Tag Archives: Christianity

Ark Encounter Common Ancestors: The Increasing Inclusiveness of Biblical Kinds

Just what animals did Noah take on the ark?

Many havem answered that question. In the 17th century Bishop John Wilkins said Noah took 2 camelopards and 1835 sheep for the “rapacious beasts” according to my copy of Catcott on the deluge (1760) I think they were wiser and more consistent than todays Young Earthers

Naturalis Historia

Just how many animals where on Noah’s Ark according to 6-day creationists?  That answer has varied considerably over the past century.   With the completion of the Ark Encounter, the most visible attempt to show the feasibility of  preserving all land animal diversity from a global flood, more people are being exposed to a modern answer to that age-old question.   The group – Answers in Genesis – who constructed the Ark Encounter theme park have provided the lowest estimate to date: a max of 6700 total animals.

To rationalize their small Ark population they have become increasingly vocal about how modern biological diversity – the abundance of species – is the result of rapid speciation of ancestral “kinds” following a severe biological bottleneck during Noah’s flood just 4350 years ago.  We could call these ancestors of modern species progenitor kinds or proto-kinds but just what is a “kind” and just how are the boundaries of one kind versus another determined?  How a “kind”…

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Why are some Christians Young Earth Creationists?

It baffles many people whether Christian or not why some Christians are Young Earth Creationist, with a belief in a 10,000 year old earth and rejection of evolution. It cannot be denied that Young Earth Creationism has caused bad relationships among Christians, influenced education and results in much mockery from some. A major reason for the friction is that YEC’s claim explicitly or implicitly that the majority of Christians who accept modern science with the vast age of the earth and evolution are at best naughty or heretical Christians.

With YEC making inroads into churches (including the Church of England) and trying to call the shots over education in all parts of the world, it is best to know what they believe and why they do as they go against all scientific teaching and what most churches actually believe.


As YEC attracted so much more heat than light, it is best to start with a general summary of YEC beliefs, though YEC is not monolithic.

  • The earth and universe are no more than 10,000 years old and this is supported by the best modern science.
  • Most of the fossiliferous strata from the Cambrian (550m.y.) to the Pleistocene (10,000yrs) were laid down in the Noachian Deluge. (There is some variation on this.) Below is flippant mocking of this
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  • Dinosaurs lived alongside humans. The first is an exhibit at Ken Ham’s Creation Museum and the other two from creationist books
  • edendinos51gBlHMEfwL__SS500_dinopica
  • Evolution from the primordial sludge (goo) to humans (you) did not happen and is contradicted by true science.
  • During the Creation Week, God originally created “kinds”, e.g., horse kind, which has evolved through “micro-evolution” into related species.
  • Standard “evolutionary-uniformitarian” geology, biological evolution and cosmology are flawed and based on false assumptions. Evolutionary ideas are pre-conceived assumptions rather than conclusions from the scientific data, which to a YEC point to a young earth.
  • “Evolution” and “evolutionary geology” are based on atheistic assumptions stemming from the Enlightenment, including an insistence on randomness and chance, which excludes the possibility of a Creator God. Geology, with its long ages, is based on the assumption of evolution.
  • When the Bible is read correctly, without atheistic and Enlightenment presuppositions, the Book of Genesis only makes sense when read literally with a Creation in six solar days, a Fall resulting in the introduction of pain and death to the animal world, and that there was a world-wide deluge lasting a year during the lifetime of Noah. Only Noah, his family and two of every “kind” survived the flood. (This is alleged to be the traditional view of Christians.)
  • There are many minor tenets. A few YECs are also geocentrists, for example Bouw and Bowden.
  • And lastly Evolution is ONLY a theory
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I could refute each one in turn, but a simple list makes the beliefs stand out starkly. (I have dealt with many in other blogs.) However those who defend the sincerity of YECs may be shocked at what they actually beleive and that it is nonsense.

You can even play Creationist Bingo as the same sorry arguments appear often

creationist binjgo


When I first heard about Creationism when I read a review of The Genesis Flood while working as an exploration geologist in the Namib desert, I simply burst out laughing and wondered how anyone could even suggest it. I soon found it was not that simple.

Creationism cannot be understood without grasping the deeply–felt reasons for believing what many scientists think nonsense. YEC provides the “scientific” capping to a “biblical Worldview”. This Worldview provides an all-embracing outlook on life and integrates every aspect of their lives. It also enables one to oppose non-Christian Worldviews and to be confident in the “Culture Wars. Here are most of the various reasons;

