Thursday, 22 February 2018

The Battle of Mons


Britain entered the First World War with a small but highly professional army. The Germans, French, Austria-Hungarians and Russians raised millions of men ready to take the field while Britain mustered an army of only 80,000. The Germans thought it a fine joke and laughed that if the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) landed on German soil they would send the police to arrest them. The Kaiser famously referred to the BEF as: “That contemptible little army”. The French Premier expressed the sentiment with subtle Gallic humour. When the French Premier, Poincare was asked how many British troops he needed, he replied: “Just one, and I’ll make sure he gets killed”. Poincare appreciated that British power would take a while to get started, but once fully mobilised would represent a formidable asset.

During August the German juggernaut seemed unstoppable as its vast army corps smashed and wheeled through Belgium. On the 22nd of August, the BEF reached the Belgium mining town of Mons and dug in. On the 23rd two German army corps blundered into the entrenched British. The British rifle fire of 15 rounds per minute devastated the Germans as they attacked in massed frontal waves. So accurate and deadly was the British musketry that the Germans thought they were being decimated by machine gun fire. In fact, the British had only two machine guns per battalion.

Enter the Angels, from upon high. It seems that divine providence was sent to aid the British during their gravest peril. It was duly reported that a troop of Angels appeared within the British lines. A story eagerly pounced upon by the British press and regurgitated for a gullible public. In truth, god was hard pressed to choose between the armies as the Germans proudly sported, 'Gott mit uns' on their belt buckles. Mayhap god was partisan after all and supported the underdog in spite of the blazoned exhortations from the Teuton. Yea, truly, gods are fickle creatures, full of whims and caprice. How many Germans were killed by ‘Angel fire’ is difficult to discern as there are no official contemporary records of this sort of thing.

The British general, Sir John French decided to try his luck for a second day and stand firm against the inevitable enemy attack on the morrow. However, to his right, the French were withdrawing and to prevent the annihilation of his gallant little army he had no choice but to fall back in concert with the retreating French troops. After three days of retreat, the British turned and bloodied the Germans once again at Le Cateau. However, the story of this battle will have to wait another day.

To be fair the engagement at Mons was a relatively small affair especially in comparison to later Great War battles, but it did represent the first battle of the war in which the British participated. The British, on the defensive, suffered a loss of 1,600 men, while the offending Germans suffered relatively heavy losses of 7,000. This emphasised the main problem of modern warfare- defence had become immensely strong and attack, therefore, had become proportionately costly. And this was a dilemma faced by all combatants throughout the war, a dilemma never completely resolved, at least in this conflict. As for casualties, the relative loss favoured the Germans. The loss of 7,000 meant nought in terms of the millions of men deployed. For the British, this rate of loss could not be borne for long. By the end of the year, the British professional army was almost spent leaving a cadre to train the mass armies to come. Their place in the line was filled with territorials from Britain and men from Britain's wide spread colonies and Dominions. These men would have to hold the Western front until the million man army came into line during 1916. This new army of enthusiastic volunteers would be bloodied in the summer of 1916 at a place called the Somme. On the first day of the Somme, the attacking British would sustain 60,000 casualties. Perhaps the Angels were busy that day…. 

And lets not forget the report of English longow men entering the fray. I wonder how many Germans were riddled with arrows?

This is more like it! 


Thursday, 15 February 2018

Suffer the Little Children


The other day I was reading an account of a child, in Ireland, who was systematically subjected to acts of sexual abuse, over a 7 year period, by his parish priest. What that poor child endured is beyond comprehension. What is particularly sickening is the Catholic hierarchies’ response when the horror came to light. The boy in question was sent for 'Religious Counselling' during which he was told by the presiding nun, "that god would forgive him, eventually." The priest concerned continued to 'serve' with impunity and without retribution. When the priest died it became apparent that he had abused at least 12 children under his power. This remains a conservative number. Others no doubt exist but out of a misplaced sense of guilt and shame will never come forward.

