Another Christian Science Fair embarrasses itself


It’s becoming a trend: Evangelical Christian institutions that try to do science inevitably demonstrate breathtaking inanity of their own. The latest victim is the Pawleys Island Christian Academy. Take a gander at the first place winner in biology.

Brian Benson, an eighth-grade student who won first place in the Life Science/Biology category for his project “Creation Wins!!!,” says he disproved part of the theory of evolution. Using a rolled-up paper towel suspended between two glasses of water with Epsom Salts, the paper towel formed stalactites. He states that the theory that they take millions of years to develop is incorrect.

“Scientists say it takes millions of years to form stalactites,” Benson said. “However, in only a couple of hours, I have formed stalactites just by using paper towel and Epsom Salts.”

This isn’t just wrong, it’s appallingly wrong. He’s wrong on the facts, wrong on the interpretations, wrong on the understanding of how science works. If we’re charitable and grant that a 14 year old has some reasonable excuse for ignorance, we can still indict his parents, his science teacher, and the judges at this fair on gross incompetence on multiple charges.

  • This experiment has nothing to do with biology.
  • Epsom salts are magnesium sulfate; stalactites are made of calcium carbonate.
  • Stalactite growth rates are estimated to be around 0.1-10 centimeters per thousand years. If we assume his ‘stalactite’ was 10 cm long and use the slowest growth rate, that’s 100 thousand years, not millions.
  • Even if he had demonstrated an accelerated rate of stalactite growth, stalactite length isn’t the method used to date the age of the earth.
  • To quote the unquestionable authority, Terry Pratchett: “And all those exclamation points? Five? A sure sign of someone who wears his underpants on his head.” Mister Benson comes perilously close to the underpants limit in his title.

Comments

  1. mndarwinist says

    Pathetic.
    PZ, do you think it is possible that in fifty years, newly discovered galaxies could have Chinese name? I truely, honestly hope not.

  2. Richard says

    Funny! Objective Ministries had a similar report in 2001, except theirs was a spoof:

    http://objectiveministries.org/creation/sciencefair.html

    My favorite, second place in High School:

    2nd Place: “Maximal Packing Of Rodentia Kinds: A Feasibility Study”

    Jason Spinter’s (grade 12) project was to show the feasibility of Noah’s Ark using a Rodentia research model (made of a mixture of hamsters and gerbils) as a representative of diluvian life forms. The Rodentia were placed in a cage with dimensions proportional to a section of the Ark. The number of Rodentia used (58) was calculated using available Creation Science research and was based on the median animal size and their volumetric distribution in the Ark. The cage was also fitted with wooden dowels inserted at regular intervals through the cage walls, forming platforms which provided support for the Rodentia. Although there was little room left in the cage, all Rodentia were able to move just enough to ward off muscle atrophy. Food pellets and water were delivered to sub-surface Rodentia via plastic drinking straws inserted into the Rodentia-mass, which also served to allow internal air flow. Once a day, the cage was sprayed with water to cleanse any built-up waste. Additionally, the cage was suspended on bungee cords to simulate the rocking motion of a ship. The study lasted 30 days and 30 nights, with all Rodentia surviving at least long enough afterwards to allow for reproduction. These findings strongly suggest that Noah’s Ark could hold and support representatives of all antediluvian animal kinds for the duration of the Flood and subsequent repopulation of the Earth.

  3. MarcusA says

    Wow. That’s really pathetic. I guess when people live in a bubble of ignorance everyone is a science fair winner. That project makes a baking soda volcano look brainy.

  4. says

    Wow Richard. That list is insane.

    “How can I prove that evolution is true (and God does not exist).”

    10. What was life like before the Flood?

    12. Trilobites prove Noah’s flood because they are curled up or not?

    19. Can a dog run a maze faster than a gerbil?

    23. Why do we have an Adams apple?

    36. Why is snow 6 sided?

    35. Why does the Bible say there is one glory of the sun, one glory of the moon, and one glory of the stars?

    31. Why is the sky blue by day and black at night?

    And some real gold:

    28. What makes an animal wild?

    53. Were all the animals friendly to man before the Flood? Idea: raise several baby animals like snake and mouse together to see if they remain friends as they are older. (Man that’s cruel…)

    112. What is the difference between cold and warm blooded? Why did God do it this way?

    97. Why did God make birds to fly?

    83. Why do people believe in Evolution?

    84. What events caused them to become evolutionists?

  5. says

    And all those exclamation points? Five? A sure sign of someone who wears his underpants on his head.

    Somebody had best inform Brian Lumley (1 of those authors who uses them so often, they lose all their charm rapidly). Probably has all kinds of lingerie hats.
    I’m not very up on stalactites: don’t the ingredients vary somewhat?

  6. Rien says

    This isn’t funny, it’s appalling. Realize that these kids have no chance. They have been taught this stuff in school, and they have been taught to never question anything their Christian leaders say because then they won’t be raptured.

  7. spartanrider says

    That Twin Cities science fair list can’t be real.Number 18 asks if physical attributes or skin color influences intelligence.There is also a question as to whether humans are mammals.I guess the student should consult the tome The Negro As A Beast.This marvelous work could give him the answers to both questions.No Xian school should be without it.Most of that list is totally sick.I’m glad I am old without much time left.I can’t take it anymore.There were nuts when I was younger,but it was easy to avoid them.Keep up the good work and send these people back to the hills from whence they came.

  8. pkiwi says

    And…
    72. What is God made of?
    Sugar & spice, or the frogs and puppy dogs tails? (can’t remember how the rhyme goes, but it would be in keeping with the hint of animal cruelty in the list)

    Can we suggest another topic please…
    199. Why are Creationists so obstinately stupid?

  9. Mike says

    Sorry, if the formatting is off, it’s my first time posting:

    Wow, this is seriously depressing; for the love of mathematical constants…I…I think this might be child abuse. The absurd bit is that several of those projects seemed like pretty damned good ones for a middle schooler to investigate.

    However, that list of Creation Science Fair topics…

    2. How many shades of skin color are there? Use a paint scanner to test 100 people.
    –My guess is that at one of these schools the range of skin shades would be remarkably narrow. A bastardized founder’s effect perhaps?–

    8. How much voltage or current can a human take before he is killed? Could do experiments on a plant.
    –Sheesh, talk about being pro-capital punishment. Somehow this doesn’t seem like the right model organism…actually nevermind it might suffice in their case.–

    52. What was the weather like before the Flood?
    –Rainy?–

    69. Why do cats always land on there feet when they fall? Do other animals do this?
    –I don’t even want to imagine where a 12 year old boy and farm full of animals would take this one–

    83. Why do people believe in Evolution?
    84. What events caused them to become evolutionists?
    –It’s this whole thing with evidence and critical thinking. Oh yeah, that and satan commanded us to subvert good christian morals.–

  10. says

    This one appears to be real. Suggested topics for a Creation Science Fair …

    http://www.tccsa.tc/fair/fair_ideas.html

    Posted by: Richard | May 23, 2007 09:06 PM

    I really like some of the brainstorm questions from the TCCSA:

    “50. Why is blood blue in our veins but turns red when we are cut? If we are cut in a vacuum would the blood stay blue?”

    I want to see the suggested experimental design for that one and will volunteer for data collection.

    “106.Can plants affect your growth?”

    I can think of a leafy plant native to North America which stunts your growth.

    “93. Why do people eat and drink allot when they are depressed?”

    Is “allot” an upper?

    “83. Why do people believe in Evolution?”

    Hey, Pikachu to Raichu. Who can deny that?

    “30. Why does the ocean appear blue but when it is in a bucket it is clear?”

    This guy must have gone fishin’ for a whale with Simple Simon. Wait, Simon used a pail, not a bucket. “Whale” doesn’t rhyme with “bucket.”

    “49. How does friction work?”

    49a. And how does it lead to babies?

    “43. Does commercial feed, corn and grits, or range feed, increase egg production in chickens? What about other animals and feeds?”

    Does other animals and feeds increases egg production in chickens?

    There’s more.

  11. Chris says

    Be careful, this young man’s uncle may chastise you for breaking his poor little scientific heart :)

  12. says

    While I feel bad picking on kids who really are just victims of imbecile parents, this is just too funny to pass on.

    I wonder who accredits this academy? Maybe it’s time for a review of their status…

  13. Keanusk says

    Someone should be liable for damages to Mr. Benson. Surely, there’s a civil, if not criminal case of abuse. It certainly doesn’t qualify as education. That said, the education that all too many Christian schools dish out us not an education at all, but child abuse.

  14. Ichthyic says

    I not only feel sorry for the kid, I feel sorry for the school, that would nominate this as a ‘science’ project to begin with, I feel sorry for the parents, who are doubtless proud of their child’s “achievement”, and I feel sorry for the community this kid will end up in.

    depressing all the way round, to see such destruction.

  15. T. Bruce McNeely says

    There’s a debate going on right now as to the differences between Canadians and Americans. This item reminded me of that. I haven’t heard of any science fair projects along these lines in Canada. Mind you, we do have Christian schools, and I am not familiar with the local news in our Bible Belt regions (Fraser Valley, parts of Alberta and Ontario etc.) If anyone has heard of such stuff, I would be very interested. I do believe that the religious right is much less powerful in Canada, although there are a few such people in our current government.

  16. Kari says

    Yes, but now young Brian needs to tell us what brand of paper towel God used? And where in the world did he get all those epsom salts? The Epsom Salt Council may need to add a new subject heading to its website : Beauty, Garden, Health, CREATION!

  17. John C. Randolph says

    Gee, he could have done it in minutes with hot wax. I’m not impressed.

    -jcr

  18. Zbu says

    The best part about this? This kid is going to think he’s a genius and is going to spend a lot of money to go to a big school to impress all us heathen atheists and end up being so humiliated when it’s revealed that he knows nothing. And he’s going to go back home, feel bad, blame us, and then not even realize what the real problem is because it’s so tied into his own ego.

    That’s probably going to be the last straw for the Creationists. Incidents like this are going to produce a generation of dullards that are going to be openly mocked for this. Sure, it’s tragic, but the humor alone from this is going to be hilarious.

  19. John C. Randolph says

    About cats landing on their feet…

    I’ve seen a cat slip off a kitchen counter when startled, and it landed mostly on its ass. It splayed itself out as it fell, the ass hit the floor, and the critter flopped onto its side. Don’t know what it proves, but I sure enjoyed seeing it. ;-)

    -jcr

  20. says

    Hmm… I think I’ll have to drop in on one of this school’s “Biology” courses to whip up a batch of rock candy and say “Look, I made diamonds! Buy some for your mommy.”

  21. Sophist, FCD says

    It’s like they think no “evolutionist” has ever seen an icicle or something.

  22. Katie says

    Don’t know whether to laugh or cry after reading that list.

    64. Why do we sleep at night? Do we have to sleep to rejuvenate the rods and cones in the eye?
    65. What affects skin color? Is one color better than another? What was God’s purpose in this? WTF??
    66. What color is our brain? Again, WTF?
    67. What is the fastest speed something can go?
    68. Why is a dogs nose wet?

  23. says

    53. Were all the animals friendly to man before the Flood? Idea: raise several baby animals like snake and mouse together to see if they remain friends as they are older. (Man that’s cruel…)

    Well, how long have Dembski and Luskin known each other?

  24. Interrobang says

    Cats always land on their feet, huh? Well, you know, I thought I had a cat, but I have definitely seen him fall off things and land on his head before, so I guess he must be a pseudocat, or an alien disguised as a cat.

    As to #65, I could make a compelling argument that some skin colours are “better” than others, at least in certain circumstances. Right now, I’m really wishing I was a little less melanin-deprived than I am, since we’ve had several days lately with a very high UV index each day, and my pastiness can’t take it. I’m going to pinken, freckle, and then turn white again (damn stealth red hair). I have a friend who has lovely milk-chocolate-coloured skin who didn’t get his first sunburn until he was 17 and visited Thailand. Envy!

    I don’t think that’s quite what they meant by “better,” though…

  25. Ichthyic says

    That’s probably going to be the last straw for the Creationists. Incidents like this are going to produce a generation of dullards that are going to be openly mocked for this.

    marginalization is a powerful tool for social change.

    …and IMO, the ONLY one that will end up having long term consequences in the “culture” war.

  26. Ex-drone says

    It should not be surprising that the fundies would choose to reward a student who has shown the aptitude to contort, misrepresent, slight and misapply science in order to promote their religious ideology. That’s all they’re looking for in a scientist, after all.

  27. McGarnigle says

    104.Why do cats hate dogs and dogs hate cats?

    I’ve always wondered this.

  28. says

    Great. And another notch in the proverbial bedpost of stupidity for my home state. And right up the road too.

    And Pawleys is such a nice area. Such nice hammocks.

  29. truth machine says

    PZ, do you think it is possible that in fifty years, newly discovered galaxies could have Chinese name? I truely, honestly hope not.

    Why?

  30. Ichthyic says

    Why do cats hate dogs and dogs hate cats?

    same reason hyenas and lions sometimes attack each other; competing predators.

    that would be my guess.

    I’d also bet that mountain lions and wolves don’t get along so well. I’m pretty sure of it, actually.

    but that would be the dogs and cats thing again.

    of course why Creobots think dogs hate cats is probably far too bizarre for me to even guess at.

    anybody know?

  31. Ichthyic says

    It should not be surprising that the fundies would choose to reward a student who has shown the aptitude to contort, misrepresent, slight and misapply science in order to promote their religious ideology. That’s all they’re looking for in a scientist, after all.

    hard to argue with that logic.

  32. pkiwi says

    #22 – I think that aritcle link is possibly more depressing than the science fair topice. I mean the paper considers the oft observed: stupidity leads to more stupidity. But dang it – science has to go and prove it!

  33. Millimeter Wave says

    ever since the tccsa list first appeared on my radar screen, I’ve never been able to get this particular suggestion out of my head:

    8. How much voltage or current can a human take before he is killed? Could do experiments on a plant.

    Really, truly, I have no words. None.

  34. says

    Dogs hate cats because they persisted in asserting their individuality, of course. Rudyard Kipling explained this in his authoritative tome on the subject “The Cat Who Walks by Himself”.

  35. Catalina says

    1. Sad but true. The writer of the story is outright lying about the rate of growth of Calcium Carbonate stalactites.
    We recently visited Kartchner Caverns Arizona.
    The tunnel leading into the caverns was dynamited into the cave between 15-20 years ago.
    On the ceiling of the tunnel we noticed a 5-6 inch calcium carbonate stalactite growing. That’s 0.3 inches per year. You can make the cm calculation.

    The rate of growth needs to take into account many considerations including water pressure, water flow, and amount of CaCO2 among other things.
    The author is an outright liar and I can testify to this from personal observation.

    3. The PA law below describes Stalactites as being composed of one of the compounds Epsomite (Magnesium Sulfate).
    All caves in the US are described by evolutionists as very, very old taking thousands if not millions of years to form.
    Pennsylvania Cave Protection Act (1990)
    No 1990 -133, SB 867, Signed into law Nov. 21, 1990
    Prohibiting certain conduct with respect to cavers; and imposing penalties.
    Section 1. Short title.
    This act shall be cited as the Cave Protection Act.
    Section 3. Definitions.
    The following words and phrases when used in this act have the meanings given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
    “Speleothem.” A natural mineral formation or deposit occurring in a cave. The term includes, or is synonymous with, stalagmite, stalactite, helectite [sic], shield, anthodite, gypsum flower and needic, angel’s hair, soda straw, drapery, bacon, cave pearl, popcorn (coral), rimstone dam, column, palette, flowstone and other similar mineral formations which occur in caves. Speleothems are commonly composed of calcite, epsomite, gypsum, aragonite, celestrite and other similar minerals.

  36. Ichthyic says

    #22 – I think that aritcle link is possibly more depressing than the science fair topice. I mean the paper considers the oft observed: stupidity leads to more stupidity. But dang it – science has to go and prove it!

    yes, it’s a dirty job, but somebody had to do it.

    I haven’t had a chance to do more than skim it so far, but it looks like an interesting paper.

  37. b says

    if it looks like a stalactite, it must be a stalactite!

    i don’t blame the kid, it’s the school–how can they call this education?

  38. Ian H Spedding says

    John C. Randolph wrote:

    I’ve seen a cat slip off a kitchen counter when startled, and it landed mostly on its ass. It splayed itself out as it fell, the ass hit the floor, and the critter flopped onto its side. Don’t know what it proves, but I sure enjoyed seeing it. ;-)

    Speaking of cats, I remember an intriguing theory from the column at the back of New Scientist about a source of limitless power. The author noted that cats always landed on their feet and that buttered toast always landed buttered side down when dropped. He proposed tying a slice of buttered toast to the back of a cat and dropping them. The theory was that both the cat and the toast would try to land in their preferred attitudes with the result that the combined unit would hover just off the ground spinning furiously – a source of limitless power just waiting to be tapped.

    Perhaps this could be suggested as an experiment for a Christian science fair?

  39. BlueIndependent says

    The only thing creationists do well is claim victory. I’d dock this kid simply for titling his project in such a manner as to not only sound profoundly arrogant in assuming his piddling amount of “work” has handily trounced the harrowing efforts by thousands of professionals, but is also so assuming of so many variables as to show him to be completely ignorant of his subject. Thus, he shows this regardless, but I find it appalling that at every turn they spend all their time jumping for joy, high-fiving, and playing neener-neener point-my-finger at evolution, and they never prove anything. It’s the intellectual equivalent of arguing with a 6-year old who needs his toy taken away.

    My guess is they THINK this “proves” creation because he designed the experiment, and showed that something RESEMBLING a stalactite can be created via means man has discovered. They do not link – or indeed care or think necessary to restrict the scope of their argument as such – their “creation” specifically with biology, because they see everything as being designed. This of course has tethered to it the sloppiness of having to figure out explanations for every contradicting detail when and where it appears, and tying their entire regimen together under the heading “creation”. They do not see breaking points, as from their perspective you cannot divorce geology from biology, because it’s all a product of the same system or being.

    That’s my take on it.

  40. norman says

    As someone who has to live with and married to an IE believer, I find this all to familiar. What we are arguing about and dealing with, is a difference of brain morphology. My wife was a skeptic with a religious background, then she hit her head and life hasn’t been the same. I can attest to this injury causing a “born again” syndrome.
    I still love her, this very difficult.
    The hardest part is what to do with the children. I believe indoctrination is wrong. I also believe in freedom of religion and that at their age (<10), it’s not that harmful to have them in church.
    I try to stress the difference between truth and fiction at home. I do magic tricks, and let my wife spoil the magic.
    We talk a lot about the little steps we take to get from here to there in our every day reasoning. Why does this happen… I talk about the other stuff people believe that clearly isn’t real. I work hard to let them figure the math on their own. D-mode stuff.
    I missing on the osmosis (hare brain) stuff that says that says that religion is wrong. How do you teach that?
    Is there anyone else out there in this boat? I’d love to hear from you.
    Thanks.
    Norm

  41. Kyra says

    Ian—no, the cat would overpower the opposing influence of the buttered toast and land on its feet, because it is much more massive. However, it might be slightly slower to turn floorward (and would have its downward force offset sufficiently to compensate due to the repulsion of the unbuttered side of the toast (facing catward) to the floor), in proportion to the ratio of the mass of the toast to the mass of the cat.

    To get the hovering and spinning and limitless energy, one must attach enough slices of toast to the cat to equal the mass of the cat. And even then the equilibrium of cat and toast will only last until the cat’s normal excretion, shedding, and the like causes its mass to fall below that of the toast, resulting in the toast landing butter-side down and the cat protecting its dignity by arguing that it hasn’t landed on its back at all because it has spent the entire experiment lying on its back, relative to the slices of toast.

  42. demallien says

    Actually, it was demonstrated by Morpock and Sloe, (Science, Aug 1996), that once buttered toast cools down, the effect is no longer observered. The energy required to reheat the toast so that the effect is once again seen, is in fact greater than the energy generated by the cat/toast rotor, hence respecting the third law of thermodynamics.

  43. RCP says

    Man, if that could win first prize, I’d hate to see what the other exhibits were like.

  44. Triumphal_Thusnelda says

    Re the dogs v cats question (comment #38), I think I do know why, though it’s strictly from experience… not heavy-duty experimentation in a double-blind trial (hee).

    Dogs express a desire to be friends by tail-wagging and bouncing around. To cats, this would be likely to resemble “I’m-ticked-so-you’d-better-clear-off” tail lashing, with a bit of challenging pounce stirred into the mix.

    Conversely, when cats want to be pals, they avert their gaze and purr, which could seem similar to a dog’s submissive body posture, with extra added growling.

    There’s no “hate”; they just don’t have a common way of communicating.

    Additionally, cats (much as I love cats) bring it on themselves by running off and stimulating the chase instinct in dogs, just when the cats least want to be chased.

    Just observational conclusions of mine.

    So, now, do I win some sort of Creation Science gold star? Maybe a scholarship to their lofty academia?

  45. says

    @35 McGarnigle –

    “Why do cats hate dogs and dogs hate cats?”

    Because God made them that way, and God loves hate.

    And that answer is the best kind of FundieMental Science, because all of the evidence that God loves to hate is right there in the Bible – from jerking people about to genocide. It turns out that the answers REALLY ARE in Genesis this time!

  46. archgoon says

    Huh. Actually, if you look at the second and third place winners in the life sciences, you see pretty run-of-the mill science fair experiments. Also, the Life sciences category is the only one with an overtly creationist theme.

    The overall winner of the competition was
    “Rachel Harrison, eighth grade — Can a Polarized Lens Affect a Digital Photograph?”

    If you want to interpret this optimistically, it would indicate a lack of overtly creationist projects that were available to be judged.

  47. Marilynn says

    Funny how much time is spend trying to prove or diprove evolution.

    Pray once and already you can tell that God exists.

  48. says

    Norman,
    I guess the best advice is not to avoid religion but to actually teach your children about different religions and that they all tell their followers that every other religion is wrong. This particular lesson was instrumental in my own realization that they were all based on localized myths. So long as you can prevent your children believing in the idea of hell and Satan and teach them the value of critical thinking then they should be able to find their own way to reason.

  49. Voice O'Reason says

    8. How much voltage or current can a human take before he is killed? Could do experiments on a plant.

    … or a blog troll. (Slightly closer to human than the average houseplant, but only slightly.)

    97. Why did God make birds to fly?

    Because otherwise that sappy John Ashcroft song would have been “Let the Eagle Plummet,” and that just wouldn’t have been the same!

    Rien:

    … and they have been taught to never question anything their Christian leaders say because then they won’t be raptured.

    Just a passing thought: Do you suppose Xtian schools have Rapture drills?

    72. What is God made of?

    I wonder what kind of grade a kid would get for demonstrating that God is made of pure, unadulterated imagination (with just the tiniest sprinkling of fairy dust)?

    83. Why do people believe in Evolution?
    84. What events caused them to become evolutionists?

    Um… Creation Science fairs?

    Kari:

    Yes, but now young Brian needs to tell us what brand of paper towel God used?

    My guess is Bounty — how do you think He cleaned up the Flood waters so darn fast?

    John C. Randolph:

    Gee, he could have done it in minutes with hot wax.

    Hot Wax Stalactites — good name for a Creationist rock band?

    Zbu:

    The best part about this? This kid is going to think he’s a genius and is going to spend a lot of money to go to a big school to impress all us heathen atheists and end up being so humiliated when it’s revealed that he knows nothing.

    Nah. This dolt probably already has a full scholarship to Liberty University.

    Sophist, FCD:

    It’s like they think no “evolutionist” has ever seen an icicle or something.

    Can you prove that every single icicle isn’t specially created by God? Huh!?!? No!?!? Then I’ve disproved evolution!!!!

