Saturday, December 25, 2010

God's Quality Control 3.18

Here I continue my review of the discussion guide published by the Prestonwood Christian Academy as a companion to the Hitchens-Dembski debate on November 18, 2010. In this video we're still working our way through the "Student Questions" section that is geared toward younger students, which presumably means kids as young as 12 or 13 years old. Today's honorary author will be Ms Jan Miranda, Prestonwood's Director of Guidance & College Placement. I invite you to share this video with Ms Miranda, on behalf of all those kids who are being deliberately misled for the sake of filling Ms Miranda's pockets. Please join me in telling these people that their predations on children are unacceptable.
  • p.26 Fingerprints and snowflakes are all unique. Does this make you think that they're designed, or do they seem random and without purpose? Let's just skip the fact that this is just the pocket watch analogy in different clothing. Let's skip the fact that when Ms Miranda says "millions/billions," it's the same as if she'd made a hundred thousand dollars last year but reported to the government "ten cents / a hundred dollars." Do you really think that Yahweh designs snowflakes and fingerprints? Why would it be so concerned with those things while there are millions of people starving and dying of horrible disease and being oppressed all over the world? There's something wrong with Yahweh's priorities?
  • p.26 "...the heavens declare the glory of Yahweh; the skies proclaim the work of its hands." This makes me really sad: you guys who stop at Yahweh are seriously missing out on the true glory of this place. If the earth is 6000 years old, then all the fossils (not to mention fossil fuels) that we find are fake. There were no dinosaurs. No trilobites. The fossils we find must have been installed by Yahweh as fossils. Just like the Slartibartfast character in The Hitchhiker's Guide. We know this because we understand the mechanisms of fossilization. The minerals we find in the fossils must have been meticulously adjusted to give the appearance, according to numerous, different, well understood dating techniques, of being far older than the earth itself. Further, the stars could be real, but they're just as likely to be fake too, because they're much too far away for their light to have reached us so soon. So Yahweh had to fake that up too.
  • But you really miss out when you think this way; and you really do think this, if you believe the earth to be 6000 years old. Unless you seriously believe that over four centuries of investigation by millions of truth-seekers have been entirely wasted. Either way, you're missing out. The universe is an incredible place, a zillion times more glorious than the one depicted by a bunch of ancient, bloodthirsty savages. Look around you for just a minute. Look at the bag of chips you just devoured. Your cell phone. Your furniture. Your body. All of that, every single molecule you see was once hydrogen. No kidding. It was all hydrogen at one point. How did it become carbon, oxygen, water, spam? In stars.
  • Stars convert hydrogen into all the other elements we see, and except for some craziness right at the beginning of the universe, that's the only way that these elements are made. Stars. Living, dying, creating. Not by magic. Not by divine will. Not by intent. Just by natural processes that we see going on all around us. I could go on about this kind of thing all day, so I'll cut it short with this: you have no idea how glorious the universe is if you think that it's all 6000 years old. You have no idea. Fortunately, there's only one obstacle between you and the truth: your religion. Ditch that, and you'll see that this place is far, far more beautiful and astounding and bizarre and even spooky than you could have ever imagined.
  • p.26 "Think about a fish..." This set of questions seems to be an attempt to say that there is support for the design hypothesis in the fact that there is water for fish to live in, that if there were no water, fish would die, so Yahweh must have provided the water. This is backward, just like superstitionist morality. If there were no water, fish would never have arrived on the scene in the first place. Supertitionists like to talk about how our atmosphere is just right for us, that if it had just a little less oxygen we'd all die, therefore Yahweh set it all up just right for us. Funny thing is, when the earth first formed, there was almost no oxygen in the atmosphere. The first life forms produced oxygen as a waste product. On earth, a lot of the oxygen is bacteria shit. After bacteria had fouled the place for a while, some lucky microbes found themselves able to use the oxygen. If all that oxygen had never been excreted, then oxygen-consuming life forms would never have appeared. We just wouldn't be here. It's not that we'd be here and dead, it's that we would never have occurred. Evolution would simply have never produced us.
That's 3.18. Thanks for watching.

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