During the abuse the child was repeatedly told by the priest that if he revealed what was going on he would be ruined- this referred not to the wicked priest but to the boy. The abuse became known when the boy confided in the family doctor, who rightly informed the authorities. Appallingly nothing was done. This was a time, not so long ago, when the Catholic Church held immense influence and power in Ireland and their reach into rural areas was particularly pernicious and complete. How times have changed in Ireland, in part due to the revelations of sexual abuse perpetrated on their young flock. The revulsion of the population and the loss of prestige of the Catholic Church has been swift resulting in a backlash which has shaken even the Vatican to the core. Even the ultimate intermediary between god and man, the Pope, has become reviled in what was once a staunch and wholly Catholic country.  

As for our pious servant of god, the priest of our story, I wonder how he managed to salve his conscious and clean away the mark of sin before meeting his god. A god, reputably unable to endure the presence of the impure and those tainted by the enduring stain of iniquity. But here is the rub, our turbulent priest need not have tossed and turned at night because his enlightened belief system allowed for total redemption and removal of taint as long as he appealed for total forgiveness that only a god can give. This gift to mankind originated 2,000 years ago when god in one of his guises came to earth and allowed himself to be sacrificed by being nailed to a piece of wood. Thus all of our sins can be forgiven because man/god died in the most horrendous manner conceivable. Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? The same god that would cast a good man into the fiery pit of hell, for eternity, for the mortal sin of non-belief. Apart from the blatant ridiculousness of sacrifice and suffering as a means of universal atonement, how can we square the judgement of god with the concept of a just and beneficent deity?

I am no fan of religious systems. Catholicism is particularly wretched in my eyes. A religion stuck with an ancient Greek belief system layered over Judaic thought thickly rendered, afterward encrusted with a dense layer of impenetrable liturgy and a philosophy derived from the Middle Ages- I’m looking at you, Thomas Aquinas. A philosophy discredited by modern and even late medieval savants. A primitive religion adorned with a threadbare cloak of intellectual respectability. At least some of the Protestant sects have changed to suit modern times and have discarded much of the arcane philosophy and silly ceremonies. Although it is also true that many, especially in the Southern States of America, have regressed and mutated to a state barely above the literate. This applies to the fundamentalist variety where talking in tongues and rolling about the floor in the ‘Spirit’ is de rigueur.

I think I may have digressed.

Child abuse is not restricted to the Catholic Church, any organisation which holds sway over the minds of children such as schools, youth groups and scout camps are not immune from this abhorrent abuse. Those men with a proclivity for this sort of thing (and it is always men) will always be drawn to situations which involve access to children. What makes the Catholic variety peculiarly loathsome is the hypocrisy dripping from a theocracy supposedly obsessed with sin and moral rectitude.  An organisation so protective of its power that it is willing to tolerate vile predators within its midst, at all levels, and indeed allow them to prosper. Some of the shit sticks to the secular authorities who failed to prosecute errant priests and were therefore complicit in these heinous crimes. Thus the depraved priest was rarely brought forth for secular justice and as we can see there is no celestial punishment awaiting the repentant sinner at death. What justice then for the fragile children broken upon the sadistic wheel of lust and depravity?  I’ll leave my readers to ponder on this obtuse and gravest of conundrums.


Saturday, 10 February 2018

Flaxen's Random Images of Redemption


Of course double standards is the way to go. Frankly I'm so upset that I'm going to burn down a Mosque and then a Church.  Should even things out, eh?





And here is the true message from the 'religion of peace'. Do not doubt that Islam is a barbaric and primitive religion. Born from the Dark Ages, it should reside within the realm of the dark where the light of reason doth not shine. It has no right in a developed society based on the fruits of the scientific method. Tis an anachronism, but a dangerous one. And yet we allow these people to flood over Europe's borders. The West will rue the day it let those of an alien culture and mindset insinuate into the fold.




