Global Warming Revelations
A physical oceanographer has written an article that shows clearly how science, in this case climate change science, is not a dispassionate, objective process, but is instead a political game where those who have other scientific theories are shouted down, regardless of the evidence.
Writing about the Australian Geophysics Union's 13,000 strong meeting, he makes some quite damning admissions.
We tried for years - decades - to get them to listen to us about climate change. To do that we had to ramp up our rhetoric. We had to figure out ways to tone down our natural skepticism (we are scientists, after all) in order to put on a united face. We knew it would mean pushing the science harder than it should be. We knew it would mean allowing the boundary-pushers on the "it's happening" side free reign while stifling the boundary-pushers on the other side.Whoa! Think about it. The prestige of 'science' used to push a particular agenda, whether or not it was supportable. Contrary evidence and views suppressed. The ends justifies the means. No wonder so many scientific papers are fraudulant.
The author continues
But knowing the science, we knew the stakes to humanity were high and that the opposition to the truth would be fierce, so we knew we had to dig in.Think about the mentality that went through this process. We silenced scientific critics of our views. We ignored the manifest uncertainty of our predictions and claims, BUT he could still use the phrase 'opposition to the truth'.
But now they are listening. Now they do believe us. Now they say they're ready to take action. And now we're wondering if we didn't create a monster. We're wondering if they realize how uncertain our projections of future climate are. We wonder if we've oversold the science. We're wondering what happened to our community, that individuals caveat even the most minor questionings of barely-proven climate change evidence, lest they be tagged as "skeptics." We're wondering if we've let our alarm at the problem trickle to the public sphere, missing all the caveats in translation that we have internalized. And we're wondering if we've let some of our scientists take the science too far, promise too much knowledge, and promote more certainty in ourselves than is warranted.I guess the author has realised that they have stiffled science by their propaganda. Sounds all too familiar. Power corrupts. Faith exists whether you believe God or atheism. Human nature is human nature. We need to remember that scientists are human. That we can't check their evidence.
We can however, understand what can be known and can't be known with science. We can realise that scientists test theories using reproducible experiments. The problem is, climate change isn't reproducible. We don't have another planet which we can fast forward to see what happens. All we do have is horribly insufficient computer models. You only need to look at the inability to accurately forecast tomorrows weather to see how insufficient these models are (Just look at boxing day, which was supposed to be around 38 degrees here, and yet turned out to be around 23).
You see, it isn't that they don't have any good evidence, it is that they can't have any good evidence. They haven't run an experiment on our climate system. The real experiment is what they are trying to get us to do, at massive expense.
(HT: Tim Blair)
Merry Christmas to all. I am probably not going to be posting for the next couple of weeks!
Morality and God
I just completed my second semester of a Philosophy Masters and one of the subjects I did was an introduction to ethics. The 'text' and I use that term loosely, was Blackburn's "A very short introduction to ethics" where the author doesn't try very hard to reveal his disdain (and ultimately his manifest lack of understanding) of Christianity and Christian Morality.
Most people think Christian morality is all about following the rules (What is known as 'deontological ethics'). The ten commandments and all that. I can only conclude that this misunderstanding comes from the Catholic church's somewhat (and understandable) misunderstood teachings. The thing is, Jesus taught quite clearly that it isn't just your actions, but your heart that matters. If you lust after someone, that's adultery. If you hate someone, that's murder. (It also mentions this idea hundreds of years before Aristotle/Plato, who are normally talked about as the founders of virtue ethics. See Isaiah 29:13)
Christian ethics is therefore more what is known as virtue ethics. That is, the moral question is are you there right kind of person, as opposed to do you do the right actions or cause the right consequences. So what 'virtues' are considered good virtues? There is a simple answer and a more complex answer.
The simple answer is also supplied by Jesus. 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and love your neighbour as yourself'. Jesus then goes on to explain that everyone is your 'neighbour'. Having this as the virtue that is good means that other things considered as virtues (e.g. compassion) are only good in light of their being loving. (Handily resolving any conflicts between the many virtues which is put foward as a problem for virtue ethics)
The complex answer is investigating what it really means to love God and your neighbours. Dr. J. Budziszewski defines loves as a 'commitment of the will to the true good of another person'. Curiously, this means that Christian virtue is wanting to get the best consquences (i.e. the true good) for other people. (which brings us close to 'consequentialism' which defines an action as moral if it maximises the good consequences). The question then remains...how do we know what the true good is and how do we know what actions will bring about those consequences?
