Monday, December 29, 2008

Circumnavigating the Intellect

Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort, from creationist propaganda video "The Evolution Zone":

Cameron: “When you learn how to speak to a person’s conscience and circumnavigate the intellect, the subject of evolution seems to disappear.”

Comfort: “... this is real good news for people like me. It means that I don’t have to become an expert on the fossil record and learn big words like Rhinorhondothackasaurus...”

Cameron: “Now are we trying to be anti-intellectual or avoid talking about the subject of evolution? Of course not...”

Here's the full video:

Friday, December 19, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Another Bizarre AiG Cartoon

Well, unlike the last AiG cartoon I posted, I can at least kind of see what they are trying to say with this, but there are so many things wrong with this diagram. First, how is evolution an opinion? It's a scientific theory that has been established as a true fact. Truth isn't a matter of opinion. Second, how on earth can homosexual behaviour stem from evolution when procreation is the driving mechanism? Same applies to abortion, if we want to evolve as a species we should be squeezing kids out left, right and centre. Third, how does believing in creation provide an answer to the meaning of life? Do any creationists reading this care to explain?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Noah's Ark Zoo Farm

Noah's Ark Zoo Farm is a creationist-run zoo in the south west of England, aimed (admirably) at teaching children where food comes from, but also (far less admirably) at brain-washing kids into believing religious claptrap. The Guardian's James Russell visited the farm a couple of years ago:

When I visited Wraxall with my son's nursery group, we went to the animal show and learned the difference between a cow's horn and a deer's antler. We learnt that ewes have udders, and we watched the presenter milk a ewe and drink the milk. Then events took a curious turn. A donkey was led in and the presenter traced a marking on its back. Did we know that the domesticated donkey has a dark cross marked on its back, he asked us casually, whereas the wild donkey doesn't? Did the cross not remind us that the donkey carried Jesus?

This page on the farm's website claims that "Evolutionism is as much faith as Creationism is". Putting aside the poor grammar, as well as the dreadful, misleading word "evolutionism" (should we start refering to doctors as "medicinists"?), this claim is of course indefensible. Science is based on evidence, not faith (which is defined as belief despite a lack of evidence). The page goes on to give a brief run-down of some of the major steps in evolution, implying that they are each unsupported by any facts or data. For example:

13. Birds such as Archaeopteryx, complete with wings, feathers etc, evolved from an unknown theropod dinosaur.

This is a common creationist tactic; creationists have not a shred of evidence for their beliefs, so one strategy is to point out weaknesses in the alternative. These "weaknesses" usually amount to a certain specific detail that has not yet been accounted for. Richard Dawkins summed it up: “I bet you don’t know how the elbow joint of the lesser-spotted weasel frog evolved. You don’t? Right then. God did it.”

This approach is doomed to failure.

In order for their case against evolution to be understood by their audience, creationists must first present evolution, how it works, and what it implies. But given the simplicity of the theory, and the fact that it can be understood without recourse to any mathematics or advanced concepts, and the sheer number of phenomena that it can explain so satisfactorily (Dobzhansky said that "nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution"), do creationists really want their followers to be exposed to it?

A theologian recently thanked the organizers of the UK atheist bus campaign for keeping God in the public sphere. Well, the same applies to evolution. Creationists are bringing Darwin and Wallace's theory directly into the churches and sunday schools, and Noah's Ark Zoo Farm is planting the seeds of the theory directly into the minds of young children before they've even attended a science class. We can only hope that these kids are bright enough to figure out the truth for themselves.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Bay of Fundie

I've recently discovered Bay of Fundie, a popular blog by Ron Britton that aims to "keep the radical right at bay":

The Bay of Fundie is dedicated to preserving the Constitutional separation of Church and State, which is under attack by extreme Christian fundamentalists. It features commentary on news and politics, and an in-depth analysis of the fundie agenda.

Ron has kindly added Creationist Idiocy to the site's blogroll, for which I'm grateful. Bay of Fundie currently has 119 posts on the subject of creationism, so I'll no doubt be reading through these in the future for "inspiration" (read: robbing him blind). In the meantime, head over there and check out his blog for yourself.

Creation Science FAIL

This page describes an "eight-year scientific research project", the results of which were presented at a community church in 1997. Let's look at one of their findings:

Dr. Andrew Snelling, an Australian geologist on the team, performed a detailed study of radiohalos (microscopic circular marks left on mica crystals from radioactive decay). He studied over 3,485 slides made from seventy rock samples from Australia, England, Norway, and the United States. The radiohalos caused by the decay of uranium and polonium strongly suggests rapid decay, not a gradual decay process over billions of years. This evidence of rapid nuclear decay, creation scientists believe, is due to catastrophic conditions produced by a worldwide flood.

A flood affecting the rate of nuclear decay? FAIL.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

No Parking Without God

The Secular Alliance of Indiana University recently visited the Creation Museum, and made a video about it. It's both frightening and hilarious:

Visit their blog to read more.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Krazy Kent Hovind

What I think happened is, the hippies of the sixties are now the college professors. They are still radical Communists who still want to destroy this country. One of the things they must do to be successful is bankrupt this country, make the currency useless, and put the people in poverty. Environmental issues are a great way to bankrupt the country.

