samedi 29 décembre 2012

"How Science is Done" - "The Test for Credibility"

University of California San Diego has provided a guide.* I would like to comment on its criteria.

A checklist might look as follows: Is the statement such that - in principle - it could be proven wrong (falsifiable)? If not, it is not about science. Ignore it.

Well, what if there is reasonable proof a statement is wrong, but it is not regarded as scientific proof? Say a thing like the statement "carbon has to have been formed by fusion in stars from hydrogen, because otherwise it would have to have poofed into existence by magic" - can it be proven wrong, in principle? Well, one way of proving it wrong would be finding a God able to "do the magic". Christians claim this has already been done, and look who's ignoring the evidence. "Miracles aren't scientific!" - Well, if there is any scientific sense in which the statement about Carbon forming only by very natural fusion could be proven wrong, certain kinds of miracles - like raising of the dead or multiplication of loaves (clearly dead, permanently raising up to a later death or up to a visible bodily ascension to Heaven, clearly few loaves clearly multiplied) - would prove there is someone able to make Carbon in other ways. If that is ruled out, if scholastic philosophy (first cause is not identic to matter and matter is no automatic emanation from first cause either) is also ruled out - because it supposedly cannot be tested and proven wrong in principle - then there is no principled proof left against the statement "carbon has to have been formed by fusion in stars from hydrogen, because otherwise it would have to have poofed into existence by magic", and it is no scientific statement.

Science is by the way given a definition:

science - (n.)
A branch of knowledge based on the laws of nature.
scientific law - (n.)
A summary of experimental data; often expressed in the form of a mathematical equation.
scientific model - (n.)
A representation that serves to explain a scientific phenomenon.

The last pair of definiend and definition is not very helpful as such, because it does not define "scientific phenomenon". The first two pairs are interlocked, if "laws of nature" are supposed to be "scientific laws".

A branch of knowledge based on summaries of experimental data; which are often but not always expressed as mathematical equations.

If you treat alleged miracles as a scientific phenomenon, but this is where above definition list is less than helpful, there are at least two scientific models:

- alleged miracles are always bunk as such, since either they are not true or not really miraculous;
- some alleged miracles are real because there is really a God who is able to do miracles.

Now, I very much doubt that Wolfgang H Berger would treat the second model as a scientific model. In good logic therefore he must say "allegations of miracles are no scientific phenomenon" and conclude that the first model of them is not a scientific model either. But then the statement "carbon has to have been formed by fusion in stars from hydrogen, because otherwise it would have to have poofed into existence by magic" as based on it is not based on any scientific model either. And, obviously, it is not based on experimental data or summaries of such. I have to date not seen any list of Carbon heaps after Hydrogen fusions in CERN.

Is the statement to the advantage of the one making it? This could be in regard to money, status, or cultural comfort. If yes, be suspicious.

I would like to confer this with following two items, one on checklist one on intro:

Are there a lot of natural laws being magically overridden? If yes: suspect crank science.

Of course, God poofing either loaves or life or Carbon into existence can be considered as magically overriding a lot of natural laws.

Likewise, comments emanating from the Fan Club of Bishop Ussher (who put the Earth's age at about 6000 years ago) might be treated with a lot more skepticism than, say, statements by the U.S. Geologic Survey or the Smithsonian.

I somehow feel that this harping on "magic" when it comes to miracles or God and this depreciation of "Fan Club of Bishop Usher" (who was not a Bishop since an Anglican and whose fan club I am not part of since he used the Masoretic rather than the LXX Chronology) might be considered to the advantage of Evolutionists, in regards to money (government funding for research, government funding for science teaching, private funding or fees for either), in regards to status (Evolutionist has status of Real Scientist), in regards to cultural comfort if the opposite, cultural discomfort is what we Creationists are now dealing with: being seen as cranks, having taken for granted that we are wrong and so on and so forth.

Is the statement one reflecting wishful thinking? (Wouldn't it be nice if ...) If yes: suspect junk science.

That is why I suspect junk science when it comes to pressure of selection guaranteeing not evolution of flappiness in ears, but evolution of ears, not of night sight specialisation in eyes, but evolution of eyes, and so on. Not to mention evolution of consciousness overall.

And seeing how some Atheists (who, along with Freethinkers and Modernists make up Evolutionists) hate religion (for preaching Hell fire, for Inquisition, for ... you name it, for one's religious past - not Dawkins, here - and so on) it seems dispensing with miracles making religious claims seem reasonable seems to involve some wishful thinking.

Are scientists heatedly disagreeing about it? If yes, be aware that this is a matter under discussion. This is normal in science, but wear a hard hat.

This would indicate that there is a scientific debate between Creationists like Geologist Tasman Walker and Evolutionists like Biologist P Z Myers. They are very heatedly disagreeing. Though not all that often with each other: Tas refutes older geologists who are dead, PZ refutes Creationists who are not all that good in Biology, and when I bump in about Chromosome Numbers, where he thought he had an answer ... well, he preferred hiding the debate in the end (so far, last time I checked on comment section under his blog post). It would also indicate there is a heated debate between Kent Hovind and one thunderf00t - going on pretty much from Kent Hovind videos clipped into shorties commented on by thunderf00t while Kent Hovind is in prison.

Is the statement made by one who absolutely, positively, 100% knows the answer? If yes, it may be right or wrong, but the declarer is not a scientist, for sure.

That makes thunderf00t as well as AronRa in several places very much not a scientist. They are 100% absolutely positively sure Creationists are no scientists and when they do science they do it so wrong they need no detailed and connected refutation.**

Let us get back to general criteria:

A scientist can never be absolutely sure about anything, because a new observation or insight might force him to abandon previously cherished ideas. Every scientific theory implies that something must not happen. If it does happen, that theory is dead or must be modified.

In that case miracles imply atheism is dead or must be modified. Unfortunately it has been modified into more and more abandoning the reliability of human testimony about events - unless the human attestants happen to be scientists.

Mind implies materialism is dead or must be modified. Unfortunately it has been modified into "mystical materialism" still compatible with Western Atheism and with Evolutionism (you know the story including seven senses of Evolution/Development a few messages back).***

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Bibliothèque Mouffetard,
Paris, France
St Thomas Becket

*Calspace Courses > 2.0 How Science is Done > 2.2 - The Test for Credibility

**See for instance my series against AronRa (incomplete, but connection between parts in upper right corner of each message under title, I give only first):

Creation vs. Evolution : A Man not at all prejudiced against God is criticising Creationism (not me, we'll get back to who it is)

... or what I wrote against thunderf00t:

ibidem : thunderf00t ... did you actually say that? (part 1)

ibidem : thunderf00t, did you really say that? (part 2)

***ibidem : Evolution as a Word - Means What?

vendredi 28 décembre 2012

Two Bishop Richards in Dialogue

Dawkins made a challenge, on knowing the past.
On Reading The Greatest Show by Dawkins - Parts of it!
Overlooked in Previous, about Dawkins' The Greatest Show on Earth
Medieval Matters for Richard Dawkins
Do evolutionists ever make unfalsifiable claims?
Two bishop Richards in dialogue (tongue in cheek)
Dawkins said Edgar Andrews had his book "well written" and that is one true word from him
Assortedretorts : ... on "Science Works" quote c/o Dawkins
... on Side issue to "Science Works"

Bishop Richard Dawkins of Canterbury
I wonder if Dagon worship really qualifies as idolatry. Since it is a fish god, it is ancestor worship.
Bishop Richard Williamson of La Reja
That makes as much sense as two times two making five.
Bishop Richard Dawkins of Canterbury
And if eating fish could be considered Cannibalism ... at least during Lent?
Bishop Richard Williamson of La Reja
That is so 1984 and Newthink.
Bishop Richard Dawkins of Canterbury
By the way should we not replace Easter with Darwin day?
Bishop Richard Williamson of La Reja
I am against liturgic reform, sir!

Source: quoting a hopefully future feature article in fine news media like Onion, Onion Dome or Eye of the Tiber./Happy Feast of Holy Innocents, HGL

Evolution as a Word - Means What?

An Evolutionist today and Kent Hovind may be differring on what things can properly be called evolution by evolutionists. He enumerates six senses, all of them believed by evolutionists but only one of them believed by himself. The evolutionist would however deny that his last two are really different senses, and lately he refuses to call the first four of them evolution, at least when talking to or about Kent Hovind. But when he started, I am not at all sure they would have been fidgeting about it.

1/ - Cosmic Evolution - from Big Bang to formation of separate rotating gas clouds forming stars.
2/ - Evolution of Matter - all kinds of atoms besides Hydrogen, not just Helium but everyone of them is supposed to have evolved by fusion in stars, some of which have already died.
3/ - Our Solar System and Earth evolve, starting like any previous stars from rotating gas clouds. Our Sun produces nothing more advanced then Helium but Earth got like Oxygen and Nitrogen and lots of other stuff up to Iron or even Uranium from débris from stars already blown up, and that includes Carbon too.
4/ - Our Atmosphere starts out with lots of Ammoniac and Carbon Dioxide (but no free oxygen or hardly any) and things like that, not excluding water, but under it there are also liquid waters, that gather together amino acids that form from Ultraviolet radiation and from Lightnings detonating in the atmosphere and somehow these amino acids (yea, it stinks) give rise to the first living cell. If our atmosphere is very different from that now, that is supposed to be because living organisms have since then produced lots and lots of oxygen by photosynthesis, while amino acids have been so very much put into use in living organisms.
5/ - Macroevolution, first living cell or possibly different cells develop into every other life form we know, whether insect or man or amoeba or whatever, and man has a genealogy roughly: one-celled, many-celled, many-celled bilateral, lampreys, sharks, fish, fish with thickened fins, salamanders, lizards, synapsids, early mammals, early primates, early apes like Ramapithecus, early hominids, early man: Homo Habilis, Homo Erectus, Homo Heidelbergensis which branches out into Denisovans, Neanderthals and Anatomically Modern Men, a k a us.
6/ - Microevolution, like Cauliflowers and Brussel Sprouts evolving from Kale in historic times or even two of Darwin's examples, like Dove Birds evolving from one species into the many we have now or Finches on Galapagos.

