Beware! Here Come Killer Robots!

A computer science professor at Berkeley has warned that “research” by the Defense Dept. (B. Hussein Obama, proprietor) could create “drones which can track and kill targets even when out of contact with their handlers…. the research could breach the Geneva Convention and leave humanity in the hands of amoral machines” ( ).

How much worse is that than being at the mercy of immoral and wicked human beings?

I believe Professor Stuart Russell means well, and that he’s trying to warn us against what he sees as a very real danger. He may even be right. Who knows what the DOD lab-rats get up to, behind closed doors?

Naturally, this conjures up visions of The Terminator and other robot menaces. Oh, dear–another thing to worry about! Aaagh, we’re all gonna die! From Global Warming… or Income Inequality, or Homophobia, or Too Much Red Meat in Our Diet and Not Enough Tofu… or the ocean is going to dry up, or else flood over all our coastal cities.. from overpopulation, underpopulation, or simply not enough Trans People to go around. From whatever.

See what terrors you get into, when you don’t believe in God.

If your god is such a patzer that he can’t protect his own creation from little ants and fleas like us, then your god is not God. If your god sent his only son to earth to redeem the human race, and it didn’t work because the human race totally destroyed itself, then your god is not God and your savior is not Jesus Christ.

Wise up, O men of God.

Global Warming Wacko: ‘Terminate Industrial Civilization’

This is from October of last year, but I only stumbled over it today–an academic interlectural saying we can Save the Planet by destroying its economy and risking the likely extinction of the human race ( ).

Atheist wack-job Gary McPherson, a doodler at the University of Arizona, appeared on New Zealand television to proclaim that we can stop Climate Change if we “terminate industrial civilization.” He admits that this will utterly wreck the whole world’s economy and could result in the rapid die-off of humanity. But hey, he argues–we’re gonna go extinct eventually, anyhow, so why not do it now? The planet will then be saved by having no people on it.

McPherson represents the extreme misanthrope wing of the Global Warming gang, which also consists of self-proclaimed gods, liberal control freaks, and progressive politicians who live like maharajas but would like the rest of us to scale it way, way back.

What are we to make of those out there in the world who actually believe what these people say? Who can begin to account for such credulity?

Settled Science: Radioactivity is Good for You!

According to Professor Bertram Boltwood of Yale University, radioactivity introduced into a human body is “carrying electrical energy into the depths of the body and there subjecting the juices, protoplasm, and nuclei of the cells to an immediate bombardment by explosions of electrical atoms,” and that it stimulates “cell activity, arousing all secretory and excretory organs… causing the system to throw off waste products” and is, among other things, “an agent for the destruction of bacteria” ( ).

Indeed,  Prof. Boltwood’s scientific colleagues believe the consumption of radium has positive health benefits; so in 1912 (your first hint!) they invented a device called a “Revigator”–a jar made of radium-containing ore. The instructions included, “Fill jar every night. Drink freely… when thirsty and upon arising and retiring, average six or more glasses daily.” (same source)

Such was the Settled Science of the Nineteen-teens and twenties. If you want to be healthy, consume radioactive materials. The science is settled, the debate is over–radium is good for you! Anyone who says it isn’t ought to be punished for the crime of Radium Benefit Denial–trying to withhold this great boon from a beleaguered human race just waiting to be raised up to greatness by radium added to their salves, beauty creams, toothpaste, ear plugs, soap, butter, chocolate candy bars, suppositories (ugh!) and contraceptives.

This particular Settled Science kind of came unsettled in the 1930s, when people who had been using radium in the 1920s began to die from various forms of radiation poisoning. They weren’t nice deaths, either.

It’s not that Big Science always gets it wrong. It’s just that when they do get it wrong, it can kill you. Or destroy your agriculture. Or take away your liberty.

Just last week, we were advised that “science” tells us the Bible is all dead wrong about morality and we’ve got to celebrate “gay marriage.” ‘Cause Science says so.

These days it’s  hard to pick the science out of the crowd of pseudo-science all around it.

When all is said and done, science is the work of the human mind, and human hands. God’s word is eternal; man’s word is not. God’s truth is true forever; man’s truth has a limited shelf life.

The “truth” that radioactivity is good for you didn’t last too long.

Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of? (Isaiah 2:22)

A Cautionary Tale (and a Cold One)

In 1913, the American Museum of Natural History sent a scientific expedition to the Arctic to discover, map, and explore “Crocker Land,” dubbed “the Arctic Atlantis.” This was because Robert Peary, the great explorer who would be the first to reach the North Pole (if Frederick Cook’s claim is disallowed), said he saw it, from a distance, with binoculars. Peary named it Crocker Land and estimated it lay some 120 miles distant from where he stood on the mainland.

Speculation ran wild. Peary himself, inspired by Eskimo legends, thought Crocker Land might be an ice-free paradise. The folks at the museum thought he might be right.

And so for four years the expedition, led by Donald MacMillan, flailed around the ice and snow looking for this happy, sun-kissed hunting ground.

What they found was endless hardship and privation: because there was no such place as Crocker Land. Peary had seen a mirage. MacMillan’s second-in-command, Fitzhugh Green, went mad and murdered his Eskimo guide. What was left of the expedition returned to New York in 1917. It is recorded that the Museum Director, Henry Fairfield Osborne, was furious at the cost of the expedition–to say nothing of its total failure, and even less of the looming scandal of a murder.

All this on account of a mirage.

[My source: Dinosaurs in the Attic: an Excursion into the American Museum of Natural History by Douglas Preston, St. Martin’s Press, New York: 1986]

Well, it wasn’t the first time Big Science chased a mirage, and it won’t be the last. And Heaven help anyone caught standing in the way.