Yea, the liberal left is full of hypocrisy. Regardless of the agenda, they will only tolerate their own agenda. Anything that involves contrary discourse is shut down, where possible, thus denying free speech. Disagree with a leftie, and except voluble and violent disagreement. Sensible discourse is not allowed with anyone with the temerity to mount dissension. Merit and facts accord for nowt and expect to be cow towed with the usual emotive words, such as: racist, sexist, misogynist and fascist. What a wretched bunch of twats.     




How times have changed, but not for the better....



Shagger as a babe, with siblings

To soothe my heaving breast

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Witiwangi Day- Again

I must apologise to my regular readers. This is a post from several years ago which has been resurrected on several occasions. Also I'm a very lazy man and writing this shit is time consuming and often mentally exhausting- unless I'm experiencing one of my frequent reveries. Arse.


Today, I have a day off work in celebration of a treaty signed between the British and the Maori in 1840. Anyway, in order to commemorate this very special National Day, I have decided to resurrect an old post of mine from two years ago which characteristically takes a humorous glance at this most solemn of occasions. Happy Waitangi Day. Although written as a jocular interlude it does make some salient and serious points. For those who would like to view my opinion on 'Maori Affairs' you can catch it here:Waitangi Day reprise. 


Shouldn't have brought a stick to a gun fight

Happy Whitiwhangi day! For you dozy benighted Pomms, Whitiwhangi day (6th February) is New Zealand’s National Day. It celebrates the signing of a solemn treaty between the ‘British Colonial Governor of Her Majesty’s Government’ and the Maori in 1840. As a slight digression, I would like to introduce the less educated amongst you to the noble race which is Maori. Ethnologists are of the opinion that the first Maoris arrived in New Zealand as Asylum Seekers sometime in the Middle Ages. They found a bountiful land colonised by a peaceful and equally noble race, called the Moriori. Mutual respect was only marred by the fact that the Maori had an irrepressible appetite for human flesh. As it was against their culture and religious custom to eat their own, they decided to eat the indigenous people. In very short order they had porked their way through this fair people and moved on to eat all the large birds, mammals and frogs. Today, the only indigenous creature left in New Zealand is a highly camouflaged, fast moving and slightly tasteless marsupial, known in the Maori language as ‘donttastlikeKFC,ehbro.’

To return to our Solemn National Day. It is reputed that the Governor of 1840, Sir Effingham-Peffingham was suffering from syphilitic ague prior to and up to the signing of the treaty. Some say he deviated from standard British Colonial Policy, of the time. Usually, British Army drill was to send the local chocos off to an early grave and at double time. Of course, when faced with the local duskies waving fruit and sharpened sticks the best response was always to ‘fire a volley’ and finish off the wounded, and less fleet of foot, with the bayonet.

Unfortunately for the Empire, Sir E was suffering from delirium tremens on the day of the signing. For his entertainment, the local Maori Warriors performed their formidable war dance, ‘The Haka.’ The stout warriors, all painted and covered in feathers, reminded the Governor, in his delirium, of the Nelson Rep chorus line. After all, the Governor was notoriously short-sighted and thick.

The treaty was duly signed by the Governor and the Tribal Leaders. Luckily the Maoris could not read or write English. The clause they failed to notice (stupid Maoris), was the bit about allowing White Folk, known in Maori as Pakeha to shoot any Maori on sight on Whitiwhangi day, as long as it was before noon. Good man that Governor.

