Bad Science Fiction

Only with TV logic can one imagine a future (Star Trek) in which people can create any thing they want any time they want (replicator) and live in a permanently imaginary world without any consequences (holodeck) and expect those same people to not only be not greedy, but socially conscious, egalitarian, and moral.

The theory goes something like this: give someone everything they want and magically they will grow tired of it, and no longer desire it. Or, restraint by indulgence.

It is a particularly odd belief system that proposes one can wean people off their addictions, and avoid others entirely, by offering addicts an endless supply of whatever it is they wanted in the first place.

Apparently, people can only be greedy if they have a limited supply of money, but not an endless supply of whatever it can buy.

Extrapolating further: people are only selfish when resources are finite not infinite, immoral only if there is some expectation they shouldn’t be, or cruel in real situations but not holographic ones.

This is all dismissed under the pretenses of some “enlightenment” but we are never told what the source of that enlightenment is. Like money, it is summarily written off with no explanation. Valuation clearly still exists in the future — it has too — but the economics are, of course, never revealed because they cannot exist, even in fantasy.

I actually like Star Trek, well The Original Series (TOS) before the others, but like everything else, up to and including evolution, the series is wildly and persistently fraudulent (openly deceptive) about the future it presents.

Star Trek as insignificant entertainment can be enjoyed, but its broader philosophical claims are provably false.

One example among dozens: evolution.

Ask any evolutionist — be a good Darwinist and pick one at random — and they will tell you that if you were rewind the “evolutionary clock” to zero and start over, the entire ecology of the Earth (plant and animal) would bear no resemblance to what we enjoy today. In fact, reset the clock five-and-a-half  billion years and you lose the very formation of the planet Earth itself far more many times than you would win it. As for life, it would not only be different, it would be wildly different. Start over a million times and you have a million bizarre landscapes, alien species without end, none resembling the other. Or worse, you wouldn’t get any life at all, given how infinitesimal the odds of cellular life are by blind chemistry. Across all those million attempts, you would never see humans emerge again — or dinosaurs, or whales, or birds, or amphibians, or insects. That is the bleak neverscape totally random mutations (real Darwinism) impose.

Yet, Star Trek demands not only did man evolve from primordial goo (against all chemical, genetic and mathematical evidence to the contrary) so did every other humanoid race in the universe.

They try to explain this by some ancestral world-seeding but even that fails in even the most forgiving evolutionary paradigm. But they don’t care: they’re selling evolution, so its actual efficacy is irrelevant. That’s how you know its not a show about science but scientism: philosophy masquerading as science.

Star Trek is really about atheism and technolatry — the worship not of God but of Man and his technology — and once you realize it, you see it for the religious nonsense it is.

The answer all paganism ultimately can ever give is “Because it is!”

It doesn’t matter how implausible a method or impossible a mechanism they hold up, the answer is ultimately “Because it is!” Gaps be damned. And there are a lot of gaps.

All questions cosmological, astronomical, geological, hydrological, chemical, molecular, genetic, anatomical and (even now in our age) economic, sexual, or moral are answered with “Because it is!”

The old scientific dictum that ‘everything kinda needs to make sense in relation to each other’ is now so shot through with colossal evolutionary contradictions, legions of exceptions, ad hoc constraints, and no few paradoxes, only a zealot holds on to it.

We have enough science now, and have had for about a century, to turn its razors on itself.

And that, friends, is a close shave most atheists do not want to have.

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Biological Convergence Challenges Naturalistic Evolution Models

The observation of repeated occurrences of convergence in the history of Earth’s life stands as a profound challenge to naturalistic explanations for Earth’s life.1 Now, another recently recognized and especially dramatic occurrence of convergence2 provides yet another challenge to naturalism and support for the biblical creation model of life.

Convergence refers to the occurrence of identical, or nearly identical, anatomical, physiological, and/or genetic features in species of life that are unrelated or distantly related within an evolutionary paradigm. Both theists and nontheists offer explanations for convergence, but those explanations are radically different.

Theists see convergence resulting from supernatural, super-intelligent interventions by a single Creator who employs a single, optimal solution to address a common set of problems faced by organisms possessing different characteristics and living in different habitats. Nontheists conjecture that convergence occurs when unrelated species encounter identical, or nearly identical, environmental, predatory, and/or competitive selection effects. In other words, nontheists suggest that natural selection channels randomly occurring variations in unrelated species toward identical outcomes.

