March 12, 2018 | David F. Coppedge

Media Give Absurdity a Pass If It Is Materialistic

It’s amazing what you can get away with saying as long as you pledge allegiance to Charles Darwin’s impersonal, unguided worldview.

Stephen Hawking Says He Knows What Happened Before the Big Bang (Live Science). Does Stephen Hawking think he is a god? Along with his fellow atheist Neil de Grasse Tyson, he boldly went where no man has gone before:

At the time of the Big Bang, all the matter in the universe was smooshed into an incredibly hot, infinitely dense speck of matter.

But what happened before that? It turns out, famed physicist Stephen Hawking has an answer, which he gave in an interview with his almost-as-famous fellow scientist, Neil deGrasse Tyson. Hawking discusses these ideas and others on the series finale of Tyson’s “StarTalk” TV show, which airs this Sunday (March 4) at 11 p.m. ET on the National Geographic Channel.

Here we have Live Science, National Geographic and two celebrities getting away with absurd speculations. Hawking’s answer involves a non-answer: his “no-boundary proposal” introduced in his book A Brief History of Time. It’s not a theory; it’s not even a hypothesis; it’s just a “proposal” that “The boundary condition of the universe … is that it has no boundary.” Anyone see a logical contradiction there?

Update 3/13/18: News came late Tuesday March 13 that Stephen Hawking had passed away. We meant no disrespect by posting this entry the prior day, because we obviously had no way of knowing. Our respects to the family and the scientific community for a man of exceptional talent, who persevered in spite of a debilitating illness.

Here’s what aliens probably look like (Fox News Science). TV celebrity futurist Michio Kaku has never seen a space alien, but he already knows what they look like. They have opposable thumbs, stereo vision, and language. Then he lets loose with wild speculations about what “evolutionary pressures” would bring about.

In addition, Kaku theorizes that many alien civilizations will exist on ice-covered moons (like Jupiter’s moon Europa or Saturn’s moon Enceladus), where life would exist completely underwater. So how would an aquatic species become truly intelligent beings?

Kaku takes this thought experiment back to Earth. The one Earth-bound underwater animal that nearly fits all the above criteria — stereo vision, graspable appendages — is the octopus, he writes. The cephalopod, which has survived on Earth for at least 165 million years, only lacks language.

On a different planet, however, cephalopods could easily develop language — in fact, if conditions changed drastically on Earth, Kaku says it could even happen here, too.

“On a distant planet under different conditions, one can imagine that an octopus-like creature could develop a language of chirps and whistles so it could hunt in packs,” Kaku writes. “One could even imagine that at some point in the distant future, evolutionary pressures on Earth could force the octopus to develop intelligence. So an intelligent race of octopods is certainly a possibility.”

One could imagine. When your explanatory toolkit consists of the Stuff Happens Law and imagination, anything is possible.

The Trippy Reason ‘Magic’ Mushrooms Evolved to Get You High (Live Science). Wait a minute; humans weren’t even around when mushrooms evolved (according to Darwinians), so how did they evolve to get you high? Oh, we get it. They evolved to get insects high first, so that they wouldn’t want to eat so much. This trick must have evolved in one kind of mushroom, Rafi Letzer speculates, then spread around to other species by horizontal gene transfer. It doesn’t seem to protect mushrooms from humans, though, because they love to eat mushrooms.

We’ve evolved to sleep less and that may be causing Alzheimer’s (New Scientist). In Darwin fantasyland, any phenomenon must have emerged “for” something. Since humans don’t sleep as long as other primates, like chimps, what could be the evolutionary reason? Well, we have better things to do with our time, Jessica Hamzelou speculates. I mean, what human wouldn’t get bored with eating bananas and scratching all day? So humans must have evolved boredom, forcing them to find more things to do. That made non-sleepers the fittest. Natural selection is a cruel force, though. An evolutionary storyteller at Duke University thinks that’s why we are more susceptible to Alzheimer’s Disease. Whatever makes a good story, the media is only too happy to print.

We could find advanced aliens by looking for their space junk (New Scientist). Leah Crane knows the difference between junk and stuff. Junk is the stuff space aliens throw away, and stuff is the junk they keep. So if we see the junk they kept, we could infer their presence. Would that be an inference to intelligent design? No, because logically, humans must have evolved to look for junk. The fact that we and space aliens create junk (not by intelligent design, mind you) could be considered a case of convergent evolution, if you apply some Darwin Flubber to the mix.

That’s enough absurdity for today. We don’t want to dish out too much at a time for fear that rational humans will begin to feel that Darwinian fantasizing is normal behavior.


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