Tag Archive 'evolution'

Dec 04 2007

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Mana

John Scalzi’s Creation Museum Report

 Novelist John Scalzi published a fantastic write-up of a tour at the Creation Museum. He promptly summarized the museum as “An epic load of horseshit,” after which he discusses both why it’s horseshit and why the museum is popular with those who can consume such horseshit:

 ”The Museum is casually trying to establish an equivalence between science and creationism by accrediting them both as legitimate “starting points” for any discussion of biology, geology and cosmology. This would cause any scientist worth his or her salt to have a positively cinematic spit take, because it’s horseshit, but if you don’t know any better (say, if you’ve been fed a line of crap your whole life along the lines of “science is just another religion”) it sounds perfectly reasonable. And so if you buy that, then the next room, filled with large posters that offer on equal footing the creationist and scientific takes on the creation of the universe and evolution, seems perfectly reasonable, too: Heck, we can both have our theories! They’re both okay. The problem with this is that creationism isn’t a theory, it’s an assertion, to wit: The entire universe was created in six days, the days are 24-hour days, the layout for the creation and for the early history of the planet and humanity is in the first chapter of Genesis and it is exactly right. Everything has to be made to conform to these assertions, which is why creationist attempts at science are generally so damn comical and refutable. “

Scalzi’s visit followed a “Drag Scalzi’s Ass to the Creation Museum” donation drive with proceeds going to Americans United for the Separation of Church and State

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Nov 08 2007

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Mana

The Wrath of Religiousness Unleashed by Yours Truly

Since my publishing of a series of “Irreverent Halloween” posts, which started with Take Halloween Back from Christians, my blog scored more pro-Christian comments than atheist comments. I’m not complaining, but the large volume prohibited me from properly answering some of the more interesting statements. So here are the top five jaw-dropping, did-she-just-say-that comments, that are too priceless to not discuss:

1. The demonic testimony:

“demons do exist; I was formerly demon-possessed (no my head didn’t spin around) so I know first hand. If you read the New Testament with an open mind, God will show you that it’s the truth.”

There is nothing more powerful to a Christian than testimony, in this case counter-testimony, as in, god must exist because demons exist, and I know because I was possessed by one.

The unanswered question remains, if god is great, why is he not protecting believers and those in faithful families from possession? All possession stories come out of believing circles. Doctors, scientists and non-believers do not appear to have ever been possessed. What ever could protect this latter group from possession by demons?

That was a rhetorical question…

2. The “atheism is religion” counter-attack:

“From what I read, you find your peace in science, which is your god as well, and your religion. If there was no faith in God, you couldn’t be called an atheist today. Why do you rely so much on science? Isn’t it the science that creates monsters? Isn’t it science that “finds” today a cure for a disease which tomorrow proves to be poison? Science….faith in a religion….it’s all the same to me, when it is brought to fanatism.”

There’s nothing more entertaining than playing a game of get-to-know-you. But unless we’re playing charades I think it’s wise to stay away from telling people that because they find peace in something, it would make that something their god. Lately I’ve been finding peace in playing Wii, does that make Wii my god?

Science is not my god, science is no one’s god. It may be someone’s major preoccupation, but chances are those who respect and understand science don’t attribute supernatural properties to science. Also, I can’t think of any monsters that science created, but I can think of a few created by people. Or rather, people turn their own selves into monsters, and many of these monsters came about as an aftermath of religious fanaticism. It is sad that many hide their choices, good or bad, underneath the umbrela of entities outside of themselves. With a few exceptions most humans are personally responsible for the consequences of their actions, and blaming mom, or dad, or a religion, or lack of a religion does not excuse humans from being accountable.

Also I’m pretty sure Marx said “religion is the opiate of the masses” not science, so science creating poison is a new thing to me. Cures that were cures but then stop working were never cures at all, and whoever claimed they were cures, was either lying or delusional, neither being a commandment of the ‘church of science.’ However, people do lie and suffer from delusions.

3. The “God has a plan” spin:

“It really isn’t like the cartoons- a little devil on one shoulder and God on the other- the Big Guy is all-powerful, He could/will/does take Satan down. He also hardens some hearts so that His purposes might be filled. In the end, I don’t know what His ultimate plan is, I don’t know who “will come to the Father through Christ”, but He has called me to share my story and my beliefs.”

If all other arguments fail, just say, “I don’t know what god’s plan is, but I know he has one.” This statement is usually accompanied by a visual like the cartoon one above. As in, let me explain this to you in a way you’ll get–ah, I know! I’ll use a cartoon metaphor, because an atheist such as you can’t possible get anything more complex than that.

Let me break this news to you, atheists know that the cartoon metaphor presenting the dualism between the devil and the angel is nothing but an illustration for the struggle between good versus evil. We don’t actually take that literally.

4. The pseudo-science argument

“Well the DNA is made of molecules, and evolution says random mutations and natural selection is what put us here. Mutation is nothing more than movement of molecules isnt it not? Random DNA mutation means the DNA encoded itself, now thats akin to accidentally generating a 128 bit encryption algorithm, and simultaneously randomly generating the decryption algorthm. Nobody would believe that can ever happen, yet this is what evolutionsts wants us to believe that DNA encoding and decoding procedures (algorithms) were randomly created.”

This comment was so wickedly bad, I did reply to it the following way:

“When you talk about molecules moving I instantly think of Chris Rock talking about pimped-up rims–”they’re spinnin’, they’re spinnin’…”

I’m also seeing the potential that you’re just making fun of creationists here by impersonating all the inane arguments I’ve ever seen brought against science and evolution. I can’t honestly believe you are serious when you say, “Mutation is nothing more than movement of molecules isnt it not?”

Bad grammar aside, and in case I am wrong, and you are serious, the answer is NO. Genetic mutation is not movement of molecules. It’s not about the rims “spinnin’ and spinnin’.”

Mutation is a permanent change in the DNA sequence that makes up a gene. Gene mutations occur in two ways: they can be inherited from a parent or acquired during a person’s lifetime. Mutations that are passed from parent to child are called hereditary mutations or germline mutations (because they are present in the egg and sperm cells, which are also called germ cells). This type of mutation is present throughout a person’s life in virtually every cell in the body.”

5. The apocalypse prediction:

“See what evolution is doing to us, this stupid evolution crap is going to be the cause of the end of this world. ONLY GOD KNOWS how people can believe that we came into existence by random movements of molecules.”

Yep, only god knows how some believe mutation comes from random movement of molecules, or how that’s going to lead to the end of the world.

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