That about sums it up…

May 25, 2011

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FWIW…

April 26, 2011

Some of you may have seen this floating around:

Kinda cute, in a condescending sort of way. But, we don’t believe in luck, either. That’s kind of the point.


Oh yeah? So there!

January 20, 2011

Oh, what the hell. I really shouldn’t be doing this as I have actual work to do. CL Taylor (@cltaylor463) claimed to have disproven evolution several times. So I called him on it. He says

@BipedalTetrapod I just refuted your ignorant evolution-Athestic ideas in the past seven tweets

Okay then. Let’s have a look-see at the refutation, in reverse chronological order:

I have once again picked apart evolution!

Ya, ya, you said that. Butlet’s have a look

Adaptive radiation is a pipe dream develped by evolutions to justify a faulty assumption of evolution.

Um, no. Adaptive radiation is observable in the fossil record. Sorry, but “I say so” isn’t refutation.

All creatures are not perfect. Imperfections mean nothing evolution is flawed.

No. Evolution never EVER claimed creatures are perfect. Quite the opposite. Creationists do, however, so that’s a point for me.

Homology means that we have common traits with other animals but nothing more evolution is flawed

You share the same number of arms and legs and hands and feet with your siblings and cousins, yes? Are these genetic? Did you inherit those traits from a common grandparent? Or is it just chance that your whole family has the same number of fingers and toes? If these characteristics are genetic traits that are inherited from a common ancestor, then ALL organisms that share those traits inherited them from a common ancestor.

98% is not 100%.A chimp is not a human.Our DNA is so complex that we do not share a common ancestor.

Duh. If a chimp were human it wouldn’t be a chimp. DNA isn’t actually complex. It is very simple. Paired nucleotides strung together. It’s just that there are a shitload of pairs.

Life does not have a family tree evolutionist.We did not come from bacteria.

“because I say so” isn’t an argument. So, wrong.

It is impossible both mathematically&observingly for evolution to exist.

Whatever that means. Evolution is observable and has been observed (see http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-misconceptions.html#observe, http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html) and mathematics is used all the time in evolution.

Since radioactive dating is inaccurate,Evolution is based on unscientific&undocumented assumptions.

Radioactive dating is quite accurate. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-age-of-earth.html. Evolution is based on science, and always has been, whether you like it or not.

Evolutionist,still believe in the principle of superposition?

That recent strata are deposited on older strata? Duh.

Evolutionist-Calculations based on invalid assumptions always=invalid results

But calculations made repeatedly on assumptions that have been validated by umpteen different analyses from all walks of science tend to be valid. I would say, however, that Intelligent Design calculations, which are based on invalid assumptions, do lead to invalid results. So thanks for pointing that out.

There is no way for scientist to know the original amount of radioactivity in rocks when made.

Yes, there is, by looking at the quantity of the products of radioactive decay.

The earth’s rotation was stopped twice in Joshua10:13-14;II Kings20:9-11.

Gee, you got me there. Why, I must give up my atheistic evolutionist ways! No. Just kidding. Sorry, but it really wasn’t.

Only God could have designed cell differentiation so well. Random chance could not have done such.

Evolution is NOT about random chance. It is about iteration under selective pressure.

Evolution flaws-the uniqueness of DNA is so complex that it proves complex organism were made seperate&along side simple living things.

See the Chimp comment earlier. To which I will add that “It’s too complicated for me to understand so it must be false” is not a valid argument. I count 14, not 7 tweets. But anyway, let’s take a couple more:

@kaimatai It is not observable to believe in Evolution, b/c it denies the existance of God. God is the law and order in life.

So, what you are saying is, your faith is so shaky that it is threatened by actual observations of real events?

@kaimatai I find it very hypocritical that your lack of stable morality is lecturing me on your Postmodernism. Really? You are a fraud also

You want lack of stable morality? Research shows that the faithful have a wandering moral compass.


A Wandering Moral Compass

December 3, 2009

One of the main arguments by young-earth creationists against evolution actually has nothing to do with either creation or evolution.  The argumant goes like this:

  • With evolution there is no need for a god.
  • The study of evolution therefore leads to atheism.
  • Since God is the arbiter of right and wrong, disbelief in God removes any perceived need for a moral filter a person might have.
  • Therefore, evolution is wrong because it leads to amorality.