There are two obvious problems with the nontheistic explanation for convergence. First is the frequency with which it is observed to occur. Naturalistic models for Earth’s life predict convergence to be extremely rare. Instead, convergence is a nearly ubiquitous characteristic of Earth’s life. So far, hundreds of examples have been documented.

Second, evolutionary biologists, paleontologists, and ecologists frequently observe occurrences of convergence where the environmental, predatory, and competitive selection effects are not at all similar. A classic example is the chameleon (a reptile) and the sand lance (a fish).3 The chameleon lives in a desert while the sand lance lives on the seafloor of shallow seas. The chameleon faces very different predatory pressures than does the sand lance. Yet, both the chameleon and the sand lance possess identical eye, eyelid, and tongue mechanisms as well as designs and identical hunting strategies.

The most recently discovered example of convergence is the centralized nervous system found in all vertebrates and insects. The materialistic model asserts that the centralized nervous systems evolved from a single common ancestor.

Evidence that could be interpreted as favoring the naturalistic model comes from the observation that all vertebrates and insects possess a nervous system consisting of a brain that is connected to a single cord of nerves that extends into the trunks of these animals. Furthermore, regulatory genes are similarly deployed during the development of the central nervous systems of these animals.

However, the new convergence discovery provides strong evidence that central nervous systems do not arise from a single common ancestor. Rather, there were multiple independent initial appearances of central nervous systems.

A research team led by marine molecular biologist José Martin-Duran found that a set of homeobox genes is expressed along the back-to-belly axis of the central nervous systems of vertebrates, flies, and one species of segmented worms. However, the team did not find this gene expression pattern in nine other bilaterian species (species with bilateral symmetry that possess a head, a tail, a back or dorsal, a belly or ventral, and a left side and right side).4 Four of the nine species were members of the xenacoelomorph phylum comprised of tiny worms that lack a through gut, gill slits, and a body cavity. The other five were members of the annelid (segmented worms), nemertea (ribbon worms), brachiopod (soft-bodied animals with shells on the upper and lower surface), platyhelminth (flatworms), and rotifer (part of the zooplankton) phyla.

The team concluded that “the similarities in dorsoventral patterning and trunk neuroanatomies evolved independently in bilateral.”5 In a review of the paper published by Martin-Duran et al., neurobiologist Clifton Ragsdale wrote that the team’s data “strengthen the case that the developmental and morphological similarities between bilaterian centralized nervous systems are the result of independent evolutionary events that converged on similar outcomes.”6 In other words, central nervous systems did not arise from a common ancestor through evolutionary descent. They appeared independently multiple times.

What makes this example of biological convergence especially significant is its occurrence across phyla. It is not just convergence within an order, class, or phylum. It is observed in at least eight different phyla. Biological convergence repeatedly arising in circumstances where the forces driving natural selection are vastly different strongly argues for the compelling necessity of supernatural, super-intelligent activity on the part of a personal Creator.

Original article: Biological Convergence Challenges Naturalistic Evolution

Trump’s First State of the Union: A Divisive President Delivers a Dictator’s Speech (Column)

The president didn’t go off-script — but the script was appalling

With stilted, smug delivery, President Donald J. Trump delivered his first State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night. It was an exceptionally cheap speech, one that relied repeatedly on the grief of parents who had lost their children, the appropriated trauma of soldiers and refugees, and flag-waving rhetoric that copped to unity but drew deep divisive lines. Despite the frantic standing ovations from the Republicans in the room — and the president’s ability to read lines in sequence off of a teleprompter — it was a badly written, abysmally delivered, and especially grim set of remarks.

This isn’t the Trump that his base signed up for — in the sense that this isn’t the Trump that flouts conventions, yells incomprehensibly, and rouses rabbles with easy-to-remember chants. This preening, softspoken wannabe-fascist might be the president that the Republican party was hoping for, but for what it’s worth, they could stand to operate their puppet a little bit better. Trump was clearly bored by his own speech — bored, and ignorant of most of the information in it; he barely made eye contact with the camera, choosing instead to swivel from one teleprompter to the other in a reading-out-loud performance so painfully slow he droned on as long as Bill Clinton.

