forum.

  56. #56 Hipple, Rev. Paul T.
    February 28, 2008

    it wasn’t me

  57. #57 Zeno
    February 28, 2008

    The comments about cargo cults and “acting like a scientist” are right on the money. It reminds me of a Smothers Brothers routine built around the song “The Streets of Laredo.” Anyone else remember it? As is usual in a Smothers Brothers performance, they start out singing the song in a straightforward way, then things veer off into insanity (or, perhaps, sanity). The big finish goes like this:

    “I see by your outfit that you are a cowboy.”

    “I see by your outfit you are a cowboy, too.”

    “We see by our outfits, that we are both cowboys. If you get an outfit you can be a cowboy, too!

    Labcoats, anyone?

  58. #58 TImcol
    February 28, 2008

    How is:

    “we have concluded that the Great Pyramids of Egypt were constructed by aliens; and unless this can be proved incorrect we shall accept it as fact.”

    different from

    “An Intelligent Designer, of unknown identify and origin, initiated life on this planet, and then periodically (we have got a clue of when or how) intervened to ensure that certain teological goals where met in the development of species”.

    Ya know, when you compare the two, Egyptian Aliens compared with ID “Theory” start to sound quite reasonable…

  59. #59 CrypticLife
    February 28, 2008

    #52 (James C.),

    I’d love to see that script when you’re done with it. I’m a perl fan.

    $CX=’@l658072wq';print map {reset;;?[];vec (join(keys %_),5,8);} readpipe *CX;2;]??chr:m}l}?chr(ord($_|$/)):chr(length($^T))} unpack ‘a2’x5, $CX;

  60. #60 SteveM
    February 28, 2008

    “…some people have used this to claim that they represent an Earthly depiction of Orion’s belt…”

    Oh, really? Some ancient Egyptians looked up in the sky and said, “Hey, you know what? Those three stars look like the belt of that hunter guy from that story the Greek guy told us”? Hmm, intriguing.

    True, the Eqyptians did not name it Orion, but they did recognize it as the same constellation. Can’t remember right know it was meant to represent Horus or Osiris, but it was important to them and figured prominantly in their mythology. I don’t really see it as a completely ridiculous idea that people would build a representation of the heavens on Earth; even at these grand scales. No, there is no documentation that they intended it to be a representation of those three stars but it is interesting they they are just out of alignmnet just a little bit from a straight line in just about exactly the same proportion as those 3 stars. We know that the Egyptions were very good at alignment so it seems unlikely it is pure chance.

    As for “cargo cults”; I think it was Feynman who first applied it to a field that tries to be a science; not by actually doing science but by just imitating the form of science. At the time he was referring to mostly the “social sciences”, but this “Creation Science” and “ID” are even better examples.

  61. #61 Physicalist
    February 28, 2008

    Which one of you little rascals Sokaled AiG?

    It sure wasn’t me. I could never get myself to write “free will” as a single word (“freewill” — [*shudder*]).

    Every time I consider trying to send them a Sokal paper, or introducing an absurd sock puppet on UD, I just can’t come up with anything that’s more absurd than what they already believe.

    Ben Stein:

    Assuming it all did happen by Random Mutation and Natural Selection, where did the laws of gravity come from?

    [*shudder*]

  62. #62 Scooty Puff Jr.
    February 28, 2008

    If you substitute “creationists” or “cdesign proponentsists” in for “Darwinists” in the second quotation, it becomes an accurate description of what they believe. They think that, similar to those who believe that aliens helped the Egyptians build the pyramids, that because something impressive exists the only explanation for it is outside intervention. Methinks the creationist doth project too much.

  63. #63 onclepsycho
    February 28, 2008

    So the “editors” of this journal have been warned that hoaxes will be sent? This means that they actually went through this crap and decided that no, this one is a “real” paper… Seems to me that it’s a reversed-Sokal situation here: any paper with actual data will be rejected as probable hoaxes.

  64. #64 MAJeff, OM
    February 28, 2008

    Every time I consider trying to send them a Sokal paper, or introducing an absurd sock puppet on UD, I just can’t come up with anything that’s more absurd than what they already believe.

    An entire “paper” of spezio “posts” could make for some interesting results….Just cut and paste, it would fit right in with the cdesign proponentsists’ techniques.

  65. #65 speedwell
    February 28, 2008

    True, the Eqyptians did not name it Orion, but they did recognize it as the same constellation.

    I did not know that, thanks. Spoilsport. :)

  66. #66 PeteK
    February 28, 2008

    Whether joke or not, the article’s points are worth pondering…Every process that occurs within the physical universe, must by necessity be a NATURAL, PHYSICAL process. Any supernatural/metaphysical processes, must come from “without”. They would therefore be forever beyond science, and human comprehension. Anything “metaphysical” is by definition, beyond the physical, and hence meaningless even to discuss…

    Creation isn’t a once and for all event, but an ongoing process. You don’t have to deny evolution or Big Bang cosmology to believe in a creator, since creator is an infinitely malleable term. Metaphysics tries to explain why physics exists, and exists in the form it does. Scientists may be able to explain this phenomenon in terms of something else, and so on back to the Big Bang, but the ultimate explanation, the reason why anything exists at all, and exists in the form it does, must come from “beyond”. But then, what explains the creator? And why THAT creator, and not another, etc etc… Also, that’s hovering between deism and pantheism, not Christian theism, which is what this author asserts. (NB, I’m not trying to Sokal this Sokal’er)

  67. #67 RD
    February 28, 2008

    Basically, this thread reads:
    “I agree with PZ”
    “Oh my non-existant god, I agree too!”
    “And I agree with you!”
    “And I you!”

