Wednesday, June 25, 2014

WIT's "Scientific Proof"

A friend of mine shared an article on Facebook recently: First Scientific Proof Of God Found. I've seen fundamentalists claim to have "scientific proof" of God many times, so I naturally approached this article with some grains of salt ready.

This one claims that geneticists at the Wyoming Institute of Technology (WIT) examining the human genome discovered patterns in the "junk DNA" that looked like some kind of alphabet. They consulted with linguists at Bob Jones University, who determined that the patterns translate into Aramaic words that make the phrase “At first break of day, God formed sky and land.”

My first clue that the site was a parody was the phrase "Bob Jones University, long noted for its intellectual rigor." Bob Jones University may be known for many things, but intellectual rigor is definitely not one of them.

Other articles on the site include such gems as:
  • “Selfies” Linked To Brain Cancer, Experts Say
  • New Chemical Makes Bacon Good For You
  • Keep Pets Their Same Size Forever With Adoraberil® ; Anti-Aging, Anti-Growing Wonder Drug
  • Autism Linked To Eating Organic Foods
  • Obesity Impacting Earthquakes in US, Experts Say
It seems that some people are willing to believe anything or anyone if it supports their own position.

Edit: An anonymous commenter called me out for saying BJU isn't known for intellectual rigor. I went to college close enough that their student proselytizers would show up on our campus to street preach. I know from personal experience that BJU is not known for intellectual rigor. Their reputation is fundamentalism, creationism, and racism, if anything. Supporting links in the comments.


Anonymous said...

I actually came across this post due to looking up this article. I originally read the article on my phone and so I couldn't find the evidences of parody I was expecting and you reference.

One thing I would like to note is that it's not always the need for evidence that leads people to blindly accept things. Often it's merely the fact that if something agrees with our prior notions we don't tend to question it. This happens on both sides. I've heard many people make statements such as "Jesus never existed" because they read an article or book which postulated such. They merely accepted it because it "seems legit" even though it's untenable by any historical record we have currently.

Bull is harder to detect when it supports your arguments, but that doesn't mean people are wading into it intentionally.

Anonymous said...

Can I point out here, that all you've done is launch an ad hominem circumstantial attack on their credibility and not provided a single shred of actual opposing evidence to their claim? I would like to see some counterarguments other than "they are not known for intellectual rigor.]

Lord Runolfr said...

For starters "Bob Jones University supports young-earth creationism, all their faculty are young Earth creationists and the university rejects evolution, calling it "at best an unsupportable and unworkable hypothesis".

Lord Runolfr said...

Also "The institution is infamous for taking the most extreme fundamentalist positions imaginable. It finally entered the 20th century - just as the 21st century was beginning - by dropping its ban on interracial dating in 2000 and seeking and gaining accreditation in 2005.

"Until 2005, Bob Jones University held the position that accreditation was a compromise with the sinful world of academia. As such, the university was an unaccredited one for most of its history, in effect conferring degrees that might as well have come from a diploma mill."