Creationist “Audits” Chicago’s Field Museum. Stupidity Ensues.

Megan Fox Creationist

I always feel a little guilty for posting stuff like this, mostly because it feels like I’m shooting fish in a barrel. But if people are going to keep uploading their stupidity to YouTube, I’m going to keep writing about it.

Last week, creationist Megan Fox posted a video of her visit to Chicago’s Field Museum. Obviously, this isn’t the same Megan Fox that some of us have had naughty dreams about. This one is kookier.

The video documents Fox’s tour of an exhibit called “Evolving Earth,” where she is supposedly scrutinizing the museum’s inconsistencies. Here’s how she describes it on YouTube:

In November 2014, Megan Fox toured the Field Museum’s “Evolving Earth” exhibit to audit it for bias. She found many examples of inconsistencies and the Field Museum’s insistence that people support opinion as fact without proof. The Field Museum pushes certain theories as if they are absolute proven law when that is not how the scientific method works. She found enough bias to show that the people who put this exhibit together at the Field Museum pushed an agenda with quasi-religious overtones: the cult of “science” where the “scientists” are more like high priests pushing a religion instead of using the correct scientific method. Aside from having time machines, there is no way these people can be this certain about things they speculate happened millions of years ago before recorded history.

Here’s the video, if you can stomach it. I managed to choke down about 5 minute’s worth, but my stomach started making a funny noise, so I shut it off.

Hi Kirk.

 

Various news outlets have reported this, but the headline over at CBS News really captures it well: “Bizarre dinosaur with jaws like a crocodile, feet like a duck unveiled“. I doubt Mr. Cameron will eat his words, an ability creationists didn’t evolve with, but that doesn’t mean we can’t revel in how beautifully ironic this creature is.

Doing Science With Kevin Swanson

nobodybroughtupleviticus18I hate to break it to you godless nerds, but according to talk radio giant Kevin Swanson (of whom I had never heard until this story hit my news feed), Star Trek: Into Darkness is a pretty evil movie, because it’s all about having sex with aliens, which we all know never happened in the original series.

…and of course the whole premise of this is that within an evolutionary construct there is no real problem with speciation and cross-species mating, there’s no problem with that at all, in fact that’s how you evolve, that’s how you get evolution, and so the end result of course is that evolution has no basic problem with bestiality or cross-species mating.

And that, my friends, is how evolution works.  So glad he cleared that up for us.  And it’s awesome that he’s able to filter out all that other stuff to get to the heart of the movie – the sex scene between Kirk and a couple of hot alien babes. [Read more…]

Creationists Put Their Money Where Their Mouth Is

Dr. Joseph Mastropaolo, whom the creationists are rather proud of because he has a real live PhD (in kinesiology), has placed a bet against we evolutionists: Prove before a judge that science contradicts the literal book of Genesis, and you can win even odds on $10,000.

I’m pretty tempted to do it, though not positive where I’d come up with $10,000 for the pot (maybe my dad would loan me some of his retirement fund?). Creationism has failed in US courts no less than six times: Epperson v. Arkansas (1968), Daniel v. Waters (1975), Hendren v. Campbell (1977), McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education (1981), Edwards v. Aguillard (1987), and Kitzmiller v. Dover (2005). The odds of it succeeding now are pretty much negligible, making this the safest 100% ROI you’ll ever make.

Frankly, I’d feel sort of bad taking the guy’s money so easily, but I’d obviously put it to better use than he would. I’d probably give a big chunk of it to the Against Malaria Foundation, for instance. A lot of scientists will balk at giving this guy any more attention, but come on; he’s going to spend that money supporting Creationist things if we don’t take it from him.

Mastropaolo has really set the bar pretty low here. Any scientist in any discipline will do (probably so he can include himself), and all you have to do is prove that the literal account in Genesis is unscientific. You don’t have to disprove the Bible; you don’t have to undermine Intelligent Design; you don’t have to prove evolution is true; you don’t even have to prove Creationism is false. All you have to do is show that the literal book of Genesis is not science. You could literally cite Papal Encyclicals to that effect; you wouldn’t even need science books. I’m thinking maybe just reading a couple paragraphs from each of about a hundred science textbooks, stacking them all up in the courtroom.

There is one bad sign however: He’s said he’ll do this before, and hasn’t gone through with it.

The Bible’s Greatest Hits – Week 40: John 21:5

The Bible's Greatest Hits - Title ImageHoly shit, I’ve been doing this for 40 weeks. What have I been doing with my life? I mean, there are so many great things I could be doing with my time instead of making dick jokes about out of context Bible verses. Forty goddam weeks of my life dedicated to this. I mean, sure it’s really only one day each week, but come on. I really need a new hobby… I know it’s early for April Fool’s, but I couldn’t resist. Welcome everyone to this (not very) special Easter/April Fool’s edition of the Bible’s Greatest Hits. I’ve got a tasty slab of Bible warming in the oven, but first some links for you to ignore. First off, it’s bad news for baldies as a new study offers evidence in support of the hypothesis that early baldness is linked to a higher risk of prostate cancer. Next, for our special Easter edition, I give you this premortem on a product that you’ll probably not be seeing on a shelf near you, the Real Easter Egg. Finally, I give you this week’s Bible verse, enjoy!

 

Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No.

John 21:5

 

After 40 weeks, I think you can make your own dick jokes about this one.

