Monday, November 23, 2009

Where Oh Where is the Oregonian Newspaper ? ! ?

Beginning with a corner of the world known as Oregon (but almost universally known as Ory-gone to the uninitiated).

(I) First the good news.

The Oregon State University Beavers football team will go up against the University of Oregon (also known as the University of California at Eugene to the granola and Birkenstocks crowd) Ducks in only 10 days with winner-take-all for the PAC-10 Rose Bowl berth. Is that so cool! In my young and foolish days, my must-see game was Trojans vs. Bruins (recall O.J Simpson versus Gary Beban 21-20?). But now that I am older and wiser, Beavs and Ducks it is. Go Beavs!

(II) Absent news coverage.

Now the puzzling news. Portland's Oregonian newspaper is AWOL (official lingo that means hiding in a dark corner somwhere) in reporting substantive news about the global-warming computer hacking scandal-outrage-coup-whatever.

Remember a few years ago when Oregon's U.S. Senator Bob Packwood's lady-groping under banquet tables was outed by the Washington Post while such shenanigans had apparently been known to local Oregonian news staff for quite some time? The bumper sticker said it all:
"If it matters to Oregonians, read it in the Washington Post."

Well, here we go again. It has been four days since the sensational release of files hacked out of England's University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit raised stunning questions about professional misconduct, bias, and stonewalling. See my prior post:

But I have been looking in vain for anything of substance in the Oregonian about the whole affair. Are Los Angeles and Miami are still expected to go under water before too long? And, more immediately, are American families going to be expected to bear the $3,000 per year for the next 20 years to pay for the ill-advised cap-and-trade business if the global warming hysteria continues and we sign away our sovereignty in Copenhagen next month?

In Saturday's (Nov 21) edition I pored over section A looking for coverage. Result? Nada. Earthweek on page 2 had nary a peep. I did find something about overweight students and that Senator Burris got scolded.

Then came Sunday, Nov. 22. I actually looked for climate change scandal coverage before I read the game summary of the Ducks-Arizona contest. Oh look, there it is buried on page A-17 (could not go on A-18 since that was a full page ad for Macy's). An article "Hackers leak climate emails, stoking debate" with three and a half short columns. Not much ink and even less substance, but the most serious omission was making no mention of possible manipulation of the peer-review process. When you can control who gets to speak at the table and who can not, a lot of chicanery can come down. And so it appears.

And now today, Monday, Nov. 23. Since my expectations for Oregonian coverage had been abandoned, I read the comics and sports before looking for the Climategate coverage. Aha - there it is! All 5 column inches of it hiding on the bottom of page A-6. It is a London article giving the nonsubstantive reply of Kevin Trenberth of the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Colorado. Trenberth "believes the hackers who stole a decade's worth of correspondence ... deliberately distributed only those documents that could help attempts by skeptics to undermine the scientific consensus on man-made climate change." My response? Hey, skip the outrage already. Answer the questions raised. Those questions are numerous and weighty, especially with the Copenhagen summit coming up next month as 191 nations will consider a new global treaty on limiting emissions of greenhouse gases. The Oregonian failed in colossal fashion to address and inform on a critical critical issue. Shame, shame.

But the Oregonian is not alone among U.S. media sleeping through the climate change inquiry. The "surreal scientific blunder" reported by the UK Telegraph on Nov. 16, 2008 [note this corrected from 2009 on Dec 4, 2009], was similarly underreported. If it was in the Oregonian, I missed it. And I usually at least skim headlines in Section A. See the Newsbusters Nov. 16, 2008 [corrected from 2009 on Dec. 4 2009] , coverage at:

Oh, and WaPo had a substantive article Sunday, Nov. 22:

Shades of Senator Packwood. Maybe the names on desks at the Oregonian have changed but the result is the same. If it matters to Oregonians, check WaPo.

(III) And from a couple of my moles:

After the hacking was outed on November 20, I followed up with personal contacts to inquire. Quotes from "Climate Scientist A", with whom I had some professional contact in Washington D.C. a few decades ago, and from "Climate Scientist B", who is known to "Climate Scientist A":

Climate Scientist A: "With respect to the Gore/Mann hockey stick, I will quote Mark Twain, "Get your facts first, then you can distort them as much as you please." The follow-up is "Lies, damn lies and statistics."

