Author Archives: michaelroberts4004

About michaelroberts4004

A mixture; geologist, Christian, priest, cyclist, mountaineer, heretical environmentalist(i.e. a Bright Green) , retired, historian of science and a few other things. Oh, and I don't like creationism!

Why David Lammy might be wrong about Oxbridge

interesting blog on black Oxbridge

To Miss with Love

OxfordI was at Oxford in the early 90s and I stuck out. Why? Because I was black and hardly anyone else was. Entrance exam & interview was the way in. Nowadays, Oxbridge tutors have a sea of A* candidates to choose from. That’s what happens when you dumb down exams. It does not solve social disadvantage. It perpetuates it.

I can see why David Lammy thinks the problem is Oxbridge. That’s how we’ve always thought and changing one’s mind is hard. But my own experiences (which are vast in this area) tell me that he is wrong.

  1. It is recognized that black students from private schools get in. So clearly the problem isn’t about race.
  2. I would love to know the number of white private school applicants who apply and then the number that have 3 As and get rejected. I’d also like to know the number of black students…

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IARC bombshell: WHO’s cancer agency ‘edited out’ draft findings glyphosate non-carcinogenic

co5erk4w8aafvlnI need to buy some more round-up as the best and safest weedkiller going. I was recommended it over 30 years ago by conservation groups.

This article and Reuters shows how some groups are manipulating the science on Round-up aka Glysphosphate and throwing in all the Monsanto did this nonsense

 

The World Health Organization’s cancer agency dismissed and edited findings from a draft of its review of the weedkiller glyphosate that were at odds with

Source: IARC bombshell: WHO’s cancer agency ‘edited out’ draft findings glyphosate non-carcinogenic

Creationist John Mackay comes to blight Blighty

 

John Mackay, the Australian creationist who exorcises cats and dogs is back in Britain and is due to speak in a Methodist Church  near Lancaster on 19th October.

He was here in 2003 and 2006  and in 2003 I had the displeasure of debating him in Scorton near Lancaster. That was an odd experience. I was invited by a local supporter in Scorton. I went along to the village hall and was offered the chance to bat first.

I soon got used to the hisses and boos if I said anything remotely respectable whether as science or Christian Belief. Several of there found the atmosphere most unpleasant and one, a far better scientist than I ever could have been, described it as demonic and he meant it.

Well, then Mackay went to the crease. It was like a Gish gallop and untrue representations of science were delivered at great speed. I had the chance of replying and attempted to refute some of his more glaring whoppers. I was booed and hissed at again. I am still trying to reconcile the audience’s behaviour with any Christian or other ideas of moral behaviour. Mackay’s approach was slick and at great speed with the aim of not allowing any comeback of challenge by rapidly moving on to another topic.

Then I was challenged about my faith and not even my very orthodox understanding of the resurrection passed muster with them. Despite believing in an empty tomb and bodily resurrection I was still called a heretic.

It was not a pleasant evening and I tend to agree with my friend that the devil was present. One devout lady  – a former missionary – left early as she could not take and one vicar’s wife was reduced to tears.

Three years later several vicars in my diocese asked him to speak in their churches. I put in a formal complaint to the bishop and sought to dissuade my colleagues. At least we saw him off from speaking in some schools.

I cannot understand how anyone, especially a Christian who is supposed to follow the love and truthfulness of Jesus can fall for this nasty nonsense. But then a lot do, cluding some Vice-presidents.

In the 80s Mackay fell out with Ken Ham even accusing one of his colleague’s widows of necrophilia. They fell out big time but are now best buddies again.

Here is his itinerary

http://www.creationresearch.net/2415-john-mackay-and-joseph-hubbard-uk-itinerary-october-2017

but it only includes “church ” visits and I expect he has been invited to schools, having been told he is a scientist

 

Charlie CrISIS

And of course he has debated on Premier Radio with a real scientist Prof Keith Fox. Sadly debates don’t work and a strong rhetoric backed up by bullshit is often as successful

https://www.premierchristianradio.com/Shows/Saturday/Unbelievable/Episodes/Unbelievable-Do-Genesis-and-genetics-support-a-young-earth-or-long-term-evolution-John-Mackay-vs-Keith-Fox

Why do some Christians listen to him?

 

 

 

A N Wilson gains Darwin Award for Historians

After producing an awful biography of Darwin and shooting his pen off about Darwin’s bogus science practised at Downe House, I was disappointed to see that Wilson’s biography of Queen Victoria was used in the TV series Victoria. That may explain the fictitious aspects of Drummond on screen. He died three years before the repeal of the Corn Laws – the time of his murder in the TV series – and there is no evidence of a gay relationship. Having read a few of Wilson’s historical studies I have no respect for him as a historical scholar. I read his God’s Funeral twenty years ago and no longer have my copy. I wonder why.

