Is the presupposition of naturalism a science stopper?

UPDATE: Welcome readers from 4Simpsons! Thanks for the link Neil!

In cosmology, we had to wait decades for the theism-friendly big bang theory to beat out atheism-friendly theories like the eternal universe model, the steady-state model, the oscillating model, etc. Piles of taxpayer money wasted trying to prove atheistic flights of fancy. But in the end, the evidence for the big bang was too much for the atheistic theories, and we beat them out.

Junk DNA

And here is another example of how atheism is bad for scientific inquiry: “Junk DNA”.

The purpose of the genome is to contain the instructions that allow the cell to build functional sequences of smaller components. If the sequences are done right, you get a folded-up protein that can be used for all kinds of things.

But what those parts of the genome that don’t code for proteins? Well, atheists have been calling them “Junk DNA” and hailing it as proof that there is no designer to life. I can remember Christian groups like Reasons to Believe predicting that a purpose for “Junk DNA” would be found. But atheists pooh-pooh’d that idea. Gee, I wonder who was right? The same people who are always right: THEISTS.

Denyse O’Leary cites this Princeton University press release on Post-Darwinist:

Now researchers from Princeton University and Indiana University who have been studying the genome of a pond organism have found that junk DNA may not be so junky after all. They have discovered that DNA sequences from regions of what had been viewed as the “dispensable genome” are actually performing functions that are central for the organism. They have concluded that the genes spur an almost acrobatic rearrangement of the entire genome that is necessary for the organism to grow.

…The term “junk DNA” was originally coined to refer to a region of DNA that contained no genetic information. Scientists are beginning to find, however, that much of this so-called junk plays important roles in the regulation of gene activity. No one yet knows how extensive that role may be.

She’s got a stack of other related links at the bottom of the post.

Commenter ECM also sent me this story from Cornelius Hunter’s new blog.

Excerpt:

One problem with evolution is its strong bias toward viewing everything in biology as a kludge. When a newly discovered structure is examined, evolutionists take one look and conclude it is leftover junk. After all, blind, unguided mutations and other processes just happened to produce everything we see. The evolutionist’s going in position is that biology is a fluke. We’re lucky anything works.

Hunter then cites this passage from some naturalist researchers who study “junk DNA”:

Here we have a molecule that serves an important role in how cells function and survive, but it contains these puzzling ‘junk’ sequences that don’t seem to have any apparent purpose. Our work suggests that this disorder is really a way of creating flexibility, allowing the protein to function as a molecular switch, a process that is thought to go wrong in certain diseases.

Evolution has provided researchers with convenient modular structures, areas that are repeated over and over again to make up proteins, and so we tend to dismiss the interspersed disordered sequences that don’t seem to have any definable structure. Here we show that the weak molecular interactions in a disorganized protein sequence are essential in giving this protein its unique attributes.

Know what? If you substitute “Flying Spaghetti Monster” in there for “Evolution”, it makes just as much sense! Try it! Evolution causes toothpaste to come out of the toothpaste tube when you squeeze it, and Shakespearean rhyming couplets to rhyme, and my Java code to compile. It’s all evolution!

Conclusion

Atheists, always remember this quote from agnostic NASA astronomer Robert Jastrow, regarding the progress of science:

For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.

In the 1920s, there was no theory about a universe that begins to exist out of nothing, no fine-tuning, no DNA, no Cambrian explosion, nothing. Then science progressed, reducing atheism to a kind of childish delusion, still believed by ignorant snake-handlers and people with certain persistent moral, … ah… issues. But that’s what psychiatrists are for!

Science is always for us, it’s never for you. You have faith. Blind faith. We have all the evidence. We invented science, and every new discovery makes your materialism look more silly and naive… you bravely hold out hope for some hopeful Flying Spaghetti Monster to swoop in and rescue your atheism from the big, bad mind-independent reality. When will you grow up?

There is no Flying Spaghetti Monster!

UK: Most teenage pregnancies end in abortion

Startling news from the other side of the pond.

Story here. (H/T My friend Andrew, who has an amazing marriage to Jen)

Excerpt:

Most pregnancies among girls under 18 ended in abortion last year.

