Showing posts with label science. Show all posts
Showing posts with label science. Show all posts

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Irrationality Takes a Hit AND Three Big (at least to me) Scientific Discoveries Reported On Reality Day

Irrationality Takes a Hit AND Three Big (at least to me) Scientific Discoveries Reported On Reality Day

May 22nd, 2011 is a special date. Anyone reading this likely knows why, so I'll spare you the elongated diatribe and say yay for Reality Day and down with paranoid ignorance, irrationality, fear mongering and pseudoscience. See, not only were the christians wrong (again) (and yes, it was specific sects, not all of them, I know) about the rapture, end of the world, yadayada, but on this awesome day known as Reality Day (as in, you're still here, welcome to reality, pal) science offers three MORE blows to specific assertions put forth by specific subsets of the religious community. Specifically, I am referring to assertions regarding mammalian brain size, contrarian positions regarding the expansion of the universe and dark energy, and lastly, contrarian positions regarding the idea of complexity arising out of simplicity without the guidance of some sentient intelligence.

So, what were these three reported findings?

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Grand Design Book Review

Note: I don't normally do book reviews, and I am consequently not well versed in the art of producing them. Nor do I desire to be. This is as much an overview and discussion about my experience with the book as it is a review.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Answering Creationist Questions

Answering Some Creationist Questions

These questions were derived from:


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Possible Evidence of Other Universes Found

Well here's some incredibly unexpected and surprising news:

Monday, November 29, 2010

My Views (more like ramblings) on Abortion

Here are my thoughts on abortion. As you will see, my position is not solidifed (the general slant of it is, the details are not) and the issue is, for me, a difficult one, but not for the usual reasons. The difficulty for me lies in the fact that formulating an opinion which is not borne (pun intended?) of assertions based on arbitrary delineations is rather difficult.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Sister Wives: What's the Big Fucking Deal? I Issue a Challenge to those against polygamy:

Sister Wives: What's the Big Fucking Deal?

So there's this show on TLC called Sister Wives, which I was not aware of until about 10 minutes ago. For those who do not know, it is a 'reality' show documenting/fictionalizing (you know how 'reality' shows go....) the lives of 5 adults and 13 children. The 5 adults are a man named Kody, and his four wives, and the thirteen children are, well, their children.

Yes, the show is about polygamists. How this is possible when polygamy is illegal in the U.S., I don't know, but it's happening (happened?) (not sure if it's still on or not). The guy is married to four women and the four marriages have thus far produced 13 children.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

John Shimkus, the (Possible) Next Chairman of the U.S. Congressional Committee on Energy and Environment Does Not Accept Global Warming. He Accepts the Bible.

Okay, it's rant time. Here's an article from The detailing the anti global warming stance held by Republican (of couse) U.S. Representative John Shimkus, and his reasons for holding an antiscientific position (article first, then the rant):

U.S. Representative John Shimkus, possible future chairman of the Congressional committee that deals with energy and its attendant environmental concerns, believes that climate change should not concern us since God has already promised not to destroy the Earth.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Hey Anti-Vaccers'! Good Job Killing Babies!!

Here's a quote from an article I am reading regarding an epidemic of whooping cough in California, largely fueled by the incidence of adults refusing vaccines for both themselves and their children. Remember, the kids not being vaccinated is not the only hazard. The people around them not being vaccinated leads them to contracting diseases as well. If the people around you are all vaccinated, you won't be contracting anything. If, however, they listen to Jenny McDumbass and don't get vaccinated, they become potential carriers, and the most susceptible, infants (as well as immunocomprimised adults, such as myself, and the elderly) become potential recipients of this deadly gift borne of ignorance.


Anyways, here is the quote:
Pertussis once was widespread in California, reaching a peak of 21,344 cases in 1941. But a full-scale vaccination program reduced the incidence dramatically. Reported cases hit a low of 75 in 1976, but the disease has been creeping up since then. During the last outbreak year of 2005, there were 3,182 cases. So far this year there have been 1,496 cases.
From 21,344 to 75. SEVENTY FIVE!

And now?

Back to the thousands, and climbing. This isn't isolated, either. There have been many diseases making a comeback as of late, as herd immunity in various communities is being lost due to people opting out of vaccinations. Your 'personal choice' is KILLING PEOPLE.

