A story in today’s Times about new research showing that children whose parents separate do less well at school and are more likely to turn to drugs, problem drinking and crime.
On other pages….
-Labour favours high taxes
-Fatty food not terribly good for you
-Diving drunk causes more accidents
-The pope is a Catholic
Words and their meanings and how we use them matter, a lot. So I believe anyway. I assume, Dear Reader, you agree or you wouldn’t even have read this far. I hope you’ll read on and maybe even post a comment for or against my words, I don’t moderate comments here.
Where are all the right wing comedians?
A few reflections on humour, left and right wing, if there is such a thing as right wing comedy, and whether indeed comedy is such a good thing at all. For a start, what do we mean by left- and right wing? Next, what does the relative lack of ‘right wing comedy’ tell us? What is comedy anyway? And is too much of it bad for us?
The last time I laughed out loud was in Glasgow the weekend before last at a scientific meeting. The lecturer, Professor Harald Kittler, was presenting on pattern recognition in skin lesions. He showed us a photo of the well known actor George Clooney to exemplify the fact that everyone in the audience recognised this memorable face immediately although perhaps could not describe it other than by saying ‘it looks like George Clooney’. The next slide was of Prof. Kittler himself striking a similar pose to Clooney. The way he did it was just so funny. A harmless joke with no malice and used to illustrate an important learning point that would help make the doctors there better at their jobs. Harmless fun and no losers. If only all humour could be like that!
But it’s not, is it?
A great deal of humour is about getting at people, humiliating, degrading or misrepresenting them. And no doubt comedy can carry a political message, often subliminally. A case that would be difficult to argue rationally can be slipped through in a baggage-laden quip, especially since so many of us think emotionally rather than rationally today.
Right wing comedy-is it a contradiction in terms?
I recently came across the comment that you never see a right wing comedian. Chubby Brown doesn’t count, he’s just filthy. I must admit the massive over-representation of left wing comedians on the BBC particularly is something I had noticed myself. It was recently mentioned in the context of the UK Independence Party complaining, or at least drawing attention to, the fact that BBC comedians were pretty much 100% left wing, always knocking people with ‘right wing’ views. This is very true, and has been true for so long that, like driving on the left side of the road, you don’t notice yourself doing it, it just is.
Dara O’Briain of BBC’s ‘News Quiz’ (something I always turn off pretty quickly as it’s so left wing) made some spiteful comments about the complaint itself and retorted that UKIP should produce some right wing comedians if it wanted some. and of course Nigel Farage has been described in a Private Eye cartoon as a ‘right wing comedian, ‘clearly intended to convey the meaning that the man and his policies were a joke. Oh really? I’d love to ask the cartoonist a few questions like what level of net immigration into Britain he’d be happy with (currently running at about a million people every 5 years, contributing seriously to our housing crisis) and a few others, but that’s not the way left wing comedy rolls. Its mainly about quips, caricature and baggage. Simplify the issues and denigrate those who dare to hold politically incorrect (i.e not culturally Marxist) views.
Yes, I admit to being right wing.
I freely, albeit with trepidation, own up to being right wing. For me, this means first of all, God. Everything else depends on that, although I am convinced that the wisdom of right wing thinking and behaviour proves itself in practice, which is what you would expect if this approach to life is from our Creator. For best results, follow the Maker’s instructions and all that. I believe in respect for proper authority and the rule of law, the right to own property, a small state that mainly limits itself to protecting law abiding citizens from criminals and securing our borders, meritocracy (including selective education), punishment of criminals including the death penalty, working hard, saving not borrowing, people allowed to fail if they choose to behave in a way that is bound to lead to failure, and I also believe in a biblical standard of sexual conduct.
On the latter point particularly, anticipating criticism as being ‘Taliban style’, I don’t want a Christian theocracy, although am increasingly asking myself whether our experiment with one person one vote democracy (which one of my characters in ‘Darwin’s Adders: A Chronicle of Pagan England 2089′ describes as ‘knaves bribing fools with their grandchildren’s’ money’) can survive much longer given the corrupt lot we seem to vote into power. Someone said that democracy can only last until people discover that they can vote themselves an unearned pay rise. A few decades after this discovery is made and acted on, the economy will collapse as surely as night follows day and democracy will collapse into tyranny. With UK national debt at 80% of GDP and rising, driven by the left wing ‘rights’ culture and non-negotiable entitlement spending, we’re getting there.