Climate scientist B: Regarding the apparent global warming peer review abuses suggested in the hacked emails, "...what an amazing vindication this is. We knew all along that this was happening, but lacked proof. Now we have it."

Submitted rejoicing in amazing vindication indeed,


More on "Climategate". Should NASA's Dr. James Hansen be "tried for high crimes against humanity and nature" ?

Yo all.

Still about good science and a followup on my last post about "Climategate."

Backing up a year and a few days prior to "Climategate" to a "GISSgoof" outed November 16, 2008. And where to get some background for that?

Maybe by quoting chief global warming hysteriologist Dr. James Hansen, since 1981 serving as Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in NY. Dr. Hansen, speaking to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on June 23, 2008 ,

(,2933,370521,00.html )

said that heads of major fossil-fuel companies who spread disinformation about global warming should be "tried for high crimes against humanity and nature."

Sounds very authoritative. Well, it should be since GISS is one of four bodies responsible for monitoring global temperatures. So what do we know about Dr. Hansen? According to the UK Telegraph:

("The world has never seen such freezing heat" by Christopher Booker, 16 Nov 2008)

"If there is one scientist more responsible than any other for the alarm over global warming it is Dr Hansen, who set the whole scare in train back in 1988 with his testimony to a US Senate committee chaired by Al Gore. Again and again, Dr Hansen has been to the fore in making extreme claims over the dangers of climate change. (He was recently in the news here for supporting the Greenpeace activists acquitted of criminally damaging a coal-fired power station in Kent, on the grounds that the harm done to the planet by a new power station would far outweigh any damage they had done themselves.)"

But Booker's Telegraph article exposes a slight blunder on the part of Hansen and GISS:

"A surreal scientific blunder last week raised a huge question mark about the temperature records that underpin the worldwide alarm over global warming. On Monday, Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), which is run by Al Gore's chief scientific ally, Dr James Hansen, and is one of four bodies responsible for monitoring global temperatures, announced that last month was the hottest October on record.

This was startling. Across the world there were reports of unseasonal snow and plummeting temperatures last month, from the American Great Plains to China, and from the Alps to New Zealand. China's official news agency reported that Tibet had suffered its "worst snowstorm ever". In the US, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration registered 63 local snowfall records and 115 lowest-ever temperatures for the month, and ranked it as only the 70th-warmest October in 114 years.
So what explained the anomaly? GISS's computerised temperature maps seemed to show readings across a large part of Russia had been up to 10 degrees higher than normal. But when expert readers of the two leading warming-sceptic blogs,
Watts Up With That and Climate Audit, began detailed analysis of the GISS data they made an astonishing discovery. The reason for the freak figures was that scores of temperature records from Russia and elsewhere were not based on October readings at all. Figures from the previous month had simply been carried over and repeated two months running. (Emphasis mine. DU)

The error was so glaring that when it was reported on the two blogs - run by the US meteorologist Anthony Watts and Steve McIntyre, the Canadian computer analyst who won fame for his expert debunking of the notorious "hockey stick" graph - GISS began hastily revising its figures. This only made the confusion worse because, to compensate for the lowered temperatures in Russia, GISS claimed to have discovered a new "hotspot" in the Arctic - in a month when satellite images were showing Arctic sea-ice recovering so fast from its summer melt that three weeks ago it was 30 per cent more extensive than at the same time last year.

So by what standard should the GISS (and Dr. Hansen) performance be measured, in light of his zealously litigious and prosecutorial attitude toward major fossil-fuel companies? Jesus said this: "For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." (Luke 6:38, NIV).

Let's see, disinformation about global warming tantamount to "high crimes against humanity and nature" was it? And maybe put perpetrators of the infamous and thoroughly debunked Gore-Mann "hockey stick" graph on the hot seat as well.

Submitted with respect for the Watts(s) and McIntyre(s) of the world who demand truth, integrity, and transparency in science that impacts profoundly on public policy. Don't back down guys.


