So you believe we all came from a rock?

Photo: joecienkowski.com

Joe Cienkowski is a twitter loony. His modus operandi will be familiar to many: Spout falsehoods about science being a scam, dress it up in religious gobbledegook, push books and “real science” on people who challenge you to present evidence, repeat until cooked right-through.

In Joe’s case the books he’s particularly fond of pushing are written by, you guessed it, Joe Cienkowski—the reviews of which I found particularly amusing on www.amazon.com and Google books.

Joe also has an excellent (as in disturbing) website, joecienkowski.com and last, but by no means least his twitter account, at twitter.com/JoeCienkowski is guaranteed to raise more than a chuckle in even the coldest of godless heathen hearts—no, really! Some of this stuff is pure comedy gold—although it does slightly lose its lustre when you realise Joe really does think this stuff makes sense—and that’s really what I wanted to delve into with this article.

Joe—and millions like him—really do think that rational people hold certain things above criticism. Indeed they think in very black and white terms about the scientific method as a whole. They think—and we must assume they do so quite genuinely—that if you ‘believe in science’, that means you cannot also believe in God. This speaks volumes about the lack of enthusiasm with which science is being taught in schools, as much as it tells us about the degree of success the anti-science movement is enjoying among an albeit tiny, but growing minority of fanatical religionists.

Let’s take a look at some of the things Joe tweets in response to some very straightforward questions about his various assertions, to illustrate that point further. Before I begin, I should make it clear at this point that I did attempt to contact Joe on several occasions, to allow him to respond to what is by far his most popular claim; that he can prove Darwinian evolution is the religion of atheism and a false science. See here and here and here. His response to my open invitation to explain how he acquired, falsified and presented his findings for peer review was not forthcoming.

This is a random sample of Joe’s tweets taken over just a few hours, on the 17th and 18th of May, 2010.

1. @Lazarus_Eden lol, Im not a scientist, but know there’s no ‘macro-organism’. microorganism is a microscopic bacteria or protozoan

2. Richard Dawkins said at the end of the movie, Expelled, that may be aliens created us. So, he has a ‘creator’. And, at best agnostic now

3. @scott_hurst I love physics. I love geology. I love biology. But, evolution has no part, since its a bad theory with faulty assumptions.

4. @Orlandin if evolution was true, we’d see 1. life from nothing 2. live creatures between kinds 3. fossil in between. We find nothing!

5. @WarriorBanker I’ve seen all the fossils. There are non transitional. You want to see that but it’s not there.

6. Evolution is religion. Evolution is atheism’s creation story. Evolution is absolutely impossible logically and scientifically and theologic

7. @scott_hurst Scott, you must believe an old earth for your stupid evolution theory. You’ll make the evidence fit, even though it doesn’t

8. @Nickdrumr2 @WarriorBanker Atheism is naïve irrational unscientic illogic and invalid position you must completely dissociate from reality

9. @scott_hurst LOL, funny how the Bible is wrong about a scientific method that wasn’t invented yet. Seem absurd your argument yet?
http://twitter.com/JoeCienkowski/status/14194918194

Let’s go in reverse order and start with reply number 9. What Joe is saying here is familiar to those of you who’ve seen up-close the methods of the various anti-science ‘preachers’ out there, who specialise in the so-called young-Earth theory, such as those seen in this video (warning, contains graphic child abuse).

It’s your common-or-garden straw man argument—and a particularly weak one at that. It goes like this. In the case of young-Earth advocates, when faced with the reality of the fact that everything written in the bible was specifically crafted as a parable, by a people whose method of writing have been understood by biblical scholars for hundreds and hundreds of years to have been entirely allegorical, the creationist will, rather than dwell for too long on the absolute disproof of their claim that the bible itself allows for a literal interpretation of the Genesis myth, instead rely on the fact that the bible is a very old book and therefore couldn’t possibly contain certain phrases or modern meanings, such as those used in geology, palaeontology and in both radiometric and carbon dating—two entirely separate methods of acquiring the age of material, which proves the Earth is around 4.54 billion years old.

