Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Border Skirmishes Between Religion and Science

Here's three American websites I've been looking at lately.

The first is CONSERVAPEDIA - the "Trustworthy Encyclopedia". For me it's an example of religion trying to trample all over science. I know that other Lib Bloggers have mentioned it before, but it's worth a second look. - or second warning. Don't think of it being a Conservative website in just political terms, they are sixteenth century or worse in what they think of science. Not only are they trying to dump evolution, they are trying to dump modern astronomy.

Here's an extract from their article on the moon:

Atheistic theories of the origin of the Moon, widely taught for decades despite lacking the falsifiability requirement of science (see Philosophy of science), have been proven false.[8] Lacking any other atheistic alternatives, some scientists assert that the Moon originated from a collision early in Earth's history which created an orbiting ring of debris from the iron-poor surface of the planet which eventually coalesced into the moon.[9] This theory, however, is contrary to key observations of the Moon, such as the relatively low levels of iron in the Moon's crust. Additional tests fail to support the atheistic theory.[10]
Biblical history records the Moon being created on the fourth day of creation week, along with the Sun.....

.....Humphreys determined that the basalt had been laid down about 370 years after creation, and the brecchia had been laid down 1840 years after creation, or about 190 years after the Flood.[19] These findings clearly suggest that the Moon, and presumably all other bodies in the solar system, have been subject to two separate system-wide bombardments, one occurring in the second or third generation after the fall of man and the other occurring well after the Flood.
Note the equivalences here:

modern accepted science = atheistic science
atheistic science = bad

A while back the Onion website did a nice piece of satire on creation science:

KANSAS CITY, KS—As the debate over the teaching of evolution in public schools continues, a new controversy over the science curriculum arose Monday in this embattled Midwestern state. Scientists from the Evangelical Center For Faith-Based Reasoning are now asserting that the long-held "theory of gravity" is flawed, and they have responded to it with a new theory of Intelligent Falling.

"Things fall not because they are acted upon by some gravitational force, but because a higher intelligence, 'God' if you will, is pushing them down," said Gabriel Burdett, who holds degrees in education, applied Scripture, and physics from Oral Roberts University.

Trouble is, the satire isn't that different to what's on Conservapedia:
Everything in the universe that has mass attracts every other thing that has mass. The mechanism which transports this force has never been observed, scientists have created the graviton, a hypothetical particle, in order to uphold the naturalistic explanation absent of a supernatural force.
They haven't found a supernatural force, but they are still hoping for one.

Turning away from Wikipedia, there's STARDESTROYER.NET a forum which invotes you to "Get your fill of sci-fi, science, and mockery of stupid people" - I think by 'stupid people' they mean the type that trust Conservapedia.

There's a lot of SF stuff here, some interesting science news, some copies of correspondence with creationists and some interesting writing. Probably the one item that would upset the Conservapedia people most is this ongoing work of fiction entitled Armageddon???? in which Satan tries to claim Earth as his own, but meets unexpected resistance from the combined armed forces of the USA, Russia, Britain, Singapore, Al Qaeda.... It also makes Gordon Brown , George Bush and especially Bill Clinton into heroes. You might say it's a case of science trying to trample over religion.

In this early extract, the Royal Navy take on a demonic sea-monster:

“Hit it again. Full power to the forward sonar transducers.” The contact had been settling down when the second pulse hit it. If anything the threshing was even worse than with the first pulse. “That’s a Baldrick, no doubt. Weapons, fire tubes one and two. Target that thing.”

Taking four tons off the extreme end of the moment arm caused Astute’s bow to dip. It didn’t matter to the torpedoes, they were already out and climbing to the shallower water near the surface. Once there, they kicked up to 81 knots and ran out to the estimated position of the target. At that point they dropped their guidance wires and dived vertically on the contact below them.

A shaped charge can penetrate six times its diameter; that gave the pair of Spearfish torpedoes a theoretical penetration of 126 inches. In fact, they did a bit better than that, blasting deep cavities in Ralaraspanathsis’s back, severing his spinal column and burning deep into his vital organs. His body tissues, vaporized by the blast, sprayed out and down, searing and cooking his internal organs and bursting open the swim bladder that kept him afloat. Crippled and dying, he felt himself floating upwards towards the surface. Confusion filled his mind, he was a herald. How could they have done this?

“Well, there’s no doubt about, we just scored a Baldrick.” A cheer went up around the control room. Ever since Prime Minister Gordon Brown had quoted ‘Blackadder’ in his initial announcement, the British had taken to calling the denizens of hell, ‘Baldricks’. It had a nice, contemptuous air about it, one that was beginning to catch on. “Number One, take the boat to the surface, we need to collect samples.”

Finally, I found the LIBERTE EGALITE TRIVIALITE BLOG described as "Random screeds about... you know... stuff, from a heathen atheist bleeding-heart liberal ex-mormon rationalist in the heart of the reddest state." It's just a.... blog, but there's some nice stuff there on Dr Who and an interesting account from the author of the blog on how science. pornography, cinnamon oil and the Mormon faith clashed in his teenage years. It's worth a look, even if only to say hi to a liberal Dr Who fan in Utah.


Alasdair W said...

Gosh Conservapedia sounds really quite horrific. Unfortunetly too many conservatives in the USA have blogs and websites. (here I don't think conservatives have quite adapted to the internet like we have) And of course have way too much power. Look at this article that shows an example of how much power one conservative blogger has http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7427206.stm

GreenishBlue said...

Hey thanks for the hat tip and for stopping by my blog.

Great post on Conservapedia, too. Did you notice the major contradiction right in the first sentence of the part you quoted? According to Conservapeida, not only is the "Atheistic theory" unfalsifiable, it it has ALSO been proven false. Wow. You almost have to respect their wanton and obvious disregard of logic. nicely done, Conservapedia! It truly is becoming difficult to see the line between extremism and satire here in the US.


Alison Mayor said...

Some of us creationists are actually very nice people of sound mind.

Chris expresses his own views on this weblog.

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