Tag Archives: Fraud

Is Kepler-452b an Earth-like planet? Does it support life?

Apologetics and the progress of science
Apologetics and the progress of science

Previously, I blogged about a few of the minimum requirements that a planet must satisfy in order to support complex life.

Here they are:

  • a solar system with a single massive Sun than can serve as a long-lived, stable source of energy
  • a terrestrial planet (non-gaseous)
  • the planet must be the right distance from the sun in order to preserve liquid water at the surface – if it’s too close, the water is burnt off in a runaway greenhouse effect, if it’s too far, the water is permanently frozen in a runaway glaciation
  • the planet has to be far enough from the star to avoid tidal locking and solar flares
  • the solar system must be placed at the right place in the galaxy – not too near dangerous radiation, but close enough to other stars to be able to absorb heavy elements after neighboring stars die
  • a moon of sufficient mass to stabilize the tilt of the planet’s rotation
  • plate tectonics
  • an oxygen-rich atmosphere
  • a sweeper planet to deflect comets, etc.
  • planetary neighbors must have non-eccentric orbits
  • planet mass must be enough to retain an atmosphere, but not so massive to cause a greenhouse effect

Now what happens if we disregard all of those characteristics, and just classify an Earth-like planet as one which is the same size and receives the same amount of radiation from its star? Well, then you end up labeling a whole bunch of planets as “Earth-like” that really don’t permit life.

Here’s an article from The Conversation which talks about a recent case of science fiction trumping science facts. (H/T JoeCoder)

Excerpt:

NASA’s announcement of the discovery of a new extrasolar planet has been met with a lot of excitement. But the truth is that it is impossible to judge whether it is similar to Earth with the few parameters we have – it might just as well resemble Venus, or something entirely different.

The planet, Kepler-452b, was detected by the Kepler telescope, which looks for small dips in a star’s brightness as planets pass across its surface. It is a method that measures the planet’s size, but not its mass. Conditions on Kepler-452b are therefore entirely estimated from just two data points: the planet’s size and the radiation it receives from its star.

Size and radiation from its star? That’s all?

More:

Kepler-452b was found to be 60% larger than the Earth. It orbits a sun-like star once every 384.84 days. As a result, the planet receives a similar amount of radiation as we do from the sun; just 10% higher. This puts the Kepler-452b in the so-called “habitable zone”; a term that sounds excitingly promising for life, but is actually misleading.

The habitable zone is the region around a star where liquid water could exist on a suitable planet’s surface. The key word is “suitable”. A gas-planet like Neptune in the habitable zone would clearly not host oceans since it has no surface. The habitable zone is best considered as a way of narrowing down candidates for investigation in future missions.

What about plate tectonics – does it have that?

Kepler-452b’s radius puts it on the brink of the divide between a rocky planet and a small Neptune. In the research paper that announced the discovery, the authors put the probability of the planet having a rocky surface about 50%-60%, so it is by no means sure.

Rocky planets like the Earth are made from iron, silicon, magnesium and carbon. While these ingredients are expected to be similar in other planetary systems, their relative quantities may be quite different. Variations would produce alternative planet interiors with a completely different geology.

For example, a planet made mostly out of carbon could have mantles made of diamond, meaning they would not move easily. This would bring plate tectonics to a screeching halt. Similarly, magnesium-rich planets may have thick crusts that are resilient to fractures. Both results would limit volcano activity that is thought to be essential for sustaining a long lasting atmosphere.

What about retaining the right kind of atmosphere, which depends on the mass of the planet. Does it have that?

If Kepler-452b nevertheless has a similar composition to Earth, we run into another problem: gravity. Based on an Earth-like density, Kepler-452b would be five times more massive than our planet.

This would correspond to a stronger gravitational pull, capable of drawing in a thick atmosphere to create a potential runaway greenhouse effect, which means that the planet’s temperature continues to climb. This could be especially problematic as the increasing energy from its ageing sun is likely to be heating up the surface. Any water present on the planet’s surface would then boil away, leaving a super-Venus, rather than a super-Earth.

You might remember that “retain atmosphere” requirement from the lecture by Walter Bradley that I posted with a summary a few days ago.

What about having a Jupiter-sized sweeper planet – does it have that?

Another problem is that Kepler-452b is alone. As far as we know, there are no other planets in the same system. This is an issue because it was most likely our giant gas planets that helped direct water to Earth.

