O.K., so my “dear” brother Allen seems not so much a fan of Jim West’s blog as he is a stout defender of family honor. Here is his latest entry to the
Tick-Off Dr. Jim With a Lolcat Roast Jim West with a Lolcat Contest.
Posted on February 24, 2011 at 6:08 pm by Dr. Jim
O.K., so my “dear” brother Allen seems not so much a fan of Jim West’s blog as he is a stout defender of family honor. Here is his latest entry to the
Tick-Off Dr. Jim With a Lolcat Roast Jim West with a Lolcat Contest.
Posted on February 24, 2011 at 4:13 pm by Dr. Jim
Call PZ Myers! Octopi brains prove God exists!
“Who would imagine that octopi, animals without backbones, could be so smart?”
So asks the Creation Science Association of Alberta on their website. Now, I don’t know why they think critters should think with with their vertebrae. But, perhaps like the octopi, GOD JUST MADE THEM THAT WAY?
Anyway, it has been ages since I had a little nasty fun at the expense of Canadian anti-science creationists and other similar sorts, so it’s about time to make up for lost time and get back to one of the most popular irregular features of this blog:
KNOW YOUR NUTS!
So, read on, and while you are doing so, enjoy “Octopus’s Garden” in honor of the cephalopodophile and arch-atheist PZ Myers by Lea Erbe, from IMax, Under the Sea!
No video on the video, so here she is:
Leah Erbe, at her reflective
And, guys, no thinking with your little
disco balls, um… bones, um… just listen to the damn music and read my post!
Now, one of the pleasant side effects the Know Yer Nuts feature is the undermining of good old Canadian smugness in thinking that the U. S. has all the creationist nutcases. NO WAY! We have our fair share too!
As noted, my victim this time is the Creation Science Association of Alberta, based in Edmonton. They claim their mission is:
To provide encouragement and resources to persons who desire good scientific information which conforms to the Bible.
Well, here we have it all, don’t we. Science must conform to the Bible. What is odd, however, is that there is very little on their site about the Bible, its multiple creation myths, contradictions and what not. This is one thing that REALLY pisses me off about creationists. They want the Bible to be “true” in all of its inconsistent and impossible claims about the universe but they almost NEVER are honest about their reading strategy and how they make all of the “inerrant” claims true all at the same time. Any scientific (or other academic) discipline so willfully blind to its own inconsistent premises would be subject to serious critique, and indeed, creationists like to think their criticisms of science are based on such perceived inconsistencies.
What there is, however, is this:
Creation scientists have a world view or model for their science which is based on the belief that an intelligent designer exists who created our universe and everything in it.
Holy white cliffs of Dover, Bat-cdesign proponentsist! Are they suggesting that Intelligent Design = Creationism?
Anyway, here is their summary of the proof from design for creationism:
Ah yes, critters are amazing, therefore God. How do we know what “designed” means? By looking at human-made items which we can identify by their contrast with natural occurring conglomerates of matter. So how does this imply design in nature? Jellyfish eyes and enviable non-human skills of animals are what evolution explains. That such features of other animals exist is no refutation. And here is the CSAA on fossils.
Thousands of dinosaur fossils have been found all over the world. Were they gradually deposited over millions of years, or did they die catastrophically?
The link goes to a page that reports on a huge fossil finds in Alberta and elsewhere in which groups of hapless beasts were died in floodwaters. In southern Alberta’s Dinosaur Provincial Park massive beds of centrosaurus bones have been found. The park offers hiking tours of the site. Never been on it, but I would like to go.
Another site mentioned in the “Big Splash” page is a small pachyrinosaurus bed near Lethbridge and a larger one near Grande Prairie in northern Alberta. The latter animals came to grief in a flood. But was it the same flood in which the centrosauruses died? OF course, it was Noah’s flood, the ONLY flood that ever happened! Even the fact that both sites are late Cretaceous, doesn’t mean the floods were in exactly the same year!
The Grande Prairie site they talk about seems to be the Pipestone Creek bone bed. A museum is planned for there, the River of Death and Discovery Museum.