Kent Hovind and any other creationist admit that sense six is not just a fact but an observed and proven fact. Evolutionists do not admit that this is different from sense five. One could call microevolution short term evolution and macroevolution long term evolution, and the evolutionists claims, while Hovind and me do not agree that the so called long term is really no different from the so called short term, except that differences they end up in are more spectacular.

7/ - But when it comes to evolution and development, there is actually at least a seventh sense. Note that though English has two words for them, Swedish and German have only one. There is such a thing, claim evolutionists, as cultural evolution or development. From the merest ability to talk, nay even to use one-word phrases with very globalised and unprecise meaning varying from context to context and to chip stone flakes out of stones and use the rest to cut in dead animals, for using the skin, up to Modern Western Technological Society. And explaining how Adam did not plow and Eve did not spin and neither of them worshipped God and none of the first men living anything like near the 72 generations between Adam and Jesus Christ is part of that scenario and is thus also a part of evolutionism.

Whether scientists at one time label all of these evolution or reserve evolution for senses 5/6 and claim they are one, and that 4 is not Chemical Evolution or Biological Evolution but Abiogenesis and 5/6 not Biological Evolution or Phylogenetic Evolution but simply Evolution is simply not very interesting. The point is that they are not the same thing and that all of them are in fact believed by Evolutionists, but only sense or item 6 as such by Fundamentalist Christians. Also they are like each other in using the image of something evolving from something other more primitive over and over again. Which is why they came to be accepted as science by Evolutionists all of them around same time (latter half of 19th C being a time when this cultural Revolution gains speed) and why they were often enough all of them referred to as Evolution and why the people believing in them can be called Evolutionists.

Now, all of this Evolutionist Mythic Scenario can be described as having one function in common:

1/ To dispense with a clearly Theistic and Creationist Scenario as believed by Christians (and Jews and Muslims mostly too) and quite a few varieties of Paganism before that time.

Now it has another function that varies:

2a/ To help Atheists dispense with God;
2b/ To help Religious Modernists see they have to Reinterpret their Holy Scriptures;
2c/ To help Freethinkers philosophise about how different "any possible real god" must be from the God of Historic Christianity, for instance.

So, though the first and negative function is identical, the second and positive function of Evolutionism is varied.

But stating that it is misnamed since "it is not a myth and these are all science and anyway it is only sense 5/6 which is really called Evolution" is mere moonshine. It is using the latest of many terminologies to obfuscate the argument.

Now, there is obviously an Evolutionist view of how Organised Religion arose. It is different from the Christian view. On the Christian view, God was on familiar terms with the first two people he had made, and later during 72 generations often enough repeated the familiarity, until He took flesh from the Virgin Mary and was, as a Man, called Jesus, and who choose the Apostles that were the first Bishops of the Catholic Church. The Evolutionist view is rather that the earliest religions were like those one can see among Africans and Amerindians and Polynesians so far not Christian and that Christianity is a very late product of such development. Never mind that these so called Primitive Religions were studied far later than Christianity arose.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Bpi, Georges Pompidou, Paris
Holy Innocents

For a discussion of the difference between a Protestant and a Fundamentalist (one may be both like Kent Hovind, neither like Teilhard de Chardin or one but not the other like Charles Darwin and Robert Sungenis) see my essay:

MSN Group Antimodernism in memoriam : Sola Scriptura or Tota Scriptura?

mardi 18 décembre 2012

Yes, Bible is Less Racist. No, Catholic Countries are Not Less Biblical Than US.

duo:, trio:, quartet:, quintet:  
1) Wilberforce, Wilberforce and Wilberforce
2) Atlantic English based Creoles - born in Cormantin
3) Who was First to Unite a Literalist Reading of the Curse with Antiblack Racialism?
4) Yes, Bible is less racist, no, Catholic countries are not less Biblical than US
5) Angola, Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania - a further answer to Dr Carl Wieland

Answering an article and parts of a book by Carl Wieland. Here is from his article:

Second, support for slavery's role in heightening racism comes from comparing the different social outcomes in the US and Brazil. In the US during the era of slavery, there was an emphasis that was largely lacking in Brazil: that all people, being descended from Adam, are created in God's image. It means they are all intrinsically equal, one human family, despite all the variety and cultural differences, as the Declaration of Independence said. So in the US, there was a pressure to concoct schemes to make the enslaved group less human-but not in Brazil. This is one important reason why, after slavery was abolished, Brazil had far fewer social problems involving black-white racism than the US.

It also explains why such biblically untenable (though allegedly biblical) notions as 'pre-Adamite races'3, and 'the curse of Ham4 led to black skin' arose and/or were prevalent in the white culture of the USA, yet not that of Brazil5. In a society with more biblical leanings, the anti-racist and anti-slavery implications of the straightforward history of humanity in Genesis had to be neutralized. Like today's theistic evolution compromises, these ideas were not driven by what the Bible said, but by the outside ideas prevalent in the society, which were then read into the Bible.[source]

Footnotes: 3This was to make Adam the progenitor of only the ‘white race’. Thus these alleged pre-Adamites were the ancestors of all other groups, who could then be labelled as subhuman. By not being in the Adamic line, it also precluded the possibility of their salvation through Jesus Christ, the ‘Kinsman Redeemer’ (Isaiah 59:20) and ‘the Last Adam’ (1 Corinthians 15:45). 4There was of course no curse on Ham, and no mention of skin colour associated with the account regarding the curse on Canaan, Ham’s son. For a fascinating explanation/exposition of other aspects of this, see the author’s book One Human Family: The Bible, science, race and culture. 5See also the book by secular researcher Sylvester A. Johnson, The myth of Ham in nineteenth-century American Christianity, Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.

Darwin was from "the more Biblical" i e Anglo-Saxon culture. Let us have a look at the "less Biblical" i e Brazilian culture.

3 - Teilhard de Chardin foi um padre jesuíta, adepto ferrenho da teoria da evolução, de Darwin, que se envolveu numa pesada fraude para fazer passar o esqueleto de um macaco pelo de um homem primitivo, o "homem de Piltdown". Foi advertido pelo Papa Pio XII. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, zeloso católico, era antiteilhardista. Por isso, é criticado por Alceu: "os antiteilhardistas são, por isso mesmo, os da Igreja fechada, cuja expressão máxima é o Plínio" (São Lourenço, 13-5-1965).

4 - Para Alceu, que se havia engajado decididamente na chamada "igreja nova", Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira seria um "reacionário". Entretanto ele reconhece que Plinio se baseava num Papa santo (São Pio X) e em outro bem-aventurado (Pio IX): "Reacionários mil vezes piores do que ele [o escritor Jackson de Figueiredo] - os Plínios e companhia - continuaram a escrever como católicos e apoiando-se em Pio X ou em Pio IX" (Nova York, 19-10-1958). [source]

So in Brazil, you have a reception of Teilhard de Chardin and a denunciation of the same. Reception by Alceu and denunciation by Plinio. By contrast, France at the same time or some twenty - thirty years later has a Teilhard de Chardin reception and hardly any opposition. Father Bryan Houghton - who considered evolutionism a kind of avatar of Buddhism - was Englishman. Crombette - Geocentric and Young Earth Creationist - was a Belgian. Brazil, by closer ties to Catholicism than France, has more of Biblical Genesis teaching. Did it go as far as affirming the brotherhood of all men? Well, if you hear the word "fascist" you usually think of a racialist, right? Hitler was a racialist all through his political carreer after writing Mein Kampf, Mussolini - who started out in a better fashion - became racialist in 1938 by adaptation to Hitler. (Never mind that neither Franco nor Salazar were racialists). In Brazil there was a fascist leader, if you like to call him that, named Plinio Salgado. His movement "integralism" stressed the brotherhood of white, indio and black. And if you look at slavery, Brazil abolished it peacefully in 1888, by imperial decree. Slave owners got a monetary indemnity, it was basically the state buying slaves free, redeeming them.

But even if you go to the US, French and Catholic Louisiana, while having slavery, was the least racialist of the Confederate States. It was one state in which a free black man could own a gun and carry it in town. It was one state - I think I recall - in which freed blacks did not have to carry a document proving they had been freed. Why? Because the Biblical sense of men as brothers, through Adam our father in the flesh and through Christ our redeemer in grace was at least as strong or even stronger among Catholics than among Protestants.

This rule was enshrined in law in Virginia's 1924 Racial Integrity Act, passed on the same day as the state's evolution-inspired eugenics act to sterilize people by force. If a white person married someone who had even 'one drop' of African 'blood' (ancestry), their marriage was a criminal offence.

