Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The South finally accepts integration!

Of course, in this case, the integration of science and religion. Well, really, if they could just get away with religion only, they probably would. Since that's not an option, the state that ranks dead last in about every category related to higher education has decided to mandate the integration of evolution and creationism in public school ciriculum by proposing House Bill 625. It may be the shortest bill I've ever seen and not surprisingly avoids using a lot of big words, so the intentions are pretty clear. It and other bills like it should be the modern coming of the Scopes Monkey Trial, except no one seems to care and it has zero chance of becoming the focus of a movie.

To learn more, check out the National Center for Science Education. From this website I learned that Feb. 12th will be Darwin Day! Fortunately, this falls on the second Monday in February, because I'm already double-booked for the third Monday in February to celebrate George Washington's and Thomas Jefferson's Birthday. It's going to be a busy month!

Thanks to Thermocrhonic for clueing the geo-blogosphere in on this one!

It's not Trash, It's Not Garbage, It's Unrecycling!

"Litter"-ally translated! Sorry, I just couldn't resist that pun! All joking aside, learning the difference between trash and garbage was one of our first introductions to the south. As far as I can tell, if you can throw it out of your car window, it's garbage. If you have to chuck it out of the bed of your truck (which is tough with a camper shell), then it's trash.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

It would be funny if it weren't true....

It's late. I'm working on a lab for my class. In a desparate plea to the powers of Google, I enter one small query:

Dixieland stratigraphic column

My emotions upon viewing the first hit ranged from confused to giddy disbelief to nausea to nearly rage:

The Uniformitarian Stratigraphic Column- Shortcut or Pitfall for Creation Geology?

The absurdities that abound in this "article" almost bring me to tears. First of all, its the only place I've ever seen a succession of sedimentary strata referred to as "the column". Is that like "The Core" but with fewer diamonds and more geodes?

Alternative approaches to defining stratigraphy within the Christian Worldview are needed and that work is underway.

That's like saying "Alternative approaches to defining the origin of God within the context of evolution is needed and work is under way." Oh the irony! How, pray tell, do you redefine rocks? Oh, but they do:
the geologic column...is an idealized representation of the crust as it would be absent erosion and nondeposition
Argh! Wash your eyes out as soon as you read this mangled excuse for a definition!

But I did learn about a new model that apparently escaped my attention over the last 10 years of formal training in sedimentary geology:
The Creation/Curse/Catastrophe Model

The CCC model (Gentet, 2000a; 2000b) proposes that most of the geologic record is a result of extra-Flood catastrophes associated with the divine curse of Genesis 3.
I may have to redeux my thesis. But the grand finale is too much to not post:

Conclusion

The uniformitarian stratigraphic column encapsulates the modern geologic interpretation of the earth’s crust. Unfortunately, that interpretation includes the rejection of the Christian worldview in favor of Naturalism—a worldview that replaces a reality founded on God’s Creation and governance of the universe with an impersonal, uncaring mechanism. It also substitutes Christianity’s confidence in a truth granted by God’s revelation with an unstable positivism that succeeds only when it pilfers Christian doctrine. Finally, it sterilizes a meaningful and rich history, substituting a timeframe designed to dismiss the immanent presence of the Creator, and fills its endless ages with pseudo-scientific “just-so” stories. When we consider the vast chasm that lies between Naturalism and Christianity, we do not see how creationists can escape the necessity of razing that worldview until no two stones are left standing, and then rebuilding natural history and its derivative stratigraphy from the ground up.

Creationist proponents of adopting the stratigraphic column believe that they are simply incorporating an empirical construct without any stain of Naturalism. We are confident that they decry any influence of Naturalism in creationism and gladly eschew its tenets. However, we fear that they are missing connections between the column and that worldview and we challenge them to examine more closely the assumptions, methods, and conclusions that surround the column. We hope that they come to see the difference between the perceptual and conceptual. If it quacks like a duck…


Acknowledgments

We thank our spouses for allowing us the time and opportunity to research and write this article. We also thank Dr. Emmett Williams and Mr. Jerry Akridge for their helpful comments. Any mistakes that remain are our own. Glory to God in the highest! (Prov. 3:5–6).


To read this you'd think a sedimentary geologists was up there with Baby Seal Clubber and Osama bin Laden on the Most Wanted List. It is a model of model-driven "science". You can not set out to prove a predetermined conclusion in science, because THEN IT WOULDN'T BE SCIENCE! I would love to go through this more and point out the ameture nature of this pseudo-science, but did I mention it's late?

In the end, I really only have one question: would a pub in this journal count toward tenure and promotion?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

NEWS FLASH: gravity remains a mystery to modern physics"!

I often wonder: Einsteinian physics is taught in school and no one gives a hoot. But teach evolution and everyone gets out of church early to go protest. Poor Darwin- his ideas catch all the flak and Einstien gets glorified, even for his wacky hair-do.
To see what I mean, check this out:
http://www.economist.com/science/displaystory.cfm?story_id=8584910

Learning that life has a shared ancestry is apparently more blasphemous than determining the structure of the universe after the Big Bang ~15 billion years ago. Anyway, any article that refers to mathematics as elegant is sure to twist your brain into a string-theory string- enjoy!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

As long as the latte is fair-trade coffee and served in a reusable cup

NPR had a heart-warming story on this weekend:

Latte-sipping, Prius-driving, endive-munching, New York Times-reading snobs really can get along with Hummer-driving, bible-thumping, fire-breathing, snake-handling fundamentalists.

It's beautiful really. Like watching The Fox and The Hound as an 8 year old kid. Until you get to this part:
"If coal-burning utility plants emit nitrous oxides, mercury, which is then transmitted into our rivers and lakes, ingested by fish eaten by pregnant women who then pass it along to their unborn children and babies, then isn't that a sanctity-of life-issue?" Cizik says."
Ahhh! Now I see how to educate the Baptists in my class on earth science issues! I just have to relate it to an unborn child- if global warming threatens a zygote/embryo/fetus then it must be bad! I guess us ex-utero folks are lost causes.

Friday, January 19, 2007