I bet you didn’t know that, did you? Probably because it’s nonsense. But when has sense ever bridled dilettantism?
Category Archives: pseudo-scholarship
Well it accomplished Ken Ham’s goal- he got a lot of public attention and he raised enough money from that attention to finish his Noah’s Ark theme park. In sum and substance, then, Bill Nye is now Ken Ham’s chief fundraiser. Nice work, Billy…
The founder of a Bible-themed museum who recently debated evolution with TV’s “Science Guy” Bill Nye said Thursday that the widely watched event helped to boost enthusiasm among followers who invested in a project to build a 510-foot Noah’s Ark.
In a webcast from the same Creation Museum stage where the debate took place, Ken Ham announced that the municipal bond offering has raised enough money to begin construction on the wooden ark, estimated to cost about $73 million. Groundbreaking is planned for May and the ark is expected to be finished by the summer of 2016.
“It did help,” Ham said of the Feb. 4 debate with Nye. “We obviously had a big spurt toward the end (of the bond deadline), and I think it was people who were involved in this, who really decided they were going to do something.”
Bill Nye is Ken Ham’s best friend. And scholarship’s worst enemy.
And, given the fact that I think the mythicist position is not only utterly idiotic, but as well, exercising my right to allow comments or disallow them at my own pleasure, I rejected his remarks.
This, you’ll not be surprised, annoyed him. So he sent along another comment- decrying my unwillingness to let his views be aired.
I can only say to him, and all- if you want to express your insane and unstable views, feel free to do so. But I don’t have to help you do it. You’re on your own. Post them on your blog or site to your heart’s content, but you have no business becoming disgruntled with me for not lending you a hand and giving publicity to your senseless cause.
There, on your site, your kindred spirits can read your thoughts and rejoice at your intellect and persuasive skills. All 3 of them.
This is a very interesting essay showing how the HuffPo has taken bits and pieces of this and that and assembled it all in its recent silly piece on the Shroud of Turin and the earthquake…
Our author concludes
The hypothesis of a connection between an earthquake and the shroud is based on a nuclear process known as piezonuclear fission, but a cursory examination of the process would lead the skeptical reader to conclude that there’s no such thing. A leading advocate for the existence of piezonuclear fission is the very same professor Carpinteri who wrote the Meccanica paper. The briefest of Internet searches turns up a story from Nature reporting on controversy over government funding of research into this iffy field of alleged nuclear reactions.
Good journalism has a subtle feature of reticence. We don’t publish everything we hear. We filter. We curate. The goal of the traditional journalist is to create a reputation for accuracy, fairness, relevance and timeliness, and this requires the willingness to not publish things that are unlikely to be true.
The Shroud of Turin story brings up all the usual issues about click-bait journalism and our current struggle for survival in a highly disrupted news industry. Here’s a basic rule I’d suggest:
The clicks don’t count if the story is wrong.
More problematic is when the story isn’t wrong but is hyped, even a little bit. This has been on my mind the last couple of days because I did a story on the new fusion energy result at the National Ignition Facility at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. It was the subject of a paper in Nature, and a teleconference earlier in the week. As with all high-profile, embargoed science stories in the major journals, this one attracted a great deal of news coverage. Because this was about progress in fusion research, it needed to be carefully reported so as to avoid hyping the new result and creating a false expectation that we’re about to start generating electricity for the grid via fusion reactions. But that same danger of hype creates a commensurate click-bait opportunity. What’s going to get better web traffic, a nuanced story about an incremental advance, or a piece declaring that there’s been a major breakthrough? [Update: Charles Petit at the Knight Science Journalism Tracker has a posted a comprehensive review of the coverage.]
There’s nothing at stake here except the survival of credible journalism. For those who are trying to figure out a business model for journalism — and I desperately want these folks to be successful — let me suggest that the ultimate killer app is quality. Quality comes in many forms. In the news business, being fast — ideally first — is a form of quality. Packaging the material in a beautiful way visually is another virtue. But the ultimate virtue in this business is getting it right.
I know that in turning this item into a screed I run the risk of declaring myself an insufferable fogey, and you can see me sprouting mutton-chop sideburns and wearing a monocle. I know, I know: There is no future in being boring. But getting it right, in the long run, will pay off. News executives should not assume that there is a digital gimmick, or technique, or facility with visuals, or dexterity with software, that will mask a deficit in comprehension and expertise. The audience is smarter than that. The audience will reward accuracy and intelligence. At least that’s what I believe — perhaps as matter of faith more than anything else.
Enjoy it all- with thanks to Richard Bartholomew for mentioning it.
My friend Joel B. got this gem and I share it with his permission:
I read an article by you which is anti-Christian. Of course with your employment at Yale, I am not surprised. Your school is basically one that is secular, not anything about truth regarding Judeo/Christian Scripture. Harvard is the same. You would not qualify for a true Christian Seminary.
I looked at a Book you are promoting about David. It is actually insulting when reading its contents. I am not surprised from your school of divinity? You said:
“The Historical David exposes an ambitious, ruthless, flesh-and-blood man who achieved power by any means necessary, including murder, theft, bribery, sex, deceit, and treason. As Baden makes clear, the historical David stands in opposition not only to the virtuous and heroic legends, but to our very own self-definition as David’s national and religious descendants.”