Given the lack of pressure in Brazil to relegate blacks to an inferior status to justify their enslavement, it's no surprise that in Brazil the one-drop rule does not work that way at all. In fact, it almost applies in reverse.

Anyone who actually read Pope Pius XI's Casti Connubii? It was a scathing chastisement of legislations such as Nuremberg Laws (of, possibly, Rabbinic inspiration) or the Racial Integrity Act of 1926 or - in advance - Mussolini's (alas) Carta della Razza from 1938. And in the 1930's it was not the Protestant Establishment, but the Catholic Hierarchy, that said things like:

8. From this it is clear that legitimately constituted authority has the right and therefore the duty to restrict, to prevent, and to punish those base unions which are opposed to reason and to nature; but since it is a matter which flows from human nature itself, no less certain is the teaching of Our predecessor, Leo XIII of happy memory:[7] "In choosing a state of life there is no doubt but that it is in the power and discretion of each one to prefer one or the other: either to embrace the counsel of virginity given by Jesus Christ, or to bind himself in the bonds of matrimony. To take away from man the natural and primeval right of marriage, to circumscribe in any way the principal ends of marriage laid down in the beginning by God Himself in the words 'Increase and multiply,'[8] is beyond the power of any human law." [source]

By the words "legitimately constituted authority has the right and therefore the duty to restrict, to prevent, and to punish those base unions which are opposed to reason and to nature" Pope Pius XI is of course referring to homosexual partnerships. He also affirms the parental rights as against state schooling and child protective services:

16. The blessing of offspring, however, is not completed by the mere begetting of them, but something else must be added, namely the proper education of the offspring. For the most wise God would have failed to make sufficient provision for children that had been born, and so for the whole human race, if He had not given to those to whom He had entrusted the power and right to beget them, the power also and the right to educate them. For no one can fail to see that children are incapable of providing wholly for themselves, even in matters pertaining to their natural life, and much less in those pertaining to the supernatural, but require for many years to be helped, instructed, and educated by others. Now it is certain that both by the law of nature and of God this right and duty of educating their offspring belongs in the first place to those who began the work of nature by giving them birth, and they are indeed forbidden to leave unfinished this work and so expose it to certain ruin. But in matrimony provision has been made in the best possible way for this education of children that is so necessary, for, since the parents are bound together by an indissoluble bond, the care and mutual help of each is always at hand. [source]

Maybe time for Carl Wieland to consider if Catholic Brazil was not actually rather more Biblical than Protestant and largely Masonic 19th C. US? Otherwise I quite agree with his article. There was slavery. There was a try to motivate it and it resulted in racialism and that in turn fed on Darwinism.

Now, I am also looking at St Thomas Aquinas' reaction on Aritstotle's doctrine of some people being naturally slaves. To Aristotle this meant that some peoples, some ethnicities, are naturally slaves. In Athens back then one would have been looking to Thracia. To St Thomas it means that some persons are that. They show it by mean deeds which is why slavery is all right as a punishment. Even so, the master is neither master of the slave's mind, nor of his body's natural functions - including reproduction. According to St Thomas Aquinas a master cannot forbid his slaves to marry, for instance. Or overwork them so that they cannot live with their wives (but if certain working hours are inconvenient it may be a wife's duty to live with that) or attend Holy Mass at Sunday or other parts of Christian instruction. But Wieland claims the Sepulveda - de las Casas debate introduced Aristotelianism:

Sepulveda was Aristotelian in that debate? As far as I know, the one who took the Aristotelian stance was de las Casas, stating that Indians by reason of their great altruism are natural masters and that the natural slaves are white and black. Sepulveda argued from the human sacrifice, cannibalism, sodomy as an openly accepted practise that Indian peoples had collectively deserved enslavement (much like US thought in 1945 about Germany and Japan) and that civilisation's boons were a just recompensation and more than that than the gold that las Casas considered as stolen. I am not sure, but I do not think he considered them another reason why it was OK for previously sovereign Indian peoples to loose the right to rule themselves. The Soviet style slavery in which Incas and Aztek rulers held their subjects was. However, las Casas got a point insofar as he introduced, briefly, Spain to Black Slavery, replacing the Indians in the mines. Spain like other European powers bought their Black Slaves from Africans who had hunted them among themselves. The Crown had the policy to accept buying slaves "if they had been caught in just wars of defense against their own - the now slaves' own - original agression for enslavement purposes". Spanish Crown was first to see through that African Kingdoms were lying about this to get more merchandise for their slave exports - and dropped the Black Slave importation, but kept the black slaves already in place. Can you point to the original text of the debate (Spanish or correct English translation) if I am wrong?

If Sepulveda really argued that White Technological Supremacy (wheat, grapes of vine - both necessary for Holy Eucharist - pigs, horses, wheels, iron) argued White Social Supremacy, I could not disagree more. Indeed, I differ from Carl Wieland's "No Laptops on the Ark" insofar as I think Nodian technology included some very modern destructive technologies: genetic manipulation (my theory of how T Rex arose from some far smaller lizard or - bird), atomic bombs and technology to fly around dropping such. And I think the post-flood technology arose in part from Noah's decision to avoid such evil things, as a deliberate delimitation of technological advance to what is agriculturally and so useful. If he invented the wine, or even at all consumption of alcohol, there might have been other drugs or hypnosis in the days before him. That does not mean all of modern technology was present. The wheel may indeed be post flood. I wonder if Ham's wife had Nodian ties - explaining thereby Egyptian references to Atlantis and Indian Mahabharata references (Krishna - who was not by any means a real god but who may well have been a man - died before the Flood according to traditional dates) to what now is considered by some Indians as references to Atomic Bombs and even space craft. It would also explain why the Hamitic ruler Nimrod is there when building the tower. And parts of Nodian technology would of course have been offered by demons.

But to return to the article's contrast between US and Brazil. When the Founding Fathers talked about all men being created equal they may very well have conveniently forgotten the Black slaves. You see, and if you had read Boswells life of Dr Johnson you would know it, the Whigs who were for the Colonist Rebels were pro-slavery. The Tories who were for the Loyalists were also against slavery. They maye have been for privilege, for a peasant lifting his hat to a landlord, but not for slavery. Boswell was a Whig, Dr Johnson was a stranded Tory (earlier downright Jacobite) among such.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Bibl. Château d'eau, Paris
St Gaetan

Update following day: After reading first chapters of Antiquitates Iudaeorum, I see a confirmation of my thought that Noah did not bring all preflood technology onto the Arc. Josephus states that after preaching he feared for his life and fled. That is, when building the Arc he was of course a master Carpenter, but he and his family were not masters of all trades in the then human society./HGL

lundi 10 décembre 2012

Mark Shea Responded

Series on Chestertonian attitudes on Creationism (i e today's Chestertonians being clearly less favourable to Young Earth Creationism than GKC): 1) Mark Shea Basically Calls Creationists Protestants, 2 Mark Shea Responded, 3) And what of Mark Shea's Attitude to Marco Rubio?, 4) Answering Thomas Storck and Solving Problem (I Propose at least) Set by Humani Generis, 5) Trin80ty's bias, his ugly bias

A response came from Mark Shea:

My bishop is Peter Sartain of Seattle. Catholics are all creationists. However, they are under no obligation to be young earth or six day creationists. You can believe such stuff if you like as far as the Church is concerned. But it’s bad science and you will be living in a delusion and making it impossible to bear witness to those who do know the science. Rome feels no obligation to embrace YEC or six day creationism. At their recent conference on creation and evolution, real scientists, not six day creationists, were invited. Young earth and six day creationism rely on a protestant reading of scripture that is unnecessary for Catholics. Knock yourself pestering my bishop about this.


Catholics ... are under no obligation to be young earth or six day creationists.
Six day - granted. More or less at least. Palmarianism - to which I adhered for 14 months - even makes a point of not being six day creationists but one moment creationists. Those are the two patristic options, and both involve pretty clearly being young earth creationists. A clear problem with one moment creationism is that Eve coming from Adam's rib was a Friday, but if Sunday to Friday or Sunday to Saturday were just one moment, it would have been Saturday or Sunday.
You can believe such stuff if you like as far as the Church is concerned.
Thank you very much for the clarification. That means your bishop Peter Sartain of Seattle is at least not trying to oblige all his sheep to Old Earth Creationism! However, that did not come through very clearly in the blog post I link to and which I answered.
But it’s bad science and you will be living in a delusion ...
Do not agree.
... and making it impossible to bear witness to those who do know the science.
Impossible for myself or for all others? An important difference. If I make it impossible for myself, it is so to speak "my bad". If I make it impossible for you, then you have an interest in suppressing my belief, even if your bishop hasn't.

But first of all, is your Old Earth Creationism really helping you to convince "scientists" (excluding the young earth creationist ones, like Geologist Tasman Walker) and science believers?

Here are two quotes by the scientist - and atheist - Jacques Monod:

If we believe in a Creator—if we feel the need for this belief—it is basically for moral reasons, in order to see a goal for our own lives. And why would God have to have chosen this extremely complex and difficult mechanism when, I would say by definition, he was at liberty to choose other mechanisms, why would he have to start with simple molecules? Why not create man right away, as of course classical religions believed?