The museum site has this to say:
Pachyrhinosaurus travelled in herds and migrated seasonally, following plant food resources.One theory, because of fluvial influence, is that during one such migration this herd attemped to cross the flooded river leading to their demise. Carcasses were washed downriver and over time were devoured by carnivores; indicated by teeth and teeth markings found near and on the remains.
Hmmm. Well, if this is Noah’s flood, then where the hell did the carnivores come from? Would they not have died in the flood, too? Now, what if the carcasses were nibbled by the carnivourous dinosaurs that Noah had on the ark? Well, how the hell did they get from Mt. Ararat in Turkey where the freaking ark is said to have grounded itself to Grande Prairie in time to eat the rotting flesh? Odd that the CSAA site didn’t mention the carnivore evidence. I wonder why?
The solution to how T-Rex and raptors got from Turkey to Grande Prairie.
Like this happy family, they simply waited for a bus!
And another point: all of the dinosaur flood victim sites will need to be contemporaneous with each other for the Noah’s flood pseudo-theory to work. In fact, ALL alleged Noah’s flood sites will have to be contemporaneous. So why aren’t human or mammal remains mixed up with any dinosaur flood sites, or dinosaur bones mixed up in remains of human settlements. Could it be that their BIBLE Bible BASED “SCIENCE” IS WRONG?
CSAA publishes a quarterly online magazine call Dialogue, the latest edition being Nov. 2o1o and you can download it at your displeasure. Gripping stuff. The latest issue has an article on human and chimp DNA in which she alleges that geneticists have artificially organized their bits of data in ways that make chimpanzee DNA resemble its human counterparts and then draw indefensible conclusions about evolutionary links between the two species. She also appeals to the increasing awareness of the complexity of genetics and how much is not known.
It is apparent then that scientists are not in a position to compare human and chimpanzee genomes Even if the genomes were identical, it would give no clues about relationships because of the alternative splicing of genetic information and multiple reading frames from the same piece of stored code. Moreover the actual form and function of creatures appears to come from higher levels of control about which we know very little. Thus assumptions that similar genomes suggest a close evolutionary relationship, are plainly without any kind of logical basis. All that scientists have discovered is how little we understand.
But if this is the case, why do SO DAMN MANY scientists think their methods CAN reveal something about the interrelationships of species? So why don’t creationists write it all up in a scientifically accepted way and make the geneticists listen to reason? Sounds like the author has to have some kind of behind the scenes scientific conspiracy theory or mass delusion to make her objections work. The pieces ends thusly:
The study of various genomes obviously has been a story of secular disappointment. What is called for here is humble appreciation of what God has told us concerning how He created all things. Then we interpret the data from nature in terms of what God has revealed in His Word.
I return to my point above: why don’t creationists question the Bible’s clarity and consistency about the nature of nature as rigorously as they do the scientific findings? Why ISN’T THERE A CONSISTENT story of ” biblical creation? Where did the water after the flood go? Hell, where did it come from? Lots of things are left up to the tendency of “literalists” reluctance to take the Bible literally and seriously.
The article (above and many more on the CSAA site) was written by the outfit’s V. P., Margaret Helder, who is described thusly by the Answers in Genesis site:
Dr. Margaret Helder is a scientist, a writer, a mother of six, and Vice-President of the Creation Science Association of Alberta, Canada. She is also probably the most prominent woman in creation science.
Dr. Helder is also the author of three books and Associate Editor in charge of science and technology for Reformed Perspective, a magazine for Christian families. Her scientific achievements include describing and naming a species of aquatic fungus new to science,Chytridium deltanum Masters (Masters being her maiden name, and the name under which she published the description).