The bible again provides the answers. How? It tells us about certain rules that we can follow. Yes, we are back to the 10 commandments. The instruction to love God and neighbour was followed by pointing out that ALL the laws of Moses and the prophets were designed to fulfill this idea of love. (which brings us back to deontological ethics)
Of course, in the original notion of Aristotlean virtue ethics, the way to become the right kind (i.e. virtuous) of person was to practice doing the things that a right kind of person would do. The bible also says the same thing, saying that we should train our children in righteousness (so they do not depart - Prov 22:6,) and that the bible is useful for training in righteousness.
Ultimately, this means that Christianity is about virtue ethics, but the virtue is one which tries to maximise consequences by following rules set out by the one who would know how to maximise those consequences, God. A kind of deontological virtue consequentialism.
One final point to note is that, as Blackburn notes, the atheistic philosophers (almost all philosophy at my uni is done on the assumption of atheism) have no answer as to why anything is 'moral'. There is no such thing as morality in a mechanistic universe with no supernatural. This is why the argument from morality is, in my opinion, a great argument for the existence of God.
Judge Jones Dover Decision Shocking Revelation
The main ID sites have released details of a study by Discovery Institute scholars which outlines how Judge Jones, the judge who ruled against Intelligent Design in the 2005 case in Dover, lifted over 90% of the 6000 word section on whether ID was science from the 139 page 'ruling' straight from the ACLU's submissions.
This is shocking. The judge, who is now clearly not an expert or even informed and objective observer, simply accepted the authority of the ACLU in making his decision. Some choice comments
Dr. John West, Vice President for Public Policy and Legal Affairs at Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture.
"Ironically, Judge Jones has been hailed as 'an outstanding thinker' for his 'masterful' ruling, and even honored by Time magazine as one of the world's 'most influential people' in the category of 'scientists and thinkers,'" said West. "But Jones' analysis of the scientific status of intelligent design contains virtually nothing written by Jones himself. This finding seriously undercuts the credibility of a central part of the ruling."
So a judge who said he was not an activist judge essentially used an activist organisation's legal decision, not his own. If this is the best they can do, the Darwian machine really is having trouble with the survival of the fittest.
Update: Fixed an error about how much of the document relates to the 90% decision.
Update: Joe Carter has also commented on this and raises some good points.
The fact that Jones copied verbatim—even including factual errors made by the ACLU attorneys—is certainly troubling. But the bigger issue is that such blatant plagiarism isn’t considered plagiarism within legal circles. True, the legal scholars are quick to note that the practice is “highly disapproved of” and as Bright v. Westmoreland County makes clear,
Judicial opinions are the core work-product of judges. They are much more than findings of fact and conclusions of law; they constitute the logical and analytical explanations of why a judge arrived at a specific decision. They are tangible proof to the litigants that the judge actively wrestled with their claims and arguments and made a scholarly decision based on his or her own reason and logic. When a court adopts a party's proposed opinion as its own, the court vitiates the vital purposes served by judicial opinions. We, therefore, cannot condone the practice used by the District Court in this case.
Still, the fact that such dishonesty is tolerated at all impugns the entire legal process. No matter what the lawyers may claim or how they parse the terms, it’s plagiarism. Are law students allowed to cut-and-paste “findings of fact” into their papers without attribution? If not, then why does the standard change when they put on judicial robes? Contrary to what Judge Jones and his fellow members of the bar might think, having a J.D. behind your name does not provide an exemption from ethics.
Addendum: Some critics of intelligent design are falling all over themselves to dismiss Jones’ lapse in judgement. Ed Darrell claims that “This is not at all unusual in such cases…” And Tim Sandefur of Panda’s Thumb claims that “adopting the plaintiffs’ proposed findings as his own” is “just what a judge does when he finds that the party has proven its case.” Apparently, Ed and Tim missed the AP story where a legal scholar acknowledged that it is “not typical for judges to adopt one side's proposed findings verbatim.”
