Monthly Archives: January 2010

A Creationist Clown Show From Canada

I have oodles of fondness for Canada. But I draw the line at accepting its trash. Recycle your own shit, Canada. I refer here to Ian Juby, creationist and clown extraordinaire. His claim to fame is that he’s opened a creation ‘museum’. Take the virtual tour and you’ll see that he’s using Michael Behe’s bacterial-flagellum argument for design –years after it was completely demolished. To be a creationist after all is to live in the land that time forgot. Juby’s videos are even more laughable. Talk about laying on the maple syrup thick –he addresses his audience while wearing a safari outfit, as if he’s trying to convince everyone he’s recently returned from an expedition. I think I saw him sweeping hay at the petting zoo. And I thought it was annoying when TV doctors wear scrubs on talk shows. But his level of creation argumentation is easily summed up in this one sentence.

“Do you think a frog can turn into a prince?”

Pure genius. Of course, he’s addressing a room full of children and their gullible parents. But I think the point here is that he’s attempting to indoctrinate and not educate. I cannot imagine real scientists feel the need to dress in their travel gear when they’re lecturing and they’re not actually in the field. For example, I don’t think the late biologist Ernst Mayr, who traveled the dangerous wilds of New Guinea in the 1920’s, ever spoke before a Harvard audience while wearing jungle fatigues. The Barnum-and-Baily-style antics are only necessary when the material is thin and specious. How incredibly degrading and condescending it is to watch children being treated in this fashion. Screw you, Canada, for not securing your borders.

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Creationist Of The Month Club

A Little About Paleontologist Per Ahlberg

Anyone interested in paleontology, rational thought, or the scourge of creationism might want to read the transcript of an interview with Per Ahlberg, Professor of Evolutionary Biology at Uppsala University in Sweden. His straight talk and wit are refreshing. Here’s a sample:

I think mainstream science has a duty and a responsibility to expose creationism and ID for the pseudoscientific frauds that they are. This is something quite different from engaging them in debate, the way you would do with adherents of an opposing but conceptually sound scientific viewpoint. Scientists must expose them simply because they are frauds, and it won’t do to have large parts of the population bamboozled by the lies and misrepresentations of charlatans… Note that there is an important point here: creationists and ID proponents by necessity attempt to befuddle their audience, not just about the evidence for evolution, but about the nature of scientific enquiry in general. They have to, because it is their only way of concealing the threadbare nature of their own claims. (His emphasis)

From this, it should be clear why I have chosen to take part; though you can add the fact that I enjoy talking to people and presenting my ideas to popular audiences. Money, fame and hot chicks would be welcome but have not been forthcoming so far…

Per Ahlberg is known for his work with fossil tetrapods. His latest contribution is as co-author of a paper about 395-million-year-old tetrapod trackways that were found in Poland. (Here’s a summary of the find by PZ Myers at Pharyngula). And a short video about the find is available on the Journal Nature website. Enjoy!

3 Comments

Filed under Atheism, Culture Warfare, paleontology, Skepticism

Paul Harvey – The Professional Rat

While listening to Paul Harvey over the years, who’s show came on between real content and the news, I often wondered –What the hell does this clown actually do? His radio show was neither news nor commentary. He used his deeply affected and annoying voice to broadcast cornball stories, ones Americana expert, Garrison Keillor would likely have rejected as over the top. And he’d weave advertisements almost seamlessly into his reading, like a used-car salesman spinning his summer road trip with the family. Not news, not commentary, just garbage. Now we know the truth–as reported by the the Washington Post— that Harvey was often a shill for the FBI. Not only did he pass on some of his scripts to the agency for approval, he accepted written material from it for broadcast. I wonder if his employers ever knew. I’d have fired him on the spot for being a two-faced liar and a fraud.

I have no problem with people openly being patriotic cheerleaders if they want –free speech and all. But when someone masquerades as a broadcaster as part of a conspiracy to underhandedly manipulate the American public, I’m terribly appalled and angered. What Harvey did dangerously blurs the line between media and government.

For ratting out communists and promoting blind patriotism Harvey was congratulated by the big man himself. Here’s a quote from a letter J. Edgar Hoover wrote to Harvey:

“The staunch defense you have always put up in behalf of the FBI and your unwavering devotion to the best causes of your country have been a source of great inspiration to us.” (My emphasis)

Unwavering devotion can be a sick destructive thing, and it can often be found at the core of religion. Good riddance, Harvey.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity, Politics

CNN Fails, Yet Again

CNN has put up a poll asking readers if they think time travel will one day be possible. And they qualify the results by stating that “this is not a scientific poll.” And here I was thinking the interns at CNN were all part-time physicists. Boy, do I feel ignorant. For tomorrow’s poll, I suggest the question – Will broadcast news ever recruit talent directly from high-school newspapers? But I’m also left wondering what would have happened if the readers had mistaken it for a ‘real’ scientific poll. Pandemonium, perhaps? I guess we’ll never know.

Will time travel be possible some day?

This is not a scientific poll
No 70% 21922
Yes 30% 9214
Total votes: 31136
This is not a scientific poll

//

Leave a comment

Filed under Science