Left wing=Big State.
Left wing philosophy to me means a big state which wants to interfere in every areas of our lives, high taxes, high levels of public spending, borrowing not saving, opposition to selective education (although as Peter Hitchens has documented extensively, the people in charge usually manage to obtain selective education for their own children, the hypocrites), treating crime as a disease of society rather than wickedness, in favour of sexual licence. It seems fairly obvious that our society has developed in a very left wing direction.
The fact that the term ‘right wing; has become a term of abuse, carrying lots of negative baggage is interesting. I have noticed that the BBC, when introducing a spokesman for a left wing think tank introduces them as a ‘respected’ think tank, whereas if it’s someone from a right wing think tank (it rarely is) they always stress this point, as if to show how jolly tolerant and inclusive they are to have such riff raff on at all. For the BBC to deny its left wing bias is a joke- I mean, they only advertise in the Guardian.
Puns and fart jokes in the Bible
There aren’t many jokes in the Bible, although there are a few. No doubt a familiarity with the original languages would discover more. Paul makes a joke about circumcision in Galatians, but its rather an angry joke and the context is deadly serious. I know there are a few puns, for example in Jeremiah 1:11-12 where God shows the prophet a branch from an almond tree. Apparently the word in Hebrew sounds like another word, which made a point. Its a pun, a joke based on the fact than one word may sound like another with different meaning.
There are a few others puns scattered around, and even a fart joke (Isaiah 26:18 ‘We were with child, we writhed in labor, but we gave birth to wind.‘ But these jokes make serious points, they are not about recreational amusement. They may be funny, but they are not light hearted. Why should they be? I don’t tell many jokes in my skin cancer clinic, especially when I’m telling patients bad news. Life is quite a serious matter, and maybe there is an issue here about the appropriateness of our culture devoting so much time and energy to humour. Could it be that the Puritans (regular butts of left wing caricature) were on to something? Dare we even investigate the possibility that there is something wrong with a society that devotes so much time and energy to telling jokes and making fun?
I recall a joke about Puritans: it goes something like this ‘Puritans avoid alcohol, swearing, too much meat, jokes, sport, and only have sex when necessary to produce children. Does it make them live longer? No, it only feels like it.’ I suspect that the Puritans may have been misrepresented in order to make us feel better about our hedonistic, pleasure seeking lifestyles, but I fear that we are going to suffer more than it yet appears as a result of losing their virtues, not least the ideas of self restraint, deferred gratification and a work ethic.
When God laughs, men should tremble.
We read in Psalm 2 that God laughs, but this isn’t light hearted. When we read ‘He who sits in the heavens laughs’ (Psalm 2:4) it is God laughing at the arrogant folly of men who boast that they can do very well without God. Their Maker is laughing with derision at their sheer stupidity, and then we read goes on to ‘terrify them in His anger.’ This is not Saturday Night cabaret or cross dressing pantomime: the attitude and behaviour that leads to the Deity’s laughter is not so much amusing as absurd. And indeed many jokes turn on absurdity. I was reading C S Lewis’ commentary on Paradise Lost recently in which he reflects on the fact that Milton’s Lucifer is on one level a figure of fun. The Prince of Darkness and the Fall of man funny? No, not at all, but as Lewis reflects, Satan’s rejection of the authority of the God who made him and his demand to rule instead of God is wicked, yes, but also absurd to the point of being laughable.
Elijah sarcastically blasphemes Baal
In 1 Kings 18:27 Elijah taunted the Baal priests. When their god did not answer, Elijah said ‘Perhaps Baal has gone on a journey, or is asleep, or has gone to the toilet!’. This is very nasty, and very similar to the sort of stuff we have to endure from Dawkinists today-Richard Dawkins is of course the epitomy of a bad left wing stand up comic. Its worth commenting that we have no evidence that God told Elijah to mock the Baal priests in this way and it may not have been a great idea-the prophet suffered a nervous collapse shortly after this. It didn’t work out very well for the Baal priests either, read the story.