As usual, I celebrated ‘Whitiwhangi Eve’ with four bottles of medicinal red wine (as is the custom) and awoke next morning feeling like a Frenchman’s crotch. After retching up over the dog, I noticed that it was 11.50am. I panicked somewhat as I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to legally shoot someone. So without further ado, and without getting dressed, I reached for my father’s trusty 303 Lee Enfield rifle. The same weapon he had used to shoot unarmed German prisoners at the battle of El Alamein. Shortly after this incident, my father’s contribution to the war effort was permanently curtailed due to wounds inflicted during a brisk encounter with the renowned, and much feared SS SeamStress division. These Valkyries could sow SS runic insignia, in silver thread, on your epaulette in under 20 minutes and double stitch at that; fucking amazing! During the battle, my father received a puncture wound to the arse from a rusty bodkin. The infection rapidly spread to his cock and as a consequence, he spent 6 months in a Venereal Disease hospital in Blighty. The word around the camp fire, at the time, was that my father had caught the infection after an intoxicated and ill-judged liaison with a wild, desert, she-goat; absolute nonsense. It is well known that you can catch this sort of thing from toilet seats and dirty sewing baskets.

With shaking hands I slammed a fresh magazine into the Lee Enfield and rushed onto the porch. Luckily for me, I saw a Maori in the adjacent field, not a 100 paces away. I raised the musket to my shoulder, took careful aim and slowly squeezed the trigger and was promptly rewarded to see my quarry spiral to the ground. I rushed inside for my trusty scalping knife and bounded over to the fallen Maori to gather my well-deserved trophy. Imagine my disgust when I realised that I hadn’t shot a Maori after all but shot my Dutch neighbour, Mr Neils Van der Pump. In mitigation, I have to say that his Indonesian wife had been standing close by and she does look a little bit Maori. I did consider shooting her as well and could hardly miss from two paces. But I suppose I’m a sentimental old fool and it didn’t seem quite right to shoot her under the circumstances, as her husband had suddenly took quite poorly. I did offer to apply a tourniquet to the wound on his neck, but neither of them seemed too keen on the idea. So I left her to administer first aid and retreated back to my bed to sleep off the previous night’s excess. I had hardly fallen asleep when I was rudely awakened by the local plod. Thereafter all is a blur. I remained in custody for several months prior to trial. Poor Mrs Saxon had to work 20 hours a day to keep the farm afloat. She did contact my flaxen haired cunt of a son to ask for help. But he was too busy finding ‘spiritual enlightenment’ on a commune in PerthWestern Australia. Spiritual enlightenment, my arse! From what I can see, he spends his days banging small breasted Asian ladies, sometimes two at a time (nice work if you can get it) and judging from the photos some of the ‘ladies’ aren’t real woman at all.

I finally had my day in court. I must admit I raised a spirited defence. However, things looked bleak after the prosecution’s final summing up: “Your Honour, I submit that Mr Saxon is a demented, chronic alcoholic with a tenuous grasp on reality. It is recorded your Honour, that after a particularly heavy and prolonged drinking bout, he thought he had turned into a canister of ‘Shake N Vac’ (Alpine Dew) and was found by his wife rolling naked on the carpet shouting: ‘I am fragrant, suck me off with the vacuum.’ I rest my case your Honour.” But bugger me if I didn’t have a stroke of luck. Poor Mr Van der Pump had lost the power of speech after my ill-fated shot had destroyed his larynx. This same lucky bullet had also divided nerves in his spinal cord and consequently he was paralysed from the nose down. The upshot, of course, was that he was unable to provide a verbal or written deposition; in other words, a piss poor witness. The case against me rested on the sole testament of his Indonesian wife. This poor cow couldn’t speak a word of English and her Court appointed interpreter had just been deported as an illegal alien. The outcome was not in question, and I was promptly, and deservedly, found innocent and freed.

I confess that after this encounter with the law, I am truly a wiser but not a sober man. Although, I have to say I can’t wait for Mr Van der Pump’s children to grow up so I can shoot them on Whitiwhangi Day, before noon. After all, they do look a little like Maoris……..              
   










