Fisking Conservapedia: Biblical Scientific Foreknowledge

JISHOU, HUNAN — I began my commentary on Conservapedia’s ludicrous entry on E=mc2 by fisking its opening paragraph. Beginning with the false premise that the equation “purports to relate all matter to light,” the entry then introduces the principle of “Biblical Scientific Foreknowledge” and how BSF makes it clear that any unification theory is doomed to fail. As I explained in the last post, E=mc2 does not purport to relate all matter to light — in fact, light does come from matter — but it suggests that matter and energy are essentially the same thing. The author of the Conservapedia entry, Andy Schlafly, clearly does not understand this basic fact of physics. I’m not sure he really understands Scriptural analysis, either, as we shall see. Paragraph 2 of the E=mc2 entry goes like this: Biblical Scientific Foreknowledge predicts that a unified theory of all the laws of physics is impossible, because light and matter were created at different times, in different ways, as described in the Book of Genesis. Before I analyze this statement, which incidentally is offered with no further explanation, I need to introduce some terms. Cherry picking: selecting only that evidence which apparently supports one’s argument, while ...

The Bible burning that wasn’t

JISHOU, HUNAN — Remember that ultra-conservative Baptist church in North Carolina that was going to burn Satan’s bibles — every kind except the 1611 King James Version? It didn’t happen. The church’s pastor, Marc Grizzard, had planned a fried chicken dinner to accompany the fiery celebration on Halloween night, but Mother Nature rained on his parade, as it were. Then, the local John Law informed Pastor Grizzard that state laws prohibit burning paper outdoors. Oh, and there were protesters, too. So, the worshipers of the KJV took their party inside their meeting hall. No Bible bonfire. I know you are all disappointed. Grizzard isn’t. His comments about the rainout are positively upbeat. And still crazy.

Book burning in N. Carolina — bring one o’ them new-fangled Bibles 3

JISHOU, HUNAN — Only in America: a church in North Carolina will hold a book-burning party on Hallowe’en night to immolate “Satan’s Bibles.” Not the books used by Satanists. No indeed, though I reckon you can bring them along. The Amazing Grace Baptist Church intends to toast such “perversions of God’s word” as NIV, RSV, NKJV, TLB, NASB, NEV, NRSV, ASV, NWT, Good News for Modern Man, The Evidence Bible, The Message Bible, The Green Bible, ect. These are perversions of God’s Word the King James Bible. For good measure, the church near Waynesville, NC, also plans to add “Satan’s music” to the pyre. such as country , rap , rock , pop, heavy metal, western, soft and easy, southern gospel , contemporary Christian , jazz, soul, oldies but goldies, etc. and non-Bible books, too : We will also be burning Satan’s popular books written by heretics like Westcott & Hort , Bruce Metzger, Billy Graham , Rick Warren , Bill Hybels , John McArthur, James Dobson, Charles Swindoll , John Piper, Chuck Colson, Tony Evans, Oral Roberts, Jimmy Swagart, Mark Driskol, Franklin Graham , Bill Bright, Tim Lahaye, Paula White, T.D. Jakes, Benny Hinn , Joyce Myers, Brian McLaren, ...

Two can play at this game 3

JISHOU, HUNAN — I figure if Andy Schlafly, the perpetrator of Conservapedia’s Conservative Bible Project, can rewrite the King James Bible, so can I. Here’s my rendition of Mark, Chapter 1. (Please observe my copyright. Thank you.) THE GOSPEL OF MARK (draft #1,216,593A) Chapter One 1. This is the beginning of the gospel of Jesus, as written by Mark, who believes Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. 2. The prophets wrote, “Behold, I will send my messenger to scope things out for you, to lay the groundwork, as it were. 3. “Someone will be crying in the wilderness, ‘Make way for the Lord, because he’s coming through! (No autographs, please!)'” 4. John the Baptist got his name because he dunked people in the river, saying baptism signified repentence for one’s sins. 5. He had quite a following all over Judea, and even among city folk from Jerusalem, who all came to be dunked in the Jordan River and to confess their sins. 6. John was a back-to-lander kind of fellow, dressing in clothes made of camel’s hair and wearing a leather loincloth; he also ate only locusts and wild honey. 7. He was overly humble, too. He said, ...

