Saturday, August 30, 2008

Bogosity episode 2; creationism

Bogosity is a show similar to mythbusters. Which looks at fraudulant claims and debunks them (but with a little more tenacity then mythbusters).

The second episode deals with creationism. Although what it deals with largely is what I call hovindian or folk creationism. Mainly the scientifically and intellectually derelict creationism or Ray Comfort, Kirk Camoren, and Kent Hovind. This video would have little affect on mainstream creationists but I think it would work with hovind fans, the problem is that he is rather brash in his dealings nonetheless.

Bogosity episode 2 part 1

part 2

part 3


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Missing Universe Museum's missing brain

I was on a creationist site called the missing universe museum yesterday, it's a typical creationist site, with ordinary strawman arguments but what really exposes the site is this quoted statement;
If you don't believe God created all living things, male and female, in 6
days.... How many millions of years was it between the first male and the

This shows that author of this site needs to retake biology 101, its called asexual reproduction, sex evolved later. I am sure that most creationists I know would laugh along with me at this statement.

A larger part of the article which sentence is found in is;
Sex is a great problem for Evolution! Per evolution, all living things had a
common ancestor. If this is true, every living thing should be sexually
compatible and able to produce fertile offspring! That's because if any new
specie did come about by mutation, it would have to mate with its parent specie.
Yet, none of the major kinds of life can be crossed to produce a fertile
The reproductive system is a faithful reproducer of its parent
kind. You never see an elephant giving birth to a horse or anything other
than an elephant. When there is an error in reproduction, it is almost
always harmful or at best neutral. Any mutation would have to be included
in the genes in order to be passed on to future generations.

This paragraph only further exposes the site as scientifically ignorant and untrustworthy. Now we see that not only is the author ignorant of asexual reproduction but a has common misunderstanding of how evolution works. An elephant with fly wings would be a problem for evolution to explain and therefore evidence against evolution. Also there are many examples of positive mutations, one example can be found here.

The entire site is pretty wacky, go ahead and look at it although it should probably come with a warning sticker.

Note to Christians: The general intellectual bankruptcy across creationism should be a warning sign to my fellow Christians, God would definitely not use charlatans to spread the message of the gospel. I urge my fellow Christians who are young earth creationists to reconsider their position. The young earth movement is not scientifically or theologically sound and should not be supported. There are many places you can go to get both theological and scientific information information which contradicts young earth claims; two places in particular are Answers In Creation, an old earth creationist organization which counters many young earth claims about geology and theology. And Talk Origins which has a wealth of information on evolution (don't forget to look at the FAQ), happy reading and God bless.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Eric Hovind's attempt to explain away the fused chromosomes

You all know the argument for evolution from the fused chromosomes, for those who don't; I wrote about it in an earlier post, I'll explain it briefly here for conveniance; apes have 48 chromosomes and humans have 46, and one thing is that if we don't find an explanation for this evolution is in trouble. What would have had to have happened is that two of the chromosomes fused into one large chromosome, and interestingly enough our chromosome number 2 is resembles to ape chromosomes which fused. What a coincidence!

This is a little difficult for creationists to explain away although they have found a way, AiG has written an article in response to the argument by Kenneth Miller. This version of the argument is from a video by Eric Hovind and Jonathan Samson, Samson gives the argument;
So it we strip away the bias and just look at the facts (as everyone should),
the facts are; yes it seems like humans have experienced fusion in the past in
human chromosome number two. But what does that mean? [Hovind cuts in to say
"That's how--there interpreting it--as evidence of evolution"] It means they're
attaching it to their own story.

So essentially he is saying that we are assuming that humans evolved from apes before we look at the evidence and have misinterpreted it as evidence of common descent. Of course is this accurate? Evolution gave a plausible explanation of the missing chromosome and it has turned out to be true. Also since it resembles two ape chromosomes and it predicted by the theory of evolution it doesn't seem too far fetched to say it is evidence of evolution.

This argument is not filled with the usual crass scientific ignorance that usually accompanies Hovind arguments, but it still does not succeed. I think creationists have a point with worldviews affecting how we approach science but they take it to the far flung extant to try to force-fit scientific data into their narrow, flawed interpretation of the bible (which they somewhat arrogantly equate with the biblical position). Christian or non-Christian, one can not accept such an extrapolation.

theistic evolution vs evolutionary creation

As you know I have myself a theistic evolutionist, its a nice term but it doesn't seem adequate. First of all most Christians who come to my blog do not like the term "evolutionist," and that word is part of theistic evolutionist. Also theistic evolution has the theistic part as an afterthought and the main point being evolution which many Christians would not like because its not putting God first, so I am thinking of using the older term evolutionary creation(ism) to describe my position.