Ed, Tim, and their defenders are embarrassing themselves. They should have condemned Jones breach of ethics and rightly pointed out that science is not decided by judicial decision. Instead, they’ve provided evidence for those who claim that since Darwinists can’t win in the court of public opinion, they are willing to lie, cheat, or steal to defend their beliefs. It’s shameful but, unfortunately, not particularly surprising.
Iraq Study Group
The Iraq Study Group has released a negative report on Iraq which has been pasted over the news over the past few days. I haven't read the report. I don't intend to read the report, but a few things trouble me....
Firstly, it has been said that the US Officials have vastly underreported the violence in Iraq. From this AP article on Yahoo
The panel pointed to one day last July when U.S. officials reported 93 attacks or significant acts of violence. "Yet a careful review of the reports for that single day brought to light 1,100 acts of violence," it said.Note the difference...'significant acts of violence' versus 'acts of violence'. Without looking deeper into it, the difference between significant and all acts of violence appears obvious. AP has moved away from the 'fake but true' claims of people being burned alive, towards 'real but false' claims of equivocation.
Secondly, I continue to hear a lot of people refer to the ISG as a bipartisan committee. But looking at who was on it, it seems to be bipartisan in name only....
* James Baker, former Secretary of State
* Sandra Day O'Connor, former Supreme Court Justice
* Lawrence Eagleburger, former Secretary of State
* Edwin Meese III, former US Attorney General
* Alan K. Simpson, former Wyoming Senator
* Lee Hamilton, former US Representative and vice chair of the lame 9/11 commission.
* Vernon Jordan, Jr., business executive
* Leon E. Panetta, former White House Chief of Staff
* William J. Perry, former US Secretary of Defense
* Charles S. Robb, former Governor of Virginia and former U.S. Senator
How many of the 'republicans' were for the Iraq war in the first place?
Certainly not Baker, who has been an appeaser for decades.
Eagleburger was against the Iraq war.
Sandra Day O'Connor is the former supreme court justice who was a middle of the road person at best.
Simpson is republican who has moved so far to the left that his views are more in line with the democrats.
That leaves Meese as the only Hawk on the 10 person 'bipartisan' committee. It's hardly what I would call balanced.
Boundaries and Motives
I can heartily recommend reading boundless, a christian webzine that has 4 new articles every week. The articles are well based in a biblical worldview, and often relate to issues which are very relevant today. That being said, one the articles today, 'Boundary Issues' has missed a fundamental point about boundaries and so has gotten it dangerously wrong.
Boundaries are about self-control, about being able to choose to say yes or no with right motivation. As such, boundaries are actually a manifestation of a fruit of the spirit.
The author Suzanne Hadley, writes about her decision to take in Lena, an 18 year old girl who grew up an orphan and was having serious issues. Suzanne mentions
When Lena moved in, a friend asked me how I felt about bringing fulltime ministry into my home. "How do you plan to set boundaries?" she asked. I hadn't even considered that; I only knew I was acting in obedience. I began to wonder if such boundaries even had a biblical foundation.and then continues later
Certainly we are to be stewards of our bodies, minds and spirits. Even Jesus, who gave of Himself generously during His ministry, slept when He needed rest and stole away from the crowds to spend time with His Father. Jesus knew His limits and chose wisely to maximize His ministry.
While on the surface personal boundaries seem like a good idea, the Bible doesn't wholly advocate them. Speaking of first century Christians, Luke writes: "All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people" (Acts 2:44-46).I have read the 'Boundaries' books she refers to. I highly recommend them. But you need to understand the point. So what is the point? Let me illustrate with a story from my past. I had a friend, Graham, who was a great guy. Graham ran his own business, and was very good at what he did. Yet at one point, one of his clients, who owed him $3000 for work he had done, refused to pay. So what did Graham do? He let the matter drop, essentially forgiving them client his debt.
"Boundaries for Early Christians" would not have been a bestseller. In fact, the early church seems to have had some significant boundary issues. Acts describes people living in community, sharing all they had, selling their stuff to give to the poor. Believers today find this concept very uncomfortable. We cherish independence and privacy. We worry about being taken advantage of or losing something we deserve. We fear being manipulated or abused by another person.