    And so on for sixty some posts, with childish insults to parties that are not present interspersed liberally. It’s to be expected, I suppose. You spend so much time chirping about how there is no scientific evidence for a creator, or any measure of the metaphysical, and then, when some arises, in a peer reviewed journal, no less, you mock it endlessly in an effort to trick yourself into thinking it will go away.

  68. #68 Monado, FCD
    February 28, 2008

    Creationists say:

    There currently exist a number of people who believe the Great Pyramids of Egypt were built by aliens to serve as navigational devices–an outlandish claim to be sure, but actually no more unwarranted than is Darwin’s evolution. One could argue their evidence and reasoning is as solid as that of Darwinism.

    Wow! Project much?

  69. #69 MAJeff, OM
    February 28, 2008

    Posted by: RD | February 28, 2008 1:35 PM

    What’s with all the meta-trolling lately? there’s this guy, nobody, etc….

  70. #70 Steve_C
    February 28, 2008

    *pout*

    HAHAHA.

    Peers. If your peers are FUCKWITS.

  71. #71 Carl
    February 28, 2008

    #65 (RD)

    Did you read the whole of Dr Desmond Allen’s “paper”?
    If so, how long did it take?
    What points in the “paper” did you find particularly illuminating?
    Do you believe that this “paper” will have any influence on any branch of science ever?
    If so, which branch and when?

    FWIW #1, I emailed Dr Allen asking him whether the “paper” is a hoax.

    FWIW #2, I don’t believe ARJ will go away soon but I don’t believe that anyone (apart from the typesetters, perhaps) will read a full article in it either.

  72. #72 Elf Eye
    February 28, 2008

    Hey, RD, would you mind pointing out the ‘scientific’ or the ‘evidence’ in that paper?

  73. #73 dvrvm
    February 28, 2008

    “Admit it, if you thought about it, no matter how briefly, you probably also were thinking that the hard part would be making the stupidity subtle enough that it would get past the AiG “reviewers”.”
    Hmm… I confess, I did :D
    Couldn’t we sneak a hiddenly pro-evolution paper past them? Now that would be great :D

  74. #74 Glen Davidson
    February 28, 2008

    Oh, what the hey, might as well put here Granville Sewell’s article that life looks, after all of the blather about appearance of design, like it is the result of “natural processes”:

    In any debate, it is always good strategy to acknowledge your opponent’s strongest points up front, effectively taking those points off the table. The evolutionist’s strongest points are the fact that science has been so successful to date in finding “natural” (unintelligent) causes in other areas of science, and the fact that the development of life, in many ways, simply “looks like” it was due to natural causes. On the other hand, there is virtually no evidence that natural selection can explain anything more than trivial changes, and the idea that it can account for the complexity of life is patently absurd. In all debates over evolution, our opponents emphasize the features of evolution which, admittedly, suggest natural causes (“a designer wouldn’t have done things this way”, as Darwin himself often wrote), and can usually count on this as being mistaken as evidence for the default natural cause (Darwinism), without the need to even discuss natural selection’s role.

    My essay “How Evolution will be Taught Someday” approaches the debate by saying, ok, maybe evolution does give the appearance of natural causes, and we’ll even let you call it a “natural” process, as long as you don’t claim you know what those natural causes are. Then what?

    http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/how-evolution-will-be-taught-someday-2

    Take that, AIG. Your precious Granville is saying that things don’t look like a designer did it, but that natural processes did.

    He still doesn’t get it, that evolution predicts what we see, that specific natural processes have been observed which account for the kinds of evolutionary changes observed. True, we’d look for “natural processes” (whatever “natural” is supposed to mean) regardless of whether or not we had evidence for them, but we wouldn’t say in science that “natural processes” caused what we see in biology unless we actually had cause and effect reasons to say so.

    What I like is how the “message” is getting confused and self-contradictory. We were supposedly unwilling to consider design even though life “looks designed”, then we were supposedly unwilling only to consider “supernatural design” (of course we are, since it’s deliberately defined to be untestable, including in the case of ID), and now we’re supposed to be wrong because while life looks like it is the result of “natural causes,” we don’t know what these “natural causes” are.

    But life couldn’t look like it is the result of “natural causes ” unless we knew what effects “natural causes” would produce. Life can only look “naturally caused” because we know a lot about these causes. We don’t know everything about them, especially not in very old organelles (which is why the flagellum was chosen to flagellate “Darwinists”), but we damn well know a lot about them, and can even guage whether or not genes have been positively selected within the past few million years.

    Anyway, I thought it a very interesting admission from Granville. What, no more “evolution violates SLOT,” or is this just a momentary lapse into intellectual honesty?

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  75. #75 mattmc
    February 28, 2008

    “You spend so much time chirping about how there is no scientific evidence for a creator, or any measure of the metaphysical, and then, when some arises, in a peer reviewed journal, no less, you mock it endlessly in an effort to trick yourself into thinking it will go away.”

    Are you kidding me?
    So what part of this “peer reviewed” paper specifically gives scientific evidence for a creator, or a measure of the metaphysical? Did you read the paper, and do you know what it means to be Sokaled?