Monkeys rewrite the King James Bible

CHONGQING — Well, not literally, but pretty close. Via DailyKos, I learned today that Conservapedia (the Bizarro version of Wikipedia) intends to take the King James Bible and rewrite it into plain modern English, making sure the new version has no “liberal bias.” The Conservative Bible will be a wiki, so it will be a group project, rather like giving a large group of monkeys enough time and equipment to recreate the works of William Shakespeare. The rationale and methodology of this ill-conceived project piece of crap are so wrong on so many levels that’s it’s hard to know where to begin. The King James Version (1611) was an English translation from the Hebrew, Latin and Greek texts then available, done entirely by members of the Church of England. It became the “standard Bible” among English-speaking Protestants, largely because of its poetic language and of the breadth of the British Empire. Conservapedia’s head simians plan to retranslate the English in the KJV translation, which is a lot like playing “Telephone” with the Scriptures. Dumb, dumb, dumb. There’s nothing wrong with retranslating the Bible. It’s been done dozens of times already. But the new versions start from the original texts, not ...

Proselytizing teachers need to stuff it

JISHOU, HUNAN — Public school teachers — in fact most teachers — should just shut up about their religious preferences. Proselytizing is an abuse of their “bully pulpit.” The Panda’s Thumb has two articles this week demonstrating the misuse of teacherly authority. One is an update on the ever-continuing John Freshwater saga; the other a report on one teacher’s attempt to haul students to the Creation Museum in Kentucky. Freshwater is a seventh-grade science teacher in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, who has paraded his particular brand of Christianity — and anti-evolution propaganda — in front of his students for several years. His superiors looked the other way until Freshwater used a Tesla coil to burn a cross shape on the arm of a student. The student and his parents cried foul, and the parties involved are now in a legal thicket. Freshwater has been the subject of hours of administrative hearings regarding his continued employment. The boy and his family have filed a civil liberties suit against Freshwater and the school system. Freshwater himself has filed his own civil liberties suit against his employers, and another civil suit against the family, alleging they have slandered him. During the administrative hearings, witnesses ...

Teh Bibul 1

The LOLcats craze pretty much passed me by. LOLcats are cute, sometimes funny, but they get on my nerves after awhile. Other folks have a lot more patience than I have. Volunteers are translating the Bible into LOLcat-speak. And I have to admit, it’s pretty funny in parts — the translation, I mean. Here’s an excerpt. Adam an Eve (bad kittehs) meet teh snake. GENESIS 3: Bad Kittehs 1 Nao teh snakez wuz mor shneakay than any beest ov teh field which Ceiling Cat had made. An he meowed unto teh woah man kitteh, liek I herd that Ceiling Cat said, u shall not eated frum any tree ov teh garden? Even dem trees on dat plate? 2 An teh woman said unto teh snakez, i can haz froot ov teh garden!3 but ov teh fruit ov teh tree which iz in teh midel ov teh garden, Ceiling Cat sez, dun eatz it cuz if u eatz it he mek u ded. 4 An teh snakez sed unto teh womenz, he no mek u ded:5 4 Ceiling Cat noes dat, teh dai u eat dat froot, den u gon b able to c, An u be liek Ceiling Cat, knowin ...

Sorry, girls. The Bible says you can’t play football

The Bible apparently has injunctions about women playing football. Kacy Stuart, 14, plays for the New Creation Center Crusaders outside Atlanta, Georgia. Initially, league officials had denied her permission to play, but then relented. Her team’s first opponent after her reinstatement were the East Atlanta Mustangs. The Mustangs played the Crusaders, but under protest, because Stuart was on the team. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: The first team Kacy faced relied on the Bible to express its beliefs about female football players in a pre-game statement, said New Creation athletic director Coach Ken Townley. “The East Atlanta Mustangs didn’t play us under protest but they were allowed to read a statement on their beliefs about female football players,” Townley said. “They used biblical verses from the book of Romans. I was very stunned by that.” The Mustangs coach offered no explanation to the AJC reporter, perhaps because the Crusaders whupped his team’s ass, 39-8, with Stuart doing all the kicking. The teams comprise private-school and homeschooled students, which I take to mean Christian students, given the location. So, using Scripture to justify just about any wacko idea should not come as a surprise. During my own study of the Bible, ...