  1. The most important reason for accepting YEC is not a literal Genesis, but a concern for salvation through Christ. The heart of evangelical faith is redemption through the death of Christ, expressed as Substitutionary Atonement in that Jesus’ death forgives sin and takes away the penalty of death. To some this is dependant on their being no death before the Fall. It is supported by citing Genesis 3 and Romans 8.19ff
  2. There can be no death before the Fall. e.physical death came in at the Fall (Gen 3) and before that no animal died or suffered. If T. Rex had actually attacked and killed herbivores 100 million years ago, then the whole Christian Faith will collapse like dominoes, hence the geological timescale MUST be false. Q.E.D.! This is at the heart of YEC arguments.
  3. The Bible says so,. Applied to Genesis, that means Creation in Six days and a worldwide flood. A Young Earth model supports this scientifically, so YEC is the ONLY valid interpretation
  4. The Sabbath and that is dependent on a six-day creation and thus “billions” of years is wrong.
  5. .Hence as these four arguments are seen as essential to evangelical belief then a Christian must be YEC.
  6. Moral concerns In his book The Genesis Solution Ham argues that evolution leads to a decrease in marriage, an increase of suicides, euthanasia, pornography, abortions, promiscuity, sexual abuse, homosexuality, theft, violence, racism etc. Hence evolution is contrary to family values.
  7. Anti-reductionism or Nothing-buttery as Donald Mackay called it. I. e. everything is nothing but physics and chemistry and there is nothing distinct about humans. Reductionism often stems from a scientific materialist philosophy. Opposition to reductionism is widespread. Arthur Peacocke, biochemist and clergyman has opposed reductionism from a liberal theological position and founded the Society of Ordained Scientists in 1986 to facilitate this. The same with John Polkinghorne and Donald Mackay, and many members of the CIS and ASA, who reject YEC. However YEC is extreme anti-reductionism.

An excellent book which deals with all these issues and focussing on the Grand Canyon is;

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And more historically ;

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Not to mention many of my blogs

Why Bill McKibben’s “Keep-It-In-The-Ground” World War II Analogy is Ridiculous

As the Divestment campaign continues and even infiltrates the churches, here are four reasons why it is wrong  and McKibbin especially so.

I expect most at Greenbelt will agree with McKibbin but ought to live out the implications. The first of these is that Mckibbin would not fly from Seattle to the UK so as to keep-it-in-the-ground



Four Reasons – Beyond the Obvious – Why Bill McKibben’s “Keep-It-In-The-Ground” World War II Analogy is Ridiculous

Climate activist Bill McKibben has officially jumped the shark, penning a cover article for New Republic this week that claims ending all fossil fuels is the equivalent of what the Greatest Generation did when they stormed the beaches of Normandy:

“We’re under attack from climate change and our only hope is to mobilize like we did in WWII.”

“It’s not that global warming is like a world war. It is a world war. And we are losing.”

The “mobilization plan” the leader of the “Keep it in the Ground” (KIITG) movement speaks of is an immediate conversion to 100 percent renewable energy — which is essentially a declaration of war on reality, as a pair of prominent Democrats have recently pointed out.

Obama Science Advisor John Holdren has said, “The notion that we’re going to keep it all in the ground is unrealistic,” while Clinton campaign chair John Podesta has called the KIITG agenda McKibben is pushing “completely impractical.”

And as EID has noted numerous times, even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) — which activists including McKibben have long called the “gold standard” for understanding climate change — has stated fracking brings down greenhouse gases.

So beyond the fact that McKibben continues to deny the science and push absurdities (yes, he likens fossil fuels to Hitler) here’s a closer look at the four reasons why McKibben’s plan is as impractical as it is ridiculous.

Reason #1: McKibben wants to end the one fuel responsible for significant decreases in GHG emissions

McKibben and the KIITG movement continue to ignore the fact that the U.S. energy-related CO2 emission are at their lowest levels in nearly a quarter century. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) has projected that domestic CO2 emissions will drop to their lowest levelssince 1992 this year. Any objective observer would have to agree the fact that natural gas is now the U.S.’s top source of electricity generation has everything to do with that trend.

In fact — thanks to fracking — electrical generation is no longer the top industrial source of CO2 emissions, as conversion to natural gas for electrical generation has accounted for 68 percent of the 14 percent total reduction in energy-related CO2 emissions during last decade. This has all happened at the same time the economy has grown 15 percent, reversing a trend in which economic growth has been coupled with emission increases.

McKibben certainly would have applauded these trends back in 2009, when he was standing on the steps of the U.S. Capitol demanding power plants switch to clean-burning natural gas. McKibben was so cognizant of natural gas’ climate benefits that he was even willing to get himself arrested in efforts to get power plants switched to natural gas, as he said in the build up to the protest:

“There are moments in a nation’s — and a planet’s — history when it may be necessary for some to break the law … We will cross the legal boundary of the power plant, and we expect to be arrested.”

McKibben even said a conversion to natural gas would be good for the economy, which, of course, has proven to be a spot-on assessment.

Flash forward seven years, and McKibben’s tone is much the same, but with a few notable caveats: Natural gas is now the enemy even though it reducing GHG emissions — which is ironically the No. 1 goal of the KIITG movement. Furthermore, there are huge doubts about the economic and logistic feasibility of the alternative McKibben is pushing, which brings us to the next two reasons his New Republic article is ridiculous.

