Monday, February 22, 2010


A while ago, a man who had been in a coma for 23 years "communicated" via a facilitator, and quacks jumped all over the situtation raving about how he had been conscious the entire time. Months later, people decided to test if it was just the facilitator doing the communicating and not the coma victim, and it turned out to be just that. The facilitator was doing all the communicating, and the brain-dead man in the coma had done nothing.


Source's source

The Bible is true because

The Bible is true, because god said so, in the bible, which is god's word, which is true because god said so in the bible, which is god's word, which is true because god said so in the bible, which is god's word, which is true because god said so in the bible, which is god's word, which is true because god said so in the bible, which is true because god said so in the bible, which is god's word, which is true because god said so in the bible, which is true because god said so in the bible, which is god's word, which is true because god said so in the bible, which is true because god said so in the bible, which is god's word, which is true because god said so in the bible, which is true because god said so in the bible, which is god's word, which is true because god said so in the bible, which is true because god said so in the bible, which is god's word, which is true because god said so in the bible, which is true because god said so in the bible, which is god's word, which is true because god said so in the bible, which is true because god said so in the bible, which is god's word, which is true because god said so in the bible.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Accurate Manuscripts? So what?

One of the common arguments for the historicity of the Bible that apologists frequently use is that "We have hundreds of manuscripts of 'x' passage, therefore 'x' must be reliable, and it must have happened exactly as it was written in 'x'.
Unfortunately for the apologist, this is not how reality works. If we are to use this argument in another 2000 years time, and discover that we have millions of copies of Lord of the Rings, and that they are all in perfect agreement with each other about sequences of events and wording, are we then to assume that the events in Lord of the Rings actually happened as Tolkien wrote them? Before anyone mentions it, the events depicted in LotR are no more fantastical than events depicted in the Bible (both old and new testaments). Jesus walked on water, healed the sick, the NT talks about bodily resurrection of all believers (we're talking about skeletons and zombies here), Jesus died and came back to life (so did Gandalf kinda), people were turned into salt and entire cities were destroyed by fire from the sky, the walls of Jericho were knocked down by people playing trumpet, a burning tree talks, a snake talks, the entire world flooded.
I think you get the point.
It doesn't matter how accurate the various copies of a piece of fiction are when compared to each other, it's still fiction.
The battle of Troy no doubt really did happen, it was a real city. However, there is no reason for us to believe that it happened the way it was written in the Iliad. The same applies to most, if not all of the new testament. Some of the events possibly did happen, but the fantastical elements almost certainly did not occur, and most of the people described probably did not exist, or did not do what they were purported to have done.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Fundie Quotes 2

Quote# 70371 is an exceptional example of complete and utter idiocy. It comes from none other than our enlightened friends at AiG

1. If the Bible were not true, logic would not be meaningful. 2. Logic is meaningful. 3. Therefore, the Bible is true.

Source        Original Source

Quote# 70078, From 'Rapture in the Air'. This is a prime example of someone who thinks they are saying something nice, yet fails to realise how condescending and pugnacious they are being.

God is using the Disaster in Haiti for his Glory!!! Hallelujah!!!!

I can see this disaster in Haiti being used for Gods glory because I heard from a pastor in Haiti how the people were so poor there they had to eat mud pies now with this disaster the poor people are getting nutritious food they need from all the help they are getting now.

God sure does work in mysterious ways and what the enemy [Satan] used for evil God is now turning around for good and his glory!!!

Praise be to God Almighty how he can turn a disaster into a miracle for the poor people of Haiti!!!

God is so good!!!

 Source      Original Source

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The List of Steves

The National Center for Science Education has compiled a list of reputable scientists....

Wait for it...


called Steve.

The point of the list I imagine is to make fun of the frequent attempt by Intelligent-Design proponents to compile lists of "scientists" who support ID. It is worthy to note that the List of Steves is far more substantial and impressive than any list of ID 'scientists', and they are much more qualified too.

NASA's Latest Expedition to the Sun

On the 11th of February, NASA launched their Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), which is going to be taking thousands of images every day of the sun, in order for scientists to study the sun in more detail than we've ever been able to do before. SDO is supposed to send back 1.5 TB of data every day, composed entirely of footage of the sun, that's more than both my HDD's combined!!! Every day!!!

We might not see the results of this mission for months, but it is certainly something to look forward to.