  76. #76 Horselover
    February 28, 2008

    Sounds like he lifted some of this from PKD’s Valis, just not the good parts.

    “If I bring back the ashtrays can I have back my prefrontal?”

  77. #77 CalGeorge
    February 28, 2008

    “… you mock it endlessly in an effort to trick yourself into thinking it will go away.”

    And you praise it highly to trick yourself into thinking it’s not complete bullshit.

    So, there.

  78. #78 Mark Witt
    February 28, 2008

    >># mattmc once said in another place:
    >>February 18th, 2008 at 12:15 pm
    >>
    >>The Stupid… It burns

    McMatt is very perceptive – the stupid does (sic) BURN; he is about as perceptive as an all-beef patty en route to a Mickey D’s, and we all know that there is No Salvation in Ronald!

    You all laugh now, but when the TRUTH is eventually known – as it will be to each of us, individually. Evolution will fall. TSLoT will be reconsidered in light of the INSPIRED calculations of the late, great Auguste du Gerdemain and of the calculations of those who first defined the isoclysmic property of the du Gerdemain manifold.

    Read them and weep for Salvation in Christ:

    Auguste du Gerdemain, Recherches de la me. Chos. et de la Thermodynamique, Vol 42, No. XIV, pgs. 21-35, (1879)

    and

    K. Ludwig, L. Mayer, X. Austerlitz, and P. Olsen in 1885 in the Zeitschrift fuer Phys. der re. Naturfor., Vol. 10, No. 7, pgs. 23-24.

    It is not my fault if you ignore the Truth.

    Peace be unto you,

    Mark Witt

    Intelligent Design,
    Institute of Theory
    New Haven, CT

  79. #79 Jaycubed
    February 28, 2008

    Gee,

    I find metaphysical reality easily deniable.

    If the statement that all humans , “intuitively know(ing) right from wrong, that we should not kill, lie, or steal” is true, then why do they behave that way both as societies and as individuals? Why is there a strong positive correlation between religious belief and being incarcerated for crimes according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons?
    http://www.holysmoke.org/icr-pri.htm
    Shouldn’t those who deny the existence of metaphysical reality be incarcerated at a higher rate than the “believers”, rather than at roughly 1/50th the rate.

    The statement that, “subatomic systems mysteriously defy the known laws of physics so that events some might consider miraculous (that is, in defiance of the laws of classical physics) are not only accounted for but expected”, is nonsense. It is a fact that subatomic systems mysteriously OBEY the known laws of physics so that events some might consider miraculous (that is, in defiance of the laws of classical physics) are not only accounted for but expected.

    The statement is made that, “even the notion of metaphysical realities (which necessarily lie outside the basic laws of physics) is not subject to consideration, thereby effectively excluding such concepts as spirituality, supernatural intervention, and even life after death.” This is also nonsense; all that is required is verifiable evidence. For example, all that would be required to prove the existence of the Monotheistic God of Abraham would be a universal public appearance, or an act like turning gravity off for a minute. Easy for this character IF it existed.

    .

  80. #80 CalGeorge
    February 28, 2008

    They forgot a few keywords:

    Keywords: Creation, big bang, deity, electromagnetic energy, evolution, eternity, faith, image of God, infinity, hologram, metaphysical, cognizance, miracles, mind, multidimensional, nonlocal and local realism, ontology, physics, physical matter, reality, redemption, sin, spirit, soul, subatomic, supernatural, time- space continuum, quantum mechanics, bullshit, bullcrap, god-intoxication run amok, the usual creationist dementia, putz-reviewed crap, philosophy for dolts, by dolts.

  81. #81 Steve_C
    February 28, 2008

    Did mark actually use the second law of thermodynamics argument?

    Dumbass.

  82. #82 MAJeff, OM
    February 28, 2008

    Read them and weep for Salvation in Christ:

    What have you done that is so repulsive it requires the sacrifice of a different human being for you to be absolved? How awful a human being are you to accept that sacrifice?

  83. #83 Rey Fox
    February 28, 2008

    “Institute of Theory”

    LOL!

  84. #84 Rey Fox
    February 28, 2008

    “Vol 42, No. XIV, pgs. 21-35, (1879) ”
    “K. Ludwig, L. Mayer, X. Austerlitz, and P. Olsen in 1885 ”

    Cutting edge!

  85. #85 MAJeff, OM
    February 28, 2008

    “Institute of Theory”
    LOL!

    At least he didn’t include the usual “(Hetero sapiens)”

    Can’t have right-wing crazy without some good old-fahioned gay-hating!

  86. #86 CalGeorge
    February 28, 2008

    I’m becoming very fond of this article. It’s good for so many laughs!

    “Many animals communicate; some show emotion;
    others exercise resourcefulness; some have limited
    reasoning capabilities;”

    [So insightful, so perceptive! But then comes the really meaty insight...]

    and angelic beings have the ability for self-determination.”

    Bwahahahahahahahahaha!

    It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

  87. #87 DanioPhD
    February 28, 2008

    *Steps over the fresh pile of troll droppings*

    MAJeff, I’ve been wondering about the latest infestation of trolls myself. I suspect they are consequence of the high drama over ‘Expelled’, but whatever their origin they sure do bore the shit out of me.

    Zeno, I LOVED that Smothers Brothers bit! Thanks for the memory. I has lab coat. I can has Ph.D? Kthanx.