And for some reason, he kept clapping for himself, directly into the microphone. Doesn’t it feel great to be winning, so much, all the time?

Towards the end, as he ran out of steam, Trump clutched the podium with an impatience that was reminiscent of a toddler squirming to get free from a time-out. His unfamiliarity with the sentences led to broken, flubbed lines that were delivered with the weird stylings of spoken word poetry, but without any of the attendant emotional weight; he paused for applause at all the wrong times, stumbled through the statistics and pronunciations, and clearly would have said anything that was put in front of him, like Will Ferrell’s Ron Burgundy in “Anchorman.” “Atop the dome of this Capitol stands the Statue of Freedom,” he intoned at the end, with obvious disinterest; I wonder if you asked him right now, if he would remember that there is a statue atop that dome, and what that statue is supposed to represent.

Of course, Trump will likely get accolades for this speech. He did not go off-script, for maybe the second time in his life, except to periodically insert a modifier (“great,” “horrible” or “beautiful” are his favorites). He crowed about the triumphs of the currently reigning Republican party — specifically, the tax bill, because what else is there — and outlined a four-pillar plan to crack down even further on immigration in America. He asked for more military spending, to augment even further America’s nuclear arsenal. He praised Immigration and Customs Enforcement and decried the red tape of permitting construction projects. He claimed credit for rebuilding after Hurricane Harvey in Houston and even touted “beautiful clean coal.”

But, of course, even cursory fact-checking eviscerates most of these claims. Puerto Rico is still suffering due to Maria. The deadly gang MS-13, which Trump lay at the feet of immigrants, in fact originated in Los Angeles. Most Americans will eventually see their tax burden increase thanks to the Trump tax law. More nuclear weaponry does not make us safer. Clean coal does not exist.

And outside of those purported triumphs, Trump’s speech was a cruel cavalcade of rehashed tragedies and convenient lies — wrapped so shamelessly in the American flag that I felt alienated from my own country, which is exactly how Trump and his band of speechwriters want problematic citizens like myself to feel. The emphasis on “faith and family” was quite clearly about one kind of faith, and one kind of family. The repeated invocation of “Americans” was, undoubtedly, about a specific kind of American. Cheekily, and horrifyingly, Trump ended a paragraph about “extending an open hand to work with members of both parties” with the line “Americans are dreamers, too” — an insulting repudiation of DREAMers, the immigrants who crossed the border as children and have lived in America since. Naturally, white supremacists — including David Duke — jumped on the line. Trump also inserted an “America First” into his speech, in another not-so-subtle shill to white nationalism.

Trump’s entire speech was quintessentially what a dictator says to his followers. It was saturated with a condescending, holier-than-thou paternalism that, with a honeyed voice, promised to gut everyone who didn’t get in line with his plan. (I was reminded of Kelly Sue DeConnick’s prescient “Bitch Planet,” in which a regressively patriarchal world is ruled by a corporatist minister named Father Josephson. He, too, is obsessed with ratings.) There was the nationalism, and the jingoism, and the bizarre beating drum of God and family — from a man who cheated on his third wife with a porn star, and paid her off during his campaign. The demonizing of immigrants, which took up about a third of the speech in various forms, and called upon the bereaved parents of two girls killed by MS-13 to stand and be stared at by thousands of people. (This was exceptional, because the four parents — the only black people called upon by Trump — were also the only he explicitly ordered to stand.) At various points, instead of simply berating like he usually does, Trump took on a scolding attitude towards Americans who weren’t signing onto his vision. He wasn’t mad; he was disappointed — and defensive — and, it was implied, holds all the punitive power. With all the false dignity of a regional manager, he invoked low African-American and Hispanic unemployment to suggest that these minority groups ought to be grateful, and then leaned hard into a line that described true Americans as standing for the national anthem. And maybe most disturbing of all, he repeatedly used the word “love,” in ways that have nothing to do with love. “Americans love their country,” he said early on. “And they deserve a government that shows them the same love and loyalty in return.”

That’s not love; that’s a threat.

Original article: The President Delivers a Dictator’s Speech

Sometimes in examining the core instability of others, their own words are far more revealing than what anyone else could string together.