Out of around 40,000 pregnancies more than 20,000 were terminated – the first time more had chosen this option than become mothers.

The figure is higher than 2007, when it just hit 50 per cent, and consistent with a steady upwards trend since the Government started its controversial Teenage Pregnancy Strategy in 1999.

Figures out on May 21 will also show that for the first time the number of abortions performed on women living in England and Wales topped 200,000.

The teenage pregnancy strategy, which has cost taxpayers more than £300million, was meant to halve the number of conceptions among girls under 18 in England between 1998 and 2010.

Ministers have tried to slash teenage pregnancies by freely handing out contraceptives and expanding sex education.

But the fall in pregnancy rates has not met Government targets, and in 2007 the rate actually rose.

Teenage pregnancy rates are now higher than they were in 1995. Pregnancies among girls under 16 – below the age of consent – are also at the highest level since 1998.

And:

Phyllis Bowman, of the Right to Life group, said: ‘Contraception campaigners and clinics depend for their living on providing contraception and abortion to underage girls.

‘The Government listens to them, but they are responsible for this disaster.

‘We have the highest level of sexually transmitted disease in Europe and the highest level of sexual activity among teenagers in Europe.

‘Unicef says we have the unhappiest teenagers in Europe.

‘The young have been deliberately sexualised in a culture which sneers at the idea of telling teenagers they should not have sex.’

“When you tax something you get less of it, and when you reward something you get more of it.” – Jack Kemp

I have an idea. Let’s find a special group of people. They must believe that the entire physical universe popped into being, fine-tuned for life, uncaused, out of absolute nothing. They must believe that the massive amount of DNA code in each cell sequenced itself, by chance. They must believe that morality and human rights are illusory. And that the purpose of life is to have happy feelings, even if it means exploiting the weakest among us.

Then let’s vote them into office so that they can impose their irrational worldview on us by government coercion!

What could go wrong?

CRISIS! Is Obama shutting down Chrysler dealerships owned by Republicans?!

Have we elected a worst left-wing fascist than Stalin? Time will tell.

Gateway Pundit has multiple stories.

First story excerpt:

Are we looking at the biggest political scandal since Watergate?

Big Dem Donor Group allowed to keep all 6 Chrysler dealerships open…. Local competitors eliminated by Obama’s task force!!

Earlier it was reported that the Obama Administration may have targeted GOP donors in deciding which Chrysler dealerships would have to close their doors.

Now there’s this…
RLJ-McLarty-Landers is owned by three men.
One was the former Chief of Staff for President Clinton.
One is the founder of Black Entertainment Television and a huge Obama supporter.
All 6 of their Chrysler dealerships will remain open.
And, get this… Their local competitors have been eliminated!

Second story excerpt:

But, so far in the shutdown list there is an extremely high correlation between dealers closing and congressional districts BHO lost.

Texas is getting killed and Blue States are sliding by. Florida is also taking major hits and nearly all are in Republican Congressional Districts.

Little West Virginia is getting hammered

UPDATE: Here is a list of the closings— Notice all of the Texas and Florida closings.

Last story excerpt:

Now this…Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla) lost his Chrysler dealership in Florida.

Again… It was Obama’s task force who made the decision about which dealerships would close and which would stay open.

Leave your suggestion for the name of this fiasco in the comments. I’ll start: Chrysler-gate. Serfdom-gate. Union-gate. Commie-gate. Banana-Republic-gate.

The most productive taxpayers flee higher tax rates

UPDATE: Welcome readers from Pursuing Holiness! Thanks for the link, Laura! Laura knows about this from experience – she runs her own information technology business, and is scaling it back. Go read her post, too!

A few days back, I posted on the Cato Institute’s story about the New York businessman who shifted his residence to Florida to avoid paying confiscatory tax rates to the greedy socialists in Albany.

Well, that’s not the only place where this is happening. There is a reason why freedom-hating atheists had to build Gulags and walls to keep people from escaping their communist prison. When tax rates go up, the most productive citizens either stop working or they leave entirely!

Here is a story from the UK Times Online about the exodus of British taxpayers from Gordon Brown’s corrupt socialist regime.

