A Christmas Infection

Oh, go on then, since it’s Christmas. These anthologies don’t make any money anyway so here’s my other story from Underdog Anthology Ten.

Note: certain religious people might not think it as funny as I do…

A Christmas Infection

“How the hell did you catch syphilis, you hairy idiot?” Tiddles the elf stood with his fists on his hips. “And why didn’t you tell us before now?”

“Yeah, I probably should have said something sooner.” Santa stared into his whisky glass, his last drink before the big event tomorrow night. “It’s not an easy subject to bring up, you know?”

George tapped Tiddles’ shoulder. “Like that time you had crabs. You didn’t like to talk about it.”

Tiddles closed his eyes, raised his fists and drew a breath. “Shut up George. Just, you know, zip it. This is not about me and not about the past. This is here and now and we have an infected Santa about to go out tomorrow night and spread a Christmas present nobody wants.”

“Only if he shags them.” George grinned.

Santa swirled the last of his whisky. “Well, I could maybe use condoms…”

“Oh yeah,” Tiddles sneered. “We could fit a condom machine to the sleigh. That’s going to look great on Christmas cards.”

“Just a suggestion.” Santa shrugged and stared out of the window.

“You are supposed to be the very epitome of purity and cleanliness.” Tiddles paced as he talked. “You are there for the children, not for some random tart with ‘we never close’ tattooed on her thighs. How the hell did you do this anyway?”

Santa raised one eyebrow.

Tiddles raised both hands. “No details. An outline will do.”

“Okay.” Santa took a sip of whisky. “I’m stuck here for the whole year with nothing to do then I get busy on one night. For Christmas Eve, time means nothing to me. I have all the time in the world within minutes.”

“We know this.” Tiddles glared at the overweight bearded man and tried to avoid the pictures entering his head. “Get to the point.”

“Well.” Santa sighed. “These days there are a lot of single mothers out there. Their kids need presents too, and a few of those mothers get pretty lonely over Christmas…”

Tiddles realised his jaw hung open, and closed it. “You mean… you mean you’ve been trading sex for presents? That’s… that’s…”

“No, of course not, I—” Santa’s face reddened to match his suit.

“That’s brilliant.” George nudged Tiddles. “It’s a great scam. Even better than—Oof.” Tiddles’ elbow connected with George’s ribcage with rather more than a nudge.

“George.” Tiddles placed his hands on George’s shoulders. “I want you to do something for me. It’s really important. Will you do it?”

George rubbed at his side and scowled. “I suppose.”

“I want you to guard that sleigh and supervise the loading of the presents. Don’t let anyone near it unless they’re working.” Tiddles leaned in close. “Especially Santa.”

“Huh?” George raised his eyebrows.

Tiddles spoke quietly. “I don’t know what effect his magic, when it kicks in, will have on his infection. Might cure it or it might send him mad. Go guard that sleigh.”

George nodded. “You mean like the time he turned all the toy guns into real ones, after we made him give up smoking? It took some serious work to clean up that mess.”

“Exactly,” Tiddles said, while thinking; I really just need you to bugger off.

“Shouldn’t we be looking for a replacement then, if he’s dangerous?” George peered at Santa.

“We have less than twenty-four hours before launch. We have to sort this one out.” Tiddles guided George to the door. “Just make sure the sleigh is safe. And don’t tell anyone about Santa’s illness. We don’t want to start a panic.”

“Right.” George stepped through the door. “Bye, Santa,” he called as Tiddles closed it.

“You do realise I heard every word of that, right?”

Tiddles turned to face Santa. “Oh sure.” He waved his hand and headed for the drinks cabinet. “I think this calls for one more before we lock this up, don’t you?”

Santa’s glass was on the cabinet before Tiddles could blink. “Make it a large one,” he said, “or I dig deeper into whatever scam you two are pulling.”

Tiddles filled two glasses. “Never mind that. We have an immediate and serious problem here. How long have you known about this infection?”

Santa settled into his chair. “Just over a month. I found out on my last visit to Doc. I wasn’t feeling good so he checked me over, and diagnosed the problem.”

“Doc? The dwarf? You know how much he drinks, surely?”

“Of course.” Santa raised his glass and winked. “Why do you think I visit him?”

Tiddles took a deep drink. “Never mind. So how come it took you so long to realise you had it? You must have caught it a year ago.”

Santa stared into his glass. “Maybe longer.”

Tiddles stared into his own glass and then at the drinks cabinet. He felt like finishing the bottle. “How long? How long have you run your one-man gigolo business?”

“Four years. But I don’t know when I got infected. And it’s not a business. I’m lonely, they’re lonely, there’s nothing more to it. I do not make sex a condition of delivering presents. Sometimes it just happens, that’s all.” Santa glowered from beneath bushy eyebrows.

“Four years. Shit. This gets worse and worse and we’re not even at the bad part yet.” Tiddles drained his glass, crossed to the drinks cabinet and brought the bottle over. He sat opposite Santa, refilled his glass and placed the bottle between them.