Mid-Ohio science teacher to lose job — finally 1

John Freshwater will burn crosses on students’ arms no more (see picture released by school officials to the AP, at right), at least in Mount Vernon, Ohio. He has been sacked. On Friday, the Mount Vernon school board reviewed a 15-page investigative report on Freshwater’s actions in the classroom, and voted to dismiss the science teacher of 21 years. Freshwater had been accused, among other things, of using a Tesla coil to burn a cross in a student’s arm, proselytizing students, teaching creationism contrary to school policy, and refusing to remove a Bible from his desk. He and school officials still face legal action. The family of the student whose arm was burned filed a civil complaint in US District Court in Columbus last week, naming Freshwater and school officials as defendants. The law suit alleges Freshwater’s religious activities in the classroom violated the civil rights of the student, known only as John Doe. The complaint also alleges school officials failed to reprimand Freshwater sufficiently after the arm-burning incident, and permitted him to proselytize students in class in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Freshwater, a fundamentalist Christian by all appearances, became a poster child for the ...

Religious “minutemen” pressure mid-Ohio school board

Meanwhile, in Mount Vernon, Ohio, a group calling itself the “Minutemen” is pushing the local school board to explain why a 7th grade science teacher cannot keep a Bible on his desk, or it will “recall” school board members. School officials say the matter is still under consideration. The teacher in question is John Freshwater, a popular but controversial teacher, who has refused his superiors’ demands that he remove his Bible from students’ view. Freshwater is also under investigation for allegedly burning a cross on a student’s arm, for disseminating religious literature during class, and for proselytizing students. The Minutemen are undoubtedly affiliated with another Christian nutcase up there, “Coach” Dave Daubenmire, who quickly came to Freshwater’s support after the Bible incident. Daubenmire supports a rightwing Christian group, the Minutemen Unlimited. In a letter to school officials, the Mount Vernon Minutemen say they will replace the school board if the school system does not announce its supports the Bible. “Although we do not want this to be taken as a threat, we feel it is only right that we inform you that if a public statement is not made in support of the Bible by June 10 we will have ...

Know-nothingness at a mid-Ohio middle school

Sometimes you’ve got to wonder if any Christianists have any critical thinking abilities. Well, nevermind, I know the answer to the question already, but here’s yet more evidence that fundies “just don’t get it.” The scene is Mount Vernon (Ohio) Middle School, where seventh-grade science teacher and Christianist John Freshwater stands accused of, among other things, proselytizing his students, burning a cross in a student’s skin, and teaching creationism against district policies. His district is investigating the charges. It seems that some students (and parents, I’ll betcha) assume that if you’re not for Freshwater, you’re not a Christian. Or worse yet, if you’re not Christian, you can’t support him. Witness these quotes from the local newspaper: Several comments from students and parents indicate that acceptance and religious tolerance is a one-way street for many concerned. Beth Murdoch, whose daughter attends the middle school, is one of the parents who has expressed concerns about the sometimes hostile environment at the middle school. “You’re either for Mr. Freshwater or you’re against Mr. Freshwater. There’s no in between,” Murdoch said. “In the kids’ minds, I think, it is just the Bible issue. And who is going to go against the Bible? Nobody. But ...

Ohio science teacher had religious agenda, colleague says

Mount Vernon teacher John Freshwater is in hot water because he teaches religion a little bit too much in his eighth grade science classes. A former colleague says his superiors knew of Freshwater’s religious agenda, but have done little about it until recently. Freshwater first hit the news several days ago when school officials told him to remove his Bible from clear view of his students. The teacher refused, prompting both a student rally supporting him and an advisory notice from the American Civil Liberties Union supporting school administrators. The religious Right seized the controversy as another attack on religion. Then other details about Freshwater’s classroom behavior came to light. He keeps a stack of Bibles in his room to loan out to students. He passes out pro-creationist literature to counter scientific explanations of the Big Bang and evolution. He allegedly burned a cross on at least one student’s arm as part of a demonstration of electricity. He taught his classes the meaning of Good Friday and Easter. Freshwater has had a religious agenda for some time. Quoting a former colleague, Retired middle school science teacher Jeff George, the Mount Vernon News reported yesterday: George said there may be substance ...
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