Monday, July 21, 2008

A 5th birthday

Duncan celebrated his 5th birthday on the 20th of July. Since Denice never had a little party on her 5th birthday which was on 21st of May (we left for Malaysia on that day) we held a double birthday party.

We invited all their little cousins and their parents of course to the party. I ordered some food from a coffee shop in town, as well as some satay from another coffee shop. We also had some bar-be-cued chicken wings which my mother had prepared.

The only important person missing from this party was Daddy.

Duncan chose this cake himself. He was attracted by the little umbrella and the ultraman figurine on the cake. It was a sponge cake layered with fresh cream.

Denice had no say in the choice of cake! She was not present when I ordered the cake. It was a light cheese cake, someting that some of us liked!

The cousin on Denice's left helped her to blow the candles out after the birthday song was sung.

The spread.

Cousin Natalie helping Denice to unwrap the presents.

Cousin Jeremy couldn't wait for Duncan to unwrap his presents!

Party hats for the kids.

An unfortunate incident happened before the start of the party. Our family dog bit my brother's mother-in-law as she was walking towards the house. The poor lady had to be rushed off to the hospital for a tetanus shot and she went home after the hospital visit. The poor thing never got to enjoy the party. Bad Gooby!

All in all, an enjoyable evening for everyone, except for the one bitten by the dog!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Oil is NOT a fossil fuel!

I first heard the notion that oil is not a fossil fuel from a radio program. The people talking about it sounded pretty convinced of the fact and Doug thinks they had some valid points.

Read the following article and see if you are convinced that indeed oil is a renewable energy much like geothermal energy. The paragraph highlighted in blue seems pretty convincing to me!


Oil is NOT a fossil fuel and AGW is non-science

by Peter J. Morgan

We all grew up believing that oil is a fossil fuel, and just about every day this ‘fact’ is mentioned in newspapers and on TV. However, let us not forget what Lenin said – “A lie told often enough becomes truth.” It was in 1757 that the great Russian scholar Mikhailo V. Lomonosov enunciated the hypothesis that oil might originate from biological detritus. The scientists who first rejected Lomonsov’s hypothesis, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, were the famous German naturalist and geologist Alexander von Humboldt and the French chemist and thermodynamicist Louis Joseph Gay-Lussac, who together enunciated the proposition that oil is a primordial material erupted from great depth, and is unconnected with any biological matter near the surface of the Earth.

With the development of chemistry during the nineteenth century, and following particularly the enunciation of the second law of thermodynamics by Clausius in 1850, Lomonosov’s biological hypothesis came inevitably under attack. In science, a hypothesis is merely somebody’s attempt to explain something. It is merely that – an attempt. In the scientific method, a hypothesis is also an open invitation for somebody else to discredit it by using physical evidence to demonstrate that the hypothesis is flawed, or incorrect – that is how scientific knowledge is advanced. Einstein is reputed to have remarked that just one fact was all that was needed to invalidate his theory of relativity.

The great French chemist Marcellin Berthelot particularly scorned the hypothesis of a biological origin for petroleum. Berthelot first carried out experiments involving, among others, a series of what are now referred to as Kolbe reactions and demonstrated the generation of petroleum by dissolving steel in strong acid. He produced the suite of n-alkanes and made it plain that such were generated in total absence of any “biological” molecule or process. Berthelot’s investigations were later extended and refined by other scientists, including Biasson and Sokolov, all of whom observed similar phenomena and likewise concluded that petroleum was unconnected to biological matter.

During the last quarter of the nineteenth century, the great Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev also examined and rejected Lomonosov’s hypothesis of a biological origin for petroleum. In contrast to Berthelot who had made no suggestion as to where or how petroleum might have come, Mendeleev stated clearly that petroleum is a primordial material which has erupted from great depth. With extraordinary perception, Mendeleev hypothesised the existence of geological structures which he called “deep faults,” and correctly identified such as the locus of weakness in the crust of the Earth via which petroleum would travel from the depths. After he made that hypothesis, Mendeleev was abusively criticised by the geologists of his time, for the notion of deep faults was then unknown. Today, of course, an understanding of plate tectonics would be unimaginable without recognition of deep faults.