“You mean the part where it drives me mad?” Santa took a gulp of whisky and refilled his glass. “Do you think that will happen?”

“Non a shance.” Tiddles waved his arm a bit more forcefully than usual, hiccupped and composed himself. “Not a chance, I mean. Now you know it’s there you can cure it with magic as soon as your power kicks in tomorrow night. I just told George that to get him out of the way. No, that’s not the problem.”

“Ah.” Santa set his glass down. “You think I might have been spreading this disease without knowing it.”

“Oh I know you have.” Tiddles smacked his lips. This was particularly good whisky and his head was starting to spin. “That’s still not the problem. How many women are we talking about here?”

Santa took a deep breath. “Well you know, time doesn’t mean anything when I have my power on Christmas eve so… probably quite a few.”

“How many fews? I mean, are we in tens, hundreds, thousands?”

“Hey, I’m not a tart.” Santa took a drink. “Hundreds. Probably. Maybe a few hundred. Maybe a lot of hundreds. It all gets a bit of a blur when time is irrelevant, you know?”

“And you didn’t once use a condom.” Tiddles buried his face in his hands.

“Well I wasn’t expecting to be so… able. You know, overweight, drinking, smoking, I couldn’t have managed more than one or two. Take away the drinking and smoking though and I was packing a spring that could hold up a truck, if you know what I mean.” Santa grinned. “Thanks to you taking away the booze and my pipe, I’ve had a great time the last few Christmas eves.”

Tiddles held up his hands. “Don’t smile. Really. Don’t. This going to be horrible and it doesn’t help to know that we elves caused it.” He sighed and sat back in his seat, his eyes wandering the room. “It happened once before, a very long time ago. Before this was called Christmas and before your predecessors were named Santa. It’s in the records and there are dire warnings not to let it happen again. Now it has. Last time we blamed the remedy on a Middle Eastern king called Herod. I wonder who we can blame this time?” He narrowed his eyes. “Maybe a prince…”

“What are you talking about?” Santa’s face contorted. “Remedy for what? If I’ve infected anyone I can fix them with magic when I visit tomorrow night. It’s all sorted. No problem.”

“You didn’t use a condom and you were full of magic.” Tiddles tried to fix Santa with a hard glare but he had started to blur. “You will have impreg – impregnated them all. Lots of new kids. Your kids.”

“Ah.” Santa winced. “I see.”

Tiddles banged the table. “No you don’t. You made kids with magic in them. Santa magic. If they reach the age of thirty they will have the same powers as you. All the time, not just at Christmas eve. They can do what the hell they like. Imagine that. Thousands of them, with absolutely no restriction on what they do.”

Santa stared at the bottle on the table. “Well, perhaps one of them could be my replacement. I could retire.”

Tiddles grabbed his glass and downed it. “So what do you propose? Some Highlander-style ‘there can be only one’ competition? The Santa Games? Mad Max and the Santadome? How are you going to reduce the numbers to one and how are you going to convince that last one to become Santa? They don’t need to. They already have the magic. These children are potential monsters.”

They sat in silence for a few minutes until Santa said “So what do we do?”

Tiddles poured the last of the bottle into their glasses and took another from the drinks cabinet. He cracked it open and placed it next to the empty one.

Staring into Santa’s eyes, trying hard to focus, Tiddles took a breath and spoke. “We have to identify every single one and kill them. Before they reach their age of power and before anyone else finds out what they are capable of. Then we have to find someone to blame because a rash of mystery child deaths will not go unnoticed.”

“You said it happened before,” Santa took another drink. “But you fixed it last time, right?”

“Almost.” Tiddles resigned himself to a vicious hangover in the morning and poured another drink. “We missed one. Just one. When his powers kicked in, you know what he did?” He giggled and almost spilled his whisky. “You would have been so proud. You know what the first thing he did with his magic was?”

Santa shook his head. “No. What?”

Tiddles roared with laughter, heedless of the drool he felt on his chin. He might as well drink, there was no way he’d sleep tonight. Finally he managed to get the words out.

“He turned water into wine.”

28 thoughts on “A Christmas Infection

  1. Tony Blair didn’t turn water into wine, did he? He’d have taxed water in case it caught on. Have you noticed that the older he gets, the more he resembles an evil elf?

    Now, I don’t want to sound disagreeable or unappreciative or anything, but reading that was a bit like watching an episode of Tales of the Unexpected (I have all 100-odd episodes on DVD and some really are rather good). It was quite enjoyable, but with a disappointing ending. At least, for me, it was disappointing. I didn’t think that I was going to be offended, despite your warning – as I don’t celebrate Pagan customs like Christmas (knowingly!) – but I was kinda.

    Maybe more surprised than offended. Or disappointed in the Saviour being dissed, even if Xmas is a farce, He is still the only real superhero.

    But, it’s a free country (thought I’d add my own humour) and you can write what you want.

    When I read, “Finally he managed to get the words out,” I thought, “He invaded Poland.”