Kent Hovind

Friday, December 5, 2008

Moron of the Month: Buddy Davis

Watch in horror as Buddy Davis simultaneously perverts the fields of science and the arts:

Other classics songs by Buddy include Billions of Dead Things (a sing-along tune written for kids*) and Where Did Cain's Wife Come From:

Neanderthal's man was as human as us
But there's a big problem that we must discuss
It's a puzzle that bothers my life
Where in the world did Cain get his wife?
Genesis four seventeen stumps me
It's about Cain and our family tree
When Cain slew Abel and he had to run
Where did Cain's wife come from?

Brother married sister when the earth was young
People married their close re-la-tion
Adam and Eve had daughters and sons
In the beginning that's how it was done

Yup, we're all descendents of an incestuous murderer. Isn't God wonderful?

*There was a video of this song on YouTube a while ago but it's been taken down. I'll keep an eye out for it and post it if it returns, it really is something to see.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Minor Victory, but a Victory Nonetheless

PZ Myers, University of Minnesota biology prof and owner of Pharyngula (one of the biggest science blogs out there) recently raised awareness of an evil plot by Ken Ham's Creation Museum to team up with Cincinnati Zoo and sell joint tickets to both institutions. As PZ rightly points out, this is a tactic to give the Creation Museum some cred by partnering it with real science. While the Creation Museum might appear at first to be a harmless, kitsch curiosity, its purpose is to indoctrinate people with harmful creationist beliefs. As Pharygula commenter BobC puts it:

The lying scum Ken Ham mentally abuses children while their brain-dead parents watch approvingly.

Well, as soon as PZ brought this news to the blogosphere's attention, Cincinnati Zoo started recieving complaints by phone and email and has now cancelled the scheme! And poor old Ham, he's not too happy about it, blaming his defeat on "intolerant evolutionists":

These people basically worship Darwin — they worship evolution and cannot tolerate anyone who doesn’t agree with them!

Actually, there might be an element of truth in that first part...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Krazy Kent Hovind

I believe the Great Pyramid was built to be the Bible in stone. The Egyptians did not build it.

Kent Hovind

Friday, November 21, 2008

Lamest Cartoons Ever?

These cartoons are by Daniel Nuckols, who has a whole bunch of them online. They're so bad that they're kind of fascinating. Some of them are just downright bizarre, though. Apparently, evilutionists aren't the only sinners he's slicing up with his razor-sharp satire. He seems to have something against vegetarians:

Oh, and the loch ness monster is real:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fast Fossilization

Recently this petrified human brain site has been getting some attention. I have no idea whether it's real or a parody, but this kind of thing is certainly common among creationist arguments. I've already posted about the fossilized teddy bear, and the below image shows what is apparently a fossilized human foot, still inside its boot:

These nutjobs don't seem to realize that the time it takes for fossils to form is entirely irrelevant. What matters is the age of the fossils since formation, and many independent dating techniques (radiometric dating, fission-track dating, paleomagnetism, amino acid dating) all agree that dinosaur bones are many millions of years old.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Thanks to Josh Stein for the video.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Krazy Kent Hovind

Obviously, several different colors of people exist on the earth that have distinctive characteristics, but they are the same race. One theory says that Adam and Eve were medium-brown, possibly because they were made from the earth.

Kent Hovind

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Moron of the Month: Ken Ham

The most ape-like of all creationists, Ken Ham runs the notorious Answers in Genesis, which epouses a literal interpretation of the biblical account of creation, and also opened the Creation Museum in Kentucky. The Answers in Genesis website is a treasure-trove of idiocy (and even blatant, almost Nazi-esque rascism), and as with last month's moron Kent Hovind, Ham has been so active that he's almost too easy a target for this blog (another blog has torn him to pieces recently too). Of all Ham's articles and quotes that I've come across, the following is my favourite. Ken Ham clearly believes that he's some kind of philosophical ninja. Don't try to use logic against him because he'll blow your mind:

A young man approached me at a seminar and stated, ‘Well, I still believe in the big bang, and that we arrived here by chance random processes. I don’t believe in God.’ I answered him, ‘Well, then obviously your brain, and your thought processes, are also the product of randomness. So you don’t know whether it evolved the right way, or even what right would mean in that context. Young man, you don’t know if you’re making correct statements or even whether you’re asking me the right questions.’

The young man looked at me and blurted out, ‘What was that book you recommended?’ He finally realized that his belief undercut its own foundations —such ‘reasoning’ destroys the very basis for reason.

On another occasion, a man came to me after a seminar and said, ‘Actually, I’m an atheist. Because I don’t believe in God, I don’t believe in absolutes, so I recognize that I can’t even be sure of reality.’ I responded, ‘Then how do you know you’re really here making this statement?’ ‘Good point,’ he replied. ‘What point?’ I asked. The man looked at me, smiled, and said, ‘Maybe I should go home.’ I stated, ‘Maybe it won’t be there.’ ‘Good point,’ the man said. ‘What point?’ I replied.

This man certainly got the message. If there is no God, ultimately, philosophically, how can one talk about reality? How can one even rationally believe that there is such a thing as truth, let alone decide what it is?

Ken Ham, AiG

Monday, November 3, 2008

For Those Voting Tomorrow...

Here's what the democratic candidates think about creationism:

I’m a Christian, and I believe in parents being able to provide children with religious instruction without interference from the state.

