Daily Archives: May 4, 2012

Creationist Drivel – Mendel

Posts in this series.

I’m in danger of catching remnant up, so sparingly is he releasing his eagerly-awaited information.

Before I look at Gregor Mendel, justĀ  couple of points:

Firstly, I discovered that the Evolution handbook author is one Vance Ferrell. In future I’ll refer to him by name. Ferrell is a prolific writer with a peculiar style. He is a creationist, but also has written in support of “natural remedies” and against innoculation, the evils of rock music, the “End Times” and curiously, the story of the Bounty.

Secondly, I thought some more about entropy. The Second Law of Thermodynamics has many applications but essentially states that with time, overall entropy will increase. Creationists have taken this to mean that there is a physical law that states that complexity will tend to decrease – albeit their interpretation is faulty. Now the reason that complexity increases, in the natural world, is that the Earth / solar system is not a closed system, and allows for local increases in complexity at the expense of a general increase in entropy. So non-creationists have a workable explanation. Not so the creationists. They are of the opinion that all physical and chemical laws are god-created, maintained and sanctioned, rather than a feature of physical universe. Therefore if they accept that God created the second law they must also accept that the second law doesn’t work, as on Earth there are many examples in which there is no tendency towards higher entropy – as Route_70 pointed out, embryology is one of them. Therefore God created a law that he broke and continues to break. How are we to even define a physical law in such circumstances? Continue reading

On a Positive Note…

I see the Catholics in Ireland are in trouble again. Hot on the trail of the “indecent images” farce, the Primate of All-Ireland, Cardinal Sean Brady, has been implicated in a cover-up of the details of a prolific paedophile priest. Himself a priest at the time, it has been alleged by at least two of the victims that Brady, outside of the presence of parents, police or professional counsellors, swore them to secrecy and thus allowed the paedophile to continue his activities. Brady also was informed of the details of other potential and actual victims and chose not to pass these details on to civil authorities – he did inform his then boss, who kept it all under wraps as well. His defence is not that he was innocent of these accusations, but that no specific policy for dealing with such issues existed at the time, either church or state-sanctioned. Moreover, at the time he was in a more junior position, with no authority to act against the paedophile, albeit that he accepts that the overarching culture of the church at the time was to protect its own interests. Will these people never learn? The suppression of the truth of some incident for the benefit of some interest becomes the issue itself at least as much as that initial incident upon its discovery, and as a result much worse for the culprits. The recently-departed evangelical Christian, Charles Colson, would have said as much.

Incidents like this, amid countless others, make it seem that the Catholic Church has been and continues to be very much a malign influence. For many years my own thoughts have been that I couldn’t think of a single reason to believe that the church benefited humankind at all. However, I might have been unfair here to some extent. Britain’s most senior Catholic, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, has recently been critical of the coalition government’s tax policies, in particular their affect on the rich / poor divide. In a week when it has been revealed that the rich in Britain have, on average, been getting richer while the country as a whole has returned to recession, Cardinal O’Brien’s intervention could be seen as welcome. Of course, the government disputes his analysis, but it does seem completely transparent that the super-rich, at least, have little or no need of the tax reduction given to them via the recent budget. While I don’t intend to comment on the efficacy of government tax policy, it is good that a person of influence like O’Brien, is at least seen to be attempting to protect the interests of the less fortunate among us. One could be cynical and explain his action, again, as an attempt to protect or promote the interests of his organisation. However,he could have quite easily remained silent here. Continue reading