Monday, May 21, 2007

Is This Satire, Or For Real?

Sam Brownback is a Republican Senator from Kansas, very conservative. He cites Jesse Helms as his hero and role model. Favors teaching intelligent design and opposes marriage equality. You know the rest.

His followers have a blog site, called Blogs4Brownback. OK, lots of politicians have blogs supporting them. As you would expect, this is mostly more-or-less over-the-top ranting, we've seen it before, our county's CRC would be comfortable there. We will have some anynomous comments on this post about what a great American Sam Brownback is.

So now we have to figure out something. Like, when Conservapedia came out, and you looked at it, and you had to decide -- are these guys for real? An encyclopedia of alternate reality? And after a couple of months you knew, well, yes, apparently they actually are for real.

Blogs4Brownback has a post from the other day that challenges Copernicus. It goes on and on, I'll paste some of it here, you help me figure out if this is a hoax, or for real:
What's even worse than the debate raging in American schools about the teaching of the soulless doctrine of evolution, is the non-debate over an issue that rational Americans have foolishly conceded to the secular among us: the issue of Heliocentrism, or the idea that the Earth revolves around the Sun.

Now, it has to be granted that there may be some mathematical evidence going either way; mathematically speaking, Copernicus may be on ground nearly as firm as that of Tycho Brahe. Right-thinking people know the correct doctrine, however:
Heliocentrism is the view that the sun is at the center of the universe. It was proposed by some ancient Greeks,[1] and became the dominant view in the 1700s and 1800s. It was abandoned in the 20th century.

Since the advent of relativity theory in the early 1900s, the laws of physics have been written in covariant equations, meaning that they are equally valid in any frame. Heliocentric and geocentric theories are both used today, depending on which allows more convenient calculations

It seems clear that it may occasionally be convenient to assume that the calculations of Copernicus and Kepler were mathematically sound. However, for both moral and theological reasons, we should always bear in mind that the Earth does not move. If it moved, we would feel it moving. That’s called empiricism, the experience of the senses. Don't take my word for it, or the evidence of your own senses, Copernicans. There's also the Word of the Lord:
"He has fixed the earth firm, immovable." (1 Chronicles 16:30)
"Thou hast fixed the earth immovable and firm ..." (Psalm 93:1)
"Thou didst fix the earth on its foundation so that it never can be shaken." (Psalm 104:5)
"... who made the earth and fashioned it, and himself fixed it fast ..." (Isaiah 45:18)
"The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose." (Ecclesiastes 1:5)
"Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.” (Joshua 10, 12-13)

Moreover, as Answers in Genesis points out,
... [S]omething well known to high-school physics students, but apparently not to bibliosceptics—that it’s valid to describe motion from any reference frame, although an inertial one usually makes the mathematics simpler.3 But there are many times when the Earth is a convenient reference frame; i.e. at some point we all use the geocentric model in one sense. For instance, a planetarium is a geocentric model. Calculation of rising, transiting, and setting of various celestial objects is calculated geocentrically. There are numerous other examples. Since modern astronomers often use an Earth-centred reference frame, it’s unfair and anti-scientific to criticise the Bible for doing the same.

OK, you get the picture.

This writer does not want his kids learning heliocentrism in school -- he says:
... I think this doctrine encourages atheism, Darwinism, and anti-Americanism. I don't want my tax dollars going to finance this kind of false science. It's complete rot, and I hope that those of us who come to realize this can ultimately prevail against its propogation amongst OUR children with the money from OUR salaries.

What are you going to do when some group forms in our county to oppose the atheistic teaching of heliocentricity? Oh, the TV cameras will love them. They'll get a seat on the committees, they'll send their fliers home with the kids, they'll come into the classrooms -- because it wouldn't be fair to exclude one point of view, would it?

OK, I toss it to you. Do you think this is a hoax perpetrated from inside the radical right Blogs4Brownback, or are these guys for real? I think it's for real.


Blogger Robert said...

I think it just has to be a hoax, parodying the pseudoscience of intelligent design. It also underscores the basic silliness of biblical literalism.

Again, in my old church, people believed God stopped the sun for a day. There was the general thinking that God could contravene any law of physics or other sciences whenever he wanted; isn't that the basic idea behind miracles?


May 21, 2007 11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This website has nothing to do with Brownback. From its mission statement:

"This is Blogs 4 Brownback, and not Blogs of Brownback, so posts reflect the views of individual posters and not necessarily those of Senator Brownback."

Isn't Jim doing something similar to what he so recently complained others were doing to him?:

"This technique of smearing us with something that happened in -- where? -- Boulder, I guess, from the file name, is not going to be successful on our own turf. Whatever is on these sound files, we didn't say it, and we aren't responsible for it.

It's a big world out there, Anon, and it is not true that everybody who disagrees with you is in full agreement about everything. I would say "nice try," but your comment wasn't even that, it was a weak try, and did not make you look superior."

In short, it's a common phenomena. We can't avoid the fact that we all have nuts that look up to us. Even the school board.

May 21, 2007 6:02 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Well excuse me if I seemed to imply that Sam Brownback himself posted this; I figured that would be clear and not need to be explained, someone else was the author here. And please correct me if these blogs are not those of Brownback supporters.


May 21, 2007 6:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, they asked who didn't believe in evolution at the Republican candidates' debate a couple of weeks ago and it was Brownback, Huckabee and the libertarian.

BTW, Fox is elevating the debate form. If you don't believe me read this morning's Post.

Did you watch the one in Carolina last week? The moderator actually told the candidates to try again when they failed to answer a question. Small wonder the Democrats are too cowardly to show up at a Fox-sponsored debate.

The race is between McCain and Huckabee. Either one will cruise to victory over Hillary. You read it first at TTF.

May 21, 2007 6:33 PM  
Anonymous MCPS Mom said...

Isn't Jim doing something similar to what he so recently complained others were doing to him?

No. Jim didn't put Brownback's name and a post challenging Copernicus together, the Blogs4Brownback blogger did that. Jim did not say "I'm sure Brownback supports this idea." Instead he asked readers here if they think this is for real or a hoax.

As for Boulder, Jim wrote a blog about alternative cognition vs. reason. In that blog's comment section, Anon brought up Boulder's troubles with guest speakers in health class and said "I am sure the TTF crowd is just FINE with this."

I see no similarities.

May 21, 2007 8:10 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

I read the comments on the Blogs4Brownback site, and it clearly is parody, but very well done. The author "Sisyphus" sounds a lot like our friend anonymous, but he's making fun. Which brings me baclk to a question I asked last year of anon: do you make yourself up? Do you really think those things you write, or are you a parody of anti-lgbt people?


May 22, 2007 8:58 AM  

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