"AS I SEE IT" 

Volume 9, Number 6, June 2006

 

“I too will have my say; I too will tell what I know.

For I am full of words, and the spirit within me compels me;

Inside I am like bottled-up wine, like new wineskins ready to burst.

I must speak and find relief; I must open my lips and reply.

I will show partiality to no one.  Nor will I flatter any man.”

Job 32:17-21

 

“That which ordinary men are fit for I am qualified in, and the best of me is diligence.”

Earl of Kent

Shakespeare’s King Lear

Act I, scene iv, ll. 32-34

 

[“As I See It” is a monthly electronic magazine compiled and edited by Doug Kutilek.  Its purpose is to address important issues of the day and to draw attention to worthwhile Christian and other literature in order to aid believers in Jesus Christ, especially pastors, missionaries and Bible college and seminary students to more effectively study and teach the Word of God.  The editor’s perspective is that of an independent Baptist of fundamentalist theological persuasion.

 

AISI is sent free to all who request it by writing to the editor at: DKUTILEK@juno.com.  You can be removed from the mailing list at the same address.  Back issues sent on request.  All back issues may be accessed at http://www.KJVOnly.org

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Basil Manly, Jr. (1825-1892) and Bible Versions

 

“Dear Editor,

 

I am the great (several) grandson of Basil Manly, Jr., son of Dr. J---- M---- (a man of who followed in Basil's footsteps establishing churches and seminaries world-wide).

 

The reason I am contacting you is that I too have read all of his books, and am extremely familiar with Basil's theology.  I urge you to investigate Basil's statements a little further along with his theology.  Basil's reasoning [sic] for writing "Inspiration" was to counter the Southern Baptists making a new translation.  This was proposed and abandoned in 1851 due to Basil's contention for the KJV.  His statement: "[If the convention] engages in a new English translation of the Bible for the Baptists, better they should never meet again.  If I could go anywhere, I would go to Nashville, this time, prepared to do battle for our good old King James Bible.  On that subject, I would try to 'gin a toot or two'."

 

As a fellow brother-in-Christ, I would urge you to re-evaluate the information put forth on your website for accuracy.  While I am not saying you are intentionally misrepresenting, you may lack full context in your presentation.  I know you are sincere and would not want to misrepresent the views of another for sake of supporting your argument.  Basil was willing to cause a split in the entire denominational makeup of Baptists in America on the issue of inerrancy and he did it advocating the King James Version. 

 

In Christ,

 

J--- M----“

 

Dear Mr. M----:

 

In your letter am I to understand that you are claiming Basil Manly, Jr. as being convinced that the KJV was the only valid English Bible?

 

I am certain that that is not a valid representation of his mature adult position.  His only book, The Bible Doctrine of Inspiration Explained and Vindicated (originally published 1888; photographically reprinted by Gano Books 1985) was written at the request of J. P. Boyce in the 1880s, and was most assuredly not a reaction to Baptist efforts (through the American Bible Union) to produce a revised English version (and, incidentally, that version did not "fail"--it appeared in several editions in the 1860s and 1880s--one of which was revised by John A. Broadus and two other scholars).  In fact, David S. Dockery in Theologians of the Baptist Tradition (ed. by Timothy George and David S. Dockery; Broadman & Holman, 2001) asserts that “Manly’s landmark [“Inspiration”] volume was published as a response to the resignation of Old Testament professor C. H. Toy” in 1879 over the issue of higher critical views of the OT (p. 344).

 

I don't know with certainty Manly, Jr. may have thought in the 1851--you don’t cite the source of the words you quote (sorry, but I’ve learned to always require documentation of all KJVO claims made regarding historic personages)--when Manly, Jr. was no more than 26 years old.  The “Abstract of Principles” of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, authored by Manly, Jr. in the later 1850s at the request of J. P. Boyce, does not address the questions of Greek texts or English versions at all, and so is no assistance on this point. 

