The Right Answer from the Wrong Argument

My podcasting partner Stacy McCain has a post up at The Other McCain titled
Of Course, Evolution Is Racist. I believe his concluding paragraph is absolutely correct.

God rules the universe, all men will be judged by Him, and “there is no respect of persons with God.” The high and the low, the rich and the poor, men of every race and tongue — all shall acknowledge God’s authority at the final day. Never doubt that for a minute. Selah.

However, much of his post is simply wrong, based on a lack of understanding of Darwin, Nietzsche, and Genesis, compounded by a century-and-a-half of pseudoscientific and pseudotheological spin.

Properly understood, evolutionary biology does not address the existence or non-existence of God. As I show in the essays found under the Science and the Bible tab in the Menu above, nothing in the Hebrew text of Genesis limits how God exercised his power creating the Universe. Moreover, what we know from Science is fully compatible with what is revealed in the Bible. There’s no reason to be drawn into a false contest between two strawmen, one created to attack religious faith and the other created to defend a particular limited understanding of the Bible.

Indeed, being wrong about the commonly understood facts of the natural world tarnishes one’s credibility. As Augustine wrote,

If they hear a Christian embracing error in a thing that they know well, and hear him defend in the same way our Scriptures, how will they believe those books concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of life eternal, and the kingdom of heaven, when they believe they are full of lies about facts they themselves have learned from experience and the light of reason?

Here are some snippets from those essays.

I’m not a scientist or a theologian.  I’m an engineer.  In practicing my profession, I’m often presented with a problem that is too complex to be solved all at once.  When this happens, my usual approach is to try to break the problem in to smaller chunks and to go after each simpler piece using what I know about the basic laws of Physics.  These first principles include such things as Newton’s Laws of Motion or the Laws of Thermodynamics.  It should not be surprising that I would take a similar approach to my understanding of how what we know of God from the Bible squares with what we know of God from the fingerprints He has left on His handiwork in creation.

What are the first principles that apply to this inquiry?

The very first principle is a belief in the existence of God and an understanding that He tells the truth.  I’ll take that as a given for this work.  If I’ve lost you at this point, let me suggest that you leave this post now and pick up a copy of a book such as C. S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity instead.

If you’re still with me, the next of these first principles is that, if God is who He says He is, then we ought to pay close attention to what He tells us—both the explicit things He tells us in the Bible and the implicit things we learn from our knowledge of the natural world.

The third of these first principles is that we will ask questions only where we can expect valid answers.  When we want answers concerning the general history of the universe or the laws of its mundane behavior, we will go to Science, but there are things for which Science cannot have an answer.  In A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking asks

What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe?  The usual approach of science of constructing a mathematical model cannot answer the question of why there should be a universe for the model to describe.  Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing?

Science is about how; religion is about why.  Thus, if we wish to know about God’s governance of the universe or His relationship with man, we will look first to the explicit statements of the Scriptures.

* * * * *

The scientific evidence for common descent is quite strong.  Indeed, over the last century or so, no other hypothesis has been able to account scientifically for the unity and diversity of life on earth. Common descent has been verified so extensively that it is the currently accepted scientific “fact.” The common descent hypothesis makes predictions that have been confirmed not only in genomics and molecular biology but also in other areas such as paleontology and anthropology. No significant contradictory physical evidence has been found. Competing proposals either have been contradicted by the evidence or are not testable using the scientific method. No other scientific explanation competes with common descent.

* * * * *

No serious biologist doubts the theory of evolution is the best explanation we have thus far for the complexity and diversity of life on earth. Given the genetic relatedness of all known organisms, it is hard to imagine how one would go about understanding biology without the foundation that evolution provides. Oh, one could do what was once called natural history and classify living things in various ways, but one could not engage in modern biology.

* * * * *

Notice also that God commanded that the earth and the waters “bring forth” the living things He created. The text doesn’t say how, it just says that God commanded and that it was so. Thus, when I look at what Scripture really says and the evidence of God’s handiwork in creation, I am led to believe that He was wise enough to create a universe that would use the natural processes He provided from the beginning to work its way toward producing the creatures God wanted. Of course, God may have created each species or group of species separately, but there is nothing in Genesis that requires us to say that God used any particular means other than His commands for the universe to be as He willed. But His fingerprints seem to be on one particular method—evolution through natural selection.