Wow! Under the name Margaret J. Masters, she has a paper in the Canadian Journal of Botany 49 (1971). WOW! 1971. That is FORTY FREAKING YEARS AGO! One wonders what sort of proper research she has been up to since. She did write a creationist guide to the Royal Tyrrell Museum! In 1981, she was a witness in the ”McLean et al. vs. Arkansas” trial. The site, Antievolution.org has this to say about it:
In 1981, a remarkable court case in Arkansas pitted creationists against pastors, priests, teachers, and scientists. “McLean et al. vs. Arkansas” sought relief from Arkansas’ Act 590, which mandated that evolutionary biology instruction be balanced with “creation science”. Unlike the 1925 Scopes trial in Tennessee, the Arkansas court heard testimony from a large number of witnesses on both sides of the case. Judge Overton ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, and Act 590 was deemed unconstitutional. Overton’s clearly written decision has been widely reprinted, and is available on the Web at several locations. (e.g. here).
Antievolution.org has all of Helder’s testimony online, along with all the other contributors to the trial too. The National Center for Science Education summarized her testimony this way:
Other defense witnesses testified during the following days. Margaret Helder, vice-president of the Creation Research Society and a botanist from Canada, argued that available research didn’t support the evolution of plants. But, under cross-examination by Gary Crawford, she admitted that nearly all biologists would disagree with her and that most of her evidence was negative evidence against evolution rather than data supporting creation. She revealed that she believed that there was no scientific evidence supportive of creation.
Ah, yes. Getting back to CSAA, she also goes after Tiktaalic, the lobe finned, sort of foot-finned slithery thing that was precursor all the four footed beasties that Noah had to catch. She says, of course, that the fossil indicates nothing about evolution.
November’s Dialogue has another article on thinking clearly, which strikes me as a bit ironic. It introduces the reader to Jason Lisle, apparently a “Creationist Astrophysicist” attached to Answers in Genesis (I’ve added some boldness in the type to highlight super-genius bits-I’m being ironic…)
Jason Lisle, Ph.D., graduated in astronomy from the University of Colorado. After years of experience in teaching and conducting research in solar astrophysics, he wrote Taking Back Astronomy: the Heavens Declare Creation (2006) which was aimed at junior high to adult readers. Now he has written The Ultimate Proof of Creation: resolving the origins debate (2009). … Dr. Lisle begins by declaring that the only rational basis for knowing anything is the understanding that God created everything including matter, all natural processes and abstract phenomena like morality, mathematics and the ability to learn. In this context he maintains that there are two categories of individuals: those who approach the world in a reasonable way (rational) since they look to God as the ultimate foundation of everything, and those who base everything on an unknown and unknowable impersonal source (which is an irrational approach or contrary to reason).
My aching freaking braincells! Believing in a “personal” source of everything but an impersonal one is not? Special pleading anyone? How can deism be “rational” if it depends on faith? And WHICH deity? Only two categories of people? Ever hear of a false dichotomy? What about people who ascribe everything to multiple deities? What about the possibility that some folk consider everything to stem from an impersonal but KNOWABLE source? But lets not forget Lisle is an expert on reasoning. Oh yeah, let’s read on!
The author’s purpose in showing the reader how to recognize false debating strategies is to provide each person with the ability to demonstrate the merits of the Christian worldview and how any other worldview is sadly lacking. In his opinion, issues of science impact this discussion only minimally so the individual does not need to be heavily trained in this discipline. It is also his position that one should generally discuss details of science only with people who share the same worldview — but there are others who would include a wider audience in their discussions.
JUMPIN’ JEHOSOPHAT’S UNDERPANTS, BATMAN! Where does one begin! Christianity is so demonstrably superior to other worldviews that one doesn’t even have to know a lot about science to reveal the weakness in a rationalistic worldview? And fundamentalists should only discuss science with other fundamentalists? Just how the hell does this amount to a well-reasoned apologetics? We might as well face it. There is nothing in that line of “thought” that merits any kind of response other that ad hominem. This is pure anti-intellectualist, ignorance-defending bullshit.
You do not need to know science.
Do not let people who know science tell you about science
Know that you are more rational than scientists
Anyway, that’s all I’ve got to say about Nuts #6.
My previous Know Your Nuts “winners” have been
#4: Concerned Christians Canada in Calgary for having a hissy fit over an Indian style statue of an Elephant at the Calgary Zoo that undermined the Gospel by showing kids what Ganesh looks like.