What the hell can we do to combat the spread of all this ignorant misinformation that's permeating the culture as of late? Anti-Evolution, anti-vaccination, anti-global warming, 9/11, banking, nwo, moon, cancer cure etc conspiracies, etc. It's getting out of control thanks to the internet, the lapses in education, and movies like Zeitgesist. And it goes beyond mere idealogical differences. It threatens our actual futures. Yes, no hyperbole. It threatens our very future.

So, really, anyone....what the FUCK can we do? I have but a couple of ideas, and none of them alone are enough to combat this, but here they are, as they are at least a hypothetical start:

  • Teach critical thinking in schools, stating in elementary/grade school. Teach kids HOW to think in addition to WHAT to think.
  • Science needs like...PR people or something. Seriously, there needs to be someone between the science and the people who can clear things up for th emasses and defend the scientists and the science when it/they are attacked by morons with a camera. If celebrities and Coca Cola can have PR people, shouldn't one of the most important things in the fucking WORLD have them? (Yes, science numbnuts).  

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Science: Anthropogenic Global Warming. It's Real. Climate Change is NOT A CONSPIRACY.


I am going to blog about something that has been on my mind for quite some time and something I have consequently been itching to get down on 'paper.' I'm excited but a bit apprehensive, as this is going to be one of my most difficult blogs ever attempted.

The Topic and Thesis of the Blog


Anthropogenic Global Warming (Global Warming caused by, at least in part, if not in full, by human activity).

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Cancer Cure Conspiracy Debunked: Cancer Cure Found and Suppressed My Ass!

Extra, extra, read all about it! Cancer cure found! But you can't have it! It's being suppressed!

.....Oh, really? Let's see about this, shall we?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Psychology: Science? Unscientific? Bullshit? Pt. 3

This is a follow up to THIS post, entitled "Psychology: Science? Unscientific? Bullshit? Pt. 2"

Some further discussion has taken place. A new comment from him, in response to the last one I gave (featured in part two of this (originally not intended to be a) series:

Then again I never studied psychology so thank you for elaborating. I just don't know how that general psychology or psychoanalysis as you pointed out helps any in the business world other than bettering someone as a person. I feel the same about art even though I am kind of an artist myself; I think it's totally useless unless you're actually going into art.

And my response to that was as follows:

Well, I'm not sure why you're using the business world as an endpoint (remember though, I still basically agree with your contention), but if that's the one you're going with, I suppose one could argue that, ina ddition to bettering yourself, as you pointed out, you could possibly use an understanding of the human psyche to aid yourself in processes like detecting falsehoods, guaging prospective employees, social networking, closing deals, etc.

Not that I really buy that (well, to some limited degree, sure) but I think that could be an argument. Although, if you remove the business world as the end goal, you have all sorts of ends: the sake of knowledge, interest, interpersonal relationships (famiial, marital, etc), professional endeavours (counselling), etc etc.

I was never a fan of it, but I don't think it's wise to write it off entirely (not that you or I are necessarily doing that).

If you compare real world benefits of something like your field and psychoanalysis, I think that the clear winner is your field. I think the argument could be made that of all areas of study, mathematics is probably the most important, as much as I hate(d) it.
What do you think? If you offered an opinion after part one and/or part two, does this have any bearing on your opinion at all? As always, feedback is mucho appreciado.

EDIT: Go back to part one to see a comment from this very same person. His original opinion is no longer one that he holds to the letter. I think we had a productive dialogue here. I also got his major wrong :(

Psychology: Science? Unscientific? Bullshit? Pt. 2

This is a follow up to THIS post, entitled "Psychology: Science? Unscientific? Bullshit?"

A bit more discussion has taken place. Him:

At the same time many psychological hypotheses are not testable and repeatable and that is a controversy in psychology. Modern psychology does use the scientific method a lot so that's why I consider it to be somewhat of a science. I totally agree with what you said about neuropsychology and evolutionary psychology but when I was talking about psychology being 'lame' I was talking about the main branch of psychology that most people study in college. I think it's kind of useless in the business world, not totally though.
And my response:

You're talking about psychoanalysis, and you're 100% right. However, I don't think that's the most studied branch of psychology. I think (at least, it was at the university I attended), that psychoanalysis was taught in intro psyc as a starting point, and also in history of psyc courses. I could be wrong though, as this is only based on one school. I can say that there are so many branches of psyc now that I feel confident thinking that it's probably no longer #1, and I DO know that it's an area of contention within pyschology itself.