Reason #2: Study McKibben cites as evidence of renewable energy’s economic viability shows 100 percent conversion would yield millions of job losses

Stanford University professor Mark Jacobson’s research has long been used by greens to try to sell their 100 percent renewable ideology as being economically feasible, and McKibben’s New Republic piece is just the latest example, as he claims:

“For starters, it’s important to remember that a truly global mobilization to defeat climate change wouldn’t wreck our economy or throw coal miners out of work. … It would produce an awful lot of jobs. (An estimated net gain of roughly two million in the United States alone.)

But a recent EID review of Jacobson’s plan found his own data showed a 100 percent renewable conversion would actually destroy nearly four million long-term jobs nationwide with a net loss of 1.2 million jobs.

Those figures were buried on an Excel sheet from Jacobson’s website under a tab titled “Total Job Loss.” Jacobson’s own data showed that a complete conversion to renewables would yield the elimination of 2.4 million transportation jobs, 800,000 oil and gas production jobs and 90,000 coal mining related jobs — a grand total of 3.8 million jobs lost, compared to the 2.6 million long-term jobs Jacobson claims his plan would create.

Not surprisingly, after EID brought this information to light, Jacobson claimed these numbers were not “real” and “test” numbers. He subsequently deleted the “Total Job Loss” tab on excel sheet from his website.

Jacobson also originally touted that his plan would result in a net gain of four million jobs. However, we would be remiss not to note the latter was based on his projection of 5.3 million construction jobs being created — the kind of “temporary” jobs greens have long criticized as not being “real” jobs. Interestingly, McKibben has now halved Jacobson’s original claim to two million net jobs created, which may or may not have something to do with EID highlighting the original inclusion of these “temporary” jobs. But bottom line: both of his figures are wrong.

Reason #3: Experts agrees a conversion to 100 percent renewables is impractical

Even before EID shed some much-needed light on what Jacobson’s data really forecasted on the jobs lost/jobs created front, his rosy plan for a 100 percent renewable energy conversion was highly criticized for being completely impractical from a basic functionality standpoint.

Roger Pielke, a professor in the environmental studies program at the University of Colorado at Boulder, has called Jacobson’s 100 percent renewables plan for New York a “fantasy” and “magic thinking.”

Dr. James Hansen, former head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and one of the world’s most famous climate scientists, says that believing in the feasibility of a rapid transition to renewables is more of a mythical belief than a reality-based argument, stating:

“Can renewable energies provide all of society’s energy needs in the foreseeable future? It is conceivable in a few places, such as New Zealand and Norway. But suggesting that renewables will let us phase rapidly off fossil fuels in the United States, China, India, or the world as a whole is almost the equivalent of believing in the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy.” (emphasis added)

Michael Shellenberger of the Breakthrough Institute — whom TIME Magazine has declared a “hero of the environmentsimilarly critiqued Jacobson’s plan for 100 percent renewables, specifically Jacobson’s decision to rule out nuclear power, which produces no carbon dioxide emissions. Shellenberger also notes “solar and wind are totally different than [fossil fuels] and inferior in that they’re intermittent.”

Even a Daily Kos blogger, who allowed Jacobson a forum to respond to EID’s findings, criticized his 100 percent renewables plan as impractical. In a comment posted to the article including Dr. Jacobson’s interview, the environmental blogger said that “no electric utility is ever going to adopt Jacobson’s plan” because, among other things, the “wind power component of Jacobson’s plan cannot be relied upon for reliable electric power generation and supply.”

The latter facts were recently highlighted in a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, which brings us to our next example of why McKibben’s piece essentially declared war on reality.

Reason #4: Renewables need natural gas like a fish needs water

McKibben notes in the New Republic piece that retired engineer Tom Solomon has calculated that the 100 percent conversion to renewables mapped out in Jacobson’s plan would require “about 6,448 gigawatts of clean energy to replace fossil fuels — or the equivalent of 295 solar factories the size of Elon Musk’s SolarCity Gigafactory under construction in Buffalo, N.Y.”

Considering this would equate to the construction of six such factories per state over that timespan, even Solomon admits this is a very tall task. And, ironically, it would require a whole lot of natural gas to execute.

What McKibben, Jacobson and other KIITG supporters always fail to mention is — due to the fact that the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine —all the new wind and solar infrastructure would be required to have backup generation options due to their status as intermittent sources of energy. And that backup source will likely be natural gas, due to all the economic and environmental factors we have already discussed.

As the National Bureau of Economic research study notes, eight megawatts of back-up capacity are required for any 10 megawatts of wind capacity added to the grid. Again, this is required.

That study also makes reference to research suggesting that in order for photovoltaic power to be a viable base-load resource, it must have the ability to store solar electricity for 20 hours. Problem is, no such massive storage technology currently exists, which is why rapid-fire fossil fuel backup power (i.e. natural gas) is necessary to “spot” solar power, so to speak.

These realities considered, the study points out that renewable conversion is much more expensive than its proponents are leading on, and that usually means the added cost will be passed along to customers.