P.S. The policy issue is the same in the life origins controversy - crying for integrity and transparency.

P.P.S. More on the American media AWOL (Absent Without Official Leave) on the hacker global warming revelations in next post. It's all so puzzlingly ugly.

P.P.S. (Added Nov 23, 2009, 9:18PM). UK's globalist PM Gordon Brown wrote an article for Newsweek (Sep. 26, 2009) entitled, "Copenhagen or Bust." He wrote "As scientists spell out the mounting evidence both of the climate change already occurring and of the threat it poses in the future, we cannot allow the negotiations to run out of time simply for lack of attention. Failure would be unforgivable. ... And if it is necessary to clinch the deal, I will personally go to Copenhagen to achieve it..." And your friendly blogger is wondering if the Brits have enough grit to clip GB's wings in light of the big big question marks about the science.

P.P..S. The "GISSgoof" outing date was mistakenly posted originally on this post to be Nov. 16, 2009. Corrected to Nov. 16, 2008 as of Dec 5, 2009. DU.

Friday, November 20, 2009

"Climategate" Peer Reviews Precursor to "Monkeygate" Peer Reviews ? ?

Greetings to all you cyberspace seekers of truth. I hope today you land on solid ground in your search.

Mark this date on your calendars ... November 20, 2009 ... as the day global warming hysteria died. It may take a while to get to the funeral, but can the demise of the evolution fairytale be far behind?

Have you heard today how hackers got into email and record files of some climate change scientists in jolly old England and posted them on an anonymous internet server in Russia? The result - embarrassing exposure of conspiracy, collusion, professional misconduct, and whatnot on the part of folks at the very highest levels of scientific trust who want to wish dramatic global warming into reality instead of just oberving facts like good scientists should. Read a few of the more damning summaries here:

Or if you Google something like "Hackers release global warming emails and records on Russian website" you will likely find overloads of information.

And since your friendly darwin-is-dead blog is primarily devoted to seeking good sound science properly considered, I find this big news.

But, moreover,

what might be the implications for the creation-evolution controversy?

The blogger commented:

"And, perhaps most reprehensibly, a long series of communications (were) discussing how best to squeeze dissenting scientists out of the peer review process. How, in other words, to create a scientific climate in which anyone who disagrees with AGW (Al Gore's "Anthropogenic Global Warming") can be written off as a crank, whose views do not have a scrap of authority."

Here is one quote mined from the hacked emails which revealed the conspiracy to squeeze out global warming skeptics :

“This was the danger of always criticising the skeptics for not publishing in the “peer-reviewed literature”. Obviously, they found a solution to that–take over a journal! So what do we do about this? I think we have to stop considering “Climate Research” as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal. We would also need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently sit on the editorial board…What do others think?”
“I will be emailing the journal to tell them I’m having nothing more to do with it until they rid themselves of this troublesome editor.”“It results from this journal having a number of editors. The responsible one for this is a well-known skeptic in NZ. He has let a few papers through by Michaels and Gray in the past. I’ve had words with Hans von Storch about this, but got nowhere. Another thing to discuss in Nice !”

The point? Viewpoint censorship is ominously alive and well at the highest levels of "science". How did they try to do it? By seeking to assure that dissenters to the global warming hysteria would not be able to publish in peer-reviewed journals, then claim that the great bulk of peer-reviewed literature was in agreement with the global warming scenario. How clever. How insidious. How lacking in the scientific integrity the public should and must demand.

But the same happens almost daily with the creation-evolution controversy. Good technical articles that may cast some doubt on the just-so tales spun by evolutionists are routinely dismissed in the peer review process. Do you doubt this? Go ahead and Google "Dr. Jerry Bergman, viewpoint discrimination" and you will find piles of affirmation before your eyes.

This might be a good time for an insider ( I would never suggest a hacker) get a peek at emails and files at Eugenie Scott's rabidly ideological U. S. Center for Science Education ( a phony appellation if there ever was one) or some other such defender of the Darwin-myth faith.

A "Monkeygate" might be a good sequel to "Climategate".