    RD: ‘peer review’ is only as good as the peers. Your ‘peers’ at AIG’s journal seem to hold untestable bullshit claims in the highest esteem. They are contemptible non-scientists, and their claims to the contrary are meaningless.

  88. #88 wheatdogg
    February 28, 2008

    Setting aside the New-Agey mishmosh of physics and metaphysics in this paper, the whole thing is not even original research. It’s a term paper, and a poorly written one at that. The author uses second and third-hand sources (the International Herald Tribune?) as evidence for his philosophical ramblings and writes in the first-person. My high school students know better than that.

    Are the yokels at AiG completely unaware of what a peer-reviewed journal is? Or, as another commenter suggested, are the peers as stupid as the authors?

  89. #89 Tom
    February 28, 2008

    Despite his New Haven “address,” perhaps #77 is from the late, lamented Texas Institute of Theory:

    http://matthewvanbrink.com/2007/01/the_texas_institute_of_theory_1.html

  90. #90 Sonja
    February 28, 2008

    Looks like Desmond Allen “Sokaled” Amazon.com too:

    Don’t Confuse Me With the Facts: A Source to Basic Bible Study

    Come on, this HAS to be a joke…

  91. #91 Nielsgm
    February 28, 2008

    After reading this:

    The very concept of faith implies confirmation. By definition, faith is an evidence-based system that holds to a particular view because it is substantiated by data…

    And then this:

    According to this biblical definition, science itself is a faith-based system, for it is a system often governed by “the evidence of things not seen.”

    I’m forced to think that this must be a hoax.

    No one in their sane mind would claim that faith can commonly be defined as an “evidence based system” unless they’re willfully trying to discredit their own arguments.

    I guess it just goes to show how desperate ARJ must be for new papers.

  92. #92 Elwood Herring
    February 28, 2008

    Long-time lurker here (with the odd post every millennium or so) but I just had to say that reading stuff like this is better than anything on TV. I check this site every day. I’m addicted, and I don’t even have any squid porn!

    And to ennui: If you’re so certain you’re going to be raptured in 2012, how about sending me all your money in December 2011? I mean it’s not as if you’re going to need it. If you were absolutely 100% certain, you wouldn’t have a problem with this, would you? I think I’ll set up a website for people like you to leave me all their worldly wealth as a sign that they KNOW they’re worthy of being raptured, since after all I really don’t believe there’s a single person alive who 1) believes in that crap and 2) thinks they personally WON’T be saved. Think about it. As for me – barring illness or accident I intend to be around till 2050 or later, so I could do with a little retirement plan…

  93. #93 Tom
    February 28, 2008

    Here’s the last paragraph from Allen’s paper:

    When this present, temporal reality–this holographic medium–comes to an end, time will be no more. The physical universe as we currently know it will be no more; yet we shall live. The spirit and soul of every man and woman will find itself suddenly in the reality of eternity, standing face to face with its Creator. A comparatively small number will be glad to be there; indeed, only those who submitted to His authority and received the forgiveness He provided through the sacrificial work of His Son. All others will find they are personally now required to pay the unspeakable penalty. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

    Well, hell, folks, it’s peer-reviewed. What more question could there be?

  94. #94 Crudely Wrott
    February 28, 2008

    I’m too excited to read the foregoing comments so if this has already been pointed out, oops.

    The very first line of Allen’s “paper” reads, “Because one is tangible and the other intangible, the physical and metaphysical are generally treated separately. But this dichotomy is illogical; at the very least it is inconsistent with reality, for the two are inseparable.

    Unsteeped as I may be in the art of fermenting philosophy and the knack of assimilating the nuances of formal logic, one thing sure as hell stands out. If one will refer to a dictionary (or to recall of common usage) for the definitions of “tangible” and “intangible” one would be immediately informed that the two are opposites. Thus, the notion of a dichotomy, a dividing of meaning with a nod to the one side and the other, is unavoidable. But such an acceptance of the plainly visible by those who really really really wish reality was not so damned real is asking too much.

    I am unmoved.

  95. #95 Ichthyic
    February 28, 2008

    suggest retitling the article:

    “Zen and the art of religious apologetics”

  96. #96 Sven DiMilo
    February 28, 2008

    #92: As I read that paragraph, it means that spirits and souls have faces and teeth. Plus whatever it takes to weep.
    I can only conclude that such characteristics are not holographic.

  97. #97 Ichthyic
    February 28, 2008

    Basically, this thread reads:
    “I agree with PZ”
    “Oh my non-existant god, I agree too!”
    “And I agree with you!”
    “And I you!”

    well, we could change the focus to you, and likely you would see the same pattern. Let’s try and see?

    postulate:

    RD is a complete moron.

  98. #98 Emmet Caulfield
    February 28, 2008

    I must admit that I kimpatsu Sokal.

    Often? Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for things like that. Can’t say he doesn’t deserve it though.

  99. #99 Steve_C
    February 28, 2008

    I agree with Ichthyic.

    Rd is a complete maroon.

  100. #100 Elwood Herring
    February 28, 2008

    Sven DiMilo: When queried on this point by a toothless old man at a fire & brimstone sermon, the late Rev. Ian Paisley famously retorted:

    “Teeth will be PROVIDED!”

  101. #101 Elwood Herring
    February 28, 2008

    Oops – slip of the keyboard there. He’s not late at all; he’s still running on time apparently.