-- Other Christians would like the term better being that it is not saying you are an evolutionist but a creationist

--It does not have the semi-negative connotations that theistic evolution has

--It sounds more like a legitimate interpretation of Genesis, put along side "progressive creation" or "young earth creation" then a vague theological concept which could apply to any religion.

Another term might be scientific creationism but that term has already been hijacked by young earthers.

P.S. I currently have a case of writers block on more serious matters, I'll see what interesting things I can come up with tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

An update

You've probably noticed my dropping ff the face of the planet, its because i've been on a very long vacation preceded by a four day sumer camp. I'll be posting another article around thursday, until then farewell and God (science if your username is evolved ratonalist) bless.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Marshal Hall, the Big Bang and the Kabbala

Modern Geocentrists (whom I staunchly disagree with) believe that the bible teaches that not only is earth 6,00 years old and created in six days but that it is also the center of the universe and that Heliocentrism has it horribly wrong. Marshal Hall one of the leading Geocentrists has a website in which he promotes his geocentric views. He has also written a book called The earth is not moving, which is of about the same intellectual caliber as the site. AiG fellow Dr. Danny Faulkner gave it a rather nasty review.

One of his more curious beliefs is that the Big Bang is based off the kabbala and that not only the Big Bang but heliocentrism and even "Darwinism" are connected to Kabbalistic thinking. Here is one of his more hysterical quotes on the subject;

So, the long and the short of it is this: The whole ball of wax--from the Big
Bang thru Einsteinian Relativity and NASA's Virtual Reality-based, Bible-bashing
evolutionism--stems not from one single scientific fact, but rather, HAS ITS

Of course why would he think that the Big Bang is based on Kabbalism? And why would that be a bad thing if it were true? Being that the validity of the Jewish religion is intimately connected to the validity of the Christian religion, it would probably prove the existence of the biblical God. Now for those wondering the Kabbala is;

is a discipline and school of thought discussing the mystical aspect of
Judaism. It is a set of esoteric teachings meant to define the inner meaning of both the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible)[emphasis mine] and traditional Rabbinic
literature, as well as to explain the significance of Jewish religious
observances, (taken from wikipedia).

His rabid dislike of the Kabbala seems to be somewhat misplaced. I'm not fan of the Kabbala but I'd hardly call it what he seems to think it is. Of course his silliness runs deeper then that.

Mathematics--utterly abstruse and esoteric--now became the primary instrument
in the hands of Copernicans. The secular science establishment used this new
priesthood of "mathematicians" to soften up the universities first, and then the
churches. Thus was the way prepared for the acceptance of some real
Bible-bashing by the coming "scientific" substitute for the six-day Creation of
man and all else, viz., Darwinism.

Yes, Marshal Hall is declaring war on math, now creationists may think science is subjective but at least they know math is immutable. However Hall takes it to an entirely new level. This is probably because mathematics is rather problematic to geocentrism. another precious quote
a clear and remarkably early connection of heliocentrism and evolutionism in the
mind of this "giant" of the Copernican movement, we can see further along that
he was the secret and unheralded father of the fatuous excesses of gravitation
theory 50 years before the credit went to Newton (another "giant" who mutilated
Scripture and invented special "mathematics" to achieve his ends). More, it is
well established that Kepler believed there were evolved life forms on the
moon.4 How is it then that this precocious EVOLUTIONIST is acclaimed by
Creationists today as a great man of God?!

This quote is too funny for words, the leading supporters of helicoentrism were dedicated Christians and hardcore creationists. Kepler believed there was life on the moon and on many other planets in the solar system but he believed that they had been divinely created by God, it is blaring obvious that Kepler had a vibrant Christian religious faith, an unless he had a time machine he was no evolutionist. Newton by no means mutilated scripture, in fact he was a lot like Hall being a staunch biblical literalist.

The entire site is full of spacious gaps in logic and understanding, modern geocentrists if they become as popular as creationists will be stereotyped even more then creationists as backwards, anti-science hillbillies who can't think for themselves. It would be best if Christianity stayed far away from these types of of people. I will have to make a more thorough examination the the site in a later article for now I will stop here and let the reader speculate at the intellectual level of Modern Geocentrists.