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 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. :-|

  2. #2 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 29, 2008

    Send them over to the NCSE site to read this.

    Wow. That’s a great site.

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