Sunday, 26 April 2009

TV Evangelist cures deaf man of Blindness

Journal of Imaginary Sciences, Vol 10, (2009),

TV Evangelist cures deaf man of Blindness

Today the Christian community declared it was amazed as a deaf man was cured of blindness by faith healer, Peter Popoff. H. Martin attended Popoff’s service, intending to see whether God could heal his deafness, a problem which had been growing steadily worse over the past few years. However, when Popoff spoke to him, he did not heal the deafness, instead he stated that he had healed the cataracts in the man’s eyes. H. Martin’s response to this was “Whut? Speak up man!”.

Popoff is a well known faith healer having worked for many years healing people of their illnesses.In the 1980s, James Randi brought accusations against Popoff, accusing him of faking his miraculous powers. As a result, Popoff, filed for bankruptcy in 1987. However, several years later he made a comeback and is continuing his ministry.

When requesting an interview with Popoff, he declined and instead made an official statement:

“The healing that was carried out on Mr Martin was to remove the cataracts which would form in his eyes. God reached down and spoke to me saying that demons were planning to give this God-fearing man blindness. Instead I prevented this from happening and the family is very grateful. I am sorry that I was unable to cure his deafness too, however, God has informed me that it is a test for him to overcome.”

Unfortunately, when we came to interview Mr H. Martin the only response we got was: “Whut? I can’t hear you because that preacher shouted down mai ears!”

Stars hoax Astrologers

Journal of Imaginary Sciences, Vol 9, (2009),

Stars hoax astrologers

The predictive science of astrology was shocked today as star-readers discovered obscenities written in the night sky. As star-gazers looked into the night sky, they discovered that the words “Fuck you Astrologers” written plainly across the sky.

“We’re baffled” stated Mystic Meg, expressing her opinion. “We’re still trying to find an explanation for it. Currently one person has suggested that it is fuck your astrologers and that people will be meeting tall dark astrologers and engaging in sexual relations with them.”

When questioned about whether this states that the stars might not care about the lives of people thousands of light years away, Meg replied,
“I think the fact we have this message from the stars indicates their deep concern with us and that they are trying to encourage us to listen to them with their suggestions on how to improve your sexual relations.”

Whilst this may be a controversial message from the stars it may indeed be admitted that there is no harm carrying out the wishes of the stars. Indeed, we found out that Meg had a very comfy bed.

As this is being sent to press, another message has appeared in the stars. Whilst it is confusing, reports seem to suggest it spells the words “Fucking Idiots”.

Busy, busy, busy......

Hello and welcome back from the two week hiatus of JIS. My apologies for not posting last Saturday but I have been busy the entire week with my course and whilst I enjoy this, real life comes first.

I’ve done one story so far, but there will be another one tomorrow or later on today. After that, the postings should continue on normally.

During Easter I visited Belgium to see my girlfriend. I had a lot of fun, roaming round, seeing places like Ghent, etc. One of the best bits was the opportunity to visit the Natural History Museum in Brussels. In all, I enjoyed it. The exhibits were amazing and whilst I’m not used to paying for Museums, it was worth seeing some great collections.

The museum was great at providing interactions at many levels. A variety of displays including interactive ones were included and this meant that it was entertaining and informative for adults and children. The display on Evolution was also great as it provided many opportunities to learn about natural history and how animals evolved and in what ways.

One thing I particularly liked at some of the exhibits was the use of four languages to describe certain exhibits. For the Evolution and Dinosaurs exhibit, information Dutch, French, German and English were present and I was thankful for the thoughtfulness of the museum staff, especially as the English was well-written. After seeing this, I would enjoy seeing this in other museums, as I’ve very rarely seen in British displays. It would be nice to have, in the EU, a requirement that well-written English, German and French are put on displays in addition to the local language to encourage foreign visitors. Unfortunately, there were some displays which weren’t up to date to include this and as a result I was left disappointed when viewing the Prehistory section (Human Evolution). Hopefully, if I get chance to visit again, this will have been rectified.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Hitler the Creationist

Journal of Imaginary Sciences Vol 8 (2009),

Hitler the Creationist

The Creationism vs Evolution debate was plunged into new depths today as Evolutionary biologists resorted to publishing notes stating that Hitler was a Creationist. Whilst this has been known for some time, it seems that the supporters of the Theory of Evolution apparently have been shouting insults and jibes at the shocked Creationists.