“… the estimated indirect costs of renewables are at least an order of magnitude greater than those associated with dispatchable fossil-fuel technologies. For the latter, system costs are relatively modest, generally estimated below USD 3 per MWh (megawatt-hour) in OECD countries. For the formers, such costs are as high as USD 40 per MWh for onshore wind, USD 45 per MWh for offshore wind and USD 80 per MWh for solar. These high estimates are the direct results of the need for additional system reserves and back-up generation to ensure system reliability. Renewable energy system costs will also increase over-proportionally with the amount of variable electricity in the system, with far-fetching [reaching] implications for the energy markets and security of supply. Ignoring them can thus lead to a severe underestimation of the social and private costs of any energy transition.”

It is important to note that this study was not the product of an industry source or so-called “climate deniers.” And independent experts such as Christopher Knittel, who directs the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research at MIT, largely agree with the conclusions, as Knittel made the following comment to the Washington Post.

“It’s a reality check now,” said Knittel of the study’s insights on the practicality and financial issues regarding conversion to renewables. “I think it’s potentially bad news as we start to get higher and higher penetration levels of renewables.”


That McKibben choses to compare the incredible sacrifices of the Greatest Generation to the KIITG movement is bad enough.

Making matters worse, McKibben’s piece ignores the fact that a fuel he advocates eliminating is achieving his movement’s stated goal — reduced GHG emissions — while the alternative he’s proposing has been unequivocally deemed economically and functionally impractical.

Throw in the strange irony that McKibben has declared war on a fuel that he was willing to go to jail for just seven years ago, and it’s no wonder mainstream Democrats simply don’t agree with McKibben and the extreme “Keep-it-in-the-Ground” movement he represents. U.S. Interior Secretary and former National Parks Conservation Association board member Sally Jewell pretty much summed it up when she said:

“It’s going to take a very long time before we can wean ourselves from fossil fuels, so I think that to keep it in the ground is naïve, to say we could shift to 100 percent renewables is naïve.”

Viscious ISIS-style sexism from the biblical book of Judges

The two most violent books of the bible are Joshua and Judges. I used to call them the Taliban period of the Bible but now call them the ISIS era. I am reading Joshua at present and am relieved that I do not have to draw my inspiration from their example.

It’s from judges 19 and is the story of the Levite and his concubine, who after being gang-raped is chopped up into 12 pieces and each piece sent to a different part of Israel.

For sickening horror it is what we hear about ISIS and their abominations.

So why is it in the Bible? First, I think, because the Bible tells us as it is and records the horror as well as the good. and secondly as a warning on what not to do (2 Timothy 3 vs 16-17).

Then we should not regard the bible of equal value throughout and definitely not giving us (bad) examples to slavishly follow. To anyone it should be clear that this act is contrary to the whole Old Testament Law, which is more compassionate than any other ancient set of laws.

Further for a Christian the authority of the New Testament is paramount and above that of the Old Testament. Or as I put it aphoristically

The New Testament trumps the Old Testament

I am sure some evangelicals will disagree with that, but the whole tenor of the New Testament is that the gospel supercedes the Old Testament , even though Jesus builds on the foundation of the Old Testament.

The great disservice many evangelicals have done is to so stress the inerrancy and authority of the WHOLE Bible that they do not see that Jesus Christ is the fulfilment of the Old Testament. To do otherwise opens us up to returning to the era of ISIS- Judaism rather than the Gospel based on the sacrificial love of Jesus.

If any thinks I am totally heretical over this, then please teach this story to a group of kids under 10 whether in Church or at a church school

I rest my case.

BTW I value the Old Testament and read it thoroughly and often, but parts are sickenly violent and only serve to remind us how awful humans can be.


The story of the Levite and his concubine in Judges 19 is one of the most misunderstood stories in the Bible. Many Christians have never read the story and are unfamiliar with its gruesome details.…

Source: Blaming the Woman

Photos of 16th century Bibles

Last week on my annual jaunt with Harvard biology summer schools students looking at Darwin’s activities in Shropshire and Wales, we visited the library at Shrewsbury School

As well as a first edition of the Origin of Species


they also had a first edition of the 1600 King James/authorised Bible.



The cover is a bit worn but not bad for 405 years.



Here is Genesis 1 in gothic scropt



and a bit of illustrated chronology


The contents also list the Apocrypha, which was generally included at that time.


There was also an early copy of William Morgans Welsh Bible

Must last ancient bible is a another Jacobean gem. This time it is the personal copy of King James II, which somehow ended up in Shrewsbury.



The embossing is superb.


and included the royal insignia


gone is the gothic script but it includes a form of “f” for “s” which only went out in about 1820*. Every page was adorned with red lines, which were not printed but hand-drawn.

I presume King James left these behind when he relinquished the throne


I would not like to guess how much these books are worth today or what they cost when printed. Suffice to say early bibles of 1450 cost the equivalent of £250,000 or so.


And finally a 15th century printed book showing the fall of Adam and Eve. With an unusual snake up a tree.

P.S. The problem of “f” as “s”. I have a copy of John Wesley’s Primitive Physic  and section 49 on “A consumption” makes for odd reading as para 191 reads;

191. In the last stage, fuck a healthy woman daily. This cured my father.

However nowhere in the book is “f” used as “s”.  This is an unusual aspect of orthography and printing.