    (Wow. It’s disturbingly easy to think like a Creationist. Well, I suppose it’d be even easier if you scooped out that part of your brain that insists on screaming, “What a load of crap!” But that’s a small price to pay for Eternal Glory™.)

  50. Unstable Isotope says

    Wow. I am speechless. He made crystals? I did that when I was like 8 with a chemistry set. I did not realize I had a science-fair-winning experiment on my hands!

  51. Graham Douglas says

    RCP:

    Man, if that could win first prize, I’d hate to see what the other exhibits were like.

    You’re thinking about it the wrong way. It’s quite likely that the last-placed exhibit actually contained a bit of real science.

  52. Voice O'Reason says

    10. What was life like before the Flood?

    Well, let’s consult the authority on such matters:

    And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Genesis 6:5

    So… Sounds like life was a lot of fun before the Flood!

    15. How long can flies survive freezing in a frig?

    Ah, the classic fly-frigging experiment!

    21. Does a bad mood spread?

    Back to the ultimate authority on such matters:

    And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. Genesis 6:7

    I think that’s a “Yes.”

    22. Could a person function without thumbs? or What would it be like to not have thumbs?

    Wow. THAT project would require some true dedication.

    74. What happens to eyes so you need glasses? Did God design them poorly?

    Finally a sensible question. Another question for the budding Creationist scientist: “74a. Why did God combine reproductive and eliminatory functions in the same organ? What kind of sick bastard is He?”

    101.If there were aliens, why would they visit humans?

    For a good laugh at how astoundingly stupid some of us can be…

  53. Dawn says

    MartinC…you owe me a new computer screen now for attaching that link. I could have happily gone the rest of my LIFE without knowing which book they recommended. Blech!!! (oops..sorry for the multiple exclamation points)

  54. Carlie says

    Oh my. I just followed the link, too. It’s definitely worth slogging through all the text to find out which book it is. I think I need to go throw up now.

  55. ancientTechie says

    Back in the 70’s, I was involved in a kinesiology study involving cats landing on their feet. We used a high speed movie camera to film a cat being dropped from various heights, always starting upside down, to analyze the animal’s movements during each fall. The cat was, initially, quite friendly and docile. During the trials, it became increasingly less so and, after the seventh trial, ran off, ending the experiment. BTW: that cat not only landed on its feet, it was always positioned to do so within less than a meter of the release point.

  56. says

    O. . .M. . .G. . .

    You’ll know the world is coming to an end when they try to get THAT book into science classes.

  57. Ray says

    On a positive note… I see that all the comments posted on that newspaper article express shock and dismay that such a ‘project’ could win.

    On a negative note… it’s sad there were only 4 comments.

  58. davide says

    I’m a creationist.

    I didn’t use to be, but I slowly evolved into one.

  59. Torbjörn Larsson, OM says

    Oh, this was fun!

    88. How does glue stick?

    No, no! The question is, how does a creationist get a clue stick?

    114. What shape is outer space?

    As opposed to “inner” space?

    But really, it would be amazing if a creationist, especially and YEC one, would get any of the properties of the cosmological scale universe correct. They should go get that clue stick first.

    Catalina:

    It is hard to understand what you are getting at, but since you use the signal word “evolutionist” in the usual improper manner (there are only evolutionary biologists) I take it you are a creationist. So I guess that you with the “writer of the story” is referring to the poster as being wrong. And that your comment is trying to show how.

    #1. As you yourself supply material that clearly notes that rate of growth will vary in different locales, your single observation of stalactites only confirms a possible rate (in an artificial situation at that), but is not predicting any specific rate.

    Just opening a cave disturbs the air and water so that the rates changes drastically. I am quite sure that your cave protection act includes not opening caves unnecessarily to save them for future research.

    #2. Calcium salts (“calcite”) are the most common mineral by far in this context, because stalactites forms mostly in limestone caves. Why do you think epsom salts are such a late discovery?

    Of course magnesium salts (“epsomite”) are natural (explaining the name “epsom”) and will be observed at times. But it is rarer and behaves differently, it is very water soluble. “Epsomite forms as encrustations or efflorescences on limestone cavern walls and mine timbers and walls, as a volcanic fumaroles, and as rare beds in evaporite layers.” ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epsomite )

    If we are lucky a geologist will weigh in on the details. But the bottom line is that the post is correct. A model of stalactites to extract actual formation rates would be different than the strawman model proposed by the creationist.

  60. Torbjörn Larsson, OM says

    Oh, this was fun!

    88. How does glue stick?

    No, no! The question is, how does a creationist get a clue stick?

    114. What shape is outer space?

    As opposed to “inner” space?

    But really, it would be amazing if a creationist, especially and YEC one, would get any of the properties of the cosmological scale universe correct. They should go get that clue stick first.

    Catalina:

    It is hard to understand what you are getting at, but since you use the signal word “evolutionist” in the usual improper manner (there are only evolutionary biologists) I take it you are a creationist. So I guess that you with the “writer of the story” is referring to the poster as being wrong. And that your comment is trying to show how.

    #1. As you yourself supply material that clearly notes that rate of growth will vary in different locales, your single observation of stalactites only confirms a possible rate (in an artificial situation at that), but is not predicting any specific rate.

    Just opening a cave disturbs the air and water so that the rates changes drastically. I am quite sure that your cave protection act includes not opening caves unnecessarily to save them for future research.

    #2. Calcium salts (“calcite”) are the most common mineral by far in this context, because stalactites forms mostly in limestone caves. Why do you think epsom salts are such a late discovery?

    Of course magnesium salts (“epsomite”) are natural (explaining the name “epsom”) and will be observed at times. But it is rarer and behaves differently, it is very water soluble. “Epsomite forms as encrustations or efflorescences on limestone cavern walls and mine timbers and walls, as a volcanic fumaroles, and as rare beds in evaporite layers.” ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epsomite )

    If we are lucky a geologist will weigh in on the details. But the bottom line is that the post is correct. A model of stalactites to extract actual formation rates would be different than the strawman model proposed by the creationist.

  61. Torbjörn Larsson, OM says

    Catalina:

    As usual when a creationist comments there are so many details wrong, besides the core issues. I should add to my previous comment that you are also directly disregarding details of the post.

    You are mentioning “evolutionist” (with the only possible factual designator “evolutionary biologist”) when the post directly notes that geology isn’t part of biology.

    Similarly, then the post notes that stalactites formation rate isn’t used to date Earth, you are mentioning dating different cave systems as if the different and local times would have a bearing on the deep time which biology lives in.

  62. Torbjörn Larsson, OM says

    Catalina:

    As usual when a creationist comments there are so many details wrong, besides the core issues. I should add to my previous comment that you are also directly disregarding details of the post.

    You are mentioning “evolutionist” (with the only possible factual designator “evolutionary biologist”) when the post directly notes that geology isn’t part of biology.

    Similarly, then the post notes that stalactites formation rate isn’t used to date Earth, you are mentioning dating different cave systems as if the different and local times would have a bearing on the deep time which biology lives in.

  63. Tim says

    Poorly titled article…thought I was going to read about the techniques followers of Mary Baker Eddy were usin’ to proselytize

  64. PWC says

    I don’t understand why creation science is not a valid pursuit. There is a plethora of evidence demonstrating that evolutionary theory is unsound. Why not allow others to explore different theories? If no one seeks to find the truth, and we all assume that evolutionary theory is correct, then new discoveries will never be made. Sure some 8th grade student made incorrect assumptions in his science project. He’s in 8th grade! Give him a break. One day he’ll understand the faults in his current study.

    My point is that science is not hard and fast facts like most people think. You can get science to say almost anything you want. Let people explore other theories. It can’t hurt.

  65. PWC says

    I don’t understand why creation science is not a valid pursuit. There is a plethora of evidence demonstrating that evolutionary theory is unsound. Why not allow others to explore different theories? If no one seeks to find the truth, and we all assume that evolutionary theory is correct, then new discoveries will never be made. Sure some 8th grade student made incorrect assumptions in his science project. He’s in 8th grade! Give him a break. One day he’ll understand the faults in his current study.

    My point is that science is not hard and fast facts like most people think. You can get science to say almost anything you want. Let people explore other theories. It can’t hurt.

  66. Chinchillazilla says

    Ahaha. Man, do I hate creation “science”.

    But I don’t hate it as much as I love Pratchett.

  67. Chinchillazilla says

    He’s in 8th grade! Give him a break. One day he’ll understand the faults in his current study.

    The thing is, unless he’s exposed to real science, he won’t understand. Ever. And creationists tend to shelter their kids from real science until it’s too late for them to reverse the brainwashing.

  68. PWC says

    I don’t understand why creation science is not a valid pursuit. There is a plethora of evidence demonstrating that evolutionary theory is unsound. Why not allow others to explore different theories? If no one seeks to find the truth, and we all assume that evolutionary theory is correct, then new discoveries will never be made. Sure some 8th grade student made incorrect assumptions in his science project. He’s in 8th grade! Give him a break. One day he’ll understand the faults in his current study.

    My point is that science is not hard and fast facts like most people think. You can get science to say almost anything you want. Let people explore other theories. It can’t hurt.

  69. says

    PWC, if you’d take the time to extract your head out of the ground, you’d realize that “creation scientists” have shown that they have very little intention of actually promoting science, if they have any intention at all.
    Furthermore, there is no alternate “theory” that can explain the diversity of life on Earth, as all other alternate theories have been discarded over the past 150+ years.

    If “creation science” is indeed a valid alternative, can you show me how reading the Bible literally can teach me about trilobite phylogeny?

  70. PWC says

    Sorry for multiple posts…I’m having internet trouble and had no idea I was posting it so many times.

    I would feel bad if the child was never exposed to any other ideas growing up. That may be the case. But Creation Scientists should have nothing to fear. The kid most likely will come across other opinions and if he has any academic integrity, he’ll learn about them. But I doubt he’ll change his mind about how the earth was formed. Which brings me back to the point that you can make science say whatever you want, even from the evolutionary perspective.

  71. PWC says

    Sorry for multiple posts…I’m having internet trouble and had no idea I was posting it so many times.

    I would feel bad if the child was never exposed to any other ideas growing up. That may be the case. But Creation Scientists should have nothing to fear. The kid most likely will come across other opinions and if he has any academic integrity, he’ll learn about them. But I doubt he’ll change his mind about how the earth was formed. Which brings me back to the point that you can make science say whatever you want, even from the evolutionary perspective.

  72. PWC says

    Yes Stanton, my head MUST be in the ground. I have no idea what is going on in the world around me. All “creation scientists” have no brains and have no interest in real science. No other theory has any validity except evolution, so why even try to look other theories. Please read in my sarcasm.

    If what you say is true, and that evoluationary theory is the ONLY valid theory, then why does science even exist in this field. We’re done exploring. We’ve found the answer. Why pursue anything else? To me, this is the exact opposite of science.

  73. says

    Oh, please, PWC! I guess no more writing music, huh, since we know all about music theory? I guess no more mathematicians are needed? I can tell my colleagues that they can stop their own research, because surely everyone knows all about Greek vases and Roman ruins by now?

    There are real questions to be explored, and they can only be explored by valid methods and peer-reviewed research. There are medical advances to be made, and they won’t be if you’re mucking around with this hucksterish, up-with-people, sunday-school-groupthink model of “exploring new ideas.” That’s for creative writing class. What you think is the scientific method is a mere CNN yell-counter yell.

    You’re confused about what research is and how it is really done. It is the creationists who are not doing any of the exploring. In fact, I can say having grown up around this stuff their “work” is mere scattershot, contradictory and not cumulative, cheap carny barking meant to convince believers in the moment who then go about their lives incurious about the specifics and having learned nothing worth knowing. Creationism is a dismissal of questions, not an exploration of them.

  74. Carlie says

    There is a plethora of evidence demonstrating that evolutionary theory is unsound

    Sigh. Such as? If you’ve got something, I’m dying to hear it.

  75. PWC says

    Kristine, my only point is that we shouldn’t stop exploring, even if a lot of people think we’ve already found the answer. So in a sense, we agree.

    I am all for valid methods and peer-reviewed research. I fully understand what real science is (and I certainly do not say that this 8th grade project is real science). However, where we disagree is that other viewpoints, including creationism can approach scientific questions in a scientific fashion. Science can support viewpoints than your own. I think going against the grain is a good thing in science and it’s the only way we will advance and learn new things.

    If I can articulate my point in another way, scientists shouldn’t be so married to evolution that they refuse to consider evidence to the contrary. To some people, evolution has become a religion in itself. Many scientists are as dogmatic about evolution as religious fundamentalists are about their religion. So when I see someone dismissing other viewpoints off the bat and generalizing them as invalid, I can’t help but wonder if they aren’t motivated by their own “religion” of evolution.

  76. Rey Fox says

    “He’s in 8th grade! Give him a break. One day he’ll understand the faults in his current study.”

    Kinda doubtful, seeing as how he just WON A PRIZE in a science fair with that study.

    Try to understand that we’re not knocking the kid here. We’re knocking the educational system which encouraged him to do this project, is privy to all the relevant facts and details that would show his experiment as deeply flawed and yet is deliberately withholding them from him, and awarded him a prize, so far as I can tell, for making a cheap and irrelevant rhetorical point with his project

    This kind of dishonest, obscurantist, rah-rah-for-our-team behavior from supposed educators doesn’t give me a whole lot of confidence for so-called creation science, and you would have to be deluded to cut them slack on it.

  77. CCP says

    Wow, PWC…you sure picked the wrong venue to peddle THAT load of horseshit.

    Hey, anybody else notice the hyper-stoopid B.C. caroon at that Muzeum site linked in comment #62? See, humans could not have evolved “from” apes because…wait for it…”Apes have tails.”
    Evidence to the contrary.

  78. CCP says

    …on second look, it’s even more stoopid…it’s the proponent of evolution claiming that apes have tails. WTF?

  79. says

    For what it’s worth, the explanation I always heard for the cat effect was that as it was falling, it twisted its head to one side, and its body turned to the other, conservation of angular momentum, and thus, feet on the ground.

  80. PWC says

    Rey Fox – I understand what you’re saying and I agree that the science fair should never have given him the prize. You made a fair assessment.

    Carlie – I may have gotten into deeper water than I was equipped for when I made that statement. I am not a scientist in any sense. I’ve read many things on both sides of the debate that seem reasonable. I’m an educated, rational-thinking person and if I have to have years upon years of training in order to make a judgment on this issue, then the whole world is doomed. So in other words, I’m going to strike my previous comment from the record and save myself hours of research.

    CCP – Yes, I can see that my viewpoint is not welcomed here and that’s fine. I had hoped that people on this board would be open to debate, but instead I’m getting mostly jabs and cut-downs. Thank you though, to those who did pose good questions, counterarguments and argued with grace.

  81. Marcel says

    When Jesus returns, evolutionists call on the rocks hide them.

    You don’t have to beleive in it for it to be real.

  82. MartinM says

    I am not a scientist in any sense. I’ve read many things on both sides of the debate that seem reasonable.

    Which is precisely what the creationists are counting on. It’s easy to seem reasonable to someone who doesn’t know what the hell you’re talking about. This is why creationists put all their effort into the public domain, and none into actually doing science. There’s no point in actually formulating hypotheses and performing experiments to test them when you can just make things up and get precisely the same reaction from your target audience.

  83. gec says

    This saddens me to see kids getting this crap fed to them. Years ago, i briefly ran the computer lab at a xtian private school. The biology books had no mention of evolution, and one day the headmaster and football coach literally burned every book in the school library.

    Oh and regarding the buttered toast cat perpetual motion machine, you have all missed the simple solution.

    For a low power generator simply butter BOTH sides of the toast.

    For more intensive energy needs tie two cats together back to back.

    energy crisis solved. Where’s my Nobel?

  84. George Cauldron says

    Which brings me back to the point that you can make science say whatever you want, even from the evolutionary perspective.

    While creationism of course, always ends up saying the same thing, no matter what the facts are: Goddidit, there’s no evolution, don’t ask questions.

    Yes, I can see that my viewpoint is not welcomed here and that’s fine. I had hoped that people on this board would be open to debate, but instead I’m getting mostly jabs and cut-downs.

    I think there is a single playbook that all Creationists follow when they post at science blogs:

    1) come onto blog making sweeping statements that have been repeatedly disproven thousands of times over the last several decades

    2) when your sweeping statements are pointed out as unsupportable nonsense, whine defensively, but do not attempt to answer challenges

    3) declare that everyone is entitled to their own facts, and science is no more valid than the Bible. Still decline to answer challenges.

    4) make long speech whining about persecution and suppression by atheist scientists, who you thought were supposed to be all about knowledge. Declare that you are a martyr for freedom of thought, and that you will never come back.

  85. PWC says

    Martin – Good point. Unfortunately, the same can be said about evolutionary scientists and for 99% of the population, there is no way to sort through the falsities on both sites. But thankfully, I don’t put my faith in science. I’m sure this thread will tear that comment to pieces, but this is the only reasonable conclusion I can make given what has been put forth.

  86. Teague says

    Why did I waste my time reading about some 8th grader’s science project?

    Why do you even care about an 8th grader’s science project?

    What can an 8th grader’s science project prove or disprove about conservative Christians? – NOTHING!

  87. PWC says

    Martin – Good point. Unfortunately, the same can be said about evolutionary scientists and for 99% of the population, there is no way to sort through the falsities on both sites. But thankfully, I don’t put my faith in science. I’m sure this thread will tear that comment to pieces, but this is the only reasonable conclusion I can make given what has been put forth.

  88. A says

    You realize you are fighting over what an 8th grader did in science fair?

    This is when I say – Fighting online is stupid, because even if you win, you are still retarded.

  89. Teague says

    Why did I waste my time reading about some 8th grader’s science project?

    Why do you even care about an 8th grader’s science project?

    What can an 8th grader’s science project prove or disprove about conservative Christians? – NOTHING!

  90. George Cauldron says

    Which brings me back to the point that you can make science say whatever you want, even from the evolutionary perspective.

    While creationism of course, always ends up saying the same thing, no matter what the facts are: Goddidit, there’s no evolution, don’t ask questions.

    Yes, I can see that my viewpoint is not welcomed here and that’s fine. I had hoped that people on this board would be open to debate, but instead I’m getting mostly jabs and cut-downs.

    I think there is a single playbook that all Creationists follow when they post at science blogs:

    1) come onto blog making sweeping statements that have been repeatedly disproven thousands of times over the last several decades

    2) when your sweeping statements are pointed out as unsupportable nonsense, whine defensively, but do not attempt to answer challenges

    3) declare that everyone is entitled to their own facts, and science is no more valid than the Bible. Still decline to answer challenges.

    4) make long speech whining about persecution and suppression by atheist scientists, who you thought were supposed to be all about knowledge. Declare that you are a martyr for freedom of thought, and that you will never come back.

  91. Teague says

    Why did I waste my time reading about some 8th grader’s science project?

    Why do you even care about an 8th grader’s science project?

    What can an 8th grader’s science project prove or disprove about conservative Christians? – NOTHING!

  92. Blake says

    However, where we disagree is that other viewpoints, including creationism can approach scientific questions in a scientific fashion.

    Let’s see it. The basic flaw in creationism is that there is no theory. Its proponents already had their answer before they even started to ‘study’ the subject. It’s a pre-determined conclusion that bases itself entirely in uncertainty. That alone is an insult to real science.

  93. George Cauldron says

    But thankfully, I don’t put my faith in science.

    That’s nice. Do the faith healers work as good as doctors?

  94. Blake says

    However, where we disagree is that other viewpoints, including creationism can approach scientific questions in a scientific fashion.

    Let’s see it. The basic flaw in creationism is that there is no theory. Its proponents already had their answer before they even started to ‘study’ the subject. It’s a pre-determined conclusion that bases itself entirely in uncertainty. That alone is an insult to real science.

  95. says

    Sounds like this young man is destined for politics. I wouldn’t be so eager to attack the next President, you just don’t know what someone like this is capable of. ;-)

  96. says

    Sounds like this young man is destined for politics. I wouldn’t be so eager to attack the next President, you just don’t know what someone like this is capable of. ;-)

  97. NotInKansas says

    It doesn’t prove or disprove anything about conservative Christians, but it does deomonstrate as do other examples that there is a problem in Christian schools with proper science education. I went to two separate Christian schools in different parts of the midwest and was greeted with the same level of naivety. I was fortunately blessed with parents who did not view science as something evil and gained an appreciation for developing right minded science in my life. Christian educators need to bring science (keep in mind that science is not a synonym for evolution) and try to develop a proper acceptance and understanding of workable theories (especially those such as the big bang or 4.6 billion year old earth which do not contradict the Bible) that are prevalent today.

  98. Michael Riecken says

    I’m afraid I have to agree with PWC on this one.

    Pursuing an avenue/theory until it is disproved IS science. I haven’t seen anyone disprove creationism yet. If anyone has any evidence, please share. We may argue on the validity of God making fossils to test faith, but you can’t prove that one way or another, so it remains a theory.

    I would equally welcome investigation into *anything* that explains how we came to be here and now : alien seeding, comet seeding, evolution, creation (divine or otherwise), delusion (maybe this is the matrix after all), etc…

    Someone prove to me that *any* of those are wrong and we’ll take it off the list.

    But to say, simply, that your THEORY is right because his theory is stupid… well, that’s just closed minded.

    I think that evolutionists, in that regard, are as closed minded as the die-hard alien seeding crowd. Calling the alien seed theory people names doesn’t change that.

    I may not believe the same thing that PWC does (then again, I might), but I think that all of the people criticizing him without disproving him are being closed minded fools.

    Note – I am not berating your pet theory, but at your closure to other theories.

    “It is theory that decides what can be observed.”
    Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

    The scientific method cries when you close your mind… you don’t want that, do you? (Oh, and every time you do that, a puppy dies too, …. and you might go blind…)

  99. says

    Well, that also explains why that mindless ilk voted for Bush the second time and were so easily duped into believing Iraq had WMDs.

    And aside from this kind being wrong, what’s even more bizarre is that all these Christian acadmies seem to think that ‘science’ means debunking Creationism.

    How about a Christian science fair winner like this:
    “Re-expressing critical problems in superstrings using Penrose Spinor/Twistor theory.”

    In other words, science is about discovering something NEW, it’s only tangentially about debunking existing theories, but the idolatrous satan-worshipping fundies don’t seem to realize that.

  100. George Cauldron says

    But thankfully, I don’t put my faith in science.

    That’s nice. Do the faith healers work as good as doctors?

  101. zohn says

    Watch out folks…several people who made stupid comments on Digg are also stopping by here (A, Teague…and I’m sure others will follow).

    Don’t waste your breath replying to their comments…they are not interested in seeing your answers. They are just trolls…including PWC above who has already been fed too much.

  102. zohn says

    Watch out folks…several people who made stupid comments on Digg are also stopping by here (A, Teague…and I’m sure others will follow).

    Don’t waste your breath replying to their comments…they are not interested in seeing your answers. They are just trolls…including PWC above who has already been fed too much.

  103. says

    OK people, I could be wrong, but:

    Realpc
    PC2
    PWC

    Same wave of MSU (making shit up)
    Same snide superiority complex
    Same disregard of substantive responses

    I say ban the troll(s), but that’s just me.

  104. Carlie says

    PWC – That’s what’s so frustrating to those of us who have spent years on it. It really doesn’t take a lot of education at all to understand evolution; it can be explained to grade-schoolers if it’s done well.
    But, it’s incredibly difficult to make any headway when creationists flat-out LIE and say things like “there’s a lot of evidence that goes against evolutionary theory”. That’s a statement that’s easy to understand, easy to remember and repeat, and just saying “No there ISN’T” doesn’t seem to do any good. By the time the average person has that idea burned into their head, they rightly want to know how we know there isn’t any evidence against it, and then you are talking about an hour or two lecture to get the point across, which most people aren’t willing to invest in listening to.