The Palins

Sarah Palin, claiming the moral high ground, criticized Rahm Emanuel for calling liberals retarded. Obviously liberals as a whole are not retarded, but that is completely beside the point.

She criticized him for it, only because she has a child who was born with down syndrome.

She named her child that was born with down syndrome Trig.

One of the medical names for Down syndrome is Trisomy G.

Trisomy G.
Tri G.

Sarah Palin, names her child after after a disease that he suffers from.

Imagine calling a child who was born with a cleft palate, Cleffy, or Clefate.
How about a child born with Spina bifida, Spia, or Spida?

You get the point. This "hockey mom" from Alaska, who thinks that the earth is 6000 years old, that people lived with dinosaurs, who can't remember her 3 main political points so she has to write them on her hand, who claims the moral high ground over other republicans. Named her child after a disease. She has something wrong with her brain.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Straw-manning Abiogenesis

Creationists so often talk about how the origin of life is "so improbable" that it couldn't happen, and conclude that there must have been a creator. The will cite numbers like 1 chance in 2.04 x 10390 to form the simplest life forms by "random chance". They make several errors in their so called 'refutations' of abiogenesis, some of them probably intentionally. Essentially, they grossly misrepresent Abiogenesis theory, I'll show you a diagram from Talk Origins to explain the difference between the creationist straw-man and actual abiogenesis theory.

This simplified diagram is missing several small steps between the hypercycle and protobiont stages too. A common analogy that creationists use is that "A tornado ripping through a scrap-metal yard couldn't possibly produce a 747". As you can see from this diagram, this is an obscene oversimplification of the theory, and only goes to show that they do not understand anything about science, or that they are too dishonest to find out what science actually teaches.

For more information on this topic read the article on Talk Origins.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

By The Rivers Of Babylon

Most of you will know the song, if you don't, I'll post a video of it at the end of this post. The main phrase in the song is taken from Psalm 137:1 in the King James, which reads "By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion". Interestingly, they didn't use anything from the rest of the psalm in the lyrical content, and I have suspicions that it might be because of the obscene nature of it.

Here is the whole of Psalm 137 from the NIV

 1 By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept
       when we remembered Zion.

 2 There on the poplars
       we hung our harps,

 3 for there our captors asked us for songs,
       our tormentors demanded songs of joy;
       they said, "Sing us one of the songs of Zion!"

 4 How can we sing the songs of the LORD
       while in a foreign land?

 5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
       may my right hand forget its skill .

 6 May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth
       if I do not remember you,
       if I do not consider Jerusalem
       my highest joy.

 7 Remember, O LORD, what the Edomites did
       on the day Jerusalem fell.
       "Tear it down," they cried,
       "tear it down to its foundations!"

 8 O Daughter of Babylon, doomed to destruction,
       happy is he who repays you
       for what you have done to us-

 9 he who seizes your infants
       and dashes them against the rocks.
 That last verse is rather disturbing indeed. Those are the kind of lyrics I would expect from a band like Cannibal Corpse, not from the book of psalms.

Anyway, here is a video of the song.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Adnan Oktar, an Absolute Clown

In September 2008, a Turkish creationist by the name of Adnan Oktar (aka. Harun Yahya), offered "10 trillion Turkish lira to anyone who produces a single intermediate-form fossil demonstrating evolution". At the time this was around 4.4 trillion pounds, which would have been over 10 trillion NZ dollars. Despite the fact that thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of fossils have already been discovered, and a plethora are avaliable for viewing at various museums around the world, he still makes this offer. Predictably, this creationist cretin hasn't paid anyone, and never will. Unlike the old $250,000 offer that Kent Hovind used to talk about, this offer has standards of evidence that can easily be met by any number of fossils, which leads me to believe that Adnan Oktar is just a deceitful little clown pulling a cheap publicity stunt. Well it worked Adnan, everyone now thinks you're a moron.


Humans still evolving only 30,000 years ago

The skeleton of a child from 30,000 years ago has given us greater insight into the anatomical evolution of modern humans. The teeth of this child were x-rayed (is that even a word?) using a technique called micro-tomography that creates a digital 3D reconstruction of an object. They discovered that in comparison to the molars, the incisors were not as well developed, and had more dentin and pulp, but less enamel than the teeth of modern humans.


Great Fundie quotes

I rather enjoy finding really amusing quotes that people write on the internet, so I may periodically post some of the funniest ones I find here.