The above screed was written by a woman named Sonia Saraiya. Naturally it was posted on Variety.com.

Such review shows just how unstable a small but shrieking sector of the American electorate has become. I do not use that word lightly, but responses of this type prove how inconsolably paranoid and militant the Regressives of this country now stand: every president except the ones they voted for are believed to be blood-drinking fascists planning mass exterminations of their political enemies.

To many on the Far Left — you know, the people who don’t believe in the Devil — the sitting President is that same devil, a “dictator” with wholly demonic ambition and will.

This article brings into stark relief the inherent flaw of Far Left reasoning: all things are lawful and all things are right.

There are no intellectual air brakes for any mania that rises up on the Far Left. Reason is patently outlawed: emotion rules. Their mantra is “if you feel it, its true and must never be challenged” and if you happen to feel that statement is true, you’re on the right team; but the moment you challenge this ridiculous myth, you are not an enemy… you are The Enemy.

You are not simply disinvited — no no, you are despised. It is religion gone dark. This is exactly how cults operate and just like a cult, they accuse others of the very tactics they themselves employ.

This is precisely what mental illness looks like when it is politically codified and stripped of all instruments of questioning and self-correction.

This response to the President State of the Union Address is the written equivalent of hearing voices — and it wasn’t the President’s.

There are presidents I have loved, some I was apathetic towards, and a few I just really did not like, but I always remained capable of separating their successes from their failures: everyone is a mixed bag. I never decided any of them were evil down to their atoms.

But to these paranoiacs every word from this President is a lie, every sentence open threat and secret code. All looks are winks and twinkles from a would-be Fuhrer to his jackbooted brigades of “deplorables” all nodding in their shadows, receiving their orders whilst sharpening their long knives, waiting to strike in the midnight hour.

This woman’s batty article, along with everyone other intellectual vagrant who squats in her political moonscape, proves that the very maniacs they are so terrified of…

Are themselves.

 

They are projecting their derangement on to the President, the Congress, their better countrymen or anyone else they can blame.

All this roils forth from a religious-level contempt for the President’s view of this country, its role in the world, the preeminence of actual citizens over applicants, the rightful place of money, and the right of all to be better off today than we all were yesterday.

This is nothing more than another extreme ideological confrontation, and for that, they must invalidate all points of their perceived enemy by mockery.

Like every other president before him, Trump does some things very well, other things not so well. The part that is very frustrating is when anyone adamantly attacks a rival politician (council members, governors, senators, congressmen and women, and especially presidents) for the same conduct their politician is guilty.

That is the litmus test for hypocrisy. Today, the very people who sling allegations of adultery against the sitting president before he took the oath of office, are the very same people who dismiss President Clinton’s oval office adultery as “none of the public’s business.”

By that logic, what a President does while in office of the President, active as Chief Executive Officer of the country, is irrelevant, but anything controversial he did before entering the office of President is worthy of flogging.

That makes zero sense. It is illogical. It is irrational. It is indefensible.

If you do not understand the importance of that glaring contradiction, you do not belong on this blog. You are not mature enough to be here. This sanctimonious doubles-speak is nothing more than modern Pharisaism. And like those zealots of old, these people are looking to nail anyone who disagrees with them to a cross. Their reactions are all the more disturbing when one realizes how many of their positions are pathologically nonsensical.

Favor this president, or don’t favor this president, but do so intelligently. Put your emotion back in its holster and review the matter dispassionately.

I can do no more damage to this woman’s point than what she has already done to herself.

However, I find her closing lines most chilling:

And maybe most disturbing of all, he repeatedly used the word “love,” in ways that have nothing to do with love. “Americans love their country,” he said early on. “And they deserve a government that shows them the same love and loyalty in return.”

Ms. Saraiya actually believes that those who “love their country” are illicit in their affection for their nation, and presumably also their loyalties to its founding documents (U.S. Constitution) and its vision (Declaration of Independence).

And worse, Ms. Saraiya finds no obligation for government to either love or be loyal to the very people it governs.

More than anything else, this proves she is far more dangerous that the phantom despots she chases in her mind.

Cold is the government of this crazy woman.

That is the Far Left.

Cold and dead.

Too bad no one has bothered to bury it.