Excerpt:

SOL ZAKAY, the billionaire property tycoon, is the latest entrepreneur to quit Britain after the introduction of a 50% tax rate on high earners.

…Zakay joins a growing list of businessmen and City financiers disenchanted at the new tax rate as well as the proposed changes to EU regulation of private-equity and hedge funds.

And here is a story from the Wall Street Journal about Maryland taxpayers fleeing their left-wing state’s tax hikes.

Maryland couldn’t balance its budget last year, so the state tried to close the shortfall by fleecing the wealthy. Politicians in Annapolis created a millionaire tax bracket, raising the top marginal income-tax rate to 6.25%. And because cities such as Baltimore and Bethesda also impose income taxes, the state-local tax rate can go as high as 9.45%. Governor Martin O’Malley, a dedicated class warrior, declared that these richest 0.3% of filers were “willing and able to pay their fair share.” The Baltimore Sun predicted the rich would “grin and bear it.”

One year later, nobody’s grinning. One-third of the millionaires have disappeared from Maryland tax rolls. In 2008 roughly 3,000 million-dollar income tax returns were filed by the end of April. This year there were 2,000, which the state comptroller’s office concedes is a “substantial decline.” On those missing returns, the government collects 6.25% of nothing. Instead of the state coffers gaining the extra $106 million the politicians predicted, millionaires paid $100 million less in taxes than they did last year — even at higher rates.

When the most productive taxpayers stop producing, they take your jobs with them. It’s called the Laffer curve. Maybe you progressives should read about it. Think about the way the world actually works in reality. And then ask yourself a very important question. A question that you never heard answered in Harvard Law School.

Who is John Galt?

UPDATE: Hot Air notes that IRS revenues are dropping rapidly. Gateway Pundit adds: 16K jobs lost PER DAY since stimulus passed. Gateway Pundit reports Democrats consider national sales tax (hurts the poor disproportionately, just like cap and trade), and China has warned democrats about printing more money.

Does the new Ida fossil prove evolution?

Well, if it does, doesn’t that mean that evolution wasn’t proved before?

But I digress. Whenever you have questions about evolution and culture, there is only one blog that you really need to read, and that’s Denyse O’Leary’s Post-Darwinist. She has written no less than THREE stories on the Ida fossil, so let’s take a look at see what she’s found.

First, on May 19th, she noted that the lemur-like fossil contradicted the current best naturalistic theory of human origins.

[The] fossil doesn’t “explain” human evolution; it complicates the picture. The theory that was gaining ground was that humans were descended from tarsier-like creatures, but this fossil, touted as a primate ancestor, is a lemur-like creature.

Second, on May 21st, she added:

This recent Messil Pit find bolsters the case of the lemur supporters against the previously dominant tarsier supporters.

That only creates more confusion about origins, it seems to me, rather than resolving anything.

Where you have opposing histories, evidence that strengthens one history must weaken the other.

It does not necessarily add up to a gain in information.

What if the tarsier advocates find a fossil that bolsters their case in, say, 2012?

And who’s to say that won’t happen – as it has happened already?

Everything gets so complicated, once you look past the “missing link” sound-bites. But many people looking for validation for their atheist lifestyle will never bother – so long as the cultural authorities can offer them some Piltdown Man or Archaeoraptor or Haeckel’s embryos or Peppered Moths, etc., to justify their atheistic faith.

Denyse also points to a round-up of links from Access Research Network, as well as a New Scientist story that is skeptical of Ida’s status as *the* missing link.

Third, on May 25th, she linked to this story from the UK Times Online:

… in the research paper detailing the discovery, the scientists had painted a rather different picture. Ida, they said, “could represent a stem group from which later anthropoid primates (including humans) evolved but we are not advocating this here”.

And more:

Robert Foley, professor of human evolution at Cambridge University, believes many people misunderstand the huge timescales involved in assessing fossils.

“This animal lived around 47m years ago but human-like creatures only appeared in the last 2m years,” he said. “That’s a gap of around 45m years with many other species lying between us and that era. Any one of them could be called a missing link. Really, the term is meaningless.”

Now I know what my many atheist readers are saying: “we’re only skeptical of your beliefs! Not our beliefs!”. Well, I’m sorry, true believers, to throw cold water on you.

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

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