No, God's Penis is not a biological organ. I never said God's Penis was the same as man's penis. Obviously it wouldn't be. That is why I pointed out God has a Holy, Righteous Penis. That is to say, it's not the same as man's corrupted, fleshy one.

As I said when this subject first came up, once again: Penises are not just for sex & peeing. It is only because man is evil that he thinks of penises exclusively in those terms.

Man is made in the image of God the Father. That is the primary reason why man has a penis.

You cannot insert your evil prejudicial ideas of man's penis onto God - which is exactly what you are doing. God's Penis is not equal to man's penis. It's really not hard to understand.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Evolution in me

I only just realised this today after having an appointment with an oral surgeon to organise a time to have my wisdom teeth removed.
I have an extra tooth, it is one of my mandibular incisors (front teeth on the lower jaw). This is likely due to a mutation in my genetic code, and therefore is likely to be passed on to any children that I may father sometime in the distant future.

Just an interesting thought.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve

A while back in a post called "Unintelligent Design" I mentioned the recurrent Laryngeal nerve, and how it starts at the brain, travels down to the heart, loops around an artery, then makes its way back up to the larynx. For all that are interested, the video I'm about to link to shows a dissection of this nerve in a giraffe, which has a very long neck, and hence a very long detour to go a very short distance.

If you do not like looking at dead animals or blood, do not watch this video.

EDIT: The entire documentary this clip has been taken from is watchable on YouTube. If you are at all interested in the anatomy of Giraffes, that watching THIS video will be very informative indeed.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Galileo and Jupiters Moons

I just watched an interesting video on YouTube about how Galileo first discovered the moons of Jupiter and thought I'd share it with you all

Radiometric dating

Many creationists spout lists of pieces of evidence that support a young earth, they all share one or two problems. They either are completely erroneous or have already been refuted, without exception.

In particular Young-earth creationists have 3 main criticisms they frequently cite about radiometric dating, these are as follows.
They claim that scientists ignorantly assume that:
  1. The initial conditions of the rock sample are accurately known.
  2. The amount of parent or daughter elements in a sample has not been altered by processes other than radioactive decay.
  3. The decay rate (or half-life) of the parent isotope has remained constant since the rock was formed.
From Answers in Genesis.

These assumptions are known by geologists, and are taken into account, and I'll go through the refutations to each of these criticisms.

Isochron dating methods do not assume that the initial conditions are known. This assumption is only made in very simple radiometric dating, the kind that you'd use only if you did know the initial ratio of the parent/daughter minerals, such as with radiocarbon dating. To explain Isochron Dating I'm going to give you a paragraph from TalkOrigins that explains it very well. Though understanding this concept requires a basic understanding of statistics and also of radioactive decay.

With isochron dating, we also measure a different isotope of the same element as the daughter (call it D2), and we take measurements of several different minerals that formed at the same time from the same pool of materials. Instead of assuming a known amount of daughter isotope, we only assume that D/D2 is initially the same in all of the samples. Plotting P/D2 on the x axis and D/D2 on the y axis for several different samples gives a line that is initially horizontal. Over time, as P decays to D, the line remains straight, but its slope increases. The age of the sample can be calculated from the slope, and the initial concentration of the daughter element D is given by where the line meets the y axis. If D/D2 is not initially the same in all samples, the data points tend to scatter on the isochron diagram, rather than falling on a straight line.
 Other types of radiometric dating do make assumptions about the initial levels of parent/daughter minerals but these assumptions are justified. For example C-14 dating assumes we know the level of C-14 in the atmosphere when the organism died, and this does vary quite substantially. Lucky for us, for dating samples within the range of C-14 dating, we can use other methods to calibrate the accuracy of it, for example ice-core samples and tree-ring dating (dendrochronology).

The second criticism that scientists assume that a rock is a closed system is almost laughable. Absolutely closed systems do not exist even in ideal conditions, but many types of igneous rock come about as close to a closed system as you can possibly imagine. As was mentioned in the paragraph from TalkOrigins, multiple samples are taken in any dating procedure, and the fact that they consistently produce results within one percent of each other is testament to the closed nature of most igneous rocks. Even if a particular lava flow was contaminated, the chance that all samples were contaminated equally, so as to give results within 1 and 3% of each other is extremely low.

Not only are most rocks barely capable of being contaminated, even if they were, isochron dating methods are capable of detecting contamination and even correcting for it. Geochronologists are well aware of potential rock contamination and take precautions to avoid samples that may have been contaminated, for example they will not use a sample that has been weathered.