* * * * *

I wrote in the Introduction that Science and Theology are both attempts to learn true things, but they usually use very different methods. As we’ve gone down the Science-side of the street, we’ve looked at what Science and the Bible have to say of about the origin of space and time. We’ve considered the spectrum of beliefs about the origins of the universe, the Earth, life, and man, and the nature of time and its relationship to God. We examined what our own DNA and the Bible reveal about the origin and nature of man, and at what physics, geology, chemistry, biology, and Genesis tell us about how the earth got to be like it is today. We looked at how astronomy reinforces the New Testament’s record of the life of Christ.

On the Bible-side we’ve seen how the truth of the Scriptures can inform our interpretation of Science. Science and the Bible are not to opposing ways of looking at the world. They are complementary ways of understanding different slices of God’s truth.

A God Who can say “Let there be …” and have things of unimaginable complexity happen is an awesome God. I hope that you leave this series of posts with a deeper sense of awe of the Almighty.

* * * * *

Selah.

One more thing … Evolution isn’t racist, but many so-called Social Darwinists used it as a false foundation for their racism just as some religious folks tried to use various misinterpretations of the Bible to support their racism.

UPDATE—There really isn’t a philosophical connection between Darwin and Nietzsche. In fact, Nietzsche was dismissive of Darwin. He wrote this in Beyond Good and Evil

There are truths best perceived by mediocre minds, because they are most suited to them; there are truths that have charms and seductive powers only for mediocre spirits: we are being forced just now to embrace this perhaps unpleasant tenet, ever since the spirit of respectable, but mediocre Englishmen (I am thinking of Darwin, John Stuart Mill, and Herbert Spencer) has begun to gain the upper hand in the middle region of European taste.

Nietzsche’s posthumous Writings from the Late Notebooks contains this—

What surprises me most when surveying the great destinies of man is always seeing before me the opposite of what Darwin and his school see or want to see today: selection in favor of the stronger, in favor of those who have come off better, the progress of the species. The very opposite is quite palpably the case: the elimination of the strokes of luck, the uselessness of the better-constituted types, the inevitable domination achieved by the average, even below-average types.

Nietzsche didn’t see how Darwin’s views lead to the Übernensch. The imagined connection between Darwin and Nietzsche comes from the writings of late 19th- and early 20th-century pundits who had no real understanding of either the Englishman’s or the German’s work.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

One of the theories suggested to explain the mind-bogglingly incompetent performance of Team Kimberlin is that the members suffer from delusions of adequacy. The TKPOTD from six years ago today provides some support to that theory.

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I’m not making this up, you know. It appears that the reason I did not received service of William Ferguson’s motion to dismiss in the Hoge v. Kimberlin, et al. lawsuit is that he only served it on himself.

Pro Tip for Pro Ses—All motions, oppositions, and replies are supposed to served on all parties who have appeared in the case.

I had a messenger pick up a copy of his motion from the courthouse today, and after I finish laughing, I’ll write an opposition to file. For now, the Gentle Reader may safely assume that the motion is as well thought out as the certificate of service. I’ll publish his motion and my opposition together.

Oh, one more thing …

Ferguson tweeted on 23 April wondering when I would respond to his motion to dismiss.sub_a201604232319Z

His motion is dated 12 April, but the certificate of service is dated 28 April, and the motion was entered on the docket on 6 May.

Hmmmm.

Stay tuned because the mockery will continue.

* * * * *

Indeed, it continues.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

While scrolling through the empr dot media home page, I found this in the Discover Ukraine with EMPR section—A bit more poking around on the Internet turned up this information about the recording—

Produced and arranged by Vasyl Tkach/Brett Kimberlin
Mixed by Michael Brauer
Mastered by Joe LaPorta at Sterling Sound
Studio Engineers Steve Sachse, Oleksandr Sadovets
Piano Serge (Sergiy) Krutsenko
Electric Guitar Vitaly Rustamov
Organ Brian Simms
Acoustic Guitar Brett Kimberlin
Production Director Andrii Samerkhanov

Hmm.