At our position from the sun, the dust grains that came together to form the Earth were too warm to contain ice. Instead, they produced a dry planet that later had its water most likely delivered by icy meteorites. These frozen seas formed in the colder outer solar system and were kicked towards Earth by Jupiter’s huge gravitational tug. No Jupiter analogue for Kepler-452b might mean no water and therefore, no recognisable life.

What about having a magnetic field – does it have that?

All these possibilities mean that even a planet exactly the same size as Earth, orbiting a star identical to our sun on an orbit that takes exactly one year might still be an utterly alien world. Conditions on a planet’s surface are dictated by a myriad of factors – including atmosphere, magnetic fields and planet interactions, which we currently have no way of measuring.

You know, after the whole global warming hoax, you would think that NASA would have learned their lesson about sensationalizing wild-assed guesses in order to scare up more research money from gullible taxpayers who watch too much Star Trek and Star Wars.

The best answer to this is for parents to make sure that their kids are learning the facts about astrobiology from books like “The Privileged Planet” and “Rare Earth”, where the full list of requirements for a life-supporting planet will be found. Pity that we can’t rely on taxpayer-funded public schools to do that for us, because they are too busy pushing Planned Parenthood’s sex education curriculum and global warming fears, instead of real science and engineering.

Director of OPM was focused on promoting gay agenda, not national security

Katherine Archuleta, Director of OPM Diversity
Katherine Archuleta, Director of OPM Diversity

Are Democrats capable of taking national security and foreign policy seriously?

Well, consider the recent hack of Office of Personnel Management records by Chinese hackers.

The radically leftist New York Times reports on the extent of the hack:

The Obama administration on Thursday revealed that 21.5 million people were swept up in a colossal breach of government computer systems that was far more damaging than initially thought, resulting in the theft of a vast trove of personal information, including Social Security numbers and some fingerprints.

Every person given a government background check for the last 15 years was probably affected…

The agency said hackers stole “sensitive information,” including addresses, health and financial history, and other private details, from 19.7 million people who had been subjected to a government background check, as well as 1.8 million others, including their spouses and friends.

[…]The breaches constitute what is apparently the largest cyberattack into the systems of the United States government, providing a frightening glimpse of the technological vulnerabilities of federal agencies that handle sensitive information.

Has any Democrat being fired for this catastrophic failure?

No:

In a conference call to detail the grim findings and announce the agency’s response, Katherine Archuleta, the director of the Office of Personnel Management, said that she would not resign despite calls from members of Congress in both parties for her dismissal.

“I am committed to the work that I am doing at O.P.M.,” she said. “We are working very hard, not only at O.P.M. but across government, to ensure the cybersecurity of all our systems, and I will continue to do so.”

Let’s read about Katherine Archuleta to see why Obama chose her to run OPM:

This morning, Katherine Archuleta was sworn-in as the 10th Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and will serve as the Federal government’s personnel chief. She will be the first Latina to hold this position. Katherine shares President Obama’s vision for diversity and inclusion in the federal workforce…

[…]OPM has recognized and acknowledged the underrepresentation of Hispanics in the federal work force, and the potential and talent they have to offer.  OPM has made it a point to expand outreach and recruitment within the Hispanic community…

[…]Katherine also worked as the National Political Director for President Obama’s reelection campaign…

[…]Katherine served as the Executive Director of the National Hispanic Cultural Center Foundation…

So, her main qualification for the job of safeguarding government personnel records from hackers seems to be that she helped Obama get re-elected by reaching out to Hispanic voters.

And in fact this new story in The Weekly Standard shows that diversity was her focus at the OPM.

Excerpt:

The day before the Office of Personnel Management first announced a massive data breach of personal information, now former OPM director Katherine Archuleta’s attention was focused elsewhere. Archuleta published a blog post on June 3 entitled “Celebrating Every Member of Our Federal Family” in recognition of “LGBT Pride Month.” The White House reposted Archuleta’s article the same day.

In her post, Archuleta announced the release of an updated guide called “Addressing Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination in Federal Civilian Employment: A Guide to Employment Rights, Protections, and Responsibilities.”

As we celebrate LGBT Pride Month, I want to proudly reinforce my continued commitment to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender members of our federal family, and recognize the incredible contributions this community has made in service to the American people…

That’s why I’m so excited to announce that the Office of Personnel Management is joining our partners at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Merit System Protections Board, and the Office of Special Counsel to release an updated guide titled “Addressing Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination in Federal Civilian Employment: A Guide to Employment Rights, Protections, and Responsibilities.” This informative resource will help LGBT federal employees make more informed choices about how best to pursue their individual claims when they believe they have suffered from discrimination.