Gleefully submitted,


An enthusiastic tip of the hat to George Taylor, former Oregon State Climatologist in Corvallis, who was forced out of his position by the global warm-mongers a year or so ago. George was a straight shooter showing professional care, restraint, integrity, and responsibility in his response to the irresponsible disinformation that has infected the climate sciences in the last several years. George - I hope the next governor will give you a medal, a special governor's coffee cup, and some back pay. GBU.

Just for fun, how about a 1979-2010 24-month running sum plot of global cyclone energy (supposedly related to global warming and more hurricanes and cyclones due to warmer feeder waters). This from Florida State University:

Maybe that Florida coastal real estate will not be such a bad buy afer all.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Bowing for Best - the Beavers at Their Best


If you saw the November 7, 2009, football game between the Oregon State Beavers and the California Golden Bears, you likely saw the spectacular spill by Cal star running back Jahvid Best. Or maybe you saw it on highlight clips later. Or maybe you were on a different planet.

You can find still photos at:

I was watching the game - rooting for my "lunchbucket" Beavers. They had a great performance, downing a good Cal team 31-14.

But for my money, Oregon State's best performance came when the Beavers' defensive team took the knee in the end zone, praying as Best lay still following his spectacular crash.

Photo: AP, Oregonian, Paul Buker

I am thankful for the OSU athletes who had the sensitivity - and boldness - to pray.

'Nuff said.

With gratitude and appreciation to the OSU men who put a great face of compassion on a very violent game,


Genome Fractal Globules Globs Globulets - Jagnormously Cool ! And Merry Christmas with the Mother of All Christmas Strands.

Special greetings ( ! ! ) today to all you storage-challenged souls out there wandering in search of another closet or a better closet system. To the rest of you, a politely restrained "hello there".

Yes, I also am storage-challenged. Too much stuff, stored in linear vertical structures (stacks) with a storage retrieval system (my memory) in need of an upgrade.

So when I read the other day in Science News about the discovery that DNA appears to be stored in a fractal structure, I thought that was really really cool. But a shadow was cast over my topological joy as functional access to a linear structure within volumetric storage nudged my thoughts to the impending annual challenge- get the Christmas lights untangled.

(I) First the fractals:

See the article in Science News, Nov. 7, 2009, "New view reveals how DNA fits into cell; Map of 3-D structure of the entire human genome shows fractal folding is key," By Laura Sanders.

The work reported appears to be a very clever way to understand how linear DNA is packed ("folded") into the volume of a cell's nucleus. This is very important in order to understand the wonderful efficiencies of the transcription, replication, repair (and more) processes busily ongoing in each nucleus.

Laura Sanders' article reports:

"Cells are tidy packers, cramming DNA into nuclei to create a tangle-free, dense ball with pieces that are still accessible, researchers report October 9 in Science. The findings, based on a new three-dimensional view of the whole human genome, solve a long-standing biological mystery and may lead to a deeper understanding of how genes operate. ... a human cell’s two meters of DNA is jammed into an area about a hundredth of a millimeter wide. But researchers had been puzzled by how cells could pack the DNA, which is organized into 23 pairs of chromosomes inside the nucleus, so tightly without hopelessly tangling it and making it impossible to use." ...

"In the new study, Erez Lieberman-Aiden of Harvard University and MIT, Nynke L. van Berkum of University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester and colleagues developed a trick to lock pieces of neighboring DNA to each other while they were still in the nucleus. After removing the pieces and sequencing them, the researchers could calculate how close each and every piece of DNA had been to the other pieces and could reconstruct the 3-D shape of the genome."

What did they find? It appears that DNA is stored in a "fractal" structure. What does that mean? "A fractal is a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be subdivided in parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a reduced-size copy of the whole. Fractals are generally self-similar and independent of scale."

Sanders reports that the researchers found the human genome "has a highly organized structure. Small pieces of DNA fold into globs, and those globs fold into larger globs and so on. The researchers report that this “globule of globules of globules” is fractal, meaning it is organized in such a way that it has the same pattern no matter how far you zoom in. This fractal shape is “super-dense, but has no knots.”