So what does this have to do with boundaries? Quite simply this. Graham was wrong. Not because of what he did, but why he did it. In Christianity, motive is of utmost importance. Graham didn't pursue the debt because he wasn't comfortable with trying to force someone to pay what they owed. It wasn't because he was filled with pity at the clients plight and so offered him grace. It wasn't because God led him to do it. Plain and simple, it was due to a character defect, a boundary issue.
This is the fundamental point of boundaries. It is impossible to do the right thing until you have good boundaries. This is true in almost every circumstance. Why? Because boundaries are foundational to our motivations. The person who can't say no because of boundary issues is actually sinning. Priorities get all screwed up. Instead of being able to properly manage your time and efforts, the lack of boundaries results in cheating the tasks or people that God wants you to focus on.
Suzanne also mentions
people who are so strict with their "boundaries" that they withhold their gifts from others, afraid that someone might take advantage of them. I've also watched people guard their time so carefully that they are rarely available to others. Some seem reluctant to ever bear another's burden lest they become "too involved."Ironically, these people have boundary issues. Remember, boundaries are about being able to have the right motivations. Right boundaries are when you accept responsibility for the things within your control and don't accept responsibility for the things out of your control. It is only when you have this control that you can give it over to God. (How can you give something to God if you don't have control of it?) Being afraid that others might take advantage of you actually means that your decision making choice is made not on the basis of the good of the other person, or whether other more important ministries will suffer, or even God's leading. The decision is instead based on fear, which is the essence of every bad boundary.
To put it another way, the automatic 'no' is just as much a boundary issue as the automatic 'yes'. Boundaries are about being able to say both 'yes' OR 'no' with godly motivation. This is the essence of why Suzanne is missing the point so badly and so her comment about the bible not wholly advocating boundaries is clearly wrong. The early church didn't have boundary issues at all, they gave of their time and possessions out of love, not out of fear. (Acts 2:44-46) More than that, the apostles set up boundaries for what their ministry should be (Acts 6:1-4), and even when the apostles were told by the pharisees to stop preaching and they said no, they were using boundaries (Acts 5:29).
To restate the issue: Boundaries are about having the self-control to say yes or no based on godly reasons. So unless you have good boundaries, you are unable to have the right motivations. Boundaries are not about always saying no, but instead are about being able to choose to say no or yes. It is a self-control (i.e. fruit of the spirit) issue.
Eigesis of Old Earth Creationists
When interpreting the bible, the correct method is to let the bible inform you of what it means (Exegesis), as opposed to imposing your own outside ideas and beliefs on the meaning of the text (Eigesis). Answers in Genesis has an incredible list of Old Earth Creationists who have admitted they use eigesis in reinterpreting the obvious meaning of Genesis 1-11 and the age of the earth.
Consider what this eigesis really means? It means that thousands of years of biblical believers would be unable to 'correctly' interpret genesis 1-11, as the meaning of the text is not contained within it's words, but can only be properly known when you consider recent 'scientific' theories about the age of the earth. This alone is a massive issue (ignoring all the other theological issues of an old earth), but it is worse than that. Scientific theories change. If we take this approach to biblical interpretation, we can have no assurance of believing anything in the bible, whether it agrees with science or not. This is the inescapable conclusion of trying to attach ultimate authority in science, not the bible.
Here are the comments of people who are leaders in Christian apologetics and theology. AIG has references for each of them.