If you want to assume that, then I have no dispute with it, except one (which is not a scientific dispute, but a moral one). Namely, selection is the blindest, and most cruel way of evolving new species, and more and more complex and refined organisms … [interviewer:] Cruel? [Monod resumes:] The more cruel because it is a process of elimination, of destruction. The struggle for life and elimination of the weakest is a horrible process, against which our whole modern ethics revolts. An ideal society is a non-selective society, is one where the weak is protected; which is exactly the reverse of the so-called natural law. I am surprised that a Christian would defend the idea that this is the process which God more or less set up in order to have evolution (emphasis added).

Whole interview is readable here:

Creation Ministries International : Jacques Monod and theistic evolution

So, tell me more of how accepting Evolution helps you bear witness with those who "know the science". As if they were, for that matter, the prime target for mission. Lots of Pagans are not Evolutionists. Lots of Evolutionists are Apostates or children of Apostates. From 1520 to 1620, did Catholicism get more converts from Protestantism or from Paganisms?
Rome feels no obligation to embrace YEC or six day creationism. At their recent conference on creation and evolution, real scientists, not six day creationists, were invited.
Now, when Nicea was held, Arius was invited and could defend his position. At Ephesus, Nestorius was free to present his views and arguments. Why this wimpiness in "real scientists" to avoid discussion with Y E Creationist scientists? And why is Rome sucking up to that wimpiness? And how come this reminds me that there are Sedevacantists who condemn "Rome" precisely for this kind of thing? Could it be that it strikes me as dishonest and unworthy of Christians? B t w, there are bishops with Apostolic Succession who are not in Communion with Benedict XVI. Who do not quite agree with Perry Lorenzo's first blog post, so to speak. Quite a few of them, when it comes to Sedisvacantists or even, possibly, the four bishops of FSSPX, are at odds with "Rome" for this precise reason, among a few others.

Not inviting any Young Earth Creationists is at least at odds with a point clearly made in Humani Generis. Pius XII wanted debate, not just rolling over and playing dead before Evolutionists. And, if you will listen to Monod, that is exactly how Evolutionist Christians strike at least some Evolution believers.
Young earth and six day creationism rely on a protestant reading of scripture that is unnecessary for Catholics.
St Thomas Aquinas - a Protestant? St Augustine (did you ever try reading all of De Genesi ad Literam or were you content with the super known quote?) - a Protestant? Trent condemning Protestants for too much literalism? Whom art thou kidding? Not me. Are you dishonest or just ignorant, that is all I would like to know about this "Protestant bashing" which is really a Catholic bashing.

Inerrancy of all Scripture was affirmed by Trent (it had been denied by Socinianism), by Vatican I, by Pope Leo XIII. In Vatican II this affirmation is incompletely repeated, insofar as Scripture is only directly said to be inerrant about matters of faith and morals or pertaining to salvation of souls, but not repeating the dogma of inerrancy in its totality does not amount to repudiating it.

When CSL in his Reflections on the Psalms (one reason why he should not be canonised, even though I consider him saintly) appeals to Calvin for shedding doubts on historical inerrancy of the book of Jonah. He applies also very disingeniously to St Jerome. I actually wrote an answer to the factoid stating that St Jerome considered Genesis story "mythical":

Creation vs. Evolution : Was St. Jerome Calling Genesis a Myth, and if so in what sense?

But perhaps you think CSL knew better than I what St Jerome meant or perhaps you consider John Calvin a paragon of Roman Catholic Orthodoxy not even remotely connected with Protestantism. And perhaps Trent calling Bucer and Zwingli and Calvin to task about their not believing the clear Biblical statements on the Real Presence a Protestant Council deviating from the Catholic teaching of Zwingli, Bucer and Calvin. If so, I do not agree.
Knock yourself pestering my bishop about this.
I do not know if you would call it pestering, I have already "pestered" Vingt-Trois "archbishop of Paris" about what he feels in this issue, throught two diocesan organisations, so that if either omitted forwarding to him other one would forward to him. I do not see how it would qualify, reasonably, as pestering just to send Peter of Seattle the link to this essay.
the Welborn Protocol: All correspondence is blogable unless you specifically request otherwise.
Was applied to the letter. Thank you for the correspondence, it fed my site!
Hans-Georg Lundahl
Sts Carpophor priest and
Abundius deacon, martyrs

dimanche 9 décembre 2012

Mark Shea Basically Calls Creationists Protestants

Series on Chestertonian attitudes on Creationism (i e today's Chestertonians being clearly less favourable to Young Earth Creationism than GKC): 1) Mark Shea Basically Calls Creationists Protestants, 2 Mark Shea Responded, 3) And what of Mark Shea's Attitude to Marco Rubio?, 4) Answering Thomas Storck and Solving Problem (I Propose at least) Set by Humani Generis, 5) Trin80ty's bias, his ugly bias

This is somewhat disingenious, Mark Shea:
In the Land Where Everybody is a Protestant, Including the Catholics…

I have recently been defending you in the double attack launched as a petition to EWTN. Both on account of finding the layman Perry Lorenzo saintly - no doubt not meaning cohabiting with another man is good example as such, but I think you meant he gave lots of good example apart from that, including to his partner - and on account of being a layman, blogger and making money from that. It is a thing I do myself, namely be a layman and a blogger but except so far make money (unless you count the 3000 and some more € from granny last year as from my writing) and that is anyway what I intend if I am not remaining stopped and stumped. As has the case been so far. But I agree, the way of livelihood is honest as such and who is such and such petitioner to block someone from it. And finding one man saintly, whom afterwards one sees was homosexual, but general evaluation still stands to one, and then being confirmed he lived chastely is not a disqualification from that calling. Nor is being homeless (before making the money) such a disqualification.

However, it seems you are overdoing the point of your book By What Authority and leaning a bit too much on a bishop who cannot himself say certain things as publically as you without getting attacked and deserving it and thereby illustrating a bit more the failure of precisely authority in the Church after Vatican II. You seem to think he speaks for all bishops if he tries to make people believe that Pope and all bishops are evolutionists. Your actual words are that with these the 4.5 billion years of earth and 13.5 billion years of universe "are not controversial" - a rubber phrase which is equally true if none of these bishops openly oppose evolution as a heresy and if none of those bishops disbelieves evolution as a new dogma. Unofrtunately it gives an unwary reader the impression of meaning the latter. A writer should beware of such rubber phrases. Chesterton - whom I know you like - was not very fond of the phrase just quoted.

And the Kolbe Institute is not in opposition with Rome, nor is it in trouble with the bishop where it is headed. Its patron is St or Blessed Maximilian Kolbe and its agenda is opposing evolution. So, you might just have shot your loyalty to episcopacy a bit over the mark.

And if it were true that both Pope and each non-Pope bishop in communion with him were supporting evolution as a new dogma, judged by which "fundamentalism is a heresy" as you put it according to them, one could ask what authority they have to make a major change of doctrine like that. Obviously none. And they know it. If the bishop has authority because he is successor to some apostle, he cannot declare heretic a view of Genesis which each Apostle pretty obviously had. If he has authority because he is delegate of the Pope, then that is because the Pope is successor of St Peter.

And St Peter was a Young Earth Creationist especially and explicitly writing about the Deluge of Noah as of a true historic fact. And his successors have not become such with any authority to change his doctrine, that is one thing Vatican I makes very clear. Quoting from memory: "non ut novam doctrinam patefaceret spiritu sancto revelante sed ut depositum fidei ..." - " not in order to publish as it were on revelation of the Holy Spirit a new doctrine but to ... the deposit of faith".

"Part of being President is deferring to people who *do* know what they are talking about in fields where you wield no expertise."

First of all, no President could possibly make any real decision based on us supposedly descending from Tiktaalik. One can be bad at writing, as was Charlemagne, and be a decent king, emperor or president or duke or whatever.

Second, part of that is being able to choose with some freedom between rival claimants to knowledge. Some Pagans had Pagan priesthoods pretty firmly established as the acknowledged expertise on "the gods" and choose to overturn that expertise in favour of the Catholic Church. Like the descendants of Cathbad had to give way to St Patrick. Like an Odinist priest of Northumbria (probably descending from poor old magician and sham god Odin himself) counselled his king to leave off being Odinist. He even burned the temple he had been serving in. Reducing evil to ashes.

Third, then, comes the question whether a President should endorse continued dogmatical teaching of evolution or give at least freedom to teach the controversy.

"In the field of the sciences, the overwhelming evidence is that the earth is about 4.5 billion years old and that the universe is about 13.5 billion years old."

Here comes that "not controversial" phrase. Avoid it, as said. It is a rubber phrase. I tried to comment on this asking the pertinent question of whether the overwhelming thing for this is really the actual observed evidence or the consensus of scientist who need to comply with certain theories in order to make their academic carreers (one reason why I for one prefer being a layman blogger and try to make money out of that).

But if it were really true that Pope plus all Bishops in communion with him do uphold Evolution as the Truth, that would pose a pertinent question of whether they really are in charge of their ministries or rather intruders from some non-Catholic sect - such as Freemasonry. You know, Freemasons are pretty dogmatical about both a cosmography of planets orbitting solar systems and evolution happening in that framework. And each bishop who acts consistently in such a way as to make himself suspect of upholding evolution as the truth "de fide ecclesiastica" thereby makes himself suspect of being an intruder from such sects. Even cradle Catholics may apostasise in secret and then get in charge of ecclesastic offices that are really reserved for such as have not apostasised.

