Like their comrade, Ken Ham (see Ken Ham Says There’s No Extraterrestrial Life and also Creationism & Life on Other Worlds), creationists take a dim view of life on other worlds.
This “Earth Only” view — we’ll artificially dignify it with Latin — Sola Terra — is now seen to be the dogma of the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute‘s creationist public relations and lobbying operation, the Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids, a/k/a the cdesign proponentsists).
The Discoveroid doctrinal proclamation comes from David Klinghoffer, upon whom the Discoveroids have bestowed the exalted title of “senior fellow” (i.e., flaming, full-blown creationist). We’re certain that you know who Klinghoffer is, but if not, we last described him here. Our most recent post about his work was Klinghoffer v. Stephen Hawking, which showed him at his creationist best.
Klinghoffer’s new article is titled Water on Mars: Materialism’s Shroud of Turin. That’s an odd title. Is it merely a coincidence that one of our posts in June was titled Discovery Institute: The Shroud of Seattle? Yeah, it’s probably a coincidence.
I got an email this morning from someone named Randall asking why I hadn’t posted something about Stephen E. Jones wonderful part 1 of a review of Prof. Joel Bernstein’s lecture, "The Shroud of Turin: What science can tell us.” It had only been posted four hours ago and then it was six o’clock on a Sunday morning. I’m dedicated, yes, but I do sleep. Apparently Stephen doesn’t and Randall doesn’t. It is an excellent review. So read it. My favorite bit:
It is ironic that Bernstein used pro-authenticity Shroud research as a prime example of "pathological science" and McCrone’s anti-authenticity research as "good science," when the boot is well and truly on the other foot! And Bernstein himself is hardly engaging in "good science" when he lectures on a subject without bothering to read extensively the other side.
I agree. Now go read the review of Prof. Joel Bernstein’s lecture. It isn’t too early in the morning.
Calling the photograph of a bit of Mars the materialist’s Shroud of Turin, as the Discovery Institutes’ David Klinghoffer does in Evolution News and Views is a real stretch. The issue for Klinghoffer is that one more “God of the gaps” gap seems to be closing.
Oh my gosh, if there is evidence of water there might be the possibility that some primitive, perhaps primordial form of life existed there. What does that do for the Genesis story? Notice, Klinghoffer tells us, that the “materialists” use an awful lot of “ifs.”
Klinghoffer is not all fluff. He has written articles for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal. But make no mistake about it, he argues strenuously against evolution.
Materialism and Darwinism in their dual aspect as quasi-religious faith include a Genesis story, a scientific priesthood, the equivalents of sainthood and demonology, evangelism, catechism and excommunication, an Index Librorum Prohibitorum, and so on. The news in today’s Science about water on Mars and with that the consequent possibility of Martian microbial life — how many times have we heard this before? — offers what might be the materialist’s Shroud of Turin.
Look at photographs of the actual Shroud with its mysterious, haunting rust-brown image of what might or might not be the body of a crucified man from 1st-century Palestine. Believers persist in supporting investigations for forensic evidence of its authenticity.
The “ifs” keep being dropped and the gaps keep closing. But what in the world does this have to do with the shroud other than the color brown? Maybe this:
Notice just in those three short paragraph the number of "if’s," "whether’s," and "I don’t see why not’s" that pile on top of each other. Actually, there’s better scientific evidence that the Shroud of Turn is the burial cloth of Jesus Christ than that life exists or has existed on Mars. After all, there is at least debatable evidence for the former but not as yet one single iota for the latter.
But so what? Really, so what? You can’t really make a good analogy here. Read Water on Mars: Materialism’s Shroud of Turin – Evolution News & Views
From a posting in Unsolved Mystery. The quotation is by the late Fr. Albert R. ‘Kim’ Dreisbach, Jr., an Episcopal priest who became a wonderful friend as we both studied the shroud.
When I first began to study the Shroud of Turin, I was convinced it was a crock and it would take me probably less than two hours to put away this pious fraud. After all, anyone with an I.Q. 100 or over knows that all relics by definition are frauds. But I must admit, here I am some 17 years later, I who came to scoff, have stayed to pray. My own personal belief is the shroud is probably authentic.
Sean Carroll writes in Discover:
Last week I got to spend time in the NBC studio where they record Meet The Press — re-decorated for this occasion in a cosmic theme, with beautiful images of galaxies and large-scale-structure simulations in the background. The occasion was a special panel discussion to follow a Stephen Hawking special that will air on the Discovery Channel this Sunday, August 7. David Gregory, who usually hosts MTP, was the moderator. I played the role of the hard-boiled atheist; Paul Davies played the physicist who was willing to entertain the possibility of “God” if defined with sufficient abstraction, while John Haught played the Catholic theologian who is sympathetic to science.
The Hawking special is the kick-off episode to a major new Discovery program, called simply Curiosity. I predict it will make something of a splash. The reason is simple: although most of the episode is about science, Hawking clearly goes all-in with “God does not exist.” It’s not a message we often hear on American TV.