On the OPM website, the agency has seven “top priorities” listed. The first two are “Honoring the Workforce” and “Build a More Diverse and Engaged Workforce”.

Obama didn’t hire this woman because she had any qualifications related to the job. He hired her because she was a radical leftist who helped him get re-elected. And when she was appointed, she focused on what she was good at – pushing a leftist ideological agenda instead of doing her job. And we taxpayers had to pay her to do that.

And finally, as if all that were not bad enough, during the 2012 election campaign, she mocked Mitt Romney for his concerns about national security on Twitter.

We have had FOUR catastrophic security breaches under this government: Snowden, Bradley Manning, Hillary’s unsecure e-mail server, and this China hack. Is that by accident? Or is there something about being feelings-obsessed that makes it harder to take threats from our enemies seriously?

Woman fakes cancer for late-term abortion money, baby died after being born alive

Chalice Renee Zeitner
Chalice Renee Zeitner

Here’s the story from ABC Local News.

It says:

A convicted con artist duped the state into paying for her late-term abortion, a procedure which otherwise would not have been funded with public money, according to court records.

Chalice Renee Zeitner made up a story about having cancer in order to qualify for an abortion while on Arizona’s Medicaid insurance, and forged a doctor’s note to support her claim, according to charging documents.

A doctor performed the abortion when Zeitner was 22-weeks pregnant.

Arizona’s Medicaid, known as AHCCCS, will only pay for an abortion in cases of rape or incest or “medical necessity,” which include cases where the pregnancy causes or worsens a serious health risk to the mother.

Zeitner, 29, received “what was thought to be a medically necessary late-term abortion,” court documents state.

“Zeitner claimed she had stage IV sarcoma in her abdomen and lower spine, had received chemotherapy and radiation treatments and was scheduled to receive a life-saving surgery in Boston,” documents state.

That was later determined to be a fraud, according to documents.

Zeitner had produced a one-page letter, purportedly from a Massachusetts doctor, that supported her claims, documents state.

The abortion was performed in 2010.

But one year later, it was another pregnancy that led to the discovery of Zeitner’s alleged scam.

She returned to the same doctor who performed the abortion to deliver a full-term child by cesarean section.  During that birth, the doctor found no signs of cancer, documents state.

That led to a check with the Boston doctor, which revealed that “he did not know Zeitner and had never treated her,” so the cancer letter from him was a fraud, documents state.

Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s office on Tuesday charged Zeitner with felonies including fraud, theft, and forgery. She has a history of skipping town when she gets into trouble with the law, according to court documents. While a warrant was issued Wednesday, records do not yet indicate that she has been arrested.

Zeitner’s aborted child was born alive, weighing just more than one pound, documents state.

“The baby lived for approximately 20 minutes and received no life-saving measure by hospital staff,” according to documents.

[…]Zeitner has a previous forgery-related conviction in Maricopa County, documents state.

She could not be reached for comment.

Now, if you ask a typical Democrat, they will say that this woman did nothing wrong from start to finish, and that the real solution is for pro-life taxpayers to pony up the money for her late-term abortion. The Democrat position on abortion is that it should be allowed through all nine months of pregnancy, that it should be taxpayer-funded, that doctors and nurses should have to assist without objection, and that babies who are born-alive should be left to die. Our current President, Barack Obama, voted for that last one multiple times when he was a state senator in Illinois.

I sent this story to a Christian woman friend who is strongly feminist and very anti-male. She told me that although she personally opposes abortion, that the law should allow this woman to choose to kill her baby. I was not surprised by this, because whenever I tell her stories about women making horrible decisions, she always either blames men, or gives a counter-example of where someone else made the same stupid decision and it worked out for them. I think that’s what scares me the most about the abortion issue. How many apparently nice people are so convinced that whatever a woman wants to do must be OK.

I can imagine Zeitner posting news of her late-term, born alive abortion and having all her friends click like on it. Yay, Chalice! You didn’t do anything wrong. After all, the baby is dead and gone now, and the mother still alive, and we want her to like us. Why rock the boat by telling her that she did anything wrong? A dental hygienist our family knows has had 3 children out of wedlock, and each time she changes boyfriends, she posts a picture of herself with the new boyfriend on Facebook, and all her friends click like on the picture. What could be wrong with changing boyfriends every year when you have 3 young children to take care of? I think the same cheering on of bad decisions must have happened many times with Zeitner – people around her refusing to set boundaries on her long before she started killing her own babies. It’s easy for a woman to surround herself with people who just approve of everything she is doing – especially when she is young and attractive. Anyone who cautions her can just be blocked out. And the guaranteed failures that result from following her heart can just be declared “unexpected” by her carefully picked entourage of supporters. Life is so unpredictable, so she is not responsible.