I am very grateful to the librarian of Shrewsbury School showing us these and allowing me to share these on my blog.



Lessons from the Peleton


I nicked this from Bishop Lee Rayfield of Bristol diocese who draws a Christian message from road cycling. Some useful thoughts, but I’d never be a road cyclist and regard an average of 10 mph as good


Top of Jeffrey Hill, near Longridge, which has a section of 1 in 5 or 20%, which I cycle up each year along with other hills

Lessons from the Peloton

Bishop LeeIn this lighter summertime piece, Bishop Lee looks at the sport of road cycling to draw some parallels with what is expected of Christian disciples.

Those who know me well appreciate that two things are very close to my heart – road cycling and the Lord Jesus Christ. With the Tour de France still fresh in our minds and the Tour of Britain coming soon this seems a good moment to ask “What do professional road cyclists and Christian disciples have in common?” Here are a few thoughts with some Bible references for further reflection and exploration:

Teamwork – although some still believe that the 198 cyclists who line up for the Tour de France are all out to win the competition for themselves they are mistaken. It is all about the team working with and for one another. Being a follower of Jesus is not about a solo performance but working with others in the Church, the Body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-16).

Gifting – the team contains cyclists who can maintain high speed on rolling terrain (rouleurs), sprinters who can ride for one hundred miles or more yet still finish the last 200m at over 40 mph, and climbers who can fly up steep hills or one mountain gradient after another. Every person’s gift is valued and honed for the good of the whole team (1 Corinthians 12: 12-31).

Serving – some cyclists spend their whole career as domestiques. They have no aspiration of winning; their role is to ensure that others – especially the lead rider – are protected, provided for, and given every opportunity to win either a stage or the overall race (Mark 10: 41-45).

One Leader – in any race, but particularly in a stage race such as the Tour de France, one person is the nominated leader in the overall competition. When there are two potential leaders, or occasionally even three, it usually spells trouble! For followers of Jesus it must never be about us but about Christ (1 Corinthians 3: 1-11).

Suffering – a word you will hear a lot among amateur road cyclists as well as professionals. Getting better as a cyclist does not abrogate suffering, rather it means learning how to bear it for longer. Road cyclists have to dig deep and learn to keep going when their body is telling them to stop, to give up (John 19: 23-27).

Sacrifice – on long mountain stages, the pace will get faster and faster as one member of the team after another rides on the front to provide cover for their leader and bear the brunt of the wind resistance. Team members sacrifice themselves by giving everything they have before dropping back totally spent and plummeting down the ranking (John 21: 18-19).

Courage – mountain descents and bunch sprints require tremendous nerve. Crashes during the madcap sprint are all too common, often ending in broken bones and smashed faces. Following the cyclists down mountains at speeds of up to 70 mph has caused journalists in their cars to be in tears because they have been so frightened. (Esther 7: 3-4).

Cheating – sadly professional road cycling, and even some amateur competitions, have been tainted by doping. From the very beginning of the sport there have been those who have taken drugs and other substances to improve their own chances. In the Lance Armstrong era doping was not only endemic but part of a culture of fear and corruption. (1 John 1: 5-2: 2).

Joy and Thanksgiving – at the end of each stage, and far more so at the conclusion of the entire race, the joy on the faces of the whole team and the gratitude that the winner expresses to his teammates is wonderful. In a competition such as the Tour de France the winnings are shared by the whole team (Romans 12: 9-21).

In penning this I want to conclude with two thoughts. First, men’s road racing is more familiar than women’s because of events such as the Tour de France, but each dimension above applies as much to women road cyclists as it does to men. (I chose Esther as an example of courage as a reminder of this). Unlike professional cycling, discipleship requires us to work in close partnership across gender, not in separate compartments.

Second, one of the reasons I find road cycling a powerful illustration for discipleship is because it says something I believe men need to hear about the nature of following Jesus Christ, namely that it is demanding, tough and deeply rewarding. My sense is that men need more help in recognizing these dimensions of the Christian life. Perhaps hanging a racing bike inside or outside the church might promote an interesting engagement around this by men and women?

August 2016

Fracking Fun by Pinnochio

Well. petroleum products are so ungreen and we can see how fossil-fuel dependent the bicycle is;


So cheers to fracking


Fracking will destroy our countryside and will make it look like this – The Jonah gasfiled in Wyoming


This is what our countryside will look like


Hold on a mo! Jonah is not fracking of shale but tight gas from sandstone done before fracking for shale. A big porkie. This picture is simply deceitful



Just one snag – these are caused by wastewater injection not fracking – and the earthquake damage is from the Far East.