Rey

Rey - Jedi

Despite the overwhelming disappointment of the two most recent Star Wars films (despite Rogue One‘s affection for canon) I love Rey. Further, I love Daisy Ridley as Rey.

I like everything about her: her look, her tone, her build, and even her style of acting, be it an evolving one.

Anyone who knows me knows my penchant for strong female leads in literature and cinema. I’ve never understood the idea that a woman must be:

  1. intelligent; or
  2. talented; or
  3. beautiful

Put an and between all those and you have the best configuration available.

It is fugitive hope, yes, but I hope someone at Disney realizes the catastrophic misdirection of A Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, reverses course, and lets Rey be the founder of the rejuvenated Jedi Order.

Despite whatever brackish neo-pagan nonsense Disney believes, there is good and there is evil and they are not the same thing. Eventually they fight. They fight for the good Earth and they fight for the souls of men, women, and children.

In Star Wars they fight for the galaxy.

In the end I hope Rey is allowed to be a true Jedi, and not some eviscerated Millennial caricature.

If the former, she will confront and kill the genocidal Kylo Ren and the copycat First Order as a reminder to the galaxy that men and women who casually extinguish billions of people to advance their politics are pure evil and must be destroyed — not arrested, fined, imprisoned, counseled, chastised, or hand-slapped.

Destroyed.

If you are going to have space-Nazis you should, at a minimum, have a space-Nuremberg.

And filmmakers who betray beloved franchises to clobber people over the head with their outdated Millennial SJW fanaticism are equally grotesque and should be thrown out of cinema.

Go Rey.