Flat earth slander-atheist propaganda dressed up as a one line joke
Left wing humour is often political and /or subversive. This is hardly cryptic-look at the hard left writer Ben Elton and the Monty Pythons for example. Admittedly, the Pythons at their best could be very funny, mainly absurdist humour, without being nasty-I think of the parrot sketch, the penguin on the television/Mary Queen of Scots sketch, the cheese shop sketch in which a businesman in a bowler hat and suit dances incongruously to a bouzouki while the customer tries without success to but cheese, and eventually shoots the shop assistant when he finally admits they have no cheese of any kind. But the Pythons, particularly the vastly over rated John Cleese (see earlier post about his arrogant Christian-bashing boasting about ‘Life of Brian) brought in a sea-change in British comedy and not necessarily for the better.
Much of today’s humour is based on either deliberate misrepresentation or cruelty, especially when directed at ‘right wing’ targets. The ‘knowing’ sneer, the ‘joke that is assumed to have been made’. I remember a typically sarcastic joke in a newspaper letter about Sarah Palin, the US vice presidential candidate. The writer said ‘Surely if she becomes vice president, they will have to re-target all the nuclear missiles to account for the earth being flat.’ This was clearly a reference to Palin’s Christianity, which is thus sneeringly dismissed. Incidentally this takes us to dear old C S Lewis, who pointed out in one of his essays that the mediaeval church had never believed that the Earth was flat, this was a retro-fitted deliberate misrepresentation as you can see for yourself by Googling ‘flat earth slander’. But if you throw enough mud, some of it will stick, and this sort of quip is easy to deploy. Many one line ‘jokes’ are like a bucket of mud-they only take two seconds to sling over something or someone, but maybe a day to clear up.
Answer a fool…
I am a lover of the Book of Proverbs. I am quite certain that the superior wisdom in this book is one of the principal reasons why, under the Providence of God, the Jewish people have survived 2 millennia of scattering and persecution. The Proverbs are thoughtful, witty, poetic instructions about how we should live. It is unashamedly right wing, because truth about the human condition just is ‘right wing’. If our politicians had read proverbial wisdom like ‘The borrower become’s the lender’s slave’ and ‘He who interferes in a quarrel that is none of his business is like a man who picks up a passing dog by the ears’ and paid attention to it, our country wouldn’t be in such a mess.
And there is some humour in Proverbs, for example the passage Proverbs 26: 4-5 we read ‘Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes. DO NOT answer a fool according to his folly, lest you become like him.‘ A superficial reading of this verse appears to reveal contradiction, but in fact it reveals profound wisdom. It shows us that there may be danger in both directions, but the wise and thoughtful man will avoid both errors and do the right thing. Two apparently opposed suggestions are held in a dynamic tension. The proverb makes us think, and helps us to see that truth and wisdom may not be reducible to very simple rules that can always be applied without thinking. Similar tension between ideas that appear opposed but are in fact complementary is found elsewhere, often with a wry twist of humour. Maybe The Book of Proverbs contains the best right wing humour there is, or could be?
So, to conclude this reflection, maybe comedy isn’t all its cracked out to be. Maybe life is a serious matter and we make and listen to rather too many jokes, many of which are deliberately crafted by people who want to shape our way of looking at the world. A serious reflection, but I would rather be right than funny.
I am posting this after a conversation with a brother Christian last night who had not heard about the dreadful Lesley Pilkington affair and was only vaguely aware of the Ashers Bakery case in Northern Ireland.
Lesley Pilkington, a Christian counsellor of 20 years with an unblemished record was targeted by a lying, sneaking homosexual activist who pretended to want help to deal with unwanted same sex attraction. In fact he was stalking this honest woman in order to destroy her. Don’t take my word for it, read the story. She was severely punished by The Authority. This sends a message to all-do not try to help people escape from the homosexual lifestyle or deal with unwanted sexual feelings. If you try, we will destroy you. This links in philosophically with the well documented persecution of Christians in science who doubt molecules to man evolution. The word to them is ‘get on message or get out.’
Another tactic these sexual revolutionaries are using is to seek out Christian companies, demand they produce homosexualist propaganda on cakes, T shirts or whatever, and then sue them under anti discrimination laws when they refuse. This is happening on both sides of the Atlantic and is clearly part of a well planned strategy. Click on the link above to read about the Ashers in Northern Ireland. This honest working family is threatened with ruin because they will not abandon their most deeply held beliefs to comply to the demands of Big Gay.