Whoops. Walport never said anything like that . It was said by a leftie prof from Sussex and misquoted by Adam Vaughan in the porkie Graudain


Now here are lots of misrepresentations of the effect of fracking on our water. The graphics do not give true scale so it seems that fracking takes place just below an aquifer. Mendacious






How do these parties compare to the Tories?


plaid cymru

This is nearer the truth showing actual fracking 8000ft below the surface. Frack cracks do not travel more than 1000ft upwards so still a mile off an aquifer



And the chemicals  – actually 99.5 5 water and a bit of sand and polyacrylamide. A drinkable mixture. The claim of 632 chemicals is what HAS been used in the past, not what are used even in the USA today.



Naughty Cuadrilla. Please count the porkies. They are easily counted but take longer to give details why they are porkies


A Blackpool college. An energy centre in the area of Britain with the highest unemployment……



How to intimidate academics. Yes, I have heard accounts of what has happened . It is not pleasant


Alleged health effects.




But smoking has no health effects


Experts like Mike Hill say fracking is dodgy


After all Blackpool will go under the sea. The effect of a few 6in holes 8000ft below surface


Mike hill’s office in Lytham

Hill under water

His misrepresentation of flares


and so the locals of Lancashire get hopelessly confused. I don’t blame the writer of the letter but I do blame those who have conned the people of Lancashire

Quake in Lancs

as does the sub-christian horror comic The Church Times.

It was a bishop who told me that the CT was a sub-christian horror comic


And now for more green shibboleths; – for light entertainment




Danger of GMO

Chemical-free organic food





Now here’s the result of a frack-free, organic, no-vaxxer  lifestyle.


Not for me , thanks







Is Pope Francis Pro-life? The Perplexing Silence ofLaudato Si’ on Human Overpopulation

Is Pope Francis Pro-life? The Perplexing Silence ofLaudato Si’ on Human Overpopulation

I nicked this blog of Peter hess from Huffpost http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-m-j-hess-phd/is-pope-francis-prolife-t_b_10709504.html

I am sure Peter wont mind

07/01/2016 02:47 pm ET | Updated 1 day ago
  • Peter M. J. Hess, Ph.D. Theology for a Sustainable Future
  • A year after the highly anticipated publication of Laudato Si’ I continue to ask myself, “Is Pope Francis really pro-life?” That was my first question on reading through his lengthy encyclical letter a year ago. The pope had a fantastic opportunity—from the most visible pulpit in the world—to address the causes and treatments of one of the greatest threats to life on earth: anthropogenic climate change. I’m glad he took this opportunity, and I hope he’ll revisit the topic.

    However, the encyclical leaves one glaring omission: not once in forty-thousand words did Pope Francis say a single thing about one of the two critical drivers of accelerating environmental degradation: human overpopulation. By our sheer numbers and our energy-extravagant lifestyle, we Homo sapiens are driving huge numbers of our fellow species—and possibly ourselves as well—toward theprecipice of extinction. In this respect Laudato Si’s analysis and treatment of a complex problem is surprisingly weak.

    Please do not mistake this as an anti-Catholic diatribe. I write as a lifelong Roman Catholic and a trained theologian. I have deep loyalty to my church and her gospel of freedom, to her ministries of healing the sick, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and educating tens of millions around the world. I believe that how we live our faith in light of climate change may be the biggest ecclesiological issue of our time: without a livable world there will be no church left at all.

    Along with global overconsumption of finite resources, overpopulation is one of the twin pillars underlying all our ecological crises. Together they account for the exhaustion in a few centuries of fossil fuels laid down over hundreds of millions of years. Together they are responsible for skyrocketing CO2, melting glaciers and rising sea levels, inundation of island nations and coastal cities, and accelerating ecological refugeeism around the globe. Together they account for coral reef bleaching, deforestation, habitat destruction, and worldwide extinction of species on a scale unseen for millions of years.

    In a century and a half the human population has skyrocketed from one billion to 7.42 billion, fueled by a one-time bonanza of fossil energy. The industrial application of fossil fuels improved agriculture and furthered the advance of science and technology. More food meant fewer people died of starvation, and modern medicine found ways to decrease the infant and child mortality rate and increase the human life span. In themselves these are good developments, but when they are not matched by a corresponding reduction in birth rate, a population surplus quickly starts to build.

    Why might a “pro-life” pope fail to recognize that human overpopulation is a problem for all life on earth? Of the sixteen occurrences of the word “population” inLaudato Si’, only three are relevant to this point. These are found in paragraph 50, in the context of the discussion of human numbers. The first instance is a flat-out denial: “while it is true that an unequal distribution of the population and of available resources creates obstacles to development and to a sustainable use of the environment, it must nonetheless be recognized that demographic growth is fully compatible with an integral and shared development.” Pope Francis seems unable or unwilling to acknowledge that there is a biological limit to Earth’s carrying capacity for humans just as there is for every other species on our planet.

    The second use of the term correctly points to the arrogance and danger of ignoring excessive consumption: “To blame population growth instead of extreme and selective consumerism on the part of some, is one way of refusing to face the issues.” Indeed, it would be completely wrong simply to point fingers elsewhere and ignore the thirty-times-greater environmental impact children born in the developed world have than those born in developing nations: “It is an attempt to legitimize the present model of distribution, where a minority believes that it has the right to consume in a way which can never be universalized.” The pope correctly addresses here the second pillar of environmental degradation.

