This Week in Conspiracy (16 Oct 2011)

October 16, 2011

My every waking moment is consumed by CSICon at this point. Currently, I’m looking into the idea of “human hybrids,” whatever the crap those are supposed to be. I mean, hybrids with what? There are, of course, the innumerable human-alien hybridizations, but the guy I’m talking about doesn’t believe that there are such things as aliens. So, hybridized with what? I think that “hybridization” might be a code word for “I don’t understand genetics.” But he does talk about the hybrids’ sterility. God, muddling through the brains of conspiracy theorists is such a muddle. I think that there is a strain of the “medical experimentation” trope in there, but… yeah, that’s not exactly right, either. Oh well.

But enough of my foolish problems. Onto the foolish problems of others!

Conspiracy theory of the week:

Well, I’m going to hide in a bunker. See you all next week!

RJB


Christianity Ends Today!

October 11, 2011

The future of Christianity depends on this guy

And YOU can make it happen!

I don’t mean to sound like a skeptical version of Harold Camping. Indeed, I was quite surprised when I discovered the fatal fragility of Christianity. It must be true though–a creationist says so.

I have been attempting to read Darek Isaacs‘ book Dragons or Dinosaurs? Creation or Evolution?* Woo Hoo, two question marks in one title: you know it’s going to be good. I mean it’s clear that he is keeping an open mind and will consider all the evidence before deciding the answers to these questions. Wait, what’s that in his author bio?

He is the President and Founder of Watchmen 33, an organization that is focused on defending and confirming the authority of the Bible. Darek maintains that the great mysteries of human existence are only answered through the knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Oh well.

I’m finding this book difficult to get through because Isaacs employs a bombastic rhetorical style that, if anything, is even more painful than Bodie Hodge’s semi-literate ramblings. An example:

From this summit ["the Mount of Dragons"], I cannot recant the truth of dragons in the Scriptures. I am not ashamed of the Bible, its words, its meanings, and its assertions. So, to the temporary hope of secularists, and to the anxiety-riddled, uninformed Church, I will shine a spotlight for all to see that the Bible speaks of dragons as real.

Yet, there is such a beautiful thing about illumination. Light chases away the darkness. Light reveals all that is visible, and nothing concealed by the dark can remain in such a state. So now, what if, when a tiny flame is sparked, we catch a pair of glimmering reptilian eyes staring back at us? (p. 2)

He flits from metaphor to metaphor and conceit to conceit like a…giant flitting thing. He begins one paragraph by saying, “But let us carry that note and add the orchestra” (p. 3). You might think that he is continuing a musical metaphor from the previous paragraph. Nope, that’s a brand-spanking new metaphor. The previous paragraph asserts that Christianity is built on a foundation of dragons and will collapse if those dragons prove mythical:

Dragons were either real, or they were not. The Bible, on that fact, is either deemed an irresponsible myth in its full breadth, or it contains a vast treasure of human knowledge–knowledge that outpaces the high ivory towers of modern academia to this day. (p. 3)

Yup, those are the only two possibilities. Even more astonishing is this revelation:

These dragons, if unfounded and unreal, shall be most unforgiving. They would inevitably force Christianity, and all of its “baggage” to fade into oblivion before the next dawn. (p. 2)

Holy crap! If we can prove that dragons aren’t and never were real, Christianity will disappear over night. Get on it, people: by the time I get up tomorrow, I expect to find that Christianity is a distant memory. Then on Thursday and Friday, we can take care of Judaism and Islam. It shouldn’t be too difficult: once one of the Abrahamic religions has fallen, the others should follow pretty quickly, especially since the creationist dragon/dino hypothesis depends primarily on the Old Testament rather than the New. Then, just for a change of pace, we can take down Hinduism over the weekend.

MWAHAHAHAHA, foolish Creationist, you should not have revealed to us that Christianity’s Achilles’ Heal was dragons. Who knew it would be so easy to destroy a major world religion?

ES

*Tragically, I have the version without the DVD.


The Week in Conspiracy (9 Oct 2011)

October 9, 2011

Is it strange that I first typed 2003? I mean, it hasn’t been 2003 for, like, at least 5 years.

Anyway, it was a goofy time this week in the conspiracy theory-o-sphere. Or at least, I think it was. You see, my principle data gathering method, the Twitter Android app, was down this week, and I was not able to collect as much as I normally would.

The UN documents describing Project Blue Beam and how the NWO and UN plan to use the actual projection of “indoctrinating holograms” onto the atmosphere itself to create convincing but fraudulent “second coming” imagery are located on my original Wiki and have been hidden there in plain sight for four years. This is the NWO’s most ludicrous, heinous and preposterous plan yet for trying to install a one world government on the unsuspecting people of the world, by employing the ultimate in faked imagery to try to achieve their goals.

typical jewish online behaviour – very similar to trying to argue with your wife (those of you who have experienced the moving-goal-post nature of such an exercise.

