If Wrong Could Fly…

Shadow of Oz

Dennis Prager has this cute saying, “Being on the left means never having to say you’re sorry.” That is, when some new utopian plan flames out, the leftists never have to admit they’re wrong. There is some overlap into the discussion of the sciences. For example, in 2008, Al Gore famously predicted that there would be no polar ice within five years, and that the sea level would rise twenty feet. Of course, in 2013 this prediction was entirely disconfirmed, and it has stayed that way. The same could be said for Paul Ehrlich’s many predictions about mass starvation and even human cannibalism. His population bomb was supposed to go off in the 70s, and should’ve already climaxed. Among his many wrong predictions, Ehrlich claimed, “By the year 2000 the United Kingdom will be simply a small group of impoverished islands, inhabited by some 70 million hungry people … If…

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“Tens of Thousands”… and Organizational Failure

What we need from Operation Rescue is an official statement of tactical and strategic faith. We need a statement that under no circumstances will Operation Rescue or any of its official representatives call for armed resistance to civil authority without public support from a lesser magistrate. We need a statement that violence will not be initiated by Operation Rescue groups against the bodies of private citizens, except for unarmed physical interposition: separating murderous physicians from the clients and targeted unborn victims. We need also a statement that the deliberate destruction of the actual tools used by licensed murderers in their crimes will endanger only the property and not any person.

Getting arrested is a minimal commitment. Paying a fine a minimal commitment. Insisting on a jury trial and then going through with it is a major commitment. Doing it again in another city the next year is even more of a commitment. We need people who will make this commitment. Tens of thousands of them. When Operation Rescue recruits them, legalized abortion will stop in the United States. With or without a postmillennial revival.

— Gary North, Are Operation Rescue’s Critics Self-Serving?

Operation Rescue did none of these things.

From Joel McDurmon’s article Blocking the doors: Operation Rescue . . . the Churches!

Whitehead’s section on practical lessons has several nuggets worth consideration, at least. Here are a few:

On organization: “The success of reform or protest movements appears to be directly related to the organization of parties to carry out acts of defiance. According to one authority on reform, “[c]hange comes from power, and power comes from organization.” Unlike the colonial revolutionaries, Operation Rescue has not followed a deliberate, unified, and informed pattern of civil disobedience. Operation Rescue appears to lack a coordinated and knowledgeable group of leaders who act behind the scenes to weigh the pros and cons of the group’s activities.”3

However true this may ultimately be for success of other movements in the future, or not, it is clearly true that it spelled failure for hundreds of such rescues by OR in the 80s and 90s. There is no chance, then, of success from only a single such rescue today, without significant changes first.

There are more good points worth noting in the original article, but this passage is worth putting in the spotlight.

At the root: because of this organizational failure, in 1988/1989, there wasn’t tens of thousands of committed Christians, willing to pay the price for victory.

We will be paying the price for that abject failure for a long, long time to come.

Humanist Surprises & Christian Gullibility

“In 1925, the humanists said that all they wanted to do was to get Darwinian evolution taught in the public schools alongside the creation story. “That’s all we’re asking. We promise. Trust us!” Christians did, too. Surprise!” – Gary North, Are Operation Rescue’s Critics Self-Serving?

It would be pleasing to merely assume that Christians are just stupid: but this stunt has been pulled over and over and over again, and the Christians have never caught on… and, I suggest, will never catch on.

Except that I would be wrong: there is real progress in history.

Few Westerners actually bow and worship physical idols, or go into Emperor-worship like the old days. Most want to at least appear to be on the side of liberty and justice. Even out-and-out claims of racial superiority are on the decline.

(And, after the end of the Welfare State, the government will finally be cast aside as an idol, as well.)

And not just in the West: few Muslims are interested in organizing military invasions anymore, and many insist — at least before the cameras — that Islam is a peaceful religion. This is actual progress, of the kind the imitation makes of the real thing.

So I believe it will be, when it comes to Christian gullibility. Those who insist on being stupid and blind will eventually be shown to be in conscious rebellion against God, and punished as such.

And the sins they pursued, and the idols they adored, will be as dead as the Soviet Union or Rome’s Imperial Cult.

