Sunday, May 9, 2010

246: If You're a Prostitute, Be an Expensive One

Ezekiel 16-17
"You adulterous wife! You prefer strangers to your own husband! Every prostitute receives a fee, but you give gifts to all your lovers, bribing them to come to you from everywhere for your illicit favors. So in your prostitution you are the opposite of others; no one runs after you for your favors. You are the very opposite, for you give payment and none is given to you." - Ezekiel 16:32-34

There's not too much to say about the bible today. The first chapter is a rolling personification/metaphor about Jerusalem. Jerusalem is personified as a woman and God complains about how she's become a whore. In fact, God says she's not even a good whore because she doesn't charge money. He goes on to say that every prostitute receives money, but Jerusalem just receives gifts. So prostitutes are better if they accept money? I don't know what else he could be trying to say. The conclusion is that, like any adulteress, God is going to kill Jerusalem (or Jerusalem's inhabitants in this case).

The second chapter is God comparing the Israelites to a vine. Don't forget that just yesterday God called vines the most useless plant. The gist of the story is that Israel is going to die when it's transplanted to Babylon. In the end God says he will plant Israel at the top of a high mountain and Israel will thrive. That's unless the people of Israel decide to be naughty again, of course.

We have a trifecta of fundie today. This is all in response to an article about a biology book calling creationism a "myth".

The first of three letters to the editor starts out bad:
To be a scientific fact it must be provable, observable and reproducible. Micro-evolution meets these criteria. Evolution as an explanation for origins, though, requires hundreds of assumptions and is no more provable, observable and reproducible than biblical creation.
Unfortunately, "micro-evolution" is a fallacy. There is no scientific distinction between "micro" and "macro" evolution. The only difference is time and scale (more information). He goes on to complain that scientist throw around "millions of years" too much. As if scientists just believe without basis that the earth is billions of years old (still more information). He goes on to cite the validity of the bible:
Hundreds and sometimes thousands of years before "scientists" discovered the circulatory system, germs, nutrition and the need for quarantine, biblical writers wrote on these matters. The Bible teaches that earth is floating in space; it's round; the stars are innumerable. How did those "uneducated" writers know about these scientific matters hundreds of years before scientists discovered them? Because the Bible was written by the author of all science (God, Himself). These "facts" argue for the existence of God and for the accuracy and authority of the Bible. The Bible is not a science book, but it is accurate on all matters to which it speaks (including science).
First of all, none of these things are very remarkable. Second, and more importantly, he doesn't cite the biblical passages that point to these revelations. I'm 2/3 of the way through the bible and I've never heard any mention of the earth being round, the earth floating in space. The bible does mention that the stars are "innumerable". Assuming they don't mean that the stars are uncountable (which isn't true), then innumerable just means there are a lot of them. I think we can all determine that by walking outside at night and looking up.

Unfortunately, this person is not the only one with a woeful (willful?) ignorance of evolution:
He assumes that evolution is a scientific hypothesis that is repeatable and therefor a theory. This is where I take exception. The evolution dogma of "goo to zoo to you," that life is somehow over millions (or is it billions now?) of years old (has) no place in the scientific method. Evolution is a speculation about the unobservable and unrepeatable past. As such, teaching evolution as theory and/or fact should have no place in academia.
Speciation (not evolution) would be unobservable but for the fact that we have thousands, if not millions, of fossils. Evolution, however, is observable in many forms. The mutation of new bacteria/viruses, making them immune to new forms of antibiotics/vaccines is evolution. The great variety of dogs (through the use of artificial selection) is evolution. I'm not sure why creationists think evolution is some sort of conspiracy. What would be the goal?

This last letter is my favorite, it's titled "Creationism will remain a 'myth' until proven".
During the 1950s the British astrophysicist Fred Hoyle considered the Big Bang hypothesis a myth because of the lack of empirical evidence to support it. By the late 1960s enough evidence existed to promote the Big Bang to become a bona fide scientific theory even in Hoyle's eyes.
You know what? I agree. Creationism is a hypothesis. But it has to be put in the same category as my hypothesis that I am the greatest person alive today (in that there is no evidence for either).
When creationism is injected into the scientific arena to compete with evolutionary theory as an explanation of biological phenomena it can only be considered a myth because of the lack of any empirical evidence supporting it; and because of its reliance on the supernatural intervention of God cannot, by definition, be considered a scientific hypothesis to be tested by the scientific method.
Wait, what side is this guy on? He just argued for most of his letter that creationism should be a hypothesis, but now it can't possibly be a hypothesis because God is supernatural? You can't have it both ways.

In the end, all three of these letters summarize better than I ever could about why we need good biology books (i.e. biology books that aren't afraid to call creationism a "myth"). These people have clearly not been properly educated on what evolution actually means.

1 comment:

  1. Ah man, why do I always seem to be disagreeing with you?

    Anyway from my reading of this section it seems that God is implying that Jerusalem is a really crap whore because instead of being paid for sex she is actually paying other people for sex...which technically makes Jerusalem a John and the other cities whores.



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