    It’s not that your viewpoint isn’t welcome, it’s that you (unknowingly or not) began with the same old tired canards that have been shot down time and time again. It’s analagous to being the 50th person in a row to ask someone what time it is; it’s not the question that’s so annoying, it’s that it’s come up so often.

  105. Blind to God says

    All science is based upon certain principles. To believe we have always existed takes more faith to believe than the creation view found in the bible.

    Out of Nothing, Nothing Comes.

    I find it funny the people get so heated in debate against Christians, and that rarely is their opposition in terms of dogmatic belief against other religions.

    I think it furthers the point the Jesus Christ came to save those who were lost, and that his claims to be the ONLY WAT to eternal life has quite a bit of people upset. Our society likes to be their own gods, and have no moral code to follow.

    1 Cor 1:25
    For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.

  106. Carlie says

    PWC – That’s what’s so frustrating to those of us who have spent years on it. It really doesn’t take a lot of education at all to understand evolution; it can be explained to grade-schoolers if it’s done well.
    But, it’s incredibly difficult to make any headway when creationists flat-out LIE and say things like “there’s a lot of evidence that goes against evolutionary theory”. That’s a statement that’s easy to understand, easy to remember and repeat, and just saying “No there ISN’T” doesn’t seem to do any good. By the time the average person has that idea burned into their head, they rightly want to know how we know there isn’t any evidence against it, and then you are talking about an hour or two lecture to get the point across, which most people aren’t willing to invest in listening to.

    It’s not that your viewpoint isn’t welcome, it’s that you (unknowingly or not) began with the same old tired canards that have been shot down time and time again. It’s analagous to being the 50th person in a row to ask someone what time it is; it’s not the question that’s so annoying, it’s that it’s come up so often.

  107. Carlie says

    Apologies if this multiple posted – I got a movable type error I’ve never seen before, and when I reloaded the page my comments weren’t there.

    PWC – That’s what’s so frustrating to those of us who have spent years on it. It really doesn’t take a lot of education at all to understand evolution; it can be explained to grade-schoolers if it’s done well.
    But, it’s incredibly difficult to make any headway when creationists flat-out LIE and say things like “there’s a lot of evidence that goes against evolutionary theory”. That’s a statement that’s easy to understand, easy to remember and repeat, and just saying “No there ISN’T” doesn’t seem to do any good. By the time the average person has that idea burned into their head, they rightly want to know how we know there isn’t any evidence against it, and then you are talking about an hour or two lecture to get the point across, which most people aren’t willing to invest in listening to.

    It’s not that your viewpoint isn’t welcome, it’s that you (unknowingly or not) began with the same old tired canards that have been shot down time and time again. It’s analagous to being the 50th person in a row to ask someone what time it is; it’s not the question that’s so annoying, it’s that it’s come up so often.

  108. Mike says

    104.Why do cats hate dogs and dogs hate cats?

    Maybe someone could use “Garfield” as a case study.

  109. Carlie says

    Apologies if this multiple posted – I got a movable type error I’ve never seen before, and when I reloaded the page my comments weren’t there.

    PWC – That’s what’s so frustrating to those of us who have spent years on it. It really doesn’t take a lot of education at all to understand evolution; it can be explained to grade-schoolers if it’s done well.
    But, it’s incredibly difficult to make any headway when creationists flat-out LIE and say things like “there’s a lot of evidence that goes against evolutionary theory”. That’s a statement that’s easy to understand, easy to remember and repeat, and just saying “No there ISN’T” doesn’t seem to do any good. By the time the average person has that idea burned into their head, they rightly want to know how we know there isn’t any evidence against it, and then you are talking about an hour or two lecture to get the point across, which most people aren’t willing to invest in listening to.

    It’s not that your viewpoint isn’t welcome, it’s that you (unknowingly or not) began with the same old tired canards that have been shot down time and time again. It’s analagous to being the 50th person in a row to ask someone what time it is; it’s not the question that’s so annoying, it’s that it’s come up so often.

  110. God created Science says

    All science is based upon certain principles. To believe we have always existed takes more faith to believe than the creation view found in the bible.

    Out of Nothing, Nothing Comes.

    I find it funny the people get so heated in debate against Christians, and that rarely is their opposition in terms of dogmatic belief against other religions.

    I think it furthers the point the Jesus Christ came to save those who were lost, and that his claims to be the ONLY WAT to eternal life has quite a bit of people upset. Our society likes to be their own gods, and have no moral code to follow.

    1 Cor 1:25
    For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom.

  111. Rey Fox says

    Why did you comment on this thread then? What did it accomplish? NOTHING!

    Did this post get linked to by Internet Wankers Dot Com or something?

  112. Carlie says

    My posts keep getting eaten by movable type errors! Possibly approximately 50 copies of my previous post will eventually show up. This is at least something completely different.

    PWC – I’d like to ask a few serious questions.
    What makes you think that scientists are so wedded to evolutionary theory that we would refuse to look at any evidence to the contrary? Stellar careers are built precisely on overturning the status quo; any scientist would love to make such a discovery.

    Why do you think we have such supposed loyalty? Science really doesn’t pay that much. I spent 11 years after high school studying to be a scientist, and I barely qualify as middle class. Every time I have a surprise bill come up I have to charge it. Science as a job, as some mythical monolithic institution that must be protected, doesn’t get any loyalty from me just by existing.

    Why do you think all scientists start out hating religion? Have you ever talked to a scientist who is a Christian? Even better, have you ever talked to a scientist who started out as a Christian and lost faith based on evidence in the world rather than, as you and other creationists put it, started out looking for evidence against God? It’s a drawn-out, painful process, I can tell you. It’s not about “putting faith in science”. It’s about seeing reality with a clear vision and being rational about it.

  113. God created Science says

    All science is based upon certain principles. To believe we have always existed takes more faith to believe than the creation view found in the bible.

    Out of Nothing, Nothing Comes.

    I find it funny the people get so heated in debate against Christians, and that rarely is their opposition in terms of dogmatic belief against other religions.

    I think it furthers the point the Jesus Christ came to save those who were lost, and that his claims to be the ONLY WAT to eternal life has quite a bit of people upset. Our society likes to be their own gods, and have no moral code to follow.

    1 Cor 1:25
    For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom.

  114. CCP says

    @PWC: No, no. It’s not your “viewpoint” that’s not welcomed here, it’s horseshit that’s not welcomed here. And this qualifies: “Many scientists are as dogmatic about evolution as religious fundamentalists are about their religion. So when I see someone dismissing other viewpoints off the bat and generalizing them as invalid, I can’t help but wonder if they aren’t motivated by their own “religion” of evolution.

    And so is this: “you can make science say anything you want.” Nope. Science is honest observation + accurate logic (h/t Robt. MacArthur). If you are engaged in “making science say” anything, then you are either being dishonest about empirical observations and /or inaccurate in logic. Sorry, there are no “falsities” being perpetrated by the science “side.” If it’s graceful argument you want, then how about specifying some of your “plethora of evidence demonstrating that evolutionary theory is unsound” and let’s have at it.

    @Marcel (#92): It is equally true that YOU don’t have to “believe” in biological evolution for it to be real. In your case, however, things don’t seem to have to be real for you to believe in them.

  115. CCP says

    @PWC: No, no. It’s not your “viewpoint” that’s not welcomed here, it’s horseshit that’s not welcomed here. And this qualifies: “Many scientists are as dogmatic about evolution as religious fundamentalists are about their religion. So when I see someone dismissing other viewpoints off the bat and generalizing them as invalid, I can’t help but wonder if they aren’t motivated by their own “religion” of evolution.

    And so is this: “you can make science say anything you want.” Nope. Science is honest observation + accurate logic (h/t Robt. MacArthur). If you are engaged in “making science say” anything, then you are either being dishonest about empirical observations and /or inaccurate in logic. Sorry, there are no “falsities” being perpetrated by the science “side.” If it’s graceful argument you want, then how about specifying some of your “plethora of evidence demonstrating that evolutionary theory is unsound” and let’s have at it.

    @Marcel (#92): It is equally true that YOU don’t have to “believe” in biological evolution for it to be real. In your case, however, things don’t seem to have to be real for you to believe in them.

  116. says

    This looks like a typical hardcore Christian thing to do. Make a ridiculous statement and try and pass it off as truth.

  117. Jim says

    Just want to say that the Church of Christ, Scientist, known also as the Christian Science Church, headquartered in Boston, has nothing to do with any of this.

    Christian Scientists generally consider the creation story in Genesis to be an allegorical description of the mankind’s awakening into self-awareness, and a “science fair” like the one described would make a Christian Scientist either laugh or wince.

  118. Atomic Scrotum says

    Why slam some poor kids science project? PZ Myers, you are a dried nub of poo stuck in the soiled underpants of society.

    Who gives a flying heck about creation vs. big bang or the size a some pink star a quillion miles away? Maybe these pencil necks should put their big brains onto problems that actually matter and have some impact on their fellow human beings and the world.

  119. says

    What an interesting “discovery”, but nothing to get angry over, let them believe what they want. After all, they only make themselves look stupid, not us.

  120. ehren says

    Don’t get angry. They are no more or less right than HS sociology classes counting seat belt wearers at the intersection by their door to indicate the effectiveness of laws on compliance or some such stuff, just in this case there is a really obvious wrong answer. The world is chock full of nuts. Don’t get angry, have a bite.

  121. Jim says

    Just want to say that the Church of Christ, Scientist, known also as the Christian Science Church, headquartered in Boston, has nothing to do with any of this.

    Christian Scientists generally consider the creation story in Genesis to be an allegorical description of the mankind’s awakening into self-awareness, and a “science fair” like the one described would make a Christian Scientist either laugh or wince.

  122. Carlie says

    Oh, my gosh. More than 25 years of being educated in Southern Baptist churches didn’t do it. Being a devoted, True Believer ™ for a couple of decades didn’t do it. Teaching Bible studies didn’t do it. Four years of effort in self-study of the history of Christianity didn’t do it.

    But “Blind to God/God Created Science”‘s single Bible verse, so carefully chosen, so courageously posted here in this den of iniquity, has made me see once and for all that Christianity is the true answer!!!! Praise the Lord that I have seen the error of my ways! And I owe it all to that one (two?) troll brave soul! Truly, I feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in this place.

  123. Religion Comes in Many Flavors says

    I’m sure I will be flamed by all the intolerant here, but so be it…

    Evolution is every bit as much a “religion” as Chritianity or any other world religion.
    There is no established truth to back up the claims of evolution. Nothing has ever been dated as “millions of years old”.

    Also realize that at one time it was creationism, not evolution, that was taught in schools.

    While this kid may not have had all the facts and was not comparing apples to apples. You cannot fault him, his teachers or his parents for their belief in their particular religion. No more than anyone can tell you that evolution is “wrong”.

    If you think you can do what scientists have tried for 100s of years to prove , that we all came from rocks that got rained on and began to ooze out little creatures, then please do. Then we won’t have to debate about it anymore. But, don’t hold your breath.

    Scientific types like to get mad at religious fanatics for being intolerant, yet, look at how this poor kid, his parents and his teachers (and whoever else you’ve included)have been flamed on here for not selling out to evolution.

    I’m not speaking to any one person on here. Just anyone who thinks that ONE view is the ONLY view just because some guy with glasses and went to MIT said it was so.

  124. Religion Comes in Many Flavors says

    I’m sure I will be flamed by all the intolerant here, but so be it…

    Evolution is every bit as much a “religion” as Christianity or any other world religion.
    There is no established truth to back up the claims of evolution. Nothing has ever been dated as “millions of years old”.

    Also realize that at one time it was creationism, not evolution, that was taught in schools.

    While this kid may not have had all the facts and was not comparing apples to apples. You cannot fault him, his teachers or his parents for their belief in their particular religion. No more than anyone can tell you that evolution is “wrong”.

    If you think you can do what scientists have tried for 100s of years to prove , that we all came from rocks that got rained on and began to ooze out little creatures, then please do. Then we won’t have to debate about it anymore. But, don’t hold your breath.

    Scientific types like to get mad at religious fanatics for being intolerant, yet, look at how this poor kid, his parents and his teachers (and whoever else you’ve included)have been flamed on here for not selling out to evolution.

    I’m not speaking to any one person on here. Just anyone who thinks that ONE view is the ONLY view just because some guy with glasses and went to MIT said it was so.

  125. kmarissa says

    Wow. I mean, wow. I’m glad to know that scientific inquiry is now a “view.”

    On the other hand, this could make things a lot more fun. I currently have the flu. My new “view” is that copious amounts of alcohol will cure me. I’m looking forward to positive results, come evening.

  126. Carlie says

    I’m sure that everyone will be happy to know that as my faith has been rejuvenated by Blind to God/God Created Science/Religion Comes in Many Flavors, I am even now praying over the scienceblogs server to cast out the demons of botched-up commenting. I’m sure that the commenting problems are an attack by Satan to try and discourage God’s messengers who are only trying to spread the Word to everyone here.

  127. says

    My emotional response: Wow… u said it, it must be so; u must be right. But, then, just maybe there is a a person or two here who view any such information with just a wee bit of a pre-disposed anti-something-or-other notion? Just maybe… I could be wrong of course (& I’m pretty sure u will think I am, more-or-less).

    I’m just looking at the objectivity & tone here (article & comments)… there are some rather *seemingly* objectively written comments though (but I wouldn’t have the knowledge to say they are right or wrong – just sound right or wrong, or somewhere in between, which can be worse in some cases, imo).

    If we want to be “scientific”, as I understand it, it is really very hard; this would require us to leave emotion, (complimenting, insulting & any such things) completely out… “illogical” as Spock might say ;-). We would have to start reading such information, and continue to read it, with a completely open mind that looks only for facts, regardless of what the implications of such fact might mean to us – that (emotions, impact, etc.) is irrelevant; then given enough facts we can draw a conclusion, else without enough facts we can at best come up with a theory which would require more facts to make it something more concrete – usually on a % scale rather than black/white.

    I think this article is very black/white – which makes it less likely to be true – but that is just an *opinion* (aka theory) of mine based on a quick read of the articles & comments in question.

  128. Carlie says

    Ha! That comment posted first time through, no errors! My prayers worked! How’s that for an experiment, huh?

  129. Rey Fox says

    Maybe this will sound shallow), but I’ll take the glasses guy at MIT over the chanting guys with funny robes and hats any day.

  130. Carlie says

    Wait, do I have to renounce the geeky-cute-glasses-MIT-scientists contingent?
    Never mind, then.

  131. Scott says

    PWC, I think the point you’re missing is that while science is open to theories, there will always be a predominant one, which may be used cautiously as a de facto assumption. Creationists contribute very little quality thought to the peer-reviewed scientific community. The theory of evolution is still just a theory, but it will not be unseated by someone who’s trying hard only to foster doubts (with shaky rationale to begin with) and failing to propose remotely reasonable alternatives on hard evidence. Science DOES NOT accept explanations that amount to, “We don’t know what happened, the evidence you have accumulated is ancient and requires lots of interpolation, ergo a magical being whose existence can neither be proven nor disproven conclusively MUST be responsible!” That is what Creationists miss and why the theory of evolution is still the one that’s generally accepted by scientists.

    So, until they find something so remarkable that it (a) cannot be explained by any reasonable scientific explanation and weathers the peer review system, and (b) has extremely strong and verifiable provenance to indicate the origin the Creationist is proposing, Creationists and their half-baked theories which are riddled with intellectual dishonesty will continue to be ridiculed by the scientific community. Science simply isn’t about making things up on faith with no supporting evidence. And a strong hypothesis such as evolution needs a strong alternative hypothesis countering it if it’s going to be taken-on successfully. And most importantly, science will continue to prefer a “we don’t know and need to look into the topic more” explanation on a difficult phenomenon to anything that proposes an answer that has no actual evidence supporting it. Provenance is important in science too, if anything, the fact that Creation Theory is based on an ancient scripture that seemed to have a sole purpose of explaining things which the ancient people who wrote it clearly knew nothing about subjects it to more intense scrutiny. As a scientist, I don’t want an expedient answer to my inquiries; I demand the most correct & best answer and will continue to pursue any compelling leads, regardless of where they take me. But seriously, until Creationists come up with theories that shake evolutionary theory to its foundations AND propose something else WITH observable, verifiable evidence to support it, they’re still going to be laughingstock as far as I’m concerned. I do appreciate their efforts to bring areas of evolutionary theory that may need a bit more work to scientists’ attention so they can perform more research to make the theory even stronger. Dissent makes science stronger, that’s why I welcome dissenting hypotheses.

  132. says

    Man, is this for real? How the hell can someone be that retarded? And how is this supposed to “disprove” evolution? This has nothing to do with evolution in the first place! Hell, it doesn’t even have anything to do with geology, since stalactites aren’t made of epsom salts. It’s too bad being stupid doesn’t hurt.

  133. George Cauldron says

    This looks like a typical hardcore Christian thing to do. Make a ridiculous statement and try and pass it off as truth.

    Then, when it’s pointed out that your statement makes no sense,

    a) cry persecution
    b) claim that a literalist reading of Genesis is ‘just as scientific’ as real science, and that all ideas are equally true
    c) quote Paul somewhere
    d) make an insult
    e) leave, melodramatically claiming everyone’s being mean to you.

  134. says

    PWC, it must be wonderful to live life like a moron because God told you you do that.
    Oh, and in your wonderfully sarcastic reply, you never did bother to answer my question about how reading the Bible literally is the best way of studying trilobites.

  135. says

    Kristine, my only point is that we shouldn’t stop exploring, even if a lot of people think we’ve already found the answer.

    Exactly, but no scientists have stopped exploring. The creationists never have explored. That’s my point.

    No peer-reviewed science contradicts evolutionary theory, just as no peer-reviewed science contradicts the atomic theory. However, there are some very interesting controversies within evolutionary theory. But nothing supports spontaneous creation, immutable “kinds,” and all of that stuff. My long experience with these cheesy assertions is that they’re shallow and self-contradictory, insulting to my intelligence, and derivative of religious fads.

    I have a long memory and I’ve never seen one creation assertion build upon another. Not one. They are, as I said, merely scattershot, shallow nuggets of “gotcha!” jingles meant to convert as many gullible people as possible. Frankly, even as a young kid I knew a ticket to nowhere when I saw one (and thank goodness I did, because I steered myself clear of some of the problems my peers later had!), and that’s what these creation fairs are. They keep people down, they keep people ignorant, they substitute (inexplicably) feel-good fluff for real knowledge and they piss me off. And that’s why I get so impatient with this stuff.

  136. Jon Doeson says

    Good job a thousand people picking on a kid who just reaching puberty. As I recall I think I believed I could get better from sickness if I drank soap when I was pretty young. I can’t believe this was on the front of digg. I was expecting some christian PHD in biology or something like that getting proved wrong but its just a bunch of witch-hunting atheist looking for a naive little kid to pick on.

  137. Adam says

    You don’t have to beleive in it for it to be real.

    True. But then again, it doesn’t have to be real for you to believe in it.

  138. n8_glenn says

    The whole fair is pointless, this isn’t about science, it’s about teaching kids to interpret facts that they cannot ignore in a way that allows them to cling to their existing beliefs which are given to them by authority figures with bibles. Science is about using the evidence to find the answers, not about taking the answers you want to believe and making the evidence fit them.

  139. Steve_C says

    Jon. You dork.

    ADULTS are patting him on the back and praising him for his genius.

    Science isn’t a democracy or a daycare center.

    Look proof that the earth isn’t millions of years old! So simple even a child can prove evolution wrong.

    If the adults in this kids life want to push him out there were only too happy to shame them into reeling him back in.

    He’s not a victim, well not of science.

  140. stogoe says

    I don’t wanna yell, Carlie, but for the love of the servers, if you get a frakking error twice on the same comment, please stop trying to post it! I can forgive the Digg diphits because they’re both n00bs and cretinists, but you? You should know better. n-tuple posting is just unforgiveable. No Molly for you.

  141. Mark says

    Did this post get linked to by Internet Wankers Dot Com or something?

    Yes, it’s called Digg.

  142. George Cauldron says

    I was expecting some christian PHD in biology or something like that getting proved wrong but its just a bunch of witch-hunting atheist looking for a naive little kid to pick on.

    Read closer. The problem is not the ignorant little kid. His school made him that way.

    The problem is his ridiculous Bible school giving him FIRST PRIZE IN A SCIENCE FAIR for that nonsense.

  143. says

    To reiterate a point:
    Here we have a child who was taught such poor science, so poor that he entered the “Life Science” branch of this science fair with an experiment concerning the growth of epsom salt stalactites, and thinks he’s successfully disproved the Theory of Evolution.
    What moron taught this moron that stalactites had everything to do with Biology?
    This is why we’re heaping scorn upon this moron.
    This child deserves as much shame and scorn as a child who allegedly wins “Best Chemistry Experiment” in that he claims to disprove God by torturing live mice.

  144. says

    As for Q. 68. Why is a dogs nose wet?

    It is quite obviously due to the fact that Noah was a poor carpenter. The dog found a leak and plugged it with its nose. The poor animal had to stay there for the entire flood, or until Noah found him. From that moment on, dogs have wet noses.

    Yeah, I asked my little brother the question, and this is the bullshit that they feed him at church school. I would love to spend a year teaching church school. Teach the kids words like, metaphor, or life lesson that isnt meant to be taken literally, or the concept of not being a sheep that is being fed some bullshit and being told its ice cream.

  145. I heart Dinosaurs! says

    Dear God,
    How did the dinosaur die? My devil worshipping science teacher said an asteroid hit the earth and killed them millions of years ago before man existed. My sunday school teacher said Noah couldn’t fit them on his ark. Why didn’t you have Noah build a bigger ark? That wasn’t nice.

  146. says

    As for Q. 68. Why is a dogs nose wet?

    It is quite obviously due to the fact that Noah was a poor carpenter. The dog found a leak and plugged it with its nose. The poor animal had to stay there for the entire flood, or until Noah found him. From that moment on, dogs have wet noses.

    Yeah, I asked my little brother the question, and this is the bullshit that they feed him at church school. I would love to spend a year teaching church school. Teach the kids words like, metaphor, or life lesson that isnt meant to be taken literally, or the concept of not being a sheep that is being fed some bullshit and being told its ice cream.

  147. Azkryoth says

    Funny how much time is spend trying to prove or diprove evolution.

    Pray once and already you can tell that God exists.

    I’m pretty sure most people here have prayed before, given that many of us were raised as Christians and only later realized how absurd and unfounded the whole belief system is.

    By the way, whoever told you that the existence of God is in any way related to the validity of evolutionary theory, lied.

  148. Nathan says

    I was struck by their partial use of scripture:

    “The fear of God is the beginning of knowledge.” Proverbs 1:7

    when the rest of it is:

    “but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

  149. says

    So how we doin’?

    Same tired arguments?

    Yep.

    There is no established truth to back up the claims of evolution. Nothing has ever been dated as “millions of years old”.

  150. says

    Jon Doeson– Good job a thousand people picking on a kid who just reaching puberty. As I recall I think I believed I could get better from sickness if I drank soap when I was pretty young. I can’t believe this was on the front of digg. I was expecting some christian PHD in biology or something like that getting proved wrong but its just a bunch of witch-hunting atheist looking for a naive little kid to pick on.

    So hes a poor little baby? Barely reached puberty? Doesnt know any better? Is that it?

    So whats so magical about these kids? Same age.

    Its not the age of this student, and by making that the excuse, you are enabling the culture that created this students ignorance.

  151. Curt Cameron says

    PWC wrote:

    My point is that science is not hard and fast facts like most people think. You can get science to say almost anything you want.

    Your comment sounds alarmingly close to a famous Homer Simpson line, “Facts are meaningless, you can use facts to prove anything that’s remotely true! Facts, schmacks.”

