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.