Dr. Gleason Archer (Old Testament professor):
From a superficial reading of Genesis 1, the impression would seem to be that the entire creative process took place in six twenty-four-hour days. If this was the true intent of the Hebrew author … this seems to run counter to modern scientific research, which indicates that the planet Earth was created several billion years ago.1
Dr. James Montgomery Boice (pastor and Bible scholar):
We have to admit here that the exegetical basis of the creationists is strong. … In spite of the careful biblical and scientific research that has accumulated in support of the creationists’ view, there are problems that make the theory wrong to most (including many evangelical) scientists … Data from various disciplines point to a very old earth and an even older universe.2
Dr. C. John Collins (Old Testament professor):
First, it is true that modern geology does not depend on Scripture (it isn’t true that it ignores it, though: many works cite James Ussher’s chronology for the world). But this is a far cry from saying that it sets itself in opposition to the Bible. In fact, most of the pioneering geologists in early nineteenth-century England were pious Anglicans—some were clergy.3 It would only be right to say that geology opposes Scripture if we were sure that Scripture requires us to believe that the world is young—and the early geologists thought the Bible gave room for other possible interpretations.4
There are plenty of technical details on both sides [of radiometric dating and the question of the age of the earth], and I don’t pretend to know how to assess them. However, I am confident in saying that Dalrymple5 has played fair with people he disagrees deeply with … I conclude, then that I have no reason to disbelieve the standard theories of the geologists, including their estimate for the age of the earth. They may be wrong, for all I know; but if they are wrong, it’s not because they have improperly smuggled philosophical assumptions into their work.6
Dr. Norman Geisler (philosopher and seminary president):
The problem is deepened by the fact that there is prima facie evidence to indicate that the days of Genesis are indeed twenty-four-hour periods. … Most scientific evidence sets the age of the world at billions of years. The age of the universe is based on the speed of light and the distance of the stars as well as the rate of expansion of the universe. Early rocks have been dated in terms of radioactivity and set at billions of years old. Simply given the rate that salt runs into the sea and the amount of salt there would suggest multimillions of years.7
Dr. Meredith Kline (Old Testament professor):
In this article I have advocated an interpretation of biblical cosmogony according to which Scripture is open to the current scientific view of a very old universe and, in that respect, does not discountenance the theory of the evolutionary origin of man. But while I regard the widespread insistence on a young earth to be a deplorable disservice to the cause of biblical truth, I at the same time deem commitment to the authority of scriptural teaching to involve the acceptance of Adam as an historical individual, the covenantal head and ancestral fount of the rest of mankind, and the recognition that it was the one and same divine act that constituted him the first man, Adam the son of God (Luke 3:38), that also imparted to him life (Gen. 2:7).8
Dr. Gordon Lewis (theology professor) and Dr. Mark Demarest (theology professor)
Gordon Lewis and Bruce Demarest argue for the day-age view, concluding that “ultimately, responsible geology must determine the length of the Genesis days.”9
Dr. Pattle Pun (biology professor at a Christian college):
It is apparent that the most straightforward understanding of the Genesis record, without regard to all of the hermeneutical considerations suggested by science, is that God created heaven and earth in six solar days, that man was created in the sixth day, that death and chaos entered the world after the Fall of Adam and Eve, that all of the fossils were the result of the catastrophic universal deluge which spared only Noah’s family and the animals therewith.10
Dr. Bruce Waltke (Old Testament professor):
The days of creation may also pose difficulties for a strict historical account. Contemporary scientists almost unanimously discount the possibility of creation in one week, and we cannot summarily discount the evidence of the earth sciences.11
Dr. John Sailhamer (Old Testament professor):
I’m convinced that the arguments I cite in Part Two not only point the way to a proper understanding of the first two chapters of Genesis, but they also enable us to live in peace with the findings of modern science.12
Dr. Wayne Grudem (Theology professor):
Although our conclusions are tentative, at this point in our understanding, Scripture seems to be more easily understood to suggest (but not to require) a young earth view, while the observable facts of creation seem increasingly to favor an old earth view.13
Dr. J.P. Moreland (Philosophy professor):
The date of creation is a difficult question, but on exegetical grounds alone, the literal twenty-four-hour-day view is better. However, since the different progressive creationist views are plausible exegetical options on hermeneutical grounds alone, then if science seems to point to a universe of several billions of years, it seems allowable to read Genesis in this light.14
Dr. Millard Erickson (Theology professor):
At present, the view which I find most satisfactory is a variation of the age-day theory. There are too many exegetical difficulties attached to the gap theory, while the flood theory involves too great a strain upon the geological evidence.15
It is shocking that such intelligent people are willing to throw out biblical authority because they are cowed by the fallible theories of man.
Update: Dr Collins has pointed out in comments that the quotes provided by AIG do not show him to be using eisegesis, and I agree. Although I may still disagree with what he says in the quotes, the are not the same as the clear cut admissions of the others. I extend my apologies to Dr Collins for my inclusion of him in my remarks. I have left his quotes in the list for completeness sake.