"In the Catholic Church, to which Marco Rubio belongs, this consensus is not controversial among educated people (including the Pope and all the bishops of the world)"

Catholicism does not reckon with such a deference to non-controversiality (as said, avoid such rubber phrases if you like clear writing) among "educated people". First apostles include one educated but fallen man, previous to his calling: St Matthew was Levite before he was Tax Collector. Levite implies educated. Tax collector implies fallen. They involve at least four not so educated people: Sts Peter, Andrew, James and John (humming the relevant line of Lord of the Dance in my head).

Judaism is based on this deference. One single rabbi - though the oldest, Gamaliel - did not want Christianity summarily condemned. All the other educated people did. You know the kind who would commiserate the Kelly Family because when they were street musicians they sometimes missed a shower.

So - is your bishop or priest or whoever tells you this stuff about "educated people" - a Catholic or a Jew?

"and only causes a stir with cranks and people who think they are Catholic but in fact are still fundamentalists."

And Catholicism condemned "fundamentalism" at what council? Not at Trent. It condemned "sola scriptura" but not "tota scriptura" and indeed condemned Protestants for not believing things that are there in the Scriptures such as II Maccabees on prayers and sacrifice for the dead and for their absolution (in some sense) from their sins.

Not at Vatican I. Which stood clearly for - as mentioned - complete continuity of doctrine. And not Vatican II either, though a phrase in Dei Verbum taken separately from previous magisterium seems to give a loophole for not being fundamentalist about the 6000 or 7200 or 7500 years that the world had been in existence. In the Latin rite you communicate with monks whose reading from the martyrology of December 25th gives the world about 7200 years.

But perhaps Pope Leo XIII condemned fundamentalism in the case of Geocentric implications thereof by Providentissimus Deus, encyclical? Check out paragraph 18:

18. In the second place, we have to contend against those who, making an evil use of physical science, minutely scrutinize the Sacred Book in order to detect the writers in a mistake, and to take occasion to vilify its contents. Attacks of this kind, bearing as they do on matters of sensible experience, are peculiarly dangerous to the masses, and also to the young who are beginning their literary studies; for the young, if they lose their reverence for the Holy Scripture on one or more points, are easily led to give up believing in it altogether. It need not be pointed out how the nature of science, just as it is so admirably adapted to show forth the glory of the Great Creator, provided it be taught as it should be, so if it be perversely imparted to the youthful intelligence, it may prove most fatal in destroying the principles of true philosophy and in the corruption of morality. Hence to the Professor of Sacred Scripture a knowledge of natural science will be of very great assistance in detecting such attacks on the Sacred Books, and in refuting them. There can never, indeed, be any real discrepancy between the theologian and the physicist, as long as each confines himself within his own lines, and both are careful, as St. Augustine warns us, "not to make rash assertions, or to assert what is not known as known.''51 If dissension should arise between them, here is the rule also laid down by St. Augustine, for the theologian: "Whatever they can really demonstrate to be true of physical nature, we must show to be capable of reconciliation with our Scriptures; and whatever they assert in their treatises which is contrary to these Scriptures of ours, that is to Catholic faith, we must either prove it as well as we can to be entirely false, or at all events we must, without the smallest hesitation, believe it to be so."52 To understand how just is the rule here formulated we must remember, first, that the sacred writers, or to speak more accurately, the Holy Ghost "Who spoke by them, did not intend to teach men these things (that is to say, the essential nature of the things of the visible universe), things in no way profitable unto salvation."53 Hence they did not seek to penetrate the secrets of nature, but rather described and dealt with things in more or less figurative language, or in terms which were commonly used at the time and which in many instances are in daily use at this day, even by the most eminent men of science. Ordinary speech primarily and properly describes what comes under the senses; and somewhat in the same way the sacred writers -- as the Angelic Doctor also reminds us -- "went by what sensibly appeared,"54 or put down what God, speaking to men, signified, in the way men could understand and were accustomed to.

A Heliocentric saying that the miracle of Joshua has no geocentric implications would be one way of obeying that. A man claiming that the miracle of Joshua has such implications would also be obeying it if he was strictly geocentric or geostatic. The one who would not be obeying it would be the guy who said "ok, the text has geocentric implications, but that is because it is erroneous" even if he added "though not in a matter pertaining to our salvation". And precisely people who make that kind of claim are among the chief pushers of evolutionism.

But didn't Leo XIII at least make clear how he saw things, that he fully accepted Heliocentrism? Check out final words:

Hence they did not seek to penetrate the secrets of nature, but rather described and dealt with things in more or less figurative language, or in terms which were commonly used at the time and which in many instances are in daily use at this day, even by the most eminent men of science. Ordinary speech primarily and properly describes what comes under the senses; and somewhat in the same way the sacred writers -- as the Angelic Doctor also reminds us -- "went by what sensibly appeared,"54 or put down what God, speaking to men, signified, in the way men could understand and were accustomed to.

He as well as I knew that quote from Summa Theologiae. Where it answers how come the Bible does not mention the crystalline spheres which that Church Father believed in. And St Thomas as well. So, for anyone accepting the new astronomy and calling the Bible wrong on that account, or even trying to reconcile the Bible with it, the problem is that this Church Father was "excusing" the "incomplete" info to be gotten from the Bible because he believed a contemporary account of astronomy - precisely as the 19th C. man who would not be believing the crystalline spheres. Who would be vindicating the impression the Bible gives of a void above us and between the stars.

Of course, one can argue that Leo XIII should have taken a firmer stand against Heliocentrism if it really was wrong.

Papacy may have been promised never to take a firm stand on anything without having a due and true reason, but it has not been promised to take such a stand immediately each time there is such a reason. Honorius did not take a firm and clear stand against Monotheletism, which is a heresy (I have by the way heard such accounts of Gethsemane/Crucifixion in St Nicolas du Chardonnet as to make me wonder if they are not, some of the priesthood, by reducing the preference of Christ for not dying to an animal reaction, sharing monothelite tenets). Leo X finally had to take a firm stand against Luther, but he didn't really want to.

If in some instances the Church nearly falls all of it into a heresy before Papacy speaks up against it, the promise of Christ remains and it remains compatible with the Papalist interpretation thereof.

And if Humani Generis does allow learned people to discuss whether Adam was formed out of previously alive material (taking a stand either for or against) Pius XII does not actually say that the learned who take a stance for it should be such as belong to the faithful. Jews like Gould are learned enough to give such a debate two sides even if all learned Catholics partaking in such a debate are strict Young Earth Creationists.

In fact the reception of Humani Generis as a blanket licence to be evolutionist with a few reservations (including not doubting Adam and Eve) has destroyed the debate. Except that Catholics like Sungenis and a few Protestants like Tasman Walker make it a debate again, as Pius XII had ordered.

It is funny how some Catholic bishops or priests or watchful laymen are at odds with anything that is popular among Protestants. In Paris Mgr Williamson has among Trads taken more bashing for liking Tolkien and C S Lewis than for supporting a certain interpretation of the evidence of chemistry in relation to gas chambers. Why? Because JRRT and CSL can both be labelled "New Age" and because CSL remained an Anglican and never converted to Catholicism. And because he is popular among Evangelicals.

At the same time some Catholics take up Puritan prejudices against individual almsgiving. With a clear preference for soup kitchens and social workers. After all, the beggar theoretically could be an alcoholic who would spend all he got on alcohol. And it would *so* be the almsgiver's fault if the almstaker spent alms the wrong way. A Muslim who wanted to give me ten € asked for only one condition: that I promise not to buy alcohol from it. Otherwise it would be a sin for him to give. Some Catholics seem to have the same take, although I have not found it in St Francis of Sales. I turned the offer down, because I wanted to give a lesson about freedom, about property not remaining in hands that give them away, and about me not wanting to be a project for Muslims trying to reform me. Besides, I had a toothache and a few drops of liquor might have done well as combined disinfectant and anaesthetic. But it seems some Catholics would more agree with that Muslim than with me. And I wonder why they keep calling themselves Catholics, when they think like Protestants.

And likewise some *Catholics* are ashamed to agree with a Conervative Protestant like Kent Hovind or Tasman Walker but not ashamed to agree with Stephen J. Gould who is a liberal Jew.

I fully agree that it is shameful when people expose Scriptures so as to contradict clear evidence from experience and reason. That is of course the passage most quoted by Gouldians who are confessionally Catholic from De Genesi ad Litteram:

If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason?

I quoted it myself on my post about Distant Starlight problem:

Triviū, Quadriviū, 7 cætera : Distant Starlight Problem - Answered by Geocentrism

I tried to post this in a comment on your blog post. However it was "awaiting moderation" last time I saw it, and it has not been published. I also in same comment linked to my exchange (on scientific matters) with Biblical Geologist Tasman Walker:

Creation vs. Evolution : Feedback to Tas Walker on Geological Columns

You see, I hold to the Tridentine definition of not exposing Scripture other than according to consensus, not of present day scientists but of Church Fathers gone by and gone to Glory since Christ founded his Church. That also happens to be one Orthodox insistence about exegesis.

I see much clearer evidence in the same Church Fathers for Geocentrism and Young Earth than for either Papal or Episcopal Supremacy in the Church and also clearer than for or against Filioque. Though, thanks to St Athanasius, and a few others, filioque is clearer than papacy. At the very least as a valid option.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Bpi, Georges Pompidou
(a special library in Paris)
Second Sunday of Advent
Day after Feast of Immaculate Conception.

mardi 4 décembre 2012

Feedback to Tas Walker on Geological Columns

Geology seriesFeedback to Tas Walker on Geological Columns
If Tas Walker is right, Pius XII was not wrong to canonise Steno!