I do think Wilson is worthy of the Darwin award for historians and this was confirmed when I dipped into his Victoria today. For interest I went to the index and looked up Darwin and this is what I found.

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The three lines on Lyell and Darwin are simply historical codswollop. Yes, Lyell was a great geologist and in 1864 was rightly knighted for that. In 22 words Wilson simply got everything wrong. Yes, it is a popularly held view and especially by those who consider themselves educated that it was Lyell who shattered the views of the church over the age of the earth. But it is wrong on so many accounts.

180px-charles_lyell

First, before November 1797, when Lyell was born, most scientists and savants had concluded that the earth was ancient and its age was either hundreds of thousands or many millions of years old. The former was the view of the great Swiss geologist Andre de Luc snr and the latter of William Hutton. Most educated Christians throughout Europe also accepted the vast age of the earth, even if many preferred de Luc. However 100,000 years completely undermines a literal Genesis. There were also those like Lhwyd and Ray who were thinking about an older earth by 1690.

Secondly, when Lyell published his Principles of Geology in 1831, many leading British geologists were clergy e.g. Sedgwick, Buckland, Coneybeare, Henslow and many lesser ones. Within the churches there were not seen as either heretics or way-out liberals, but rather as orthodox Christians with the full backing of church leaders from Archbishops and Bishops to country parsons. In fact, when the American creationist and employee of Answersingenesis  wrote his Ph.D.  (and book The Great Turning Point) on “Scriptural Geologists” from 1820 to 1850, he could only find 20 to 30 and I haven’t found many more. These so-called Scriptural Geologists were singularly ineffective in convincing the rising numbers of Victorian evangelicals, who were happy to accept the findings of geology.

Thirdly, by the time Darwin came along – effectively after 1840 – after his Beagle voyage, the vast age of the earth could be almost taken for granted. By 1859 few educated cChristians or clergy held to a six day creation and thus in all the responses to Darwin in the 1860s I have only found one which did not accept geology and that was by the Plymouth Brother B.W. Newton in his Remarks on a Mosaic Cosmogony, which was a hostile response to Essays and Reviews.

I could was lyrical on this, but have surveyed it in my book Evangelicals and Science, where I focus only on evangelicals and develop the ideas here on  Genesis and geology unearthed

 

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Wilson has aggravated many on his biography of Darwin, which seems to be very jaundiced to him. Reviews have been largely negative and his atricles in the press show that he has little grasp of Darwin’s science and seems now after his re-conversion to be leaning to creationism or Intelligent Design https://michaelroberts4004.wordpress.com/2017/08/07/charles-darwin-exposes-a-n-wilson-as-a-fraud/

Sadly many will read Wilson as a serious historian and accept his wrong and outmoded views not only of Darwin but also the relationship of Christian and Science – so often epitomised as the bible vs Darwin

BOOK: God’s Word or Human Reason?: An Inside Perspective on Creationism

Interesting book by ex-creationists.

The Dispersal of Darwin

My way into learning about Darwin and evolution was through dinosaurs. Specifically, that 1993 movie where genetically-engineered dinosaurs run amok on a tropical island. I read book after book about paleontology following seeing that movie when I was 15, and then eventually started coming across books that offered a different view as to what those fossils in the ground meant (including What Is Creation Science? by Henry M. Morris and Gary E. Parker, gifted to me from a friend in my high school chemistry class). I’ve long followed the conflict between supporters of evolution (ya know, science!) and those who supplant their religious-based perspective on the fossil record: creationists of the young earth variety (you know, pseudoscience!). There are some good books out there that give an overview of why the fossil record supports an evolutionary interpretation (for example, Donald Prothero’s Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters and…

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It’s in the Interpretation

This shows how much of the discussions on creationism stem from forcing interpetrations onto the bible

Musings on Science and Theology

RTB-BioLogosThe interpretation of Scripture is a key to Christian positions on Creation and science. In Old Earth or Evolutionary Creation: Discussing Origins with Reasons to Believe and BioLogos John Walton and Kenneth Samples present the different views on Biblical Interpretation. We looked at these in the previous two posts on the book (Don’t Underrate Scripture and What is Inerrant?). John’s view is representative of BioLogos, where a range of views are present – all of which view Scripture as the inspired word of God. Kenneth’s view is descriptive of Reasons to Believe, where acceptance of a statement on inerrancy is required.

On redirect, in the last part of the chapter Samples and Walton interact with each other’s views and with a question posed by the moderator Steve Lemke concerning the criticisms leveled against both groups by Young Earth Creationists (YEC) such as Ken Ham and others at Answers…

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