Before Zeitner’s abortion decisions ever materialized, there were a million bad decisions that Zeitner made in order to find herself facing the choice to abort. She was acting on selfish motives – she wanted to have fun. So she broke moral rules more and more, and pushed away anyone who would judge her. All her friends and family standing around said nothing or even approved of her, because they were afraid to tell her “this will not work” or “this is wrong”. She had to have an exciting life, and hang out with exciting men. It’s the failure to draw the line with women beforehand that causes them to get to a place where a baby has to die. But we want so much to be her friend. And to be liked. Maybe to get attention from her, or affection from her, or even sex with her. Judging her seems so… intolerant and mean. We don’t want to be mean, do we? The Christian version of this is even more insidious, where the woman’s feelings are “God’s mysterious will for her life” and cannot be questioned or assessed rationally. It all ends the same, though.

Mitt Romney: Hillary’s Clinton Foundation Uranium One scandal “looks like bribery”

What looks like bribery? Well, read this story from the radically leftist New York Times, of all places. It should be the end of Hillary’s campaign.

Excerpt:

The headline in the website Pravda trumpeted President Vladimir V. Putin’s latest coup, its nationalistic fervor recalling an era when its precursor served as the official mouthpiece of the Kremlin: “Russian Nuclear Energy Conquers the World.”

The article, in January 2013, detailed how the Russian atomic energy agency, Rosatom, had taken over a Canadian company with uranium-mining stakes stretching from Central Asia to the American West. The deal made Rosatom one of the world’s largest uranium producers and brought Mr. Putin closer to his goal of controlling much of the global uranium supply chain.

But the untold story behind that story is one that involves not just the Russian president, but also a former American president and a woman who would like to be the next one.

At the heart of the tale are several men, leaders of the Canadian mining industry, who have been major donors to the charitable endeavors of former President Bill Clinton and his family. Members of that group built, financed and eventually sold off to the Russians a company that would become known as Uranium One.

Beyond mines in Kazakhstan that are among the most lucrative in the world, the sale gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States. Since uranium is considered a strategic asset, with implications for national security, the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of United States government agencies. Among the agencies that eventually signed off was the State Department, then headed by Mr. Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.

And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.

At the time, both Rosatom and the United States government made promises intended to ease concerns about ceding control of the company’s assets to the Russians. Those promises have been repeatedly broken, records show.

[…]The path to a Russian acquisition of American uranium deposits began in 2005 in Kazakhstan, where the Canadian mining financier Frank Giustra orchestrated his first big uranium deal, with Mr. Clinton at his side.

The two men had flown aboard Mr. Giustra’s private jet to Almaty, Kazakhstan, where they dined with the authoritarian president, Nursultan A. Nazarbayev. Mr. Clinton handed the Kazakh president a propaganda coup when he expressed support for Mr. Nazarbayev’s bid to head an international elections monitoring group, undercutting American foreign policy and criticism of Kazakhstan’s poor human rights record by, among others, his wife, then a senator.

Within days of the visit, Mr. Giustra’s fledgling company, UrAsia Energy Ltd., signed a preliminary deal giving it stakes in three uranium mines controlled by the state-run uranium agency Kazatomprom.

[…][T]he company’s story was hardly front-page news in the United States — until early 2008, in the midst of Mrs. Clinton’s failed presidential campaign, when The Times published an article revealing the 2005 trip’s link to Mr. Giustra’s Kazakhstan mining deal. It also reported that several months later, Mr. Giustra had donated $31.3 million to Mr. Clinton’s foundation.

[…][T]he ultimate authority to approve or reject the Russian acquisition rested with the cabinet officials on the foreign investment committee, including Mrs. Clinton — whose husband was collecting millions of dollars in donations from people associated with Uranium One.

Romney, in his interview with Hugh Hewitt, explained that because Bill and Hillary are married, their assets are co-mingled.

So what’s the problem with this deal?

The national security issue at stake in the Uranium One deal was not primarily about nuclear weapons proliferation; the United States and Russia had for years cooperated on that front, with Russia sending enriched fuel from decommissioned warheads to be used in American nuclear power plants in return for raw uranium. Instead, it concerned American dependence on foreign uranium sources. While the United States gets one-fifth of its electrical power from nuclear plants, it produces only around 20 percent of the uranium it needs, and most plants have only 18 to 36 months of reserves, according to Marin Katusa, author of “The Colder War: How the Global Energy Trade Slipped From America’s Grasp.”