    But that wouldn’t be a Christmassy ending, even though Hitler only had one bauble.

    But, millions of people believe that our Saviour is descended from apes (sorry, ‘ape-like ancestors’). Which is more unlikely?

    Considering a brief metaphysical/philosophical/scientific analysis, the Almighty created space and time, so He would have to have preceded Santa in order for the latter to be able to expand said time to suit his gruelling annual schedule. I would be looking for a replacement too, so that I could retire.

    It probably sounds like I’ve been at the cooking sherry all night.* I forgot to leave some out on the mantelpiece should I be mistaken about Mr S. Claus…

    *Nearly 22 years without a drink, by His grace.

    P.S. Literary critiques undertaken at bargain rates!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a matter of perspective. I can understand your point of view but remember, someone you believe in is being dissed by someone you don’t believe in.
      While to me, someone I don’t believe in is being dissed by someone I also don’t believe in. It’s all fiction to me.
      I’ve written things that have had scathing reviews (there’s one on Barnes and Noble for ‘A Christmas Contract’ that is particularly impressive) and sure, some of it offends people. And some of it scares them but as a mostly-horror writer, that’s kind of the point 😉
      Why don’t I do the same to Mohammed? Well, the followers of Christ might get offended but they are confident that their God can deal with a bit of light hearted jesting, shrug it off, maybe even find it a bit amusing. The followers of Mohammed believe their god needs to be protected from us infidels and will try to kill anyone who insults him. That’s a big difference, not only in the people, but in the gods.
      I have no religion, but if I were to choose, I’d go for a god who protected me rather than one who needs me to protect him. If your god needs your protection, then he should be worshipping you.
      So if God is real, yeah, I’m going to be feeling a bit silly at the end but as I’ve said before, I will not pretend to believe. Because if God is real, then he’ll know I’m faking it and whatever awaits will be far worse than if I was honest in my unbelief. And I don’t think any being with the status of a god is going to be easily offended. Unless it’s the Snowflake God, the one who seems to have a lot of followers at the moment.
      Of course, if it turns out Odin is the only true god, we’re all screwed 😉
      Only one way to find out for sure, and I’m in no hurry.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I didn’t intend to be scathing as per an irate anonymous buyer on a bookseller’s website.

        While to me, someone I don’t believe in is being dissed by someone I also don’t believe in.

        The big difference here is that one of these beings (Santa) is clearly fictional, at least in the sense of his annual worldwide sojourns. If it were true then emergency services would be flooded with reports of a prowler. Children who live in houses with no chimney also get presents, so how does he gain entry? We aren’t told. Why isn’t the Earth covered in reindeer droppings once a year? It’s obviously a story that can be falsified with the reasoning of a child.

        The Creator, on the other hand, has been believed in by adults throughout history all over the world, including by the most intelligent of people ever to have lived.

        Where’s the evidence? I think people gain the evidence from what is evident to them in their own lives. For example, it is evident to me that life has meaning and purpose. I don’t believe that I exist simply by way of a cosmic accident just to be returned to the Earth after my demise. Many incidents in my life lead me to what I consider to be the obvious conclusion that things have happened for a reason – for experience and spiritual growth, etc. Non-material reasons which cannot be explained away by atheists.

        I used to assume that the Theory of Evolution was valid, but then, like almost everyone, I hadn’t really thought about it. I had no evidence, I just believed because it was all I had ever been exposed to in that field of enquiry.

        So, when a rich man somewhere in England paid a few million quid to have an Academy named after him and he introduced creation science to the curriculum, the humanists went absolutely nuts. I think this was in 2005 and, although a believer, I didn’t feel I had a dog in this race, but I couldn’t understand the contempt for this man in the ‘news’papers. Why were so many trendies wetting themselves over one school teaching both creation accounts? Surely that should be welcomed by ‘free thinkers’ in the quest to create a new generation of free thinkers who are better equipped. If creationism was as silly as they try to make it out to be, why would they even worry?

        My reaction to the intensity of the hatred of the intolerant liberals was to find out just what was so heinous about creationism. Over the years I have come to realise that humanists have their own religious (or anti-religious) worldview that is as important to them as religion is to other religious people and that creationism poses them a real problem because it is real science providing a very credible alternative to old-earth geology and evolution theory.

        Their worldview was being questioned and they were worried that it would escalate into an unravelling of their own faulty worldview.

        As I said, above, there are non-material reasons which cannot be explained away by atheists.

        But, according to Dawkins, “The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.” (‘River Our Of Eden’)

        If that were all true then why has Dawkins spent his life telling people that religion is evil, if there is no such thing as evil? He talks rubbish and always has. He might be a good scientist (is he?) but as for philosophy, he’s embarrassing.

        How many people don’t believe there is good and evil? You believe in good and evil entities in the spirit world, don’t you? So do I. Isn’t it a logical assumption that there is a hierarchy among them as there is here in the physical/spiritual world? And at the top of each league of angels and archangels, etc. is the boss: the Creator God on one hand and the Adversary on the other.

