Saturday, July 20, 2019

Earthside Reflections on Apollo 11

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen
Edited July 21, 2019

It seems like only yesterday — not really, it seems like fifty years ago that Apollo 11's Lunar Module Eagle landed on the moon. As a nine-year-old boy playing with space toys and waiting for the big event, it seemed interminable. Today, I have a better idea about why NASA did not do things on my impatient timetable. Years later, I learned more about just how dangerous space and space travel can be. Scientists have also learned a great deal.

Childhood memories of the Apollo 11 voyage and the joy of scientific accomplishments. We have learned so much in fifty years.
Photo of Edwin Aldrin by Neil Armstrong after being run through FotoSketcher
Original photo credit: NASA (Usage does not imply endorsement of site contents)
I had plastic models and booklets, but also some vinyl records. The "Talespinners for Children" company had a record album that was like a radio play that went through astronomy with Kepler, Galileo, and others. It also contained audio of the moon landing. I'd like to hear it again.

The public and I had moved on. Other Apollo missions followed as well as orbiting space stations, the Apollo-Soyuz mission, space shuttles, unmanned probes to both inner and outer planets, the International Space Station, and other space news. Political and cultural events as well ad budget cuts had an impact on the space program. Having had an interest in creation science for years and managing The Question Evolution Project in recent years, I have learned many things about various branches of science. My favorite has always involved space exploration and astronomy. Want to see my collection of Soviet Union and American postage stamps on the subject?

When the big anniversary of the first lunar landing was coming up, I realized that I was very excited all over again and even a bit emotional. With social media, I could join the celebration and even find some documentaries to watch on my Roku device.

I'm certain that leftists will be crying about how the Apollo landings were made by a bunch of white male heterosexuals, several of them Bible-believing Christians. If that vapid complaining isn't happening now, wait a bit.

As another aside, there are atheopath and other anti-creationist sidewinders who prefer to attack people instead of rationally dealing with subjects. Common epithet used against creationists is "science deniers", "science haters", and similar things. Even a cursory glance of biblical creation science sites (as well as mine) shows that such remarks are blatant lies. What we deny is propaganda and fake science; faulty assertions of "it evolved" (biological as well as cosmic) are things that we dare to question.

To give some creation science perspectives, I have a passel of links for those who want to do some investigation. The first group is from David Coppedge at Creation-Evolution Headlines. (Look for the fantastic artwork by Alan Bean.) David worked on the Cassini mission as a system administrator at JPL until he was fired for having the wrong views. His passion for space exploration remains strong. Some other links of interest follow those.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

A Bane of Social Media

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

While there are several frustrating things on social media, one stands out from the herd. That is when people are compelled to comment without having read the posts or articles. The worst part is when people who post things are told they're wrong, stupid, lying, whatever, by people who have not bothered to read the material. Answers to objections and questions are often contained in the linked articles.

One problem on social media seems to stand out from the rest. A little experiment helped support my position.
Image provided by Why?Outreach
Sometimes people will read the few sentences of introduction that are placed to encourage people to read the actual article, and they seem to feel that they are well enough informed to comment. Not usually.

Now don't be disunderstanding me, most of us who make posts are not expecting everyone to read everything. Also, a stand-alone captioned picture is an invitation for comments. (People who are aware of my posts and articles may have noticed that I seldom use a question as a title in hopes that people will actually read the linked material before commenting. A question can be taken as an invitation to comment without reading.) This kind of commenting is seen throughout social media, including Fazebook, Twitface, weblogs, and more. 

In fact, I've embarrassed myself by reading something too quickly, commenting, and being informed that my query was addressed after all.

Not too long ago, I posted an article about the value of vaccinations. Many people were outraged, and I saw Proverbs 18:13 validated before my eyes. They did not want to read the material, even castigating me for writing it. Worse, there was no interest in actually reading the material that I wrote or the detailed articles that were linked. Apparently, people were locked in by their emotions and the "facts" that they already believed from anti-vaxxers and similar groups (see Proverbs 18:17).

I had a bit of an experiment a spell back. On Facebook at The Question Evolution Project, I posted an item called "Atheist Accepts Multiverse Theory Of Every Possible Universe Except Biblical One". We had many comments by people who were angry at atheists, but didn't notice the source: The Babylon Bee, a "Christian news satire" site.

Here is where I want to make another point. People tend to accept what they read when the material confirms their biases or assumptions without checking the source. Good satire can be hard to distinguish from actual reports, and this one about the atheist accurately described how many of them act. Some of the people commenting on the post knew that it was a parody site, but others lashed out at the "atheist" in the story. I was letting it go, but another Admin stepped in and made it clear in the comments area that the content was satire.

Care should be used when getting material from unknown sites. You can find material that "proves" ghosts, UFOs, that the Anunnaki are our ancient reptilian masters from outer space working with the Illuminati, anti-vaxxers, flat-earthers, atheists, geocentrists, King James Onlyists, and more. Often, the name of the site or the weblog can prompt a reader or researcher to find more reliable sources. I lack belief that sites like that consider material that does not fit their narratives. God gave us minds, and he expects us to use them.