But I also believe our schools are there to teach worldly knowledge and science. I believe in evolution, and I believe there’s a difference between science and faith. That doesn’t make faith any less important than science. It just means they’re two different things. And I think it’s a mistake to try to cloud the teaching of science with theories that frankly don’t hold up to scientific inquiry.

Barack Obama

I refuse to believe the majority of people believe this malarkey!

Joe Biden

Friday, October 31, 2008

Unintelligent Design I: The Brain of the Giant Squid

The giant squid has a donut-shaped brain, with its oesophagus passing straight through the hole in the middle. This means that it has to chew up its food very thoroughly. If it tried to swallow something too large, it could suffer brain damage.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Krazy Kent Hovind

One theory is that the pre-Flood Earth had a canopy of ice above it that squeezed the atmosphere down to, say, 15 miles [...] If you squeezed the air down to 15 miles - instead of 100 - it would be more clear because there would be less distortion - atmospheric twinkle it's called. And probably this canopy of ice would act as a photo-amplifier where you would actually see things much more clearly. That's one theory that [in] the pre-Flood world you don't need a telescope - you could see incredibly well.

Kent Hovind

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

Science in Seattle

The reason I haven't made any posts for a while is because I've been on holiday. My wife and I went on a road trip around Washington state and British Columbia, and spent a couple of days in Seattle, home to the conservative think tank and creationist stronghold The Discovery Institute. This is the organization responsible for the "Teach the Controversy" strategy to get religion taught in school science classes. From Wikipedia:

In 2005, a federal court ruled that the Discovery Institute pursues "demonstrably religious, cultural, and legal missions", and the institute's manifesto, the Wedge strategy, describes a religious goal: to "reverse the stifling dominance of the materialist worldview, and to replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions".

It was gratifyingly ironic that just a half-hour walk from this fortress of ignorance, at the Pacific Science Center, the remains of a 3.2 million year old humanoid fossil was on display. Named Lucy (after The Beatles' Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds), she's one of many "missing" links between the modern human and our ape-like ancestors. The exhibit was superb, and Lucy was part of a much larger collection of fossils as well as cultural artifacts from Ethiopia, where she was discovered.


At the end of our tour we exited through the obligatory gift shop, which had a ton of books for sale on evolution, Darwin and the invalidity of intelligent design. Not a single creationist book was to be found, I'm glad to say. If the Discovery Institute can't even influence the science in their own city, it bodes well for the rest of the US...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

"cdesign proponentsists"

A short video about one of the creationism movement's biggest blunders:

Monday, October 6, 2008

Moron of the Month: Kent Hovind

Undoubtedly the most infamous of all creationists, and with enough moronic gaffes under his belt to warrant several dedicated webpages, Kent Hovind's story reads like an epic tragedy. Having received a PhD from the non-accredited Patriot University in Colorado (his thesis is critiqued here), he reinvented himself as Dr Dino, and opened the creationist theme park Dinosaur Adventure Land in Pensacola, Florida. Alas, his success came to a shameful and embarassing end in 2006 as he was convicted of tax fraud and sentenced to ten years in prison. The juicy details of his crimes, and his actions during the court case and after, are too numerous to list here, and if you want to read more on Hovind, the links above are all good sources. Rather than rewrite his story here, I've selected just a few of my favourite quotes of his. He's been so prolific with his wacky ideas and crazy conspiracy theories that you can expect to see him make further appearances in future posts. For now, enjoy:

If Evolution is true, there is no Creator, so laws come from mans opinion. That is called a democracy, which is a terrible form of government. Democracies always degenerate into dictatorships. In America, it is sad to say, has become a democracy.

I sincerely believe that I am not a person required to file a Federal Income Tax Return. This belief is a result of extensive research that I have done.

Boys, don't touch the girls until you're married to them. Now, if you don't want to touch them, you stay away from me please. I saw your kind in San Francisco.

Did you know that in Switzerland every household must have a fully automatic machine gun and 1,000 rounds of ammunition? Have you noticed that Switzerland has never been invaded? Would you invade a country like that? Gun control is stupid!

I did not even know what being a humanist meant. I was only sixteen, and the brain doesn't even start developing until about twenty

We ought to execute criminals for certain crimes. The prisons are overcrowded because a lot of them should have been executed. If everyone that should have been executed was executed it would do wonders for detouring crime and lowering the prison population.

The globalist, the Council of the Committee of Three Hundred, has as one of their goals to reduce the world population from six billion to one-half billion people. There are too many people here that cannot be controlled; so get rid of them. That's why AIDS was purposefully developed in a Maryland laboratory to wipe out population.

Some people say that demons came in human form and cohabited with women and begat half demon and half human, and their offspring were men of renown; people that were able to great things. They were supposed to have had wings on their feet, and to be able to fly. This is where the Greek mythology originated, which may not be too far fetched.

Kent Hovind

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Ken Miller Refutes Intelligent Design

Kenneth R. Miller is a biology professor at Brown University, is Roman Catholic, and is one of the strongest opponents of creationism and intelligent design. In this video, he picks apart the intelligent design movement bit by bit, demolishing their arguments and exposing their lies and underhanded tactics. It's a long talk, but it's informative and, above all, very entertaining.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Frogs and Princes

There is no fossil evidence connecting frogs and princes. The more we learn from genetics, the more we find out how impossible it is for a frog to turn into a prince (even if you do have an ape-like creature in the middle somewhere). A frog doesn’t look anything like a prince, and evolution has never been observed.