Actually Steno was not canonised yet, only beatified, and by John Paul II, as stated in following:

Creationism and Catholicism go well together (second example)
Where do you find Dinosaurs over Trilobites?
Steno and "Vertical Barbecue" contra John Laurie

his page on subject:

My feedback:

I did a wiki check on fossil digs. I saw no Cambrian digs that were also Jurassic or Triassic. And so on. Very few covered even two of those things.

At the utmost, I could imagine that bordering areas between Cambrian and something else in UK could show some overlap, but I have so far not found any wikipedia reference to such.

I did find a place or two were oldest and youngest are supposed to be 15 million years apart or something.

I read on some page (talkorigins?) that there were tow columns where more than one flooding must have happened, because there is more than one sea bottom type of layer with land layers between or some such reason. One of the two was Grand Canyon. The other - which I cannot remember - was also in the Americas.

OK, some places were flooded before or after the Flood as well as under, so what, no contradiction against the Bible only a possible confirmation of Atlantis (though I won't exclude it was an island that one of the 8 knew from before the flood, my fav in that and other non-Biblical connexions being Cham's wife).

Relying on internet for negative evidence is not quite bad. I mean internet is such a show-offy ground that some things (not all) if true would already have found their way to the internet. And, as said, I do not know of many double or triple rock age digs. Not from wikipedia, not from anywhere else, so far.

Consideration I forgot:

Exactly how many digs are above or below volcanic layers that have radioactive dating? And how much could radioactive rating of Uranium-Lead or Thorium-Lead be wrong if half lives are extrapolated from ages inferred from "geological column"?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Château d'eau Library,
St Barbara

Highlighting the reasonable doubt about so called "Geological Column" further, starting with an "enquiry" sent to flood geologist Tasman Walker:

did a wiki check on fossil digs. I saw no Cambrian digs that were also Jurassic or Triassic. And so on. Very few covered even two of those things.

et c. as posted above.

Tasman Walker:

Hi Hans-George,

By local column, Mike Oard means the area local to a region. It may involve an area of 100 km or more. We can be reasonable confident of the correlation of the various rock units with each other because we can use reasonably soundly based criteria. An example would be the correlation of strata at Grand Canyon where this can be done visually. That provides a sound basis for theorizing.

That contrasts with a synthesised column drawing on rock units separated by vast distances and correlated by criteria that are highly subjective, such as by fossils. In other words, we cannot be absolutely certain that the Triassic in Australia formed at the exact same time as the Triassic in Europe and the Triassic in the US.

Glad you are finding the articles stimulating. Check my blog too which is what I mainly use now.

All the best,
Tas Walker

Me again (impatient to get to the point, alas, and short in politesse, but he forgave that):

My point is that there are not all that many local columns where you even can find two of the larger periods above each other (like Triassic over Cambrium, I seem to recall, for instance).

Grand Canyon plus one more in the Americas are about what we have. As far as I know.

If you have other knowledge giving more cred than that to evolutionist geology, say so please.

Tasman Walker again:

Hi Hans-George,

This article ( has a diagram at the bottom showing the various geological 'periods' in the Sydney area. There area quite a few that can be identified on the ground. But there is also a lot missing.

Similarly this article ( has a diagram for the Brisbane area, which shows the same thing. That is what Mike Oard means by a local column.

God bless,


Me again:

I quite understood what was meant by local column, I just did not think there were any between the larger geological ages, except in GC and another place. Are there in those two? Will check./HGL

What would be very interesting to know, and which I suppose is not the case (but I might be in for a surprise), is whether Brisbane's column Devonian, Carboniferous, Permian, Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous, Tertiary, Quaternary includes typical fauna fossiles from each of those. And if Ordovician et c. in Sydney includes fossiles typical of fauna for Ordovocian up to Quaternary.

Otherwise there is nothing very Ordovician about the Ordovician of Sydney. Or very Quaternary about the Quaternary of Brisbane.

That is my whole point: the periods are identified by their faunas. Their order is identified by columns, everywhere. But what if these columns never or hardly ever give faunas for more than one of them?

Tas Walker:

Hi Hans-George,

That is exactly the problem. How do we know that strata in one area were deposited at exactly the same time as strata in another? It is a highly subjective and a round-about process that is followed. Strata can be assigned to one age and then later changed to another. They are ordered by the fossils, but the fossil ranges keep changing.

Did you read this article?

Search for "fossil ranges".

One interesting example is establishing the place on the column of strata in Australia. The column is a European construct mainly and the early geologists in Australia assigned the coal-bearing deposits to the Carboniferous. However, the fossils did not match very well and there was a major debate over decades before they decided the coal measures were mainly Permian. It is all very arbitrary and the evidence is conflicting and the solution is often chosen to minimise the conflicts.

Read this article on Tiktaalik to see the sort of options that geologists can use to resolve conflicting data and come up with a story that they like.

All the best,

Me again:

I did read that article. That is why I contacted you. I also searched "fossil ranges" on and found this:

That is not what I am talking about. My point is that fossil ranges do not even exist locally, unless I am wrong.

If you look on wikipedia for Permian fossil digs, you will get a list of places, nearly none of which has fossils from other major perioods than the Permian. And so on.

"Everywhere the triceratops is above the trilobite and below the sabre toothed tiger" sounds fine until you ask yourself whether at any spot at all on earth you find the three of them together, on top of each other.

Tasman Walker, last word:

I agree with you.

Exchange from: December 4th to December 7th 2012.

Posted on this blog message, December 8th, Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

samedi 24 novembre 2012

Do Evolutionists Ever Make Unfalsifiable Claims?

Dawkins made a challenge, on knowing the past.
On Reading The Greatest Show by Dawkins - Parts of it!
Overlooked in Previous, about Dawkins' The Greatest Show on Earth
Medieval Matters for Richard Dawkins
Do evolutionists ever make unfalsifiable claims?
Two bishop Richards in dialogue (tongue in cheek)
Dawkins said Edgar Andrews had his book "well written" and that is one true word from him
Assortedretorts : ... on "Science Works" quote c/o Dawkins
... on Side issue to "Science Works"

I think it was Dawkins who said: "evolution would be disproven if we found a rabbit fossile in" (whatever the geological period was) "and so far this has not happened."

Hasn't it? Or has it but expertise has guessed at other explanations?

[Quoting Talk Origins Article, link here] : Clifford Burdick, of course, once argued for "The Discovery of Human Skeletons in Cretaceous Formation" (Creation Research Society Quarterly, Vol. 10, Sept. 1973) or, as the skeletons were nicknamed, "Moab Man." Human skeletons found in rock from the Cretaceous era? According to the geologic time scale, not even humanity's earliest human-like ancestors appeared until well after the Cretaceous. However, this case turned into yet another instance in which creationists had to recant due to the evidence pointed out by mainstream scientists. For instance, a professor of anthropology examined the "Moab Man" skeletons as soon as they were first uncovered (when some ground was being bulldozed). The professor agreed that these were indeed human skeletons, but that they were just Indian skeletons that had been buried in a rock crevice, the surrounding rocks dating back to the Cretaceous, but not the buried skeletons, which were merely slid in between the rocks, and which were later covered by sand, etc.

OK. A man's skeleton was found in Cretaceous layers, but he is not reckoned as having lived in the Cretaceous because sandstone layers could have dissolved into sand and later solidified as sandstone around him. One argument used is:

The bones themselves were not fossilized and there had been no replacement of bone calcium by mineralization. They were soft, friable and partly decayed -- in short, of rather recent vintage, probably historic Paiute or Ute, or possibly of Euro-American origin, since no associated artifacts were found." Later, a femur from one of the skeletons was carbon dated to around 210 years ago +/- 70 years. A few other such skeletons have also been found -- the same story applies, as outlined above.

What about dino's recently found with intact soft tissues? What about dino's C14 dated way later than Jurassic, also recently? That was recently featured in But more in same vein:

One of Baugh's more famous claims, aside from the dinosaur tracks, is an alleged out of place artifact of an "18th century miner's hammer" found in million-year-old Ordovician rock (he has also claimed it is in Cretaceous rock) found in 1934 from London, Texas.[18][19] Baugh asserted this as evidence against scientifically known ways that rocks form.[18] However, laboratory tests discounted his claim about the hammer's being formed in the rock.[18][19] J.R. Cole wrote, "The stone concretion is real, and it looks impressive to someone unfamiliar with geological processes. How could a modern artifact be stuck in Ordovician rock? The answer is that the concretion itself is not Ordovician. Minerals in solution can harden around an intrusive object dropped in a crack or simply left on the ground if the source rock (in this case, reportedly Ordovician) is chemically soluble."[20]

That was from the wiki on Carl Baugh. The references are given as:

Obviously it is possible that both the man in cretaceous layers and the hammer in ordovician laters London, Texas (not to be lightly confused with the capital of England, of United Kingdom and of British Commonwealth) are later.

But with this method it is not quite clear that if a rabbit from carbiniferous were found it would be accepted as genuine. In other words, the claim Dawkins (if it was he) makes is not necessarily as "easily falsifiable" as he claims.