Thursday, 1 February 2018

Chloe


I consider myself as a rational fella and consequently, I will have no truck with anything which smacks of the supernatural or miraculous. The supernatural does not exist and miracles do not occur. A miracle, as I understand the word, is the suspension of natural law. Now you may think this is a bold sweeping statement for a scientist to make especially as we are expected to maintain an open mind. But this only applies to our natural world and phenomena within it. By definition, anything considered supernatural is beyond nature and therefore beyond our senses. Even if a supernatural realm did exist we would never be able to perceive it. For all intent and purpose, supernatural phenomena are equivalent and tantamount to non-existence.

I used to be less rational. Up until my early 20s, I actually believed in ghosts, paranormal events and supernatural worlds which could be perceived, albeit darkly, if we searched hard enough. As my scientific education advanced I evolved into a true sceptic. There was no dramatic or romantic 'Road to Damascus' moment and my stance toward the supernatural changed by degrees (literally) over several years until I came to realise that the Natural Universe is surely mysterious enough when viewed through a rational and critical lens, so why posit something which can never be demonstrated? You could say that my intellect, 'grew up' and no longer dealt with childish things.

I present this brief introduction to emphasise my rational scientific stance before I relate a series of rather uncanny events experienced by my wife, who for the purpose of this post will be referred to as Mrs Saxon. I did think of calling her Mrs Mugumbo, but that wouldn’t make much sense, would it? Just over a year ago, Chloe, our beloved Maltese Terrier bitch died. She was 14 years old and succumbed quickly to liver disease. At the time we were on holiday in Bali and felt guilty for not being there to comfort her at the end. My wife took it particularly hard as my wife and Chloe had a very strong bond and everywhere Mrs Saxon went Chloe was sure to follow.

Mrs Saxon has subsequently struggled with her grief and in quiet moments will shed a silent tear. All this understandable, we form strong emotional connections with our pets and I think this is particularly so with our dogs. Now, this is where it gets a little interesting and spooky. About six months ago my wife started to see Chloe around the house. Just a brief image of a furry flash, briskly glimpsed. As we own two Maltese Terriers, both of which are very much alive, she rationalised that it must be one of them. Then one day she saw a fleeting flash of white fur in her periphery whilst our other two Maltese dogs were nestling on her lap.

My wife kept the visitations to herself and was reluctant to share the phenomenon with her highly sceptical husband fearing ridicule. Finally, she could keep it within no longer and blurted the story out one evening. I didn't laugh, I'm not a fool, but listened intently. I asked her if she honestly believed that what she was seeing was really Chloe? To her credit, she said no. She had the sense to realise that whatever was happening was likely an illusion born of grief, guilt and perhaps hope. Now some might say that Mrs Saxon is witnessing the shade of our dead dog stopping by for a brief visit; the bond between my wife and Chloe cheating and transcending even death. However, I would be very unhappy with such an explanation as it entails grave epistemological consequences. If one dead creature can materialise then why not all dead creatures? That being the case our ordered methodical world would collapse and melt into unpredictable chaos. Nothing would be certain anymore. But of course, this is not the case. We really do live in an ordered predictable universe, quantum physics excepted.

Chloe visits often, apparently, about once every two weeks, and it is always a cursory sojourn- she may pass a door or disappear into an adjacent room. So what is the answer? My wife feels tremendous grief, loss and guilt. Three very powerful emotions. Could her psyche be conjuring up images of our dead dog to provide some form of comfort in her desolation; a soothing mental salve? I would say yea, and my wife certainly thinks this is the case.

I’m interested from a scientific investigative perspective. I’ve asked my wife to keep note of dates and times and provide a description of the manifestation. Under the circumstances you might expect my wife to tell me to: ‘Bugger off’ considering the emotional content, but no. We hope to move soon and it will be interesting to see if the ‘ghost of Chloe’ travels to our rural idyll- I predict closure. I will keep my readers informed, unless I forget, or can’t be bothered to put pen to paper.