This pearl of wisdom was brought to you by Ian Juby, who seems to be confusing evolutionary theory with the Brothers Grimm.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Handy Dandy Evolution Refuter

The Handy Dandy Evolution Refuter is a creationist manual for Christian students, and is available online here. One of its Appendices is called "What Students can do to Counterattack Evolution and Change the Schools". This is some of the advice they give:

Develop a sharp eye for dogmatic statements, i.e., statements of "fact" that cannot be demonstrated to be factual.

Learn how to ask intelligent, probing questions that expose dogma for what it is.

Demand empirical evidence for all statements of faith.

Now that's some good advice right there, for all Christians.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Moron of the Month: Gerald Schroeder

Gerald Schroeder is "an MIT-trained scientist who has worked in both physics and biology", and now spends his time "melding" scientific theories with the Bible. Here he tries to reconcile the six literal 24-hour days of creation from Genesis with all that pesky scientific evidence showing that the universe is in fact billions of years old. He has a wacky theory involving general relativity and time-dilation effects that, according to him, proves both viewpoints are simultaneously true:

Once you come from Adam, the flow of time is totally in human terms. Adam and Eve live 130 years before having children! Seth lives 105 years before having children, etc. From Adam forward, the flow of time is totally human in concept. But prior to that time, it's an abstract concept: "Evening and morning." It's as if you're looking down on events from a viewpoint that is not intimately related to them.


Elsewhere, he states:

As a nuclear physicist who has served on the staff of MIT and as a member of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, I have undertaken extensive research of the natural world in light of the Biblical account. My conclusion? I see no contradiction between them whatsoever.

It's amazing what lengths creationists will go to in order to reconcile scientific facts with what's written in their holy book. This guy is taking a fresh approach - just accept both sides of the argument and "meld" them together. I guess if you're going to believe all 1200 pages of nonsense in the Bible, a few extra pages of pseudo-scientific twaddle like that found on Gerald's website should be pretty easy to swallow.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Atheist Blogroll

Creationist Idiocy is now on the Atheist Blogroll. For more information, or to add your blog to the list, check out Mojoey's blog Deep Thoughts.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Creationism in the UK III

Well, less than a day after my previous post on the matter, the latest in UK creationism news is that Professor Michael Reiss has quit as director of education at the Royal Society after making comments in favour of discussing creationism in school science classes. He claimed that creationism deserved to be discussed since it is a popular world-view. While there's no denying that the creationist world-view is a belief system held by a great many people, it has absolutely no scientific support, and therefore has no place in a science classroom. By all means discuss it in a religion or sociology class, but keep it out of the biology lessons.

Here's part of the Royal Society's statement:

The Royal Society's position is that creationism has no scientific basis and should not be part of the science curriculum However, if a young person raises creationism in a science class, teachers should be in a position to explain why evolution is a sound scientific theory and why creationism is not, in any way, scientific.

I'm glad they're taking a tough stance on this. Go UK!

Darwin 1, Creationbrits 0

Monday, September 15, 2008

Creationism in the UK II

Seems I might have been a little naive in my previous entry. Check out some of the comments at the end of this BBC article about creationism's rise in the UK. Some lowlights:

It was partly a serious study of evolution that led me to conclude that I'd rather be the product of a creationary God than an evolutionary accident, and so embrace Christianity. I am so pleased I did, life has become so much less gloomy.
Robert Harper, Battle, England

It doesn't matter what you prefer, Robert. Truth isn't a matter of taste.

What is wrong with letting those that believe in God also believe in what God did?
Chrono, Norfolk

Because it's stupid. And, more importantly, untrue.

Evolutionists begin with the pre-supposition that there is no God.
Martin Green, Bradford

Preposterous! Creationists interpret evidence with the pre-supposition of biblical truth.

As a born again Christian, I believe in creationism and will teach my children the same belief. Trying to prove that Man evolved from monkeys because there may be some similarities, is like trying to prove that humming birds evolved from helicopters because they both fly.
Andre Odogwu, London

This guy is putting his children at a serious disadvantage, and denying them the wondrous truth of their origins.

I find creationism more plausible, easier to understand, and leaving oneself quite satisfied.
Stefan, London

Well Stefan, I guess it's easier to read one book than a bunch of hard ones.

Somehow, seeing all this happening back home is much more depressing to me than seeing it happen in the US. At least there are a few bright sparks who've posted some intelligent comments, and knowing the BBC's passion for giving either side of every argument exactly 50% of the coverage (instead of investigating thoroughly and presenting the truth, as should be their duty as journalists), I doubt that these comments are truly representative. If they are, UK science education is in big trouble...

Creationism in the UK

Unfortunately, creationist idiocy is not confined to North American shores, but is also invading my home country. Yep, us Europeans are perfectly capable of breeding a bunch of stupid, ill-informed cretins of our own, it seems. They've nothing new to say, though, and are trotting out the same tired old lies and non-arguments as their US counterparts. Check out some of the following quotes from the UK's Creation Science Movement website:

By way of comparison, it is possible to calculate the number of possible events in the universe, even if full of organic soup (The Universal Probability Bound). A universe full of organic soup could contain 10^80 molecules, multiplied by 15 billion years approximates to 10^18 seconds, multiplied by for instance the frequency of gamma rays 10^20 equals 10^118 posible events. What can be seen therefore is that the number permutations on one average length protein exceeds the possible events in the universe and could not have happened by chance.