The young-Earth patter, typical of those who’ve read John Morris, Tas Walker, Arthur Chadwick and others instead avoids this altogether and goes something along lines of insisting only those who believe in a correct, modern interpretation of the bible are capable of understanding this and therefore believe in the true message of the bible as it was intended to be read. As proof of this anti-intellectualism in action, we see, in fact, from @scott_hurst’s original question, that he was simply asking about Joe’s evidence to support his assertion that the Earth is only a few thousand years old, as opposed to the billions of years it is proved beyond a reasonable doubt by every single branch of independently acquired yet mutually corroborative science known to man.

And therein lies the next semantic trap the Joe Cienkowski’s of this world like to crowbar their thinking into—in the hope, presumably, you’ll be stupid enough to crowbar yours into it as well. This is how deeply impressed with their own word-play these people, who are—make no mistake—coming for your kid’s school, in your town and on your street next, really are. “Known to man”, suggest there is another version of the truth, only “known to God”.

And so, the only way to decipher what God meant to say, is to leave yourself in the capable hands of your friendly neighbourhood young-Earth creationist; to wit, we see every other message from Joe punctuated with “buy my book, all will become clear” blatant charlatanism on a scale that would even make our friend Juanita Berguson blush. He’s literally saying that the creator of the universe speaks to him so clearly and directly, only by reading Joe Cienkowski fan fiction can you learn to speak to Him too.

Which brings us to reply number 7. What’s clearly happening here, is that Joe is hoping no-one will notice he’s using the same advice given no-doubt on several occasions to him, except he’s turning it back on those who handed it out. Why Joe, you sly fox! Only trouble is, pointing out the logical inconsistency of asserting something must be true, because of how many people assert it, doesn’t register with Joe, so instead he inadvertently reveals how little of this salient advice he actually took on-board.

Now, to be fair, this is partly because all Joe is actually concerned with, once you boil it all down, is sounding like he has thought about every angle those godless rationalists, with their “facts” and “evidence” can come up with. But in reality his every word illustrates how truly incapable of forming an opinion of his own he really is.

Some of his “best” moments are text-book Kent Hovind / Ken Ham. Worryingly, however, most of it is “I’m right and if you don’t like it, fuck you” atypical idiocy. I say worrying, because it shows that the tactics of the aforementioned are flourishing among the ‘can’t think, don’t think’ brigade and taking on a life of their own. This shows that, for all our efforts to point our collective fingers and laugh out loud at the answersingenesis cabal, all the Tim Minchin video uploads to YouTube in the world can’t help the people we should all be concerned with protecting the most. The Joe Cienkowski’s of this world simply aren’t getting the very serious message; that it is just flat out wrong to lie to people for fun and profit and we won’t leave you alone until you stop.

Reply number 5 is that old chestnut about transitional fossils. It never ceases to amaze me how insistent creationists are that they’ve read the evidence in support of Darwinian evolution by natural selection and yet in their fastidiousness they somehow managed to miss the fact that, not only is every single fossil ever discovered transitional, but that Darwin himself predicted the discovery of yet more fossils that would prove his theory either true or false—and that’s before we factor in the independent yet mutually corroborative evidence from genetics. So quite what Joe is going on about in reply number 4 I dread to think, but I think it’s fairly safe to assume somewhere in the belly of his book he believes he’s covered this in some detail—which almost makes me want to buy it to find out. Curse you reverse phycology!!

So, fully intending to give Joe the right to reply to this article, I leave you with this tweet from the man himself posted just moments before hitting “publish”…

I show God exists with real, logical, scientific proof and reason to believe in God. I say there’s plenty of evidence of God.
http://twitter.com/JoeCienkowski/status/14204064947

…and while inviting Joe to comment on all of the above, I finish with a reiteration of the question which originally arose in this thread on the child abuse inherent to creationist wilful idiocy.

What, to you, Joe Cienkowski, would stand as reasonable evidence to prove you are mistaken? What could your smartest critic say, to convince you, you are wrong?

24 comments on “So you believe we all came from a rock?

  1. Rub with this one Jim! I read your article on this, and I know that you have been waiting to post on this for some time.

    This fellow has been pushing his ADS on the old God tube aka Tangle.com now. His mini-vids there do not hold any weight there, here or anywhere. Some of us Christians do require a good chuckle now and again; but our chucs usually turn into flat groans.

    Joe; if your books? are anything like your vids, do I have to read them? NOT. You might do a better business selling used cars to yourself.