  102. #102 MAJeff, OM
    February 28, 2008

    I can only conclude that such characteristics are not holographic.

    Damn, and with Will Wheaton finally an adult.

  103. #103 Pat
    February 28, 2008

    RD
    Postulate: if metaphysical interacts with matter to the extent stipulated (to enable consciousness, etc.) that interaction:

    ? Should be measurable
    ? Should be quantifiable
    ? Should be open to manipulation

    By coupling the metaphysical to the physical, you destroy its metaphysical invulnerability. Souls are now subject to being crushed in a black hole, or attacked outright. Even if all of this is a hologram, the hologram must have some interaction with the sublime immortal in some effort to cause change else no amount of belief or disbelief, action or inaction would matter and we’d be back to predestination.

    Souls become subject to some mad scientists scheme the moment you take this paper seriously.

  104. #104 Kimpatsu
    February 28, 2008

    kimpatsu: (v.) To be jealous of someone else’s name being turned into a verb.
    @Chancelikely: Shouldn’t that read, “kimpatsu : To be jealous of someone else’s name being verbed”?
    Thank you for the effort, though!

  105. #105 ennui
    February 28, 2008

    @ Elwood #91:

    As an evolutionary economist, I could probably help you out with that retirement plan (think NZD!).

    Seriously, check out this refresher on Poe’s law !

    I don’t post often, but I assure you that I am a godless, reductionist materialist out to poke a little fun at woo. So, in light of this new information, please go back and re-read my post (#45). Cheers!

  106. #106 Elwood Herring
    February 28, 2008

    ennui: OK you got me. But you must admit, it is hard to tell the parody from the sincerity sometimes.

    My offer stands though, to anyone who is willing to take it up. After all, anyone who REALLY thinks they’re going to be whisked off to Heaven straight out of their boots should have no problem demonstrating their faith by giving all their worldly possessions away, would they? Anyone who disagrees is obviously not really a believer! And if they’re going to leave it all behind, it may as well go to someone who is definitely NOT going anywhere. Even if the Rapture does happen I know I won’t be picked – I’m just not that presumptuous.

    Maybe that’s the solution – the only people who’ll be saved are the ones who really don’t think they’re worthy? HA! That would serve ‘em right! (I still want the money though – just to prove that I’m sincere in my insincerity. Work that one out!)

  107. #107 Eamon Knight
    February 28, 2008

    I can’t be bothered to do more than skim the body of that horror. From the abstract, I gather the paper claims that “spirit” (ie: God, human souls, angels etc.) interacts with the physical by tinkering with the outcomes of quantum events, at a level hidden from scrutiny by Heisenberg. This, if possible, would solve the old problem of how an immaterial mind can cause observable macro effects in the material world.

    I’m not a physicist, thus I have no idea whether the above makes any sense. However, I have heard (and can well believe) that almost all invocations of QM and Heisenberg by non-experts are complete bullshit, so the odds aren’t good.

    As for the Mind-Body Problem: lots of complicated dancing neurology works for me. IOW, it’s a pseudo-problem.

  108. #108 ennui
    February 28, 2008

    My inner Homunculus will be very sorry to hear that.

    Oh, and RD is a moron.

  109. #109 james
    February 28, 2008

    The thesis is set forth that our immediate physical reality–consisting of empty space, electromagnetic energy, and information–is basically a hologram depiction of the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s intent.

  110. #110 themadlolscientist
    February 28, 2008

    If anything this is a theology paper. But it doesn’t look particularly good.

    Are you kidding? I’ve seen some horrifyingly awful theology in my time, but this is definitely in the running for the worst ever. It certainly bears no resemblance to any Christianity I ever saw as a Baptist Preacher’s Kid growing up on a seminary campus. I don’t think I ever even knew anyone who believed this crap until I was well into adulthood.

    But then I come from the opposite end of things, the “filthy stinking Hell-deserving sinners” (that’s a verbatim quote from a radio show my ex and I used to listen to for laughs) of the off-the-deep-end liberal Social Gospel movement.

    Cue the Bastard Fairies soundtrack….

  111. #111 Ichthyic
    February 28, 2008

    should have no problem demonstrating their faith by giving all their worldly possessions away, would they?

    I call dibs on the car(s)!

  112. #112 Denis Loubet
    February 28, 2008

    The best analogy I’ve heard to describe creationists trying to be scientists is that it’s like watching monkeys wearing clothes.

  113. #113 Quine
    February 28, 2008

    Zeno, in your Noachian water canopy paper be sure to take into account that it is very cold in space, and that the water was in the form of ice before friction with the atmosphere turned it into rain. I am sure you will have a great time describing conditions on earth as it was pelted with ice comets for 40 days and 40 nights. Be sure to note the shape of the Divine Hand as it scooped these comets out of the Oort Cloud, and how the remnant is, obviously, left there for us to behold the undeniable “fossil” of this Holy Biblical event.

  114. #114 Kimpatsu
    February 28, 2008

    Check it out; Alan Sokal has an article in today’s Guardian:
    http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/alan_sokal/2008/02/taking_evidence_seriously.html

  115. #115 revmonkeyboy
    February 28, 2008

    Well, let the wackjob creationist have their peer reviewed fantasy. Lets see if they do the equivalent of eradicating Polio, or use their “methodology” to build a skyscraper. I think their efforts will be noticed as “worthless” even by their fellow religious wackjobs. I see nothing wrong with letting them spend all their time arguing what day the orgasm was created.