Now, when it comes to rocks, there is a series of such. Triassic and Jurassic are supposed to be two different ages, the one older than the other. Carboniferous and Cretaceous are further apart. Here is a chart of it (linking to someone else's work), on

Do we find a believably testified timescale herein? Just perhaps if you trust radiometric dating. But then it would seem that is as dependent in discovery of methods on the geological scale as C14's half life on previous dating of Pharao Joser's (? or someone, in the fourties at least) mummy. Not to mention that "erratic measurings" are discarded as erratic. But of course, a nice relative dating can be made if you have finds with two major layers: Cambrian never under Ediacaran, Ordovician never under either of before and so on up to Quaternary, but always and everywhere the reverse order: Ediacaran above nothing, Cambrian above Ediacaran, Ordovocian above Cambrian or Ediacaran (or both) in plenty of examples of at least two different major layers like these. Or if Quaternary were never found lower than five feet under ground, Jurassic always at least ten feet under it, and so on. But that is very much less likely, and apart from Grand Canyon (and maybe one other site in the Americas) I have found no claim about this. But, I look through the fossile digs in wikipedia, and I find very few sites "from more than one period."

I would like to have seen a graph showing all the possible superpositions of period layers and for each or most of them a list of places where they had been found in relevant order but also a list of places where purported reverse order has been explained otherwise, i e through rocks shifting position over time.

Have we got that? So far not as I have seen.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Mouffetard Library, Paris
St John of the Cross

4 TBS: 4 Causes 4 Beginners, Crea-Debate 4 Advanced

TheoreticalBullshit : Why I don't Debate Creationists

Most quotes not directly quoted but summed up from memory, and TBS is giving the lines of Creationist Nick in his version:

Crea-Nick: small changes need not accumulate to large changes. If you move back and forth between two poles you will be doing very many small changes of position but not accumulate them to getting far away from where you started.

TBS: The analogy fails to adress evolution. We do get a large way on it, that is precisely the kind of change we are talking about. You are presuming changes are regressive, which in this case they are not.

Mind if I bump in? Here: one standard creationist argument against the possibility of evoloution is precisely that changes we have observed are regressive. Try to breed smaller and smaller chihuahuas, they won't get smaller but either stop breeding or start getting bigger instead. Try to breed bigger and bigger Golden Retrievers, after a while the same thing will happen there: they will start getting smaller or stop reproducing.

His argument is basically that as evolution (macro-wise) never happened because it is impossible. Yours is that evolution is possible because it happened. Which begs the question of knowing whether we have other evidence it happened.

Just as he could as easily have said: we know creation happened, so it is obviously possible for God to create ex nihilo, where you would have answered that God never did that because everything getting into existance needs what a Thomist would call a material cause and what you would simply call material. Which is short for precisely material cause, and the older word for material was matter (causa materialis respectively materia in Latin).

Here is how Saint Thomas Aquinas dealt with that, wonder if Lane Craig mentioned it:

I answer that, As said above (Question 44, Article 2), we must consider not only the emanation of a particular being from a particular agent, but also the emanation of all being from the universal cause, which is God; and this emanation we designate by the name of creation. Now what proceeds by particular emanation, is not presupposed to that emanation; as when a man is generated, he was not before, but man is made from "not-man," and white from "not-white." Hence if the emanation of the whole universal being from the first principle be considered, it is impossible that any being should be presupposed before this emanation. For nothing is the same as no being. Therefore as the generation of a man is from the "not-being" which is "not-man," so creation, which is the emanation of all being, is from the "not-being" which is "nothing."

Source: I, Q 45, A 1 of ST=Summa Theologiae.
And where in A1? corp.=in corpore articuli, in the body of the article
as opposed to "ad 1" or any other "ad n", which is replies to objections

Next article, I quote obj 4 and ad 4:

Objection 4. Further, infinite distance cannot be crossed. But infinite distance exists between being and nothing. Therefore it does not happen that something is made from nothing.
Reply to Objection 4. This objection proceeds from a false imagination, as if there were an infinite medium between nothing and being; which is plainly false. This false imagination comes from creation being taken to signify a change existing between two forms.

Hope this makes better sense to you than Mr Craig did. Before we get on, just to eliminate mere verbal misunderstandings between you and any Thomist whatsoever (and if he did not explain this to you, but only commented over your head, I think that was rude and certainly not what St Thomas would ahve done):

Every table (to take your exemple) has four causes. Each efficient cause is the carpenter, except in so far as some efficient causes are tools in his hand. He is obviously more primary than they. They are secondary to him. Secondary efficient causes are, expecially if lifeless, called instrumental causes.

Each final cause is what you want the table for. Put plates and glasses and a hot dish on? Put a computer on and a mousse and a mouse mat or even to serve as mouse mat if such is absent? It may slant if you want to put writing or drawing material on it.

Formal cause is the property in the table which is intrinsic as a product of efficient cause and as an adaptation to final cause, like slanting for writing or being straight horizontal to eat on. It means having one leg with a big foot or four legs or two double legs that are foldable, and so on.

And material cause does so not mean an efficent cause that is a material thing but is the other intrinsic cause of the table, namely what it consists of as pre-existing material. To the table that would very often be wood, but it could also be glass and metal.

Actually, the wood in relation to the table made of it are not a perfect example of the relation material cause and thing. Because the shape of the table is not a form per se, it is a form per accidens. Wood is at once a material cause per se for a tree, while it lives, just as muscle tissue is for a man, and a formal cause in relation to things like cellulose, lignine and such matters as are included in all living things. Between wood and lignine etc. you have what is formal in relation to lignine etc. but material in relation to wood, namely things like cells and the grain. You know the lines that you use a saw across but a hatchet along.

When you say that "man is 75% water" you are referring to the material cause of a living person. And here is a funny thing: while a creature is living, every part of it is being exchanged on the material account. Your total amount of chemistry's atoms may be exchanged for every period of seven years while you live. For water, the total exchange is going much faster than that. So, is the formal cause yourself identical or not after the seven years when the material cause most certainly is not? That is a matter for thought, right? Thomism says, yes it is, and also, the more that is true of a being the more essential is its formal cause, the more essential is its essence, the nobler it is. And as all variations of degree are between extremes ranging from null to maximum, there is such a thing as the noblest thing, and that is God (forth way of St Thomas' five ways, see I, Q2, A3 for them all, and remember St Thomas uses 43 questions between proving God exists and proving that when being emanates to something else it does so by creatio ex nihilo).

Now back to your video and your dialogue with "Crea". Or rather to your enumeration of what you consider his strawmen.

TBS: strawman, like 1) asserting that natural selection has a goal.

Mind if I bump in? Here: If natural selection has no goal, how come it could: a) anyway make small changes it produces fortuitously lead up to a large change such as walking a far way from home by taking several small steps away? And b) produce certain things like - eyes. (Fifth way of St Thomas is by the way=Intelligent Design AND Government of Nature).

Before going on to the other strawmen, lets get on with natural selection:

TBS: Natural selection explains big changes. Crea-Nick introduced a new strawman about "direction of survaviability", but survivability is no direction it is a feature. Genetic changes occur, and because of the environment they either are survivable or they aren't.

Mind if I bump in? Here: That does not make "survivability" a feature of a creature, but rather a sum of features that together tend to net result actual survival. Just as infallibility in the Pope is not a feature in his mentality, but a net result of features excluding pertinacious heresy which together with special protection make fallacious definitions non-occurrent. But you might call "infallibility" also a feature of features in the Pope's mentality, i e of those he choses to share with all faithful as binding in faith, like Christ being of same substance as the Father, according to the Godhead. And similarily you may refer to survivability as a feature either of any feature produced by mutation or of any feature already present before mutation.

Now, in that sense survivability could not have the same direction time after time after time, except by chance. Which is why survivability has no overall direction. Which is why small changes over time do not add up to big changes, because they are regressive as environment changes.

You could of course have answered that "being a better hunter" is one feature with a constant direction which again and again is likely to have survivability. That is how one evolutionist does explain the rise of mammals.

TBS: The evolution of whales is not the result of a movement towards survivability. It is not a result of movement towards anything. If a population can procreate it already has survivability.

Mind if I bump in? Here: Oh?

TBS: If they have to live in water, you can bet that mutations advantageous to swimming and diving are passed on and those that are not are not.

Mind if I bump in? Here: Oh? First of all, you seem to be giving survivability a direction. Not a once and for all same direction in all animals - this direction being obviously obverse to the one counted by evolutionists in Crossopterygia and Tiktaalik up to Amphibians - but a certain direction in a certain environment.

And for another thing, saying that survivability goes in a certain direction does not guarantee that mutations will actually occur in that direction.

TBS: ... Because members (of the population) without such an advantage will not be able to compete for food and will not live long enough to procreate.

Mind if I bump in? Here: Two things. First of all this seems to be a scenario in which every species is in constant food shortage and mutations saving species from extinction continually occur quasi miraculously so evolution can go on, but somehow this never fixes the problem of continual food shortage.

I do not believe that for a moment. Neither the food shortage, nor that time after time when it occurs species after species is saved by mutation into clearly different not just species but kinds. The obvious result to be expected of a shortage in which a species dies out if it does not mutate is that it does not mutate in the needed direction far enough and so dies out.

But if you speak only of food shortage in unmutated exemplars in the situation of having to compete with such as had made an advantageous mutation, again that won't do. Such mutations are not all that common. If it does not occur, the unmutated ones are at no disadvantage because there is no mutant competition.