The Bible’s Greatest Hits: Week 38 – Job 10:10

The Bible's Greatest Hits - Title Image

Hello everyone and welcome to another fantastic and spiritually uplifting edition of The Bible’s Greatest Hits. Every Wednesday I provide you with a healing, vital dose of Biblical wisdom to lift your spirits and propel you through the remainder of your boring, tiresome work week. But first, a couple short news items. Theocracy rears its ugly head once again in Iran as five Christians are set to be tried in court for practicing their faith. When a 5 person home church is “threatening national security”, you’re doing national security wrong. Next up, another study for man-made climate change deniers to ignore, hurray! Now, without any more of that nonsense, here’s this week’s verse.

Hast thou not poured me out as milk, and curdled me like cheese?

Job 10:10

Yeah baby, curdle me! Curdle me more!

Science Foils God’s Plan for HIV-infected Newborn

Scanning electron micrograph of HIV particles infecting a human T cell. (Credit: NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)

 

 

 

 

Science, the singular and monolithic entity hellbent on disproving the existence of God, announced recently that it had cured a child’s HIV, God’s preferred punishment for what he sees as sexual immorality. Science diagnosed the child’s HIV at birth and then Science immediately prescribed antiretroviral medication. After a period of 18 months, the child was taken off the medication and when it was evaluated 5 months later Science determined that HIV was no longer present.

The case is a startling reminder that a cure for HIV could come in ways we never anticipated, and we hope this is the first of many children cured of HIV in the months and years to come.

-Science

Speculation still abounds as to whether or not God will craft a new virus to punish supposed sexual sins. Some commentators have predicted that the Almighty will respond to this new setback with an increase in his common backup tactic: seemingly unrelated natural disasters which must be explained by self-appointed holy men or televangelists. God, as always, remained unavailable for comment.

Creationism Has Merit

Jesus Creationism

I’m always a little confused when I run across a reasonably intelligent human being who also believes in creationism. Today, for example, I found an article by Ed Reep, a senior at Rutgers University. Rutgers is a good school, right?

Either way, Reep argues that, by providing evidence for god, he can set the stage for an easily-proven case for creationism.

In order to show the merit of creationism, I must first show that belief in God has merit, which is a far easier task. God’s existence, after all, is the best explanation for any supernatural phenomenon that might exist, so in order to reasonably demonstrate the existence of God, all I would have to do is reasonably demonstrate the existence of supernatural phenomena.

Wait. What?

How do we know that god’s existence is the best explanation for supernatural phenomenon? And which god are we even talking about? I have a preference for Jove, the Roman equivalent of Zeus, but I somehow doubt that Mr. Reep is talking about my beloved Jove. [Read more…]

Geology Professor Dispatches With A Discovery Institute Flunky

Callan Bentley, an assistant professor of geology at Northern Virginia Community College, gave us the most romantic Valentines Day gift: the transcript of a recent email interchange between himself and Andrew McDiarmid, a Discovery Institute lackey.

McDiarmid contacted Bentley to request the publication rights for an image that had been posted on Bentley’s blog:

I am in the process of looking for photos for his book and came across your set detailing a trip to the Burgess Shale. I am writing to see if you are open to giving him permission to use one of your photos, a picture of Emerald Lake and the Burgess Shale landscape. You describe the photo on your AGU.org <http://AGU.org> blog as:

“Emerald Lake and its gorgeous alluvial fan coming off the Presidential Range and filling in the basin.”
<http://blogs.agu.org/mountainbeltway/files/2011/08/burgess26.jpg>

I’d like to offer you $100 and a complimentary copy of the book in return for permission to use the photo. The book will be published in June 2013 by HarperOne Publishers San Francisco. If you agree to do this, can you please forward me a high-res version of the photo and your preferred wording for credit?

Bentley politely declined the offer, but closed his email with this little gem:

Best wishes for your good health, and the speedy demise of the sham institution that employs you.

Of course, the interchange didn’t end there. Bentley has written a pretty exhaustive play by play on his blog. You should probably check it out.

Will atheism defeat religion by 2038?

JDN 2456338 EDT 15:00.

No Religion

This article thinks so. Personally, I’m not so sure. It’d be nice, but I’m not sure it will happen. We do know that most of the developed world is becoming more secular, that much is clear. But there is a major exception: the United States of America. Religious fundamentalism is as strong in the US as it has been in recent memory, and we still have 46% of Americans who believe in Creationism.

Part of it is that the US is almost not a First World country; we’re more like Qatar than we are Sweden. We have absurd inequality, massive poverty, the highest incarceration rate in the world… so even if a more secure life does make you less religious, America has a long way to go before people are going to feel secure. (Ironically, this means that the people saying liberalism leads to godlessness might be right; Liberal economic policy makes people more secure, so they don’t turn to religion as much.)

There have been many predictions of religion’s demise, dating as far back as the Enlightenment, and so far it hasn’t happened. People are stubborn and irrational. So, I’m cautious about making the same prediction again.

In most of my science fiction novels, I theorize that the world will fracture in two: There will be atheists, about 60% of the population, and fundamentalists, about 40%; there will be no moderates. As science undermines religion, it leaves only two choices: Give up science (fundamentalism), or give up religion (atheism).

I’m not exactly looking forward to it, but it seems to be the road we’re on. Listen to the people who blame atheism for school shootings, and gay sex for hurricanes. Are they a minority? Yes, but it’s a large and vocal minority with a lot of political power.

Reports of religion’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.