  2. Jim; do you have a public email I can use, I’m working on you request. Tangle .com is a pay to view on vids, and researching the files from 2007-08 will take some effort, if they archive that far back. But I will go there now and start.

  3. I have posted the following question to Joe’s blog, which is currently held for moderation:

    http://joecienkowski.com/blog/?p=29&cpage=1#comment-22

    The methodology we employ to test ideas, when we operate with any degree of intellectual honesty, was named by professor Popper as the logic of scientific discovery. Falsifiability, in other words, does not rest on irrefutability—merely the proposition that if something can not be tested until it fails, it is not a logical proposition.

    If you cannot answer a simple question, it should be nowhere near as embarrassing for you to admit as much, either to yourself or those who might ostensibly support your religious views, than it is to blatantly and aggressively pretend you can—or that, in fact, you already have—even if a prerequisite of this, is that those of us who demand your evidence suspend our critical faculties.

    Therefore, I must ask for the fifth and final time: What to you, Joe Cienkowski, would stand as reasonable evidence you are mistaken? What could your smartest critic say to convince you, you are wrong?

  4. Mr. Joe Cienkowski:

    I am a Christian of personal faith. I come to this page to try and understand what other people say and do.

    Mr. Jim Gardner has given you every opportunity to come forward in any possible way to clarify your claims on HIS page.

    Your video blurbs have been uploaded on: the old Godtube.com, the newer Tangle.com, Youtube.com. They are all the same ol’ same ol’.

    The only thing you promote is yourself mister. And in front of God I ask: “what have you done for God?”

    When I speak out for God – however simple I may be- I do it for free. I am not selling something that a decent Christian knows is supposed to be given to the whole world freely.

    Each of us that do the Lord’s work does it freely. We have real jobs that pay our bills, in other words; what you are doing is NOT what you are supposed to do. If God rewards you for the work you do complete for Him, then He will do it, and YOU DO NOT HAVE TO HOLD YOUR HAND OUT selling.

    I; as a Christian am ashamed of your representation, and call you out in front of God, and place you on “Godwatch.”

    Jim; I used your page to make this statement, and I apoligize if I’m wrong for using it as such, but these people that flaunt themselves as such need to be pointed out. Mr. Cienkowski does not follow the free path that we of quiet faith pursue, nor does he have a public record of pursuing free giving in the name of our Lord.

    And in final; I have news that Mr. Cienkowski does not allow opposite Christian opinions to his blog, and is not interested in the views of anyone else other than the one line congrates. And I am quite surprised Jim’s comment yesterday did make past the censor/moderator (groan). But I’m sure that Mr. Cienkowski needs a little tweeter for his twitter.

    Mr. Cienkowski? When a comment is left on this page, it’s an instant post; there are no retractions.

    Thank you Jim

  5. Everyone is free to post whatever they want, whenever they want to post it. No moderation. The only time I block anyone is when they threaten violence or advocate hatred against any one individual or group. This is one of the reasons I find it so amusing when I regularly see twitter Christians assert that atheist are incapable of knowing compassion and tolerance.

    Meanwhile, the likes of Mr. Cienkowski seem to think the best way to provoke a negative reaction in people they refuse to talk to like adults, is to spout falsehoods which aren’t even shared by 99.9% of their fellow Christians and compound the insult by ignoring the invitation to explain how they came to form their views.

    So, Darren, as my witness, please answer me this. Compared to what you’ve read by Mr. Cienkowski and what you’ve read by me, which of us is acting like someone who “believes in nothing” and which of us is behaving like they believe in the truth?

  6. My own interactions with Mr. Cienkowski have yielded much the same fruit. As with so many other twitter-bound non-factuals, Mr. Cienkowski does truly seem exclusively fixated on the selling of his book. While there’s nothing wrong with trying to make a buck, per se, his tacit refusal to participate in formative discussion in the various media presented to him actually inhibits his own success. If he could/would engage us in rational discourse here and elsewhere, I’d toss the man a bone and purchase his book. After all, I have nothing against the family and/or children for whom he may be attempting to provide. Instead, as we have experienced first-hand, he resorts to mockery and the repetition of unproven ideas. As Darren notes, it’s embarrassing.

    Darren, thank you for your comments. Open-mindedness and a willingness to question the status quo are healthy attributes for a person of faith to share. Would that there were more like you.