Of course, Muslims are not being targeted by homoactivists in this way although their faith is considerably more anti homosexual than Christianity, and is growing in Britain as Christianity shrinks. People might want to ask why that is.
The important thing to understand is that these people will not be satisfied with equality, liberty or tolerance. The campaigning homosexual activist organisation Stonewall, named after a riot in which police were assaulted by mobs with petrol bombs, is receiving YOUR money from the government (*). Like most people, our rulers are scared stiff of being called ‘homophobic’ or ‘bigots’, so they always cave in. And people like Lesley Pilkington and the Ashers are the early victims, but they will not be the last.
Look at the above poster. Stonewall make it clear that they will never stop until they have made every last one of us THINK differently. No matter that assaults on homosexual people are quite rightly illegal, as is job or other form of discrimination. the sexual revolutionary zealots will say that refusing to bake a cake or print a T shirt with a pro-homosexualist message is discriminatory. Cobblers and they know it. They are fighting an intolerant intellectual battle, I will say it again funded with PUBLIC MONEY and more importantly strong goodwill and legislation showered on them by our rulers. I wonder if there are some compromising photographs and/or testimony about some of our rulers trying some exotic substances and/or sexual adventures while at Oxford (see film ‘Riot Club’) which are being used as blackmail? That would explain some things for sure. Of course I have no evidence, believe it or not these things are concealed skilfully by those concerned-think about John Major and Edwina Curry’s secret affair.
Why am I concerned? I acknowledge that Britain is a post-Christian country drifting if not running into a blend of materialism and paganism. That’s one of the primary subjects of my novels (‘Darwin’s Adders: A Chronicle of Pagan England 2089‘ available on Kindle for 79p, and ‘Hecate’s Daughters: The Pagan Chronicles part 2‘ due out by summer 2015). And like the earliest Christians, and many millions since, I accept that I am living in a State that hates the true God. I am a pilgrim in a strange land, my goal is beyond. I have written elsewhere that I detest the anti homosexual hate of Westborough Baptist Church and agree with those homoactivists who accuse Christians of hypocrisy for condemning homosexual acts while winking at heterosexual fornication and adultery, which are EQUALLY condemned by Scripture. Fair points. And I can prove from my bank statements that I am a thousand times more concerned about poverty in Africa than I am about ‘what people do in their bedrooms.’
But Stonewall is coming after me. They have said they will never stop until I have stopped believing what I believe. I am happy to live and let live, but they aren’t. And they have the full support of government. I am running a significant risk by posting this, given the all embracing scope of ‘equalities and diversity’ legislation and the absence of the guaranteed right to free speech in Britain today. But I have an important interview with the Creator of the Universe coming up some time in the next 30 years and I am more concerned about that than being called rude names or even being the next in line for homoactivist targeting.
Church, be warned. They are coming for us, and they don’t want tolerance, they want us to either abandon biblical faith altogether or adapt it to fit the spirit of this sex obsessed age-even if that fatally undermines the biblical foundations of Christian belief. Christians need to get our theology straight and remember that our adversary the devil is a liar. An effective, experienced and determined liar with a very long experience of using a wide range of tactics depending on whom he is trying to deceive. He will use emotion and false appeals to ‘compassion’, ‘equality’, and that most misused word ‘love’ to deceive tender hearted people who hate unkindness. And so the church will unravel from within.
Withstanding this twin assault (sexual revolutionaries attacking the church from without, heretics and wolves in sheep’s clothing attacking from within) will be a very nasty task indeed. Prepare to be called bigots, hypocrites, obsessed with sex and be prepared (as I discuss in Darwin’s Adders) to be told you have to sign a declaration from the government or else lose tax exempt status etc. Dare I say that our fathers and mothers in the Faith had it much worse under Nero, Stalin, Pol Pot etc, as do our brothers and sisters in Mosul and Baghdad, Pakistan, Nigeria, etc, etc? But let’s get real-if true believers are not persecuted in the Last days then Jesus is a liar. Since Jesus isn’t a liar, we are going to be persecuted. See Mathew’s Gospel chapters 5, 10 and 24 for a start, then move on to the seven letters to the churches of Revelation.