    But Homer’s words were intentionally funny.

    You say you don’t put your faith in science. That’s good, because science doesn’t require faith, religion does. Faith is belief without supporting evidence, and science is all about evidence, not faith.

  152. Scott says

    I’d just add, in light of more Creationists positing strawmen by claiming that this is all about ridiculing a poor kid, that it’s not about the kid. He’s just parroting back the nonsense the adults have been spoonfeeding him; it’s not his fault. I feel sorry for him, if anything, because I can remember when I was pushed by a Christian school to believe in fallacies (at least they didn’t make any effort to teach any science, so I wasn’t bombarded by bad science, just none at all).

    I sincerely hope that this kid uses his intellect and ability to devise experiments to test hypotheses to participate in the scientific community in the future. Sure, he’s bound to get a rather nasty rude awakening at some point, and if he does, he’s bound to turn into one of the most bitter, anti-Christian atheists the world has seen. I’m saying that based on my own personal experience; while I may be an agnostic leaning towards atheism most days, but am not anti-Christian, I am still a bit resentful that I was deprived of science until I got away from the private Christian schools and into a public High School (and then a nice, secular state university to complete my macrobiology degree). But wow, if I’d been so deliberately brainwashed and misled about science, and then discovered how much I loved the more pure variety, I would likely crusade against the frauds in Creation science and their Christian friends with all my energy to my dying day. What are Creationists afraid of when it comes to giving people all the theories on each one’s strongest merits and worst flaws and letting folks reason out which one is the most plausible? This disingenuous approach is just going to make folks mad about being lied to and will BLIND them to whatever merits religion may have.

  153. Dennis says

    Your first charge shows the bad faith you are bringing to this post . Obviously the subject of his project was the theory of evolution. He won a prize in the life sciences/biology section. While I agree it’s stupid and poor science etc etc, the category was entirely appropriate.

    Again, I’m not saying you’re not right about this being stupid, but you manage to be such a dick about it. It’s 14 year olds participating in a mandatory school assignment. I’d hardly characterize a middle school with 24 students as an “Evangelical Christian institution that tries to do science.”

    What might have salvaged your post is some comment on the real tragedy. Which is not that the creation wins!!! guy won (You know that there are large numbers of young earth creationists, it is disingenous to act shocked when they do something this), but that he placed better than that some of the other kids, who did projects that look pretty interesting like “Testing behavioral incentives, How Do Fears Change with Age?” I kind of want to try the “Why is the Sky Blue” demonstration described, and my research area is the interaction of radiation with matter.

  154. says

    Religion Comes in Many Flavors

    Religion, yes… it comes in many mystical and fanciful flavors. Almost universally they are ‘it’, the others are wrong. Almost universally they promote strife, hatred, division, war, devastation, rigidity, and suppression of free thought. And just as universally they can’t recognize another as an equal or as being anything other than ‘wrong’.

    You state however that science and evolution is it’s own ‘religion’. That is flat out wrong and demonstrates your nazi like devotion and mindless entrenchment with fairytales beaten into your brain over and over by religious leaders and educators (such as that word applies to those who brainwashed you, even if they are some of the most ignorant people on the planet today). Simply put, it is not a ‘religion’. Nor is anti-religion as many scientists, real ones… not the mockrey that is a creationist scientist… have and hold relgion in their hearts.

    Religion, simply put, is mans attempt to stratify and organize, to create a power structure and social control, and most of all to ‘answer’ those questions which our searching mind can’t answer for what ever reason. In giving answers, even those based on faith and word alone with absolutely no evidence, our fear is somewhat mullified and the other aspects of relgion (just another political organization ultimately) can take hold and provide the end result that was sought out by those who created the fairy tale in the first place.

    As for the truth in evolutionism… it exists by the room full, mountains upon mountains of HARD EVIDENCE along side proper scientific theory and experiment, one leading to the next. Surely not all answers are yet discovered, but the evidence as it exists in all of its vast scope is not only valid, but PROOF that pure creationist fundamental religionist theory is WRONG.

    In my opinino, and in the opinions of many hundreds of millions on this content and billions across the world, the parents of that child along with his ‘educators’ and those who held this farce of a science fair should be held accountable to the fullest extent possible for the real and measurable abuse they have heaped on this child and all others creationist scum come in contact with. While religious ‘freedom’ is admirable and worth aspiring too, it should NEVER be done at the expense of children during their developmental years, nor should it ever intrude on the rational being at any time from a forced perspective/input. Believe what you want, but don’t teach it in public schools or otherwise force it on those who can’t yet decide for themselves… and those private institutions should NEVER recieve any civil/government support on any level (and thus the ruined children educated in creationism will eventually come to reality once they enter the real world and support for creationist built ‘education’ facilities will wane and all but dissappear).

  155. says

    Religion Comes in Many Flavors

    Religion, yes… it comes in many mystical and fanciful flavors. Almost universally they are ‘it’, the others are wrong. Almost universally they promote strife, hatred, division, war, devastation, rigidity, and suppression of free thought. And just as universally they can’t recognize another as an equal or as being anything other than ‘wrong’.

    You state however that science and evolution is it’s own ‘religion’. That is flat out wrong and demonstrates your nazi like devotion and mindless entrenchment with fairytales beaten into your brain over and over by religious leaders and educators (such as that word applies to those who brainwashed you, even if they are some of the most ignorant people on the planet today). Simply put, it is not a ‘religion’. Nor is anti-religion as many scientists, real ones… not the mockrey that is a creationist scientist… have and hold relgion in their hearts.

    Religion, simply put, is mans attempt to stratify and organize, to create a power structure and social control, and most of all to ‘answer’ those questions which our searching mind can’t answer for what ever reason. In giving answers, even those based on faith and word alone with absolutely no evidence, our fear is somewhat mullified and the other aspects of relgion (just another political organization ultimately) can take hold and provide the end result that was sought out by those who created the fairy tale in the first place.

    As for the truth in evolutionism… it exists by the room full, mountains upon mountains of HARD EVIDENCE along side proper scientific theory and experiment, one leading to the next. Surely not all answers are yet discovered, but the evidence as it exists in all of its vast scope is not only valid, but PROOF that pure creationist fundamental religionist theory is WRONG.

    In my opinino, and in the opinions of many hundreds of millions on this content and billions across the world, the parents of that child along with his ‘educators’ and those who held this farce of a science fair should be held accountable to the fullest extent possible for the real and measurable abuse they have heaped on this child and all others creationist scum come in contact with. While religious ‘freedom’ is admirable and worth aspiring too, it should NEVER be done at the expense of children during their developmental years, nor should it ever intrude on the rational being at any time from a forced perspective/input. Believe what you want, but don’t teach it in public schools or otherwise force it on those who can’t yet decide for themselves… and those private institutions should NEVER recieve any civil/government support on any level (and thus the ruined children educated in creationism will eventually come to reality once they enter the real world and support for creationist built ‘education’ facilities will wane and all but dissappear).

  156. says

    Religion Comes in Many Flavors

    Religion, yes… it comes in many mystical and fanciful flavors. Almost universally they are ‘it’, the others are wrong. Almost universally they promote strife, hatred, division, war, devastation, rigidity, and suppression of free thought. And just as universally they can’t recognize another as an equal or as being anything other than ‘wrong’.

    You state however that science and evolution is it’s own ‘religion’. That is flat out wrong and demonstrates your nazi like devotion and mindless entrenchment with fairytales beaten into your brain over and over by religious leaders and educators (such as that word applies to those who brainwashed you, even if they are some of the most ignorant people on the planet today). Simply put, it is not a ‘religion’. Nor is anti-religion as many scientists, real ones… not the mockrey that is a creationist scientist… have and hold relgion in their hearts.

    Religion, simply put, is mans attempt to stratify and organize, to create a power structure and social control, and most of all to ‘answer’ those questions which our searching mind can’t answer for what ever reason. In giving answers, even those based on faith and word alone with absolutely no evidence, our fear is somewhat mullified and the other aspects of relgion (just another political organization ultimately) can take hold and provide the end result that was sought out by those who created the fairy tale in the first place.

    As for the truth in evolutionism… it exists by the room full, mountains upon mountains of HARD EVIDENCE along side proper scientific theory and experiment, one leading to the next. Surely not all answers are yet discovered, but the evidence as it exists in all of its vast scope is not only valid, but PROOF that pure creationist fundamental religionist theory is WRONG.

    In my opinino, and in the opinions of many hundreds of millions on this content and billions across the world, the parents of that child along with his ‘educators’ and those who held this farce of a science fair should be held accountable to the fullest extent possible for the real and measurable abuse they have heaped on this child and all others creationist scum come in contact with. While religious ‘freedom’ is admirable and worth aspiring too, it should NEVER be done at the expense of children during their developmental years, nor should it ever intrude on the rational being at any time from a forced perspective/input. Believe what you want, but don’t teach it in public schools or otherwise force it on those who can’t yet decide for themselves… and those private institutions should NEVER recieve any civil/government support on any level (and thus the ruined children educated in creationism will eventually come to reality once they enter the real world and support for creationist built ‘education’ facilities will wane and all but dissappear).

  157. Religion Comes in Many Flavors says

    I apologize for my previous double-post. I didn’t realize that happened. “My bad!” as it is said! :-)

    I want to be sure that people realize where I am coming from. I’m not bashing on ANYONE for what they believe is the truth. Nor am I saying that medicine doesn’t work. I’m not saying that SCIENCE, as a whole, is a religion. On the contrary. Science is a wonderful thing and anyone would be a fool to write it off as fantasy or science fiction as it were.

    As many have written, science is based on facts, experimentation and observation. However, MANY theories are speculation until proven as fact. At this point in history evolution is still very much a theory, NOT a fact. It is speculation on the part of many scientists. Yeah, they all agree on the big picture of evolution with variations here and there…and the same goes with Christians and their beliefs on creationism.
    Therefore, by definition, they are both religions. (and yes, I’m sure some will pull out the Websters and define religion for me. :-) ) Ideals that require faith to believe them because there is no irrefutable proof to either theory.

    So, again, I’m not posting to insult anyone or cram my views down anyone’s throat. But, I do feel the need to defend those being bashed for their beliefs as being morons and imbecilic.
    Come on people. Why is there no tolerance for diversity?

  158. redstripe says

    Yes, the kid is dumb, but the people that awarded him first prize in biology are worse.

  159. says

    I want to be sure that people realize where I am coming from. I’m not bashing on ANYONE for what they believe is the truth.

    Yes but should we be more concerned with what is actually the truth and not what someone believes is the truth? If someone believes something is the truth when all evidence points contrary to that, shouldn’t we show that?

  160. says

    “Therefore, by definition, they are both religions. (and yes, I’m sure some will pull out the Websters and define religion for me. :-) ) Ideals that require faith to believe them because there is no irrefutable proof to either theory.”
    My religion says that my car won’t break down on my way home. It also says I won’t get attacked by space aliens.

    With this low standard for religion, pretty much anything that contains reasonable assumptions can be considered a part of a religion.

  161. Steve_C says

    Uhg.

    If another person tells me science and religion are both religion because they don’t know the difference between a Hypothesis and a Theory I’m going to go slaughter some dragons, a unicorn or two and maybe kick some goblins around.

    I swear. I’ll do it.

    Maybe shoot everyone’s favorite Zombie in the head with a shotgun while I’m at it.

  162. Rey Fox says

    RCMF: Evolution is a fact. Species have evolved, species are evolving, species most likely will continue to evolve. The real controversies lie in the exploration of different mechanisms for how they evolve. That is the part that could be called “theory”, but another relevant point is the fact that in science, theory does not mean what you are implying here, which is to say, an intelligent guess. A theory is a working explanation for a very broad set of observations and facts and has explanatory and predictive power. Plate tectonics is also a theory. Would you suggest that we should give any credence to the notion that the Hand of God pushes continents around? You can’t equate robust, corroborated scientific theory with “poof, Goddidit”. They’re not in the same intellectual class.

  163. says

    If he’s still making stalactites at the age of 14 and exclaiming Eureaka, he needs to get out or study some proper science. I remember doing that sortof stuff when I was about 7, and I bet HIS ones weren’t coloured really nicely with food dye =P.

  164. Steve_C says

    That kid is screwed. I hope he enjoys his job at Burger King.
    Or his lucrative fellowship at the Discovery Institute.

  165. 386sx says

    But, I do feel the need to defend those being bashed for their beliefs as being morons and imbecilic.

    So learn what different people mean when they say “theory.”

    Come on people. Why is there no tolerance for diversity?

    Listen to what people say.

  166. says

    That kid is screwed. I hope he enjoys his job at Burger King.
    Or his lucrative fellowship at the Discovery Institute.

    He was born about 15 years too late. If not he would have been on the road to a job with the current President’s administration.

  167. jimmy says

    the kid is fourteen – he is obviously a prodigy. for those of you advocating that he gets some leeway for being a little flower still opening his petals, when i and every other little twerp that I knew definitely understood that they
    1) couldn’t rattle the scientific establishments thus far
    2) could apply their small amount of knowledge that maybe if you don’t have EVERY aspect of an experiment the same, it means jack squat
    3) wouldn’t be so pompous after winning.

    kid has it coming – and not the prize, but his heavenly reward. He just totally kicked every single evolutionists ass.

  168. redstripe says

    Is there some contest going on for most incoherent post? If so, I nominate “jimmy.”

  169. says

    He just totally kicked every single evolutionists ass.

    Oh really? Do tell. How so? Apparently you skipped ahead and didn’t read the post or the subsequent comments.

    Is there some contest going on for most incoherent post? If so, I nominate “jimmy.”

    second.

  170. j says

    Oh, my. The concentration of stupidity in this thread is reaching an unsafe level.

  171. says

    RCIMF parroted: …science is based on facts, experimentation and observation…evolution is still very much a theory, NOT a fact. It is speculation on the part of many scientists.

    That is ignorance talking. There is a mountain of facts, experimentation and observation backing evolution, perhaps more than most science. There is no excuse for this level of ignorance for someone with access to the internet. Try getting your science from scientists instead of your minister.

    For starters, in science, “theory” does not mean “speculation”. Scientific theories are backed by a host of facts and experiment. That is what earns them the title of “theory”. A theory is in some ways a higher level of truth than facts. A theory explains facts, it does not progress to become a fact. If you majored in nuclear physics, you would study atomic theory. There will never be a day, no matter what evidence comes to light, that the course name will change to “Atomic fact”. [hat tip Ken Miller, a Catholic]

    RCiMF said: I do feel the need to defend those being bashed for their beliefs as being morons and imbecilic.
    Come on people. Why is there no tolerance for diversity?

    If they, and you, stop saying moronic things and acting like imbeciles, you won’t have that need. The intolerance here is not for diversity, but for people with the arrogance to opine so shrilly on which they are clearly ignorant of even the very basics of the subject.

  172. mothworm says

    As many have written, science is based on facts, experimentation and observation. However, MANY theories are speculation until proven as fact. At this point in history evolution is still very much a theory, NOT a fact.

    OK, go learn the difference between a belief, a guess, a hypothesis, a theory and a fact. It’s so tiring to go over such simple stuff again, and again, and again. Go browse the FAQ on TalkOrigins and then come back.

    It is speculation on the part of many scientists. Yeah, they all agree on the big picture of evolution with variations here and there…and the same goes with Christians and their beliefs on creationism.
    Therefore, by definition, they are both religions

    Seriously? That’s just dumb on its face. All it takes for something to be a religion is for a group of people to agree on it? By that definition, stating that Juneau is the capital of Alaska is a religious belief.

    Ideals that require faith to believe them because there is no irrefutable proof to either theory.

    There’s plenty of proof for evolution. But you already know that. I can’t believe you honestly believe anything you say. If so, your understanding of religion is as shoddy as your understanding of science. I suggested you go read the TO FAQ, but I know it wouldn’t make any difference to you.

    Come on people. Why is there no tolerance for diversity?

    You don’t believe that either. Diversity and tolerance are generally anathema to christianity.

    There’s the same amount of tolerance as there is for the belief that 2+2=5.

  173. says

    RCiMF said: I do feel the need to defend those being bashed for their beliefs as being morons and imbecilic.
    Come on people. Why is there no tolerance for diversity?

    Indeed. Why is only the bible considered by the young earth creationist as the only valid document for decoding the origins of earth and the universe? There are so many other stories that are equally compelling and rooted in the same illusion of verisimilitude that the biblical creation story is.

  174. Astyanax says

    Oy…

    Evolution is NOT fact; it’s a theory that currently best fits the evidence.

    Blindness would be to continue believing a theory despite evidence to the contrary.

    Religion and science deal with different things. One is faith, one is observation. They aren’t mutually exclusive, but that’s another can of worms.

    Science does not deal ONLY with facts; there’s a lot of interpretation as well. That’s why theories are generated- to tie together different sources of data in a coherent package. The data isn’t wrong, per se, data is data… but the interpretations of it can vary greatly.

    The original article illustrates a sad example of science; the conclusions are too simplistic. That said, it’s a kid, cut him some slack.

    If you want to point fingers… maybe whoever awarded him 1st place or whoever taught him how to question and interpret? Blindness comes in many different forms, it can come from science (e.g., the round earth) or from religion.

    Science isn’t infallible. Although there is a scientific ideal, there are many examples where data/interpretations have been “bent” to support a certain conclusion. That’s not science; those are wolves in sheep’s clothing. It’s a sad fact that one must look at who’s sponsoring the a particular study to determine bias, and even sadder that scientific journals have page limits so that most of the details in scientific articles are left out.

    And enough of the ad hominem attacks to those who have been indulging. If you’re not going to listen and consider the ideas being presented, don’t shoot the messengers. As far as I’ve read, most of the people who have presented opposing viewpoints have been very polite. Whether you agree or not, proper discourse suggests you should reply in kind.

  175. BRP says

    From: http://objectiveministries.org/creation/sciencefair.html

    “2nd Place: “Women Were Designed For Homemaking”
    Jonathan Goode (grade 7) applied findings from many fields of science to support his conclusion that God designed women for homemaking: physics shows that women have a lower center of gravity than men, making them more suited to carrying groceries and laundry baskets; biology shows that women were designed to carry un-born babies in their wombs and to feed born babies milk, making them the natural choice for child rearing; social sciences show that the wages for women workers are lower than for normal workers, meaning that they are unable to work as well and thus earn equal pay; and exegetics shows that God created Eve as a companion for Adam, not as a co-worker.”
    Wow. The sad thing is that there are plenty of creationists out there reading this and nodding their heads, thinking, “Finally, someone has scientifically proven where a woman’s REAL place is…”

  176. mothworm says

    Evolution is NOT fact; it’s a theory that currently best fits the evidence.

    Oy, yourself. Evolution is both a theory and a fact.

    Species have, and continue to evolve. Fact. Natural Selection explains how evolution happens. Theory.

  177. Lancelot Gobbo says

    Just to inject a little science, and being rather concrete about it, I had physiology lectures in 1976 at UCL (UK) by a Prof Dawson who had researched why cats always land on their feet, given enough altitude. Fascinating slow motion video showed they stuck out their tails and then whipped them like a flagellum to induce an opposite force to turn their bodies upright. Needs follow-up studies on Manx cats.

  178. says

    Because, Jefe, Young Earth Creationists feel that their own personal interpretation is TRUTH, and all other differing view points are evil lies straight from the mouth of Satan.

  179. Eisnel says

    Astyanax:

    If you want to point fingers… maybe whoever awarded him 1st place or whoever taught him how to question and interpret?

    That’s who we are blaming. We’re also blaming them for molding a kid who will be severely crippled in a number academic areas.

    As far as I’ve read, most of the people who have presented opposing viewpoints have been very polite.

    They have been very polite while spreading tired nonsense. Interestingly, your own words best describe that: “Wolves in sheep’s clothing”.

    Evolution is NOT fact;

    As many of people are going to tell you, evolution is a fact. That life has (somehow) evolved over time on Earth is a fact. The theory of evolution by natural selection is a scientific theory which explains how that occurred.

  180. trrll says

    Evolution is NOT fact; it’s a theory that currently best fits the evidence.

    In a certain very strict sense, it can be said that all scientific generalizations and explanations are theories, and that the only “facts” are observations. So I may observe that in a photograph taken from space on a particular location, the earth appears round. Based upon several such observations and other supporting data, I may theorize that the earth in fact is round. Strictly speaking, this is “only” a theory, because I cannot prove that the earth is still round when nobody is looking at it, or that it will still look round when looked at tomorrow, or that there is not some weird angle of view that nobody has ever discovered from which the earth does not look round. In this very strict sense, and only in this very strict sense, both evolution and the roundness of the earth are theories.

    On the other hand, in the more commonly used parlance in which “fact,” means “a statement supported by such an overwhelming amount of evidence that no reasonable person familiar with that evidence could deny its correctness,” both evolution and the roundness of the earth are facts.

  181. Leon says

    69. Why do cats always land on there feet when they fall? Do other animals do this?

    Cats don’t land on THERE feet. They land on THEIR feet. This is a school?

    I guess they don’t believe in grammar either.

  182. dhe says

    Its a fricken eighth grader for god sakes, cut him some slack, any secular school student could have done the exact same thing and come to the same conclusions. This could have come from any school and would have made PZ rant about how that school is so ignorant and blind that they wear underpants on their head…

  183. says

    As a pragmatic matter stalactites probably could grow faster than 10 cm/1000 years — those under the Lincoln Memorial have only been growing since about 1935. They are pencil thin at the most, however.

    The point is that these cave formations tend to grow in annual cycles, and that rates of growth in many caves is dramatically reduced. Like trees have different rates of growth, that balsa grows so quickly does not mean sequoia can. So we can count the rings on a sequoia confident that the size took a long time to grow, and the rates of balsa growth don’t change that fact.

    Growth of formations under the Lincoln Memorial were aided by the design of the place, the exposure of so much marble to so much acid rain. Unless we can pose additional sources of the minerals that make the stalactites, we’re stuck with growth rates in the thousands, tens of thousands, and hundreds of thousands of years. A flood, by the way, would slow or stop the growth, since it would flush away the minerals that make the formations.

    So the creationists lose, any way they want to squirm on stalactites.

  184. says

    As a pragmatic matter stalactites probably could grow faster than 10 cm/1000 years — those under the Lincoln Memorial have only been growing since about 1935. They are pencil thin at the most, however.

    The point is that these cave formations tend to grow in annual cycles, and that rates of growth in many caves is dramatically reduced. Like trees have different rates of growth, that balsa grows so quickly does not mean sequoia can. So we can count the rings on a sequoia confident that the size took a long time to grow, and the rates of balsa growth don’t change that fact.

    Growth of formations under the Lincoln Memorial were aided by the design of the place, the exposure of so much marble to so much acid rain. Unless we can pose additional sources of the minerals that make the stalactites, we’re stuck with growth rates in the thousands, tens of thousands, and hundreds of thousands of years. A flood, by the way, would slow or stop the growth, since it would flush away the minerals that make the formations.

    So the creationists lose, any way they want to squirm on stalactites.

  185. Carlie says

    stogoe – But, but, it only happened the first time! And before I knew the server was having problems! And then I prayed it better! And I thought it was a firefox error! And…. oh, damn it, now I’m going to have to become a witch if I want a Molly.

  186. Carlie says

    Hey, did that go through? Because if it didn’t, I can post it again….

  187. Leon says

    69. Why do cats always land on there feet when they fall? Do other animals do this?

    Cats don’t land on THERE feet. They land on THEIR feet. This is a school?

    I guess they don’t believe in grammar either.

  188. Brien says

    Don’t try to show how someone else is wrong in their facts when you lack a proper command of the english language. “…that try to do science inevitable demonstrate breathtaking inanity of their own.” I believe the word would be “inevitably.”