When I studied psychology, I took courses on psychopharmacology, neuropsychology, psychology of health, psychology of sleep, personality, learning psychology, psychology of media, social psychology, behavioural pychology, cognitive beahvioural therapy, etc etc etc. The only times I ever really studied psycholanalytic theory was in intro pych (aka psyc 101 as it is commonly referred to) and in the 4th year borefest, history of psychology. I believe a bit of it was also covered in a philiosophy class I took, as some of it wasrelevant to some of the philiosophical ideas we studied, but the details of this are hazy.

Thanks for the eaboration though, and I must say (and I say this with no condescension, I swear) that this serves as an example of how we must be careful when we speak, as it is easy to totally screw up and have our message be misconceived. I mean, you stright up denigrated all of psychology, when really, you were taking issue with a paritucular area of study within it. There's a huge difference there, and I went from being a bit....well, off put to completely understanding and even agreeing (although we could both be wrong in our conceptions, and I am sure there are plenty of people out there who would like to alleviate us of our misconceptions!!!!) (and they'd probably have a big problem with me, having studied it and all lol).
What do you think? If you offered an opinion after part one, does this have any bearing on that at all? Mine might not, as it is merely a retread since I had already discussed psychoanalytic theory, but his comment probably will, as it represents further clarification on his end; clarification which changed the way I saw his original comment, and quite likely may for you as well.

As always, feedback is mucho appreciado.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Answers Lie Just Out of Reach (post 2 for the Day!)

The answers lie just out of reach....

He turned to her, and in a rare moment of immodesty and uninhibited vulnerability, he laid his weary head on her bare shoulder, and, taking in the smell of her perfume (he couldn't place the scent, but he knew it was cheap, and this only served to widen his despair) he spoke.

''The truth lies just across the pond, and the water is shallow; however, I have not the energy to wade that chasm, for its depth is deceptive. The answers will take that pond and render it an ocean, one I have not the means, nor the will, to cross. And so, at the risk of remaining ignorant, I must stay on land, and watch as both my feet and my resolve dry up and whither away to a fine dust, which, with the first cool breeze, will be picked up and strewn across that very pond, in the ultimate act of irony. For you see, there is irony in death, and the ironic thig is, I welcome that loathsome state, for with its barreness and melancholoy, it brings the thing I crave least, and most: rest. Rest for the weary head I know rest upon your overburndened and sun kissed shoulder.

I love you, Melinda, but I also despise you, and you me.

Come with me, if you will.''
And, rasing his weary head, he held out his hand. Without waiting to see if she would grasp it, he waded out into the body of water, and, as she watched, sheltering her eyes from the sun which glistened brightly, almost obscenely, off of its serene surface, the body of water opened up and swalloed him whole. The cavernous maw of irony had taken him, and she knew that it was for the best. Sighing, she waded in after him.

Don't ask. This was just a random, impromptu thing I typed up in the middle of a conversation about finding answers and wading in the dark, stumbling around blind until your way is illuminated by knowledge, and how sometimes the journey is so difficult we don't embark upon it.....or we do, but we do it reluctantly, and sometimes wish we didn't have this passion residing within us. How easy it would be! To just forsake the truth for whatever explanation pampered us.

How easy, indeed.

Oh, speaking of easy.....

Monday, June 14, 2010

Psychology: Science? Unscientific? Bullshit? Pt. 1

I've heard it many times before, as I am sure many of us have:

 "Psychology is not a science." I have even heard that "psychology is bullshit."

While the second sentiment is not uncommon (over 700,000 hits on google), the first, "psychology is not a science," is VERY common (over 50 MILLION hits on ze goog). In fact, I just ran into one such comment and engaged in a small conversation regarding it.

An online friend of mine, who is a molecular biology (or was it microbiology?....I can't recall, but something to that effect) major recently made a comment to this end on a blog of mine, in which I had interviewed someone who is going to be majoring in pyschology (which was the discipline in which I attained my BA as well). Here is his comment:

I think a psychology major is so lame.
His response to me after I asked him for an elaboration was as follows:

Well from all of my friend's experiences they say they absolutely got nothing out of psychology so similar to what Lenano is planning on doing they all ended up changing their majors. I just don't like it as a science; at least not compared to sciences such as biology, chemistry, and physics.