Good grief! You are simply a Bible minimalist who is misguided and writing without understanding. You cannot prove any of the above. It is your misguided opinion, because you are not Christian with the assistance of God’s Spirit to understand Scripture. You are blind, and maybe even God has hardened your heart beyond understanding what you write about.
I have never been impressed with the Northeast schools. They are anti-Christian in many respects. You make my case. At one time your school was Christian.
Being a Christian for most of my life, studying the archeology of the Bible, looking at the Truth of the Bible, and knowing God did create the Heavens and Earth, I find books such as yours are written to denigrate our Faith. You are simply trying to satisfy your atheistic belief. Your Book will fall by the wayside and end up in the trash bin of history.
I am a chemical engineer (paid much more than you) and have been for 40 years working for a major oil company, but now retired (77 years young). I know of only one engineer from Yale with our Company (100,000+ employees), and he did little to help us break through with anything.
I know your research is misguided, as it does not agree with any of my studies over the years. Of course I did not expect such, your being from Yale divinity. You cannot be a Christian and write the Book you did.
Just remember, you will one day have to deal with your non-belief. Don’t think so? We will see at your death. You will rue your false and half/truth writings that misled persons who may have reacted to God’s call into His family. Think I am a nut? I am learned in science, theology, philosophy and history, so you cannot fool me. Supposed professors of knowledge these days I find weak and without merit in many areas.
May God have mercy on your soul. Only through Christ can you change your destiny.
There’s so much wrong here – but I suspect that all of us have encountered the same sort of invincible ignorance. If you haven’t you will, probably many many times.
This is precisely why arguing with fundamentalists is a complete waste of time. Beware such persons- they aren’t only malicious, they can be violent.
And if you don’t receive any or sufficient guidance from the Holy Spirit to utilize Biblical texts in expository sermons, leave the ministry- you are unfit.
Pastor Rick Warren encouraged hundreds of local Southern California pastors and ministry leaders attending a pre-release screening of “Son of God” at Saddleback Church Tuesday to use a six-week study the best-selling author created using scenes from the movie.
Who does he imagine himself to be? Does he think he’s actually qualified to use scenes from a movie as subject matter for sermons? This is heresy. It has nothing to do with Christianity nor does it have anything to do with the preaching office.
What an abomination. So, pastor, if you need Rick Warren to tell you what to preach- or you follow his unscriptural advice and wretch a text from a film- then you really should quit today. Warren is simply a salesman, selling himself, materials with which he is connected, and he’s selling out the ministry.
What an abomination.
The Turin Shroud may not be a medieval forgery after all, after scientists discovered it could date from the time of Christ. The shroud, which is purported to be the burial cloth of Jesus – showing his face and body after the crucifixion – has intrigued scholars and Christians alike. But radiocarbon dating carried out by Oxford University in 1988 found it was only 728 years old.
However a new study claims than an earthquake in Jerusalem in 33 AD may have not only created the image but may also have skewed the dating results. The Italian team believes the powerful magnitude 8.2 earthquake would have been strong enough to release neutron particles from crushed rock. This flood of neutrons may have imprinted an X-ray-like image onto the linen burial cloth, say the researches. In addition, the radiation emissions would have increased the level of carbon-14 isotopes in the Shroud, which would make it appear younger. ”We believe it is possible that neutron emissions by earthquakes could have induced the image formation on the Shroud’s linen fibres, through thermal neutron capture on nitrogen nuclei, and could also have caused a wrong radiocarbon dating,” said Professor Alberto Carpinteri, from the Politecnico di Torino.
And yet the shroud is the ONLY thing affected by this neutron shower… What rubbish. But let’s pretend that it’s correct. Whose image is on the cloth? Jesus? How would you know that? And, furthermore, if the earthquake (for which there’s evidently no proof) did release a neutron shower, how did that land on cloth that wasn’t produced for centuries?
The shroud of Turin isn’t the burial cloth of Jesus for one final reason- people were not buried in such shrouds in Jerusalem in the first century. It’s history 101. The Gospel of John has it right when it notes
3 Then Peter and the other disciple set out to go to the tomb. 4 The two were running together, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent down and saw the strips of linen cloth lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter, who had been following him, arrived and went right into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen cloth lying there, 7 and the face cloth, which had been around Jesus’ head, not lying with the strips of linen cloth but rolled up in a place by itself. (John 20:3-7 NET)
Did you notice that? ‘Strips of linen cloth’ (not a sheet). ‘Face cloth’ which was set aside in a different part of the tomb? The body wrapping and face wrapping were different pieces of material.
The Shroud of Turin is no more the burial shroud of Jesus than Joel Watts is a body double for Brad Pitt (in that Trojan War movie he was in)(or any movie really).
It simply ISN’T- neutron shower notwithstanding.
A new study bible. Ok. By Rick Warren? Not ok, since he knows about as much about the Bible as Joel Osteen does and has proven in all of his books that he’s more than happy to destroy passages and their contexts. But a bible based on a feature film? That’s the worst thing of all. That’s crass marketing and nothing more than Lifeway looking to make a buck off of a movie. What next, the Duck Dynasty Study Bible?
No, Lifeway, you long ago parted ways with decent publications. Your stores are festooned with theological dung. This simply adds to the pile of stench you have assembled in quest of your almighty dollar.
Did you seriously wish to minister to people, you would provide them with substantive theological materials. You don’t.
This is the reception they should expect.