    Also, it’s just as bad to use the metaphysical reasoning to do science as it is to use science to answer metaphysical reasoning. Science, by its very nature, can only answer the question of “what” and not “why.”

  189. says

    Brien, do us all a favor and realize that spelling and typo flames are about as lame as they come, and those who use them are lame by proxy.

    Also, please point out where PZ is using “metaphysical arguments” to do science.

  190. Astyanax says

    mothworm: “Species have, and continue to evolve. Fact. Natural Selection explains how evolution happens. Theory.”

    To play devil’s advocate (I don’t have anything against evolution), what are some examples of evolution?

    It’s been a while, so I don’t remember any examples, other than the white/black moths in Industrial Revolution-era Britain… but that’s an illustration of micro-evolution (selection of pre-existing traits). So in this sense, evolution exists.

    The debates is mainly about macro-evolution (selection pressures create new traits/species), though. One could make an argument that:

    white moths –> black moths AND apes –> man

    might be a leap of logic akin to:

    magnesium salt stalactites –> creation wins. :)

    Then again, there’s evidence against the “creation wins” conclusion, at least in terms of the 8th grader’s experiment, and there’s underwhelming evidence against macro-evolution, *as it currently stands*. Evolution seems logical; if micro-evolution exists, over x million years, why can’t macro-evolution exist? Then again, it’s something that will never (well, within a human timeframe) be truly “answered”.

    I do find it somewhat amusing to debate theories explaining things that have timespans longer than humans have been around. Not that they lack merit, I just think it’s funny.

    The real debate, imho, should be the teaching of critical thinking (or lack thereof). :P

  191. Caledonian says

    Why is the sky blue? Why do rocks fall faster than feathers? Why do particles with short half-lives fall from the sky more often than we’d expect them to?

    Sorry, Brien, looks like you’re incorrect. Science is perfectly capable of answering all kinds of ‘why’ questions. More to the point, it can justify its answers. A Magic-8-Ball can reply to questions – the key is in providing meaningful answers, something religion sucks at.

  192. j a higginbotham says

    Hmmm. 13 out of 24 entries won prizes and best in show wasn’t in top 3 in its own category (behavioral science?).

  193. says

    “The debates is mainly about macro-evolution (selection pressures create new traits/species), though. One could make an argument that:”

    Examples of new traits formed by selection of retained traits include the nylon bug, a bacterium capable of digesting nylon. Since nylon is an artificial polymer that didn’t even exist 100 years ago, it is clearly a new trait.

    Also realize that no one claims anything like this:

    “white moths –> black moths AND apes –> man”

    And claiming that anyone does only exposes your ignorance.

  194. Astyanax says

    Hey, hey, lighten up on the ad hominem. Debate the ideas and not the people. :P

    I did say I was playing devil’s advocate and that I don’t have anything against evolution. I just like to get people (including myself) thinking.

    As for my analogy I did take the analogy to the ridiculous extreme. The analogy was meant to spur thought rather than judgment… :/

    The nylon bug is an interesting example. I guess you’re right that new traits can be developed. You can irradiate fruit flies to generate new traits, too. Hm, I’m still forming my ideas on it, too. :P

    Still, the nylon bug is an example of micro-evolution, but a great example nonetheless. I guess I misspoke about macro-evolution earlier; it’s more along the lines of selection pressures generating *new* species. It certainly seems logical that micro-evolution, over time, will become macro-evolution, but that’s a point that’s difficult, if not impossible, to “prove”.

    Lots of things are difficult to “prove”, but science is more about the process than the conclusions, about finding the best explanation for a given set of data. If the process is flawed, then the conclusions will also be flawed. Asking questions and thinking is part of science, too.

    But enough of me and my soapbox. :P

  195. says

    “Astyanax said:

    One could make an argument that:

    white moths –> black moths AND apes –> man

    might be a leap of logic akin to:

    magnesium salt stalactites –> creation wins. :)”

    One could, but one could expect to be called a fool by a lot of learned folks on the subject if one did.

    Talk of macroevolution and microevolution as you engage in is as telltale a sign of a crank as is talk of “Darwinists” or “materialists”. The mechanism is the same for macro and micro, all that differs is time. Creationists imply there is some sort of barrier that maintains the genetics of a population within some fixed range, but they have (as usual) zero evidence for such a thing. They posit this only because the idea of macroevolution offends their religious sensibilities with regard to their concept of fixed “kinds” as described in the Bible. That’s of course being generous and not attributing it to sheer ignorance (eg Kirk Cameron’s crocoduck). It’s the equivalent of saying “Sure, you showed me you can walk across the room, but that doesn’t mean I should believe it is possible for you to have walked across town yesterday.” Yes it does, unless you can show good reason to doubt it.

    Of course, the other trick creationists use here is to avoid objectively defining “macro-evolution” to allow themselves wiggle room when the facts come to light that speciation has been observed both in the wild and in the lab. See http://www.talkorigins.org for all the info you’ll ever need on the subject. One of things you’ll learn is there is no such thing as “kinds”, and the macro/micro argument is so much bollocks.

  196. says

    TCCSA:

    Why is blood blue in our veins but turns red when we are cut? If we are cut in a vacuum would the blood stay blue?

    All blood is red. This is a misconception that was corrected only few years ago.

  197. says

    “It certainly seems logical that micro-evolution, over time, will become macro-evolution, but that’s a point that’s difficult, if not impossible, to “prove”.”

    As long as your standard of proof is providing overwhelming empirical evidence, then “macroevolution” is perfectly capable of being “prove[d]”. All the evidence is there.

    However, “proof” has technical meanings in the world of maths, logic and philosophy, where it is usually used in a deductive and a priori sense. Science, being based on provisional, a posteriori empirical observation and experience, is not concerned with that sort of “proof”.

  198. brtkrbzhnv says

    Astyanax:

    To play devil’s advocate (I don’t have anything against evolution), what are some examples of evolution?

    Phylogenetic trees constructed from genetic, morphological &c. &c. evidence show us e.g. that all primates have evolved from a common ancestor. If that’s not macro enough for you, the same is true for mammals, vertebrates &c. &c.. For verily, he of sound mind who has seen (and understood the probabilities involved with) the concordance of phylogenetic trees can harbour no doubts about the factuality of the common descent of the organisms involved.

  199. George Cauldron says

    the kid is fourteen – he is obviously a prodigy. for those of you advocating that he gets some leeway for being a little flower still opening his petals, when i and every other little twerp that I knew definitely understood that they 1) couldn’t rattle the scientific establishments thus far

    Perhaps when you’re a little older, you’ll understand that being laughed at for saying ridiculous things in public is not the same thing as “rattling the scientific establishment”.

    Hopefully your ability to assemble coherent sentences will also improve.

  200. muhr says

    “Why do cats hate dogs and dogs hate cats?”

    I remember Stanley Coren suggesting that body language was part of the conflict. For example, when a dog is being submissive it will lay on it’s back, but to a cat, that position is often offensive.

  201. reboho says

    Even if you win at a Creation Science Fair, you’re still a creationist!

    Be thankful for Jewish scribes who mistranslated the Gilgamesh flood myth (turning a molehill into a mountain) into the Genesis flood myth, or else we wouldn’t even have this entertaining post.

  202. Ichthyic says

    Fascinating slow motion video showed they stuck out their tails and then whipped them like a flagellum to induce an opposite force to turn their bodies upright.

    there ya have it:

    Cat’s tails are irreducibly complex.

    add it to the list!

  203. Scott says

    I’d just add, in light of more Creationists positing strawmen by claiming that this is all about ridiculing a poor kid, that it’s not about the kid. He’s just parroting back the nonsense the adults have been spoonfeeding him; it’s not his fault. I feel sorry for him, if anything, because I can remember when I was pushed by a Christian school to believe in fallacies (at least they didn’t make any effort to teach any science, so I wasn’t bombarded by bad science, just none at all).

    I sincerely hope that this kid uses his intellect and ability to devise experiments to test hypotheses to participate in the scientific community in the future. Sure, he’s bound to get a rather nasty rude awakening at some point, and if he does, he’s bound to turn into one of the most bitter, anti-Christian atheists the world has seen. I’m saying that based on my own personal experience; while I may be an agnostic leaning towards atheism most days, but am not anti-Christian, I am still a bit resentful that I was deprived of science until I got away from the private Christian schools and into a public High School (and then a nice, secular state university to complete my macrobiology degree). But wow, if I’d been so deliberately brainwashed and misled about science, and then discovered how much I loved the more pure variety, I would likely crusade against the frauds in Creation science and their Christian friends with all my energy to my dying day. What are Creationists afraid of when it comes to giving people all the theories on each one’s strongest merits and worst flaws and letting folks reason out which one is the most plausible? This disingenuous approach is just going to make folks mad about being lied to and will BLIND them to whatever merits religion may have.

  204. says

    brtkrbzhnv– I really really hope these folks stick around for the Creation Museum Carnival! I have a perfect post for your comment about phylogenetic trees and the evolution of primates! WHOOO ERVs! WHOOOOOO!

    hehehehe!

    The Digg and the Carnival is perfect timing!

  205. Scott says

    Interesting. It seems that the php script is actually a bit broken in terms of the way it’s causing double-posts. I came back to an error from posting a comment earlier in the day, after several hours away from my desk. Figuring it probably posted, I just refreshed this page, and viola, double post.

    Folks may as well stop criticizing and apologizing. It’s not impatience but simply that the script just needs to…dare I say…evolve.

  206. Anthony says

    It seems to me that you forgot the general idea of this experiment. Judging by the tone of your writing it seems to me that we got another ignorant,arrogant, and pigheaded atheist whose main goals in life is to falsify Christianity ,embarrass it.But tell me why atheists don’t focus about other religions as much. The answer to that is they feel Christianity is a threat. so many belligerent atheists attempt to disprove Christianity but not once have they succeeded. yes evolution and adaptation co exist but we did not evolve from a rock.once again atheists feel insecure and mistreated and feel threatened by a kid who thinks for himself and knows what he’s talking about-atheists are conformists too. i can write a book on this subject but I’ll end it here.

    ps- this is just another insignificant blogger who thinks his opinion really matters.

  207. TheBlackCat says

    Astyanax, you define macroeveolution as “it’s more along the lines of selection pressures generating *new* species” I should point out that this sort of macroevolution has been directly observed, both in the laboratory and in nature, in both plants and animals, numerous times. For instance a new species of mosquito evolved in the London subway tunnel since it was built around 100 years ago. It will not breed with any surface-dwelling mosquito, and evolved new traits that help it survive in that environment. Laboratory experiments produce new species all the time (in fruit flies and other flies particularly). At has even been observed in mammals, where a species of mouse introduced to an island by humans a few hundred years ago became a new species. So it is not at all difficult to prove, it is easy to do in a laboratory and has been observed in the wild many times.

  208. Ichthyic says

    actually, shorter Anthony:

    projection.

    projection, projection.

    now I’ll run away.

    p.s. – projection.

  209. says

    I love how whenever any Atheist finds anything in the religious community, they have to knaw on it on the internet and rip it to shreds with their friends. I know it’s the same way with religious people, as well, but you guys really aren’t helping stopping the bitching trend when it comes to meaningless things like this. Just shut the hell up for once. It’s getting pathetic.

    And I know I didn’t have to read this, and I had a choice to ignore it, but this is just a unstoppable annoying trend you have going here. Likewise, it’s the same on the other side, so I’m not blaming you for the problem. But this isn’t pushing for a solution, either.

  210. says

    “I know it’s the same way with religious people, as well, but you guys really aren’t helping stopping the bitching trend when it comes to meaningless things like this. Just shut the hell up for once. It’s getting pathetic.”

    Following Ichthyic, for some reason projection seems to be popular among the current flood of trolls on this board. Better unplug my irony meter before it reaches catastrophic overload, again.

  211. Carlie says

    Not anything in the religious community, Brooks, just blatant evidence of religious misinterpretation of reality that claims to be “science” yet is absolutely not. Keep your religion out of my science, and I’ll keep my rationality out of your religion.

    Anthony, we don’t focus on other religions as much because they’re not so obnoxiously, in our faces wrong all the time. I don’t see Hindus running targeted political campaigns to overthrow basic human rights in this country.

  212. says

    I love how whenever any Atheist finds anything in the religious community, they have to knaw on it on the internet and rip it to shreds with their friends. I know it’s the same way with religious people, as well, but you guys really aren’t helping stopping the bitching trend when it comes to meaningless things like this. Just shut the hell up for once. It’s getting pathetic.

    Calling a spade a spade is perfectly legitimate. If I see someone spouting ignorant ill-informed ideas, I’ll call them on them. If it hurts someone’s feelings that they are being called out for being an ignoramus, too bad. Maybe they should re-assess their position.

  213. reboho says

    Shorter Brooks Williams: Would you militant atheists be quiet lest they notice the rest of us?

    Newsflash: They are coming whether you speak up or not. Nobody is going to ask if you are a quiet atheist or someone who speaks out against the stupidity of it all. We all will be tarred with the same brush.

  214. gwangung says

    I love how whenever any Atheist finds anything in the religious community, they have to knaw on it on the internet and rip it to shreds with their friends. I know it’s the same way with religious people, as well, but you guys really aren’t helping stopping the bitching trend when it comes to meaningless things like this. Just shut the hell up for once. It’s getting pathetic.

    No, what’s pathetic is that some Christians are so willfully blind and spiritually arrogant that they allow their sinful pride to blind themselves. How can they witness to nonbelievers if they can’t get simple things right, and in their spititual arrogance, try to claim wisdom undeservedly?

    Moreover, you’re blaming the wrong people. Some Christians are not content to render unto Ceasar what is Caesar (gee…there’s that pride again). They’re trying to force what THEY think as truth into places where they don’t belong. They’re trying to force secular authorities to declare their beliefs as equivalent to science. And they’re willing lie, cheat AND steal to do so.

    This is not a little thing. This is a BIG thing, not to be minimized. And the solution is NOT for scientists to stop reacting–it’s for the foolish one who think they’re being Godly to stop characterizing THEIR beliefs as God’s own truth.

  215. says

    Wow, I was expecting comments, but even faster! Are you losing some edge? :D

    I understand what you are fighting for, and the only reason I posted that was to get some action back up here. Both sides are pretty annoying to listen to, and each do have very good reasons. While I am religious myself, I’m more focused on my own thing, which is cool for talks like this. I love them. Like frosting on the cake.

    One question though.. and no offense to anyone on here, but if we are going by Atheist theory… if God doesn’t exist, then that would mean he’s nothing, right? So… keeping that in mind.. all Atheists do is complain about absolutely nothing, am I correct?

    I know it’s throwing brush into a fire but things like this are too good to pass up.

  216. says

    Please do visit the blog and links below and judge, with a scientific mind, you’ll see that the bible contains unrefutable and scientific facts even before man discovered it.

    Refuting a nonsensical allegation on the scientifically sensical filled scripture

    The most advanced ancient book of all time

    Scientific and unrefutable proofs that the bible is true

    The bible’s credibility doesn’t decrease a bit if someone made a mistake, in fact mistakes and erroneous doctrines help people judge if someone should be believed or not.

    In fact, the bible warns us not to believe everybody,

    1 John 4:1 says,
    Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

    To further strengthen that fact and as a proof that it is already written in the bible that many people will be incorrect in their interpretation of the bible,

    II Peter 3:15-16 says,

    As also in all [his] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as [they do] also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.


    Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know [these things] before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.

    Bro. Eli’s Blog
    Ang Dating Daan
    The Truthcaster
    The Old Path

    Arthur Abogadil
    arthur_abogadil@yahoo.com

  217. says

    Judging by the tone of your writing it seems to me that we got another ignorant,arrogant, and pigheaded atheist whose main goals in life is to falsify Christianity ,embarrass it.But tell me why atheists don’t focus about other religions as much.

    Well on this blog at least and in my experience I deal with the Christian Fundamentalist folks the most. The US has a large population of Christians and they are the most vocal of the religious groups. I don’t swat the fly that is buzzing 200 yards away from me, I swat the one that’s buzzing in my ear. They are the ones trying to institute the laws against good science, they are the ones wanting to clamp their puritan shackles on anyone who doesn’t think exactly like they do, they are the ones displaying their ignorance where I see it the most. That’s why. Get off your childish persecution complex and join the reality based population.

  218. says

    So wait, the guys that wrote the Bible can’t have an opinion, but yours holds more weight?

    Just because you are all more knowledgeable doesn’t mean you’re more intelligent.

    (playing Devil’s advocate here)

  219. gwangung says

    So wait, the guys that wrote the Bible can’t have an opinion, but yours holds more weight?

    Since they and he are talking about two different things…probably, yeah.

  220. reboho says

    Brooks,

    Atheists do is complain about absolutely nothing, am I correct?

    I’m sorry, your lips were moving. Were you saying something important? Or were you talking about nothing? :-}

  221. says

    No sir, what im trying to say is that the bible is scientific, because a lot of people says that it is not, even using stupid arguments, sorry for that word, but see some of the posts here, all people are talking about being scientific but they are not using a scientific way of judging the bible. Please do read the articles if you have time.

  222. reboho says

    Arthur,

    And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night:

    You do understand that the moon is not a “light”, don’t you?

  223. Zarquon says

    Arthur, just because you can interpret the Bible’s poetic fantasies in the light of modern science doesn’t mean there’s science in the Bible, it means you can’t distinguish between facts and fiction.

  224. says

    How is an article on “it’s ok to cry” scientific proof of the bible’s legitimacy?

    The bible calls it a circle not a sphere? Are you projecting you want for it to be a sphere (actualy not exactly a sphere) onto the words written there? If the bible knew it was a spherical like object why not just call it that? Again that one passage is not a proof of anything.

    And the other article is assuming that when someone wrote days they meant years or millions of years.

    All of these articles…except the crying one which I still can’t figure out why it was included.. make large assumptions. Evidence, data, research. That is what counts. Anecdotes from 2000 years ago just don’t cut it. Circular arguments are not evidence. If anything they show how thin your argument is.

    An intelligent reader of the Bible, a real Christian, is aware that the account of creation in Genesis does not tell us only of the creation of the earth, but the entire universe.

    No true Scotsman?

  225. says

    Arthur, if the Bible is scientific, it is a crap-lousy scientific book, given as how it says, among other things, that rabbits, or hyraxes (depending on the translation) are hoofed ruminant animals, and that grasshoppers are four-legged animals.
    Neither rabbits nor hyraxes have hooves nor chew cud, and grasshoppers have six, not four legs.
    Furthermore, if you actually took the time to read the Bible, instead of parrot what your pastor told you, you’d notice that it does not read like a modern scientific treatise, or even like the ramblings of Pliny the Elder or Aristotle.

  226. says

    TO reboho,

    do you deny the fact that the moon indeed gives light at night?

    if you cannot understand that statement then you wont even have an inch of idea what the following means,

    Matthew 6:22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

  227. says

    Arthur, can you please answer me about why the Bible says rabbits/hyraxes are hooved ruminants and that grasshoppers have four legs?

  228. says

    “do you deny the fact that the moon indeed gives light at night?”

    It reflects sunlight of a given a frequency back to the earth, enabling us to see it. If that is what constitutes criteria for a “light”, pebbles during the day are also “lights”.

  229. Ichthyic says

    but if we are going by Atheist theory… if God doesn’t exist

    it’s not a theory. it’s a null hypothesis that has never been disproven. That’s different than a theory.

    the longer it remains not disproven, the more credibility it gains.

    simple.

    why am I an atheist? 40 years of personal observation of this null hypothesis not being disproven, combined with hundreds of years prior of attempts to disprove it failing.

    seems pretty solid.

  230. Ichthyic says

    I love how whenever any Atheist finds anything in the religious community, they have to knaw on it on the internet and rip it to shreds with their friends.

    *sigh*

    yet another person who fails to visit their own religious counterpart forums.

    go try visiting Uncommon Descent and then try repeating your argument again.

    Is it still logical?

    (hint: NO)

    oh, and another great example of projection on your part for all to see.

  231. Ichthyic says

    I think at this point PZ might want to retitle the thread:

    A gaggle of xian scientists continue to embarass themselves.

  232. says

    I think at this point PZ might want to retitle the thread:

    A gaggle of xian scientists continue to embarass themselves.

    All we need now is a couple hundred posts between JA Davison and his pet monkey VMartin.

  233. Brian says

    “…you’ll see that the bible contains unrefutable and scientific facts even before man discovered it…”

    How is that statement not self-conflicting?

    I agree with Arthur, the Bible is the triumphant result of a scientific analysis by thousands of european clerics on how to maintain an established power-base in the face of many different social and political structures. Used as a conservative force it is very powerful; with passages just obscure enough to support nearly any entrenched viewpoint.

  234. Ichthyic says

    the bible proves indeed that it already knows that the earth is not flat,

    the bible as conscious entity.

    shocker, i sez, shocker.

  235. says

    the bible proves indeed that it already knows that the earth is not flat, even before telescopes where invented.

    Before telescopes even. Wow.

    I’d like to see this proof. So far you’ve provided a link that provides a few lines of scripture. I’m going to go out on a limb here, but I doubt that will stand up to the rigors of scientific “proof”.

  236. Ichthyic says

    All we need now is a couple hundred posts between JA Davison and his pet monkey VMartin.

    carefull, if you say his name three times he might actually appear.

    are you SURE that’s what you want?

  237. says

    Well. Being that I’m heading out of town tomorrow and I’d be coming back about post 329 on Monday.. Sure why the hell not.

    naaaaaaaaahhh. Best to let deluded ex-professors lie ..er …yeah lie.

  238. Brian says

    “…An intelligent reader of the Bible, a real Christian, is aware that the account of creation in Genesis does not tell us only of the creation of the earth, but the entire universe…”

    Where were the Christians when the creation story was originally written as the Epic of Gilgamesh? or when the Jews refined the story? Did they all just not quite understand what they were writing until the christians came around and wrote the bible a hundred years or so after Christ’s death?

  239. says

    Wow.

    Please, LISTEN to ME. I’m XIAN and I really BELIEVE. YOU say YOU’RE nice but you won’t listen to me say THAT you CAN’T DISPROVE the great and wonderful SANTA CLAUS and EASTER BUNNY. LISTEN to me, but don’t make READ or STUDY your SCIENCE to keep up with the CONVERSATION.

    Ever notice the amount of bold and caps comments vary inversely with logical and empirical nature of the argument. Kind of like look HERE, but not here.

  240. says

    Judging by the tone of your writing it seems to me that we got another ignorant,arrogant, and pigheaded atheist whose main goals in life is to falsify Christianity ,embarrass it.

    Yeesh, you people are so fragile.
    Christians manage to do that quite well.
    So quit being a whiny little bitch if someone points out the inconsistency between word & deed.

  241. anthony says

    how do you think the universe was created? it just was there? those particles and energy were just there? please think. Common sense tells you something had to create them.

  242. reboho says

    Arthur,

    TO reboho,

    do you deny the fact that the moon indeed gives light at night?

    if you cannot understand that statement then you wont even have an inch of idea what the following means,

    Matthew 6:22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

    Yes, I do, I do, I do deny that indeed the moon gives light at night. You think I’m stupid or something? Wait, I think you do.

    I don’t even have a half an inch of understanding. So, it’s my turn, do you know what this means?

    The higher we soar the smaller we appear to those who cannot fly.

    That’s probably why I only appear to be half an inch tall. Silly religious rabbit, your jedi mind tricks have no effect on me.

  243. anthony says

    “you people”

    I guess thats your belief or way of thinking but one could say the same for you people too!

    ways for atheists to succeed:
    disprove the bible
    disprove god

    so far no atheists have ever come close. but Christians have proved atheists so called big bang theories and evolution.