Thursday, 25 January 2018

The Most Influential Individual of the 20th Century

Behold the man- seems more of a boy, to me

If you had to nominate the individual, who you think, was the most influential person of the 20th century, who would you choose? When I mean influential I mean the person that substantially influenced world events at the time and whose historical legacy lingers, nay insinuates, today. That is a terrible burden for one individual to carry. And you could argue that our modern world has been shaped by many people and forces too numerous to count. But that said, is there one single individual who has had a disproportionate effect? And I don't mean someone who actively participated in many of the cardinal or principle events of the 20th century, I mean someone who set the scene, someone who started a sequence of cataclysmic reactions which eventually meandered to the world we inhabit today.

I suspect many people would select Hitler, or perhaps Stalin, or even Churchill and while it is true that these men played a major role in the world scene since the 1930s, I would argue that their influence has been derivative. I would state that events prior to this period were responsible for how these men reacted to unfolding events during their tenure.

I would also contend that events, and most importantly a single/singular event, by one man in June of 1914 had a seminal effect on subsequent world history. If you are following my line of reasoning you are already contemplating the Great War. While it is true that in 1914, prior to one fateful June day, there existed political tensions between the Great Powers, there seemed no reason why the world should descend into Armageddon. In fact, if anything tensions had eased and there seemed no imminent prospect of a general war. You might want to read my post concerning the military alliances and the balance of power during the early years of the 20th century. Alliances meant to make the war between the Great Powers unthinkable, but as we know this principle failed to produce peace once the cascade of treaty obligations kicked in.

Let me introduce my nomination, Gavrilo Princep, a 19-year-old, idealistic, nationalistic Bosnian student with dreams of South Slav unification and independence from Austrian shackles. On June 28, 1914, the Archduke of Austria-Hungary, the heir apparent to the ramshackle Empire visited the Bosnian city of Sarajevo to observe military manoeuvres; it was an unwise move. The Empire had annexed Bosnia in 1908 and the date chosen for the visit was inauspicious as the 28th June coincided with the anniversary of a major defeat of the Southern Slavs by the Turks in 1389. More than one assassin lurked on the streets of Sarajevo that day. Earlier a bomb had been thrown at the Archduke's motorcade, but Ferdinand and his wife were uninjured, although others in the stately procession were seriously wounded. By a strange stroke of fate, later in the day, Ferdinand’s car took a wrong turn as it left Sarajevo town hall and by happenstance, Princip was standing nearby as the car reversed to regain the route. He came out of the shadows and fired two shots mortally wounding the Archduke and his wife. 

The deaths resulted in Austria-Hungary declaring war on the neighbouring state of Serbia which was suspected of state sponsored involvement in the assassination, however, official Serbian involvement was never proven. As is often the case with major historical events, the spark caught light due to an action which, in hindsight, should never have had the calamitous consequences of a world war. If cool heads amongst the respective leaders of nations had prevailed and if a modicum of competent diplomacy had ensued, the matter, although grave, should not have set Europe afire. In particular, the Austria-Hungarians bear much of the blame as they presented the Serbs with a humiliating ultimatum which the Serbs accepted almost in its entirety. However, the ultimatum was just an Austria-Hungarian pretext for war. The Austria-Hungarians counted on German support and a vague assurance of support from the intelligent, but politically inept and volatile German Kaiser made them bold beyond their means. The Germans, and especially the Kaiser receive opprobrium for not reining in their weaker ally. Europe seemed to slip into war without conscious effort or restraint and the declaration of war by the Austria-Hungarians triggered a cascade of alliances culminating in a war between the Great Powers one month after the Archduke's death.

Poor Princip died in prison in 1918 of malnutrition and tuberculosis. His ambition for a united Slav state free of domination came about with the formation of Yugoslavia during the political maelstrom following the end of the Great War. Surely this idealistic young man could never have foreseen and perhaps never condone his baleful influence on world history.

I am arguing that the Great War set our world on its modern course and provided an heirloom with which we struggle/juggle with today. The First War set the scene for the second great conflict, the influence of which cannot be denied in our modern context. Some would say that the intervening years between the wars were a mere armistice; a period of war without arms.