“The Russians are easily winning the uranium war, and nobody’s talking about it,” said Mr. Katusa, who explores the implications of the Uranium One deal in his book. “It’s not just a domestic issue but a foreign policy issue, too.”

It’s a national security issue. We shouldn’t be selling uranium companies to countries like Russia who not only invade their neighbors, but also sell long-range missiles to Iran – and a host of other nasty things, too. This country is not friendly to us.

Hillary Clinton: secretive, entitled, hypoctritical
Hillary Clinton: secretive, entitled, hypoctritical

What was Hillary’s response? It’s a distraction invented by the vast right-wing conspiracy:

That’s some vast right-wing conspiracy that makes its way onto the nation’s most respected leftist national newspaper.

So, does this explain why Hillary Clinton deleted tens of thousands of e-mails and then wiped her private e-mail server clean? We’ll never know, because she destroyed all the evidence. But one thing is for sure – there is no reason to vote for this candidate for President, although some people will:

That’s the only “reason” that people will vote for her, because on the merits, she’s a stinker.

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Did your science textbook teach that embryo drawings prove evolution?

Haeckel's embryos and scientific fraud
Haeckel’s embryos and scientific fraud

Jonathan Wells, a biologist with Ph.Ds from Yale and UC Berkeley, writes about one example of fake evidence here:

Charles Darwin thought that “by far the strongest” evidence that humans and fish are descended from a common ancestor was the striking similarity of their early embryos. According to Darwin, the fact that “the embryos of the most distinct species belonging to the same class are closely similar, but become, when fully developed, widely dissimilar… reveals community of descent.” 2 To illustrate this, German Darwinist Ernst Haeckel made some drawings in the 1860s to show that the embryos of vertebrates (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals) look almost identical in their earliest stages.

But Haeckel faked his drawings. Not only do they distort vertebrate embryos by making them appear more similar than they really are (in a way that Stephen Jay Gould wrote “can only be called fraudulent” 3), but they also omit classes and stages that do not fit Darwin’s theory. Most significantly, Haeckel omitted the earliest stages, in which vertebrate embryos are strikingly different from each other. The stage he portrayed as the first is actually midway through development. Yet according to Darwin’s logic, early dis-similarities do not provide evidence for common ancestry.

Haeckel used his faked drawings to support not only Darwinian evolution, but also his own “Biogenetic Law,” which stated that embryos pass through the adult stages of their ancestors in the process of development.

…Haeckel’s drawings were exposed as fakes by his own contemporaries, and his Biogenetic Law was thoroughly discredited by 20th century biologists. It is now generally acknowledged that early embryos never resemble the adults of their supposed ancestors. A modern version of recapitulation claims that early embryos resemble the embryos of their ancestors, but since fossil embryos are extremely rare, this claim is little more than speculation based on the assumption that Darwin’s theory is true.

Now the standard response from Darwinists: no textbooks are still using the fraudulent embryo images.

You can see the actual faked pictures from the modern textbooks here. These textbooks were being produced as late as 2004, even though the fraud was detected in the 1800s! Is this the vaunted self-correction of science, or science being twisted to support social and political goals?

And this excerpt from that article is interesting:

Some Darwinists continue to deny that there has been any misuse of Haeckel in recent times. If that is the case, why did Stephen Jay Gould attack how textbooks use Haeckel in 2000? Gould wrote: “We should… not be surprised that Haeckel’s drawings entered nineteenth-century textbooks. But we do, I think, have the right to be both astonished and ashamed by the century of mindless recycling that has led to the persistence of these drawings in a large number, if not a majority, of modern textbooks!” (emphasis added) Similarly, in 1997, the leading embryologist Michael K. Richardson lamented in the journal Anatomy and Embyology that “Another point to emerge from this study is the considerable inaccuracy of Haeckel’s famous figures. These drawings are still widely reproduced in textbooks and review articles, and continue to exert a significant influence on the development of ideas in this field.” (emphases added)

Here is a link to the peer-reviewed journal Science, where there is an article talking about the fraudulent embryo drawings. Yes – the drawings really are fraudulent.

And finally, Casey Luskin has a new post up at Evolution News that lists all the textbooks that contain the fraudulent drawings. One is dated 2013! The drawings just keep getting recycled over and over as a “proof” of evolution.