The Calgary Herald has an article today entitled People turn to questions of faith in times of tragedy. They were talking about the flood, and got expert information from a United Church Pastor, an Imam, and a Rabbi about how flood are never about God causing destruction. But they seem to have forgotten to ask an atheist, so I thought I’d chime in. Y’know, cuz I’m awesome like that.
There are definitely people who turn to questions of faith in times of tragedy. The questions that were given as examples in the article were “Where was God in all this? If there is a God, why allow all this pain and suffering?” I encourage these sorts of questions. We have a variety of options for answers, the very first option of course being “there isn’t one”. But let’s pretend there was, shall we?
If you haven’t taken the time to like Evolution on Facebook, you should. It is a daily stream of really incredible photography and detailed information on the latest in evolutionary news and research, and I just love it. I try to avoid the comments because you often wind up with Creationists mucking about and generally being Creationists, but the posts and their related articles are wonderful.
Today, I read one of their posts about a newly-discovered gene (miR-941) that has been identified in us human types that doesn’t exist in any of our primate relatives. It appears that was a random combination of junk DNA from around 1 to 6 million years ago (we were humans back then) that had some serious benefits and, as such, took root in our species. This particular gene helps our brains develop, particularly in the areas of using words and using tools.
I’ve heard this claim made by Creationists and (worse yet) generally uneducated regular folk. But honestly, I’ve never known enough about the laws of thermodynamics to say one way or the other whether this is true or not. I am not a physicist, and I can honestly say that I do not have a brain that gets physics easily. That is not to say I couldn’t get it if I devoted more time to it, but physics doesn’t come easy, and I’ve never had the motivation to become more physics-savvy.
I do, however, dislike statements that “prove” that evolution doesn’t work. If the SLoT (that’s coolguy shorthand for Second Law of Thermodynamics) actually disproved evolution, don’t you suppose that physicists would be anti-evolution? Somehow we are expected to believe that Creationists, arguably the most out of touch with science people in the history of ever, have somehow figured out something scientifically profound that the actual experts in the field can’t see. Yeah, that doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense.
I just had me a good old fashioned giggle. I read this post on PZ Myers’ blog, Pharyngula. It presents a representation of the geological timescale as fubbled with to fit the timeline of Young Earth Creationists, those people who think the world is 6000 years old. Whomever did this definitely made my day.
PZ then commented about how the Revolutionary War, at least according to this chart, happened during the Jurassic period. I was flooded with images of battlefields fought by North and South sitting atop Allosaurs (is that the proper plural for Allosaurus?). And I had me an idea.
Well, all those evolutionists and monstrous freethinkers have been wrong all along. It turns out that in one week the universe is turning 5772 years old! But don’t worry, this isn’t some argument from a ridiculous sect of Christians basing all their thoughts and actions on the Holy Bible… That’s just stupid! No, this is a sect of Jews basing all their thoughts on the Torah!
5772 is really, really old. In fact, it’s older than my grandparents. Which makes sense, when you think of it. And if evolutionists think that it takes billions of years for life to exist, how much quicker would it be if God did all the pre-work and set everything up?
You don’t seem convinced. Well, maybe I can persuade you the way they persuaded me! With stuffies! You see, by having a giraffe stuffie with a baby giraffe stuffie, it just answers the question, doesn’t it?
What’s that? Still not convinced? Well, then you’re a heretic. Have a little faith, jerk.
Wow. Texas sometimes surprises me. After all the talk of changing curriculum to incorporate (among other things) the teaching of Creationism alongside evolution in the science class, the board voted unanimously to reject all of the changes put forward by Creationists and keep their core content focused on actual science. This is huge, although I do hold the same concerns that PZ Myers shares.
This is a big deal for those who are not familiar with the story because of the sheer size of Texas. There are so many Texan students that any proposed changes to their text books become changes to the standard. Publishing companies are not going to write different texts for each state depending upon their ideological lean. Thus, if Texas was to approve changes that would introduce Creationism into the curriculum in a formal way, as opposed to the current slight-of-hand way, it would be in textbooks (whether taught or not) in far more than just the hands of Texas teenagers.