Reports of “You’re a Nazi and you know you are” and “My tropical fish are laughing at you” chants have been shouted by the supporters of Darwin’s theory. Creationists such as Ken Ham and Kent Hovind discussed this new ad hominen attack approach by the “Evolutionists”.

“Well I’m completely and utterly baffled by this hostility towards us” stated an upset Ken Ham. “We’ve been treating these misguided people with respect for years and now we are getting these horrible and ungodly jibes at us. I’ve had crowds singing the Flintstones theme song all day at me……”

Likewise Kent Hovind has been calling for Evolutionists to cease their jibes. In a statement on his website, published by friends of the Texan state prisoner, he states that:

“This attack on the creationist view point is nothing more than an invocation of Godwin’s Law. The use of Hitler in this argument merely speaks of their inability to fufill the task set upon them to prove Evolution works according to my test.”

Unfortunately, when Evolutionists were asked to comment upon this, the replies tended towards the vulgar. However, one person stated:

“I’m not entirely sure you should be treating the words of “Dr Dino” with respect, especially as he is a tax-dodging diploma-mill graduate.”

As we can tell, this vicious and unprovoked attack on creationists looks set to continue further.

Dangerous Faith

Hello and welcome to another news article. I am sorry to say that there will be no news next week as I will be spending a well earned week away with my Girlfriend. I will, however, have some stories from the Journal put up next Sunday, but unfortunately only one story this week.

This week, I looked at the slanging match that is often seen in the Evolution vs Creationism debate. One of the old and tired claims is that Hitler was an Evolutionist, which is basically trying to damn by association. The problem is, it merely ignores that Creationists have no evidence against Evolution and that it is an attempt to shift attention. I thought it amusing to see what would happen if this name-calling was reversed and it does highlight the fact that there is again a delicious sense of irony when confronting the ad hominen attacks.

Last week I reviewed Psychic Surgeons in the Journal. I gave a good account of what seems to be a bunch of magic tricks carried out by the people operating. A James Randi video was also included for entertainment and illumination on the subject.

This week, I watched Gary: Young, Psychic and Possessed. This BBC programme was an interesting account of 2 months spent with a faith healer in Britain. The programme examined the evidence that apparently claimed that Gary Mannion was a faith healer. Unfortunately, despite what seemed to be a positive bias on the presenter’s side to Mannion, none of Gary Mannion’s claims of healing were ever proved. Despite this, Gary remained convinced and seemed to unsettle the presenter in his calm faith.

The presenter emphasised it was faith and hope that meant the people that came to Gary Mannion thought they were healed, which is a classic display of the placebo effect. The programme ends with this seemingly thought to be a good thing, I disagree. The programme ends on the idea that healers should lie to patients to gull them into thinking they were healed. That’s wrong in my view, in fact I would class that as evil, manipulating the trust of others. Gary Mannion has the ability to relax those around him. That’s a nice ability and if he actually became someone in the health profession I would applaud him, he would be using his abilities to use his talents for actual benefit, not fleecing the guillible. If these people need help from the placebo effect it should be noted and ways of promoting trust in the health care profession as well as relaxation should be provided in order to help treatment.

The programme seemed very light on its criticism, almost reluctantly giving it. Unfortunately, for those who watched it with a sceptical eye, it is extremely frustrating as there is a lot of things which need to be question. Why does Gary Mannion have a Biblical figure in his head, portrayed as in churches? Where is any rigorous testing of this claim. How come it wasn’t noted that a believer, who worked for him, would probably come to his defence. Why was the only apparent “science research” that was being carried out, was so reluctant to allow the cameras in? Even the claim with Alzheimers was flawed, especially to those who have watched Terry Pratchett’s marvellous programme on this disease and know how vague a problem it is. I think, whilst the programme came to the correct conclusion about Mannion being a fake, it did not discuss that Gary Mannion was rightly called a Fraudster by Bad Psychics. He is as he is getting money from those who believe it works when it doesn’t. Even for those that believe that they are psychic, etc, they are still defrauding the public.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Psychic Surgeon removes three hearts from patient.

Journal of Imaginary Sciences Vol 7 (2009),

Psychic Surgeon removes three hearts from patient.

A Psychic Surgeon today has come under fire as he managed to remove not one but three hearts from the patient he was operating on. Dr Nograles managed to remove these hearts from the patient who was not aware at all that he possessed 4 hearts.

The patient, who wishes to remain anonymous stated:

“I’d only came in to have my gallstones removed by this man, but when I looked down he seemed to be around my chest, but I couldn’t feel anything. Then I noticed he pulled out a heart and then another and another and another. I tell you, my remaining heart nearly stopped then!”