 

However, his position as evidenced in his “Inspiration” book, the fruit of a life of study and teaching, is crystal clear.  He quotes from both the Revised Version and the American Bible Union version repeatedly in that 1888 volume, and not as examples of bad translation, but as improvements over the common version--see pp. 133 (where he is inclined to accept the ERV over the KJV at 2 Tim. 3:16); 138; 161-2; 167; 171(where he expressly rejects the KJV's rendering of Mt. 1:22; 2:15), 182, 183 (several times); 186; 190, 207.  He expressly rejects the inspiration or inerrancy of copies or translations of the original Scriptures, including the KJV (pp 82, 83, 84) and plainly calls any claims of inspired translations "wild and unfounded."  He expressly favors the revision of the received text (p. 82).  He also denies that perfect preservation is a corollary of divine inspiration (p. 219).  There is, in short, absolutely not a single syllable in Manly's 1888 book that lends any support whatsoever to KJVOism.

 

I am well-informed in detail about the views of texts and translations of Manly Jr.'s cohorts in founding Southern Seminary, J. P. Boyce and John A. Broadus.  Both men expressly declared in writing their preference of the ERV over the KJV as a more accurate version, both in text and translation.  I can't for a minute imagine Manly Jr. holding to a view so radically different as you suggest from these two lifelong colleagues at the seminary.  Furthermore, what Manly declared in his 1888 book (and what Broadus and Boyce likewise believed) is the mainstream view of Baptists historically--my Th. M. thesis was on 19th century American Baptist views of the text and translation of Scripture.  I know whereof I speak.

 

If I have misunderstood your remarks about Manly Jr. and you were not claiming him as KJV-only, I apologize for going to such length.  But if you were in fact claiming him as KJVO, you do not do honor to his memory by so greatly either misunderstanding or misrepresenting--or both--what he actually believed.  I would recommend that you re-read with care his book on inspiration.  He certainly was not KJV-only, in any degree when he wrote it.

 

Doug Kutilek

 

[No reply to our letter was received in the two months since it was written]

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An Addendum to “The Spirit Itself”

by James May

 

 [Copyright 2006, James Richard May. This paper may be reproduced in its entirety for free distribution. All other rights reserved.  Used by permission]

 

Several years ago it occurred to me that perhaps the very worst error in the King James Bible is its reference to the Holy Spirit of God as an it.  While the KJV contains this transgression in four passages, it was Romans 8:16 which first captured my attention.  I typed a few notes on this reference into my computer, intending at some point to write a short paper.  About three years ago, and before I got any paper written, I discovered Doug Kutilek’s excellent treatment of the question in his paper, “The Spirit Itself,” or, The Greatest Defect in the King James Version [As I See It, vol. 2, no. 9, September, 1999; posted at www.kjvonly.org].  Kutilek, who has vastly more knowledge of the KJV Only issue than I, had written a much better paper than I would have and had left me with little reason to pursue the issue any further.  I did, however, have a few thoughts which Kutilek did not discuss.  During these past three years I have added a few more observations and now believe that a short supplement to Kutilek’s paper might be worthwhile.  My paper is intended to compliment Doug’s, and should be read after his.

 

No amount of talk, no endless multiplication of words by King James Only defenders, can in any sense excuse or justify, let alone validate, the shocking corruption of God’s word that occurs when the Holy Spirit is referred to as an it (we hold this to be true in light of the full New Testament revelation; Old Testament references may be excepted).  Such translation is heresy, pure and simple.  Our long familiarity with the language in the King James Version has unfortunately bred acceptance rather than contempt.  While the noble men of 1611 may be worthy of our admiration on many points--indeed in other passages they have referred to the Holy Spirit as he (see, for example, John 14:16-17, 14:26, 16:7-8 and 16:13-15)--what they have done here deserves only condemnation.  Those erudite men were fully aware of the heresies of the Socinians, Arians, and Sabellians.  They also knew the difference between he and it.  Opening the door to false teachers in four New Testament passages cannot be excused.  The Holy Spirit of God is a person, an adult person if you will, and he should never be referred to as an it.  While it is not surprising to find such blasphemy in cult literature, it has no place in the New Testament of a Bible widely used by conservative, orthodox, God-fearing Christians.

