Saturday, November 13, 2010

Descent into madness

Well, it seems I’ve ruffled Joe Cienkowski’s feathers with my last post. Shortly after sending him the link on twitter, he blocked me. No reason given, no response, just a sudden blockage. It shows a lot of confidence in your work when you respond to criticism by ignoring people.

Apparantly though, Joe is still claiming that he hasn’t seen a proper refutation of his grand delusion. If he hasn’t, it’s not because they’re not there. I even kept mine simple and stuck to just his numerical problems. When asked about this, Joe insisted I was a mouthpiece as if that somehow invalidated what I said. It doesn’t. The problems still stand and if you can’t address them, I can’t stop myself from laughing at you.

I am dreadfully curious, though, how Joe came to the conclusion that I was a mouthpiece for someone else. Mind you, he has a lot of experience in the field: Joe can’t go a day without parroting Ham or Hovind. Perhaps I should ask them the question. Dear Messrs Ham, Hovind, et al.: Why, precisely, do you believe I am a mouthpiece and for whom?

In fact, let’s all play along. Submit your best guess as to whom I am speaking for. My bet is that I’m the Metatron. That’d put a pretty spin on things.

Now then, let’s take another look at the Grand Delusion and address a couple more things Joe says in his video. It’s been suggested that I make my own video response but for now I’ll maintain my anonymity.

00:08 “…That is, I believe the bible is literally true…”

For his part Joe starts with his strength: misrepresentation. He says he believes the bible is literally true, but I can’t tell whether he means all of it or just the creation account. At any rate, Joe is far from a biblical literalist. In fact, I can’t recall anyone I’ve ever met who actually was a literalist. Oh, I’ve know a few who claim to be, but they all turn out to be interpreters in the end. Joe, for example, doesn’t believe that the world is a circle, or that bats are birds, or that insects have four legs. Those passages in the bible Joe is more than happy to interpret. What about the contradictions and the distasteful bits? The bible didn’t really mean it. Funny how that works, isn’t it?

00:39 “…I believe that this is going to turn the scientific community & the world upside down…”

Hovind's timeline
Joe is convinced that his human population timeline is going to make us all believe. Except of course that it isn’t Joe’s timeline at all and it didn’t work before. I strongly suspected Joe of plagiarism for a number of reasons, including past history, but my friend @pen7agram actually took the time to go through Kent Hovind’s video and find his eerily similar version of the timeline.

01:56 “…this is proof we’re designed because of the sum of our parts…”

If you’re scratching you head, you’re not alone. I don’t have a clue what he’s babbling about. The best I can tell, Joe thinks there’s some magic number, say 42, that all our parts add up to and this somehow proves design. By Douglas Adams. Or cells, that’s what Joe says, we were designed by cells. So which branch of Christian theology is this, Joe?

02:30 “…humans only produce human babies. This is what we see every single day”

Joe really seems to be hung up on this whole “humans having humans” thing. It’s what he sees every day. Joe must spend a great deal of time lurking around maternity wards. I wonder if Joe knows that this is precisely what evolution says should happen. Speciation is not some instantaneous change between generations. Each generation will obviously be the product of the one before and the producer of the one after. It is only when we remove these intermediaries and examine the extremities of a line that we notice a distinction.

A nice real time example of this principle exists in the form of ring species. These chains of neighbouring, interbreeding populations have “ends” that are too distantly related to interbreed. Let me say that again: at each step along the way the differences between the two populations is small enough that they can produce viable offspring. However, by the time we reach the end of the chain they are no longer able to interbreed with the initial population. This principle, taking place temporally rather than geographically, is why Joe may only see humans even as evolution marches steadily along.

Even though Joe packs plenty more nonsense into his video, I prefer to keep my posts manageable. We’ll cut off here with an open invitation to Joe: Joe, if you’re willing to pick a topic from your vanity tracts and present your case, I’ll debate you on it and post the whole thing here. Give it some thought, it’d be a good start on backing your “Christianity’s chief apologist” claim.

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