Well, it didn't happen by chance, no scientist claims that. It happened by evolution and natural selection. This is simple stuff... come on, guys.

The origin of man intrigues all of us. The Sunday Times for the 20th August 1995 reported: ‘The scientists themselves are confused. A series of recent discoveries has forced them to tear up simplistic charts on which they blithely draw linkages from Apes to Man. The classic family tree delineating man’s ascent from apes, familiar to us from school, has given way to the concept of genetic islands. The bridgework between them is anyone’s guess.’

Is a news article dating from over a decade ago really the most reliable source they could find on current evolutionary theory? Is it even relevant at all? You creationists might insist on clinging onto your 2000-year-old, unalterable ideas, but us scientists have this little concept we call "progress".

In the 19th century Darwin wrote about evolution. 140 years on, scientific advances have undermined his ideas. If our present knowledge of genetics, information science and so on had been around then, his theory would not have got off the ground. Each fossil shows separate Creation. In other words nothing changes from one kind to another. For example, there is no halfway stage between the reptile and the bird.

Apart from archaeopteryx, only the most famous fossil ever discovered, which has the skeletal structure of a lizard with a long, bony tail, but bird-like forearms modified for flight, complete with avian feathers that are still visible in the fossil. Plus hundreds of other transitional forms. Plus the fact that modern genetics is not only compatible with Darwin's theory, but actually makes no sense at all without it... Must try harder, creationbrits!


Elsewhere on the website, things start getting really stupid:

Adam needed a wife. Put the character for ‘two’ with the character for ‘persons’ and we have the word ‘beginning’. The word for ‘covet’, meaning to want something a lot, is especially interesting. It is made of the Chinese character for ‘woman’ and two ‘trees’. Eve ate the forbidden fruit and by disobeying God missed the reward of the second tree. Two trees figure in Eve’s and Adams downfall.

The ancient Chinese knew about this history. We find the story of Noah in the Chinese character for ‘boat’. One part means ‘vessel’ another part means ‘eight’ and the final part means ‘mouth’ or ‘person’. Noah and his family numbered eight people on the boat which survived the great Flood.

The word Create: dust + life or motion + mouth or person = speak + walk = create.

The one thing that gives me hope is that, in my experience of living in both the UK and North America, Brits are a lot less willing to suffer bullshit like this than those across the pond, and religion is far less prominent in day-to-day life. So I really can't see the creationists gaining too much ground there. Let's hope that my faith in the UK isn't misplaced.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Monday, September 8, 2008

Dissent from Darwin III: Project Steve

Having recently discussed and Physicians and Surgeons for Scientific Integrity, I should mention a third group of qualified individuals signing up in support of a statement regarding evolution. This time, though, there are two crucial differences. These doctors are fully in support of evolution. And they're all named Steve. Here's the statement they're supporting:

Evolution is a vital, well-supported, unifying principle of the biological sciences, and the scientific evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of the idea that all living things share a common ancestry. Although there are legitimate debates about the patterns and processes of evolution, there is no serious scientific doubt that evolution occurred or that natural selection is a major mechanism in its occurrence. It is scientifically inappropriate and pedagogically irresponsible for creationist pseudoscience, including but not limited to "intelligent design," to be introduced into the science curricula of our nation's public schools.

So far, well over 800 Stevens, Stephens, Stephanies, Stefans, etc. have signed up. There's even a song.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Dissent from Darwin II

In a previous post I discussed the 700 PhD petition. In a very similar vein, Physicians and Surgeons for Scientific Integrity is a club you can join (for the princely sum of $350!) to advertise your mistrust of evolution:

The purpose of PSSI is to educate the public about the scientific facts regarding the hypothesis of Darwinian macroevolution.

Immediately below this statement is a list of "resources" consisting of a handfull of well-known creationist books and DVDs, but not a single scientific paper, no Origin of Species, nothing by Dawkins, or Gould, or Maynard Smith, not even a single biology textbook. How's that for scientific integrity?

Amusingly, they apparently don't have too many members and had to resort to padding out their list of signatories by listing the names three different ways. And by including dentists. ;-)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sarah Palin: Creationist

Asked for her personal views on evolution, Palin said, "I believe we have a creator."

She would not say whether her belief also allowed her to accept the theory of evolution as fact.

"I'm not going to pretend I know how all this came to be," she said.

An excerpt from this article.

UPDATE: Just John posted this excellent comment in a thread on Pharyngula:

If she's a Young Earth creationist (and I haven't heard confirmation of the YE part yet,) then, given the importance of oil to her state, I'd like to hear her answer to: What is petroleum, and how do the big oil companies know where to look for it?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Monday, August 25, 2008

Dissent from Darwin: The 700 PhDs

Over at, there's a list of 700 PhD holders who have agreed to sign up in support of the following statement:

"We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged."

This list is obviously used by creationists as evidence that the scientific community is in disagreement about the truth of evolution. Now, for starters let's overlook the fact that many of these people hold PhDs in subjects completely unrelated to evolution, such as computing, engineering, philosophy, mathematics or astronomy (it seems to be a common idea among creationists that if you hold a PhD you have the authority to discuss any aspect of science and that your opinion has the same worth as that of an expert in the field).