        I think we have probably all experienced enough wickedness to not want to have to endure it for eternity after this life. It necessitates a pro-active stance from us to acknowledge the right Boss and be faithful to Him as best we can. I’m not saying it’s always easy, but it is bound to be well worth it.

        Liked by 1 person

        • If things happen for a reason, the God must have a Plan. If your wife gets a flesh eating bacteria and is about to lose both legs, praying won’t help, because this is part of God’s Plan. He is not going to change his Plan because that would mean that He made a mistake and He is infallible, and since according to you He is the Creator, he also has created the flesh eating bacteria for this purpose. He also has created the nematode worm Loa loa. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loa_loa_filariasis#Reservoir) Humans contract this disease through the bite of a deer fly or mango fly (Chrysops spp), the vectors for Loa loa. The adult Loa loa filarial worm migrates throughout the subcutaneous tissues of humans, occasionally crossing into subconjunctival tissues of the eye where it can be easily observed. This worm is purposefully created to live in humans. Humans are the primary reservoir for Loa loa. Isn’t his a cruel Plan from a cruel Creator?

          According to the WHO nearly 9 million children under 5 die every year from infectious illnesses, with pneumonia (18%) as the leading cause, followed by diarrhoea (15%) and then malaria (8%). This is the conclusion of a major statistical exercise undertaken by Professor Robert Black from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore and colleagues, funded by the WHO and Unicef and published in the Lancet.

          Children under 5 ! And this is God’s Plan ? That’s 25,000 children PER DAY.
          What about children born with leukemia? Horrible diseases that affect children, caused by bacteria created by your God?

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          • If you believe in Creationism, God has designed everything. Consequently, God has designed the female Anopheles mosquitoes to cause malaria. The mosquitoes pick up the parasite from infected people when they bite to obtain blood needed to nurture their eggs. Inside the mosquito the parasites reproduce and develop. When the mosquito bites again, the parasites contained in the salivary gland are injected and pass into the blood of the person being bitten.
            Malaria parasites multiply rapidly in the liver and then in red blood cells of the infected person. All this is intended by the Creator, specially designed to cause pain and death, also to 1 month old babies who don’t even get a chance to start believing in creationism or a good God.

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            • Ah, Dirk! Another ‘atheist’ who is angry with God. They’re everywhere!

              Your problem is that you don’t understand creationism and you don’t understand scripture and you don’t understand the Creator and you don’t understand sin.

              You just get angry.

              ‘Bad things happen, therefore there is no God,’ is not a valid argument. Read the Old Testament. I’m working my way through it again (up to 1 Samuel at the mo). Because of sin, we live in a world where terrible things happen. We were given a perfect world, but man rebelled against the Creator, et voilà: BAD THINGS HAPPEN!

              You also need to understand science. Disease and death are the result of the curse of sin, which affects the whole of creation. There are thousands of genetic diseases – the human genome is degenerating.

              Secular population geneticists like Michael Lynch agree that the human genome is deteriorating, quite badly, with at least a 1% reduction in fitness in each new generation, but possibly as high as 5% or even 10% reduction in fitness in just one generation. Of course, they think that greater selection would improve fitness, but every new generation is ‘pre-aged’ with new mutations regardless of selection.

              What does this mean? That we are ‘evolving’ towards extinction and that evolution theory is nonsense. People were physically perfect at the start and are mutating downhill.

              I lost a brother who had no time to sin (still birth), so why am I not fuming mad with the Creator, like you are?

              Prayer? Yes, it does get answered. The O.T. has good examples. I have my own personal experience of divine intervention. Many people do. With your attitude, though, you’re not likely to get anywhere.

              CALM DOWN & KEEP PRAYING.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Mr Stewart Cowan, how can I be angry with an entity that does not exist? It’s like being angry with the Tooth Fairy. As for the Bible, I’ve read it. In my high school which was run by Jesuit priests, I even had to translate the Latin text of numerous verses. When I was 17 years old, the Ancient Greek exam consisted in translating the Koine Greek from the Bible into Dutch. Believe me, I know the Bible, but I reject it.
                I wish you a happy life.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Mr Stewart Cowan, how can I be angry with an entity that does not exist?

                  You tell me. Who are you angry with then for all the perceived injustices? You are clearly angry about it, but why? If all that happens is due solely to the forces of nature acting upon matter, what’s to get upset about?

                  It’s like being angry with the Tooth Fairy.

                  It’s nothing like that. See my reply to our host re. Santa.

                  Believe me, I know the Bible, but I reject it.

                  I have met people who “know” the Bible: Baptists, JWs, Mormons, Presbyterians, etc. They all have different takes, sometimes very different. I would say that being taught by Jesuits put you at a great disadvantage. How do you expect to learn the truth from the Beast of Babylon?

                  I wish you a happy life.

                  Do you wish for my eternal damnation after this life? Which is more important?