Soon after the end of World War II, the Soviet dictator, Stalin, realised that the then Soviet Union needed its own substantial oil reserves and production system if it was ever again called upon to defend itself against an attacker such as Hitler’s Germany. In 1947, the Soviet Union had, as its petroleum ‘experts’ then estimated, very limited petroleum reserves, of which the largest were the oil fields in the region of the Abseron Peninsula, near the Caspian city of Baku in what is now the independent country of Azerbaijan. At that time, the oil fields near Baku were considered to be “depleting” and “nearing exhaustion.” During World War II, the Soviets had occupied the two northern provinces of Iran, but in 1946, they were forced out by the British. By 1947, the Soviets realised that the American, British, and French were not going to allow them to operate in the Middle East, nor in the petroleum producing areas of Africa, nor Indonesia, nor Burma, nor Malaysia, nor anywhere in the Far East, nor in Latin America. The government of the Soviet Union recognised then that new petroleum reserves would have to be discovered and developed within the U.S.S.R..

Stalin’s response was to set up a task force of top scientists and engineers in a project similar to the Manhattan Project – the top-secret US program to develop the atom bomb during WWII – and initially under the same secrecy, and charged them with the task of finding out what oil was, where it came from and how to find, recover and efficiently refine it.

In 1951, the modern Russian-Ukrainian theory of deep, abiotic petroleum origins was first enunciated by Nikolai A. Kudryavtsev at the All-Union petroleum geology congress. Kudryavtsev analysed the hypothesis of a biological origin of petroleum, and pointed out the failures of the claims then commonly put forth to support that hypothesis. Kudryavtsev was soon joined by numerous other Russian and Ukrainian geologists, among the first of whom were P. N. Kropotkin, K. A. Shakhvarstova, G. N. Dolenko, V. F. Linetskii, V. B. Porfir’yev, and K. A. Anikiev.

During the first decade of its existence, the modern theory of petroleum origins was the subject of great contention and controversy. Between the years 1951 and 1965, with the leadership of Kudryavtsev and Porfir’yev, increasing numbers of geologists published articles demonstrating the failures and inconsistencies inherent in the old “biogenic origin” hypothesis. With the passing of the first decade of the modern theory, the failure of Lomonosov’s eighteenth century hypothesis of an origin of petroleum from biological detritus in the near-surface sediments had been thoroughly demonstrated, the hypothesis discredited, and the modern theory firmly established.

An important point to be recognised is that the modern Russian-Ukrainian theory of abiotic petroleum origins was, initially, a geologists’ theory. Kudryavtsev, Kropotkin, Dolenko, Porfir’yev and the developers of the modern theory of petroleum were all geologists. Their arguments were necessarily those of geologists, developed from many observations, and much data, organised into a pattern, and argued by persuasion.

By contrast, the practice of mainstream, predictive modern science, particularly physics and chemistry, involves a minimum of observation or data, and applies only a minimum of physical law, inevitably expressed with formal mathematics, and argues by compulsion. Such predictive proof of the geologists’ assertions for the modern Russian-Ukrainian theory of deep, abiotic petroleum origins had to wait almost a half century, for such required the development not only of modern quantum statistical mechanics but also that of the techniques of many-body theory and the application of statistical geometry to the analysis of dense fluids, designated scaled particle theory.

To recapitulate, Stalin’s team of scientists and engineers found that oil is not a ‘fossil fuel’ but is a natural product of planet earth – the high-temperature, high-pressure continuous reaction between calcium carbonate and iron oxide – two of the most abundant compounds making up the earth’s crust. This continuous reaction occurs at a depth of approximately 100 km at a pressure of approximately 50,000 atmospheres (5 GPa) and a temperature of approximately 1500°C, and will continue more or less until the ‘death’ of planet earth in millions of years’ time. The high pressure, as well as centrifugal acceleration from the earth’s rotation, causes oil to continuously seep up along fissures in the earth’s crust into subterranean caverns, which we call oil fields. Oil is still being produced in great abundance, and is a sustainable resource – by the same definition that makes geothermal energy a sustainable resource. All we have to do is develop better geotechnical science to predict where it is and learn how to drill down deep enough to get to it. So far, the Russians have drilled to more than 13 km and found oil. In contrast, the deepest any Western oil company has drilled is around 4.5 km.

A team consisting of Russian scientists and Dr J. F. Kenney, of Gas Resources Corporation, Houston, USA, have actually built a reactor vessel and proven that oil is produced from calcium carbonate and iron oxide, as detailed on the Gas Resources website.