  116. #116 Monado, FCD
    February 28, 2008

    You’d think they’d be researching How the designer worked, who the designer was, and how many designers they were — if they had not already assumed their conclusions.

  117. #117 Pierce R. Butler
    February 28, 2008

    Which one of you little rascals Sokaled AiG?

    “It wuz Spanky!”

    “Naw, it wuz Alfalfa!”

    “Nuh-uh, wuz Darlene!”

    “Wuz Buckwheat!”

    “Froggy!”

    etc…

  118. #118 Rjaye
    February 28, 2008

    “it wasn’t me.

    Posted by: Hipple, Rev. Paul T. | February 28, 2008 12:09 PM ”

    Rev H., that succinct statement makes me think you did. And if so, hehehe.

    And RD…well, you know.

  119. #119 Martin Robbins
    February 28, 2008

    Just blogged on this at layscience (Trackback isn’t working for some reason :( ). It’s weird watching these people pretend to be scientists… it’s almost like a parody of a journal.
    http://layscience.net/?q=node/42

  120. #120 Ichthyic
    February 28, 2008

    Rev H., that succinct statement makes me think you did.

    ditto; it’s right up the good rev’s alley.

  121. #121 Candiru
    February 28, 2008

    I like the juxtaposition of “Sokaled” and “so-called” right up at the top of the page!

  122. #122 PalMD
    February 28, 2008

    Wow. You gotta read the “microbe” article—debating when god created “germs”. Jeebus.

  123. #123 Alan Kellogg
    February 28, 2008

    RD is not a moron. His command of language and his ability to present a coherent sentence shows this. RD’s problem is not the lack of intelligence, it’s his refusal to what he has to figure things out. RD would much rather use his intelligence to seek support for irrational beliefs, than learn how things do work.

    This contrarianist thinking brought to you by Alan “What Till the New Simulation We’re All Going to be Characters in Comes Online” Kellogg

  124. #124 Ichthyic
    February 29, 2008

    His command of language

    I beg to differ.

    However, your disagreement in and of itself disproves his latest screed.

  125. #125 Ichthyic
    February 29, 2008

    … which I assume was the point.

    so, I have to agree with you.

    …now what will that do to RD’s brain?

  126. #126 J. Grybowski
    February 29, 2008
    kimpatsu: (v.) To be jealous of someone else’s name being turned into a verb.

    No, no, kimpatsu is a kind of Korean delicacy involving pickled squid.

    No, no, no! It’s Japanese for “Blonde hair” (well, close enough) :)

    Well, technically it is, but in practice, it’s not so much “blond hair” as it is “a shade of orange that would look unnatural even on non-Japanese people”. It is a sight that fills me with equal parts amusement and pity on a near-daily basis.

  127. #127 tourettist
    February 29, 2008

    Someone mentioned the article is bad theology. I know there are actual peer-reviewed studies on religious topics, published by professors of religion, although I have never spent any time perusing these. Does somebody know if any of those learned scholars have spoken out on Aig’s journal, or are they silent as usual?

  128. #128 mona
    February 29, 2008

    RD at 66 is an insult to the initials “RD.” Richard Dawkins should go find that kid and laugh at him.

  129. #129 Michael X
    February 29, 2008

    Oh geez. Is RD still around? After the beating he received before I can only begin to worry about him.

    But hey kiddo, just for kicks, I’m gathering a group of 5y.o. kids who are going to start a peer reviewed journal about the existence of Santa. “The Journal of Santology” will be fighting against the Parentist “theory” of how presents are delivered on Xmas. I’m sure you’ll regard it with as much intellectual respect as you regard AiG’s journal, yes?

    RD, do me a big favor. Go back to where ever you usually hang out, and bring me back a creationist worth talking to. I have yet to see one. I’m curious to see if even you know of any challenging creationists. I’m mean, surely someone must be better at this than you are.

  130. #130 themadlolscientist
    February 29, 2008

    I call dibs on the car(s)!

    (snark)

    Well, if they won’t give it all away right now (and I doubt they will), there’s always the Rapture. You may get that car sooner than you think.

    Reserve your new ride now! Just make a generous donation (read: send all your money) to the über-rich big-haired televangelist of your choice now. Call the toll-free number on your screen. All major credit cards accepted. Operators are standing by to count your money and (supposedly) your blessings.

    We also offer Dial-a-Prayer service. Call the 900 number on your screen and our spirits-filled volunteers will count it a blessing to spend an hour or more praying with you. (99 cents per minute charge applies. Pay no attention to that noise in the background. It’s not static; it’s the sound of every deity for parsecs around snoring.)

    (font size = “microscopic”)

    DISCLAIMER: If you don’t receive your new vehicle, it will be due to your unbelief, lack of commitment to prayer, and not having sent us enough money. Vehicles may not be in perfect condition due to possible mishaps precipitated by the sudden disappearances of their drivers, or lack of maintenance by owners who believe Jeeebus will return before the next inspection cycle. World may not be in perfect condition due to all Hell having broken loose. But don’t call us to complain. We’ll all have gone home. LOLlelujah!

    (font size = “normal”)

    They call it “Prosperity Gospel.” Also known as “Name It and Claim It.” What a quagmire of selfishness. If they’re going to pray so hard and give away so much money, why not pray for world peace and an end to starvation and disease, and give their donations to groups that are working directly on solving those problems?