                  Like

              • The first incident involving Lot’s daughters appears in Genesis 19:1–11. Two men who were really angels appeared in Sodom where Lot lived with his family. The wicked men of the city surrounded Lot’s house seeking to have homosexual relations with the angels. Lot begged the men of the city not to do this evil thing, and he offered up his two virgin daughters to them instead.

                The second incident (Genesis 19:30–38) occurs after Lot and his daughters had fled Sodom just before its destruction. Lot’s wife was destroyed for her disobedience during the journey, and Lot and his two daughters fled to live in a cave in a mountain. Afraid they would never have husbands or children in their hideout, Lot’s daughters plotted to make their father drunk so they could sleep with him and thereby assure that they would have children.

                The story of Jephthah is found in the Old Testament Book of Judges, chapters 11–12. On behalf of Israel as a whole and in reliance on the might of God the Judge, Jephthah challenges the Ammonites. Jephthah swears an oath:

                “. . . and whatever [footnote: Or whoever] comes out from the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the Ammonites shall be the LORD’s, and I will offer it [footnote: Or him] up for a burnt offering.

                The story of Jephthah from Judges 11:29-40 is a good reason to abandon that Judeo-Christian vileness. Perhaps you recall it; a Hebrew chieftain asks for his god’s aid in slaughtering the Ammonites, and all God asks in return is that Jephthah sacrifice the first thing he sees when he returns home. Jephthah devastates the Ammonites, destroying twenty towns (nice), and the first thing he sees at his door is his daughter. Who he then kills and sacrifices as a burnt offering.

                What a horrible story and what horrible people that they think we should learn love of and obedience to god from it; all it tells me is that their god is a monster.

                Liked by 1 person

                • I did say that bad things happen and that is not a valid reason for rejecting the Creator. You are the archetypal ‘atheist’. You claim to know the Bible then cherry-pick it for incidents you believe back up your position.

                  Lot attempted to prevent the gang-raping of the angels by the howling bunch of perverts outside, so he offered them his daughters, but they were so depraved they demanded male flesh instead. I suppose you would just have handed over the angels? Do you think it was an easy decision for Lot?

                  As I said, with a Jesuit ‘teaching’ together with a bad attitude, you probably won’t understand or even want to understand because you’ve made up your mind that you don’t *want* to be accountable to your Maker and so you clutch at scriptural straws in an attempt to prove your point. It is amazing how many ‘atheists’ turn out to be former Catholics or had a Catholic education.

                  But you can’t prove your point. Why? Because, as Dawkins wrote (to reiterate): “The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.”

                  So, like Dawkins, you have no grounds for even making moral judgments. You clearly believe that some things that happened thousands of years ago are so bad that it upsets you (or are just convenient as excuses). Why is what Lot did – or his daughters – wrong in a universe whose property is ‘blind, pitiless indifference’?

                  Like

        • A full answer would really need a book. I’ll write it one day. So, some bullet points –

          There are good and evil humans and what we would call good and evil non-human ‘spirits’ (I have some thoughts based on multidimensional physics but we’ll call them spirits for now). However, good and evil depend on your point of view. Mice likely consider cats to be evil beings, but the cat just sees lunch. It may be that what we consider an evil entity is just following its nature – and we are the mice. That said, there is definitely good and evil among humans but sometimes those doing evil believe they are doing good. The current state of Public Health is a prime example.

          I try not to refer to myself as ‘atheist’ because it has become a proselytising ‘religion’ in itself. Messages on buses, organised meetings, people of similar beliefs coming together and insisting others believe as they do. I’m sure some of them would love to burn non-Atheists at the stake. So I call myself apathist, because I don’t care what other people believe and have no interest in changing their beliefs. I hope that catches on.

          As for creationism, my own career in science was unaffected by the past. I worked alongside a committed Christian and taught several of the Muslim faith and creation/evolution never once came up. Microbiology is based in the here and now, the past does not matter. Especially my line of work which was about intestinal diseases. It matters to geologists and palaeontologists and archaeologists and others, but it had no impact on my work. I don’t have to ‘believe’ in natural selection or the ability of life to adapt to a new environment because I’ve seen bacteria do exactly that in less than 24 hours. Sure, they’re just bacteria, hardly a complex life form (although much more complex than most people realise) but scale it up and it’s logical that an animal species could adapt to a new environment if given a hundred years or so to do it.

          Still, I think all information should be made available to everyone, and leave it up to them what they want to do with it. Censoring creationism because I don’t happen to agree with it would put me in the same place as those who hit out at smokers because they don’t like smoking. If I agree with silencing one voice on any subject then I cannot complain if my own voice is later silenced. So, if someone wants to fund a course teaching creationism, fine with me. I won’t take the course myself but I will not try to shut it down.

          Everything about the past is based on belief. All of it. We, on the science side, currently believe in the ‘big bang’ but what was before that? If the universe started with an explosion, why did that happen? Who lit the fuse? All the matter in the universe concentrated into a point. How did that happen? Where did that ultra-concentrated mass come from? Maybe the ‘big bang’ is wrong, but it’s all science has at the moment. It might change in future. What if this universe is inside another with different rules? What if everything we see around us is some extra-universal school project? What happens when that kid gets his grade? We cannot know the future and we’re guessing, mostly, at the past. New information keeps coming up, and science isn’t always that fast to accept it. So teach it all, teach everything, and maybe someone will join those disparate dots one day. Censor nothing.

