Which one of you little rascals Sokaled AiG?

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?

Categories

More like this

Due to my activities at the Society of Surgical Oncology meeting in San Antonio, somehow I didn't manage to crank out a bit of that Insolence, Respectful or Not-So-Respectful, that you all crave. So, given that this is Friday, I thought I'd to a "rerun" of a bit of classic woo. This one's a little…
Ever since I started this little vanity bit known as Your Friday Dose of Woo, lo, these nearly three years ago, when I introduced the waiting blogosphere to the woo-tastic quantum homeopathic stylings of Lionel Milgrom, I've occasionally wondered if I had started out with too much woo. I mean,…
A while back, I coined a term for woo so irrational, woo so desperate to masquerade as reason and science, that it could be spewed forth into books, the Internet, and the blogosophere by only one man. The man is Deepak Chopra, and the term is Chopra-woo, examples of which can be found here and here…
Several people have sent me links to news stories about last week's Nature paper, "Quantum ground state and single-phonon control of a mechanical resonator." (It was also presented at the March Meeting, but I didn't go to that session). This is billed as the first observation of quantum phenomena…

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?

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

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."

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

well it's "peer-reviewed", alright
nobody ever said something about the nature of the peers though

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!!!!!!"?

"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.

By Zachary Kroger (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

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.

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.

By chancelikely (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

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.

By Reginald Selkirk (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

"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)

By Jason Failes (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

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

By Stephen Wells (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

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.

(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)

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

C-

By Paul Phoenix (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

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.

By Rationalist (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

#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).

By kid bitzer (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

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.

By hinschelwood (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

#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?

By kid bitzer (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

... 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..

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

...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.

By Richard Harris (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

Sounds like Vogon poetry to me.

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.

By Paul Phoenix (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

Kerlyssa:

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

By hinschelwood (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

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.

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.

By Forrest Prince (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

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!

By CalGeorge (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

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)

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.

By gerald spezio (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

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."

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.

#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!

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.

By Mike from Ottawa (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

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.

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.

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

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.

"...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.

By speedwell (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

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.

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!

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.

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.

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. :-|

By David Marjanović, OM (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

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.

#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)

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

But not a basic introduction to English spelling.

By Ginger Yellow (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

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.

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.

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?

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...

#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;

By CrypticLife (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

"...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.

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*]

By Physicalist (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

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.

By Scooty Puff Jr. (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

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.

By onclepsycho (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

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.

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

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

By speedwell (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

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)

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.

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?

*pout*

HAHAHA.

Peers. If your peers are FUCKWITS.

#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.

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

"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

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?

www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/how-evolution-will-be-taught…

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

"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?

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?"

By Horselover (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

"... 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.

By CalGeorge (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

>># 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

By Mark Witt (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

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.

.

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.

By CalGeorge (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

Did mark actually use the second law of thermodynamics argument?

Dumbass.

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?

"Institute of Theory"

LOL!

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

Cutting edge!

"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!

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!

By CalGeorge (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

*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.

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?

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.

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...

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?

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.

By Crudely Wrott (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

suggest retitling the article:

"Zen and the art of religious apologetics"

#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.

By Sven DiMilo (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

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.

I agree with Ichthyic.

Rd is a complete maroon.

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!"

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.

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!

@ 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!

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!)

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.

My inner Homunculus will be very sorry to hear that.

Oh, and RD is a moron.

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.

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....

By themadlolscientist (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

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

I call dibs on the car(s)!

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

By Denis Loubet (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

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.

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.

By revmonkeyboy (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

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.

Which one of you little rascals Sokaled AiG?

"It wuz Spanky!"

"Naw, it wuz Alfalfa!"

"Nuh-uh, wuz Darlene!"

"Wuz Buckwheat!"

"Froggy!"

etc...

By Pierce R. Butler (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

"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.

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

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

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

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

His command of language

I beg to differ.

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

... which I assume was the point.

so, I have to agree with you.

...now what will that do to RD's brain?

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.

By J. Grybowski (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

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?

By tourettist (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

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

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.

By Michael X (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

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)

By themadlolscientist (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

#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

By Anders Gorm (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

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.

By Michael X (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

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?

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

Apologies about the extra "e"'s in my last entry. I get carrieed awaye.

#131

Intelligent Design, Institute of Theory

I.D.I.o.T.

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

By Brachychiton (not verified) on 29 Feb 2008 #permalink

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

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.

@#135

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

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.

By Peter Ashby (not verified) on 29 Feb 2008 #permalink

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.

By Peter Ashby (not verified) on 29 Feb 2008 #permalink

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!

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.

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.

Witt has gotta be a parody...

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

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

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.

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'.

By John Hamilton (not verified) on 29 Feb 2008 #permalink

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.

By noncarborundum (not verified) on 29 Feb 2008 #permalink

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).

Send them over to the NCSE site to read this.

Wow. That's a great site.

By David Marjanović, OM (not verified) on 29 Feb 2008 #permalink

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.)

By noncarborundum (not verified) on 29 Feb 2008 #permalink

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.

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.

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.

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. :-|

By David Marjanović, OM (not verified) on 28 Feb 2008 #permalink

Send them over to the NCSE site to read this.

Wow. That's a great site.

By David Marjanović, OM (not verified) on 29 Feb 2008 #permalink