Saturday, July 21, 2012

DiscoTute stepped in it again

I read an article yesterday by PZ Myers titled, Forever Disappointed. The gist of the article was the inability of the Biologic Institute, funded by the Discovery Institute, to provide evidence for their claims. In this case, they deny that fusion in chromosome 2 in humans, by which they branched off from other primates ~6 million years ago, ever took place. Biologist Carl Zimmer, among others, took exception to DI's ongoing jackassery, and asked them for the evidence to their claims on BI's Facebook page. It wasn't long before the BI went from going on the offensive to damage control, insisting that they were being "pestered" by Zimmer.

After a few attempts at getting an answer, followed by deafening silence, BI finally gave sneering reply to Zimmer, asking "Carl, you write books for a living. Do you rehearse their content on your blog for anyone who asks?" BI later stated that Facebook is no place intended for debate. They ultimately threatened to put the kibosh on the whole conversation, then stated that their comments would be moved to BI's website. Of course, you shouldn't be surprised there are no public comment threads at their site.

We don't want any kind of true scientific inquiry, do we, DI?

DI's David Klinghoffer has since invited Zimmer to a "debate", to which Zimmer has said no. As Myers asks, why should he? He asked for evidence to DI/BI's inane claims in an open forum, which they denied providing that evidence, and then sneered at him. Now they're proclaiming victory, and I won't let that happen in light of their flagrant dishonesty.

I'm no mathematician, physicist, or biologist. I am simply a guy from Pennsylvania who cares deeply about the pursuit of science and detests when science is intentionally misrepresented by creationists in order to indoctrinate the public.

Take notice of a few things here:

1. Intellectual dishonesty by DI.
2. The inability to provide evidence to their claims.
3. Lack of real scientific research by DI.
4. BI does not welcome scrutiny by the scientific community (1, 2, 3).

Also, keep in mind that chromosome 2 was used as evidence in the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial in 2005 by Kenneth Miller, a professed Catholic and evolutionary biologist. Furthermore, the judge, John Jones III, is a professed Christian who ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, stating that the teaching of creationism in a high school science class was unconstitutional.

As of the time of this writing, Zimmer is still asking BI to disclose the source from which they base their denial of chromosome 2, and they're still not answering.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Promise of Living

Speaking of Americana, take some time during this hot, humid, summer day to enjoy some beauty from the greatest American composer that ever lived.

Proper flag etiquette

Like any other town in the United States, State College is patriotic. Drive around town and you're sure to find flags being mutilated as they are torn apart by the wind on the back of a Harley, cars with red,white, and blue ribbon magnets with messages that admonish us to remember P.O.W.s/M.I.A.s and "Support Our Troops" -- those magnets are probably made in China.

If you're lucky enough, you might even find a house with a flag proudly displayed that is frayed with holes in it, bleached by the elements, no lighting on it at all, or dragging on the ground. But if you're really lucky, you might find that there are a few of us who actually know a thing or two about proper flag etiquette.

Last night at the Central Pennsylvana 4th Fest, there were a few things that got on my nerves. Fast.

First, as the National Anthem was being sung and the order was given for all to rise, there were a few around me who bitched and moaned about having to get off their rear end. Second, as the Star-Spangled Banner was being sung, I noticed that the most patriotic of those in attendance (you know, the ones wearing red, white, and blue and wearing t-shirts with some patriotic commentary), did not place their right hand over their heart. Rather, they opted to put their hands in their pockets or fold their arms.

While these two things irritated me, I wasn't ready for the douchebag with Old Glory draped over his shoulders and a flag bandana wrapped around his head, running around like he's some sort of neo Captain America. For those of you who know me, you know that while I tend to bitch a lot, I rarely get heated enough to say anything about things that upset me; I tend to keep my mouth shut. But this time, I had to say something. I simply yelled to this malcontent that it wasn't a cape. He turned, looked around quizically, then summarily blew me off.

I got to thinking about this, and then I realized that it might not entirely be his fault. Maybe nobody took the time to tell him that doing such a thing was a grave disrepect to the flag, veterans, prisoners of war, those killed in action, or active duty members of the military. With that in mind, if you'd like to become more savvy about the flag, I direct your attention to United States Code, Title 4, Chapter 1 - The Flag.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Ray Comfort's ongoing lies and plagiarism.

Hey -- guess what! I caught Ray Comfort in yet another tangled web of lies and plagiarism!

Shocked? Neither am I.