          Scathing reviews – I actually found that B&N one amusing. If I couldn’t take the occasional beating in reviews I won’t get far as a writer 😉

          And high-speed reindeer poo dropping from the sky – I am embarrased to admit I had not thought of that. Next year…

          There is so much more, it will, as I said, need a book. I think I’ll put it under Romulus Crowe’s name.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I agree with most of what you wrote there. I would draw your attention to the phrase, “We, on the science side,” as being perhaps a Freudian slip or just a reluctance to accept creationism as legit?

            I am very much on the science side. I’m not distinguished in a field like yourself, but I have looked at many areas and the creation/evolution issue does involve many disciplines. Geomorphology is especially exciting to me, as the ‘shape of the Earth’ clearly points to a worldwide flood not so long ago.

            But it’s nice that you admit that you don’t need evolution theory to study real science. Someone once said (I forget who) that the only time you need to know about evolution theory is when you’re studying evolution theory. In the past, I have had to explain that whether or not people evolved from ‘ape-like ancestors’ or birds evolved from reptiles, it does not pertain to what goes on in the lab.

            They are worried that creationism will harm medical research. When you consider how much damage the secular hypotheses of dozens of vestigial organs and 98% ‘junk DNA’ must have done to research, the notion becomes even sillier. New insights into medical research have come to light through the design inference.

            The Big Bang theories I find very silly, but refusing to believe in creationism requires alternatives, however ridiculous. The idea of hyperspace is possibly sound, though. It would explain the spirit world and why we can’t see them (very often if at all), but they can see us. For example, the ‘writing on the wall’ by a disembodied hand at Belshazzar’s feast would suggest another dimension.

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            • Ah, the ‘science side’ wasn’t me squaring up on the battlefield. It was just to distinguish science from religion – and they should be entirely separate things. Religion requires faith, science should have no faith in anything. Dispassionate observation is the root of science although it is very hard to actually do that. Every scientist wants their experiment to prove the idea that generated it, accepting that the idea was wrong isn’t always easy. Especially when you find you’ve just spent six months proving yourself wrong 😉

              I’ve always said that science cannot study religion (maybe the social sciences but we don’t talk about them). There is nothing to get a handle on. How do you test for God? What’s he made of? Where is he? Which direction should we aim our God-detector when we’ve figured out what the detector should even be looking for in the first place? There’s nowhere to start.

              No, most areas of science have no need of evolution theory. Physics and chemistry, for example, are very much in the here and now. It doesn’t matter what went before to those disciplines. Even in biology, you only need to even touch on it if you’re working in taxonomy or studying past extinction events etc. In microbiology, sure, there are those who look into the past, but my particular area was far more concerned with patients or farm animals who are shitting themselves inside out and need an answer now! So I don’t see why creationism should affect any kind of medical research.

              If you haven’t already, I recommend a small book by Edwin Abbott called ‘Flatland’ which does a great job of explaining dimensions. A three-dimensional creature could be above a two-dimensional world and they won’t know it’s there unless it pokes part of itself into their world. Then they only see the part poking in. The three dimensional creature can see all of the two dimensional world at once without even being inside it.

              So a four-dimensional being would be able to ‘step out’ of our three-dimensional existence and see all of it at once. That being could then enter at any point and all we’d see would be the part it decided to poke into our world. We’d never see the whole thing.

              It can be the stuff of dreams or nightmares, depending on how you look at it 😉

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              • I have a series of video presentations by a creationist physicist (Dr Russ Humphreys) who explains dimensions as part of the supposed Big Bang into hyperspace. He has produced at least one theory about how galaxies can exist billions of light years away within the Biblical time frame. Quite interesting, not that I really believe his version, but the science may be sound with the Earth at the centre of the universe (which it apparently really is, to the chagrin of materialists) and in a gravity well where (Earth) time is running ‘normally’ but further out where gravity hasn’t slowed time right down, the rest of the universe is taking billions of years to form.

                Is that more mad than the Big Bang where “nothing exploding to become everything”?

                Like you said, science isn’t really detached from some worldview or other. Science supposedly started to flourish after Bibles were being printed in English and other languages (not just Latin ones chained up in churches) and so people could understand that the Creation is orderly because the Creator is orderly. There was no other reason to assume that if water boils at 212F at sea level today that it will do so again tomorrow. What if the capricious gods of Greece were in charge? They could have changed it to anything they liked on a whim, but the Bible tells us that God is unchanging.

                So, anti-biblical scientists really aren’t appreciating that their core beliefs about the nature of the universe are based on religious faith. I have heard that in elite science circles, they think of themselves as gods and the rest of us are ‘naked apes’.