This is what Dr Kenney has to say about how he came to be involved: “In the first instance, the articles on this website are dedicated to the memory of Nikolai Alexandrovich Kudryavtsev, who first enunciated in 19511 what has become the modern Russian-Ukrainian theory of deep, abiotic petroleum origins. After Kudryavtsev, all the rest followed. Secondly, these articles are dedicated generally to the many geologists, geochemists, geophysicists, and petroleum engineers of the former U.S.S.R. who, during the past half century, developed modern petroleum science. By doing so, they raised their country from being, in 1946, a relatively petroleum-poor one, to the greatest petroleum producing and exporting nation in the world today. These articles are dedicated specifically to the late Academician Emmanuil Bogdanovich Chekaliuk, the greatest statistical thermodynamicist ever to have turned his formidable intellect to the problem of petroleum genesis. In the Summer of 1976, during the depths of the cold war and at immeasurable hazard, Academician Chekaliuk chose to respond, across a gulf of political hostility, to an unsolicited letter from an unknown American chief executive officer of a petroleum company headquartered in Houston, Texas. Thenafter and for almost fifteen years, Academician Chekaliuk was my teacher, my collaborator, and my friend. [JFK] 1. Kudryavtsev, N. A. (1951) Petroleum Economy [Neftianoye Khozyaistvo] 9, 17-29.”

Needless to say, the last people to tell us the truth about oil will be the oil producers and oil companies, for they of course have a vested interest in perpetuating the myth that oil is a fossil fuel and that it will soon be exhausted, in order to ratchet up the price for as long as they can. And don’t look to the Russians to enlighten the world with the truth about oil either, for they are surely laughing now that the oil price is approaching $US150 a barrel.

A US Public Service Radio interview with Dr Kenney may be heard on the Gas Resources website.

Some may ask “How come all of this isn’t commonly known?” For the answer, one needs to consider what happened to Galileo when he first put forward the hypothesis that rather than the conventional wisdom that the sun revolved around the earth, the earth revolved around the sun. He was branded a heretic and locked up! You are invited to read an excellent article entitled “Cognitive Processes and the Suppression of Sound Scientific Ideas”, by J. Sacherman 1997.

Some may say “Well, even if oil is a renewable resource, mankind should not burn it because the carbon dioxide so produced causes global warming.” My answer to that is that the idea that mankind’s production of carbon dioxide causes global warming is merely a hypothesis, and this has been thoroughly discredited by Prof. Robert Carter and numerous other scientists.

You are invited to listen to a recording of a brief radio interview with Prof. Carter, where he succinctly explains that after spending billions on researching the topic, no climate scientists have ever succeeded in finding any scientifically valid link between man-made carbon dioxide and global warming.. He makes the point that whatever effects mankind’s production of carbon dioxide have on earth’s climate, they are immeasurably small and are swamped by the changes in climate that occur naturally.

You are also invited to view a video of Prof. Robert Carter’s demolition of the “mankind’s production of carbon dioxide causes global warming” hypothesis at where you will see Prof. Carter illustrate five examples of verifiable science that refute the hypothesis. Prof. Carter makes the point that truth in science is never decided by consensus, but if you prefer to believe the pronouncement by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that “2,500 scientists of the United Nation’s IPCC agree that humans are causing a climate crisis”, which is repeated ad nauseam by environmentalists, the press and governments around the world, including ours, then you are invited to read an article where Tom Harris and John McLean tell the truth about this deception and point out that “an example of rampant misrepresentation of IPCC reports is the frequent assertion that ‘hundreds of IPCC scientists’ are known to support the following statement, arguably the most important of the WG I report, namely “Greenhouse gas forcing has very likely caused most of the observed global warming over the last 50 years.” In total, only 62 scientists reviewed the chapter in which this statement appears, the critical chapter 9, “Understanding and Attributing Climate Change”. Almost 60% of the comments received from the 62 expert reviewers of this critical chapter were rejected by the IPCC editors and 55 of the 62 expert reviewers had serious vested interest, leaving only seven expert reviewers who appear impartial. In my view, seven does not constitute “a consensus of the world’s scientists.”

If it’s consensus you want before you decide on what the truth is, then go to to read about the petition signed by more than 30,000 scientists, more than 9000 of whom hold PhDs. In addition, the International Climate Science Coalition has on its website the Manhattan Declaration and its lists of signatories, There are links there to enable you to view the lists of signatories. These two petitions, in my view, constitute consensus!

Knowing that carbon dioxide does not cause global warming frees us to resume building coal-fired electricity generating stations to meet our growing electrical energy needs. When the cost of eventual decommissioning the plants is factored in, coal is a long way cheaper than nuclear, and with the latest technology in exhaust gas filters and scrubbers, burning coal is much less environmentally unfriendly than it used to be.