Global Warming Debate
Always beware when someone tells you there is no more need to debate, or the debate is over or some such rubbish. All they are really trying to do is win by default once they get their way. (Remember some Australian politicians who felt the debate over abortion was over, or canadian politicians who felt the debate over marriage was over). It really is a crock, and it is self-evidently not true. They wouldn't need to say it, unless some people were debating. Global warming is no different. Scientific papers continue to come out calling into question the human cause of global warming, yet we are constantly told there is a consensus, that debate is over. Those people are lying. Plain and simple. Tim Blair has one a post on such recent article.
Academics George Chilingar and Leonid F. Khilyuk examine global warming:Yep. Harmful. That's what happens when you try and alter things that can't be altered.
The two researchers from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles (USA) conclude that “the theory of currently observed global atmospheric warming as a result of increasing anthropogenic carbon dioxide emission is a myth,” and that it has “proved to be an enduring one."
All of this is apparently peer-reviewed, as Andrew Bolt notes. Continuing:
The take-home message of Khilyuk and Chilingar’s analysis, as they describe it, is that “any attempts to mitigate undesirable climatic changes using restrictive regulations are condemned to failure, because the global natural forces are at least 4-5 orders of magnitude greater than available human controls."
What is more, they indicate that “application of these controls will lead to catastrophic economic consequences,” noting that “since its inception in February 2005, the Kyoto Protocol has cost about $50 billion supposedly averting about 0.0005°C of warming by the year 2050,” and that “the Kyoto Protocol is a good example of how to achieve the minimum results with the maximum efforts (and sacrifices)."
This being the case, they conclude that “attempts to alter the occurring global climatic changes have to be abandoned as meaningless and harmful,” and that in their place the “moral and professional obligation of all responsible scientists and politicians is to minimize potential human misery resulting from oncoming global climatic change,” hopefully by more immediate, rational and cost-effective means.
Just remember, scientists now get around 5 billion dollars a year to study 'global warming'. Perhaps they are not as unbiased as they pretend.
Wikipedia Unbalanaced on Intelligent Design
William Dembski is reporting how several WikiPedia Admin's are engaged in a hatchet job on him and other ID leaders.
A small group of Wikipedia admins with a grudge against ID have been running amok with no oversight performing and/or allowing hatchet jobs on ID and its leaders. It’s long past time to expose what they’ve been doing. Wikipedia is far too popular and reliable source of information, especially for school children, to let this travesty of justice continue. Please keep comments on topic. The Wiki horror stories are great!Wikipedia may be useful for some things, but on any topic which has any serious debate, it has to be considered highly suspect. As the biased administration of Dembski and Johnson shows, quite a few admins happily ignore the normal telling both sides approach and instead hope to indoctrinate those looking for information, not propaganda.
Update: I have three people who have biographies on Wiki who’ve written to me privately with similar tales as those in the comments. I expect several more as word gets around. FeloniusMonk’s name is coming up more often than JoshuaZ’s. I’ll collect all the complaints for a couple days then see how each wants to proceed.
Ringleaders: FeloniusMonk and JoshuaZ
Rubberstamps: Guettarda and KillerChihuahua
Read the comments on this post too, as they highlight even more cases where the wikipedia crew is trying to control the 'truth' rather than being unbiased.
Rant Worthy Quick Links
After years of bullying Christians, secular humanists are accusing a British Airways employee of being conniving, insecure, selfish, and ungrateful for wanting to wear a cross whilst at work. Pot. Kettle. Black.
Flopping Aces has a good roundup showing how the Associated Press is shilling unsubstantiated propaganda for the other side. This time, it is using a fake police officer as a source, repeatedly, even after they have been told. The Main Stream Media really is the enemy. Michelle Malkin also has details.
The Guardian has a pathetic article on the 'neurological danger' of prayer. What is the danger? Essentially mental RSI. How much of a danger? Well...they have this one case.
The generic war on christian christmas also continues, in the US and Europe.
On other non-suprising fronts. The evolutionary tree of life is still in shambles. Religion was there from the beginning of man, on whoever's time frame you use. Scientists now think there are 3 ancestral families of humans (Just like the bible says with Noah's sons). Scientists have found a massive volcanic eruption caused tidal waves and other flow on effects approximately 8000 years ago. Homosexuality is highly correlated, and preceded temporarly, with dysfunctional family life, especially on the fathers side.