                Yes, you can’t measure the divine, although, like a star’s ‘wobble’ where you can detect planets orbiting it, you can gain an insight into what is otherwise unseen by reading scripture and by personal experiences and those of reliable witnesses.

                Take Dirk, for example. Why is he concerned about what he perceives as right and wrong? Same with Dawkins and his ilk, always ready to judge others and that’s because there is more to existence than the forces of nature acting on matter. Why even spend time arguing when you could be engaging in all kinds of pleasures if this is all there is, and anyway, what does it matter if all there is is matter? Why not just shrug me off and snort another line of coke and party? If you live in the UK, the NHS will rebuild your nose if required.

                I’ve probably recommended it before, but “The Dawkins Proof” written by a former atheist shows that the Professor lives as if God exists, as does almost every atheist. I bought the book, but it’s available as a free pdf…

                Click to access TheDawkinsProof.pdf

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                • Okay. Earth as the centre of the universe is an easy one.

                  Our telescopes only see so far. Better telescopes let us see a bit further and as we make better and better ones we see further still. However, we see that distance in every direction. The same distance in every direction. So we are indeed at the centre of a sphere of what we can see. What’s outside that sphere? We don’t know yet.

                  It doesn’t mean we are at the centre of the universe because we don’t know where the edge of the universe is. We might be, we might not be.

                  Oh yes, there is an edge. If the universe is expanding, as seems to be the case, then it’s expanding into something (possibly a void) but like an expanding balloon it has an outer surface. We can’t be sure of seeing that yet.

                  Okay, taking the line that there is a God and he is infinite, that doesn’t mean our universe is infinite. It might be but it doesn’t need to be. From an infinite God’s point of view the entire universe might be in a fishtank on his desk. Which would of course make omnipresence a simple matter. He can see all of it, all at once.

                  The laws of physics, gravity, the passage of time, we assume is the same all over the universe but we could be wrong. Looking at the deep sky, it looks like we’re right about that but it does not prove we are. We already know that time is relative and that around a black hole, our rules all go to pieces. But how far have we tested? Humans have been to the moon, we’ve sent machines to Mars, and we have probes that have just left the solar system and already have sent back anomalies. This is like crossing the room to turn off the TV on a glalactic scale, never mind the scale of the universe. We know almost nothing about this universe – heck, we know almost nothing about the Earth but you try getting any scientist to admit it.

                  So different time flows in the outer reaches of the universe, different physical laws, might seem unlikely but real science would never rule it out. Unfortunately real science is rare and getting more rare. We are now in the era of ‘settled science’ which to me is the end of real science. Nothing, absolutely nothing, should be closed to questioning. I was happy to retire from it.

                  There is also the speed of light. It is a constant here. Is it a constant everywhere? We assume so but are we right? It’s so much of a constant that if two spaceships travel towards each other at close to the speed of light they each see the light from the other at a constant speed. The speed of light does not change even if you are moving at speeds close to it. Any observer, no matter how fast they are going, sees the same speed of light.

                  This suggests to me that the speed of light is a function of the observer, not of light. We see it at a constant speed no matter what. So, if an alien being in another galaxy measured it, would they get the same answer? We might never know. Certainly not in my lifetime.

                  Incidentally, since we are getting all philosophical, did you realise that we never see ‘now’? Light takes a small but finite time to reach our eyes, the eyes take a small but finite time to turn photons into nerve impulses, the brain then takes a small but finite time to generate an image. So when you catch a thrown ball, how can you do that? The ball is not where you saw it and neither is your hand. Everyone, all of us, predict the future all the time 🙂 Okay, only by a fraction of a second but catching something moving does require a predictive ability.

                  But I digress, as usual.

                  I don’t think science should dismiss religion but at the moment science has no way to test it. Oh we can do the ‘test the prayers’ thing but if we are dealing with a higher intelligence, who is to say that he’s not messing with us? What if the one being prayed for was supposed to die now? We can’t factor that in because we don’t know so we’d say the prayer failed. But maybe it wasn’t meant to succeed.

                  There is a vast amount science doesn’t know. A vast amount scientists don’t accept they don’t know. Well, scientists are human, we’re not Vulcans, we’re prone to the same human failings as everyone else. Arrogance, self-importance, all of it.

                  Maybe we’ll get real science back one day. It doesn’t look promising.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • I only popped back to add a brief note to my previous reply and you’ve come back to me with a book already!

                    A word you used before – “taxonomy” – flashed through my mind and I thought of Linnaeus, probably the most famous in the field and working a century before Charles Darwin.

                    I then noticed that you mentioned people “studying past extinction events” perhaps needing evolution theory, but I would argue against that. Evolutionists, of course, believe that the fossil record is a record of organisms evolving greater complexity, but it is in fact simply a record of death and extinction of fully-formed organisms.

                    Darwin expected to see a “finely graduated organic chain” and the fact that this was not evident he considered to be the most obvious objection which could be urged against the theory (or words to that effect). He just expected that in time the transitionals would be found.