Here is the image produced by Leonid A. Mirny, Maxim Imakaev, and reproduced in the Science News article:

This reminds me a great deal of the vast improvement in computer programming languages (e.g., introduced in the "C" programming language) that came when "go-to-less" systems (code nested inside a nest of code nested inside a nest of code nested inside ... a nest of code) - with loads of recursive functions - replaced the "spaghetti code" in the FORTRAN II that I cut my teeth on . Sometimes topology really matters.

The "knot" in the fractal would correspond to my dinosaur "GO TO" that would jump from here to there without restraint from sound organizing boundaries. The image above looks considerably more organized than some code I wrote in the stone ages. Like, debug that and have a nice day!

(II) And now the Christmas lights:

I usually try to untangle three strands, each about 25 feet long with lights about every 0.2 m (approximately 8 inches), carefully placed in a box the prior season. If I take them down, each strand is unplugged from the next so each strand is individually wound up. If my son or son-in-law takes them down, maybe the whole plugged string is tossed in the box - quickly. But it seems no matter how much care in packing the lights last year, the unpacking becomes an ugly wrestling match more often lost than won.

So how about an analogy of the DNA storage with Christmas lights? Consider a strand with four colors of lights: Amber (A=>adenine), Turquoise (T=>thymine), Coral Red (C=> cytosine), and Green (G=>guanine). But this is a special strand since it is really two "uni-strands" twisted together to form one strand so that every Amber bulb on one "unistrand" corresponds to a Turquoise bulb on the other "unistrand", while every Coral bulb on one "unistrand" corresponds to a Green bulb on the other "unistrand." The two unistrands are twisted and twisted and twisted until we get lots of twists end-to-end (call this a "helix") to correspond to the wound up structure of DNA.

It seems like this is going to be the Mother Of All Christmas Strands (MOACS), with 3 billion lights in each unistrand (corresponding to the 3 billion base-pairs in the human genome). A little math determines the coverage we can get with this strand (ignoring practical matters of blown fuses and the like). The circumference of the earth is approximately 40,000 km, that is 40,000,000 m. With a bulb-pair every 0.2 m (about 8 inches), we can get 200,000,000 bulb pairs in each circumference of the earth. Hey, this little strand of lights can circle the globe 15 times ! ! !

How about the box this thing came out of ? We have to stuff MOACS back into the box after the Christmas ham is gone. Following the globule ... glob ... globlet fractal idea and ignoring the question of linear connectivity, consider a first small cubic box 0.2m x 0.2m x0.2m (about 8 inches on a side), and assume we can store 27 bulb-pairs (27=3 cubed) in the box. Call that B1. Then form B2 as a box composed of 27 B1 boxes in a cubic 3x3x3 configuration, B3 is composed of 27 B2 boxes recursively in the same fashion, and so on. If I get the math right, the box B7 should be able to contain 10.5 billion bulb-pairs, triple the space required. B6 of course can only store 1/27 of that, or 0.39 billion bulb-pairs (only about 13% of the volume needed to hold our MOACS).

So let's take B7 as our design box. This will leave some extra space for the hounds to get in and fetch copies of strand segments when needed. The length of one side of B1 is 0.2 m, one side of B2 is 0.2m x 3, one side of B7 is 0.2m x 3**(7-1) = 146 m, or about 160 yards. To envision that, consider a cubic box with one dimension equal to the full end-to-end field length of the Los Angeles Coliseum. Here is a photo (thanks to Wikipedia ) from the 2008 USC vs. Ohio State football game to help your imagination:

Now go that wide and that high (far above the nosebleed seats) and you have the B7 box that holds our MOACS.

