How is Ben Stein’s “Expelled”?

Who has seen Ben Stein’s satirical take on the Darwinist establishment, “Expelled”? I haven’t, and I’m not sure when I’ll get to. I see that even conservative blogs are just aghast at Ben Stein daring to defend Intelligent Design and to ridicule evolutionists. How well does he pull this off?

Going nuclear?

This article surveys our energy problems and the global food and starvation crisis caused to a major extent by the biofuel fiasco. The solution the article lifts up is nuclear energy! It does not pollute the air like other fuels. It is pretty much inexhaustible. And yet, people fear it irrationally. A nuclear power plant does NOT set off an atom bomb. It’s not like on the Simpsons, generating three eyed fish and irradiating the community. The radiation can be managed pretty easily.

Do you buy that argument, that environmentalists, in blocking the building of new nuclear energy plants, are harming the environment?

Or can another case be made against nuclear energy, that it violates the basic building block of matter in a profoundly unnatural and so immoral way?

At any rate, when the left ridicules President Bush, pro-lifers, creationists, and social conservatives in general for being “anti-science”–whether their stances are valid or not– can we include anti-nuclear activists in that group?

Mysterious lights over Arizona and Florida

Strange lights flew in formation over Phoenix, Arizona, and St. Augustine, Florida. (Something similar happened in Phoenix in 1997.) These were widely seen and photographed. Here is a story about the Arizona sightings: Unexplained lights spotted above Valley; what were they? Here is a story on the Florida sightings. (The anchors say the lights may be wedding lights, I guess something like balloons.)

Here is a video of what people were seeing in Arizona, so you can see them for yourself:

What do you make of these? (I welcome opinions both serious and humorous.)

UPDATE: We have a confession.

Burn oil, not food

One of the environmental solutions hailed by past Earth Days is now seen to be creating huge environmental problems. Using ethanol, made from corn and other agricultural products, has been found to use more energy than it produces, adds to pollution, and now is contributing to a global food crisis.

See Lester Brown and Jonathan Lewis – Ethanol’s Failed Promise – washingtonpost.com.

The case of the typing monkeys

Dr. Aikman recounting one reason the noted atheist Anthony Flew (whose arguments against the existence of God I was subjected to when I was an undergraduate) changed his mind:

 The “Monkey Theorem,” in its popular form, holds that if you have an infinite number of monkeys banging away at an infinite number of keyboards, eventually you will get from one of them Shakespeare’s Sonnet Eighteen, the first four lines of which read:  

 “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? /Thou art more lovely and more temperate./ Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May/ And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.    

 Well, in  the 1990’s the British National Council of the Arts, in an inventive use of taxpayers’ money, placed six monkeys in a cage with a computer.  After banging away at the keyboard for a whole month – and using the computer as a bathroom at the same time – the monkeys had typed 50 pages but failed to produce a single word in the English language, not even the letter “a” by itself.   [Gerry] Schroeder applied probability theory to the “Monkey Theorem” and calculated that the chance of getting Sonnet Eighteen by chance was 26 multiplied by itself 488 times (488 is the number of letters in the sonnet) or, in base 10, 10 to the 690th.  If that number is written out, it is 1 with 690 zeroes following it.  But, as Schroeder showed, the number of particles in the entire universe –  protons, electrons and neutrons – is only ten to the 80th.  Thus, even if every particle in the universe were a computer chip that had been spinning out random letters a million times a second since the beginning of time, there would still be no Shakespeare’s Sonnet Eighteen by chance.  As Flew concluded, “if the theorem [the Monkey Theorem] won’t work for a single sonnet, then of course it’s simply absurd to suggest that the more elaborate feat of the origin of life could have been achieved by chance.

 

I love knowing that there are 10 to the 80th particles in the universe!  Is that all?  And a typing monkey couldn’t come up with one of them!

 

 

I will make the moon disappear tomorrow night!

Just checking to see if people are so uneducated and unknowledgeable today about the lunar eclipse coming up that Columbus’s old gambit would still work:

An eclipse is credited with saving the life of Christopher Columbus and his crew in 1504. 

 

Stranded on the coast of Jamaica, the explorers were running out of food and faced with increasingly hostile local inhabitants who were refusing to provide them with any more supplies.

Columbus, looking at an astronomical almanac compiled by a German mathematician, realised that a total eclipse of the Moon would occur on February 29, 1504.

He called the native leaders and warned them if they did not cooperate, he would make the Moon disappear from the sky the following night.

The warning, of course, came true, prompting the terrified people to beg Columbus to restore the Moon — which he did, in return for as much food as his men needed. He and the crew were rescued on June 29, 1504.


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