  244. says

    I wonder why Arthur continues to insist that the Bible is allegedly a scientific text, and yet, chooses to ignore my objections about the Bible’s insistence that hyraxes/rabbits are hoofed ruminants and that grasshoppers have only four legs?

    And Anthony, if you would actually read about the Big Bang Theory, you wouldn’t need to make an ass out of yourself trying to set up yet another “GODDIDIT” scenario.

  245. ben says

    Why are you all attacking a kid? Oh it’s like you morons even know what Epsom Salts are. Give this kid credit for at least having some wheels turning when it comes to expirements. You on the other hand know no science which you are passionately defending. And this blogger him self doesnt know what he is talking about. What this kid revealed has some truth in it, although it is produced using different expiremental approach.

    You find some little flaw in Christian kid’s expriment and are already screaming how dumb and ignorant he is. Think about all those flawed expirements done by atheist scientists which were later discovered pure lie. For instance, everything you learned about evolution in 1960’s today is discovered to be a lie. So another words you were taught a lie, which many of you still carry around.

  246. says

    Anthony, stop being a stupid troll.
    Not a single creationist has been able to scientifically disprove Evolutionary Theory.
    Or, can you demonstrate to us how a pair of koalas could make it from Turkey to New South Wales without sounding like a moron?

  247. says

    Ben, can you tell us what growing epsom salt stalactites has to do with Biology, and how does that disprove Evolutionary Theory, or are you just being another Jesus troll?

  248. Russ says

    In Comment 151 from Jon Doeson, he says, “Good job a thousand people picking on a kid who just reaching puberty.”

    While some of the posts here border on attacking the young man, I really doubt that any of the commenters on this thread would harbor ill will toward him. My sense is that most of the criticism is levied toward the parents, teachers, and judges who poured undue praise on a child, not for conducting anything approaching science, but rather for the spectacularly outlandish conclusion. Had he himself chosen, or had a mentor guided him, to study, say, magnesium sulfate crystal formation, he may have actually had a worthwhile project that could have been well-respected in the broad science community. And, Jon, I can tell you this, irrespective of the young man’s religious inclinations, that respect would be reflected even here where real science is revered.

    Personally, I wish him all the best in life, but I do think that all the best will be hard for him to achieve since those who hold significant sway over him precisely due to his youth – and, thus, his intellectual immaturity – seem to be intentionally misleading, misguiding, and misinforming him. I’m reminded of a slogan used in – I hope I correctly recall – advertisements for the United Negro College Fund: a mind is terrible thing to waste. This young person’s mind is being wasted to suit the purposes of those who he is relying on to prepare him for what could easily be another 70 or 80 years of life. In essence, he is being betrayed. Even if you believe there is life after death, everyone, including this unwarranted science fair champion, must get through this life first. To do that while having all the best, he, like us all, will need sound mental resouces including a good knowledge base and strong reasoning skills, both of which it appears he is being denied.

    The young man’s age is truly not an important issue when it comes to the science. To see that his age is irrelevant to the conduct of respectworthy science consider Miss Emily Rosa, a nine year old fourth grade student. Here is a link for your convenience: http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/9804/01/therapeutic.touch/

    Her fourth grade science fair project was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. This young lady – under ten, mind you – made the world of medicine realize that the widely-practiced “therapeutic touch” was simply pseudoscience. Young people truly do have great capabilities and can perform great feats if provided appropriate guidance. They do not need to compose make-work projects or paste up inane parent-pleasing or clergy-pleasing or judge-pleasing conjectures. Despite their youth they can, and, as Emily clearly demonstrates, do have the faculties needed to conduct good science and make valuable contributions to our ever-growing base of understanding.

    So, Jon, I empathize with your desire to defend a young person you deem to be under attack, but I hope you can see that many of us here also view him as being threatened with a lifetime of diminished intellectual capacity; threatened with a lifetime hindered by misinformation and faulty reasoning; and, threatened with a lifetime filled with asking others what to think because in his youth those same others withheld the very things he needed to learn that special something that could benefit him each and every day of his life: to think for himself.

  249. Zarquon says

    For instance, everything you learned about evolution in 1960’s today is discovered to be a lie.

    That’s not true. And I bet you can’t give any examples of things that are 100% different between the 1960s and now. Can you point to textbooks that teach biology in such a way that the 60’s version would be a lie?

  250. Janine says

    #263
    Rev. BigDumbChimp,

    the bible proves indeed that it already knows that the earth is not flat, even before telescopes where invented.

    Posted by: arthur abogadil | May 24, 2007 11:53 PM

    Greek scholars like Pythagoras in 500 BC knew about the Earth being a sphere. Did it without the bible. Try again.

  251. Ichthyic says

    how do you think the universe was created? it just was there? those particles and energy were just there? please think. Common sense tells you something had to create them.

    someTHING in process produced it. sure. just like basic organic chemicals can produce amino acids under the right conditions.

    not SOMEONE, as in yer own personal, Jesus.

    get the difference?

    meh, probably not.

  252. reboho says

    anthony,

    disprove the bible

    disprove god

    Guess you haven’t really thought about this whole proof thing a lot, have you?

    How about this, I will show you that the xian god doesn’t exist as soon as you prove to me that Zeus, Thor, Easter Bunny, Santa Claus and the Flying Spaghetti Monster don’t exist, OK?

    Then could you work out the whole thing about combining omnipotence with omniscience because that can yield the difficulty of whether or not God can pose a question to which he would not know the answer. Points will be deducted if you try the Augustine argument.

  253. John R. MacQuinn says

    I believe that science is a faith. The groundless belief we cling to, in this case, is that reality is real. Think of the Matrix.

    I can believe in logic and science to the same degree these bible-thumpers believe in God. They can believe in magical super godness creationism all they want, I don’t give a care. But these whackos are trying to pass it off as science. That’s not only crossing the line, that’s taking the line into a back alley, raping it, nailing it to a building, shooting it, and then riding past it in an ICBM so far that you end up three towns over, in my opinion.

    They claim the Bible, is a legitimate historic text. If they say that, I say so too must be Homer’s The Odyssey. The Hellenic Archipelago MUST be filled with the skeletons of monsters, then, wouldn’t it?!

    If they want to teach creationism in schools, maybe they should let them…. But they also would have to teach the hindu theory; the universe is created and destroyed every 4.32 million years. And also the Korean theory, that the first woman in the world was a bear that was in a cave for 100 days with only 20 cloves of garlic and a handful of mugwort to eat. And the Baha’i theory that creation ALWAYS existed. And the Shinto theory that the land was formed from salt that came off of a divine halberd. And the Hmong theory that the first two people were siblings, whose first child had no limbs, was cut up, and each piece turned into a village. And the Ainu theory, that the ocean was made upon the back of a giant trout. And the Mansi theory stating that the earth grew from a piece retrieved from the bottom of a lake by 2 loons. And the various Mongol theories, including the theory that each race of people came from the offspring of men and a different animal (mongolians were sheep, chinese hens, etc.). And the Bakuba theory that the earth and sun formed from god’s vomit following stomach pain. And the Mandinka theory that the earth formed from a stolen piece of a disembodied womb’s placenta. And the voodoo theory that god was a snake that married a rainbow. Or the Finnish theory that the sky, earth, and sun were made from the top and bottom shells and the yolk of a giant egg that fell from a nest on an island/boat/giant wizard (depending on version). Or the Norse theory that the universe is made from the body of an intersexed giant. And the babylonian theory where marduk fought tiamat to the death, killed her husband, and used his blood to make humanity.

    On second thought, JUST STOP TRYING TO PUSH THAT FRIGGIN FAIRY TALE ON THE STUDENTS!

  254. says


    Please do visit the blog and links below and judge, with a scientific mind, you’ll see that the bible contains unrefutable and scientific facts even before man discovered it.

    Refuting a nonsensical allegation on the scientifically sensical filled scripture

    The most advanced ancient book of all time

    Scientific and unrefutable proofs that the bible is true

    The bible’s credibility doesn’t decrease a bit if someone made a mistake, in fact mistakes and erroneous doctrines help people judge if someone should be believed or not.

    In fact, the bible warns us not to believe everybody,

    1 John 4:1 says,
    Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

    To further strengthen that fact and as a proof that it is already written in the bible that many people will be incorrect in their interpretation of the bible,

    II Peter 3:15-16 says,

    As also in all [his] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as [they do] also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

    Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know [these things] before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.

    Bro. Eli’s Blog
    Ang Dating Daan
    The Truthcaster
    The Old Path

    Arthur Abogadil
    arthur_abogadil@yahoo.com
    —–

    to janine,

    the book of Isaiah is written 2700 years ago so it is still older than phytagoras.

  255. says

    Arthur, can you please answer my question concerning the Bible’s opinion on rabbits/hyraxes and the number of legs on a grasshopper, or are you just a Jesus spammer?

  256. Janine says

    Did it without the Torah. Doubt they knew nor cared about it. There knowledge was not devine. Also, please repost your threads again. That will convince us skeptics that we need to check it out.

  257. Zarquon says

    When the Bible says “circle” it means round and flat like a dinner plate. The people who want to believe it meant “round like a ball” can’t point to anywhere in the Bible that means “sphere”. In fact the writers considered the world to be flat with a dome over it like a tent and windows to let the rain in. Nothing “scientific” in there.

  258. 386sx says

    Also, please repost your threads again. That will convince us skeptics that we need to check it out.

    Yeah I think I might have missed some of those. Please repost. Thank you.

  259. Ichthyic says

    The groundless belief we cling to, in this case, is that reality is real. Think of the Matrix.

    think of a fictional tale when deciding on the grounding of reality.

    yikes.

    I just don’t know what to say to that, other than:

    good luck, and I think you should take the blue pill.

  260. 386sx says

    Yeah I think I might have missed some of those. Please repost. Thank you.

    Try to make it a double post if you can. Thanks.

  261. says

    To Zarqoun,

    The fact is, you do not have any proof to support your claim that “…When the Bible says “circle” it means round and flat like a dinner plate.”

    You can’t find anywhere in the bible that it said that the earth is flat like a dinner plate. Can you prove that? Instead it said it is a circle, its round.

  262. says

    the bible proves indeed that it already knows that the earth is not flat, even before telescopes where invented.

    Big deal. The Ancient Greeks knew the earth was spherical (not flat!), also before telescopes were invented. They even gave a reasonably good estimate of its circumference.

  263. says

    Common sense tells you something had to create them.

    “Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.”

    -Albert Einstein

  264. Justin Moretti says

    Get this straight, Christians, Creationists, whatever you want to call yourselves.

    There is no “Christian” science; there is no “atheist” science, there is no science for people who want to worship rapacious tentacular creatures from the deep (whether cephalopod or Cthulhu, the choice is yours).

    There is only “science” – that is to say, a method of investigating the world around us that looks at what it sees, builds reasonable guesses as to how it works, and then confirms those guesses by experiment.

    This kid tried to reproduce stalactite formation, and thereby dispute the age of the Earth to show that it could be much younger than scientists and geologists claim.

    Quite apart from the argument from authority – how can a young kid overturn the overwhelming body of geological expertise – which is a flawed way of approaching things, his project was flawed for any one of a number of reasons that are connected with the way science works:

    1) Did his model of stalactite formation reflect how they are formed in the real world? In the real world, they grow downwards from a hard vertical surface; the minerals in the aqueous solution (cave moisture, rock seepage etc.) from which they crystallize have a certain composition; the aqueous solution is delivered at a certain rate. How accurately did his experiment mirror all of this?

    2) If he has made assumptions or guesses about some of the factors, has he admitted those assumptions? In other words, has he said “Conditions in my experiment do not exactly mimic the inside of a spelunker’s favourite haunt; there is a chance I may be wrong”?

    3) Has he considered that there may be a discrepancy between when the Earth formed and when the stalactites formed? Has he considered that the rate of stalactite formation may have nothing to do with the age of the rocks/cave complex in which they were formed?

    The basic premise of scientific experimentation is that you offer your methods and your results for criticism, and quite often they will be handed back to you (along with your metaphorical head on a plate), and you will be invited to reconsider and resubmit. I’ve lost count of the number of journal publications I’ve read that have the line “First submitted on XXXXX, final acceptance for publication YYYYY” (usually several months later). Somebody failed to make their case, and was asked to reconsider and resubmit. Even if your work is accepted as valid, people will be trying to poke holes in it, or design experiments (using your methods) which disprove your work or find exceptions to your conclusions.

    Science is the ultimate teacher of humility. I think Christ would be impressed. But Creationist Christians aren’t ever going to challenge the “satanic evolutionist hegemony” until they start doing proper science. And by being praised for shoddy, sloppy science, this kid has been given a bad start by the adults around him (who may be just as unintentionally ignorant). I feel sorry for him.

  265. says

    to davis,

    then it proves that the bible is indeed scientific, because what was written in it complements what scientist just discovered, and the bible contains scientific proof that is always true, unlike the findings of some scientists that is accepted as truth only for some time but not true after someone finds another “discovery”.

  266. says

    to Stanton,

    Please read the verses carefully, what was written actually is different than what you are saying.

    —-
    Please do visit the blog and links below and judge, with a scientific mind, you’ll see that the bible contains unrefutable and scientific facts even before man discovered it.

    Refuting a nonsensical allegation on the scientifically sensical filled scripture

    The most advanced ancient book of all time

    Scientific and unrefutable proofs that the bible is true

    The bible’s credibility doesn’t decrease a bit if someone made a mistake, in fact mistakes and erroneous doctrines help people judge if someone should be believed or not.

    In fact, the bible warns us not to believe everybody,

    1 John 4:1 says,
    Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

    To further strengthen that fact and as a proof that it is already written in the bible that many people will be incorrect in their interpretation of the bible,

    II Peter 3:15-16 says,

    As also in all [his] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as [they do] also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

    Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know [these things] before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.

    Bro. Eli’s Blog
    Ang Dating Daan
    The Truthcaster
    The Old Path

    Arthur Abogadil
    arthur_abogadil@yahoo.com

  267. says

    …then it proves that the bible is indeed scientific…

    You clearly misunderstand science. Getting the correct doesn’t make a source scientific. It’s how the answer is arrived at that makes it scientific, or not.

    In this case, you have a book that (when stretching meanings and interpreting “circle” to mean “sphere”) makes a bald assertion about the shape of the earth, and happens to be correct. On the other hand you have the Greeks, who arrived at the answer by noting different noontime shadow lengths depending on how far north a town was, and measuring this difference to determine the surface of the earth. The latter is a scientific answer, and the former is not — even if they give the same answer.

  268. says

    Bah, I need to preview more carefully. I hope it’s clear I meant to say “Getting the correct answer doesn’t make a source scientific.”

  269. Janine says

    Yeah! Arthur Abogadil posted his list for a third time. Someone grab the two by four.

  270. says

    to Davis,
    Please do read the articles and see for your self.
    The bible do not contradict science, a lot of verses prove that.

    read this, for example,


    Is there another earth?

    ——-

    Please do visit the blog and links below and judge, with a scientific mind, you’ll see that the bible contains unrefutable and scientific facts even before man discovered it.

    Refuting a nonsensical allegation on the scientifically sensical filled scripture

    The most advanced ancient book of all time

    Scientific and unrefutable proofs that the bible is true

    Bro. Eli’s Blog
    Ang Dating Daan
    The Truthcaster
    The Old Path

    Arthur Abogadil
    arthur_abogadil@yahoo.com

  271. says

    Oh goody, you apparently can’t even be bothered to read what I wrote (or take the effort to comprehend it, I’m not sure which). Before I put any energy into reading your articles, I’m going to ask that you give, in your own words, a coherent response to the points made here — either by me or by others. If the articles are so good, and you actually understand them, you should be able to provide that, or at the very least a summary of the most solid points.

    If you can’t provide that, I’m going to assume either (a) you don’t understand the arguments being made here, or (b) you don’t understand those articles. In either case, I would be wasting my time continuing this.

  272. Zarquon says

    1 Samuel 2 2:8 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD’s, and he hath set the world upon them.

    Flat plates have pillars to hold them up, sphere’s don’t. There’s your answer.

  273. MikeM says

    And to think this all got started because a school awarded first place for a badly-done geology experiment, in their biology category.

    It doesn’t really matter that it was a Christian school. Irrelevant. If this was a public school, the home-schoolers and Christian schoolers would be saying, “See? This is why we can’t send our kids to public schools!”

    But since it’s a Christian school that did this, they defend, defend and defend, to the point of, well, to be blunt, genuine stupidity.

    Whatever. If you want to defend a badly done, poorly categorized science project, that’s up to you… Dimwit. That’s what you are: A dimwit.

    I hope this kid recovers.

  274. Janine says

    Zarquon, you are wrong, wrong, wrong.
    We are on a disc that is resting on the backs of four elephants and those elephants are standing on the shell of a giant turtle.

  275. KarmaPolice says

    “The fact is, you do not have any proof to support your claim that “…When the Bible says “circle” it means round and flat like a dinner plate.”… Can you prove that? Instead it said it is a circle, its round.”

    Well,to clarify:

    By definition, a “circle” is a two dimensional “round” abstraction. It has width and height, but no depth- Meaning, its flat. Similar to say… a dinner plate.

    As opposed to a “globe,” which is also a “round” abstraction, but with depth added. Like, for instance,a ball. Or an orange. Or even, an even better example-

    the earth.

    See- two different words, with two rather different meanings. Both fairly specific and clear. The important thing to note here is one’s right, and the other’s way the hell on the other side of wrong.

    By the by, both concepts existed back in the day. Only one was used. What do you figure that says?

    Just in case no one else feels the need to waste their time pointing the obvious out. Consider it community service.

  276. Zarquon says

    Damn, you’re right Janine. Otherwise the people form XXXX would fall off!

  277. KarmaPolice says

    “We are on a disc that is resting on the backs of four elephants and those elephants are standing on the shell of a giant turtle.”

    On the other hand, there is that.

    Touche. I stand beaten. ;)

  278. Ichthyic says

    Zarquon, you are wrong, wrong, wrong.
    We are on a disc that is resting on the backs of four elephants and those elephants are standing on the shell of a giant turtle.

    and turtles all the way down pretty much both describes and ends this thread as far as I can see.

  279. says

    To Davis,

    here is a summary of what i wanted to say sir, i know that this will be enough for you, please do read the articles and see for you self.

    The truth in science will not contradict with biblical truth, because the truth in science is only a discovery of the existing truth which is the biblical truth.

    as early as 735 BC, according to the bible, (see the article), the earth is round, this complements the discovery of scientist which was only proven strongly when man get’s the chance to see pictures of the earth taken from outer space.

    Bro Eli’s Blog

    some articles written by bro eli soriano,

    Is there Another Earth?
    The Most Advanced Ancient Book Of All Time
    A Sweet Evidence of the Authenticity of the Bible
    The Amputated Arguments of Some Imaginary Smarts
    Bible and Science

    It’s you that im challenging, read the articles and judge it fairly only after you read it carefully.

    Thank you sir.

  280. Ichthyic says

    why don’t you move on to geocentrism now, Arthur.

    I think you’ve flogged yourself quite enough on the round earth thing.

  281. Dustin says

    Brother Eli offers a compelling argument:

    In my elementary grades, when I first heard the Darwinian Theory on evolution, the first doubt that came into my mind was that, if humans came from apes, why are there people with faces that look like horses and dogs?

    Life ain’t easy for a dog-faced boy.

  282. MartinM says

    By definition, a “circle” is a two dimensional “round” abstraction

    One dimensional.

  283. RavenT says

    One dimensional.

    Actually, a straight line is one-dimensional. A circle, however, is two-dimensional–if you visualize it lying in the Cartesian plane, any given point on the circle will have both an x-coordinate and a y-coordinate.

  284. MartinM says

    Actually, a straight line is one-dimensional. A circle, however, is two-dimensional–if you visualize it lying in the Cartesian plane, any given point on the circle will have both an x-coordinate and a y-coordinate.

    Embedding a one-dimensional object in a two-dimensional space does not make it any less one-dimensional. We need only one coordinate to specify any position on a circle.

  285. Ptaylor says

    mndarwinist:

    Pathetic.
    PZ, do you think it is possible that in fifty years, newly discovered galaxies could have Chinese name? I truely, honestly hope not.

    This is just offensive. Why shouldn’t new discoveries be named to match the language of the discoverers?

  286. says

    Arthur, I’ve read those particular offending passages of the Bible. What I’ve said is what it saids. How come you can’t explain it in your own words?
    Are you really that pathetically stupid that you think you can reinforce your position by posting the exact same list 5 times?

  287. says

    Aurthur, You clearly have shown your ass to the point where it’s getting utterly repetitive. You keep posting the same horrible links that do nothing to support your claims. All you are doing is backing up what many of us already knew. The bible is nothing but a nice fairy tale with genocides and stonings and some sort of zombie-son of a mean beardy guy in the sky. There’s no good science in it. Period. As a matter of fact there’s bad science in it. Really bad. If you post those links again it doesn’t back your claims, it enforces your place as an ignoramus.

  288. says

    Reverend, I get the distinction that Arthur hasn’t even read the Bible: he’s just parroting what his pastor told him, word for word.

  289. says

    Embedding a one-dimensional object in a two-dimensional space does not make it any less one-dimensional. We need only one coordinate to specify any position on a circle.

    you need an x and a y.

  290. says

    Reverend, I get the distinction that Arthur hasn’t even read the Bible: he’s just parroting what his pastor told him, word for word.

    Well he may have read it but it’s quite apparent that he’s just regurgitating what someone else told him.

  291. Caledonian says

    We need only one coordinate to specify any position on a circle.

    You need at least two. If you use distance-along-the-circle, you need to specify a starting point as well.

  292. Graculus says

    Have we gone over the bit where the Bible says that pi=3.0?

    God hates math.

  293. Janine says

    #319
    Brother Eli offers a compelling argument:

    In my elementary grades, when I first heard the Darwinian Theory on evolution, the first doubt that came into my mind was that, if humans came from apes, why are there people with faces that look like horses and dogs?

    Life ain’t easy for a dog-faced boy.

    Posted by: Dustin | May 25, 2007 04:31 AM

    Momma won’t shave me
    Jesus can’t save me

  294. RavenT says

    We need only one coordinate to specify any position on a circle.

    No, that’s a number line you’re thinking of.

  295. Who Cares says

    @arthur abogadil:
    You might want to consider reading the comments made by St. Augestine. Specifically about the stupidity of arguing that the observable universe is wrong because of a (vague) claim in the Bible. And how poorly that kind of argument reflects on Christianity.

    @Anthony (post #276):
    As the monk William of Ockham managed to prove (in one of the first rigorous logical proofs surviving today): “you can’t prove that God exists, you can’t prove God doesn’t exist all you can do is believe in him”. You can’t prove he exists and for all purposes God doesn’t exist for science because He can’t be measured nor can He be quantified.

  296. Caledonian says

    A thing that can be neither measured nor quantified cannot exist.

    As for “you can’t prove gods don’t exist”, that’s simply not true, at least for the concepts of deity that are traditional in Christianity.

  297. Curt Cameron says

    A circle is indeed one-dimensional (BTW, a “circle” does not include the planar area it contains; it’s just the perimeter part). Sure, you can describe it in X and Y, but any point on the circle can be exactly described with only one number: the angle. It’s one-dimensional, just like a line.

  298. Curt Cameron says

    Similarly, the surface of a sphere is two-dimensional. Any point on the surface of a sphere can be exactly described with two numbers, for example latitude and longitude. You might think of the sphere’s surface existing in three dimensions, but it is in fact two-dimensional because you can locate points on it with only two numbers.

  299. Caledonian says

    The sphere’s surface is two-dimensional. It exists in three dimensions.

  300. Curt Cameron says

    Caledonian wrote:
    You need to specify a starting point to measure the angle from.