Oh, we have some critical chores to accomplish with our MOACS:
First chore, we need to send in - sometimes waaaaay in - our copyists with a bag of wire and a bag of bulbs to copy good-sized chunks of the MOACS and drag the copied strand back out. These daughter-of-MOACS (DOMOACS) ministrands correspond to RNA segments copied from DNA. One problem is that the copy wire must be attached to the MOACS while the DOMOACS is being constructed. And everything gets all tangled up unless the copy hounds take in a pair of pliers to occasionally cut the MOACS while going round-and-round. Also needed is a splicing tool to put the MOACS back together again with integrity. Here is a DNA-for-dummies description of the corresponding process in transcribing RNA from DNA:
"Transcription causes a problem: the movement of the polymerase through the interwound helical DNA causes the DNA ahead of the polymerase to become tightly overwound. This would cause transcription to slow down or halt completely except that another protein, called topoisomerase, untangles the DNA. It does this by a complicated maneuver - cutting one strand of the tangled DNA, passing the uncut DNA strand through the cut strand, and then resealing the cut." (Behe, M.J., Darwin's Black Box, The Free Press, New York. 1996, p 271.) Cool, huh?

Second chore, we need to make more copies of the coliseum-sized MOACS. In the DNA world, this chore is called replication. This calls for a bag of at least 6,000,000,000 bulbs (because when the strand is separated into unistrands, another unistrand is constructed attached to each of the original-but-now-separated unistrands. I will give you dear readers just the first bit of the biochemical process analagous to our MOACS duplication job:
"DNA replication begins at a certain DNA sequence, known appropriately as an "origin of replication" and proceeds in both directions at once along the parent DNA. The first task to be tackled during replication, as for transcription, is the separation of the two parent DNA strands. This is the job of the DnaA protein. After the strands are separated, ...."
If you are anxious to read the rest of this elegant replication story, see:
Behe, M.J., Darwin's Black Box, The Free Press, New York. 1996. p. 275.


Pack, replicate, unpack, pack. Do you suppose Charles Darwin, if transported to the modern time along with his buddy dog pack:
Thomas Huxley ("Darwin's bulldog" - ),
Richard Dawkins ("Darwins Rottweiler" - ), and
Eugenie Scott ("Darwin's Golden Retriever" - )

would be able to make a duplicate copy of the MOACS described above? Well, maybe. But then let's see if they could pack all 15 earth-circumferences of it back in the coliseum-sized box. And then let's really see the smug faces fade as they try to get it back out next Christmas and untangle it. Maybe there is a corner of hell with that kind of task assigned - pack, replicate, unpack, pack, replicate, unpack .... ad infinitum. If so, I wonder who might be there.

It would be interesting to ask: "If Darwin's dog pack can pack MOACS packs. how many packs can the dog pack pack?"


"Cells are tidy packers," Ms. Sanders says.

But let's get more real and say "The Creator God is a tidy packer of cells."

There. That's better.

What can I say to any man or woman who might smugly continue to contend that accidental natural processes have formed all living things?

What can I say to one who dogmatically insists that purposeless particles, through purposeless processes, produce purposeful people?

What can I say? Nothing. Just sigh, shrug, and move on. There are others who are willing to listen. By God's mercy may they be found.

We have Christmas coming up soon - an opportunity to celebrate the incarnation (via virgin birth) of the one about whom scripture says:

"13. For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,
14. in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
15. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
16. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-- all things have been created through Him and for Him.
17. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
18. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.
19. For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him,
20. and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.
21. And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds,
22. yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach--
23. if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister."

Colossians 1:13-23 (NASB)

If you read verse 13 carefully, you will see that Jesus himself is not only Savior, but also Creator. Ooooohhhhhh! So He is the one who did the pack-replicate-unpack! But He also figured out how to do it in the first place. If you are wont to use the name of Jesus in a casual or disrespectful way, bite your tongue. You have to be really careful who you diss.

May you "continue in the faith, firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard."

Have a blessed Christmas 2009.

Because of Jesus the Savior,

Respectfully submitted,


Self-authorizing moralizers - enough already!

Following is a letter which was submitted to the Oregonian newspaper's Opinion Editor a couple of weeks ago. Provided herein with permission of the writer for the Undertaker's readers without further comment:

Ocober 20, 2009
To : Editor, The Oregonian
Subject: Self-authorizing moralizers

Recently, once I'm past the Sports section of the Oregonian, every week has brought a new example of self-authorized moralizers trying to tell me how I should think and what people of faith should or should not speak in the public square. Now the epidemic has even invaded your sports section. The problem is that these self-appointed self-anointeds have no basis in true moral authority, which is vested only in God Himself.

