Welcome to Satan Wrote the Bible blog. If this is your first time to Satan Wrote the Bible, please go to “About” first. And the two basic essays.
Welcome to Satan Wrote the Bible blog. If this is your first time to Satan Wrote the Bible, please go to “About” first. And the two basic essays.
I count religion but a childish toy,
And hold there is no sin but ignorance.
Christopher Marlowe in The Jew of Malta (1589)
In two weeks my Old Friend has not responded to either my comments on the link he sent me or on the Berkley Earth study He did send the following yesterday to his whole email group most of whom are, as nearly as I can tell, right-wingnuts.
It is an opinion piece from the Wall Street Journal by Harrison H. Schmitt and William Happer: In Defense of Carbon. “The demonized chemical compound is a boon to plant life and has little correlation with global temperature.”
My Old Friend’s note was: Who Knew????
My response: Actually, I knew; well, I knew that CO2 is used in greenhouses to stimulate growth. The ambient CO2 is about 340 ppm; when it goes down very much as can happen in greenhouses, it has an adverse effect on plants; raised to 1,000 ppm can have a positive effect. Unfortunately CO2 levels can’t be raised in the fields (if it could, you may be sure some farmers would be doing it) because CO2 doesn’t hang around near the ground but goes up into the atmosphere.
The authors of this piece are unaware of the Berkley Earth study and deny the research of 97% of the climatologists in the world; paragraph 2 is total nonsense. I was surprised that neither of them was a biologist or agronomist–even a paleontologist would have been interesting. Kinda makes you wonder where they are coming from.
Dear followers of ThomasD, I’m sorry if I have bored you with this dialogue. It has been going on for a number of years with me questioning myself occasionally: “Why am I doing this?” I think it is because I am trying to understand thought processes that fly in the face of reason. I found myself picking apart one of the pieces my friend sent me under the assumption it was a denier piece [http://judithcurry.com/2012/07/30/observation-based-attribution/] when I realized that there was valid information in it. I read it again and found that I agreed with the author. Then I did some research on the author and found that it was a respected climatologist. My friend had misread the piece and thought it supported his denier position. We are probably all guilty at times of putting our bias ahead of objectivity.
I leave this dialogue with the following for your amusement:
OF: You do notice that the PCC wants to track changes from 1990 so they can show a tiny temperature increase, but the deniers want to use 1998 (one of the hottest years in recent history) as the starting point to get a distinct record of global cooling.
ME: Did you reread your last before sending it? It sounds like something I should have said. “The deniers want to use 1998 (one of the hottest years in recent history) as the starting point to get a distinct record of global cooling.” Yeah, take the hottest year in recent history and lo and behold the subsequent years will be cooler. Climatologists are tracking 250 years and the increase is significant.
ME: How do you feel about the following two quotes?
“Suddenly the hockey stick, the poster-child of the global warming community, turns out to be an artifact of poor mathematics. That discovery hit me like a bombshell, and I suspect it is having the same effect on many others. How could it happen?”
Richard Muller October 2004
OF: From what I’ve read about Mr. Mann’s hockey stick theory, I definitely agree with the comment.
ME: How about this one?
“It’s a scientist’s duty to be properly skeptical. I still find that much, if not most, of what is attributed to climate change is speculative, exaggerated or just plain wrong. I’ve analyzed some of the most alarmist claims, and my skepticism about them hasn’t changed.” Richard Muller July 2012
OF: I think the second comment hits on what I’ve been saying for a long time … there can’t be that many “climate scientists” on the planet … we wind up with a lot of people with degrees in biology and other scientific fields writing articles on things well beyond their core competency, but it’s all feel-good sort of stuff and gets lots of support.
ME: OK, Old Friend, this is my last shot; I’ll leave you alone on this subject after this. Those quotes by Richard Muller, a global warming denier questioned the temperature statistics used by climatologists. He created Berkeley Earth http://berkeleyearth.org/to address potential biases in the land surface temperature record and got grants, among others a $150,000 grant from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation. He felt there were biases from urban heating, from data selection, from poor station quality and from human intervention and data adjustment.
Please take a serious look at this research and tell me how it is flawed.
OF: while I’m reviewing what you sent, please take a squint at this:
Subject: Amid criticism, Berkeley Earth extends record, upholds findings : Nature News Blog
Apparently some folks think Mr Muller is a flipping idiot … certainly not me … I do hope he’s not doing that tree ring thing
ME: Thanks for this link. I enjoyed it immensely especially the link to climatologist Judith Curry’s blog where I found this quote from climatologist Ken Caldeira:
I am glad that Muller et al have taken a look at the data and have come to essentially the same conclusion that nearly everyone else had come to more than a decade ago. The basic scientific results have been established for a long time now, so I do not see the results of Muller et al as being scientifically important. However, their result may be politically important. It shows that even people who suspect climate scientists of being charlatans, when they take a hard look at the data, see that the climate scientists have been right all along.