Let's also overlook the fact that scientific truth is not decided by petitions or popular vote. Science isn't a democracy, the truth is the truth, and always will be, and even if the creationists triumph and the teaching of evolution in schools is replaced by creationism, that won't change the fact that we evolved.

Take a closer look at the statement these doctors are in support of. Notice that the statement does not say that these scientists think the theory of evolution is wrong, it doesn't even say that they disagree with it on a personal level. Just that they are skeptical of it, and believe it should be subjected to testing rather than accepted on faith. But this is exactly how ALL good scientists should approach ANY theory or idea. It is, in fact, a fairly succinct definition of the scientific method. All scientific theories should be treated with skepticism and subjected to tests. It's how the good theories are weedled out from the bad. Those theories that fail the testing are adandoned and those that pass are retained. And unfortunately for the creationists, the theory of evolution, just like quantum theory or the theory of relativity, has so far passed all rigorous scientific testing with flying colors.

So now I must admit that I'm also a PhD holder who agrees completely with the above statement. Will I sign the petition? Absolutely not, because I'm well aware of the purpose behind it; it's pure creationist propaganda designed to mislead the general public, cheap trickery and nothing more. It's a perfect example of creationist sleight-of-hand, a tactic they must rely on, having no evidence of their own.

It is perhaps the "softness" of the statement that has allowed so many professionals to feel safe to sign it and provide their personal details. I wonder how many of them would sign up in support of the following:

"We believe that evolution by natural selection alone cannot explain the diversity of life."

At a first glance this seems pretty much the same as the original statement, but it's fundamentally different. This second statement is truly dissent from Darwin, and is exactly how the organizers of the petition are hoping the general public will understand their version.

Shame on the 700 PhD holders participating in this charade.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Retard Frog-Squirrel

As funny as it is, this South Park clip is actually a fairly accurate account of how a lot of people see evolution. Check out the following diatribe which was posted as a comment at Atheist Perspective a few days ago:

Let me see if I have this right. A few Billion years ago we were all just swimming around in our kittle pools of slim and one of the single cell drops of goo says hey lets divide and become multi cell drops of goo. Of course we were already highly intelligent so no one asked, hey “what’s multi cell” we didn’t need to ask just knew. Now after a few million years like that someone yells “hey lets grow a tail” here again we knew what a tail was already so there was no guess work. This happens all the way till one day someone got bold and said “let’s grown some legs” and of course we just went and did it automatically knowing we need knees and where they go and which way they bend all these things were just common sense which you want us all to believe we were full of from the early single cell days. To shorten this up we would go through all these steps all the way till we get to where we are. You want us to believe we automatically knew our nose is best place in the center of our face pointing down so we don’t drown in the rain and we can use it for smelling. Oh then there are our eyes, ears, mouth, arms, elbows, Wrists, Hands with Thumbs and fingers all with joints to make them easy to use. Then there is the neck, back with all the vertebrae and nerves going through them to every organ in the body oh wait did we make the organs yet hmm what comes first lungs or legs? Then the hips and your Butt now there is a good pick for a location cause. I don’t know about your but taking a crap with my butt in front was a bite messed up a lot of good shoes oh wait we don’t have feet yet well good thing we moved it because we would mess up a lot of shoes. Why is your little pee pee where it is and not of your forehead? At least up there no one can kick it. If ya got to go while driving just roll down the window. Ewe then there is sunburn and bug bites hmm good thing we put it down there at least it is protected and warm. This is just the start there is the complex structure of cells, neurons, nerves muscles, ligaments etc etc. All this that the body has you want me to believe was Evolved from a slim pool and not created by God. Do you know what your mind and body goes through just to try and catch a pencil that is rolling off your table or desk we all have done that? Millions of actions and decisions are made. Sorry I don’t by it. Just looking at the complexity of 1 cell and everything it does NO WAY was this just an accident in a slim pool. If thinking of a body part is to hard examine the complexity of a leaf or blade of grass.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Taking On The Creationists

Jason Rosenhouse runs EvolutionBlog, on which he discusses many topics but primarily the conflict between evolution and creationism. Unlike a lot of people blogging on this subject (myself included), Jason is heroically taking the fight to the creationists on their own turf. He recently attended the 2008 International Conference on Creationism, and is currently posting reports of the experience on his blog. Here he describes a presentation based on the following video, entitled God's Pharmacy:

OK, I'll concede walnuts and kidney beans, but grapes looking like blood cells? Give me a break...

According to Jason's blog, the guy who made the presentation at the conference "stumbled over big words like lycopine, bok choy, and cerebrum". Unsurprising.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Anakim Skywalker

Regardless of whether the Anakim were actually related to the Nephilim, it is obvious that the Israelites were dealing with giants. If our understanding is correct that a cubit was approximately 18 inches, then Goliath, at "six cubits and a span," was somewhat over 9 feet tall. Og, the King of Bashan whose bed is described in Deut. 3:11 as being about 14 feet long by 6 feet wide, was thought to be 10 to 12 feet tall. As difficult as it may be for us to imagine such huge people today -- Shaquille O'Neal is a mere stripling compared to them! -- the clear impression one receives from these reports is that they record factual information, not mere legend. If we consider for a moment that from dogs we can breed not only toy poodles but also mastiffs, we ought to keep an open mind to the size possibilities incorporated by the Creator into the genes of the earliest humans.