    God, save me from nutjobs like this who call themselves your “followers”!

    (/snark)

  131. #131 Anders Gorm
    February 29, 2008

    #40 said:

    There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

    I’m willing to bet that this is the first ever paper, scientific, pseudo-scientific, or just plain batshit crazy talk where this sentence appeared as the last line in the concluding statement

    I tend to think you’re right. But see these

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/5411134
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16057293
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15959473

  132. #132 Michael X
    February 29, 2008

    If they’re going to pray so hard and give away so much money, why not pray for world peace and an end to starvation and disease, and give their donations to groups that are working directly on solving those problems?

    You have of course hit upon not only the fundamental selfishness and lack of imagination among the prosperity crowd, but also the “the secret” crowd who are sucked into the same selfish nonsense, but only this time without a deity in particular. In each case their god is a little god (or force). Incapable of actually changing anything that couldn’t change on its own, under perfectly normal and understood circumstances.

  133. #133 mattmc
    February 29, 2008

    Mark “TSLoT will be reconsidered” Witt writes

    “McMatt is very perceptive – the stupid does (sic) BURN; he is about as perceptive as an all-beef patty en route to a Mickey D’s, and we all know that there is No Salvation in Ronald!”

    I think I may have actually written that in response to something amusing that you wrote on another site. Please Mark, save our eternal souls by explaining how your cutting edge late 19th century research can reveal the truth about evolution or whatever the hell you are trying to get at with your inane ramblings about salvation. What is an Institute of Theory, is that anything like your parents basement?

  134. #134 Richard
    February 29, 2008

    Please explain to me why four of those days are named after Germanic gods and the other three are named after astronomical objects/Greco-Roman gods.

    Actually I’ve always thought it strange that there was no lunatic-fringe Christian movement to rename the days of the week and the months. I wrote this a few years ago:
    http://secweb.infidels.org/?kiosk=articles&id=85

  135. #135 Wade
    February 29, 2008

    This seems amusing to me. Wikio (a News Search Enegine) has listed PZ Meyers entry as a “News” item for the Company American International Group! Might change some stock portfolios… (see at http://www.wikio.com/business/insurance/american_international_group)

  136. #136 Wade
    February 29, 2008

    Apologies about the extra “e”‘s in my last entry. I get carrieed awaye.

  137. #137 Brachychiton
    February 29, 2008

    #131

    Intelligent Design, Institute of Theory

    I.D.I.o.T.

    You don’t think that might be, yanno, a bit of a parody?

  138. #138 Rey Fox
    February 29, 2008

    If I’m required to decrypt parody, then I sort of fail to see the point of it.

  139. #139 MartinM
    February 29, 2008

    You don’t think that might be, yanno, a bit of a parody?

    I was wondering that myself:

    K. Ludwig, L. Mayer, X. Austerlitz, and P. Olsen in 1885 in the Zeitschrift fuer Phys. der re. Naturfor., Vol. 10, No. 7, pgs. 23-24.

    Though really, the strongest clue would be the fact that the content is utter gibberish. And I don’t mean simply that it’s yet another massively wrong take on real physics – I mean that it appears to be dealing with entirely fictional physics.

  140. #140 mattmc
    February 29, 2008

    @#135

    Damn, I did not even notice that. I guess I might be slightly less perceptive than I was given credit for…

  141. #141 Subtire
    February 29, 2008

    Damn, how stupid people can be to believe that they were created by a super human. :|

  142. #142 Peter Ashby
    February 29, 2008

    Elwood Herring, you can tell that the Rev Dr Ian Paisley is still among us by the simple fact that the sound of two nations whooping in delight followed by the biggest sigh of relief ever heard has not come across the pond and impacted on your eardrums.

  143. #143 Peter Ashby
    February 29, 2008

    In the same way that we expect to hear the same from your side of the pond when the ‘rev’ Fred Phelps has breathed his bitter last.

  144. #144 Nullifidian
    February 29, 2008

    K. Ludwig, L. Mayer, X. Austerlitz, and P. Olsen in 1885 in the Zeitschrift fuer Phys. der re. Naturfor., Vol. 10, No. 7, pgs. 23-24.

    I think I have our hoaxer, or at least ‘his’ nom de ‘net. The journal referenced here set off alarm bells ringing in my head because I wrote an undergraduate thesis on the 19th century German reception of Darwinism (and I should get around to spinning it out into a book one day) and I really didn’t recognize the journal, although it is based on a very reputable journal of long standing, the Zeitschrift für Physik.

    So I made a Google search for it, and the only reference I turned up was from a “Mark E. Witt” on the Expelled blog, which he trolls in character in addition to Panda’s Thumb and Pharyngula. The article, of course, is not in his name.

    So kudos to “Mark E. Witt”, whoever you are!

  145. #145 Nullifidian
    February 29, 2008

    Well, that’ll teach me to not read through the whole thread first!

    Sorry, I thought from the context that the paper made the reference. Well, obviously it didn’t, and the hoaxer, whoever it is, and “Mark E. Witt” are two seperate people (perhaps).

    Nevermind.

    However, you are right that you’re being trolled. “Mark” is a parody troll with a long history here, on Panda’s Thumb, and on the Expelled blog.