We all know what has been happening to food prices, mostly as a direct result of US government subsidies for the production of ethanol from corn.

The current US energy strategy, driven by the erroneous beliefs that oil is a fossil fuel and that its supply will soon be exhausted, and that burning coal causes global warming, is illogical. Given the fact that oil is abiotic and is in continuous production deep down in the earth’s crust, at rates far in excess of what mankind could ever conceivably consume, it makes absolutely no sense for any nation to buy it from foreign sources if it is cheaper to drill for and pump its own – and that is precisely what the US should be doing immediately, without ever needing to go near the wildlife reserves in Alaska.

If the US switched from being a net consumer in the world oil market to becoming a net supplier, the price of oil would plunge, perhaps to around $US30 per barrel, with the result that the world’s economies would boom as never before. Most importantly, people would have confidence to invest in their futures, safe in the knowledge that oil would never run out. An extra bonus would be that the US military-industrial-political complex would no longer feel the need to use military force to control the Middle East’s oil supplies, and neither would any other world power.

A further bonus would be that all subsidies to producers of alternative fuels and energy supplies could be removed, with the result that such production would occur only if it was economically viable, which would mean that most such producers would either cease, or greatly scale down, their businesses.

Each of us in our own small way can now burn as much petroleum product as we can afford to put in our cars and boats, safe in the knowledge that (a) oil is never going to run out and (b) all the extra carbon dioxide we produce will not cause global warming, but will help plants, and hence food, to grow faster, thus helping to feed the billions!

Please feel free to contact your local political representative and urge him or her to put a stop to the lunacy of trying to reduce mankind’s carbon dioxide ‘emissions’, and put a stop to talking about oil as a ‘fossil fuel’.

The sooner people wake up to the non-science of ‘global warming’ and ‘oil is a fossil fuel’ and ‘burning coal and oil is an environmental sin’, the better off we and our children and our children’s children (etc.) will be.

Please feel free to copy and paste the text of this article to all those on your email address list. By doing this, you will help to ensure that so many people will tell their government that they will not put up with the ‘global warming’ nonsense any more, that the whole edifice will collapse, in much the same way that the Berlin Wall was brought down and the Iron Curtain collapsed – without another shot being fired – just as, I might add, I predicted to my high school students during my years spent teaching economics in the early 1980s. Several years later, in 1989, I was in Ludwigshafen, only two weeks before the Berlin Wall came down, and well remember the tears flowing profusely down the cheeks of my elderly East German companions at a ‘new wine’ festival as I told them that the Wall would come down in a few weeks and that there would be “one Germany, very soon!”

Peter J. Morgan B.E. (Mech.), Dip. Teaching, is a Consulting Forensic Engineer, Marine Designer, Technical Writer, Sub-editor & Technical Editor in Auckland, New Zealand. Peter can be reached at:

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Bumiputra Christians And The Use Of "Allah"

The Christian community in Malaysia by and large is aware that there are two legal suits pending in the High Courts to determine whether we have the right to use the word "Allah". 9 July 2008 is a very important date. The latest development now witnesses Sikh's participation in the fray. Four State Islamic Councils have already applied to be the respondents in this case. They are Majlis Agama Islam dan Adat Melayu Perak (MAIAMP), Majlis Agama Islam Wilayah Persekutuan (MAIWP), Majlis Agama Islam dan Adat Melayu Terengganu (Maidam) and Majlis Agama Islam Pulau Pinang (MAIPP). Its outcome has far reaching implications over the missio praxis particularly among the Malay-speaking congregations who mostly are bumiputera of Sabah, Sarawak and Orang Asli of Semananjung Malaysia. In this context, our church leaders (ordained, lay and including politicians) are in the forefront to battle it out for us so to speak in the court of law. They are exercising their roles and responsibilities as church leaders. We thank God for them and we are grateful to them for doing what they are doing. Frankly speaking, making the final judgment is not going to be easy for the judges who will preside over the two cases.

As I searched the internet on the universal usage of the word "Allah" with particular reference to its currency in the Malaysian contexts, I came across Micah Mandate. I salute Mr Goh for interviewing Tan Sri Bernard Dompok in Putrajaya on major issues, among other things, religious freedom - the use of "Allah" by the Christian community in particular. I do not know Tan Sri very well but I do know one or two politicians who are close to him and through them I know he is a man of principle. Therefore, I BELIEVE in his words. Another contributor in the same site described the turn of events leading to the two court cases (I mentioned earlier) on the word "Allah": one was filed by the Roman Catholic Church (RC) and the other suit was filed by Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB).