Today's nuttiness is brought to you by the good folks of Bible Archaeology.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Petrified Teddy Bear

This site is selling a "fossilized" teddy bear. Apparently this proves that objects can fossilize very quickly:

I disagree, I think it's clear evidence of a missing link between Yogi Bear and Winnie the Pooh.

Monday, August 11, 2008

An Unintelligently Designed Video

I just stumbled across Emancipate Yourselves From Mental Slavery, a blog by Joshua Stein about all kinds of stuff, much of it related to atheism and rational thinking. It's only been going since January 2008 but already has 456 entries. Check it out.

Anyway, this hilariously amateurish creationist video was posted on the blog, and I'm re-posting it here for your enjoyment. It's best viewed with the sound turned on:

I'm going to have to check out God Tube, I'm sure it's an absolute gold mine for creationist stupidity.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Lying for Jesus

On a recent US radio show, creationist Ray Comfort (who gained notoriety with the aid of a banana) tried to refute evolution with the following argument:

Dogs do not have chickens. Chickens don't lay eggs with puppies in them.

Ray Comfort

Hmm, we seem to be back in crocoduck territory. Aside from the fact that such a simplistic argument wouldn't convince a six year old, this is a very odd thing to say, because if a dog ever did give birth to a chicken, much of modern science's understanding of the natural world would have to be thrown out. In an abstract way, his statement is actually evidence for evolution. So for Ray to make this argument, one of the following conditions must be true:

1. Ray Comfort does not understand the theory of evolution at all.

2. Ray Comfort is deliberately lying about the theory of evolution.

In either case (and I actually suspect it's a bizarre combination of the two), this man is not fit to debate the topic with anyone, let alone an evolutionary biologist. To their credit, the hosts of the radio show were unconvinced by his arguments despite being christians themselves, calling Ray out as a "wacko".

So which is it, Ray? Ignorant moron, or evil liar?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Dubya on Evolution vs. Creation

The verdict is still out on how God created the earth.

George W Bush

Friday, August 1, 2008

Moron of the Month - Ben Stein

Actor, TV presenter and presidential speech writer Ben Stein weighed in on the creationism vs. evolution debate with his ironically-titled "documentary" Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. The film received a slew of negative reviews, bombed at the box office, and has been thoroughly debunked. This short video by Thunderf00t is a pretty clear demonstration of Stein's complete lack of authority on the subject of evolution:

The following exchange between Stein and christian television mogul Paul Crouch also shows the remarkable extent of his bias against all things scientific:

Stein: When we just saw that man, I think it was Mr. Myers, talking about how great scientists were, I was thinking to myself the last time any of my relatives saw scientists telling them what to do they were telling them to go to the showers to get gassed … that was horrifying beyond words, and that’s where science — in my opinion, this is just an opinion — that’s where science leads you.

Crouch: That’s right.

Stein: …Love of God and compassion and empathy leads you to a very glorious place, and science leads you to killing people.

Crouch: Good word, good word.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Vegetarian T Rex

More dinosaur-related idiocy can be found here:

Were you aware that it has been proven by the Creation Evidence Museum that T-Rex was NOT a meat eater? That's right! They proved it in TWO WAYS...

1. The roots of T-Rex were only 2 inches deep. Had he bit into the hide of another dinosaur he would have lost teeth
2. They cut a tooth in half og a unearthed T-Rex and found in deeply impureated with CHLOROPHYLL! That's right, Chlorophyll is the main substance found in PLANTS not meat!

Fig. 1 - Tyrannosaurus Herbivorus. Note the six-inch long razor-sharp teeth, perfectly designed (by our Lord God) for slicing through radishes, carrots and lettuce.

Impureated?? The same page features this bizarre challenge for evolution fans:

Ok.. let me get this straight. The Word of God says we were created with Human bodies that are designed to live forever. Science has recently proven that if we were to learn something new every second, we would take well over 3 millions years to exhaust the memory capacity of our "post flood" brains. (Pre-flood brains were 3 times larger) On the other hand... Evolutionists say things evolve after there is a need for change.

Question... How is it possible for us to have a brain that could hold enough info to last over 3 millions years, when all we can live up to is 90 years? (Don't expect and answer from them.)

The only thing this proves is that creationist brains are 3 times dumber than regular brains. Which we already knew.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Creationism Cartoons

This site has some pretty good cartoons about creationism. Here's my favourite:

Not that you even have to read one book to be an expert on creationism, of course.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Dinosaur Art

I found this image here, it's supposedly a native american drawing of a dinosaur found at the grand canyon, which proves that dinosaurs and humans coexisted a few thousand years ago. What tickled me the most was the caption: So accurate, they must have seen dinosaurs alive!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Spiritless Hominids

Apparently some evangelicals believe aboriginal people have no soul. It's called Pre-Adamism:

This image is genuine, and is hosted on

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Trust me, I have a PhD...

This slide is taken from a presentation entitled "Noah's Ark: A Feasibility Study". The whole slideshow can be seen here.

I love that someone has spent valuable time calculating the amount of shit the animals on Noah's ark would have produced.