Once again, one of my favourite quotes from C. S. Lewis, from That Hideous Strength:

If you dip into any college, or school, or parish, or family–anything you like–at a given point in its history, you always find that there was a time before that point when there was more elbow room and contrasts weren’t quite so sharp; and that there’s going to be a time after that point when there is even less room for indecision and choices are even more momentous. Good is always getting better and bad is always getting worse: the possibilities of even apparent neutrality are always diminishing. The whole thing is sorting itself out all the time, coming to a point, getting sharper and harder.

Only Christ Kingdom endures forever.

All who oppose Him will be slowly ground into the dust, regardless of what they call themselves.


Note: North’s article came up on American Vision’s article Blocking the doors: Operation Rescue . . . the Churches!

It’s worth reading them both.

Moon Colonization

So, here’s the thing.

The only explicit domain placed under human dominion in the Bible is Earth.

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.– Genesis 1:26

This is perfectly reasonable, as — compared to the rest of the dead material universe — the earth is a fragile, unique garden, the very apple of God’s eye.

Everything that we know is physically alive — excepting Jesus Himself (who resurrected in the flesh, and now is at the right hand of God the Father) — is here, on the green and blue and brown marble.

Every soul worth fighting for, every moral decision that must be fought, it is done here, on this world.

Adam also had a unique, special garden to care for, before he was to be promoted to better things. He failed.

But Christ succeeded.

I suggest that, as we grow in imitation of Christ, our garden will grow more wealthy, more rich, more complex, more fruitful, more alive.

And when the time comes, we will leave our small plot of land, and expand.

I suggest that’s one reason why there is this huge mass of useful material hanging above us, a perfect stepping stone to even greater glory, that God put there for us, waiting for us to become who we were always meant to be.


Most sci-fi types believe that we will colonize space as a strictly humanistic endeavor.

I don’t think so.

By AD 2500 (say) even the average-intelligent human being will have access to so much material/intellectual power (from fusion power, to AI, to genetic upgrades), that either

  • we will utterly destroy and disgrace ourselves as our sins turn our power and knowledge into a curse, in sad imitation of apostate Western Europe – from Napoleon to Hitler, and on to the abortuary graves and sodomite sterility (complete with the open invitation to the eager Muslim gravediggers).

or

  • we will all grow more and more Christlike, until the final enemy, death, is defeated… and Christ manifests Himself as history ends, the final judgement begins, and the sinless New Heavens and the New Earth is manifested.

Christ has gained the victory: so, I am going with the second option.


And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. — Genesis 1:16

Everything exists for a reason, and that reason has many folds, many layers, many aspects and facets.

The Sun exists to rule the day, and the Moon exists to rule the night.

If you conceive of space as a vast, eternal night, then it can be argued that the Moon is our gateway, to extend the reach of life.

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. — John 14:6

God worked with a particular nation in history – Israel – at a particular region in space and time – the region of Palestine, from about the time of Abraham (~1875 BC)  to the destruction of the Second Temple (AD 70).

In such the same way, I suggest that physical life, brought into being by God, starts on Earth… but does not end here, nor is to be confined here.

There is room and time to grow, for those who stand with Christ.

Warning: Actually Innumerate Politicians

First, let’s start with a quote:

The fundamental principle of Christian economics is the creation. Secondarily, it is the providence of God in sustaining the creation. This is where economic theory should begin: original ownership and providence. But this is not where other economists begin. Far more often, they begin with the concept of scarcity and the division of labor. Scarcity is not the central principle of economic science. Neither is the division of labor. Adam Smith began with the division of labor, and this set back the cause of liberty for at least 180 years. He should have started with ownership. A socialist can claim to be in favor of the division of labor. A socialist is never in favor of private ownership.

There is no question that the story of the fall of man focuses on an act of theft. So, theft should be the focus of all discussions of economic law. The overwhelming bulk of economic laws in the Old Testament and the New Testament focus on restrictions against theft. The laws specify what constitutes theft. In other words, the heart of Christian economics, after the doctrines of creation and providence, and after the doctrine of the dominion covenant, is the integrity of private property. If this were not true, this would not have been the only prohibition in the garden of Eden. That prohibition should make it clear to all of us: theft is the archetype sin of mankind. It is the alpha and omega of sin. Joseph’s brothers stole his liberty by selling him to slave traders (Genesis 37). A subsequent Pharaoh enslaved the Israelites, stealing their liberty (Exodus 1). Jezebel stole Naboth’s vineyard to benefit her husband (I Kings 21). Judas was a thief (John 12:6).