Sure psychology incorporates some aspects of biology and chemistry, but for the most part unlike those sciences, it doesn't provide conclusive theories. Since psychology uses a lot of deductive reasoning most psychological theories are in actuality hypotheses. I do however commend psychology for elaborating on stuff like social sciences and stuff, but for the most part I think other sciences could figure that stuff out and I consider psychology to be basically philosophy involving biology and chemistry. I may be stupid for saying that but that's just how I feel towards psychology.
I responded to him with the following:

One problem with this is that many psychological theories are testable, repeatable, and falsifiable. They also, just like theories in other disciplines, are based upon evidence. They are the explanations for the facts, and therefore, they ARE theories as opposed to just hypotheses. I see what you are saying about the nature of deductive reasoning, don't get me wrong, but psychology has changed much in the last 50 or so years.

Biology might point out that x follows from Y, but the manifestation of X will have to be pyschology. So if you think that form and function are good, but the interactions between and processes behind those functions are ''lame,'' well, I'd say you're looking at an incomplete picture. Without psychology, you'd have neurology but no neuropsychology. Without psychology, you'd have evolutionary biology but no evolutionary psychology.

Psyc is sort of like the why to the how. And the why toay is functionally much different than the why's of people like Freud and Jung. Of course, there are still those fanciful pychoanalytical theories (or hell, hypotheses) out there, as you drive at, and I agree. Even back when I was a fresh undergrad, I had issues with that stuff.

And psychology is the reason I am in the career I am in today.
What do you think? Is psychology a science?

Monday, May 31, 2010

Ray Comfort: Comfortably Inept and Vacuous

Note: This blog post is full of swearing and ad hominem attacks. It's a rant as much as it is a serious post, so be warned.

Let's take some recent Ray Comfort quotes and see how much fail is contained within, shall we?

Quote One:
Evolution has no explanation for man's beginning. Some of its believers think that perhaps there was a big bang, but they don't know where the materials came from for it to take place. They don't know what was in the beginning, but they are certain that there was no God. They believe the scientific absurdity that life rose out of non-life. It was simply a case of evolution-did-it.
Wow, literally every sentence can be deconstructed, and the results of it won't be favourable for Mr. Comfort. Let's begin:

Evolution has no explanation for man's beginning.

Congratulations, retard. You have managed to point out the fact that a theory that deals with a particular subject matter has no explanatory power when it comes to a completely different subject. Jesus fucking Christ, your stupidity knows no bounds. I mean, really, you might as well have just stated that the Germ Theory of Disease says nothing about the concept of Love. Throw away those vaccines and medicines, people!! They cannot teach you how to love!

Some of its believers think that perhaps there was a big bang, but they don't know where the materials came from for it to take place.

Some people who like cars also like motorcycles, but they don't know how to build one.

(Btw, no one thinks that perhaps there was a big bang. We KNOW there was.) As for not knowing "where the materials came from for it to take place," you're getting dangerously close to doing the classic argument from ignorance bit, but you wouldn't stoop that low, would you?

They don't know what was in the beginning, but they are certain that there was no God.  

You are so fucking stupid it hurts. You keep conflating acceptance of evolutionary theory with atheism. They're NOT THE SAME FUCKING THING, and NEITHER IS A PREREQUISITE FOR THE OTHER, you insipid, insidious, stupid, cretinous liitle man.

And, btw, atheists aren't generally claiming certainty. I know someone who is, though: YOU.

They believe the scientific absurdity that life rose out of non-life.

HOW MANY FUCKING TIMES HAS YOUR STUPID ASS BEEN CORRECTED ON THIS SHIT? You continually mix up evolutionary theory, big bang cosmology, and abiogenesis. Seriously, what the fuck? Life arising from non life, which, by the way, can and does happen (aka, it's a FACT) is the discipline of abiogenesis. It has NOTHING to do with evolution. You need to stop conflating the three things, because it results in you setting up constant strawmen, although you still fail in taking even them down. Everything you say revelas more ignorance. Jesus Christ man, I'm half your age. Aren't you fucking embarassed?

It was simply a case of evolution-did-it.

The depth of the irony present in this statement is truly mindbending. Forget the conflation of the theories (again), forget the strawman statement, the ignorance, and the attempts to poison the well. Do you not see that, besides the fact of all that, and the fact that you're wrong (and evolution is a FACT) YOU are the one with the position that can be surmised in such a manner. YOU'RE the one with a position that provides a total non-answer, despite its illusions to the contrary. Check it, asshole:

It was simply a case of god-did-it.