The use of "Allah" in our Alkitab, kebaktian kudus, khotbah, latihan perlengkapan, perbualan, etc is long established. It may not be used every second of our daily lives but it is certainly used right through the rites of passages from the day one is baptized as an infant to the day of his or her funeral. It is used in Sunday or weekday services in churches as well as in our homes, in our daily prayers, teachings or cell group meetings. We continue to praise God in heaven and I believe God would accept our praises and worship containing the word "Allah" if we were to use it to address and worship him (see Rev 7:9-12). In short, it is impossible to cease the use of Allah from our communal and religious life.

We have used this word even before Malaysia was formed on 16 September 1963. In fact the Malaysia Bible Society authority would affirm that the word "Allah" has been used in the Malay translation of Mathew's Gospel in 1612 some 350 years before the idea of Malaysia was ever conceived. When Malaysia was formed and proclaimed Bahasa Melayu (now Bahasa Malaysia) became the national language and Islam the official religion. Other religions were freed to exist, express and propagate their faiths. For us, the freedom enshrined in the Constitution also included the free use of words, phrases, terms and terminologies including the word "Allah". I do not think that from that day onward Christians were no longer allowed to use "Allah" in their community? I am interested to find a specific clause in our Federal Constitution spelling out that beginning 1963 Christians no longer can use "Allah" because it would confuse the Muslims and only Muslims can use the word. What has happened I suggest is rather an afterthought pronouncement so to speak, and if so, what other proactive approach could be taken to rectify it? For example, it is far effective to educate Malaysians regarding the use of Allah than legislate its use.

The word has become part of our story telling very early in our struggle towards nation building If we were to delete this most central and fundamental word from our vocabs; we would create huge vacuum in our Christian education programs. It impedes our understanding and teaching of who our God Almighty is. Our prayer language is devoid of the most fundamental truths and understanding of our God who became man, died and rose again and to whom we now make petitions. Charting this path of removing the word in our story telling may seem to others an effortless task - just a delete and forget processes. Or, just use another word - Tuhan. But we cannot underestimate the power of words. Nor can we easily brush aside history and the attachment associated with the word. This Allah word, when rightly taught and correctly understood evokes feelings of intimacy, love, fear, respect, honour and worship of God. It is intrinsic to our ecclesiastical, religious, linguistic and spiritual landscape. We are proud to use a foreign word that has become our national language and ecclesiastically proper when used to address and worship our God. Now we might face the possibility to forget it? The concern that we will lose this privilege to use the word "Allah" is real.

We must also allay the fear among Muslims that we might use the word to confuse or win them over. It is a legitimate concern, especially in the context of Malaysia. I sincerely believe the Christian community will not resort to this scheme. We know we cannot evangelise Muslims and that we can be prosecuted when doing so. What is the difference between our Allah and their Allah? I have sisters and many relatives who are married to Muslims by choice and converted to Islam. If they ask me to explain my "Allah" I will reply that my "Allah" is he who is righteous, loving, compassionate and forgiving. He hates sin but loves the sinner. No one has ever seen Allah because he is spirit but he became human and lived among humans. He died for everybod and rose to heaven. Whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. That is my "Allah". Period.

In Malaysia's multi-religious framework it is well and good to settle things amicably in the spirit of musyawarah. Musyawarah is considered a vital tool in problem-solving. However, going by the present situation we might as well allow the court to help settle this case once and for all. Let us pray that the judgment favours us. If the judgment does not favour us this scenario will take place; we cannot use the word "Allah" anymore in our daily conversation, religious or community activities. The reason is because we might "confuse" the followers of the official religion of this country. As a pastor-teacher-preacher and theologian in the local church I naturally follow this event with interest and anticipation because it has far reaching implications in the way we treat our literature, liturgy, songs, ministry and mission enterprises, etc. What will be our next option (I am not answering this question in this article, yet)?

By the way, in the context of the universal declaration of human rights, does one has the right to require an adherent of another religion not to use a specific word because that specific word belongs only to his religion? The two judges shoulder a heavy responsibility in interpreting the law when they preside over the two pending and separate court cases over a common issue - the right to use the word "Allah" We trust in God and pray that the court will deliver a favourable judgment to us.

Lidis Singkung is an Anglican clergyman and also a Kadazandusun. Presently
he serves in St Patrick's Anglican Church in Tawau). Used by permission of

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Happy July 4th!

Happy Independence Day y'all!


"They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." ~ Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759