 

The Holy Spirit can only be called an it by either ignoring or denying his personality.  In the English language adult persons are never referred to as it.  Kutilek has already made clear the nonsense of appealing to Greek grammar on this point, as if English and Greek were identical in their use of grammatical gender.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Nouns in English have no grammatical gender; pronouns always (well, almost always) reflect the natural gender of the object or person indicated by the pronoun.  When KJV Only advocates defend the mistranslation of Romans 8:16, they demonstrate a greater concern with defending their heretical view of the King James Bible than with defending orthodox Christianity.  Donald Waite, of the Dean Burgon Society, provides a clear example:

Strictly speaking, the exact and literal translation is what the KING JAMES translation has, “itself.” . . . So, “Spirit itself” is what is actually in the Greek language. . . . That would not be considered a translation error because that is exactly what it says. (Defending the King James Bible, Collingswood: The Bible For Today Press, 1998, p. 240, emphasis in the original).

So Dr. Waite believes that the natural gender of the English should reflect the grammatical gender of the Greek?  If this idea is correct, we have some more “exact and literal” translations:

Matthew 5:15: Neither do men light a candle, and put him under a bushel, . . .

 

Here the Greek word for candle is masculine (just as the Greek word for Spirit in Romans 8:16 is neuter), and the candle is referred to by the masculine form of the Greek word autos (just as Spirit is referred to by the neuter of the Greek word autos in Romans 8:16).  Of course it would be absurd to defend such a monstrous “translation” of Matthew 5:15.  It is essential for the English translator to understand that the grammatical gender of candle in Greek has absolutely nothing to do with its translation into English, where the pronoun must reflect the natural gender of a candle.  In other words, the translator must understand that in English, a candle is an it and the Holy Spirit of God is a he.  Anyone with even a modicum of linguistic understanding knows that my translation of Matthew 5:15 as given above is anything but “exact and literal”; it is, however, just as “exact and literal” as the King James Version’s translation of Romans 8:16.

Matthew 5:29: And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck him out, and cast him from thee . . .

The Greek word for eye is masculine and the masculine eye is referred to by the masculine form of the Greek word autos.  Would Dr. Waite, or any other King James Only defender, insist that I have produced an “exact and literal translation” with this nonsense?  What I have produced is foolishness, nothing more, nothing less.

Matthew 5:30: And if thy right hand offend thee, cut her off, and cast her from thee . . .

The Greek word for hand is feminine and is referred to by the feminine form of autos.  Is there any rational person anywhere who would defend this translation?  Why did the KJV translators not give this the same “exact and literal” translation that they produced in Romans 8:16?  It would have made just as much sense.

Matthew 5:34: Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for he is God’s throne . . .

Once again, if “exact and literal” means that the gender of pronouns in English should be determined by the grammatical gender of the underlying Greek, my ridiculous translation of Matthew 5:34 is an outstanding piece of work.  I am quite certain that my former Greek professors would not be overly impressed.

 

In each of the above examples, the Greek nouns were either masculine or feminine and were, in Greek, referred to by pronouns that agreed in gender (except Matthew 5:34, where the pronoun is implied in the verb).  In each case the King James translators used a neuter pronoun in English instead of reproducing the grammatical gender of the Greek.  In the following examples, each noun under consideration is a neuter in Greek, and yet, in each case, the KJV uses a masculine English pronoun to refer to the Greek neuter noun.

 

Matt 17:18-19: And Jesus rebuked the devil [neuter noun]; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. 19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him [neuter of autos] out? ~ KJV

 

The Greek word here translated as devil by the King James translators is a neuter noun (just as the word Spirit is a neuter noun in Romans 8:16).  Twice, however, the KJV refers to this devil with masculine personal pronouns (he, him).  If a wicked devil can be accorded the minimal respect that comes from calling him a him rather than an it, why cannot the Holy Spirit be shown the same respect in John 1:32 or in Romans 8:16 or in Romans 8:26 or in I Peter 1:11?  The very same blasphemy occurs in the parallel passage:

 

Mark 9:25-28: When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit [neuter noun], saying unto him [neuter of autos], Thou dumb and deaf spirit [neuter noun], I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him. 26 And the spirit [no noun in Greek] cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead. 27 But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose. 28 And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him [neuter of autos] out? ~ KJV