Quote 2:
The theory of evolution has nothing to do with science. It's simply a pseudo-science of an unproven theory, that gives man temporary license to act like an animal.
What in the blue FUCK does "a pseudo-science of an unproven theory" mean? Jesus Motherfucking Christ on a Golden Unicycle!!!!!! That is literally painful to read. How fucking embarassing. What you meant to say, nitwit, is "Evolutionary theory is not science. It is psuedoscience." Of course, you'd still be sadly, laughably, painfully fucking wrong, but at least you'd have made sense, at least grammatically. A "pseudo-science of an unproven theory" wow. Fucking moron.

As for the last bit, I don't even know from where that nonsense is derived, but a) we ARE animals, you stupid tit, and b) if someone accepted the theory of evoultion and it gave them license to "act like an animal," why would it be temporary? Do they stop accepting the theory after a while? Does the license turn into a pumpkin at the end of the night? You can't even get your strawmen and red herrings right.

Quote 3:
In truth, Albert Einstein was no different than most of us when it comes to a belief in God. He was what the Bible calls, an "idolater." He had his own conception of God. He made a god in his own image and was in transgression of the First and the Second of the Ten Commandments. "You shall have no other gods before Me," and "You shall not make yourself a graven image," are not confined to physically shaping a stone or wooden god. The Commandments include a god shaped in the mind.

Hey, turdboy, come here. Ya, you, Comfort. Come hither, let me whisper into your hairy ear:


When Einstein used the word god, he was describing the majesty of the natural world, the universe. He was a pantheist, meaning he was someone who DID NOT BELIEVE IN A PERSONAL, ANTHROPOMORPHIC, CREATOR GOD. He believed that the universe was all that existed, and it was to be regarded with the deepest of reverences.

Do you pride yourself on being factually incorrect in every fucking thing you say? Fucking hell I hate you. You're a lying, scheming, scamming, disngenuous spreader of ignorance and smug stupidity. You're doing a great disservice to humanity, and if I was in charge, you wouldn't be respected. You'd be on fucking trial for fraud. Then you'd be convicted and forced to return every penny you scammed from gullible people before I sent your ass to the slammer, where you'd find out the real meaning behind the word hell.


Sunday, May 30, 2010

On the Impossibility of the Noah's Ark Tale

Noah's Ark. The fable of a 600 or so year old man taking two of every species of non human animal, placing them on a giant wooden boat which he built, and surviving a global flood perpetuated by an angry, omniscient (wait, but if he's omnisc- I know, I know.....just forget it) aboard this giant ship. A silly tale that the majority of Christians have had to admit could never have happened. Yet, and maybe you have to admire their tenacity, there are still those who cling tight to this tale like Noah clinging tight to the sides of his ship as it rocked violently in the ravaging waters that covered the entire (flat, according to the Bible, the greatest science book of all time) Earth.

Guess what people?

It could never have happened.

There are a multitiude of reasons why this is so, and we've all heard several of them. I'm sure most, if not all of those who believe that this tale is literally true or at least profess to) have heard several of them. They probably have a fair amount of practice defending the story against these claims. Hell, Noah's Ark apologist could probably qualify as being resume worthy for some of these people.

Well, get ready to sharpen your apologist skills, because I've got more for ya'!

Now, before I get to the meat of this, let me quickly run through some of the most common, classic arguments as to why this story could not possibly have happened.

  • No one could live to be almost a thousand years old. It's not possible.
  • There's no way a wooden boat of that size would have been built (by one guy!!), let alone functional.
  • How, exactly, did he acquire two of every species, from all across the Earth?
  • How did these species survive? What did they eat? What did the carnivores eat? The anteaters?
  • What about the climactic requirements these animals had (have)? There are some species that require 100% (or near 100%) humidity to survive (cave dwellers).
  • Not a single one of these animals, insects, etc died aboard this ship?
And so on, and so forth.

That alone should suffice, really. I mean, come on, my 18 month old daughter wouldn't buy this shit. But no, I must press onwards.....dare I say, atheist soldier? (oh take a joke).

Fine, let's kick this into overdrive.