Forget writing to your MP-he or she is most likely a coward or a willing supporter of Big Gay or both. Our rulers are notoriously sexually immoral. Look at Nick Clegg-he admitted to having sex with 30 women, presumably to stop them selling their stories to the Daily Mail one at a time. Look at Boris Johnson-an impenitent serial adulterer whose mistress Petronella Wyatt had an abortion. Peter Hitchens has written particularly in ‘The Cameron Delusion’ and ‘The Rage Against God’ about why our ruling elite are so supportive of homosexual activism despite homosexuals making up less than 2% of the population.
Some of these people are closet Marxists who have never given up the belief that The State should rule every aspect of our lives based on materialist philosophy. They approve of and promote sexual libertinism as it tends to destroy stable and supportive family life. Broken families make people more dependent on The State, I have certainly seen that at close hand. The more dependent people are on The State, the more there is for politicians to do, and bigger empires for them to rule over according to their secularist philosophies. They hate the Christian religion because it stands in the way of both their political Utopias and their own base sexual desires. They hate to be reminded that they are wrong and will stand before a righteous Judge one day. But they are and they will.
I detest the fact that it is becoming ever more necessary for Christians to choose a side in this growing storm of State-enabled homosexual activism, and reject the idea that who I am as a penitent disciple of Christ is defined by my disapproval of sexual behaviours. If I seek, mourning my own sins, to follow Christ, then I must try my best to understand and follow Bible truth. It is a fact that the Bible condemns sex outside of faithful one man one woman marriage (along with greed, sloth, untruthfulness, idolatry, gossip, backbiting, drunkenness, idolatry, cowardice, filthy speech, pride, etc, etc, and many sins of which I am guilty and need forgiveness for.). But others are going to define my religion as ‘homophobia’ if I draw a line in the sand over homosexual genital activity and say ‘Do what you like but I will never approve it.‘ But there we have it.
And that is before we even get started on the so called ‘Gay Christian’ movement which is struggling to take over the church from within.
This isn’t going away friends. Do some research and make your minds up. If you don’t, they are determined to create a climate, and have already largely done so, where the culture makes your mind up for you.
Remember the words of Our Lord. ‘Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.’ Matthew 5:11-12.
(*) Stonewall do their best to deny that they receive public money for campaigning. But the truth is out there.
‘I reject religion and I am a good person. That proves that you don’t need gods or religion to be good.’
One hears this bold assertion quite often. I heard it recently from a self styled rationalist skeptic who had been raised in a churchgoing family but rejected Christ.
Couple or three logical issues need addressing here.
1) What do we mean by ‘good’?
2) Assuming we agree on the definition of good, how reliable is this person’s evaluation of herself as ‘good’?
3) Assuming she is ‘good’ as validated by an objective appraisal against an agreed standard, how much of her goodness is down to her Christian upbringing? How much due to societal norms which were shaped by the Christian teaching and values which used to permeate the culture she was raised in and still inform most of us?
4) How much better or worse is she than she might have been if she embraced Christ’s teachings?
5) How ‘good’ will her children, raised as materialists, turn out? And their children, as succeeding generations get further from the idea of God mandated restrictions on our self seeking behaviour? What kind of godless society will they build?
Truth is, we don’t know. Its an uncontrolled experiment.
These questions seem to me to deserve rather more consideration than they are getting as the dechristianising agenda steadily proceeds. We simply have no idea what a Britain fully purged of her biblical Christian heritage and faith will be like. Although looking around the world may give us some clues. The bold assertion that society will get better in every way as the nation is purged of Christianity frightens me with its reckless naivetie.
Microscopist Mark Armitage was dismissed for believing the biblical account of creation, after he published in a peer review journal about soft tissue in a triceratops horn he dug up in the famous Hell Creek formation.
An article in Nature sets out the main facts. He is suing for wrongful dismissal on grounds of religious discrimination, apparently his employers argue that although he did his job satisfactorily he is not a suitable person to work in a scientific institution since he does not accept the standard time frame for the age of the earth.
Very few things enrage evolutionists more than evidence critical of evolution being published in peer review science journals. It upsets their conviction that all the science facts are on their side and takes away their ‘show me that in a peer review journal!’ rebuttal when faced with evolution-falsifying facts. Yet the radiological and fossil evidence of dinosaurs (dragons) having lived much more recently than we are being told continues to mount, although you have to look for it, unlike the regular ‘water in space therefore life must have evolved’ non-stories we are regularly fed by the mainstream media. weak evidence for molecules to man evolution is promoted, strong evidence against it is suppressed.