 

Again we are faced with a neuter noun (spirit), and again the KJV graces a demonic foul spirit with masculine personal pronouns (ignoring the grammatical gender of the Greek).  A third and final passage, again with both devil and spirit as neuter nouns in Greek, requires no comment:

 

Luke 4:33-35: And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, 34 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God. 35 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not. ~ KJV

 

From time to time a King James Only advocate will boldly proclaim--as if the boldness of the proclamation was in and of itself sufficient to make it true--that no error has ever been proven in the King James Bible. For example, Dr. Arlin Horton, founder and president of Pensacola Christian College, wrote the following words:

 

It is surprising and shocking to hear Bible faculty from institutions, long considered fundamental, to [sic] talk freely about errors in the Bible.  And also to hear their graduates ridicule those who believe God has preserved His word free from error for us today.  Maybe they should publish their list of what they call errors so everyone will know, (Arlin Horton, “From the President”, PCC Update (Winter 2003), p. 10).

 

When Dr. Horton here speaks of “errors in the Bible,” he really means “errors in the King James Version of the Bible,” which is a far different thing.  He would have stated the true situation much more accurately had he written that,

 

It is surprising and shocking to hear Bible faculty from institutions, long considered fundamental, to [sic] talk freely about errors in the King James Version of the Bible, even though there is a whole string of editions of the KJV which differ from each other in thousands of places.  And also to hear their graduates ridicule those who believe God has preserved His word free from error for us today, but only in the King James Bible, and only in some particular edition of it which no KJV advocate can objectively specify.

 

Unfortunately such a negligence to state the facts clearly and fully is common with KJVOers; it is the only way that they can defend their position.  As for God preserving his word free from all errors, Horton—or any other KJV advocate—cannot produce even two Greek or Hebrew manuscripts which are identical to each other.  The very KJV books which Pensacola Christian College sells in the campus bookstore give a strikingly different description than one might expect of what is meant by “perfect preservation.”  For most if not all of the writers of those books, “perfect preservation” really means that God has RESTORED his word in the Textus Receptus and/or King James Bible.  Obviously, God’s word would only need to be restored if it had not been perfectly preserved (I discuss this issue at length in my paper, The Great Inconsistency of King James Onlyism).  As far as giving a list of errors in the KJV, while such lists have been produced numerous times, we must remember that no amount of proof can force anyone to believe the truth who does not want to hear the truth.  The simple, undeniable fact is that the King James translators should not have called the Holy Spirit an it in John 1:32, Romans 8:16, Romans 8:26 and I Peter 1:11.  This is clearly an error.  Despite what claims might be made to the contrary, the Holy Spirit of God did not lead, direct or inspire anyone to refer to His blessed person as an it.  Such is the product of a depraved human spirit, not of the Holy Spirit.  To sum the issue up, to believe in the perfection of the King James Bible, one must believe that when a particular Greek neuter pronoun refers to a demon, it is proper to translate the pronoun as he; when the very same pronoun refers to the Holy Spirit of God, it is proper to translate it as it.  Kutilek was right: this is the greatest error in the King James Bible, and it is one that we are not willing to pass over.

 

[Editor’s note: Jim May has written a number of excellent studies on various aspects of the King James Bible controversy, most notable among them being his series of studies of the doctrinal views of the much-maligned B. F. Westcott.  After reading some 4,200 pages of Westcott’s published works, he presents via extensive direct and in-context quotation what Westcott actually believed regarding the inspiration of the Bible, the Deity of Christ, His atoning sacrifice, and His literal bodily resurrection.  He has also investigated the false charges that Westcott dabbled in the occult.  These studies can and should be accessed at www.kjvonly.org]

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BOOK REVIEWS

 

The Defense of the Gospel in the New Testament by F. F. Bruce.  Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1959.  105 pp., paperback.