    No, you don’t. That would be like saying that a line is two dimensional because you not only have to specify how far down a point is, you have to specify where you start from too. That’s not how the dimensionality (is that a word?) is defined. If you used your way, we’d say that a rock is six-dimensional instead of three.

  301. RavenT says

    Sure, you can describe it in X and Y, but any point on the circle can be exactly described with only one number: the angle.

    A circle has an area, as given by the famous pi-r-squared formula (I have to dash, or I’d look up how to render it in HTML). That formula is different enough from other area formulae that it obscures an essential fact, more easily seen with rectangles and squares–an area is composed of two dimensions, height and width.

    Or are you seriously arguing that squares and rectangles are only one-dimensional as well? Are you then arguing that the difference between squares and lines is that squares are one-dimensional and lines are zero-dimensional, and that points are what, -1-dimensional?

    If so, you both have a major off-by-one error here. If not, you need to rethink your assertions about circles.

  302. Caledonian says

    Rocks are at least four-dimensional, Curt.

    Lines are one-dimensional. The edge of a circle is one-dimensional. The space contained by a circle is two-dimensional. Etc., etc.

  303. circles_are_one_D says

    Circles are 1-dimesnional. The fact that I need a starting point is irrelevant.

    Look at the plane : the plane is two-dimensional.
    But : to specify a point on the plane , I need :
    – a starting point (the origin)
    – two vectors (the x and y unit vectors)

    Yet the plane is two-dimensional. That is because, once I ahve a coordinate system set, I only need two numbers. Similiarry, once you have a coordinate system for the circle (in polar coordinates, for example), only one number is needed to specify any point on the circle. The “starting point” is given by the coordinate system used.

  304. Curt Cameron says

    Caledonian wrote:
    The sphere’s surface is two-dimensional. It exists in three dimensions.

    I’m not sure what “exists in three dimensions” means. You could just as accurately say that the surface of a sphere exists in 87 dimensions, but the fact is that the surface itself is two-dimensional. Saying it exists in three (or 87) dimensions is meaningless.

  305. Caledonian says

    Saying it exists in three (or 87) dimensions is meaningless.

    I think I’ve located the problem here.

  306. demallien says

    Zarquon is evidently an Omnian. But nevertheless, the Turtle Moves!!(!!!)

  307. vuk says

    this is the free speech in usa ,so every dumbass can have his own theory . scientology rules :)

  308. RavenT says

    Dog in haven, this is 10th-grade geometry we’re talking about here.

    Point: zero-dimensional

    Line: one-dimensional

    2D geometric figure with area (e.g., square, circle, rectangle, pentagon, cylinder, etc.): 2-dimensional, hence the name, recognizing the fact that they circumscribe an area.

    3D geometric figure with volume (e.g., sphere, cube, etc.): 3-dimensional, again hence the name, in recognition of the fact that they define a volume

    4D volumetric figure over time: functional MRI voxel (volumetric data) over time course; Caledonian’s example of the geologic history of a 3D rock

    Are you seriously arguing that all the geometers have it wrong–that they’re all off by one?

  309. CCP says

    Wow, this discussion has gotten truly weird.
    How many dimensions does an epsom-salt stalactite exist in, according to the bible?

  310. Curt Cameron says

    RavenT wrote:
    2D geometric figure with area (e.g., square, circle, rectangle, pentagon, cylinder, etc.): 2-dimensional, hence the name, recognizing the fact that they circumscribe an area.

    I was careful to point out that by “circle” I was referring to the curve at the perimeter of a circle and not the planar area it encloses. The mathematical definition of a circle is indeed just the outer curve, not the enclosed area:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circle

    It is one-dimensional.

  311. Curt Cameron says

    Caledonian wrote:Cylinders are 3D, RavenT.

    Again, the mathematical definition of a cylinder is a surface, not the enclosed volume. A cylinder is two-dimensional.

  312. says

    Just dropping in to skim a little.

    Chinese-named galaxies: I think the original poster meant something along the lines of “I’m worried that some day all the new galaxies will have Chinese names because all the other nations went anti-science and no longer produce astronomers.”

    Dimensions: RavenT has it right, though if string theory pans out, we might have dimensions for things like mass, charge, spin, etcetera, if I understand correctly (that stuff like that is determined by how strings vibrate within the extra dimensions).

    What I presume to be in Arthur’s “Is there another Earth” link:

    A) The sheer size of the universe raises the probability quite well that there’d be another planet capable of supporting life. Chances are, though, that they’re very, very far away.
    B) If there’s another planet on the opposite side of our sun, astronomers would be able to detect it by its gravity. If not them, it would have been noticed when space probes are launched, since they’d be pulled off course.

  313. Zarquon says

    Zarquon is evidently an Omnian

    No way. Then I’d be called Visit-the-Infidel-With-Pamphlets. I’m just your orthodox Adamsist who believes in the curative and transdimensional powers of a nice hot cup of tea.

  314. Steve_C says

    WOW. I miss all the fun. Not really, I hung out with my boy all night. But damn the ignorant flock here like salivating pavlovian sheep.

    No I have to go beat some leprechauns. They made me do it. How many “evolution is only a theory” comments did we get?

    I might as well clip an angel’s wings while I’m at it, just for the goofiness of Astyanax.

  315. Steve_C says

    Actually I think Xenu is the equivalent to Satan in scientology.

    He brought all the tortured “thetans” to the planet and stuck them in a volcano or something.

  316. says

    Oh dear, while I slept I missed all the lovely dimension discussions. It’s unfortunate to see several of my favorite commenters getting this wrong.

    Mathematically, a circle is considered one-dimensional, a sphere (or cylinder) two-dimensional, and so on. There are a couple of ways of explaining this. One is that the dimension of an object is the minimum number of parameters needed to give your position on it, assuming you have to object embedded somewhere.

    For example, regardless of whether you embed a circle in the plane, in 3-d, in 4-d, etc., you can find a single parameter to describe it: (3 cos(t), 3 sin(t), 6) parametrizes a circle of radius 3 in 3d, with the single parameter t as t ranges from 0 to 2 pi.

    Alternatively, you can avoid embedding altogether, and state that the dimension of a geometric object is what it looks like “locally”, i.e., if you live on that object (and it’s very large), what does it look like near you? The surface of a sphere looks like a plane everywhere (the earth looks flat near me), so the sphere is two-dimensional. This definition is equivalent to the previous one, but it’s preferable because it’s intrinsic — you’re not assuming the sphere is embedded in any space with this definition.

  317. RavenT says

    Cylinders are 3D, RavenT.

    yep. up way too early, and not nearly enough caffeine yet.

  318. Steve_C says

    I think you could answer back to “where are teeth stored?” with… “you tell me, where is hair stored?”

  319. RavenT says

    Mathematically, a circle is considered one-dimensional, a sphere (or cylinder) two-dimensional, and so on. There are a couple of ways of explaining this. One is that the dimension of an object is the minimum number of parameters needed to give your position on it, assuming you have to object embedded somewhere.

    But wouldn’t that imply then that the dimensionality of a line is 0, and that no parameters are needed to give your position on it? Wouldn’t a number line be an example of where you need one parameter (e.g., 3) to locate a position on it, implying a dimensionality of 1?

  320. says

    Creation Science Museum
    Creation Science Get a Home With Unique Theosophy for Killing our own Species
    (( from/with Blognonymous.com))

    With majority approval certain states kill criminal offenders every year.
    Our military at present is in the business of killing people most days.
    If humans are held to be a scientifically evolved animal, then the rule not to kill would not be solely a God and Bible based edict. (He made us and He made the Rule; animals would not create the ‘Do not kill’ fiat on their own you see.)
    So you make a museum that shows that dinosaurs (scientifically known to predate humans by millions of years) and humans were created co-terminously by the spiritual force that you base your entire existence on.
    So. And ergo too. If carbon dating is valid God does not therefor exist.
    Hence the moral edict to not kill is man made, (with exceptions for electrocutions, protecting oil supplies and blowing up abortion clinics) and has no valid authority.
    Wait. This makes no sense.
    You can ignorantly but morally kill people if the dinosaurs came first……but not if God made us and the dinosaurs at the same time ……but..with exceptions….you can kill some of the people …..some of the time….or…I am confused.

  321. Who Cares says

    Caladonian wrote: A thing that can be neither measured nor quantified cannot exist.

    Which is why science doesn’t work with (and doesn’t need) the concept God.

    Caladonian wrote: As for “you can’t prove gods don’t exist”, that’s simply not true, at least for the concepts of deity that are traditional in Christianity.

    I said God not gods. Further Ockham was a traditionally educated Christian monk (early 14th century) and he did come up with the logical proof that you just said is not possible. From this I have to conclude that your assertion is incorrect.

    Ignoring that there are still two problems.
    One, we cannot prove a negative.
    Two, there is no way to measure or quantify either the existence or absence of God.

  322. Kseniya says

    … and hyperbole is one-dimensional. :-)

    This is interesting. People intuitively see circles and such as 2D (because that is how they appear, just as we see spheres and cylinders as 3D because that is how they appear).

    The way I’ve been thinking about it, which is pretty similar to what Davis says about giving ones position, is this. The dimensions of a circle can be described with a single parameter: the radius. The dimensions of a cylinder can be described with two: the radius and height.

    However, this breaks down with spheres… because a sphere can still be described in terms of its radius only. Right? Whereas giving ones position on the surface of the sphere (or anywhere inside the sphere) requires two parameters.

    Are rectangular prisms three-dimensional, then?

  323. Who Cares says

    If this is a double post, first one encountered an internal server error.

    Caladonian wrote: A thing that can be neither measured nor quantified cannot exist.

    Which is why science doesn’t work with (and doesn’t need) the concept God.

    Caladonian wrote: As for “you can’t prove gods don’t exist”, that’s simply not true, at least for the concepts of deity that are traditional in Christianity.

    I said God not gods. Further Ockham was a traditionally educated Christian monk (early 14th century) and he did come up with the logical proof that you just said is not possible. From this I have to conclude that your assertion is incorrect.

    Ignoring that there are still two problems.
    One, we cannot prove a negative.
    Two, there is no way to measure or quantify either the existence or absence of God.

  324. says

    If a sphere is two dimensional why did I have to learn how to measure its volume?

    What proof is there that the book of Isaiah is 2700 years old?

    Where does any passage in the Bible say that the earth is a sphere? Second Isaiah’s reference to the disk of the earth with the skies spread over it like a curtain (40:22) is irrelevant to this purpose; this is what anybody on the planet with an unobstructed view will see–a relatively flat (or maybe lumpy) circular disk with a blue or gray dome over it, depending on the weather. And time of day.

    Also, how are the inhabitants of the earth like grasshoppers? How does that fit with science? And was Second Isaiah referring to four-legged or six-legged grasshoppers?

    Also, in reference to the Is there another Earth? link, why would I weigh twice as much on Mars as I do on earth? I thought Mars was smaller than the earth.

    Oh, yeah, in reference to the same link, why would I be uglier with my eyes in my stomach? Cephalopods and arachnids don’t look much like you or me, but they have their own beauty.

    And what on earth do any of those links have to do with a lame-brained “science experiment” about epson salt “stalactites” apparently dreamed up in a couple of hours and designed to con scientifically illiterate judges into awarding a completely undeserved prize? Just asking.

  325. Not a mathematician, but close says

    Please, people.

    The amount of dimensions has nothing to do with the amount of parameters needed to specify the object.

    Consider the world , wich is nearly spherical. How many coordinated tdo you need to specify a point on the world’s surface? Two : Latitude and longitude. Hence, a sphere (the surface), like any surface, is two-dimensional.

    If we start digging holes, how many coordinates do we need to specify a point on or inside the world? Three : Latitude , longitude, and depth. Hence , a “ball” (I’m not completely familiar with the english terms), like any volume, is three-dimensional.

    The wikipedia article on curves ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curve ) captures it perfectly :
    “In mathematics, the concept of a curve tries to capture the intuitive idea of a geometrical one-dimensional and continuous object. A simple example is the circle.”

    Read also the article on hyperspheres ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3-sphere ) :
    “In mathematics, a 3-sphere is a higher-dimensional analogue of a sphere. It consists of the locus of points equidistant from a fixed central point in 4-dimensional Euclidean space. An ordinary sphere (or 2-sphere) is a two dimensional surface while a 3-sphere is an object with three dimensions, known as a 3-manifold.”

    Note that a two-sphere is a normal everyday two-dimensional sphere (surface), usually considered to be embedded into 3D euclidean space, whereas a 3-sphere is a three-dimensional spherical hypersurface, usually imagined to be embedded in a four-D euclidean space.

  326. Not a mathematician, but close says

    “If a sphere is two dimensional why did I have to learn how to measure its volume?”

    You fail to distinguish between two definitions of “sphere”, both commonly confused in everyday language:
    Consider a 3D euclidean space. A “ball” can be defined by
    x^2+y^2+z^2<=R^2 this being a three-dimensional object with a volume. A "sphere", however, obeys x^2+y^2+z^2=R^2 and is two-dimensional.

  327. Not a mathematician, but close says

    Apparently, a smaller-than-or-equals sign was lost there. Sorry about that.

  328. Kseniya says

    But wouldn’t that imply then that the dimensionality of a line is 0, and that no parameters are needed to give your position on it?

    I would seem so, wouldn’t it? One’s position on a line of length N could be given as a number between 0 and N.

    Correct me if I’m wrong…

    A circle is just a line. A curved line. A position on that curved line can be given by a single parameter, as has been explained. This is true whether or not we imbed the circle in a plane. But if we do imbed it in a plane and wish to describe a position on the circle as its location on the plane expressed as Cartesian coordinates, we need another dimension, for we have to give that position as (x,y).

    Because we intuitively see a circle not as simply a curved line, but as a circumscribed area on a plane, we think of positions along the perimeter of the circle in terms of its location on the plane, hence the reasonable assumption that the circle itself is two-dimensional.

  329. Rey Fox says

    “I said God not gods.”

    What’s the difference?

    “You can’t prove he exists and for all purposes God doesn’t exist for science because He can’t be measured nor can He be quantified. ”

    So why should I care about this god? I don’t know if you’re Christian or not, but this is the sticking point I think we all have with them. They want to have their cake and eat it too. They want their undetectable, ineffable Cosmic Cheater that lives on faith and resists any attempt at “proof”, and yet they want all the rest of us to live as if it were self-evident that he exists and he demands tribute and social enshrinement (in oaths, civil ceremonies, etc.) and he wants public policy to be a certain way because of some lines in some old holy book.

    And because the submitting of human intellect and will to him allow undeserving brats to be awarded in science fairs.

  330. Kseniya says

    (Oops, RavenT, I incompletely quoted your comment. I hope it’s clear that I meant to say “Yes, a position on a line can be given by a single parameter, therefor a line is one-dimensional.”)

  331. mena says

    Tried to post this yesterday but gave up:
    At this point in history evolution is still very much a theory, NOT a fact.
    Yes, using the scientific method it is a theory. Using the same scientific method, and we do need to use the same parameters to assess both, creationism is not even close. There is an observation that the world exists and an untestable hypothesis that God did it. If you can find a way to test your hypothesis and others can reproduce your results you will also have a theory. Feel free to come back here and tell us that we are wrong at that point, until then you have nothing.
    Arthur, the Bible tells us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go. (Galileo IIRC) Please stop using quotes to prove your point. That would be like one of us telling you that two animals were different species solely because a book told us when we could go and find who holds the type specimen and examine it if we had any doubt. Your arguments are really just glamorized hearsay.
    Those of you who keep posting that a poor innocent kid is being ridiculed: how many times do you have to be told that it’s the situation and adults, not the child, that are being taken to task? I haven’t seen any comments here that say anything about the kid. Do try to keep up.

  332. Kseniya says

    (Oops, RavenT, I incompletely quoted your comment. I hope it’s clear that I meant to say “Yes, a position on a line can be given by a single parameter, therefor a line is one-dimensional.”)

  333. says

    Actually I think Xenu is the equivalent to Satan in scientology.

    He brought all the tortured “thetans” to the planet and stuck them in a volcano or something.

    I know…..

  334. says

    But wouldn’t that imply then that the dimensionality of a line is 0, and that no parameters are needed to give your position on it?

    No, but your second statement is correct — any line is equivalent to the number line, and hence can be described by one parameter. For example, the line y=2x+3 is actually described by one parameter, x — it’s the same as the set of all points (x, 2x+3). You should actually think of the line as the “canonical” one-dimensional object; anything else is one-dimensional if it looks like a line “locally”, i.e., when you zoom in on it.

    Sorry if my previous explanation wasn’t clear.

  335. Steve_C says

    Rev. you make me laugh. Your comment is even funnier now that I get it completely.

  336. RavenT says

    yes, that was clear, Kseniya. it seems to me that treating a sphere as 2D and a circle as 1D leads to at least 3 contradictions.

    1) as in your example of the rectangular prisms above, it seems that circular/round/spherical objects would have to bea treated as a different dimensionality than the corresponding cubes/prisms/squares/etc., because there is no such measurement for the non-round figures (such as the radius) on which to base parameters–you have to explicitly specify height and width for those.

    2) it implies that lines are 0-dimensional, so you can locate things on the line with no parameters at all, and points must have, I don’t know, -1 dimensions, OR

    3) an infinite line with zero curvature (such as the number line) is equivalent to a closed line with curvature (the circle).

    If I am misunderstanding the implications, I would really like to see where my mistake lies. But it seems to me that 1D circles and 2D spheres necessarily entail those contradictions.

    (if you guessed I have a draft of a paper due, and would rather be talking about anything else right now, you’re onto something :)

    /work-avoidance

  337. says

    On the “you can’t quantify god” thing, here’s an analogous situation: Lots of alties I’ve met say that you can’t quantify chi, qi, prana, or whatever magical energy they claim to use. They claim we can’t quantify the alleged healing, either. And yet, they expect us to give them a free pass into medical journals and/or rely on their ‘treatments’ without proof.

    That’s what it’s like for deities: If we can’t quantify them, how are we supposed to know anything about them? It’s exactly like the dragon in Carl Sagan’s garage. If you can’t measure it or test it, how do you know it exists? And why should we just assume it exists or nod politely for people who claim it exists?

  338. says

    The amount of dimensions has nothing to do with the amount of parameters needed to specify the object.

    This isn’t quite true — an object that has N dimensions can be described by N parameters, at least locally. I think what you meant to say is that “the number of dimensions has nothing to do with the number of coordinates in the space where you embed the object.”

  339. RavenT says

    Ah, I see Davis and I were posting at the same time.

    Sorry if my previous explanation wasn’t clear.

    Not at all; I’ve always found your explanations very clear and well-thought-out. So that answers my question about contradiction 2) above, but doesn’t either one of 2) or 3) have to be true? If a line is the canonical one-dimensional object, doesn’t that mean that an infinite straight line and a closed circle are equivalent?

    I understand that topologically (rather than geometrically) speaking, curvature doesn’t matter in considering equivalence, but doesn’t the fact that the circle is closed make it different from an infinite straight line?

    (also, I’m probably won’t get to read your answer until this evening, but am not ignoring it; just shutting down FireFox to make myself write s/t else :P)

  340. Not a mathematician, but close says

    No, I meant what I said. A circle, for example, needs one parameter (its radius), whereas an ellipse needs two (for example the length of the major and the minor axis). Yet, both are one-dimensional curves. Indeed, curves of the form (x,f(x)) where f(x) is a polynomial of n-th degree in x have n+1 parameters, yet all of them are one-dimensional.

  341. says

    If I am misunderstanding the implications, I would really like to see where my mistake lies. But it seems to me that 1D circles and 2D spheres necessarily entail those contradictions.

    Aha, I think I’ve identified the confusion. The parameters you give should specify where you are on the object, not the measurements of the object itself. Thus a sphere is 2-D because you need two parameters to specify where you are — latitude and longitude would be one example. And thus a line is 1-D, because you need one parameter (such as how far along the line you are from some arbitrary point).

    ) an infinite line with zero curvature (such as the number line) is equivalent to a closed line with curvature (the circle).

    Not quite equivalent — if you lived on one or the other, you could tell the difference by traversing it. If you lived on the circle, you would eventually get back to where you started. However, if the circle were large enough, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference just by examining your surroundings (in the same way it’s not obvious the earth is round just by looking around). This is what is meant by the statement “a circle looks like a line locally.”

    (If you know some topology, the more correct way of putting it is that each point on the circle has an open neighborhood that’s homeomorphic to the number line.)

  342. Token says

    RavenT:

    1) It is possible to use spherical coordinates to describe a cube. The radius works fine – it is just limited by a function of the angles. It is far easier to use standard Cartesian x-y-z coordinates, but the key thing is that to determine dimensions, it doesn’t matter what coordinates you use, just how many.

    2) You need at least one parameter to describe a position on a line. When we define a coordinate system, we include a definition of where “zero” is for each coordinate. This definition does not count towards the dimension, since it is inherently included in the notion of a coordinate.

    3) The truth of that depends on what you mean by “equivalent”. If you mean they have the same dimension, then yes, that is correct. If you want to look at exactly how they are similar, you have to start delving into the realm of topology, which requires a decent grounding in basic mathematics (by which I mean mathematical principles, rather than trivial things like addition).

    As far as I can see, this whole discussion is based on a semantic error. The word “circle”, when used in a mathematical sense, refers to all the points that are a fixed distance from a given reference point (the centre). However, in everyday speech, the word circle can also refer to the mathematical concept of a “disc”, which is the area enclosed by a circle – that is, all the points that are less than a fixed distance from a given reference point. A circle has one dimension, a disc has two.

  343. Token says

    “I understand that topologically (rather than geometrically) speaking, curvature doesn’t matter in considering equivalence, but doesn’t the fact that the circle is closed make it different from an infinite straight line?” – Raven T

    Ah, OK, you have a better understanding than I assumed. An infinite straight line is not quite equivalent to a circle, because it is not compact. We can, however, compactify the real line by adding a point at infinity.

    Imagine taking an infinite straight line and “bending it round” (in some sense). Now, obviously we wouldn’t be able to join up the ends without screwing with what we mean by that straight line. However, adding in the point at infinity gives us the connection we need from one “end” to the other.

  344. Token says

    “I understand that topologically (rather than geometrically) speaking, curvature doesn’t matter in considering equivalence, but doesn’t the fact that the circle is closed make it different from an infinite straight line?” – Raven T

    Ah, OK, you have a better understanding than I assumed. An infinite straight line is not quite equivalent to a circle, because it is not compact. We can, however, compactify the real line by adding a point at infinity.

    Imagine taking an infinite straight line and “bending it round” (in some sense). Now, obviously we wouldn’t be able to join up the ends without screwing with what we mean by that straight line. However, adding in the point at infinity gives us the connection we need from one “end” to the other.

  345. mothworm says

    Ignoring that there are still two problems.
    One, we cannot prove a negative.
    Two, there is no way to measure or quantify either the existence or absence of God

    Then you haven’t really made a proposal on which a judgement can be made. A god with no quantifiable or measureable attributes is just an empty word. I don’t have to prove a negative, because you haven’t said anything positive.

    When you start giving your god characteristics (like the Christian god’s omnipotence, omniscience and omnibenevolence), then I can at least say that your god is self-contradictory and couldn’t exist as you describe him.

  346. mothworm says

    Pretty sure I had html there. Anyway, the first paragraph above is actually a quote from “Who Cares”.

  347. Mark C. Chu-Carroll says

    Guys:

    WRT the nonsense about the dimensionality of a circle:

    Both claims – that a circle is 1d and a circle is 2d are correct.

    There’s more than one definition of “dimension”. The answer to “How many dimensions does a circle have?” depends on exactly what you mean by dimension.

    According to the definition used in some contexts, a circle is the boundary of the open sphere in a 2-dimensional euclidean space, which is topologically 1d. The way to show this is, given any two points on a circle, you can describe the path between them with a single number: the distance along the circles edge between them.