    But the pope’s third reference shows that his understanding of population issues does not reflect the facts of biological equilibrium: “Attention needs to be paid to imbalances in population density, on both national and global levels, since a rise in consumption would lead to complex regional situations.” The claim that population density is a merely local problem is false on many counts. The delicate balance between earth’s inhabitants is constrained by numerous factors related to the population of competing species.

    Lions once ranged widely across Africa and into Syria, Israel, Iraq, Pakistan, Iran, and northwest India. 2,000 years ago more than a million lions roamed the Earth; today there may be as few as 20,000 left. Demographers estimate the African human population will be four billion by 2100, equivalent to the entire global population in 1974. Tigers likewise are in precipitous decline: the Bengal Tiger population stood at 100,000 in 1900, and numbered fewer than 4,000 in in 2013. With India at 1.4 billion humans today, the human/tiger ratio is 35,000 to one.Examples of other fauna being crowded out by humans include African elephants, rhinoceros, pandas, polar bears, sharks, whales, and other large species. By our sheer numbers we humans are presiding over the sixth great mass extinction event in the history of earth.

    Ultimately we humans are just as vulnerable as all the other species we are extinguishing, and sooner or later our population in excess of carrying capacity will be pitilessly trimmed by the factors of famine, disease, refugeeism, and brutal wars over water, energy, land, and resources. This should be recognized as a serious moral problem for a pro-life position. Twenty-five years ago Catholic missionarySean McDonagh asked in The Greening of the Church, “Is it really pro-life to ignore the warnings of demographers and ecologists who predict that unbridled population growth will lead to severe hardship and an increase in the infant mortality rate for succeeding generations? Is it pro-life to allow the extinction of hundreds of thousands of living species which will ultimately affect the well-being of all future generations on the planet?”

    Pope Francis has said many important things in Laudato Si’, and my critique should not detract from what is an excellent first foray by Catholic Church leadership into discussions of ecological degradation. But sweeping overpopulation under the carpet is like leaving the eggs out of eggs Benedict. I hope Laudato Si’ is only the first installment in a courageous reappraisal of theology-as-status-quo, and that we can look forward soon to another encyclical addressing the problem of human overpopulation in its integral relationship with overconsumption.

    There are Dinosaurs in the Bible? Job 40-41



    One of my favourite recent claims from Creationists is that early people used dinosaurs to build Stonehenge. That is perfectly reasonable if the earth is only 10000 years old and dinos lived alongside humans. Ken Ham has written books on it has a museum on Kentucky to prove it


    and is now building a life-size ark  – with modern construction methods.

    One of the crazy bits of misinterpreting the Bible is to calaim the the book of Job tells us all about dinosaurs.

    Here Greg Neyman shreds this wonderful bit of eisegesis! Enjoy!


    A review of the creation science theory that Job 40-41 refers to dinosaurs

    Source: Creation Science and Biblical Interpretation, Job 40-41, Dinosaurs in the Bible?


    Caution Creationists3

    The Mistrust of Science and what it means for natural gas.(= GMO +YEC)

    I always value Nick Grealy’s comments on fracking and his articles are consistently good.

    His comments on the pseudoscience of anti-fracking also apply to Creationism, anti-GMO, anti-vaxxers, anti-global warming etc.

    They come from the smugness of the secure who don’t need to struggle to live and “know not what they do” for the less advantaged.

    I am tempted to comment on the first paragraph, but assure all that I look much younger than Nick


    sci placeboI’m in general good health. I never get so much as a sniffle, haven’t had a headache in years, and as long as I stay away from mirrors I feel 30 years old. Thanks to either good genes or the beneficial aspects accruing from twenty years of smoking, drinking and staying up all night, I often appear ten years or so younger than I actually am.

    Don’t let that fool you. I’ve also had a fractured skull leading to two brain operations, a burst stomach artery, two separate forms of cancer and a heart valve replacement. Never once during my involuntary medical adventures did I ask to be prescribed the treatment 3% of doctors recommend. In short, I trust science.

    I’ve noted here before that natural gas opponents on the other hand, too often choose to cite the outliers in science. And let’s be fair, science isn’t a democracy. Galileo presents an obvious example where one person disrupted conventional wisdom. In the modern era we have the relatively unsung, but spectacular, case of Barry Marshall and Robin Warren who counter to all conventional medical thinking discovered peptic ulcers were not caused by stress, spicy food and too much stomach acid, but by a virus which shouldn’t even have existed. They won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2005.

    A recent piece in the New Yorker by a surgeon, Atul Gawande came to my attention ironically enough through a tweet by Bob Ward, Policy and Communications Director at the Grantham Institute which studies climate change (on which we agree how overwhelming evidence supports it) but also one who frequently cites outlier studies that paint natural gas in a negative light. Just as often, he chooses to ignore any which show the opposite. Like many communications professional in the climate sector, he often enthuses about emerging technologies that may – or may not- be ready for prime time. Equally, although he too welcomes the two great climate wins of lower carbon emissions and lower carbon intensity, he chooses to present them mostly as wins for renewable technology alone, not for the other key trends of efficient design and the coal to gas switch.