. . .
Besides, people find it interesting, and rightfully so. Professional scientists are sometimes irritated by the tendency of the public to dwell on what scientists think are the “wrong” questions. Most people are fascinated by questions about God, life after death, life on other worlds, and other issues that touch on what it means to be human. These might not be fruitful research projects for most professional scientists, but part of our job should be to occasionally step back and look at the bigger picture. That’s exactly what Hawking is doing here, and more power to him. (In terms of his actual argument, I’m sympathetic to the general idea, but would take issue with some of the particulars.)
Nevertheless, there was no way that Discovery was going to feature an hour of rah-rah atheism without a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down. Thus, our panel discussion, which will air immediately after the debut of Curiosity (i.e., 9pm Eastern/Pacific). The four of us had fun, and I think the result will be an interesting program — and hopefully I did the side proud, as the only legit atheist participating. Gregory seemed to enjoy himself, and joked that he might have to give up politics to do a weekly show about cosmology. (A guy can dream…) But we all agreed that it was incredibly frustrating to have so little time to talk about such big issues.
Check local schedules: Hawking and God on the Discovery Channel | Cosmic Variance | Discover Magazine
From the earliest days of Christianity up until Rembrandt’s 17th century, the idea of portraying Jesus as human reeked of blasphemy. Iconoclasts often violently repressed any attempts to portray Christ as anything less than fully, perfectly divine. Historically “accurate” representations of Jesus, such as the Veil of Veronica, the Mandylion, the Shroud of Turin, and the Lentulus Letter, set the standard rules followed when depicting Jesus during the Byzantine era and beyond. Just a century before Rembrandt’s birth, Dutch Protestants swept the churches clean of unacceptable portrayals of their savior. Into that environment stepped the revolutionary and rebellious Rembrandt.
On July 30, Tim, one of several hundred readers of this blog that day, posted a wonderful comment. At the time I told him that I would make a full posting out it. Then I forgot to do so. It is one of the best arguments against the profoundly ridiculous claim that Leonardo da Vinci created the Shroud as a fake relic. Here is what Tim wrote:
Quite apart from all the other consideration, check this out from Da Vinci’s notebooks:
“To lie is so vile, that even if were speaking well of Godly things, it would take off something from God’s grace; and truth is so excellent, that if it praises but small things they become noble.” (Moral Sayings)
I find it very hard to believe that a man with such disgust for lies would perpetrate a fraud of such magnitude as the Shroud of Turin.
I agree. Thanks.
Mentally, I’m still able to blog but notice that I have trouble with sequences. Even if I can figure out how to do something, by trial and error, I then can’t remember how I did it . . . .
When I read some of the blogposts I wrote two or three years ago, I don’t remember ever having known some of that stuff. There’s nothing like having a blog to bring home the fact that much of what we know today and read today will have vanished into some mysterious cerebral realm in a year or two. . . .
Not many people are terribly interested in knowing the inner thoughts of an 88 year-old lady but I put them out there anyway hoping perhaps someday my children and their offspring may want to know me better and somewhat understand some of the traits they have inherited. Some of them lean to the left and are anything but practicing Catholics. I, on the other hand, was born Catholic and have never found anything that made more sense to me. I regret that my loved ones seem to think Catholicism archaic and dumb and are proud to have moved on to more modern and reasonable positions.
All the above will help to explain why I, over and over, write posts saying, “See, all these highly respected and educated people are Christian. See, this intelligent person became, of all things, Catholic! How do you explain the shroud of Turin, the miracles at Fatima, the caterpillar-to-butterfly thing, the world and life itself? I had hoped for some on-line dialogues taking to me task for my old-fashioned beliefs and putting me straight.
I recommend an article by Jim Goldsworthy in yesterday’s Cumberland Times-News. It is called an American Dream and that is what its about. It is one of those “feel good” articles that caught my attention because of the mention of the shroud. Enjoy:
My grandfather also took to painting-by-the-numbers, and I have his rendition of The Last Supper. He was a man of boundless faith.
The History Channel had a program about forensic artists and scientists who worked with the Shroud of Turin to produce an image of what Jesus would have looked like if the Shroud is authentic. (I accept that possibility.)
It so closely resembled the image of Jesus in my grandfather’s painting that I got a sudden and shivering case of the chills. They lasted for quite some time and still return now and then when I look at that painting.
The night my grandfather died, Grandmother emerged “utterly transfigured” — as my father later described it — from my room, where he and the other grownups had put her on my bed when she went into shock.
He said “She was absolutely radiant,” and that it was the one most remarkable things he ever witnessed. I remember that night and agree.
She said, “Jesus came to me and told me that ‘Dad’ is all right.” We believed her.
When I think of The American Dream, I think of my grandfather. A first-generation native-born American, he left the coal mines as a young man to open the barbershop he operated in Keyser for almost half a century.
Although he couldn’t read or write (Grandmother taught him how to sign his name), he could count money and was a highly intelligent man whose education was as thorough as he could make it — even though its form was different from most.