For example there should not be any carbon 14 in 60 million year old dinosaur fossils, not one atom, but there is. Either we are not told about these discoveries, or their importance is downplayed. Soft tissue where there should not be any (as in Mr Armitage’s stegosaur horn and Mary Schweitzer’s T Rex) keeps coming up-again, same thing, the theory is simply adapted or some excuse is produced. But surely the presence of soft tissue, blood, collagen and DNA is not consistent with 60 million year old fossils?
As well as this there are the many dragon legends and depictions in ancient art from all over the world, perhaps most notably the Cambodian stegosaurus carving.
Of course if the cosmos and world were created by an omnipotent deity as a home for humans, as the Bible asserts and most people since the dawn of humanity have assumed, the world would have to be created fit for purpose so would inevitably look mature. A newly created Adam would inevitably appear as a mature adult, and water turned miraculously into wine (as in John’s Gospel chapter 2) would also inevitably have the appearance of age. This would not involve any intent to deceive on the creator’s part. If (as materialists earnestly hope) there is no creator (and so no lawgiver or judge) then they have to put forward an alternative means of the earth and its inhabitants origins. ‘Gradual self assembly over millions of years’ is frankly the only feasible alternative. And so that’s the official line.
And as we have seen before, woe betide anyone who dares publish evidence whether in biology, archaeology, palaeontology, biochemistry or physics which casts serious doubt on the currently dominant origins paradigm. If they are working in a scientific or education establishment they can most likely kiss their job goodbye. And by such means the ‘99.99% of all scientists accept evolution’ orthodoxy is preserved, and the innocent ears of the youth are saved from corruption by heresy most foul.
At a men’s breakfast at Above Bar Church this morning I sat (quite coincidentally) between 2 physicists and we discussed various matters, including the age of the earth and the folly of supposing that we could escape the solar system. The laws of physics as we understand them simply will not allow it-you would need faster than light travel and all that goes with it, besides which there’s not a dot or a dash of evidence of another habitable planet anywhere in the galaxy even if we could take ourselves to other star systems, which we can’t.
As it happens, the church film club will be going to see the sci-fi film ‘Interstellar’ next week. This film is about the old dream of escaping this planet through technology to continue humanity somewhere else-on our terms. We talked about Star Trek, warp drive and other plausible sounding fantasies and the ‘Goldilocks’ factor, how our planet just seems to be perfectly designed for life. many different independent factors from the strength of gravity to our atmosphere, the amount of water, the distance from the sun, our moon which causes tides and is the perfect size for watching solar eclipses etc, etc are all ‘just right’. Whether by multiple co-incidences or design. We think design the more reasonable inference form the data, all the more so when you add the data from the Judaeo-Christian Revelation. That’s a story for another day.
Two space exploration stories have been in the news over the last week for the wrong reasons. An Antares rocket launched from Virginia blew up spectacularly moments after takeoff. Nobody died, but the crew of the International Space Station might feel a little nervous about their supplies.
More tragically, a trial flight of billionaire Sir Richard Branson’s ‘Galactic’ spacecraft blew up high above the Mojave desert shortly after release from the mother ship. One pilot is dead, another badly injured.
Galactic? Please!!! The celebrity spaceship was only going to skim the atmosphere of this ‘Goldilocks’ planet whose conditions are so perfectly suited for organic life. A wonderful view for those who could afford it, but to have called it ‘solar system’ or ‘interplanetary would have been pretentious enough, but ‘Galactic’!!!
Branson has said
“Space is hard — but worth it,” Branson wrote. “We will persevere and move forward together.”
Worth what? Move forward where? Why?
Last week on BBC radio 4 I heard a programme about our moon. People are saying we should return to the moon for 3 reasons.
1) because we need to ‘move forwards’ . Progress you see, you’ve got to have progress.
2) so we can mine minerals to make up for our over exploration of Earth’s natural resources. No discussion about how we can economically mine such resources and bring them back, let alone how we can manage our affairs so as to live within available planetary resources. Which you might think was reasonable.
3) Moon travel as a staging place to Mars.