***I am looking forward to my friend’s response to the Berkley Earth research and conclusions in which Professor Muller states:
“Much to my surprise, by far the best match was to the record of atmospheric carbon dioxide, measured from atmospheric samples and air trapped in polar ice.” Muller emphasizes that the match between the data and the theory doesn’t prove that carbon dioxide is responsible for the warming but the good fit makes it the strongest contender. “To be considered seriously, any alternative explanation must match the data at least as well as does carbon dioxide.”
You may recall from Dialogue I that I asked my Climate Change Denier Friend if he felt dismissing 6 panels that exonerated the East Anglia scientists after the hacked emails was a reasonable approach to denying the validity of their work.
Old Friend: You got me … didn’t even read what you provided about those panels … I gave up on them when one of the first ones came out exonerating the guy from Penn State.
ME: So, if something comes along that doesn’t agree with your view, you disregard it, don’t even try to understand because your mind is made up?
OF: Don’t even recall why I found that to be a rigged jury, but I did.
ME: I believe I told you why. It was a very, very spurious argument. “Rigged jury” on
House of Commons Science and Technology Committee (UK)
Independent Climate Change Email Review (UK)
International Science Assessment Panel (UK)
Pennsylvania State University (US)
United States Environmental Protection Agency (US)
Department of Commerce (US)
Here is how you did it. . Throw out House of Commons Committee (government and all governments are corrupt); Independent Review (one of this group was connected with E.A.); International Panel (government); Penn State (a guy there was among the emailers); EPA (they never do anything right); and the Dept of Commerce (government).
There. Now you don’t have to do any digging to try to figure out why you found those six panels to be rigged. I think Associated Press did some digging also but that’s liberal media so easily dismissed. I wouldn’t want you to worry about how you dismissed and continue to dismiss all of the climate models but it seems to me that this one event (the emails) and dismissing the findings of the panels has done that. It seems to me that if something doesn’t fit what you believe to be the case, you dismiss it.
OF: There was more than enough smoke to confirm to my satisfaction the existence of several fires. Defending East Anglia would seem to be the height of folly … not too many even try.
ME: You dismiss the fact that 97% of climate scientists around the world believe that human activity is causing global warming.
OF: I think the fact that East Anglia University and its long list of (discredited) resident scholars have faded into virtual nonexistence on the global warming issue is all anyone needs to know.
ME: Interesting piece of information. The East Anglia climate model is still in the forefront. I believe it has been mentioned in some of the links I sent you. You see, when the six or more panels exonerated the scientists they were, well, exonerated, at least in the eyes of all but followers of Murdock Media.
OF: Fact is, their tidal wave of grant money intended to prove the point has dwindled to a tiny ripple. They screwed the pooch and everyone knows it … well, almost everyone, certainly those shoveling money.
ME: I’d love to know the source of this information.
Note: My Old Friend has not responded to this perhaps because I asked him to send me credible links other than blogs and opinion pieces.
Me. Do you still think our actions have little if anything to do with global warming?
OF (old friend): Not that long ago the facts contradicted the desired conclusion, so the folks at East Anglia (remember them) decided to simply ignore some of the facts and alter others … there’s pure science for you.
Me: Sorry to learn that you are still stuck in the East Anglia time warp.
After the emails were exposed and panels set up to investigate you had a wonderfully open mind, at least in my recollection. I believe when the first couple of panels came out vindicating the scientists you emailed your list of conservative friends with an attachment about the panels and a note something like “Maybe the scientists have something”. Someone fired back the put-downs of the panels vilifying them because on each panel there was someone connected with the scientists in some way. That worked for you and you have hung your hat on vilifying the scientists ever since. In the end there were six panels and all six found the science valid. If half of the panels had gone one way and the other half the other, I’d have probably still been leaning toward accepting the East Anglia climate model. Had five or six of the panels questioned the science, I’d be on your side.
OF: Here is a hint of what you might find with just a little research … concepts never to be heard on NPR or seen on PBS … why is that?
Me: Actually I am aware of all of this, have received it on PBS/NPR and am aware that the scientific points have been figured into the climate change programs. This article is about earth’s orbital variations which are in 100,000 year cycles, 42,000 year cycles and 21,000 years cycles. The climatologists have figured those into their models.
