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...