The details of Christian economics can best be found in the details of the laws against theft. If we study the laws against theft, we prepare ourselves for understanding the operations of the market order. Understanding ownership and property rights is fundamental to a correct understanding of all economics, and Christian economists have a moral obligation to make this clear. If they don’t get this clear, who will?

— Gary North, Chapter 8: Leasehold, Christian Economics: Student’s Edition

I have a hypothesis.

I think that thieves, as they grow more committed to the doctrine of theft, become less able to accurately see reality.

Which means that naturally, thieves lose the ability to count accurately, they lose the ability to calculate the cost accurately, they lose the ability to determine the future with a reasonable level of accuracy.

God hates His enemies, and He finds ways to (often gradually, sometimes suddenly) take away His gifts and grace from those who hate Him.

One way to illustrate this is the inevitable Great Default, and the coming destruction of the Welfare State.

(The article Parabolic Debt: Politically Unstoppable is the latest in a long, grim series on the issue. Warnings that no politician cares to hear, until it is WAY too late… because if he did, the public – who loves the free money, and resent being told to cut back — would make sure to not re-elect him.)

Another example of the innumeracy of the politicians (and, implicitly, the innumeracy of the general electorate) is in the Financial Times article There is nothing cute about innumeracy (May 8, 2017)

Last week Diane Abbot showed on live radio that she did not understand place value and was an all-round dunce at maths.

When asked what it would cost to employ an extra 10,000 police officers, the UK shadow home secretary’s reply was “Well, um… about £300,000.” Then, when queries, she said: “Sorry. (nervous laugh) No. Sorry. (pause) They will cost…. they will… (pause) it will cost…. about, about £80 m.”

The interviewer did a swift sum in his head and pointed out that would mean £8,000 per copper. Thoroughly humiliated, Ms Abbot started to spew out random numbers with such desperation that by the end she was babbling about an additional quarter of a million police officers on the street.

This excruciating exchange was evidence of something troubling: it is perfectly possible to be a member of the British ruling class and be astonishingly rubbish at numbers.

Ms Abbot is in possession of one of the finest educations in the country to offer. She went to grammar school in north-west London and onto Cambridge university, where she was taught by Simon Schama, the historian. Yet to divide £80m by 10,000 was quite beyond her.

The old British Ruling Class, the Noble Aristocracy, was often badly skilled here too, but at least they did not pretend to rule by merit and intelligence… unlike our current Masters.

And no, I am confident that it is no different in the U.S. or the rest of the Western World. Especially when it comes to socialist economics: a.k.a., the economics of theft, “theft by majority vote.”

“Foolish leaders, for a foolish people.”

Evil blinds a man… and a nation.

Shattering Theories

From Uncommon Descent:


In a preceding post to that one I had asked evolutionists the following question:

I have a question for non-ID proponents only and it is very simple: Is there even one tenet of modern evolutionary theory that is universally agreed upon by the proponents of modern evolutionary theory?

I suspected that evolutionists would not be able to agree on any such tenant and sat back and waited for the responses to come in.  Responses did come in, and my suspicion was confirmed.  I reported on the conclusion of my little experiment as follows:

What I was really trying to get at was this: Is there any “core” proposition on which all proponents of modern evolutionary theory agree.  By “core” proposition, I do not mean basic facts of biology that pretty much everyone from YECs to Richard Dawkins agrees are true.  I mean a proposition upon which the theory stands or falls and [] sets it apart from other theories and accounts for its unique purported explanatory power.

I have in mind a proposition that would answer David Berlinski’s famous question:

“I disagree [with Paul R. Gross’ assertion] that Darwin’s theory is as “solid as any explanation in science.” Disagree? I regard the claim as preposterous. Quantum electrodynamics is accurate to thirteen or so decimal places; so, too, general relativity. A leaf trembling in the wrong way would suffice to shatter either theory. What can Darwinian theory offer in comparison?”

Indeed. What does modern evolutionary theory offer in comparison? How can the theory ever hope to be as “solid as any explanation in science” when its proponents cannot seem to agree on a single tenet, the falsification of which would, in Berlinski’s words, shatter the theory?