The article also says the sunspot cycle is now believed to be in a 125 year cycle. That, too, is part of the East Anglia model.
The second link you sent was an opinion piece titled “Evidence That the Earth Wobbling on it’ Axis Causes Climate Change…Could this Finally Prove The Global Alarmists Wrong?”
A quote from this piece, “There are many reasons why Global Warming can take place…” is common knowledge among those of us who follow this issue with unbiased interest. The East Anglia model incorporates all of them looking at the best and worst case scenarios which is what gives the range of predictions
OF: I am truly astounded … PBS and NPR … you wouldn’t kid your old roomie would you?
Not much for the deniers to deny when there’s nothing new from the other side … all the news lately tends to counter the notion of a warming planet … most says it’s cooling.
Me: You really might want to consider your source of news. The following link is to a transcript of a program I heard on NPR last week. I wasn’t looking for something on climate change. I just turned on the radio.
The cooling part you talk about is where we are in the sunspot and earth wobble cycles which makes the fact that the earth is warming even more…oh, dear, do I dare say “alarming”?
OF: I know this is pretty heavy stuff for an actor turned gentleman farmer, but give it your best shot. The science is not settled and Al Gore is still a self-serving scoundrel, if not simply a flaming idiot.
Me: Oh me oh my, I did my best to understand that link but the language was so…what should I say, “biased” that it was difficult to keep from laughing; but it was really wonderful to get another look at your news sources. I did use some of their links which were enlightening but I confess I got tired of the repetition and didn’t get much more than half way through. I did look all the way through just in case there was some gem hidden away. Please compare the language of the link you sent:“,,,there remain those political elites and mainstream ‘journalists’ bitterly clinging to their blatantly incorrect, non-scientific, irrational (insane?) fears of “scary” global warming.”
compared with the language of the link I’m sending below.
“Subsequent research has confirmed this result. A survey of 3146 earth scientists asked the question “Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?” (Doran 2009). More than 90% of participants had Ph.D.s, and 7% had master’s degrees. Overall, 82% of the scientists answered yes. However, what are most interesting are responses compared to the level of expertise in climate science. Of scientists who were non-climatologists and didn’t publish research, 77% answered yes. In contrast, 97.5% of climatologists who actively publish research on climate change responded yes. As the level of active research and specialization in climate science increases, so does agreement that humans are significantly changing global temperatures.”
I know you will appreciate this as you dismissed one article I sent you as being poorly written. When I suggested you take a look at the research that the article was about you wrote: “I’ll probably get to it, but why should we have to research it if the guy who reportedly did the work can’t make a convincing case?” I’m guessing you didn’t as I didn’t hear any more after that.
Following is another quote from the most recent link you sent:
“Taxpayers have spent billions on CO2-driven climate model ‘science,’ which the empirical evidence now suggests was like pouring money down a rat-hole….the abysmal prediction failure of CO2-centric models is simply fact – are there actual scientific models that can replace this current wasteland of biased AGW climate research?”
The answer to that question is “You betcha.” Here is the link to the research this author and you haven’t read.
PS: I found it interesting that you had time to Google a response to my email rather than answer it directly.
PPS: I got a kick out of “actor, gentleman farmer”, I mean, ha, ha, ha, how could I have anything substantive to say, right?
OF: OK, you’re right I didn’t respond to your original message … You gave me a link to something you heard on NPR. I know, you listened to the broadcast so you probably saw no need to read the transcript … I did … well, much of it. Looks to be a group of “scientists” whimpering over the lack of respect they are accorded. In his attempt to talk about his science (page 2) Michael Mann describes the foundation of his famous Hockey Stick theory … temperature readings only go back about 100 years so beyond that we look at tree rings, corals and ice cones. I believe most scientists quite placing their faith in tree rings after discovering these didn’t coincide with actual recorded temperatures in the second half of the last century. Later Mr. Mann talks about Hurricane Sandy … “ there is certainly a climate change component …”. Thomas, I don’t think he can find too many scientists that blamed Sandy on climate change, even though the media did its damndest to do just that. Mann wants us to believe that the storm surge was roughly a foot higher than one might expect from a hurricane except for climate change … I doubt he can convince a group of knowledgeable 8th graders with that argument.