Posted on February 24, 2011 at 1:51 pm by Dr. Jim
Posted on February 24, 2011 at 8:14 am by Dr. Jim
We have some entries for the Jim West Lolcat contest announced here!
Here is Jason Gardner’s in all of its Bultmannian glory!
My own dear brother Allen, who doesn’t know Jim West except for the doubtlessly true reports of his depravity here, has his own entry (don’t worry, Dr. Jim will not vote for the winner!)
Joel Watt made a number of lolcats. I will leave it up to your imagination what this says about his relationship with the good Dr. West. I don’t think he used the I can has Cheezburger site to make them but my official judgement is that they all qualify. Unfortunately, one of the photos had a detached caption, which I sort of reattached.
So hurry up and get your entries in! I will keep the entries open until the new biblioblogger rankings are out, then I will set up some way of voting for your favourite! The winner will win a great (and until the day, secret) prize!
To make a lolcat of Dr. West (or anything else) go to http://cheezburger.com/Builder#Cats and away you go! For the contest, the photo has to include a cat. See the other rules (and some of my non-competing West-Kittehs) on the link at the start of this post.
Posted on February 22, 2011 at 11:29 am by Dr. Jim
His blog, Scotteriology, is closed for the next while but where did he go? Here is what he said:
I have a couple of projects that require my full attention over the next few months. One of them is government funded, and if I do not finish it on time they would like their money back… so, yeah… while this is fun, I need to focus on my paying jobs for a bit.
Hey, I ordered one! Or you could be like Craig Martin, who is ordering TWELVE, to realize his dream of looking positively divine! He posted this on Facebook the other day.
Yes, you too can be Cthulhu-Hefner! And d here he is at the start of the procedure illustrated above.
Posted on February 21, 2011 at 10:08 pm by Dr. Jim
Enjoy the goodness at http://www.comicblasphemy.com/
Posted on February 20, 2011 at 9:40 am by Dr. Jim
Several days ago Joel Watts over at Unsettled Christianity unsettled the (self-proclaimed) Christian, Jim West, by publishing an interview with West in which in an unguarded moment, the Vernerable Beady-Eyed West admitted to being a big fan of cats. West hastened to issue a denial but we know what his protestations are worth.
And so I’m announcing the FIRST EVER Dr. Jim’s Thinking Shop’s CONTEST and Jim is the subject!
We welcome the new month next week and so once again West will be celebrating his victory as the TOP BIBLIOBLOGGER based on Alexa rankings. So, lets help him celebrate and show him we aren’t (too) bitter!
So here’s what you do:
Make a Jim West themed lolcat at Icanhascheezeburger.com and email me the link to the pic at ICHC if you have an account there or email me the picture itself with your proper name or reasonable pseudonym and I will post them here at the Thinking Shop as they come in. In the first few days of March when when the new Alexa ranks are announced, I will have all the of the kittehs gathered together in a single post and everyone else can vote on the Westiest of them all! And the winner of the vote will win a SECRET PRIZE, which I will be shopping for this coming week. Yes, it is real MATERIAL goodness!
Here are the Rules:
Zwingli is fair game.
All entries should be reasonably family friendly (especially to West’s family), although hopefully your family isn’t too depraved.
Poke some fun but don’t settle personal issues.
Jim West is ineligible to enter.
All entries should include a cat.
Email the link or the pics to happilyunchurched [at] gmail.com
Enter as many times as you like, but each entry must have a different picture.
You do not have to send the pictures to Jim West or to his church, but hey, who’s stopping you?
When voting time comes, you can’t vote for your own (we will go on the honour system here).
Now, I’ve made some lolwests in the past and they are ineligible, and indeed, I promise not to submit any under my own name or engage in any sock-puppetry. But just to inspire you all, here’s the ones’ I made earlier!
Oh yeah, and don’t forget to vote for your FAVOURITE Bible Blog! Send your list to bibliobloggerstop10 ( a ) yahoo.com.