Think back to when you were a kid and heard the ark story for the first time. Did you really ever believe it could be true? Really?? Well, apparently many people do, and many of them have PhDs. Needless to say, you shouldn't trust what people say just because they have a qualification. I did a google search for one of these scientists (Dr John R Baumgardner, who obtained a PhD in geophysics and space physics from UCLA) and found a creationist essay he'd written that demonstrates a complete misunderstanding of evolutionary theory:

Many evolutionists are persuaded that the 15 billion years they assume for the age of the cosmos is an abundance of time for random interactions of atoms and molecules to generate life. A simple arithmetic lesson reveals this to be no more than an irrational fantasy.

This arithmetic lesson is similar to calculating the odds of winning the lottery. The number of possible lottery combinations corresponds to the total number of protein structures (of an appropriate size range) that are possible to assemble from standard building blocks. The winning tickets correspond to the tiny sets of such proteins with the correct special properties from which a living organism, say a simple bacterium, can be successfully built. The maximum number of lottery tickets a person can buy corresponds to the maximum number of protein molecules that could have ever existed in the history of the cosmos.

For starters, the lottery analogy is an unwise choice, since someone somewhere wins the lottery every day.

For a relatively short protein consisting of a chain of 200 amino acids, the number of random trials needed for a reasonable likelihood of hitting a useful sequence is then in the order of 20^100 (100 amino acid sites with 20 possible candidates at each site), or about 10^130 trials. This is a hundred billion billion times the upper bound we computed for the total number of molecules ever to exist in the history of the cosmos!! No random process could ever hope to find even one such protein structure, much less the full set of roughly 1,000 needed in the simplest forms of life.

But evolution is not a random process! Here's a more accurate analogy: Imagine you are the only person playing the lottery, and the winning numbers are the same each week. The chances of you picking the right numbers at random are indeed vanishingly small. The chances of you picking one or two winning numbers, though, would be reasonably likely, at least over the course of a few weeks. But now imagine if there was a mechanism that told you when you'd picked a winning number, and what that number was. It's easy to see how you could use this information to choose your next set of numbers, and each week you'd be more and more likely to find the winning combination. Evolution works like this. It is not a random process, it explains how complexity can arise incrementally, in tiny stages, without the need for any luck.

The moral of this story is that you shouldn't trust someone just because they have a qualification. Dr Baumgardner studied geophysics and space physics, and his expertise is likely limited to a very specific area within that field. He is (clearly) not an expert in microbiology, chemistry or evolution. So if you ever want a reliable account of a theory, make sure you ask the experts.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Moron of the Month - Kirk Cameron

Take a moment to look past the Fox logo and the abhorrent Bill O'Reilly, whose vileness warrants a website all of its own, and check out actor-turned-creationist Kirk Cameron's principal argument against evolution - the Crocoduck:

Look at his earnest, pleading little face:

Aww, bless him. He really believes people might be convinced by such "evidence". Not even a trace of irony to be found. There has rarely been a more wilfull misrepresentation of the theory of evolution, and keep in mind that this guy and others like him would have this stuff taught to children in science classes:

Fig. 1: The case against Darwin

Creationists are given the chance to put their argument across on national television and this is what they come up with. Unfortunately, people like Kirk Cameron cannot be argued with, and the only possible response to such an extreme form of idiocy is ridicule. Turn the sound on for that link.

Kirk, please stick to media more suiting to your intellect:

Friday, June 27, 2008

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Harun Yahya

I just stumbled across Harun Yahya, a self-proclaimed "prominent Turkish intellectual" who runs several anti-evolution websites. Needless to say, the sites are chock-full of lies, misinformation, misquotations and references to scripture. But what staggered me the most is how much the guy loves photos of himself. Check out his snazzy white suit and shades. And if those aren't enough, here's even more!!

According to Wikipedia, he's as slimy and nasty as he looks...

Friday, June 13, 2008

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Creation Museum

An excellent article by Demonbaby about the Creation Museum in Kentucky:

Creation Museum Review

While you're on the site, check out an equally thought-provoking article about downloading music.

Here's another review, this time written from a Christian perspective. It has a very detailed description of the exhibit, but the verdict is not good:

Reconciling Christian claims about God, creation and humanity with the findings of Darwin and his successors is an important and daunting task, one that mainline theology has still not satisfactorily accomplished. [The creation museum] can hardly be faulted for attempting the task, though its effort is a spectacular failure.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Fossil Evidence for the Great Flood

The above image is taken from, and used in an article in which all fossils are claimed to be evidence of creatures that died in the Great Flood. Yes, the same flood as in the story of Noah's Ark. But hang on a minute, this fossil is a fish, right? Something doesn't add up. I'm reminded of an Eddie Izzard skit about evil pilot-fish escaping God's wrath.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Biblically Correct Museum Tours

This video is not so much amusing as infuriating:

It says a lot that the museum curators allow these tours. They are obviously optimistic that the children will see the overwhelming evidence on display and will be able to make up their own minds. Hopefully these kids won't be too warped by the horrific indoctrination they're being subjected to.

That Banana Video

What better way to start this blog? Enjoy...

Of course, the modern banana that we all know is a man-made creation, selectively bred to be seedless. This is a picture of a wild banana, i.e. what God managed to design for us:

Mmmm... looks tasty.

UPDATE: This guy's offical response is that this video "has been taken way out of context."