 

In this small but excellent book, we have the substance of 5 lectures delivered by the late acclaimed Pauline scholar F. F. Bruce in 1958 at Calvin College.  The theme of these lectures is the Apostolic “defense” or “apologetic” of the Gospel when it was confronted with various objections and hostile belief systems.  Bruce traces the method of the Apostles, especially but not exclusively Paul.  When the Gospel message encountered objections from traditional Judaism, the chief appeal was to the testimony of fulfilled prophecy and miracles.  When paganism was encountered, often appeal was made to Divine providence and the testimony of nature and history.  When Roman political authority was the adversary, the falsity of charges of anarchy and rebellion against Jesus and the apostles were appealed to, and the fact that Christianity makes for a better and law-abiding citizenry.  And when various pseudo-“Christianities” were faced, appeal was made to the true facts of the Gospel.  Among these false “Christianities” were Judaizing legalism (which sought to pervert the message of salvation away from “sola gratia” to a combination of faith and conformity to Jewish traditions); gnosticism (which presumed that matter was evil), in it’s ascetic form which severely deprived the body, and its antinomian kind which cast off all moral and carnal restraint; and docetism, which denied the reality of Jesus’ humanity, birth and death.  The Apostles did not hesitate to proclaim the absolute truthfulness of the Gospel and its absolute finality as God’s revelation of Himself to man.

 

The analysis of Paul’s message in Athens (Acts 17:22-31) is especially good (pp. 37-47) and was by itself worth the reading of the whole book just to discover this excellent presentation.  The only comparable treatment I know of is that by A. T. Robertson, “Paul in the Center of Greek Culture,” chapter XII in Paul the Interpreter of Christ (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1976 reprint), pp. 141-155.

 

This is a most excellent brief book, and worth seeking out.

---Doug Kutilek

---

 

Some quotes from The Defense of the Gospel in the New Testament by F. F. Bruce--

 

“The argument from prophecy and the argument from miracle were regarded by first-century Christians, as by their successors in the second and many following centuries, as the strongest evidences for the truth of the gospel.” (p. 14)

 

“There is substance in the charge of a well-known rabbi: ‘Christendom has hidden the face of Christ from us.” (p. 29)

 

“It is noteworthy that classical students who have studied the speech [i.e., Paul’s in Athens, Acts 17:22-31] in its setting are prominent among the champions of its genuineness; here, if anywhere in the New Testament, students of classical antiquity feel themselves to be on home ground, and to them the who passage rings true.” (p. 37)

 

“The true Christian apologist will not compromise or dilute the gospel to make it more palatable to those whom he wishes to persuade of the truth of Christianity.” (p. 47)

 

“It could not be denied that Christians were the followers of a man who was crucified by the sentence of a Roman judge on a charge of sedition.” (p. 53)

 

“The faith for which Jude contends is ‘the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.’  It was delivered by the Lord to His apostles, and by them to His people.  For Christ is God’s complete word to men; He has nothing to say which has not been said in Christ.  Therefore all claims to convey an additional revelation to that which has been given in Christ (as distinct from bringing out the fuller implications of the revelation in Christ) are false claims.  That is so whether these claims are embodied in books which aim at superseding or supplementing the Bible, or take the form of extra-biblical traditions which are promulgated as dogmas by ecclesiastical authority.” (p. 80)

 

“The presentation of the Gospel in all its fullness and depth is the best defense against pseudo-Christianity.” (p. 86)

 

“When an attempt is made to ’restate’ Christianity in terms of some current philosophical or cosmological fashion, in such a way that it ceases to be genuine Christianity, let us remember that the first Christian century was acquainted with such attempts and learned how to deal with them.” (p. 87)

 

“Christianity will not come to terms with other religions, nor will it relax its exclusive claims so as to countenance or accommodate them.  It presents itself, as it did in the first century, as God’s final word to man; it proclaims Christ, as it did in the first century, to be the one Mediator between God and man.” (p. 88)

 

“In Jesus all the will of God is accomplished, all the revelation of God, all the promises of God.” (p. 100)

 

“However the gospel may be defended, it cannot be defended by concessions which deprive it of its essence or detract from our Saviour’s title to be called THE WORD OF GOD.  Christian apologetic today as in the first century must echo His own affirmation: ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but by me’ (John 14:6).” (p. 102)

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The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science by Tom Bethell.  Washington, D. C.: Regnery Press, 2005.  270 pp., hardback.