That’s all I have, folks. I would have written about some of the Occupy Wall Street protests, but I honestly have no idea what they are about. I mean, yes, they are mad, but what are you advocating? Oh, well. Sorry. I’ll try to be better next time.
RJB

This Week in 19th-Century Conspiracy

October 9, 2011

Right now I’m writing my presentation for CSICon, and if you follow my twitter feed, you are well aware of this. CSICon has taken precedent over most other things at this point, and I’m gunning to have the entire presentation done well before I go to New Orleans, so I can just plug and play. Well, play mostly.

The program says I’m writing about religious conspiracy theories, which is mostly true. It’s actually going to be about a lot more than just straight religion. As I was writing, I realized that there was a good chance my audience would start thinking, “So the hell what?” as I was writing about a number of anti-Jesuit and anti-Catholic movements in 19th-century. This audience is on the cutting edge of bullshit–they are up on their game and mostly committed to fighting woo, bunk, nonsense and enfeebling thoughts in the here and now. So, I have reengineered my presentation to bring make clear that there is a close continuity between the conspiracy theories of yesteryear and the conspiracy theories of todayyear. In particular, I am going to be looking at the features of these old stories and the features of the more recent stories. And instruct my audience to embrace the FEMA death camps and obey the New World Order. (I know that some of you Truthers are reading this! w00t!)

Basically, I’m going to answer the question, “What does a pillow fight having gone horribly wrong have to do with UFOs?” I’ve taken an especially strange statement given to me by a modern conspiracist and am looking at all the history that led up to someone making such an extreme claim. In doing so, I hope to show that, as much as it appears and no matter how truly gobsmacking this comment was, it was not pulled right out of his probed orifice, but is the end product of immense conspiracist energies spanning decades. I hope that it will fit in nicely with the meme-based explanations that I anticipate from the other panelists, since I will be looking at some of the longest-lived (most enduringly reproductively successful) memes.

I don’t want to spoil it all here right now–not that the people who I will be presenting to are currently readers. (I do hope, though, that some of them will become readers by the end of the conference.)

RJB


A very short This Week in Conspiracy (3 Oct 2011)

October 3, 2011

Another week, another colossal load of conspiracy dumped onto my metaphorical lawn, providing much needed nutrients.

The only reason I am allowing myself to write one up tonight is because I graded quite a lot. I even resisted the urge to push less-than-promising papers to the back of the pile; I just powered through them. So, my reward is to take an hour or so out of my insane life and do a little conspiracy theory round up.

Hitler. How could you possibly doubt this?

Bob;

Any human who has the capacity to research for let’s say…, 50 hours of hardcore internet and even library backup; for purities sake, of Communist history. Will find the Boleshivk’s were Zionist and Jewish and you are probably both. The cards are being flipped, so fast now, like a game of concentration. Flip, Israel; Flip, U.S.S. Liberty; Flip US of I; Flip, 911; Flip, Cast Lead; Flip, Israel; Flip JFK, RFK, MLK; Flip, US of I; Flip, Paper Clip; Flip; Israel, Flip, IAEA,; Flip, US of I; Flip, Nuke n Stratosphere, Hemisphere, Needle; Flip, Israel; Flip, Chinese in the West, Yiddish n the East, and Spanish down South and you penche gringos can have East of the Rockies, West of the Miss, North of Tejas, and South of Canada. Get used to equality; you’re all niggers now!

Conspiracy Theory of the Week:

From Eve: The Beatles Never Existed.

That’s all for now. I only had an hour and 15 minutes to write this one up. Next time there will be more, I promise. Would I lie to you?

RJB


…And on the fifth and sixth days, God created dragons

October 3, 2011

Are you sitting comfortably? Good, then we’ll begin.

In today’s lesson we’ll be discussing a wondrous book from the fine folks at Answers in Genesis. It’s Dragons: Legends & Lore of Dinosaurs, by Bodie Hodge, son-in-law of Ken Ham, and Laura Welch, with illustrations by Bill Looney, published by Master Books in the year of our Lord, 2011. Actually, now that I look more closely, I see that it wasn’t written by Hodge and Welch. Indeed, it wasn’t written at all. Rather, it was “compiled and edited” by Hodge and Welch. Was it divinely inspired? Divinely regurgitated? Just plain regurgitated from Answers in Genesis? It certainly wasn’t intelligently designed.