Psychic Surgery as carried out in the Phillipines, refers to the practice of the healers carrying out operations with no anaesthetic, no pain and miraculously, no scars. Often it is thought to be sleight of hand as the magician James Randi has shown.

The hospital stated:

“The doctor in question was completely incompetent. He should have realised that this man was no “Time Lord” and that three removed hearts would be noticed, especially as he was only meant to produce gallstone! As a result, he has been sent for retraining at the Magic Circle”.

Dr Nograles was unavailable for comment.

Journal of Imaginary Sciences Vol 6 (2009),

Ben Stein saved by Science!

The actor, Ben Stein, who is known for his out-spoken views against science, had life-saving surgery yesterday as it was revealed he had suffered from appendicitis.

Ben Stein had the surgery late last night as he was rushed to hospital in Beverly Hills complaining of bad stomach pains. There, doctors found that his appendix was inflamed and close to bursting. As a result, he was immediately operated on in a routine surgical procedure which is carried out regularly. The surgery was hailed a success and Ben Stein is currently recovering quietly in hospital.

Ben Stein is noted for his out-spoken view against the influence of science in society, stating that “science leads you to killing people” on an interview with Paul Crouch Jr for Trinity Broadcasting Network. Despite this, his wife, Alexandra Denman expressed her and her husband’s gratitude for the work of the doctors and surgeons who successfully treated Ben Stein’s problem. Ben Stein was also reported to have said he felt like he maybe had made a mistake with the interview for Trinity Broadcasting Network.

Whilst this is certainly an ironic situation, this case certainly highlights that no matter whether people disagree with scientific ideas such as Evolution and the Big Bang, science is a major, life-saving part of people’s lives.

Isn't Fundamentalist atheist an oxymoron?

Hello and another week has passed us by. A few things have transpired this week which are worth talking about.

Firstly, I have already noted that James Randi’s Educational Foundation Youtube account is now back up. Here is James Randi on the matter.....

As we can see, there has been an issue with copyright protection. Whilst I am gratified that Randi is back on the net, it does make you wonder whether there was anyway of dealing with the issue in another way. For those interested, here is a link to PZ Myers on the subject.

My next point is that I watched an enlightening account of a Christian perspective of Evolution and God. In the programme, “Did Darwin Kill God?” Connor Cunningham made a provocative statement on the issues surrounding the Creationism vs Evolution debate as well as offering a theological explanation on how religion and science can co-exist.

The programme, unfortunately seemed to be attempting to provoke controversy. Whilst intelligent and well-informed, it also seemed to be attempting to paint over the complexities of some of the issues that Cunningham raised. For example, how exactly is someone a fundamental atheist when atheism is defined as a “lack of belief in a deity”. Does that make a Buddhist monk a fundamental atheist? Atheism is too big and wide an idea to turn into a dogmatic belief system. Dawkins does not insist that there is no God, but that there probably is no God and criticises religion. And why not? It is perfectly acceptable to do so and is no new thing, look at Marx, for example.

What Cunningham fails to outline is that Dawkins and Dennett are practising a philosophy of reductionism, questioning whether or not God exists and building an argument for the lack of evidence and the possibility of life existing without a deity. That’s just simply using their minds and asking questions. In this they are showing intelligence. They might be wrong, I might be wrong and Cunningham might be wrong, but without exploring avenues of thought at this moment, we can’t discover new things. This is opposed to the forms of Creationism which don’t allow this thought and attempt to restrict Dawkins and Cunningham together. Furthermore, if Cunningham is attempting to suggest that these ideas aggravate creationists, then it must be remembered that the continued attempts of creationists to brainwash people like Dawkins and insult him, amongst others has caused this. Visiting the Richard Dawkins site, I have noticed that since my registration in 2006, a forum has been made called “Debunking Creationism”. This was due to the fact that creationists visited the forums in order to try and convert the forum members. This has meant the moderators have separated these areas to allow serious discussion of Evolution to occur without fundamentalists rudely interrupting. Furthermore, it may be noted that the forum allows more tolerance towards these people, with attempts to show creationists that they are using incorrect arguments, compared to creationist boards which ban and censor such attempts.

Its not atheists that have caused this or even fuel this debate. It is those creationists who insist on preaching to those who actually know something on Evolution. All the same, it is an interesting programme to watch and draws splendid attention towards those Christians who actually stand for Evolution.

Links and References

Did Darwin Kill God?