 

The “popular” understanding of most contemporary issues involving science is composed almost entirely of what people have been fed by the national news media, which means that whatever the favored viewpoint of the hour may be, that is what the gullible listener “knows” about the subject.  That “knowledge” often bears little resemble to the truth or reality, and at best is seriously biased and one-sided.  Since the media are in business to attract attention to themselves, they commonly traffic in sensationalized reporting, dire warnings, extremist rhetoric and shrill “gloom and doom” predictions rather than sober, balanced, informed presentation of the actual facts.

 

We, the public, are to accept whatever the nice man in the white lab coat on TV says--after all, he is a scientist and scientists are objective, interested only in the truth.  We are only laymen--ordinary people, with limited information and even more limited understanding.  At least this is the submissive response the media want from us.  (In some regards, Bethell’s book reminds me of Anthony Standen’s 1950 work, Science is a Sacred Cow. “If you see a man in a white lab coat, you know he thinks he is a scientist”).  Bethell warns that whenever, and he means whenever, the media feed us allegedly scientific propaganda about the direst of dire consequences and threatenings of impending disaster, we should always respond with strong skepticism, since the media’s track record is strewn with multitudes of such failed scenarios--warnings of famine and starvation, or rising cancer rates, exhaustion--decades ago--of our fossil fuel reserves, of an irresistible AIDS pandemic and on and on (and now “bird” flu).

 

Of course dire warnings mean attention, and for research scientists attention means money in the form of grants and government funding, so the bigger the crisis you can conjure up, the darker the picture you can paint of the future, the more cash flows into the coffers.  “Follow the money.”

 

Bethell addresses several of the hot issues in science and gives the reader a different perspective on these matters than he will get from the evening news.  He challenges the claims and “proof” behind the claims, and demonstrates that the anxiety generated by the media is regularly far worse than the latest threat to our existence that they warn about.  The media can “fish” for an “expert” to say what they want said, even if it means contacting 10, 20 even 30 different “scientists” until one will agree to espouse what the media want reported.

 

First, there is “global warming” which is the alarmist cry of the hour--30 years ago it was global cooling that created media panic.  Bethell points out that there is very good reason to doubt that global warming is taking place, and second that there is even more reason to doubt that human activity could have any significant impact on it if there is warming.  There have been documentable swings in earth’s temperature over the centuries, long before there was any human exploitation of “greenhouse-gas-generating” fossil-fuels.  The real goal of those pushing the Kyoto treaty is to subvert the U. S. economy and weaken America’s leadership in the world.  For unit of production, America is one of the least polluting countries on earth.  Of course, every unusual weather phenomenon including colder than usual winters or heavier than normal snowfall is attributed to “global warming.”  There have even been reports linking the December 2004 Indonesian tsunami to global warming--even though we know that it was caused by an earthquake (something decidedly NOT caused by weather!).

 

Then there is nuclear power, which has been the convenient whipping boy for the environmental movement since the 1960s.  No nuclear power plants have been built in the U.S. since the 1970s due to government over-regulation, and well-funded threats of lawsuits by the extreme “greens.”  Yet nuclear is making a comeback.  While the minor release of radioactive gases at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania in 1979 was fodder for media-generated panic, it remains true that more people died at Chappaquiddick than died at Three Mile Island.  And even at Chernobyl in 1986, though 50 did die in that nuclear catastrophe, the much predicted and anticipated rise in cancers, birth defects, genetic abnormalities and a perpetual “wasteland” around the power plant have NOT occurred.  And though all people are banned from the “contamination” zone, animals and plants are thriving there.  Residual radiation in Chernobyl is less than normal background radiation (from granite) in Denver.  Far more people die each year mining, transporting and burning coal to generate electricity that have died cumulatively from nuclear power generation since it first began more than half a century ago.  Other nations, France and Japan among them, get a far higher percentage of their electricity from nuclear than the U.S., and do so without destruction of their environment.  And in fact, nuclear generates NO “greenhouse” gases, and requires far less land per megawatt of electricity generated.