  7. When I saw this title I thought you were going to be writing about A G Cairns Smith.

    “in their fastidiousness they somehow managed to miss the fact that, not only is every single fossil ever discovered transitional”

    I hope that was a joke!

    “but that Darwin himself predicted the discovery of yet more fossils that would prove his theory either true or false—and that’s before we factor in the independent yet mutually corroborative evidence from genetics.”

    See, I thought studies from genetics actually caused problems for the fossil evidence as they have shown that species can be almost identical morphologically yet differ wildly genetically. In fact I thought that was the reason so much hope has been placed in epigenetics.

    Meh, could be wrong though.

    You should read Cairns though. If he was right maybe we did come from rocks :-)

  8. No Brainer Jim:

    I am going to express that a person of Mr. Cienkowski’s bearing leaves no past ground behind him for others to safely tread upon. If he wishes to forage ahead without a mapped course or compass to guide him – I’m not going to follow in his footsteps. In faxt, I’m standing on the rock that blocks his path. Do you understand the Bible metaphor there Joe?

    People as myself do try to read (suffer through) blogs such as “Joe’s Blog,” but we fail to find a supportive comment to encourage him in his way. Mr. Cienkowski does not have a “track record” to point to. And the only thing he points to are his books.

    I am trying to find stated references to his work – and at this time am unable to offer supportive critism to his work from accredited sources here for us to examine in his credit – across the board.

    Jim; you have always displayed the ability to write an article, and you are more than able to discuss your points in rebuttal, once again I am thankful that you are not lukewarm in your beliefs, and that you do seek truth as you can find it.

    And Joe is?… pointing to his book, is that Barney on the cover?

    In other words Joe is asking me to pay him to believe something, and Jim is forwarding issues for open discussion, to find truth to believe.

    Does anyone have an open/free onlibe source to view Joe’s books….or is it even worth the research? We are not even allowed to make a read opinion on Joe’s work without paying for it. Doesn’t that say most of what is wrong?

  9. I found a Google Books version of one of his books but can’t seem to find it anymore. I don’t know if that’s because he’s withdrawn it or if it was available only for a limited time.

    Joe has now had two days to answer the above question.

  10. Oh, you were serious.

    Well considering that there are estimated to be a few hundred ‘transitional’ fossils, and about 200 million total fossils covering about 250000 different species it’s pretty bloody obvious that ‘every single fossil ever discovered’ is not transitional.

    The only possible way you could hold that statement as accurate would be to say ‘well every animal evolved from something else and into something else therefore they are ALL transitional’. That would of course be a massive thought fail and an example of reasoning so circular it would not even be worthy of the religious nut you are berating in this thread.

    Which is why I had given you the benefit of the doubt and assumed (incorrectly it seems) that you were joking.

    :-0

  11. Michael:

    If you have 30 fossils all incomplete but of the same species and same historical era, then they all have the same claim to be transitional from an earlier species if each can be said to be transitional. You can’t just single out one isolated fossil for that accolade. They are all, as individual fossils, transitional in regard to all previous types in the same species.

  12. I’m thankful for the opportunity to respond to, ‘did we come from a rock’. No matter how atheist tries to slice it, some kind of spontaneous generation (abiogenesis) must take place. I may be laughed at for saying “atheist teach we came from a rock”, but what we really get nothing more in answers. Everything is “we don’t know that yet”. It’s impossible. I know many hate to hear that, but it is. In basic multiplication, any number x 0 = 0, because something can’t come from nothing. Atheists must do backflips, piroettes and handstands to try to make it fit. True science (which I get accused of knowing nothing about) is what we can see, test, indentify, describe, experiment with, and give an explanation of what makes it tick. We can see what I say every day, and not atheist. You have to ‘believe or imagine’ what they say. Thank you.

  13. That wasn’t the question, Joe, but I think I see why you might have thought it was. So while I’m very happy to finally welcome you to a discussion thread which is largely about you, can I just remind you and everyone else of the question at hand.

    You have stated on more than one occasion that you can prove evolution by natural selection is a false science. I asked you to present your data and give us all an example of how you falsified your findings. You refused to do that.

    So I ask, once again. What would stand as reasonable evidence to prove you are mistaken? What could your smartest critic say to convince you, you are wrong?