Yes, Mars. We now know that no other planet in our solar system can even theoretically support life, b ut the idea that men could live on Mars is ridiculous. Mars has no food or oxygen, although there may be some frozen water. Big deal! Getting there would be a nightmare, surviving would be highly unlikely, return impossible. A costly, lunatic (no pun intended) suicide mission. And for what? Humanity’s survival beyond the earth?
The great scholar, thinker and writer C S Lewis wrote several times about interplanetary travel and considered Mars in his first of his science fiction trilogy, ‘Out of the Silent Planet’. Lewis knew less than we do now (he described his stories as ‘fairy tales for adults’) but even then he knew that Mars was an old and dying planet, at best barely able to support life. In Lewis’ Mars (Malacandra) most of the planet was uninhabitable and the rest was slowly dying. Some bad men from Earth (one a scientist, the other a profiteer) have traveled to Mars with a hostage whom they mistakenly think is wanted for sacrifice to the planetary ruler. Their plans exposed for wicked folly, the visitors face questioning by the powerful ruler of Malacanda, Oyarsa.
The scientist, professor Weston (a dead ringer for Richard Dawkins) boasts of his desire to colonise the planet in order to allow Mankind to continue, whatever it evolves into. When the ruler of Mars asks him if he knows that Mars is dying, he says of course he knows, but when Mars dies Man (or his descendants) will jump to the next planet, and the next. ‘What will you do when all worlds die?’ asks Oyarsa? Weston is silent.
Lewis was against the then popular idea of human colonisation of space. He assumed that we would destroy and enslave any aliens we found in order to steal their resources, and this is one of the themes explored in ‘Out of the Silent Planet’ and to a lesser extent the other 2 books of the trilogy. In ‘Voyage to Venus’ we find a wicked messenger from Earth seeking to corrupt the innocent Venusians and in ‘That Hideous Strength’ Lewis looks at a doomed attempt to achieve everlasting life through technology.
Out of the Silent Planet is amongst other things a reflection on the lengths we humans will go to in order to avoid facing up to our doom, which is set out in Scripture. Nevertheless, Scripture stands.
‘It is appointed to man once to die, and after that to face judgment.’ (Hebrews 9:27).
There is only one way off this planet, and it ain’t a luxury cruise. I enjoy sci-fi and looking at the night sky more than most, but I like to keep fantasy and reality in different compartments of my thinking. we ought to take better care of where we live now and give more thought to the next world we will be going to when we leave this one. Which is not Mars…..
I missed Professor Cox’s last show, but apparently he said we probably were alone in the universe and had arisen as a result of several ‘fantastic flukes’. Well, if you call odds against even a single normal protein molecule being formed by random events even given impossibly favourable conditions that is greater than the number of particles in the universe ‘a fluke’ then I’d have to agree (*). But given what we know about life, design seems a far more rational likelihood.
I’ve been thinking about bio molecules a bit lately after attending a skin cancer conference. To put it very briefly, the proteins that keep our cells going from second to second are extraordinarily complicated and when one of them (like the BRAF molecule, a 766 amino acid protein kinase that regulates cell growth) goes even slightly wrong, it can lead to total disaster, e.g. malignant cancer. So if the BRAF molecule (to take one of our thousands of proteins as a specific example) only works properly when all 766 amino acids are in perfect sequence, and it can kill you when just one is out of sequence, how did that gradually evolve by ‘numerous, successive, small’ changes? No really, how could it have happened? It appears from intense study of this molecule that it only works properly when exactly right, so intermediate evolutionary stages would have been non survivable. And the same can be said of many, many other biomolecules that interact with each other purposefully to create this thing we call life.
This is very bad news indeed for Darwinian gradualism. For functional complex molecules like BRAF to come into existence fully formed-and with the other molecules that work in a team with them- would be a mighty creative miracle. As a Christian I have no problem with miracles, but Brian Cox can’t allow miracles. So he appeals to ‘flukes’ without trying to do any sort of calculation about how lucky they would have to be. The answer is, too lucky by far.
Google on BRAF, V600E, nucleotide excision repair or protein kinases to see for yourself. I have written a piece on this for the Creation Science Movement web site. The following diagram is a simplified explanation of how the BRAF molecule works in conjunction with various other molecules. When it mutates by just one amino acid out of place (valine replaced by glutamic acid at the 600th position) it causes melanoma cancer which can be fatal if not removed early….by intelligent doctors.