  146. #146 Nullifidian
    February 29, 2008

    Now, in order to acquit myself somewhat of the stunning blunder above, I think I’ve found the hoaxer. There is none.

    Desmond P. Allen has a phone number and address which resolves to the one in the article, so what we have here is probably real or (if a hoax) the hoaxer’s identity is already on the paper.

    I’m amazed that they published his home address. I’ve never participated in any paper where that has been the case.

  147. #147 Steve_C
    February 29, 2008

    Witt has gotta be a parody…

  148. #148 Rey Fox
    February 29, 2008

    So he’s a parody troll, but a needlessly obscure one. Whoop de doo.

  149. #149 Steve T
    February 29, 2008

    My favourite bit is “euphonium” instead of “euphemism” I think !! Spell checkers are beautiful !!

  150. #150 B McManus
    February 29, 2008

    Funny, I was trying to convince a friend to coauthor a paper with me to Sokal that exact journal, but we haven’t done it. Yet.

  151. #151 John Hamilton
    February 29, 2008

    The author speaks of fascination with the ‘miracle’ of life and gazing at the wonders of the heavens but he doesn’t indicate that he actually studied either of them.

    If you want their cars, or their money just ask them. I can’t quote chapter and verse off hand but their holy book definatly instructs them to give their possesions away to anyone who asks for them. Of course they don’t take that part of the bible ‘literally’.

  152. #152 noncarborundum
    February 29, 2008

    Craig @1:

    The next time you see someone making this argument:

    So please explain to me then, why is it clearly outlined that each seperate day has a different purpose? These days are sequential, they are not concurrent.

    Send them over to the NCSE site to read this. It’s an article from a 1983 issue of Creation/Evolution magazine (which I miss, by the way; the Reports they publish now is somehow not the same) dealing with the first chapter of Genesis as a priestly composition and relating its structure (including the question of what gets created on which day) not to a literal historical account of God’s actions — which, in fact, the priests hardly cared about — but rather to strictly religious and social concerns. The thesis is that the primary goal was to fight the idolatrous tendencies of the Israelite people (Golden Calf, anyone?) by explaining how, unlike the Sun, Moon and Rain gods (etc.) of the neighboring peoples, Yahweh stood outside nature and was to be worshiped as its master and creator, not just as one more personification of natural forces. In this view, each day of creation affords the priestly writer(s) the opportunity to smash one more pagan idol. It’s worth reading.

  153. #153 ofufo
    February 29, 2008

    For a serious discussion of the Bible and its interpretations across history, take a look at “How to Read the Bible” by James Kugel. Retired professor of Hebrew from Harvard, Kugel brings in a tremendous range of knowledge to Old Testament studies: the “seven days” of creation; Adam, Eve and the snake; Tower of Babel, etc. Another great reference is “Religions of the Ancient World” (caution: title from memory).

  154. #154 Ichthyic
    February 29, 2008

    actually, instead of Kugel, I would much more highly recommend Hector Avalos:

    http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2008/01/pages-from-dr-hector-avalos-book-end-of.html

    book is readily available on Amazon.

  155. #155 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 29, 2008

    Send them over to the NCSE site to read this.

    Wow. That’s a great site.

  156. #156 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 29, 2008

    Send them over to the NCSE site to read this.

    Wow. That’s a great site.

  157. #157 noncarborundum
    February 29, 2008

    Wow. That’s a great site.

    jIbel qaboQta’mo’

    (“Pleased to have been of service.” Which, if you examine it, is a fairly un-Klingon kind of thing to say.)

  158. #158 Spinoza
    March 1, 2008

    That “article” sounds like a really awful first year philosophy essay. One of the ones TAs dread because it’s written by someone who CLEARLY shouldn’t be in a philosophy class to begin with, and hasn’t the foggiest idea that they shouldn’t be.

  159. #159 Rick T.
    March 1, 2008

    There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

    Teeth will be PROVIDED

    Morton Smith is said to have been fond of this phrase. He was the one who discovered a letter from Clement calling for the orthodox Mark to be taught and the Secret Gospel of Mark to be denied even if true.

    “For even if they should say something true, one who loves the Truth should not, even so, agree with them… To them one must never give way; nor, when they put forward their falsifications, should one concede that the secret Gospel is by Mark – but should deny it on oath. For not all true things are to be said to all men.”

    In this letter from Clement there are quotes from the Secret Gospel of Mark and one of them contains this quote similar to the one by Morton Smith or Paisley. A disciple asked Jesus how one could gnash their teeth if they didn’t have any and Jesus supposedly said something similar to teeth will be provided.
    What’s more interesting is that in this Gospel Jesus has spent the night with a naked young man whom he is going to “reveal the mysteries of the kingdom of God.” Of course this sexual insinuation raised a stink and there are those who think this was all an elaborate hoax. To this day it is still in doubt.

  160. #160 Bing McGhandi
    March 1, 2008

    I am still hosting a contest to see who will be the first to come out and say that they hoaxed AiG. For details, go to:

    http://hjhop.blogspot.com/2008/01/happy-fatwah-on-answers-in-genesis.html

    God, I love the internet.

    HJ

  161. #161 DrFrank
    March 3, 2008

    The first hilarious (and almost certainly intentionally so) thing I noticed was the reference to Ford’s “The quantum world: Quantum physics for everyone”.

    There are two references to the book, first referring to page 1, then page 2. I assume that this is a jibe at the depth of research generally performed by Creationists.

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