Posted on February 13, 2011 at 10:49 am by Dr. Jim
Just saw an “interesting” blog post the other day, written by R.L David Jolly at Creation Revolution, an “outreach” site of a Bible thumping creationist press called Tolle Legge. Now, before we begin, here is something about Creative Revolution:
CreationRevolution.com is creating a revolution in the way people view the world and live their lives. By disseminating the most recent news and research from organizations that promote Creation Science and Intelligent Design, we are incrementally overcoming the destructive results of the Darwinian / Evolutionary worldview (atheism, abortion, euthanasia, socialism, etc.).
As you can see, their scientific credentials are impeccable.
Another Jolly scientist!
Anyway, Jolly, is (t)wittering on about an article he found on Red Orbit called The Smoking Gun Of The Worlds Largest Extinction (Jan. 24, 2011). Its opening paragraphs:
After a volcanic eruption that occurred around 250 million years ago, hundreds of millions of years before dinosaurs were wiped off the face of the planet, almost 95 percent of all primitive life living in the ocean and 70 percent of all animals evolving on land were wiped out.
Researchers at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada have discovered evidence suggesting that massive volcanic eruptions at the time burnt significant levels of coal, producing suffocating clouds of ash and dust that greatly impacted the world, and may explain the massive devastation that occurred with the Permian Extinction.
“This could literally be the smoking gun that explains the latest Permian extinction,” said Dr. Steve Grasby, adjunct professor in the University of Calgary’s Department of Geoscience and research scientist at Natural Resources Canada.
The volcanos covered a huge area in what is now Siberia and when magma rose up through the earth and his layers of coal, all hell broke loose (at least on a geological time frame).
“Our research is the first to show direct evidence that massive volcanic eruptions — the largest the world has ever witnessed –caused massive coal combustion, thus supporting models for significant generation of greenhouse gases at this time,” said Grasby.
Now, all of this is really cool, despite volcanos being really hot. Of course, Jolly wants to have his creationist cake and eat with the scientists too, so here is how he thinks does it:
So, Jolly writes:
As I read through the article, I couldn’t help but see this as great evidence for the early stages of the Genesis Flood. Although there are a variety of creationist flood models, most of them agree that before the Flood there was most likely one supercontinent. Most of the creation models also agree that part of the fountains of the deep bursting forth involved a great deal of tectonic breaking up of that supercontinent resulting in massive volcanic activity. However, unlike Dr. Grasby’s scenario, the forty days of rain would have continued to wash much of the ash and greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere and into the flood waters below.
When the Red Orbit news writers wrote this article and used the title The ‘Smoking Gun’ Of World’s Largest Extinction, I don’t think they had any idea of how accurate they were. The world’s largest extinction wasn’t the Permian extinction as they believe, but the extinction caused the Genesis Flood.
Ok, but where are Grassley and co. talking about “fountains of the deep”? They are talking about magma, ash, toxic gases, and the like. The Genesis flood myth says NOTHING about these things or about tectonic splitting etc. And how the hell could all of this happened in the matter of a few thousand years to get to the world we have now?
Jolly you heretic! You are turning God’s Ultra Super Soaker Water Gun in a Magma Cannon. Stick with the script(ure) you claim is inerrant and leave reality to others.
Ok, so God has a smoking gun taking vengeance on evil doers. Here is a modernized Catholic version.
Posted on February 12, 2011 at 4:59 pm by Dr. Jim
Posted on February 12, 2011 at 2:15 pm by Dr. Jim
Well, actually of a semester a few years ago, but I only ran across it thanks to John V. who sent the link.
A. C. Grayling, (Gaurdian, Nov. 10, 2009)
Aristotle said: “We educate ourselves so that we can make a noble use of our leisure.” The idea that education is for the mind and soul, for the whole person – the citizen, the parent, the voter, the reader, the lover, the traveller, the human being in the round – is lost to view in trying to make university education a mere continuation of school for the same sausage-machine purpose of churning out employees.
I find I agreed with virtually everything Grayling said in the article, including how students should be expected to be more independent in their work.