When indispensable biomolecules are fantastically complicated and a small copying error ruins them (as in the BRAF V600E mutation which causes melanoma cancer) and the best works of science can barely affect a temporary fix, the odds for life coming via ‘numerous, small, successive adaptations’ like Uncle Charlie say isn’t just small, its nil. You can’t gradually build a living cell one step at a time of intermediate stages are non functioning. This should have been, in fact was, clear enough in 1859 when Darwin foisted his great work of imagination on teh world, but modern advances in biology make it even clearer.
what’s even worse for the hypothesis that life forms evolved by numerous gradual accidental changes to the DNA that forms our proteins, is that the human body contains at least 20,000 different proteins, probably many more-one estimate is up to 2 million. And as far as we know they are all necessary. Certainly the list of human diseases that are caused by broken proteins resulting from DNA mutations is long and dreadful. And yet mutation is the only theoretical mechanism that evolutionist can propose for building the beautiful molecules and biochemical pathways that sustain our lives.
There’s no excuse for accepting the Darwin mythos.
(*) The calculation to which I refer is set out in Dr Vij Sodera’s book ‘One Small Speck to Man: The Evolution Myth’ and is based on the longest possible age of the universe, perfect liquid water conditions, a sea of laevo amino acids and the fastest possible reaction time amino acids forming peptide binds together (like they don’t do in nature). You still don’t get even one correctly assembled protein molecule. And if you did, it would be floating in a sea of junk protein. Its the arithmetic that stops biomolecules forming without a designer, nothing to do with religion.
The grinning physicist was on prime time TV again last night with a skilfully manufactured piece of materialist propaganda masquerading as science. I’m too busy to spend the time necessary to properly criticise this in detail, but honest science, it wasn’t.
Discussing the issue of the cosmological constants, such as gravity which has to be just right (the Goldilocks factor) for matter to exist AT ALL, he showed us a Japanese master craftsman making a samurai sword. I know something about this process as I am the grateful owner of an expensive suminagashi handcrafted Japanese cook’s knife which I use regularly in my kitchen. A lot of DESIGN and CRAFT goes into making them…they have to be JUST RIGHT. Like the laws of physics.
If gravity was just a little weaker, the universe would fly apart and galaxies, stars and planets could not exist. If it was a little stronger, everything would crunch up and again no planets or life would be possible. It is interesting to note that gravity is EXACTLY RIGHT for carbon based life to exist. Lots else is ‘just right’ too. Coincidence or a Master Plan?
Cox noted that the universe was just right for life, but without fully developing this issue by considering the other cosmologic constants (one fundamental law of physics being just right would seem an amazing coincidence, several being just right for life, and independently, seem like carefulness) or even giving oxygen to the idea that these ‘just right’ laws of physics point to design, he then used some tricks of the eye to go on about the multiverse crock. Crock, as in crock of stuff that comes out of Uranus. Its barely worth crediting as a fantasy, let alone a hypothesis.
He likened our ‘just perfect’ laws of phycis to a lottery ticket. Someone had to win, we just did. There must be an innumerable number of equally meaningless spontaneously generated universes in which the laws of physics were inconsistent with life. he hinted at evidence for this but didn’t offer any, pure Darwinian’I have no difficulty in believing’ style. And this is considered to be a rational, scientific approach to evidence. The idea that the universe and not just his slogans was created from the excrement of Richard Dawkins and floats on Stephen Fry’s self esteem seems reasonable by contrast.
The tragedy is that Cox was untrue to his own beliefs, which allegedly say that ALL the evedence must be considered with a truly open mind and that ‘there are no closed questions in science’ but he mishandled, mangled and suppressed scientific evidence to fit with his avowed materialistic philosophy. A philosophy which the Christless BBC with its hordes of militant atheists masquerading as rationalists foist upon a nation that knows no better because of the suppression of the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18-22)
He finished by saying ‘The answer is up to you. What do you think?’
I think you’re a fool (Psalm 14:1) and a liar (Romans 1: 18-22), Brian Cox. And I think you ought to turn from worshiping the works of your own hands and repent (Acts 14:15-17) because Jesus Christ is the King of Creation (John 1:1-3, Colossians 1:16-17) and He is coming in flaming fury to take just and proportionate revenge on those who lead many astray (Jude 15-16, Revelation1:7). Therefore repent.