Example 1:
An essay by New York Times writer David Broder appeared in the Oregonian Sep. 30, 2009, p. B-5, with the caption, "ERODING ECONOMIC VALUES: The moral revival our country needs." Broder decried the recent erosion in the country's financial values while opining: "This erosion happened at a time when the country's cultural monitors were busy with other things. They were off fighting a culture war about prayer in schools and the theory of evolution. They were arguing about sex and the separation of church and state, oblivious to the large erosion of economic values happening under their feet." Wrong, Mr. Broder. Not at all oblivious. And in fact I have observed that individuals with a commitment to the broad issues of moral integrity have been those with the most outspoken concern for economic integrity as well. And, yes, economic integrity is a moral issue. But when the immortal God of Heaven gives mortal man a moral compass, I have not noticed Him (Him with a capital "H") granting us the authority to cherry-pick our pet issues, but rather mandating responsibility for all. Unless Mr. Broder has demonstrated his own personal authority by creating a functioning universe somewhere recently, he should best humble himself before the Creator (Creator with a capital "C") of this one.

Example 2:
Charles Darwin's reigning high priest of chance, Richard Dawkins, recently rolled his snake-oil wagon into Portland for the Wordstock Book Fair October 10-11 and snagged an interview with Oregonian writer Joe Rojas-Burke (published Oregonian October 10). According to the article, "In his best-seller 'The God Delusion,' evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins attacked religious belief, arguing that faith in God is irrational and harmful." Leading the unsuspecting with a Pied-Piper-like deception, Dawkins glibly proclaims, "For me, the story of how we got here, how the trees got here, how the birds got here, how iguanas and dinosaurs and turtles got here, it is just so beautiful, and elegant, and thrilling, and enthralling. How could you resist trying to pass that on to anybody who will listen? If they don't want to listen that's fine, they can just shove off."

Hmmm. So he wants me to "shove off," does he? So I suppose I would not be welcome to hang around and mention the inconvenient truth that his cute search algorithm to reproduce the little Shakespeare phrase, "Methinks it is like a weasel" in his book The Blind Watchmaker uses intelligent selection toward a foreknown objective to "prove" the feasibility of evolution. The problem is that Dawkins is breaststroking in an intellectual cesspool as he uses both "intelligent" and "foreknown" features of his algorithm to support his argument that life arose by chance using neither intelligent selection nor foreknown objectives. And he even limited his algorithm to only consider letter sequences of the exact length required. Am I joking? Google it yourself. How absurd. How doubly absurd. How does this guy even rate an interview?

Further, would Dawkins stand quietly while I repeat back to him his seen-by-millions statement in the movie Expelled that living things on the Earth could be actually (and not just apparently) designed and that the design might be detectable? But Dawkins insists that the designer(s) must have been highly evolved space aliens. I guess he really wishes to say that our origins are from somewhere - anywhere - except from God with a capital "G." And this is science? This man has abused his position by intellectual deceit. So why should I bother for one second with his suggestion that I "shove off" from the public square of origins discourse? And why should not the Oregonian be more aggressive in exposing the nonsense? Maybe Dr. Dawkins would threaten to sue the Oregonian - as he later threatened to sue interviewer Ben Stein - for repeating to too many people what he actually said.

Example 3: Sunday, October 16, local writer/speaker Tom Krattenmaker invaded my Oregonian Sports page (p. B-2, "Athletes proclaim: God is my QB."). Mr. Krattenmaker oozes his distaste for the public witness of Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner as Warner gives God credit for his ability, opportunities, and accomplishments. Excuse me, but I am just kind of thinking that Miss Manners would suggest that spoken gratitude in all situations - whether some hearers want to hear it or not - is the greatest validation of a thank-you. Oh, and does Mr. Krattenmaker give God thanks for the air he breathes and the sunrises he sees? I did not see a hint in his Oregonian piece that he bows the knee to any but his own ego and book publishing royalties. If he does not choose to honor the God of creation, maybe his real issue is that he is misplaced - living in God's universe instead of his own.

I'm curious to see who or what comes down the pike next week.


Respectfully copied,