B and C in False Color UV

RingsInUVOn 1 July, 2004, the Cassini spacecraft arrived at Saturn, marking the end of the spacecraft’s nearly seven-year journey through the solar system and the beginning of its tour of Saturn and the planet’s rings and moons.

This picture was taken in ultraviolet on 30 June, 2004 during Cassini’s orbital insertion maneuver. It shows, from left to right, the outer portion of the C ring and inner portion of the B ring which begins a little more than halfway across the image. The “dirty” particles are indicated by red, and “cleaner: ice particles shown in turquoise.

Saturn’s ring system is labeled from the inside out with the D, C, B and A rings followed by the F, G and E rings.

Image Credit: NASA

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

I was going through some boxes in the basement and found some old newspapers from the ’70s and ’80s that had been kept because the contained stories about various family and friends. While I was looking through the papers, I took a look at their comic pages. One of the funnies that caught my eye was a strip from The Wizard of Id. One of the characters in the strip was the king of Id, a pint-sized despot drawn to look like the king on a playing card. The strip that I noticed featured a recurring character called The Lone Haranguer who was yelling, “The king is a fink!”

That reminded me of the TKPOTD from eight years ago today which was about a sawed-off despot wannabe who was fink.

* * * * *

fink noun \ˈfiŋk\ : 1 informer. 2 one who betrays a trust.

When it suits his purpose, Brett Kimberlin will rat out someone else. This is from the decision of the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in United States v. Sarmiento-Perez, [724 F.2d 898 (1984)]:

Appellant was also connected to the cocaine transaction by his admission to Brett Kimberlin, his cellmate. Kimberlin testified that appellant admitted his involvement in a drug transaction that appellant claimed to have gotten involved in as a favor for someone in his family. Kimberlin also testified that he vaguely remembered appellant telling him that the cocaine was in appellant’s car or in the car’s trunk.

Some people are willing to throw others under the bus.

* * * * *

I wonder if Sarmiento-Perez’s lawyers knew to impeach Kimberlin’s credibility because of his prior perjury conviction.

The Other Podcast

Stacy McCain, Dianna Deeley, and I will be at our mics at 7 pm ET for the next episode of the The Other Podcast Live. Join us on Podbean.

Likely topics include The Narrative, The Real World, Culture, and Crazy People Are Dangerous™.

 

Episode 40: The Narrative, The Real World, Culture, and Crazy People Are Dangerous™ The Other Podcast

Stacy McCain, John Hoge, and Dianna Deeley discuss the week's news.
  1. Episode 40: The Narrative, The Real World, Culture, and Crazy People Are Dangerous™
  2. Episode 39: Montgomery County, Ukraine, Failure, and Crazy People Are Dangerous™
  3. Episode 38: Shooting, Teaching, Lying, and Crazy People Are Dangerous™
  4. Episode 37: Following the Money, Infrastructure, Press Freedom, and Crazy People Are Dangerous™
  5. Episode 36: Civil Rights, Macroaggressions, Physics, and Crazy People Are Dangerous™

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

One of the sillier claims that Brett Kimberlin makes related to his recently filed case with the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals of some of his Speedway Bomber convictions is that the charges for being a felon in possession of explosives should be thrown out because (I’m not making this up) the government can’t prove that he knew that he was a felon as a result of his perjury conviction.

In a lower court, Appellant argued that his conviction for the simultaneous receipt of explosives and blasting caps could not stand under Rehaif [a 2019 case] because he was a mere teen who had only served two weeks in the county jail on a perjury charge, so there was no way he could know that he was a convicted felon.

Kimberlin’s understanding of his status as a felon has already been examined by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Here’s a bit from one of that court’s decisions on one of his appeals related to the Speedway Bomber convictions. United States v. Kimberlin, 805 F.2d 210 (7th Cir. 1986). Kimberlin had asserted that allowing the jury to hear about his previous conviction prejudiced them against him. The court disagreed.