  1. Everything alive would have suffocated. How could they breathe with all of the plants on earth dead?
  2. There's not enough water on the planet to flood the entire Earth up to the highest mountain peaks.
  3. The ice caps would not exist in their current form, as there would not have been enough time for them to form in this climate. They would have to form, as the buoyancy of the water would have floated the polar caps off their beds and caused them to break apart. The climate in the last 5000 years has been too warm for the ice caps to have reformed to their current size and density.
  4. If the entire Earth flooded, that would mean that salt and freshwater mixed together. This would have resulted in the salination of ALL the water on Earth. There are fish, coral reef and plants who NEED fresh water to survive, and there are fish, coral reef and plants who NEED salt water to survive. This would have resulted in catastrophe for plants, coral reef and fish. These are mutually exclusive inhabitants. They wouldn't survive in a planet with consisted of nothing but salinated water.
  5. Absolutely no evidence of a flood in tree ring data.
  6. Unequal mountain erosion? How?
  7. Ice cores from Greenland contain no layer of sediments, which you would have seen if the entire planet had been flooded. The salinity levels never changed.
  8. Egyptian civilization was in full swing during this time, building pyramids, living life. No great extinction, and not one mention of a global flood. Huh.
  9. So, since all of the plants would have died due to being flooded with salinated water (not that the salinity actually matters, being flooded with water alone would do it), aside from the suffocation issue, how exactly did the herbivores survive once the flood was over? What did they eat?
Don't trust science? Okay........How about Genesis itself?

Genealogies in Genesis put the Tower of Babel about 110 to 150 years after the Flood. How, in 110-150 years, did the human population grow large enough to build this tower.....and an entire city around it?

And of course, in addition to this, there needed to be enough people to build the aforementioned Pyramids,  and populate the rest of the world, which we know had people spread out far and wide, due to historical records.

You can be a Christian all you want, but at least have the courage to admit that the Noah's Ark tale is just that. A tale, and a laughable one at that. Hearing grown adults actually trying to posit that it actually transpired, and even coming up with such insipid apologist arguments such as the water canopy defense, as I call it, is frankly fucking sad and pathetic. They sound like 4 year olds.

Your Christianity doesn't make you sound ridiculous (at least not overly so). Your literal belief in every facet of the bible does. Stop denying reality and step just a tad bit forward into the light. It was called the Enlightenment for a reason.

Dare I say, Amen?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010



From wiki (link above):
Anthropocentrism is either the belief that humans are the central and most significant entities in the universe, or the assessment of reality through an exclusively human perspective.[1] The term can be used interchangeably with humanocentrism, while the first concept can also be referred to as human supremacy. The views are especially associated with certain religious cultures.

I think of anthropocentrism when I have discussions with theists regarding evolution. There are a number of traits that exist (like intellect, speed, strength, climbing ability, climate adaptability, etc), and we are the best, for all intents and purposes, at some of them, but lacking in others. These traits allow different species to adapt and excell in different ways. There's no right or wrong. There's no superior or inferior. It's all about adaptation, propagation, and survival.

Yet people hold our specific attributes to such a high regard, and really, I find that to be nothing but anthropocentrism. I don't see the justification for the view that we are superior. Our intellect is as useful to us as is the ability to play dead, pose as a log, camoflouge oneself like chameleons do, etc to other species. Yet people state that we're so superior, and they use intellect, the thing that we happen to possess (convenient, much?), as the indicator of this.

To me, this is just a self serving viwepoint, borne of a pre-existing idea, and supported by taking one attribute from a field of many equally useful (in the right circumstances) ones and arbitrarily proclaiming that particular attribute to be of the utmost importance or usefulness. And why is this determination made? How is it supported? Why? Because we possess that trait!!! Isn't that just wonderfully circular?

It's circular, it's self serving. It's anthropocentric.

At least in my view. Feel free to disagree (or heap praise upon me!).

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Answering Creationist Q?s (answersingenesis + middletownbiblechurch)

These questions were derived from:


Questions in bold black, answers in bold red.

1) Lets say we did evolve from ape...why did we need to evolve? We have no fur, cant climb trees, aren't as fast and cant really survive in the jungle areas too long...It seems like we devolved in a bunch of ways?

First of all: COMMON ANCESTRY!!!!

All animals evolve, not just humans. As for needing to evolve, we don't need to. Evolution is a natural occurrence that must naturally occur in a system of genetic life that involves mutation and variance. Devolved? We're the most dominant species on the planet. Why do you assume things like speed, fur and climbing trees to be the endpoint(s) of evolution? Here's a hint, there is no goal of evolution. The traits that best enable the propagation of a species live on (natural selection). That's it.

2) why is it that humans can basically eat ANYTHING, including apes....and apes are strictly plant life?

Apes are omnivores.

3) Since a species is commonly defined as a group that can interbreed, it seems like fossils could never be identified to the species level because we can't observe how they interbreed. How do scientists determine what species a fossil is if it looks similar to another fossil but is a different size or slightly different shape? When scientists disagree with the classification of a fossil, who decides where it belongs?