  14. I have just promised something to Joe that I want you all to witness

    If Joe can provide us with a summary of the findings in his book that he claims proves evolution by means of natural selection is a false science, which we can debate and critique according to the scientific standards of peer review, if he makes a cogent point that we can all agree brings something new to the table, I’ll give him a banner ad on pride of place that links directly to the store that sells his book.

  15. Pingback: An open challenge to Joe Cienkowski « How good is that?

  16. No what Russ wrote was meaningless.

    “If you have 30 fossils all incomplete but of the same species and same historical era, then they all have the same claim to be transitional from an earlier species if each can be said to be transitional. You can’t just single out one isolated fossil for that accolade. They are all, as individual fossils, transitional in regard to all previous types in the same species.”

    So if each species can be described as transitional, then each has the same claim to be transitional. Riight.

    Like I said you can’t claim all fossils to be transitional without begging the question.

  17. Michael. Unless someone is using the same name as you to comment on other areas of this blog, I have to say you’ve never struck me as being particularly anti-scientific before, so I’m going to ask you to indulge me for a second and explain what is wrong with the following analogy—which is my attempt to explain the so-called “gaps” in the fossil record in a way I hope many people can understand.

    The 35mm film used in cinema cameras is exposed at a rate of 35 frames per second. A car drives past the camera at high speed. The total amount of frames of film which capture the image of the car moving past is around 120. In those 120 frames of film the car is in a slightly different position each time, which only appears as movement when the film is projected at 35 frames per second in the cinema, thanks to an illusion called persistence of vision. But if we show the film any slower than 35 frames per second, we see the image of the car appear to jump from one moment in time to another—with blurring and other artefacts which distort the image in-between.

    What would we say about a hypothesis which inferred from this ‘jump’ between frames, where the car instead of appearing to move smoothly from one frame to another instead seemed to skip from one place to another, that each frame of film actually showed 120 completely different cars that where deliberately placed there one by one, when the camera was between sprockets? What could we ask of someone who proposed this hypothesis that would either prove their theory was right or proved their theory was wrong? What possible test could we devise that would help us to determine the validity of their proposition?

    Or would it, in fact, be fair to assume—given all the other information we have available, such as the vast wealth of observations made on other types of cars, traveling at varying speeds over different terrain, shot over a long period of time and captured by lots of different types of cameras, using both higher and lower frame rates, that in-fact what we are seeing isn’t proof that cars jump from one moment in time to another, but that they move gradually from one point in time to another, divided by the frequency at which we are able to capture them in motion. How would we show that this is a more sound approach to analysing the data than the previous? How would we compare the two competing thesis until one or the other was falsified?

    Each frame of film we have of the car represents both a still frame in its own right and a incremental part of an overall sequence, starting at one point in time and finishing at another. Only instead of it being a car moving from point A to point B over a couple of seconds, the fossil record shows entire species moving from time A to time Z over thousands of millions of years.

    At risk of extrapolating the car / film analogy too far, what young-Earth creationists and anti-science campaigners in general are demanding, is nothing less than high definition IMAX 3D close-up shots of every single car ever built, anywhere in the world, shown continuously, at hundreds of thousands of frames per second. What’s more, they’re continuing to demand this despite that every year, more and more missing pieces of original film they insist doesn’t actually exist are being found, scattered around the world and carefully put back into the original sequence.

    But as if that wasn’t enough, in the last 50 years—and never more-so than in the last 10 years—we now have a completely separate field of evidence that not only corroborates everything that was deduced in the previous 150 years, since the time of Darwin himself, but evidence which sheds a whole new light on the minutia of how life itself replicates and behaves on a fundamental level—not once contradicting the solid gold fact that life on Earth evolved by means of natural selection—completely independent of the evidence we already had from the fossil record.

    So, when I see ostensibly well meaning people say things like, “So if each species can be described as transitional, then each has the same claim to be transitional”, it pains me to think that for all the beautiful evidence just waiting for you to go and see for yourself, both on-line and in museums and open-door policy research institutions around the world, we’re still having to go over and over the basics of just how many millions of years ago these fossil things were still alive—and just how much more difficult that time span makes it to find fossils in the first place. We’re lucky to have the ones we do.

  18. Pingback: All about Joe Cienkowski « How good is that?

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