The old adage: Figures lie and liars figure is more than just a little appropriate on this subject. You reminded me of a critique I provided on an article that I wrote it off, simply because it was so poorly written. If memory serves, my objection was that it was presumably “peer reviewed”. If so, one should question the qualifications of the peer group. When I said earlier that the reason you haven’t seen much from the deniers lately is because all the new “evidence” seems to support their position … there’s nothing new to deny. Would you agree that since 1998 all of the statistics seem to show that global warming has stalled, if not reversed? According to some, the planet has actually cooled 0.08 degrees in that period and they’re using data provided by the UN’s IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). Here is an IPCC report that the IPCC didn’t want to get out until they could find a way to spin it:
Subject: Leaked IPCC Climate Report Shows UN Overestimated Global Warming
Here is another example of playing with the data to make a point that supports a predetermined conclusion:
Subject: Was 2012 the Hottest Year? Alarmists Blowing Hot Air Again
There’s entirely too much BS associated with this subject and it’s being bandied about by people who are not qualified. I do firmly believe that I am still being open minded and objective in looking at it, but if you disagree that’s your privilege.
ME: Well, you still didn’t respond to my original message. By response I mean to what I said. I’ll keep this real short.
I said there were six (actually eight) panels that vindicated the East Anglia scientists and said their research was valid and that if they had said otherwise, I would have accepted that the research was tainted at best.
You choose to accept the put-down of those panels, all of them. What would your reaction have been if the reports had been the opposite and I had disregarded them because of some nonsense floating around the internet?
Satan Wrote The Bible fans, you may wonder what this has to do with this site. My Old Friend is a practicing Catholic. I think research would show that people who have stayed in one religion for life are less likely to think outside the box they construct around themselves.
I’ll be passing on more of this dialogue. My Old Friend has still not answered this question
The LORD passed before [Moses] and proclaimed, “The Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.”
- Exodus 34:6
This was the verse of the day from Sojourners (A pretty good Christian organization as they go.) There’s the big G patting himself on the back; not an endearing quality. Seven verses on he tells Moses “ye shall destroy their (all the other tribes) alters, break their images, and cut down their groves.” In the next verse he proclaims himself to be “a jealous God.” A few verses later “Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, as I commanded thee…”
Nothing wrong with eating unleavened bread but worshiping a god who is jealous and egocentric and teaches hatred??? Happy Passover.
Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered.
And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it and found nothing theron, but leaves only, and said unto it, “Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever.” And presently the fig tree withered away. Matthew 21:19-20
He kills a fig tree just because it didn’t have figs when he wanted some? Fig trees don’t give fruit all the time so it was probably a perfectly fine and productive tree but even if the tree should have had fruit at that time, killing it simply because he was hungry is hardly a quality I would associate with perfection. Oh, and if you think I’m taking this out of context, by all means check it out. He goes on to tell his disciples that if they have faith “all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive” including casting mountains into the sea.
I wonder if fundamentalists understand parables. My own experiences lead me to believe they don’t. For example, I have had fundamentalists tell me that the reason no one stoned the adulteress when Jesus said “let he who is without sin throw the first stone” was because all of those men had committed adultery. If there had been just one who had not, he would have thrown the first stone and the woman would have been stoned to death.
“So,” I asked, “this story doesn’t pertain to you at all?” “Right,” he answered. I’ve never committed adultery so if I had been there, I could have stoned her.” It seems to me that is a story about judging others as in “judge not lest yea be judged.”
The parable of the Good Samaritan does not translate into “love thy enemies.” Enjoy this quote from a Christian site on the parables: “Like his aphorisms, Jesus’ parables were often surprising and paradoxical. The parable of the good Samaritan, for example, turned expectations on their head with the despised Samaritan proving to be the wounded man’s neighbor.”
Follows is a dialogue in which I tried to make a point using allegory:
Me: You believe life is a gift?
CF (Christian Fundamentalist): Yes.
Me: A gift from God?
Me: God the Father?
Me: Do you think life is a wonderful gift?
Me: You are a father. Have you given your children gifts?
CF: Of course.
Me: Imagine giving your son a wonderful gift, the best gift you could imagine and he said “Thank you Dad. What else did you get me?” How would that make you feel?
CF: What’s your point?
Me: God gave you a wonderful gift, you say, but you turn around and ask for another life, a heaven that you know nothing about other than you are sure it is better than this life, this gift. How do you think that would make God feel?
CF: I’m not God.
Me: You believe you were created in God’s image. God shows lots of feelings and emotions that you can identify with including rage. You call him your Father in Heaven. If I gave my son a beautiful bicycle that he wanted and he said, “Thanks Dad. What else did you get me? I’d be pissed.
CF: I’m sure you are a good father.
Using allegory when having a discussion of religion with fundamentalist Christians may not help advance your point.