That isn’t going to happen, as Darwinism has proven to be flexible enough to justify/explain away anything. Fundamentally, it cannot be disproved.

But then again, Darwinism is just a powerful philosophical preference shared among men who loathe the idea of God (or even a mere Higher Supernatural Intelligence).

It is not a scientific hypothesis that can actually be disproven.

 

How Naturalism Rots Science from the Head Down

From the Evolution News article How Naturalism Rots Science from the Head Down

Post-fact has certainly hit science. Pundits blame everyone but themselves for its growing presence. But a post-fact and post-truth world are implicit and inevitable in the metaphysical naturalist view (nature is all there is) that is now equated with science and often stands in for it.

Let’s start at the top, with cosmology. Some say there is a crisis in cosmology; others say there are merely challenges. Decades of accumulated evidence have not produced the universe that metaphysical naturalism expects and needs. The Big Bang has not given way to a theory with fewer theistic implications. There is a great deal of evidence for fine-tuning of this universe; worse, the evidence for alternatives is fanciful or merely ridiculous. Put charitably, it would not even be considered evidence outside of current science.

But… but… muh narrative!

One response has simply been to develop ever more fanciful theories. Peter Woit, a Columbia University mathematician, is an atheist critic of fashionable but unsupported ideas like string theory (Not Even Wrong, 2007) and the multiverse that it supports. Recently, Woit dubbed 2016 the worst year ever for “fake physics” (as in “fake news“). As he told Dennis Horgan recently at Scientific American, he is referring to “misleading, overhyped stories about fundamental physics promoting empty or unsuccessful theoretical ideas, with a clickbait headline.”

It’s about popularity, not the facts.

Fake physics (he links to a number of examples at his blog) presents cosmology essentially as an art form. It uses the trappings of science as mere decor (the universe is a computer simulation, the multiverse means that physics cannot predict anything…). Conflicts with reality call for a revolution in our understanding of physics rather than emptying the waste basket.

Woit blames the Templeton Foundation for funding this stuff. But Templeton caters, as it must, to an audience. Perhaps a more pressing issue is this: The need to defend the multiverse without evidence has led to a growing discomfort with traditional decision-making tools of science, for example, falsifiability and Occam’s razor. And metaphysical naturalism, not traditional religion, is sponsoring this war on reality.

The Establishment’s Retreat from Reality doesn’t ONLY involve sexuality and economics…

…but as they retreat, we should advance!

As opposed to, say, wailing about our rotting pagan culture, or crying for the Rapture to take us away from the hard work that faces us.

Let the walking dead die. We have a future to forge!

The increasingly popular idea that consciousness is an illusion flows together naturally with the new cosmology. Contradictory theories do not seriously conflict because any resolution would just be another user illusion. Readers notice how strange the new science literature sounds but, to the extent that they accept metaphysical naturalism, they can base their objections only on personal discomfort.

[…]

Could intelligent design theory offer insights? Yes, but they come at a cost. We must first acknowledge that metaphysical naturalism is death for science. Metaphysical naturalists are currently putting the science claims that are failing them beyond the reach of disconfirmation by evidence and casting doubt on our ability to understand evidence anyway.

ID is first and foremost a demand that evidence matter, underwritten by a conviction that reason-based thinking is not an illusion. That means, of course, accepting fine-tuning as a fact like any other, not to be explained away by equating vivid speculations about alternative universes with observable facts. Second, ID theorists insist that the information content of our universe and life forms is the missing factor in our attempt to understand our world. Understanding the relationship between information on the one hand and matter and energy on the other is an essential next discovery. That’s work, not elegant essays.

Let’s mediate on that sentence: ID is first and foremost a demand that evidence matter, underwritten by a conviction that reason-based thinking is not an illusion.

We will get there eventually. But perhaps not in this culture; perhaps in a later one.  Science can throw so many resources into protecting metaphysical naturalism that it begins to decline. Periods of great discovery are often followed by centuries of doldrums. These declines are usually based on philosophical declines. The prevalence of, for example, fake physics, shows that we are in the midst of just such a philosophical decline. It’s a stark choice for our day.

The New Order writhes and dies.

God’s People should roll up their sleeves, to work and live!