 

And dioxin--the panic over that led to the abandonment of an entire town in Missouri.  Yet this supposedly “most toxic substance known to man” (as one reporter had it), was fed in sizeable quantity as a surefire poison to a Ukrainian presidential candidate, and he is still very much alive and breathing, and president.  The facial disfiguring it caused is a temporary and reversible condition.  And in laboratory rats, those fed dioxin as part of their diet actually had lower rates of cancer than those dioxin free.  So why the panic?  Well, dioxin is reportedly a by-product of agent orange, the Vietnam era defoliant, and the anger of hippy-trash environmentalists toward Vietnam has been redirected dioxin-ward.

 

Bethell takes on the panic over DDT--which when in use saved 1-2 million lives each year in Africa by killing malaria-carrying mosquitoes.  The experiment which supposedly “proved” that residual DDT thinned bird eggshells was a doctored experiment (the thinning was due to a reduction of calcium in the birds’ diet). 

 

And to hear the media tell it, by the end of this century, or perhaps even as early as next week, man will have destroyed all the species on the planet.  In fact, the claim of thousands (40,000 is one popularly reported figure) of species going extinct each year is pure fabrication.  There is no documented list of such extinctions, and some long-pointed-to extinctions have proven to be bogus--the ivory-billed woodpecker, unseen in 70 years, suddenly reappeared in recent years in Arkansas.  Extreme environmentalists merely use this threat as one more way to subvert the American economy and domineer the lives of private citizens.  The number of man-caused extinctions is remarkably small--the passenger pigeon, the dodo, the giant moa, and a few others over the past several centuries.

 

And then there is the AIDS/HIV panic.  “Everyone is at risk; we’re all going to die.”  So we’ve heard.  But, remarkably, AIDS remains very much restricted almost entirely to those who engage in high risk behavior--sodomy and needle sharing by intravenous drug users are the causes of the overwhelming number of new cases of HIV/AIDS.  In spite of billions spent on research, no vaccine, no cure are insight--“all we need is more and more money”--while a remedy is immediately available: DON’T ENGAGE IN HIGH RISK BEHAVIOR! (there, I’m being judgmental, and wishing to restrict someone’s “freedom of expression”). The supposed AIDS epidemic in Africa is almost entirely fraudulent--in the great majority of supposed AIDS diagnoses, NO test for the HIV virus was made, there are numerous causes for false positives in the limited cases were testing is done (including pregnancy for which sub-Saharan Africa has one of the world’s highest rates), and the symptoms presented by which alone many people are diagnosed with AIDS are those commonly found in a broad variety of conditions--malaria, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and parasites among them.  The great majority of reported AIDS cases and AIDS deaths in Africa are nothing of the kind.  The African AIDS crisis is a media-and-government fabricated crisis.  Multiplied thousands are dying annually in Africa from disease, but not from AIDS.

 

Bethell addresses the follies, false reporting, the false promise made about cancer research which has always promised big breakthroughs, “just around the corner” (though cancer rates remain virtually unchanged since 1960).  And of cloning (which has not yet borne any fruit) and stem cell research--the current media-favored panacea for everything (as long as the research is government funded, and can be done on the remains of murdered unborn babies).  And the much heralded and government-funded DNA-tracking human genome project has left far more questions that it has answered, and offers no prospects of successful “gene therapy” which was supposed to be one of its prime benefits.

 

Bethell takes to task the “consensus” view among “scientists” of biological evolution, noting the paucity of evidence, the dogmatism rather than demonstration that surrounds claims, and the elitist arrogance that plagues science in this area, which dismisses without consideration the challenge to its status of “intelligent design.”

 

All in all, the unholy union of “scientific research” and government funding results, as in public education, in a decline in achievement proportionate to the increase in funding.  “Results” somehow and always require “more money, just a bit more, a little more, evermore more!”

 

Tom Bethell is a senior editor with the conservative political monthly, The American Spectator.  Indeed it was a column by Bethell in the early 1990s where I first saw Darwinism challenged on scientific grounds in a secular publication.  He knows how to write.  This is a decidedly worthwhile volume.

---Doug Kutilek

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