Do you think Satan exists? If so, then, yes, Satan exists in your reality. We each live in our own reality and that reality includes our beliefs. If you believe there is a Satan but not a God, then you might want to consider where the notion of Satan came from. The simple answer is that your Satan came from the Bible. Satan is a personification or deification of evil to contrast with the personification or deification of good which, in the Bible, is given the name God. There is really very little information about Satan in the Bible. He has been fleshed out by many authors since which has given the notion of Satan pretty much the image people hold today. The dialogue between Satan and God in the book of Job in the Old Testament is the only place in the Bible where Satan actually appears and is a good place to try to understand the Biblical Satan. The image I suspect you hold of Satan can be found in Paradise Lost by John Milton or in sermons by people who believe they are teaching from the Bible.
I don’t think Satan exists. My thesis that Satan wrote the Bible is for people who believe that God wrote the Bible or caused it to be written, that the Bible is the word of God. If you believe that, you should read what “God” says and does in the Bible. You believe that God gave you your mind; use it. Use it to try to understand the God and the Satan that you believe in. Don’t rely on what others (like preachers, rabbis, popes and the like) tell you about God. Don’t rely on what is said about God in the Bible. Go right to God’s actions and words and I think you will find an image quite different from the one you worship.
Neither Satan nor God wrote the Bible or had influence over the writing of the Bible. The Old Testament was written by men passing on stories that were created in the minds of men (and likely some women) to try to explain creation and the early life of the Jews to explain how they came into being and to lay down some rules of behavior so the species could get along and live good lives. Science has come a long way since then toward explaining creation and how we came into being. That some people reject what we have learned and cling to notions developed over 2,500 years ago is an indication of how powerful teaching beliefs rather than teaching open mindedness and how to think at an early age can be. For those who can use the minds that came with their bodies I suggest looking at the age old questions from a current day perspective.
As for creation scientists have reached back to the big bang which comes from evidence of what the universe is doing today—expanding at in increasingly rapid rate. They don’t know where the material came from that came together and then exploded—still a mystery. If you like the notion that God created the universe, why not have him do it with a clap of his hands, BANG! Or how about the notion that this is a virtual reality much like video games; the creation is this fantastic game that surrounds us wherever we go, whatever we do—it is us. We have been getting ever closer to creating virtual reality; movies, then 3D movies, surround sound, Imax and video games that keep getting closer to reality. Scientists have figured out how to stimulate nerves in amputees to give them feeling in prosthetic limbs. From that it is comprehensible that they will be able to stimulate all our nerves in a virtual experience. For me I’d like that to be a date with Sophia Loren when she was about 22.
Another way to look at this notion is to consider what we know about the makeup of matter. We are made up of atoms that have a nucleus and electrons spinning around them interestingly much like the planets spinning around the sun. These atoms are mostly space. Take out all the space and we would be reduced to a speck of dust. Science has got another thing going on that I don’t understand very well as it is too new for my brain but as I understand it they have now got us or everything reduced to wave lengths. From another reality looking in on us we might be holograms.
Might it not be a good idea to think about how we came into being (actually science has largely answered that one), the purpose (meaning) of life and how best to behave so our species can get along and live good lives with all we know now rather than hanging onto ideas developed before electricity, before computers, before we had any thoughts about a virtual reality?
I asked my friend from college: “Work! I thought you retired?”
“Yes, I do work. I took a couple of years off and went back to work as an auditor-appraiser for the county assessor office. I put values on personal property (boats/airplanes) and business equipment and hand the values over to the tax collector department that translates my value into a property tax much like the real estate tax. I get every other Friday off, plus I needed health care coverage. If I work 5 years, I can retire from the county and get a monthly check based on my salary.”
Did you guess liberal Democrat? He is a bureaucrat, after all, and looking forward to being on the public dole with the retirement. I guess we can’t fault him wanting health care.
Actually, he hates bureaucrats, thinks pensions for labor are destroying the country, and doesn’t understand why people are whining about health care. He has never voted for a Democrat. He also hates taxes which takes all this irony over the top since he is working for the tax assessor. You already know I think there may be a link between fundamentalist republicans and fundamentalist Christians. My friend is a fundamentalist Lutheran.
This is a true story. The quote is an actual quote. Obviously he doesn’t see any disconnect between what he is doing and what he believes. There is way too much of this in our society: the people who bitch about taxes and scream at politicians for not fixing the pot-holes; the people who hate government but want morality laws—government in the bedroom. I have to accept that they don’t see the inconsistency so I watch the Daily Show on Comedy Central with Jon Stewart to get a laugh rather than an aneurism.
A site you might enjoy http://keeptalkingwingnuts.blogspot.com/