Actually, that’s a bit unfair: the illustrations are impressive, and there are many foldouts, little booklets and envelopes and Advent calendar-like windows to open. It looks like a fun kids’ book, like Dragonology: The Complete Book of Dragons or The Dinosaur Museum: An Unforgettable, Interactive Virtual Tour through Dinosaur History. The only minor problem with Dragons: Legends and Lore of Dinosaurs is its content.

Here is the basic argument, as I understand it: many cultures have dragon stories; therefore, there must be some truth in these stories. Many depictions and descriptions of dragons more or less resemble various dinosaurs. Sort of. Except for the bits that don’t really fit, but those can be dismissed. Thus, evolution is wrong.

It’s outrageous that impressionable children should be exposed to such drivel. The appalling grammar could have a devastating effect on them.

Oh, the science is kind of weak, too. And the history. And the authors’ grasp on mythology, folklore, theology, logic and literature is pretty shaky. But, my God, the grammar! I mean, how hard is it to write coherent, grammatically correct sentences in a 24-page picture book (and page 1 is the publication/copyright page)? If I were to share every inelegant sentence, I’d have to re-type the whole book, and that would be a violation of copyright. Also, I suspect my brain would try to escape. So, I’ll only be able to give you a brief sampling.

The authors preface their work by advising readers to

Begin at the place where truth has been shrouded by blind science and fact has been silenced for foolish mysticism and magic. Equip yourself with faith as your shield and logic as your sword. (p. 2)

Damn you, truth-shrouding blind science! Fortunately, the authors’ shield is strong. Their sword, however, is a limp clump of rusted metal. They note that there are many variations in the stories of dragons:

The challenges in deciphering these encounters is [sic] to separate possible fact from obvious fiction, taking into account clues found in the original translations of these events. (p. 2)

Another challenge are to make your subject and verb agree. But, as they say, it is always very important to go back to “original translations.” And what will you find in these works?

…terrifying creatures [that] were give [sic] names like Abraxas, Fafnir, Grendel, Brinsop, and Manasa. (p. 2)

Yes, they said “Grendel.” Yes, Grendel from Beowulf. Yes, they said that he’s a dragon. Indeed, in an insert dedicated to Beowulf, they say,

An ancient Anglo-Saxon account of the heroic Beowulf has him slaying fierce dragons that are plaguing the King of Dane [sic]. One dragon was named Grendel, and Beowulf kills both Grendel and its mother, another dragon. (p. 19)

Young Earth Creationists have an infuriating interest in Beowulf, but that’s a rant for another time and place. For now, I’ll just offer this:

CreatioWulf

Lo, we have heard in the days of yore of the folly of the Creationists, of the book-believers, how they made Grendel, man-shaped destroyer of the Danes, into a dragon, a dinosaur of old. That was bad scholarship.–from the Original Translation

Another place where we can find dragons is the flag of Wales. The red dragon (depicted on the flag) fought an invading white dragon:

Fearing destruction would continue, the dragons were tricked and captured while they slept, then imprisoned beneath the earth for centuries. (Insert p. 4)

Dear Mr. Hodge and Ms. Welch: It is not necessary to dangle every participle. Yours very sincerely, The English language.

There are also dragons in Peru:

Whether the ancient Nasca, Moche, or later Incan nation, Peru is known for dragons and many other pieces of art that illuminate dragons. (p. 5)

That sentence is so pain-inducing, I don’t even know what to say about it.  But never mind, to illustrate their point, the authors include pictures from “a couple of authentic Peruvian replicas.” Just in case you thought “original translations” was an anomaly, they offer up “authentic replicas.” In YEC world, up is down, translations are originals, replicas are authentic, and science works to obscure truth.

In a helpful, educational section, the authors provide the names used for dragons in various languages, including…wait for it…

Click to enbiggen

Austrian! AUSTRIAN! And no, in case you’re wondering, German is not mentioned.

I could go on, but I’m getting dizzy and queasy. The most terrifying thing about the book is the overwhelmingly positive customer reviews on Amazon. This one is typical:

This is actually a very interesting and fun to read book. despite the biased opinions of those who cling desperatley to their faith in evolution this book was not written by “nuts” but rather studied professors and scientists who have spent years reaserching the topic. I found the book was interesting however not for my younger son of two years but my older son of 4 found it fasinating. And it will not lead to an incorrect conception of science but a more wide view of human history and maybe even a greater imagination. This is a fantastic book. I highly recomend it. It even surprised me how big it was. I was expecting something a bit smaller but it turned out to be a much bigger book with very big nicely drawn pictures.

I don’t know where the author got the idea that Hodge and Welch are “studied professors and scientists,” but I can understand why he or she was impressed with the quality of the book’s writing.

To end on a more cheerful note, here is an actual genius’s take on the evolution of the dragon:

Drawing by Leonardo da Vinci

ES


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