Lepanto

White founts falling in the courts of the sun,
And the Soldan of Byzantium is smiling as they run;
There is laughter like the fountains in that face of all men feared,
It stirs the forest darkness, the darkness of his beard,
It curls the blood-red crescent, the crescent of his lips,
For the inmost sea of all the earth is shaken with his ships.
They have dared the white republics up the capes of Italy,
They have dashed the Adriatic round the Lion of the Sea,
And the Pope has cast his arms abroad for agony and loss,
And called the kings of Christendom for swords about the Cross,
The cold queen of England is looking in the glass;
The shadow of the Valois is yawning at the Mass;
From evening isles fantastical rings faint the Spanish gun,
And the Lord upon the Golden Horn is laughing in the sun.
Dim drums throbbing, in the hills half heard,
Where only on a nameless throne a crownless prince has stirred,
Where, risen from a doubtful seat and half attainted stall,
The last knight of Europe takes weapons from the wall,
The last and lingering troubadour to whom the bird has sung,
That once went singing southward when all the world was young,
In that enormous silence, tiny and unafraid,
Comes up along a winding road the noise of the Crusade.
Strong gongs groaning as the guns boom far,
Don John of Austria is going to the war,
Stiff flags straining in the night-blasts cold
In the gloom black-purple, in the glint old-gold,
Torchlight crimson on the copper kettle-drums,
Then the tuckets, then the trumpets, then the cannon, and he comes.
Don John laughing in the brave beard curled,
Spurning of his stirrups like the thrones of all the world,
Holding his head up for a flag of all the free.
Love-light of Spain—hurrah!
Death-light of Africa!
Don John of Austria
Is riding to the sea.
Mahound is in his paradise above the evening star,
(Don John of Austria is going to the war.)
He moves a mighty turban on the timeless houri’s knees,
His turban that is woven of the sunset and the seas.
He shakes the peacock gardens as he rises from his ease,
And he strides among the tree-tops and is taller than the trees,
And his voice through all the garden is a thunder sent to bring
Black Azrael and Ariel and Ammon on the wing.
Giants and the Genii,
Multiplex of wing and eye,
Whose strong obedience broke the sky
When Solomon was king.
They rush in red and purple from the red clouds of the morn,
From temples where the yellow gods shut up their eyes in scorn;
They rise in green robes roaring from the green hells of the sea
Where fallen skies and evil hues and eyeless creatures be;
On them the sea-valves cluster and the grey sea-forests curl,
Splashed with a splendid sickness, the sickness of the pearl;
They swell in sapphire smoke out of the blue cracks of the ground,—
They gather and they wonder and give worship to Mahound.
And he saith, “Break up the mountains where the hermit-folk can hide,
And sift the red and silver sands lest bone of saint abide,
And chase the Giaours flying night and day, not giving rest,
For that which was our trouble comes again out of the west.
We have set the seal of Solomon on all things under sun,
Of knowledge and of sorrow and endurance of things done,
But a noise is in the mountains, in the mountains, and I know
The voice that shook our palaces—four hundred years ago:
It is he that saith not ‘Kismet’; it is he that knows not Fate ;
It is Richard, it is Raymond, it is Godfrey in the gate!
It is he whose loss is laughter when he counts the wager worth,
Put down your feet upon him, that our peace be on the earth.”
For he heard drums groaning and he heard guns jar,
(Don John of Austria is going to the war.)
Sudden and still—hurrah!
Bolt from Iberia!
Don John of Austria
Is gone by Alcalar.
St. Michael’s on his mountain in the sea-roads of the north
(Don John of Austria is girt and going forth.)
Where the grey seas glitter and the sharp tides shift
And the sea folk labour and the red sails lift.
He shakes his lance of iron and he claps his wings of stone;
The noise is gone through Normandy; the noise is gone alone;
The North is full of tangled things and texts and aching eyes
And dead is all the innocence of anger and surprise,
And Christian killeth Christian in a narrow dusty room,
And Christian dreadeth Christ that hath a newer face of doom,
And Christian hateth Mary that God kissed in Galilee,
But Don John of Austria is riding to the sea.
Don John calling through the blast and the eclipse
Crying with the trumpet, with the trumpet of his lips,
Trumpet that sayeth ha!
      Domino gloria! 
Don John of Austria
Is shouting to the ships.
King Philip’s in his closet with the Fleece about his neck
(Don John of Austria is armed upon the deck.)
The walls are hung with velvet that is black and soft as sin,
And little dwarfs creep out of it and little dwarfs creep in.
He holds a crystal phial that has colours like the moon,
He touches, and it tingles, and he trembles very soon,
And his face is as a fungus of a leprous white and grey
Like plants in the high houses that are shuttered from the day,
And death is in the phial, and the end of noble work,
But Don John of Austria has fired upon the Turk.
Don John’s hunting, and his hounds have bayed—
Booms away past Italy the rumour of his raid
Gun upon gun, ha! ha!
Gun upon gun, hurrah!
Don John of Austria
Has loosed the cannonade.
The Pope was in his chapel before day or battle broke,
(Don John of Austria is hidden in the smoke.)
The hidden room in man’s house where God sits all the year,
The secret window whence the world looks small and very dear.
He sees as in a mirror on the monstrous twilight sea
The crescent of his cruel ships whose name is mystery;
They fling great shadows foe-wards, making Cross and Castle dark,
They veil the plumèd lions on the galleys of St. Mark;
And above the ships are palaces of brown, black-bearded chiefs,
And below the ships are prisons, where with multitudinous griefs,
Christian captives sick and sunless, all a labouring race repines
Like a race in sunken cities, like a nation in the mines.
They are lost like slaves that sweat, and in the skies of morning hung
The stair-ways of the tallest gods when tyranny was young.
They are countless, voiceless, hopeless as those fallen or fleeing on
Before the high Kings’ horses in the granite of Babylon.
And many a one grows witless in his quiet room in hell
Where a yellow face looks inward through the lattice of his cell,
And he finds his God forgotten, and he seeks no more a sign—
(But Don John of Austria has burst the battle-line!)
Don John pounding from the slaughter-painted poop,
Purpling all the ocean like a bloody pirate’s sloop,
Scarlet running over on the silvers and the golds,
Breaking of the hatches up and bursting of the holds,
Thronging of the thousands up that labour under sea
White for bliss and blind for sun and stunned for liberty.
Vivat Hispania!
Domino Gloria! 
Don John of Austria
Has set his people free!
Cervantes on his galley sets the sword back in the sheath
(Don John of Austria rides homeward with a wreath.)
And he sees across a weary land a straggling road in Spain,
Up which a lean and foolish knight forever rides in vain,
And he smiles, but not as Sultans smile, and settles back the blade….
(But Don John of Austria rides home from the Crusade.)
G. K. Chesterton

One of my favorite poems of all time.

A masterpiece.