I’ve written about Joe Cienkowski on a previous occasion. Some of you may already be familiar with Joe and his ideas about evolution and atheism. I’ve had brief exchanges with Joe on Twitter, and though we disagree, we keep things fairly cordial.
Someone was kind enough to recently provide me with one of Joe’s self-published works. This one is called “Grand Reality,” and subtitled “Humans are only 1000’s of years old.” Joe provides it for free from his web site (you only pay shipping cost). It’s basically a booklet of about 17 pages. An introduction, a preface and five chapters are squeezed into those pages.
I’d like to provide my own personal analysis of Joe’s publication. I will do my best in trying to maintain a text length which is shorter than the original booklet. The amount of material is a bit more than I would like to cover in a single blog post, so I will break things up a bit. This first post will cover Joe’s Introduction and Preface.
Joe starts off introducing himself while he makes the reader feel as if they’re at a Biblical Literalists Anonymous meeting. I imagine it sounding like this:
Joe: “Hi, I’m Joe, and I’m a Young Earth Creationist.”
Group: “Hi, Joe.”
Joe writes, “I believe I can clearly prove humans can’t be more than thousands of years old…” I don’t recall any humans living beyond about 122 (verified) years. Okay; I know what Joe meant. He meant that he intends to show proof that the human species has been in existence for only several thousand years.
Joe makes some pretty astounding claims for his writings; “This book will definitely prove evolution is biologically impossible, as thousands of years wouldn’t be nearly as much time as evolution would demand.” Yes, you read that correctly. Joe intends to turn biological science upside-down with his proof that evolution is impossible.
Joe does, however, make it clear that his astounding claims might be hard to swallow. “I know the implications are staggering. Proving God conclusively, or certainly an ‘intelligent designer’ of some sort, is certainly going to make waves. By extension, it would prove atheism false.” I think that’s one of Joe’s biggest goals in the long run. He’s simply dying to prove that atheism is false.
He also seems to have extremely high hopes for the reception of his staggering wisdom. “It should change the way we look at science,” Joe writes, “as we could focus more on the scientific method and not focus so much on the theoretical origin explanation. We could now study science the way it was intended, as “looking into the mind of God”.” I must admit that Newton viewed science in that way to a degree, as did Einstein (though Einstein’s view of god is nothing like that of Newton’s, nor of Joe’s). That doesn’t mean science was, is, or will ever be intended to be seen as “looking into the mind of God.”
Joe seems quite certain that the revelation of his tremendous knowledge will have a great impact on non-believers. “I’m not under the illusion that people will convert over night. But, for those who don’t believe in God, or agnostic, this will be a real eye-opener.”
Joe relates that he had been a ‘believer’ in evolution, that he had been indoctrinated in this ‘belief’ (as most of us have been, he says) since his first years in school. When did this change of ‘beliefs’ happen for Joe? “As for me, it was actually exciting to see evolution was false, and it happened in prison watching Ken Ham’s “Creation Solution”.”
What could Ken Ham have related that would have brought this about this change for Joe? “…I saw a video in the prison chapel of Ken Ham, who said “evolution is religion, I repeat, evolution is religion”. Suddenly, a light went off inside my head.”
A light went off inside his head? I think that the flickering light of critical thinking in Joe’s head was extinguished on that fateful day. I can only wonder how different things might have turned out if, instead of being imprisoned for selling marijuana in Philadelphia, Joe might have earlier been sent to live with his auntie and uncle in Bel-Air.
“I understood it was JUST an idea, a belief, but not backed by real science. I started to see that real science proves creationism.”
Joe keeps using that word, ‘science,’ and I do not think it means what he thinks it means.
Joe ends his introduction in this way: “This will show evolution is religious in nature, because it’s something you need to believe in. In turn, that will prove logically and scientifically the existence of God. GRAND REALITY will encompass everything, including first and foremost: proving that humans cannot be more than thousands of years old. It’s impossible.”
Do you think Joe might have some delusions of grandeur, or is he just delusional in general?
This far along and I’m only up to the Preface?!?! Yes, I’m afraid so.
Joe compares what he’s doing to Jesus tossing the moneylenders, etc. out of the temple in John 2:15. Why that comparison? Joe believes that anyone who thinks that evolution is true is treating his god’s work as something common. Joe wants to be special!
“It’s SO wrong not to see the glory and wonder of God in the human design,” Joe writes. “Christians call the argument by design, teleology. But, instead of giving God the glory, it is given to ‘time and chance’ or nature.”
The teleological argument has been around for many centuries. The way this works is basically that a person examines the Universe in a cursory manor, finds that they are unable to completely understand the complexity of it all, then exclaims that because of this complexity, it must have all been designed by god. Shorter version: “I don’t understand it, therefore God did it!”
Joe writes, “The human body is an incredibly crafted machine, and well-designed.”
The human body is well-designed? Not hardly. What genius designer decide that he/she/it should put the nerves that transmit signals from the light-sensitive rods and cones of the human eye in front of those rods and cones where they interfere with the light? If that somebody was working for me, they’d be fired after turning in their first project. That blind spot in my eye gives me the impression that it’s not an optimally designed piece of machinery.
Joe then contends that, “The Bible gives an accurate scientific depiction saying humans are “fearfully and wonderfully made” in Psalm 139:14.”
How could any sane person think that “fearfully and wonderfully made” is in any way an accurate scientific depiction of anything? Oh. I forgot. Joe redefined science to mean whatever he thinks it means. My bad.
Joe goes on to provide more evidence that he really has no idea what he’s talking about. “The Miller-Urey experiments in 1953 also prove intelligent design, and only raised more questions than answers.” Well, since the question was settled in 1953, I suppose you had no reason to write this booklet, and we all believe in your Christian god now, right?
The Miller-Urey experiment was designed to determine whether the hypothetical conditions present on the primitive Earth could give rise to biologically active molecules from inorganic precursors. Contrary to the misinformation in Joe’s booklet, both left-handed (L) and right-handed (D) optical isomers were created in the experiment. Recent analysis of the archived solutions from the original experiment show that it produced even more amino acids than originally thought. Joe complains that the experiment didn’t produce life, thus it failed. Joe just can’t help showing us how much he simply doesn’t understand.
Joe continues, saying, “We learn new things about the anatomy of the human body all the time because of the complexly ordered arrangement of our molecules. There’s always new science books, new ideas, new medicines for the human body. How can anyone criticize the human body when we are finding out new things every single day?”
The reason we learn new things about ourselves and our Universe is because of scientific research. Our knowledge increases, and we pass that knowledge along to future generations. Errors in that knowledge are discovered and rectified. New knowledge is gained, new research methods are devised. What on Earth does that have to do with your god, Joe? Which new medicines were discovered by intense research into The Bible? Where did Jesus say anything about antibiotics? What the fuck are you talking about?
Joe continues blathering some things about Charles Darwin, about vestigial organs, and about the fossil record being “…an embarrassment to the theory of evolution.”. I must admit that Joe is very good at expressing his utter ignorance of biology, evolution, and science in general, with every paragraph he produces.
He ends his preface with this: “The purpose of Grand Reality is to show conclusively that humans cannot be more than thousands of years old. In turn, this will also prove clearly, convincingly and compellingly that humans and apes have no common ancestors. This means that evolution didn’t happen and it will be proven right here right now, and it’s pretty simple. Please just stick this out to the end.”
I’m beginning to think that the one thing that’s “pretty simple” about this booklet is Joe.
Check back later as I tackle more of “Grand Reality”. The first chapter is waiting for me, in its attempt to make the whole world just a little bit more ignorant.