While this is just so wrong on so many levels – akin to “Your research is completely false because I dislike your sweater” – there is something even more. It turns out that it is belief in god that leads to a wandering moral compass.

A recent study, described in New Scientist, shows that people map their own beliefs on what they think God believes. In other words, people presume God’s beliefs based on their own, rather than the other way around. Thus, as people’s beliefs change, so does their presumption of God’s beliefs.

 This means that there is no absolute and permanent recognition of what God believes, and thus there is no definitive moral compass imposed by the Almighty. Even worse, it says that whatever a person believes, if they are a believer, they will tend to think that their personal beliefs are shared by God, and therefore just.

As an argument, this does not, of course, demonstrate the validity of evolution (there is plenty of that elsewhere) any more than the original argument refutes it. It does, however, suggest that creationists should not throw stones. Or, to take it a step further, maybe it suggests that evolution should be taught because it removes the wandering moral compass, leading to greater morality. 

I’m just sayin’.


Futility

August 15, 2009

For a while there I got right into the arguments with Dawkinswatch, but eventually I realized that nothing I said ever actually sunk in. In fact it barely registered. DW kept applying non-sequitors and changing the subject by way of argument, and I realized that all I was doing was increasing traffic to his nonsense. So I dropped it, in hopes that maybe ignoring the stupidity would decrease the attention it was getting.

And then he posts this, blathering on, once again, about how evolution is just racism.

In reply to this, I have little recourse but to draw on the wisdon of lolcats:


On Hitler, Darwin, and Social Newtonism

May 14, 2009

In the movie Expelled, as well as a number of other sources, it is repeated over and over that Hitler’s eugenic and antisemitic views were influenced by Darwin, and thus Darwin and his work on Natural Selection are inherently evil.

It takes very little research to discover that Hitler in fact used the Bible and tenets of Christianity to justify his actions, and any association with natural selection or evolution is in name only, and not in reality.

Allow me to illustrate with an example of a made up scheme of Social Newtonism: 

According to Newton’s law of gravitation, tall people have more potential energy than short people. Now, everyone knows that having potential is a good thing, and having energy is a good thing, so clearly any tall person – with greater potential energy – is superiorto any short person. As such, it could be suggested that only tall people should be allowed to reproduce, in order to ensure the future improvement of the human race. And because this is so clearly based on physical laws, I will call this Newtonics, or Social Newtonism.

Now, should the response to this be:

Since Social Newtonism is clearly misguided and evil, we will call Newton the Antichrist, and stop teaching Physics in school.

or:

So called “social Newtonism” has nothing to do with Newton’s laws other than hijacking his name, is a complete misrepresentation of physics, is merely an excuse to promote prejudice, and should be exposed as such. Newton’s laws should be taught more and better, to ensure this type of gross misrepresentation should never happen again.

Which is the correct response? Clearly not the first. So please tell me why it is that this is precisely what is happening with Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection? I understand the motivation (discredit Darwinism so fundamentalist Christianity can be rammed into the school system to indoctrinate children when they are young and susceptible), I mean why are people letting it happen?

To put it plain and simple, blaming Darwin for Hitler is a lie. Isn’t there something in the bible about not telling those?


I call Poe on Edward Current

April 6, 2009

 

Poe’s Law, for those unfamiliar with it, states:

Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of Fundamentalism that SOMEONE won’t mistake for the real thing.

This has become a popular meme in the skeptosphere, and is used to illustrate that many arguments for fundamentalism, creationism, and pseudoscience are so completely whacked one has to wonder if they are serious.

One great head-scratching perpetrator of Poe-worthiness is Edward Current. Current is some sort of christian comedian wannabe who has posted a number of glib, silly videos on youtube in an attempt to mock atheism. His points, however, are so juvenile that one wonders if he actually believes them himself. As a case in point, his video The Atheist Delusion  contains the phrases “Science and Reason have no place in our lives”, and “It’s the 21st century, let’s make it feel like the 14th”. I would say that these two statements alone flag it as a clear Poe, except that in the same video he calls Stephen Hawking a freak – something no self-respecting creation-satirist would do.

Update: So it turn sout that Current IS in fact a satyrist. I am slightly embarrased at being taken in, but I can now laugh even louder at his stuff, and watch it with a new appreciation. Though I still say shame on him for mocking the Hawking!