                    Many apologists for Darwin tell me that *every* fossil is a transitional one, so, while logical from their perspective up to a point (many could have been evolutionary ‘dead ends’) they don’t understand what Darwin expected to be found in the fossil record were it indeed a record of evolution. (So ‘punctuated equilibrium’ gained support among those who could see the clear failings in traditional Darwinism.)

                    Anyway, saying that every fossil is transitional is a circular argument and totally unscientific and invalid. They are saying,” The theory of evolution is true, therefore every organism is transitional”. It’s like the argument, “The theory of evolution is true: we’re here, aren’t we? So it must be true!”

                    Earth as the centre of the universe… according to said Dr Humphreys, who said that galaxies tend to appear in clusters at various distances from the Earth. Concentric circles of galaxies with odd ones interspersed. If you move the Earth just a million light years or whatever from its position then you no longer see the same pattern of galaxies at all: they appear completely random.

                    The hyperspace hypothesis, OTOH, produces a different scenario where the universe has no centre and no edge. To picture it, Dr H. showed a black balloon with galaxies drawn on the surface and the balloon expands into hyperspace.

                    The multiverse hypothesis really is too stupid to be true. This universe is so well primed for life that even minute differences in conditions would render life impossible and as matter is all that exists, there must be an infinite (or very large number) of other universes which cannot sustain life and we just happen to be in the right one – obviously – because we’re here! More silly circular reasoning proposed as serious science. No wonder ‘public health’ can get away with such abuses of science and reason. I can’t see the secular world getting real science back. Too much in politics depends on people believing lies and half-truths. The vicious attacks on creationism and intelligent design by Establishment lackeys to deflect attention from their own weaknesses shows how desperate they are to avoid a science free-for-all in terms of what we’re supposed to be allowed to study and how we’re supposed to think. Science should be free from bullying, hatred and intolerance (not for the likes of me, oh no! Maybe if I style myself as the ‘Transgender Creationist’ I’ll get some respect?).

                    Why did God make the universe so big? The earth, moon and sun would have been well impressive alone! The stars were given for times and seasons. As for ET intelligence, astronomers should swap their telescopes for microscopes and see the work of supreme intelligence inside every living cell. You would know about that, though. By chance? Molecular machines that produce ATP to power the cell and ribosomes to translate the information on the DNA (via mRNA) when the instructions to build the ribosomes are on the DNA in the first place – a ‘chicken and egg’ problem for evolutionists.

                    Q. Which did come first, the chicken or the egg?

                    A. The chicken.

                    Q. And on what day was it created?

                    A. Day Five (birds and sea creatures).

                    I have actually been thinking about light recently and if it really is the way we are told. I hadn’t though about it quite the way you described, but yes, we must compensate for all those tiny bits of time. I suppose we must have evolved to subconsciously react before we have marshalled our senses (that would explain butter-fingers). Or, more likely, it’s how we were created. It seems to work fine. I’m about to boast, but one physics lesson at school was about reaction times. When you saw a light bulb come on, you pressed a button and it stopped a clock that measured in milliseconds or something (it was eons ago). My reaction was so fast that the rest of the class didn’t seem to have noticed the filament starting to glow, but I did. No engraved award, unfortunately. I don’t know why I was boasting – that’s pride. Anyway, it’s how I was made, so how can you claim credit for that? More philosophy. More coffee, I think. Or tea. I’ve been drinking herbal teas like lemon balm, damiana, wild lettuce, catnip and skullcap. Some of them give a nice warm feeling like after a couple of pints of ale (as I remember – also eons ago). Later…

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    • I’ve never understood the ‘coal for the naughty ones’ bit. It’s the middle of winter. Free coal is much appreciated!

      I actually do have a few bags of free coal, from a friend whose house was converted to central heating (I advised against sealing up the fireplace but he did it anyway). He’s not Santa although he does have a beard 😉

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    • Just as well I scrolled down.

      How did the kangaroos get into Noah’s Ark?

      I’m guessing that they hopped aboard. Marsupial fossils have been found on every continent.

      Bill Nye “the science guy” during a creation/evolution debate noted that there are no kangaroo fossils showing a migratory path from the Middle East to Australia, but you wouldn’t expect to find any! Fossils are usually produced by rapid burial after floods, mudslides, etc. A ‘science guy’ should have known this simple fact.

      Why does the Bible condone slavery?

      There was probably slavery in every society in O.T. times. For some, if they hadn’t been employed as slaves they might well not have been able to survive (such as beggars or convicts). Israelites were permitted to have slaves, but there were conditions attached which gave the slaves certain rights. Mistreatment of black slaves of more recent times was probably a different scenario. It was scripturally-inspired reformers like Wm Wilberforce who ended that sort of slavery in the British Empire.

      Matthew summed it up (7:12)

      “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”

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      • I always regarded Australia as the place where the angels put everything God made when he’d been at the communion wine. Humans were never meant to live there – that’s why it seems to be about half a mile form the surface of the sun and is full of things that want to kill you.

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