The third criticism is just stupid. All scientific research that has been done on this idea has conclusively come to show that radioactive decay is a very consistent process, and does not fluctuate under different conditions. Some creationists claim that cosmic rays or neutrinos would affect the half-lives of minerals, but there has been no evidence to show this is the case. This is simply a bald assertion from the Creationists, showing once again that they are not interested in doing real science, but only to propagate falsehoods and lies.


I'm not going to delve into any evidence in this post, I'm merely speculating on the motivations of young-earthers.

I used to be a young-earther myself (then I realised how stupid it was), but the only reason I believed the earth was young, is because that's what I was lead to believe by adults when I was younger. I had at least one creationist teacher when I was in primary school, influences from other adults, and then of course the Kent Hovind videos and articles that I was so fond of. I only believed in a young earth because I was told it was so, and since I didn't know any better I accepted this explanation. What I can't understand is the people who propagate these fairy-tales about a young earth.
The evidence overwhelmingly supports an earth that is ~4.5billion years old, and for adults to hold young earth beliefs requires an enormous amount of self-deceit.

Perhaps I'll take a more in depth look at this later.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Prayer in Parliament

As a secular nation, I am quite perplexed as to why we still have a prayer recited in our parliament. In the 2006 census only around 55% of our population identified themselves as being of the Christian faith, yet our government recites a prayer that is blatantly Christian every day it is in session.

Here is the prayer that is recited.

Almighty God, humbly acknowledging our need for Thy guidance in all things, and laying aside all private and personal interests, we beseech Thee to grant that we may conduct the affairs of this House and of our country to the glory of Thy holy name, the maintenance of true religion and justice, the honour of the Queen, and the public welfare, peace, and tranquillity of New Zealand, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

There are several things in that prayer that I have a problem with.
1) I do not believe in a god, along with over 30% of this nation, so "humbly acknowledging" the need for guidance from a deity means nothing to me.
2) No one speaks like that anymore, so it is only for the sake of religious reverence that they still recite a prayer in old english.
3) The Queen does nothing except have her face embossed on our currency, so why should she be referenced in a prayer to an imaginary sky-daddy.
4) The mention of "true religion" embarrasses me. Coming from the mouths of the government of a secular nation, calling Christianity the true religion is unacceptable.
5) The Lord of the writer of this prayer has done nothing to keep this country wealthy, safe, peaceful or tranquil, those are all the works of our forefathers. We should be thanking them, not some genie.


1 Peter 1:1-2
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

I just wanted to highlight this particular part of this verse. The writer of 1 Peter seemed fairly certain according to this verse that his salvation was already known ahead of time by God the Father. Now I understand that knowledge of something doesn't mean you caused it, as we've discussed in the comments section before, but it damn well makes you responsible for it.

If you created a universe knowing everything that would unfold in it, you are responsible for every single thing, including all of the horrific and detestable things.

Monday, February 1, 2010


Atavisms are perhaps one of the most visually compelling evidences for evolution, this is because they are generally very visual in nature. Examples of atavisms are human tails, teeth in chickens, hind legs in whales, dolphins and snakes, and extra toes in horses.

An atavism is essentially a trait that had disappeared in a species being expressed in an individual.

Here is a picture of a recent case of a human tail atavism in India.

As you can see, it isn't just a stump of a tail, but rather a fully formed tail, with vertebrae and everything. I assure you the picture is not a fake. There have been over 100 cases reported in medical literature over the years, some with vertebrae, some without.

Atavisms are strong evidence for evolution because they show us that the DNA for forming traits which have evolved themselves out of the population are still buried in the genetic code of modern animals. They show our evolutionary history, much like vestigial organs do. Creationist attempts to discredit atavisms, especially tails have undoubtedly failed miserably. Some creationists have claimed that human tails are just abnormal mutations, not realising that would be an argument for evolution, not for creationism. Some have also argued that the tails are not inherited, and that would therefore mean it wouldn't evolve. Either intentionally deceptive, or just plain ignorant, these claims are wrong. There have been cases where several generations have all developed tails, not only that, the genetic information to develop the tail has been inherited by every single generation in human lineage since we 'lost' our tails several million years ago. So the creationist arguments fail on every level imaginable, but that is to be expected from those deceitful crooks.
Here, you can find more information about human tail atavisms.
Here, you can find more pictures of human tails.