Over the past week, Ray has been leading a very cherry-picked study of the Book of Job, which used to be my favorite book in the Bible, followed very closely by The Book of Esther. In June 2009, I wrote my own study on the Book of Job, and gave you my personal opinion on what the book is really about -- a fictional tale of an innocent man who lost nearly everything, including his children, as a result from a cosmic pissing contest between Jehovah and Satan.

True to form, Ray would have you believe that he's more of an astrophysicist than Stephen Hawking, conveniently skirting the overwhelming evidence that supports the Big Bang theory. In his blogpost on Thursday, June 28th, Ray resumes his arrogance and smug sense of superiority by inferring that those of us who do not subscribe to his spiritual point of view have "a few intellectual problems."

He goes on asking questions that have already been answered hundreds if not thousands of times, but Ray just keeps ignoring the answers. Yet Ray continues, "What was in the beginning? What produced this huge, incredible natural world in which we live? If you say it was the 'big bang,' then where did the materials come from to make the big bang? If the Big Bang was the product, who or what was the producer?" Ray has received answers to these questions repeatedly and he knows it, but like a terrified puppy, he just runs with his tail tucked firmly between his legs.

Something about Ray's writing at this particular post didn't feel right. Not that it ever does, mind you. But I just had a feeling the words I read weren't his. I copied just one sentence from that post, pasted it into Google, and hit enter. Sure enough, I was right.

When Ray talks about science, his audience, Christian or non-Christian, must research what he says because when he speaks on matters of science, he lies. All the time. I don't just mean some of the time -- I mean all of the time. Ray likely lifted the forementioned sentence from this article written by Fraser Cain, publisher of Universe Today, and co-host of the AstronomyCast podcast. I could beat Cain with a wet trout for a week due to his shoddy writing; Cain should know better. Cain's article is based on this paper published in Astronomy and Astrophysics, May 2011.

"Sound travels in waves as does light and heat, but unlike light and heat, sound moves by making molecules vibrate. So, for sound to travel anywhere there must be molecules for it to travel. Sound travels on earth to our ears by vibrating air molecules, but there are no molecules in space."
"Sound travels in waves like light or heat does, but unlike them, sound travels by making molecules vibrate. So, in order for sound to travel, there has to be something with molecules for it to travel through. On Earth, sound travels to your ears by vibrating air molecules. In deep space, the large empty areas between stars and planets, there are no molecules to vibrate."
Ray was then properly educated by the guests at his blog about cosmology and physics, which he will probably ignore. I'm still waiting for his response to my question regarding the source is for his claims.

Having my suspicions confirmed that Ray is a plagiarist, I did a simple Google search on Ray's plagiarism, and even I was a bit surprised at how much of this clown's work is not his. You may recall that in 2009, Ray pulled a stunt by releasing his version of Charles Darwin's "The Origin of Species". In Ray's bastardized version, he offered a brief biography of Darwin. As it turns out, large portions of the introduction were lifted from a paper entitled "A Brief History of Charles Darwin" written by Dr. Stan Guffey, Ph.D., professor of biology at the University of Tennessee. Read more about this story here.

They don't call it the Information Age for nothing, Ray. All I have to do to learn about any topic is punch in a few words and entire digital libraries are at my fingertips. Why, then, do you think that you're the only person who's smart enough to use a search engine? How stupid do you think the rest of us are?

We all know that you're a cowardly, lying, thief, Ray. By your own admission, lying thieves will be sent on a one-way ticket to Hell. Are you willing to finally face your opponents, look them in the eye, and admit that you're a charlatan? Have you ever apologized to Cain, Guffey, or anybody else for presenting their work as your own?

For a person who implores us to examine a religion you claim is the ultimate guide to morality, which condemns lying and stealing, why do you resort to these things, Ray? Do you ever feel even slightly ashamed for your intellectual dishonesty?

To the followers of this charlatan, how much of his intellectual feces are you going to eagerly consume while ignoring the fact that Ray is a liar? You readily accuse atheists and agnostics of being lying thieves without evidence, but you don't dare raise an accusatory finger at somebody who actually deserves it like Ray. A child could tell you that Ray's a lying thief, but grown adults give him carte blanche for no other reason than he professes the same faith that you do. If you know he's a liar, and you still refer to him is a good Christian, you're just as much of a liar as he is.

Here are some cosmological and astrophysical terms for Ray, other creationists, and even Fraser Cain to research:
For a list of Ray's lies, click here.

Just for fun, watch the video below to see just how much of a dishonest, hypocritical douchebag Ray really is.