Defendant testified. During direct examination he testified that he had been convicted of perjury. Defendant argues that the government improperly inquired on cross-examination concerning the details of the offense. On direct, for the obvious purpose of minimizing the offense, and its impact on the jury, defendant testified he was convicted when he had just turned eighteen, the grand jury was investigating drug abuse at the high school, and no lawyer was with him when questioned before the grand jury. Apparently believing that the door had been opened, the prosecutor inquired whether the perjury consisted of telling the grand jury he had not sold LSD to certain persons when in fact he had done so. The answer was affirmative. No objection was made. We think there was no plain error, if error at all.

After he lost the Kimberlin v. Walker, et al. nuisance LOLsuit in 2014, Kimberlin promised that his enemies would see lawsuits “for the rest of their lives.” He took a break after losing Kimberlin v. National Bloggers Club, et al. (I), Kimberlin v. National Bloggers Club (II), Kimberlin v. Hunton & Williams, et al. (I), Kimberlin v. Hunton & Williams, et al. (II), Kimberlin v. Hoge, Kimberlin v. McConnell, et al., and Kimberlin v. Breitbart Holdings, et al.—but since 2018 he’s had this case going against the United States.

Even with all our troubles, I suspect that the United States will outlive Brett Kimberlin. Perhaps his curse of lifelong LOLsuits has boomeranged.

Stay tuned.

Some Basic Christian Doctrine

I found this on Twitter, and it shows a lack of understanding of one of the most basic doctrines of Christianity.“If Jesus were alive today …”

It is a basic tenet of Christianity that Jesus is now alive. Christians believe that He “was crucified, died, and was buried, descended into hell, rose again from the dead on the third day, ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.”

If Ms. Clinton has a Bible, she can read about Jesus for herself.

Meanwhile, in Portland …

… armed BLM/Antifa thugs blocked a road on Thursday afternoon and opened fired on drivers who tried to get though their blockade.

So what’s next for Portland? I doubt that the thugs will back down, and I doubt that the city has enough of an effective police force remaining to engage in a gang war with the thugs. Of course, the Oregon National Guard is reasonably well stocked with veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who’ve faced down rebels with AK-47s before. However, they’re not trained for civil policing, and Governor Brown may lack the will to commit the State Police and/or National Guard,

The situation isn’t stable, and if the city doesn’t right itself quickly and many people begin to take active measures to protect themselves, I expect the what remains of civilization in Portland will disappear.

I hope I’m wrong.

UPDATE—Link

NGC 4394

Hubble spies NGC 4394NGC 4394 is a barred spiral galaxy about 55 million light-years away. It’s a member of the Virgo Cluster and an archetypal barred spiral galaxy Its bright spiral arms emerge from the ends of a bar that runs across the galaxy’s central bulge. The arms are filled with young blue stars, trails of dark cosmic dust, and regions of active star formation.

Image Credit: ESA / NASA

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

As I noted yesterday, The Dread Deadbeat Pyrotechnician Kimberlin is trying to wriggle out of some of his Speedway Bombing convictions via an appeal he’s trying to get going at the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. He was supposed to file a Transcript Information Sheet with the court on the 4th. He filed this instead:

Rather than comment, I’ll just rerun this episode of Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign.

* * * * *

Johnny Atsign Logo 2ANNOUNCER: From Westminster, it’s time for—

SOUND: Old fashioned telephone bell rings four times.

JOHNNY: (Groggy) Johnny Atsign.

PRO BONO: (Telephone Filter) Good morning, Johnny. Did I wake you?

JOHNNY: Ah, yeah. It’s 5 o’clock out here on the West Coast.

PRO BONO: (Telephone Filter) Sorry about that, but this is important. You’re done out there, aren’t you?

JOHNNY: I’ve run down all the leads we’ve got.

PRO BONO: (Telephone Filter) OK. Look, I’ve got you booked on a 9 am flight from LAX to Chicago. There’s more digging to do there.

MUSIC: Theme up and under.

ANNOUNCER: The Lickspittle Broadcasting System presents W. J. J. Hoge in the transcribed adventures of the man with the action-packed Twitter account, America’s fabulous free-lance Internet investigator …

JOHNNY: Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign!

MUSIC: Theme up to music out. Continue reading