    Gawande barely mentions climate -or energy at all, being a physician. Nevertheless, there is much read across here for the natural gas debate. Much of what Dr Gawande says rings a rather depressing bell. I commend the whole piece, but this extract refers firstly to an issue we resolved in the UK a long time ago, but a growing one in the United States – often among the same constituency as fracking opponents – the anti-vaccination movement.

    People are prone to resist scientific claims when they clash with intuitive beliefs. They don’t see measles or mumps around anymore. They do see children with autism. And they see a mom who says, “My child was perfectly fine until he got a vaccine and became autistic.”

    Now, you can tell them that correlation is not causation. You can say that children get a vaccine every two to three months for the first couple years of their life, so the onset of any illness is bound to follow vaccination for many kids. You can say that the science shows no connection. But once an idea has got embedded and become widespread, it becomes very difficult to dig it out of people’s brains—especially when they do not trust scientific authorities. And we are experiencing a significant decline in trust in scientific authorities.

    Today, we have multiple factions putting themselves forward as what Gauchat describes as their own cultural domains, “generating their own knowledge base that is often in conflict with the cultural authority of the scientific community.” Some are religious groups (challenging evolution, for instance). Some are industry groups (as with climate skepticism). Others tilt more to the left (such as those that reject the medical establishment). As varied as these groups are, they are all alike in one way. They all harbor sacred beliefs that they do not consider open to question.

    To defend those beliefs, few dismiss the authority of science. They dismiss the authority of the scientific community. People don’t argue back by claiming divine authority anymore. They argue back by claiming to have the truer scientific authority. It can make matters incredibly confusing. You have to be able to recognize the difference between claims of science and those of pseudoscience.

    Pseudoscience is especially strong in the UK fracking debate. An engineer, a handful of doctors, or one geologist are often cited as being the Galileo or Marshall and Warren of our time. But the important point is that one or a handful of outliers are their authorities. It used to be said that you can choose your opinion, but you can’t choose your facts.  Today apparently, one can also choose your science. Gawande continues, echoing my point cited above in reference to methane emissions, chemicals and even seismology, but specifically addressing many issues of the day:

    Science’s defenders have identified five hallmark moves of pseudoscientists. They argue that the scientific consensus emerges from a conspiracy to suppress dissenting views. They produce fake experts, who have views contrary to established knowledge but do not actually have a credible scientific track record. They cherry-pick the data and papers that challenge the dominant view as a means of discrediting an entire field. They deploy false analogies and other logical fallacies. And they set impossible expectations of research: when scientists produce one level of certainty, the pseudoscientists insist they achieve another.

    It’s not that some of these approaches never provide valid arguments. Sometimes an analogy is useful, or higher levels of certainty arerequired. But when you see several or all of these tactics deployed, you know that you’re not dealing with a scientific claim anymore. Pseudoscience is the form of science without the substance.

    I trust Gawande. He’s a doctor. But he also highlights some issues transferable to the natural gas debate. One of several mistakes the gas industry has made is assuming that people listen to facts. Another is not reaching out to new audiences, an issue not unconnected to spending precious resources only preaching to the already converted. The environmental movement is equally guilty of course. The extreme churches, right and left,  often have a common business model: Think of it as tithing in reverse- priests pay their own congregations.

    Either pro- or anti-, the general public increasingly don’t listen to the facts, they listen to the messengers. They listen not to the noise, but to the signal.

    I’ve also mentioned the concept of “surprising validatorsbefore.  Surprising validators only arise when they have information -from communication – to start their journey from. After that it’s important for them, and them alone to speak to their congregation.  Stephen Tindale in the UK is a classic example, but I’ve always tried to be one too. I’m obviously a natural gas supporter – but not to the exclusion of anything except coal. Or pseudoscience.

    Gary Sernovitz’s inspiring book the “The Green and The Black” shows there is at least one other metropolitan liberal progressive apart from I who also supports natural gas.

    I would hope communication works both ways. I have a lot of people on the right who read me here, and sometimes I’ve turned down money from conservative groups. Yet I have influenced them on climate. The liberal ones have never offered sadly.

    That’s a shame. I speak to a lot of greens in my sometimes apparently quixotic quest to explore for shale gas in London. After all not only are they my neigbours, they’re also my tribe. I surprise them by not having horns, not denying the climate, and sharing most every other value they hold.

    But, when, not if, the London project comes to pass, there may be another barrier. “Conventional wisdom” investors, or at least those from the right, are convinced (by the protestors!) that I would never get acceptance that would allow any progress.  To that I can only say one thing: They too need to get out of their bubble. Speaking to people, instead of demonising or giving up on them may show how the natural gas industry is pushing on an open door.

    But first one has to discover the door, and then turn the handle. Afterwards, as in most things, and here I refer to my medical adventures again, one finds that things aren’t so scary after all and there are nice people only too happy to help.