What you described is called morphology. The answer to the question, at least in part, is DNA.

4) The human nose has a prominent bridge and an elongated tip which is lacking in the apes, and man's arms are very short in comparison to the arms of monkeys and apes. The arms of apes hang down to the ground and like its legs, are used for transportation...quick movement & climbing...another de-evolution?

See answer 1. Stop thinking of evolution as though it has an endpoint.

5) Human babies are far more helpless and dependent on their parents than any of the infants of apes and monkeys...What's up with that? Baby apes can move and climb very well only after a few weeks.

The fetal stage in humans is not complete at birth, that's why. Our brains/skulls get too large, so we are born earlier to compensate. Otherwise, we couldn't make it out of the birth canal.

6) If it is inaccurate to say that humans evolved from apes, but instead we should say all apes and humans have a common ancestor, what did the ancestor look like if not like an ape?

Okay, so if you know this, why did you phrase it differently in the beginning? Anyways, why do you equate looking like something with being that something, yet earlier you stated that fossil's can look similar to others fossils? Your question makes no sense. You say we descended from an ancestor that we have in common with apes, yet what did the ancestor look like if not like an ape? That's inconsistent. You're not actually saying what was it, but rather, what did it look like. You are making the vague implication that if it looked like an ape, it must have been an ape? Huh? Do you even know what you are asking here?

Anyways, isn't it quite obvious? You'd assume that they looked like a cross between humans and the other great apes to whom they gave rise.

7) Why is it that only apes evolved like we have? Why is it that we are the only ones that can split the atom, create gorgeous symphonies and 'I Have a Dream' Speeches, map & conquer the galaxy? It seems like only man is free to make real choices, and it's not like we are the only smart ones...Animals are free to do what they are instinctively programmed to do or what they have been trained to do. Men can make plans and decisions and choose a course of action....but how did we evolve to be THIS smart and THIS free?

Why is it that only cheetah evolved like they have? Why is it that they are the only ones that can run so fast? It seems like only cheetahs can run so fast. Cheetahs can run SOOO fast....but how did they evolve to be THIS fast?

Do you get my point? I hope so. Anyways, the answer is simple: prefrontal/frontal cortex.

8) Why is it that only men are able to train and tame other animals?

We're not. Ants can herd aphids, although, even if this were true, and I actually thought it was until I read this online, I don't see how that would be difficult to understand, or contrary to evolution. Presumably, it would boil down to intelligence, would it not? That's how I was going to answer it, until I read the ant thing. We have evolved to possess great (relatively) intelligence.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

2012 is BULLSHIT

2012 Is NOT Going to Be The End of the World. That's Bullshit.

2012 is Bullshit.

''Hey, magx,'' cries internet conspiracy buff #232313, ''did you know the world is going to end in 2012?''

''It is?'' I ask, a knowing smile already forming, ''would you kindly tell me how?''

The conspiracy buff, not able to detect even the most thinly veiled sarcasm, takes the bait. Here's the gist of the ensuing conversation.

Claim 1: The Mayan calendar ends on Dec. 21St, 2012. This marks the end of the world, man!

Response: Before I actually get to how you're wrong about the calendar ending, let me ask you, what possible justification do you have for equating the end of an ancient calendar with the end of the world? And why, if the Mayans were somehow able to predict the end of the world, would they not have, you know........WRITTEN IT DOWN RATHER THAN BE SO FUCKING AMBIGUOUS?

Conspiracy buff: ............

Response: Exactly. Beyond that, the calendar doesn't even end. Dec. 21st marks the end of the Mayan long count period. Guess what happens next? Ya, the beginning of the next long count period.

Claim 2: Ya, but!!! But!!! Did you know a huge meteor is going to hit and wipe us all out?

Response: Astronomers watch for this very thing, and there are no meteors on course to hit the Earth in 2012.

Claim 3: Oh...well, did you know that the sun is going to like go crazy or something? There's going to be these huge solar flares, and shit's going to get fucked up!

Response: Solar flares are a normal occurrence. We see peak flare activity about every decade. And you're actually right, there might be increased solar flare activity in 2012. It's on track for a 2012-2014 peak period. But I'm telling you, the worst that happens is an interruption in some satellite communications. Which actually does suck to some degree. And is an actual problem, but engineers are at work on this very issue, and the issue is of minor concern at best, not climactic concern.

Claim 4: There's this planet called Planet X, or Nibiru, that is set to collide with the Earth in 2012.

Response: No, there's not.

