Archive for May, 2007|Monthly archive page

Canada gets it’s own ‘museum’

In Uncategorized on May 31, 2007 at 3:03 pm

See, here I am thinking that Canada is a bastion of liberal secular values, and then I read this:

Taking on the Tyrrell

That’s right, Canada has it’s own “creation science” museum. The Tyrrell, apparently is a real museum they are comparing themselves with. Here is the real museums’ website.

“We’re not trying to push an agenda,” he said Wednesday. “We just think that people should see both sides of everything.”

Both sides. That’s not useful, as there aren’t two sides, there’s the facts and then there’s this fantasy. Why must scientists keep repeating this?

One video shows a bacterium and describes how it travels by rapidly moving its tail — suggesting that even the most primitive creatures must have been intelligently designed. Children can push a button and activate a giant bacterium.

Looks like Behe was here.

Making the same point is a teddy bear treated with mineralized water to make it appear fossilized.

Oooo, can we do radiometric dating on the teddy bear? Someone should do this to refute these idiots.

Andy Neuman, acting director of the Tyrrell, said the Big Valley project won’t have any effect on the way the Tyrrell presents its information.

That’s too bad… I’d love to see anti-creationist displays in the real museum. But perhaps that’s just giving them what they want. On the other hand, scientists mostly ignore bad science until it tries to creep into the school system. Perhaps scientists should be more aggressive on debunking this stuff?

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His Physics Teacher is a Young Earth Creationist

In Uncategorized on May 26, 2007 at 1:00 am

dakana on the Something Awful Forums posted an interesting thread about his high school physics teacher doing a presentation in class trying to show that the earth is not 4.5 billion years old.

The teacher used the following “evidence”

  • The sun is shrinking. Thus, it must have been bigger in the past, and it would have been so big ~200m years ago that it would have been touching the earth.
  • Carbon dating and radiometric dating methods are inaccurate. His ‘proof’ for this was a few examples of errors in the dating process leading to conflicting errors. He also claims that if one finds uranium and lead together, one cannot be certain that the lead is a byproduct of uranium’s decay; it might have formed from another method in conjunction with the uranium.
  • The moon is receding, and the earth’s spin is slowing. Thus, a few million years ago, the earth would have been spinning too fast, and the moon would have been too close to the earth.
  • The earth’s magnetic field is weakening. Thus, it would have been too strong a few million years ago.
  • Some fossils and skeletons have been found hoaxes. He ignores that fact that faked fossils are an incredibly small percentage of fossils.
  • He makes the claim that there have been no transitional fossils found, such as “a half-sprouted wing,” even though that’s not how evolution works.
  • He claims that the amount of helium in the atmosphere is indicative of a young earth.
  • The amount of salt in the oceans proves a young earth
  • The population of the earth wouldn’t take more than a few million years to grow to its current size.

Now, I’m not sure if this teacher is just trolling his students or if he really believes this. But it looks like danaka is going to write a paper rebutting all of the teachers points. I personally think he should do it, and give proper sources for the paper and everything. He should NOT mention religion. If the teacher should happen to mention religion he should probably not get into that discussion, but keep note of it. He should also be prepared in case there is some retaliation for his paper. I hope there isn’t personally, but on the other hand, if this guy really believes this and intends to teach it to classes, that’s not a good thing, as he’s basically teaching junk science in a science classroom, and I don’t think that’s fair to the students.

You can read the whole thread here.

What kind of atheist am I?

In Uncategorized on May 24, 2007 at 9:36 pm

So I took the atheist quiz over here

You scored as Scientific Atheist, These guys rule. I’m not one of them myself, although I play one online. They know the rules of debate, the Laws of Thermodynamics, and can explain evolution in fifty words or less. More concerned with how things ARE than how they should be, these are the people who will bring us into the future.

Scientific Atheist

92%

Apathetic Atheist

58%

Militant Atheist

50%

Agnostic

50%

Spiritual Atheist

33%

Angry Atheist

33%

Theist

17%

What kind of atheist are you?
created with QuizFarm.com

Do-nothing atheists and re-igniting the Enlightenment

In Uncategorized on May 24, 2007 at 2:58 pm

PZ Myers over at scienceblogs.com has written an interesting article about what he calls “do-nothing atheists”. I’m not sure I agree with everything he says, but I do think that sometimes “moderate” theists and atheists are guilty of trying too hard to “just get along”.

Of the “do nothing atheists” he says this.

Their goal is to avoid conflict, ignore differences, and just get along, and hope that by avoiding confrontation the great theistic mob will just generally drift into friendship with them and eventually align themselves more and more with that great bunch of guys and gals.

Read Article

Nicole Smalkowski interview on 20/20

In Uncategorized on May 14, 2007 at 3:31 am

In case you missed this story when it aired on 20/20, this 16 year old girl was given quite a hard time at her school for not believing in God. Her parents took her out of school and are home schooling the rest of thier children. They also have a lawsuit against the school district.

Rational Response Squad vs Way of the Master

In Uncategorized on May 11, 2007 at 2:13 pm

After watching the Nightline Christians vs. Atheists special, I was struck by how purposedly nosided it was. This seems to be what media does best nowdays. In an effort to be impartial, they will actually edit what other people say to the point where both seem reasonable. If you watch the debate on abcnews.go.com/nightline you will get a completely different reaction to the debate. After watching the full debate you get the sense that Kirk and Ray were really stunned by some of the atheist arguments. Almost as though they hadn’t come across them before.

Here’s the “debate” as it aired on ABC.

Part 1