Princip appeared on the world stage, for but a moment changed it, and then disappeared from history stage left. But he had changed the world and we live with the cultural, geopolitical and technical consequences to this day. And this why, Gavrilo Princip demands to be the most influential individual of the 20th century. I’m reluctant to consider Princip, the ‘Father of the Modern World’, but he certainly deserves to be called his naive, much younger brother.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGxAYeeyoIc

Listen and weep


Thursday, 18 January 2018

Last Thursday


While you are reading this post you may not have realised, or noticed, that the universe only burst into existence, last Thursday at 900am (god always works to office hours). Also at this time you sprang into being, fully formed and complete with a lifetime of memories that did not occur. When the  Earth appeared, in a thrice last Thursday, it was imbued with all the patina of 4.5 billion years of existence complete with fossils cunningly fashioned. Although your navel is superfluous, its presence is a testament to god's mischievous nature. You may surmise that you are reading the mewling screed of a raving madman. But I assure you I'm quite sane, medication permitting, and I have a certificate signed by my psychiatrist, with the hackneyed name of Professor Mugumbo to prove it. That being the case, I have to ask you in all honesty- can you disprove that everything, in this vast universe of ours, didn't just pop into existence last Thursday?

I am being disingenuous as I'm fully aware that you can't refute the proposition. Just like solipsism, the concept of 'Last Thursdayism' is both unverifiable and unfalsifiable by the scientific method. On fundamental principle, it is impossible to subject the concept to empirical scientific rigour as the 'data' is considered to have been arbitrarily created to mimic the reality of great age at every level of observable detail. And indeed, there is nothing in the concept of 'altered reality' which is incompatible with the laws of logic.
You may form the opinion that this sort of reasoning is the exclusive preserve of ivory tower professional philosophers who are paid to contemplate such bollocks. And to be frank I'm sympathetic to those who espouse such a view. However, the idea of 'Last Thursdayism' is put forward to make a serious point against fundamentalist beliefs. There are groups of fundamentalist Christians, although admittedly not all Christians, who fervently believe the Earth to be 6,000 years old in spite of the myriad of contrary evidence; good solid evidence from multiple sources in happy accord with a universe of billions of years old. The fundamentalist counters by saying that their god has planted the evidence to give the impression of an aged Earth in order to test the faith of the believer. We would have to concede that god has a sense of humour, after all.

If the fundies can argue for a world of only 6,000 years old, what is stopping someone arguing that the universe, and all it entails/entrails, was created last Thursday, or five minutes ago for that matter?  You may consider that the concept of 'Last Thursdayism' quite silly. If you hold this view, then by extension, a 6,000 year-old Earth seems ridiculous in spite of its impeccable logical credentials.

For me, the greatest flaw in the 'Young Earth' theory can be revealed by a simple intellectual tool, called Occam's razor. I introduced the concept of Occam's razor in a previous post- you can check it out, here. Occam's razor states that where several explanations are available, the simplest is generally the best. The law is also known as the law of parsimony and contends that you should never posit more than is necessary to arrive at an explanation for a given phenomenon. In modern parlance, we would say: "keep it simple". If we apply this cardinal rule to our problem, the most likely explanation is that the universe is billions of years old and what we see is the development of natural processes obeying natural laws over eons. The alternative, the ‘Young Earth’ theory is immeasurably more complex to contemplate. There is no gradual developmental process but the sudden materialisation of everything current plus everything that went into the making. It also leads to the belief in deities. How could the infinity complex facade be constructed in an instance without the intercession of a very powerful sentient entity? Thus we observe another layer of hyper-complexity contrary to Occam's sharp-edged tool.

Thus, gentle reader sleep sound in your bed tonight, knowing that you are not a carcass filled with lies but a fully fledged human with a history and a past lasting well beyond last Thursday, probably.