......Okay, okay, I'll expand on that, but, at the risk of sounding condescending, I really shouldn't have to. Why don't you people stop listening to random internet websites and radio crackpots, and start, I don't know......going to the actual science?. Just like with anthropogenic global warming, evolution, 9/11 controlled demolition theory....all of this stuff is appropriately dealt with if you actually take the time to research the actual science, and not get sucked into accepting the shit floating around out there, just because it's easy, prepackaged microwave friendly information with some convincing sounding information and scary music.

Ugh....anyways, there's no such planet. Astronomers would have seen it decades ago, and if it existed, and was on course to hit us in 2 years, we would actually be able to see it with the naked eye. And yes, I have heard some nutcases trying to say that the astronomers are incorrect, and that it's not able to be seen, which they ''support'' with some fancy sounding pseudoscientific nonsense, but again, simple logic people:

If it can't be seen, HOW THE FUCK DO THEY KNOW ABOUT IT? Also, let's say that there's a way, such as anomalies in the solar system that could only be accounted for by the existence of some dwarf planet in the inner solar system, and not outer (like Eris, which is real), HOW WOULD THESE PEOPLE KNOW THIS AND NOT THE ACTUAL EXPERTS?

Claim 5: Well.....the astronomers don't want to tell you man, it's a conspiracy!

Response: If it were that fucking easy to discover, they would be stupid to keep it secret, since they would know that any armchair astronomer could discover it, and the jig would be up. Now, to be fair, I know the response is that if they don't admit it, they can deny deny deny, and the reason they don't admit it is to stave off the ensuing panic. I get that, and grant you that it actually makes sense.

Problem is, you guys think it's so easy for huge groups of people in all sorts of countries and organizations, including governments, are so adept at keeping secrets, but it's not true. There's no way it wouldn't slip. They couldn't keep the teapot dome scandal quiet, Watergate, the Illinois senator trying to sell a senate seat, etc etc etc. All involving small groups of people, and all known. People can't keep secrets, and on such a large scale, it's impossible.

Another thing is, if they somehow were able to keep a major secret of this nature, you're still not thinking this through. Think about it, what makes more sense:

1) Keeping the planet secret, knowing that the armchair astronomers will discover it, and leak the information anyways?


2) Telling people, but telling them we know how to deal with it and avoid disaster? If you think they can keep secrets so well, then they could make up a plausible sounding solution, and there you go, no panic.

All of this also applies to other conspiracies, not just Nibiru/Planet X

Claim 6: Okay, but did you know that the Earth's polarity is going to shift? The Earth's Crust is going to do a 180 degree rotation, brosauce. Also, there's going to be a reversal in the Earth's magnetic polarity.

Response: It's impossible for the Earth's rotation to reverse. It does wobble in its axis in a 25, 800 year long cycle. This phenomena is called precession. As for the change in magnetic polarity, this actually does happen. Magnetic reversals occur every 400,000 years or so. This is not due to happen for thousands more years. And we don't have ANY evidence that this even impacts life on Earth.

You could say that we don't know for sure, and I could say....we don't know that it DOES, so making a positive claimlike you guys do is baseless. As for the fact that we don't know that it doesn't, look it up (not on conspiracy site) and see. I'm not well versed on the process beyond what I have already said, so I can't comment further.

Claim 7: Okay, that stuff might have been wrong.....maaaaaaaaaaybe......but this one is true. Planetary alignment baby. The planets are all going to align, and that will screw up the Earth's gravity....or something.

Respone: There are no planetary alignments due to occur for decades, let alone in 2012, and even if all of them aligned, the effects on the Earth would be of little concern.

Claim 8: Fine, whatever. How come Earthquakes have been on the rise?

Response: No, they have not. The frequency of earthquakes has remained stable since 1900. I can provide you geological data to back this up, although, frankly, you should be doing this yourself if you are going to make such baseless, erroneous claims.

Now let me ask you something: Did you know there have been thousands of dates heralded as the end of the world? And did you know 100% of them have been wrong? The world WILL end, at some point, but not in 2012. When it does end, there are several ways it could go down.

My money is on a gamma ray burst, which are flashes of gamma rays (aka super intense radiation) that occur when stars go supernova. These fuckers are so incredibly intense that, and I want to listen to this very closely, because it's just do incredibly mind blowing, a typical gamma ray burst releases as much energy in a few seconds as the Sun will in its entire lifetime. Ya, seriously.

The End

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Newsflash for Creationists!!!