TBS: There is no light at the end of the tunnel, no net survivability and all life is funneling toward it.

Mind if I bump in? Here: There is very much net survivability in the kinds as extant. Without mutations or without mutations that are very changeful. A change of colour here, a change of pattern (in feathers or scales or whatever) there, et c. Very much back and forth. Back and forth between what environments the colours melt into or contrast with, back and forth between need of camouflage in order not to get eaten and need of conspicuousness to attract females. If you have read Dawkins, the Greatest Show on Earth, you will know what I am referring to. But even when there is no back and forth, as is maybe the case with the crabs in Japan, referred to by Sagan and disbelieved by Dawkins, if these have got shield patterns more and more like faces of Samurais, mutations and natural slection are basically "skin deep."

Now, let's go on to the other strawmen of the list.

TBS: strawman, like 2) asserting that speciation can happen in one mutation...

Mind if I bump in? Here: In plants a chromosome mutation of changed polyploidy does produce a new species. That and hybridisation between close species are the two main observed ways of speciation in plants. Obviously a creationist does not deny this speciation, only that this speciation produces another "kind" of plant. And obviously such speciation is not exactly the same thing as asserting a common ancestry for dogs and bears.

TBS: strawman, like 3) asserting that adaptation does not count as change in form unless a new species has been produced, et c.

Mind if I bump in? Here: I am not sure it is a strawman of your position at all. It may be a Thomist position of his own. Some Thomists would argue that the formal cause is the same (though not individually the same) in all men and that the differences are a difference in material cause only. But if Socrates was white and Martin Luther King black due to material cause only, probably they would have the same skin colour if eating the same things, which is not the case. I find a Scotist perspective helpful here.

TBS: which made it clear to me how very uninformed you are about evolution, prompting me to suggest you do some reading. [And lots later:] I am not answering questions about evolution, I am educating you about evolution and I am not educated enough for that. [Admission under video, in description:] I'm kind of a dick in this one.

Here I am no longer bumping in, as I will now continue with my reply till end of this essay.

Creationist Nick, at the very worst, was about as below you in evolution as you were below Craig in Kalam argument. If you complain about being treated unpolitely, being polite yourself might help. However, that is not my main point, and you did make the admission yourself after doing the video.

My main point is this: if you know what an average American needs to know about Reading, Writing and Arithmetic, that means obviously that you can correct misunderstandings of very basic things. For instance, if someone were to say "if 1*1=1, then 2*2=2" or inversely "if 2*2=4 then 1*1=2" you would be able to explain that "times" and "plus" are not the same operation. If a Frenchman would pronounce "shout it out, chief" as "soot it oot, sheff", you might be able to explain that "ou" in English is pronounced, most often, "ow" and not "oo". If a German were to pronounce "boot" as "bawt" and thought it meant something you put into the water and yourself into, even if you did not know that "boot" in Geman is "Stiefel" you would no doubt have figured out that he was thinking about "boat" and you would show him how to spell and pronounce it, adding a voiced example of correctly pronounced "boot" and explaining or showing it is something you put on your feet.

But apparently learning what every American should know about evolution does not help you to attack very basic misunderstandings of evolution.

Which is where I ask myself, is that attitude simply repeating the behaviour of your science teacher towards a creationist in class? I don't know. But judging from how P. Z. Myers dealt with one creationist objector, much same attitude as above, I think it just might be the case.

People with OUR position are not just right, they are EDUCATED. People with the OTHER position are not just wrong, they are IGNORANT. Well, that is not very much like what happens in most areas in life otherwise, but it is very much an attitude which stops debate.

As I speak about P. Z. Myers, I will give you an extra argument - linking to it - that I argued in a comment thread on his blog. I also tried to get it published in Nature/Genetics, but that failed. So far.

Creation vs. Evolution : Letter to Nature on Karyotype Evolution in Mammals

Oh, one more coming back to you. You said that this is not philosophy or theology where everyone is entitled to his own opinion, this is science. If one is no expert one has no hope of getting taken seriously.

Now, how come science is entitled to being dogmatic and theology or philosophy isn't? Because a scientist who was also atheist and evolutionist told you so? Because he told you philosophy and theology have no firm foundation in observed fact? Because he told you evolution has, since "fossiles and genetics prove it" and they are observed facts? Well they are, but does that prove that it is evolution they are proving? Because he told you any story of miracles was written generations later, so miracles are never observed facts? What if they were, how would you know with such an attitude? Wouldn't you just deny the evidence rather than remotely dealing with it, in the fashion I have not much seen among creationists, such as saying fossiles and genetics are made up stuff, you only know that from hearsay, nobody's ever seen that stuff, though some pretend to, and so on? That is how we creationists do not deal with fossiles and genetics, usually, but we see a lot of that among people denying the miracles in the Bible - and in other texts.

Enough for today.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Mouffetard Library, Paris
St John of the Cross,

jeudi 15 novembre 2012

thunderf00t, did you really say that? (part 2)

Creation vs Evolution :
thunderf00t ... did you actually say that? (part 1)
thunderf00t, did you really say that? (part 2)
Trivium, Quadrivium 7 cætera :
Thunderf00t on futile questions
Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere :
... against Thunderf00t on Dembski
... on Thunderf00t having a point on feminism - and then a few not so on Ken Ham

"thunderclouds can hold up to about four inches, that is about ten centimetres of water"*

No more? Where do we get that from? How is it measured? By rain fall after it? I would like to know, because this is one of the facts that may be facts although they sound phoney.

I am actually methodologically curious. Not just what science is saying about nature, like in this case the thickness of a cloud counted in water level - you said four inches - but how come science is justified in saying it. If it is, that is. You see, when I was still an evolutionist, and mistook evolution for science, at age eight and somewhat beyond, I got an evolutionist book on the origins of man with not a little information both on what makes scientist believe Australo-Habilis-Erectus-Heidelberg-Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon form a series (brain volume deduced from inner cavity of skull), but also on its investigation techniques like 14C. Then at age twelve, when already a Creationist, ma gives me this gorgeous book by Edgar Harold Andrews, a Swedish translation of an earlier edition than the latest of his From Nothing to Nature. It has the standard creationist debunking of radioactive dating techniques as applied to the pre-historic. Look it up if you ignore it. Since then I am pretty wary of bad techniques of investigation.

Now, how do you deduce that a cloud has four inches of water if you compress theoretically the aerosol to a running level collection of liquid?

One method I could imagine would be to measure the downpour, which is done with those rain-metres or whatever you call them in English. Such and such a contraption catches rain as it is falling without letting it escape into the water source layers below the ground. It is transparent or has a transparent side. It has a scale in either millimetres or in inches and lines. Such and such a very heavy storm cloud looses all its water over a determined area of land and at any point you measure "four inches" and note it as a record.

Now, for one thing it is not a record, except locally, in so far as there are floods.

For another there is the displacement of the cloud which thus spreads its rain over a greater area than its own horizontal limitations.

And then there is the question whether the cloud really lost all of its water onto the ground or if some stayed rather in the air, even after it clears up. I am not at all sure this last thing is a valid refutation of this measure of the "four inches of water", but I would like to know your answer to it.

And as to previous, that may be one of the things that have been taken into account already by meteorologists. People whom, excepting the forecasts, I respect as scientists. When it comes to forecasts, they are not knowers, only, at best, good guessers.

But you maybe thought it was something you could calculate from "thickness of aerosol as compared with height of cloud as compared with thickness of water as pure liquid without the aerosol gives ..." by the Regula de Tribus. I am very far from sure that approach is very good. However, your point could be made (or unmade) by measuring the background radiation on sunny and cloudy days.

However, even if so, I recall pretty much not being councelled to put on sun screen lotions on cloudy days, preserving it for the sunny ones.

Even if he was in error, it was not an unfathomable one, nor incompatible with teaching high school science for fifteen years.

Every teacher has his forte and other areas where he will rely on hearsay if his professional training does not send off his factoid alarm bells ringing.

I am not quite convinced about your speculation in order to refute another point by Hovind though: that falling ice would be burning hot before it reached the ground. I mean if it heats, it melts, and dissolves into an aerosol and if it still heats after that it evaporates fairly high up, and at least then slows down, right?

The point about gas pressure in blood vessels being higher before the flood than after, as made by Hovind (something he deduced from the water canopy theory as an explanation of beings growing larger and partial explanation of them growing older before flood), was supposedly refuted by you insofar that "if so all would have had blood vessels just bursting out of the body as soon as water canopy was removed", but the adherents of the Hovind theory do usually hold that the Arc, apart being a device for floating above the sea rather than drowning below it, was also a pressure chamber, ensuring that the gas pressure in the blood vessels evened out without any divers disease in any being present inside the box it actually formed.

I suppose you were so eager to refute mister Hovind, that you did not wait until posting your refutation until after he had on same video answered it: or that he did not answer it on that video but on another one.

By the way, you are making this answer to some of his arguments while he is in prison, but do you happen to have videos posted on youtube while Kent Hovind was making these points? And while he had the full freedom to answer "your" answers? "Your" meaning not specifically answers by you, thunderf00t, but by anyone in Atheist-Evolutionist or even Theistic-Evolutionist communities who was obviously as shocked back then at Kent Hovind's arguments as you are?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Public Information Library
Georges Pompidou, Paris
St Albert the Great

*From, I think, still this one:

Why do people laugh at creationists? (part 6).