    According to definitions used in other contexts, the circle is the boundary of the 2d open sphere is 2 dimensional, because the lowest dimension euclidean space in which it can be embedded is 2-dimensional.

    And according to still other definitions, the circle is the *closed* sphere in a 2-dimensional euclidean space (and thus includes its interior) and is therefore 2-dimensional – because given two points that are part of a circle *including its interior*, you need two specify two values to describe relative positions within the circle: the left/right distance, and the up/down distance.

    It’s all a question of which definition you’re using, and the correct definition depends on exactly what you’re trying to do.

  348. Jose Rizal says

    Wow, this is quite a long thread. But what I found funny was that Arthur’s arguments caused all this, and of course none of you know that his source (Bro. Eli Soriano) is known as a big stand up comic back here where he’s from. His TV show has been on for years, and he trades “argumentative skits” with this other comedy troupe called the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church of Christ, I think). Arthur must be such a big fan that he’s trying out his own comic bit here in the style of his idol. What a devoted fan! I’d like to check out your comedy live, Arthur. Where do you live and what time do you get home? :) Oops, nevermind. Doesn’t “Laugh Trip” Eli have a case of rape filed against him by some guy? You might take your emulation too far…

  349. says

    According to definitions used in other contexts, the circle is the boundary of the 2d open sphere is 2 dimensional, because the lowest dimension euclidean space in which it can be embedded is 2-dimensional.

    I’m curious, what context uses this as its definition of dimension? The only place I’ve encountered this notion is in non-mathematical contexts (or was that what you had in mind?). It seems strange to say, for example, that the Klein bottle is a 4-d object.

  350. Terry Gibson says

    You just don’t get it do you? Reflect for a moment. Brian Benson is a young Genius! He was being *IRONIC*.

    See it from his point of view, you’re 14, you’re bright and lively but your folks have placed your education, (your very future) in the hands of the Pawleys Island Academy for the Gullible. You’ve sat through years of their slack jawed excuses for teaching and you’ve decided your Not Going To Take It Any More! During one particularly eye rolling ‘scyense’ lesson they announce the forthcoming ‘scyense fare’, a carnival of ignorance in which you will be obliged to participate. You’re going under for what you think will be a last time – but then it hits you – WHAT AN OPPORTUNITY! Payback Time! You’ll devise an entry so poor, so mind numbingly, cringingly wack that other like minded kin will see the signal flare and cry ‘High Five Bro’! But entry isn’t good enough for you, no, this baby has to win and win BIG. You’ll guarantee success with a suitably cringing title that no-one but the faithful could mistake for sincerity. As a final nod to those who, (you hope) will *get it*, you submit it to the wrong category.

    See. YOU let him down. You didn’t read the signs and now MR. Benson is left with egg on his face when he should be up there with the heroes. Write his name, now, in the book of achievement. Mr. Benson, I get it, I salute you.
    TG

  351. Who cares says

    @Mothworm (post #390):
    My God? Where did you get that from? And yes the point you made is found in the proof by Ockham.
    Which boils down to: can’t prove He exists, can’t prove He doesn’t, all you can do is have faith and believe He exists.

    @Rey Fox (post #371):
    The difference is that I was talking about Christianity and that (as far as I know) has only one.
    About the rest of your post I agree. Might want to see my comment in post #333 aimed at arthur abogadil about the stupidity of preferring what a book says as compared to what we can actually measure and deduce.

  352. Curt Cameron says

    Who cares wrote: Which boils down to: can’t prove He exists, can’t prove He doesn’t, all you can do is have faith…

    Oh, I think I get it…

    So God is exactly like leprechauns, bigfoot, yeti, and fairies. Thanks for explaining it so well.

  353. Anna Z says

    Religion Comes in Many Flavors said: Nothing has ever been dated as “millions of years old”.

    Thousands, perhaps millions of things, have been dated as millions of years old. One of thousands of articles can be found at http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1994JGR….9924051G .

    “at one time it was creationism, not evolution, that was taught in schools”

    So?

    “You cannot fault him, his teachers or his parents for their belief in their particular religion.”

    He was not faulted for his religion, but for not being in possession of the facts and using faulty logic, i.e. extremely sloppy “science”.

    “No more than anyone can tell you that evolution is ‘wrong’.”

    If anyone provided adequate proof, they could indeed say evolution is wrong. No one has provided proof.

    “that we all came from rocks that got rained on and began to ooze out little creatures”

    Scientists haven’t been trying to prove this because they have better theories of the origin of life.

    “look at how this poor kid, his parents and his teachers (and whoever else you’ve included)have been flamed on here”

    You don’t get around much do you? The kid, etc., have been critiqued in the cold harsh light of fact. If you want to see real flames – character assassination, name-calling, threats – look elsewhere.

    “anyone who thinks that ONE view is the ONLY view”

    There are currently several competing scientific models of the origins of life, so obviously the scientific community does not endorse one view as the only view. I thought that was your department.

    “some guy with glasses and went to MIT”

    Ha, I married one! Well, not MIT, but definitely geeky. And he’s not always right, I am.

  354. mothworm says

    Which boils down to: can’t prove He exists, can’t prove He doesn’t, all you can do is have faith and believe He exists.

    Sorry if I misattributed theism to you, but you do seem to be arguing from that side (or at least from strong agnosticism leaning towards theism).

    Anyway, my point was that to say “You can’t prove He doesn’t exist” begs the question. It assumes that something positive has been put forward on which to make a judgement, when nothing of the sort has happened. I don’t have to disporve god because no one has ever offered any evidence of such a being. Theists can’t even agree on a definition. The only time such an immaterial god is ever spoken of is when theists are backed into a corner. But as soon as our backs are turned, it’s back to “God with a capital He”.

    There’s no reason to give does exist/doesn’t exist equal weight and consideration. It’s up to the theists to bring some evidence of their claim to the table. Until then, atheism wins by default. The reasonable solution is not “just believe anyway”.

    So God is exactly like leprechauns, bigfoot, yeti, and fairies. Thanks for explaining it so well.

    Except we could conceivably conceptualize what a yeti would be like, and at least leprechauns and fairies are thought of as existing within our world. A god doesn’t even have that going for it.

  355. Carlie says

    I asked my 7 year old if he could tell me the difference between a circle and a sphere. His answer: “A circle is more flatter, and a sphere is more…upwards.”

    I think that settles it pretty well.

  356. Curt Cameron says

    I asked my six year old, and he described them in terms of infinitely differentiable Riemannian manifolds.

  357. Kseniya says

    I asked my 17 year old brother. He rolled his eyes at me, glanced at the frisbee and the baseball that happened to be sitting on the floor by the kitchen door, and went back to playing Starcraft.

  358. Gustaf Sjöblom says

    This boy is probably gifted, most thesis by students this old lack at least one vite piece of the puzzle. I know this from my own experience as I at the same age had posted a proof that the second law of thermodynamics was wrong. I had misunderstood one vital nature of magnestism.

    This boy is gifted and should be given the opportunity to further his studies in the real realm of sience. He needs to be given a scholarship to a real school that can give him the means to contribute to the total of human understanding of the world. We have a responsibility to him as a person and to all of mankind to present him withan option to go with the scientific method rather than with that of dogma before it is to late.

    Remember Kurt Wise.

  359. Gustaf Sjöblom says

    This boy is probably gifted, most thesis by students this old lack at least one vite piece of the puzzle. I know this from my own experience as I at the same age had posted a proof that the second law of thermodynamics was wrong. I had misunderstood one vital nature of magnestism.

    This boy is gifted and should be given the opportunity to further his studies in the real realm of sience. He needs to be given a scholarship to a real school that can give him the means to contribute to the total of human understanding of the world. We have a responsibility to him as a person and to all of mankind to present him withan option to go with the scientific method rather than with that of dogma before it is to late.

    Remember Kurt Wise.

  360. Europe says

    Good evening, America.

    When you are ready to join us in the twenty-first century, let us know.

    Best wishes,
    Europe.

  361. Caledonian says

    It seems strange to say, for example, that the Klein bottle is a 4-d object.

    But it’s correct. It can’t be properly represented in three dimensions – it can only exist in a space with at least four dimensions.

  362. Ichthyic says

    We have a responsibility to him as a person and to all of mankind to present him withan option to go with the scientific method rather than with that of dogma before it is to late.

    that’s only practical if you can extract him from the cult he is in first, and get him some different peer influences.

    otherwise, there is little point and the effort would likely be wasted.

  363. Torbjörn Larsson, OM says

    No way am I reading through 300+ (of mostly, I assume, creationist crank) comments to see if anyone responded to mine. A search didn’t find my name outside my comments, so I think I can forget that now.

    It seems strange to say, for example, that the Klein bottle is a 4-d object.

    But it’s correct. It can’t be properly represented in three dimensions – it can only exist in a space with at least four dimensions.

    The dimension discussion seems fun. I agree with Davis, a circle is AFAIK usually (but perhaps not strictly) kept as the 1d object of a border, while the corresponding ball (or here, a disc) is the 2d object.

    Similarly, the Klein bottle is intrinsically (topologically or parametrically) 2d. It is true that it can’t be embedded in any space. But that is another question, which makes Mark correct as well; we must specify what we are describing.

  364. Torbjörn Larsson, OM says

    No way am I reading through 300+ (of mostly, I assume, creationist crank) comments to see if anyone responded to mine. A search didn’t find my name outside my comments, so I think I can forget that now.

    It seems strange to say, for example, that the Klein bottle is a 4-d object.

    But it’s correct. It can’t be properly represented in three dimensions – it can only exist in a space with at least four dimensions.

    The dimension discussion seems fun. I agree with Davis, a circle is AFAIK usually (but perhaps not strictly) kept as the 1d object of a border, while the corresponding ball (or here, a disc) is the 2d object.

    Similarly, the Klein bottle is intrinsically (topologically or parametrically) 2d. It is true that it can’t be embedded in any space. But that is another question, which makes Mark correct as well; we must specify what we are describing.

  365. says

    all you can do is have faith and believe He exists.

    Or not believe. Both outcomes are equally as valid in a framework that doesn’t include scientific inquiry and skepticism. This is what you are missing.

  366. says

    Of course, I suppose if you want to take the notion that God is beyond all scientific inquiry, you could do that. Just don’t try to argue that one can then use science to prove that modes of belief under the heading of “theism” are valid. This includes creationism.

    Which, and I have not read even half of these comments, I hope you understand is what this kid and his idiotic mentors have tried to do.

  367. Caledonian says

    Knots are at least three-dimensional, even though the string they’re tied in are (in a manner of speaking) one-dimensional.

    A Klein bottle cannot be represented in fewer than four dimensions.

  368. says

    But it’s correct. It can’t be properly represented in three dimensions – it can only exist in a space with at least four dimensions.

    After Mark C-C mentioned this, I did a little poking around and determined this is sometimes called the “embedding dimension,” which partially answers the question I asked of him. However, I still don’t know that any field of mathematics uses this as its definition of “dimension”. Mine certainly does not, and the related fields I’ve studied do not (I would defer to others on the physics definition for the term).

    There’s actually good reason not to use this definition — it’s not completely intrinsic (it requires embedding things into some Euclidean space, which is not always desirable), and it assumes a particular sort of representation. For example, if you remember the old game Asteroids, when you exited the right side of the screen you returned on the left (at the same vertical position), and when you exited the bottom you returned on the top (at the same horizontal position). This identification makes the playing field of the game a torus, represented in such a way as to fit just fine on a rectangular TV screen. A slight modification to the connectivity gives a Klein bottle. Thus the “embedding dimension” version is highly dependent on the representation you’re using. The more standard definitions I gave above give the same answers in each case — they don’t care about the particular representation.

  369. says

    A Klein bottle cannot be represented in fewer than four dimensions.

    Someone made the argument that it could. I’m sorry, there’s no way I’m reading this entire thread.

  370. says

    However, I still don’t know that any field of mathematics uses this as its definition of “dimension”.

    I believe you’re thinking of this in terms of a purely topological framework…

  371. says

    Then again, after thinking about it, it is possible to construct a Klein Bottle in real life, is it not? Meaning it could potentially be represented in 3d space…

  372. keno says

    Why is that religion is always trying to prove scientific theories wrong, whereas people of science and critical thinking don’t really give a fuck about religion.
    Hell Ya to all the religious dumb nuts because you give everybody a reason to laugh…

  373. says

    Because, keno, some religious people are paranoid that other people are thinking, and they do far too much projection.

  374. Millimeter Wave says

    I have no idea how this discussion about dimensions got started, but it seems to me that several people are talking past each other.

    This is my understanding, which I’m sure will be suitably corrected if erroneous:

    The circumference of a circle is a one dimensional space.
    A circle is a two dimensional figure.

    The surface of a sphere is a two dimensional space.
    A sphere is a body in three dimensions.

    The surface of a Klein bottle is a two dimensional space.
    A Klein bottle cannot be represented in fewer than four dimensions.

    Is that correct?

  375. says

    How many dimensions are there on a bottle of sedatives?

    I need a few after reading this garbage.

    Science Fair, pfft… I cannot believe that anyone with half a brain believes this crap.

    I’m gonna go spread some pixie dust on my computer… it runs faster that way.

  376. says

    Then again, after thinking about it, it is possible to construct a Klein Bottle in real life, is it not? Meaning it could potentially be represented in 3d space…

    The construction of a Klein bottle in 3-d is what’s sometimes called an “immersion”, which is not quite the same as an “embedding”. The difference is that the usual 3-d representation of the Klein bottle has self-intersection — it cuts through itself. (This is pretty much the difference between the two terms — self-intersection vs. no self-intersection.)

    With that I’ll drop the matter, as I’m clearly waaaay off topic here.

  377. Jaf says

    As somebody said recently, “This is so far out, it’s not even wrong.”
    I fear for education in the US of A. Sadly, the nut-jobs are trying to take UK schools down the same route.
    I can only be glad that dialysis was invented before we regressed to the dark ages, or I’d be in a wooden overcoat by now.
    This child should grow up to be a lawyer; anything but a scientist, and please, not a doctor.

  378. says

    I asked my 17 year old brother. He rolled his eyes at me, glanced at the frisbee and the baseball that happened to be sitting on the floor by the kitchen door, and went back to playing Starcraft.

    ZERG RUSH KEKEKEKEKEKEKEKEKEKEKE

  379. Curt Cameron says

    Millimeter wave wrote:

    The circumference of a circle is a one dimensional space.
    A circle is a two dimensional figure.

    The surface of a sphere is a two dimensional space.
    A sphere is a body in three dimensions.

    Not quite. The definition of a “circle” is “the set of all points in a plane at a fixed distance from a given point, the center.” Therefore the circle is the same thing as the thing you call the “circumference of a circle.” A circle does not include the planar area it encloses.

    Similarly, a sphere mathematically defined as just the surface, not the enclosing volume.

    Therefore mathematically, a circle is 1D an a sphere is 2D.

  380. Miriam says

    I grew up believng that God had “created” the world — and that the world “evolved”. Why are these two notions being made exclusive of each other? I have an idea for a bumper sticker: God made the Big Bang!

  381. Mickey7 says

    You have all missed the most salient point of this entire discussion, which was beautifully summed up in the quote from Terry Pratchett. When reason and truth fail the solution is to throw in a couple extra exclamation points!!!! At least that way no one will doubt your enthusiasm for the topic, even if your science totally sucks.

    Poor kid. No matter where he wears his underpants, he’s pretty much screwed.

  382. KarmaPolice says

    “I have no idea how this discussion about dimensions got started, but it seems to me that several people are talking past each other.”

    I think that’s kinda my fault. Sorry. I have to admit, I really had no idea that my little comment would spawn such a weird digression from the topic at hand. Strange, and then some. That said, this:

    “Similarly, a sphere mathematically defined as just the surface, not the enclosing volume.”

    Is cleaver, but also nonsense. Otherwise, the formula pi * d^2 would be a non-entity. And pi *r^2 would likewise be a bit of nonsensical follderoll.

    And this:

    “The surface of a sphere is a two dimensional space.
    A sphere is a body in three dimensions.”

    Is correct. A sphere inherently includes the concept of volume, just as a circle inherently assumes the concept of area. And either concept requires the inclusion of at least one more variable than some here are arguing for.

    For example, the location of any point within a circle requires at least two coordinates, even if one uses polar coordinates, which many here seem to be advocating: the angle and _the distance from 0_.

    While it is true that the _surface_ of a circle can be described as all points equidistant from the center, that definition by is not a sufficient definition, absent the inclusion of two dimensions and area.

    For example, the points x=5 and x=-5 are would also describe all the points equidistant from x=0- in a 1d world. But that in no way describes a circle- a it merely describes a line segment. Only by including a y coordinate can one describe a circle.

    Similarly, if one only if one argues that any point on a circle can be described purely in terms of angle, then we are faced with the absurd situation where all circles share the exact same radius, and therefore all circles are not only equivalent, but identical.

    Again, nonsense.

    To summarize, regardless of your coordinate system, there are two variables required to describe a circle: either x and y, or angle and distance. Which, by definition makes a circle 2-d figure, regardless of what tact you take- and by extension, a globe is a 3d figure, if only because it requires one more coordinate to differentiate it from a circle.

  383. RavenT says

    Sorry to miss out on a great discussion, but I had to check out for a little while to finish a paper; else, I would have kept distracting myself and procrastinating. But I do appreciate everyone’s weighing in. Far from “nonsense”, I learned something, and I found it very useful for clarifying exactly what it is my anatomical model needs in the way of mathematics for extension.

    Similarly, if one only if one argues that any point on a circle can be described purely in terms of angle, then we are faced with the absurd situation where all circles share the exact same radius, and therefore all circles are not only equivalent, but identical.

    Again, nonsense.

    Not nonsense, KarmaPolice, but topology, as opposed to geometry. But you do make a very important point–if you have an application that “cares” whether two circles with different radii can be distinguished from each other, then this definition is insufficient. Mark is right–the definition you want depends on what you need. My application needs to “know” about the interior of anatomical shapes, so it needs an inherently 2D rather than a 1D definition of circles and other canonical shapes. The concept of “disc” as opposed to “circle” was new to me, but exactly on point; I wonder if the other shapes have equivalent terms for including their interiors?

    For example, there are a number of kinds of skull deformities in young children where the sutures between the bones prematurely fuse, so the brain does not have room to grow normally. My doctor twin* Jill Lin [1,2] had good success with automatically classifying them into the types that the radiologists diagnose by calculating and describing the shapes based on histograms and other clustering methods of the distances of landmark points from each other on the outlines of the skull in CT images.

    I see that Curt’s and Davis’ definition of a circle is consistent (contains no inherent contradictions)–yet I don’t see how they get the circle and diameter from just the points on the circumference. Perhaps they never need to–cf. your point about how all circles with different radii are not just equivalent but identical. Yet, Jill’s application could not work without being able to calculate distance, and so it’s inherently 2D, and so the topological definition of circle is insufficient for her application. So my earlier perception that 1D circles entailed contradictions needed modification–they *would entail* contradictions *if I tried to apply them for the purposes of my model*, which is a different situation.

    It was a very useful discussion for me; I have been wondering what further math I should take, so the discussion at Sandra’s blog and others has been very timely. But this was quite illuminating in showing that–as intriguing as I find topology from the outside, looking in, and just trying to find an excuse to take a course in it–extending my research would probably be better served by focusing more on geometry, at least at first.

    * committee “sister” through same advisor, plus we defended the same day (I’m “older” by 4 hours, though :)

    [1] Lin H, Ruiz-Correa S, Shapiro LG, Hing A, Cunningham ML, Speltz M, Sze R. Symbolic shape descriptors for classifying craniosynostosis deformations from skull imaging. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2005;6:6325-31.

    [2] Lin HJ, Ruiz-Correa S, Shapiro LG, Cunningham ML, Sze RW. A symbolic shaped-based retrieval of skull images. AMIA Annu Symp Proc. 2005;:1030.

  384. RavenT says

    distances of landmark points from each other on the outlines of the skull in CT images

    Clarification: where this distance is the length of the “chord” between the two points, rather than the distance along the “circumference” between them (these terms are analogies, since skulls aren’t pure circles, but I think you see what I mean by them).

  385. KarmaPolice says

    RavenT-

    I admit, “nonsense” a bit overblown. I was tired. And I didn’t see couple of responses that clarified the definitional confusions. My bad for stepping back into the discussion so late- both in terms of the discussions duration and the time of night. I apoligise to one and all.

    The point I was trying to make was that, while the topology of a circle might be one dimensional, describing a circle only in terms of its topology is insufficient to differentiate from any number of other closed figures.

    The thing that set me off was that one of the explanations being given- “the set of all points in a plane at a fixed distance from a given point, the center”- to justify that description seemed to ignore the fact, all circles are defined by at least one point that lies outside the line of their circumference: the center.

    Absent the concept of equi-didstance from an external reference point, a line that describes circle is not significantly different than the line that describes a polygon or a blob.

    However, I can see that I did that poorly at best. Sorry. I’ll shut up now.

  386. RavenT says

    KarmaPolice, I was tired, too, and I made a couple of mistakes. If I sounded like I thought you did poorly and should shut up, I’m really sorry about that, because that really wasn’t what I was going for. I was trying to share the insight I had experienced as a result of the discussion.

    My first reference to “nonsense” was in reference to Mark’s earlier use of the term, but I failed to make that clear (so very tired!), so it may have sounded like I was picking on you. My second reference was when I was responding to you, and what I was trying to say is that it’s not nonsense to a topologist, but in geometry–whether Euclidean or analytic–it does lead to contradictions, which is what both you and I were picking up on.

    That’s why I initially responded to Curt as I did–because for my purposes, using such a definition would be incoherent. I had no idea when I wrote that how clearly outside topology that put me and my research–I am really intrigued by topology, and was considering studying it further to see if I could use some of its principles to extend my anatomical model. Now I think that–to my disappointment–what I need is not so compatible with a topological approach as I had initially thought, as it is much closer to analytical (or maybe Euclidean) geometry. Too bad, as I really like reading about topology, but there it is. (Just to add to the confusion, anatomists use the terms “topology” and “topography” in ways different from mathematicians and cartographers, which just puts the icing on the terminological confusion, as far as I’m concerned :P).

    Finally, I wrote

    I see that Curt’s and Davis’ definition of a circle is consistent (contains no inherent contradictions)–yet I don’t see how they get the circle and diameter from just the points on the circumference.

    which doesn’t make sense (again, so very, very tired!). I *meant* to write “I don’t see how they get the center of the circle and the diameter”, because it seems to me that without the center, you can’t distinguish the diameter from any other chord.

    To you and me, that lack seems to make no sense, and all I was trying to communicate was the insight that I had finally realized that for their purposes, that’s actually ok–they don’t need it so much. You and I do, and that’s why this approach doesn’t work for us. But I’m sorry I made it sound like you should shut up now; I’m communicating very poorly, and I apologize.

  387. Millimeter Wave says

    Curt Cameron wrote:

    Not quite. The definition of a “circle” is “the set of all points in a plane at a fixed distance from a given point, the center.” Therefore the circle is the same thing as the thing you call the “circumference of a circle.” A circle does not include the planar area it encloses.

    Similarly, a sphere mathematically defined as just the surface, not the enclosing volume.

    Therefore mathematically, a circle is 1D an a sphere is 2D.

    respectfully, I totally disagree. Whilst I do agree that there exists a one dimensional space consisting of the points on a circle (and similarly in 2 dimensions for the surface of a sphere) absent the higher dimensions it simply isn’t possible to identify a circle as being a circle, as distinct from any other finite, closed, one dimensional space.

    The definition of a sphere and a circle by definition require 3 and 2 dimensions respectively.

  388. philos says

    I may be confused: is PZ Myers’ alter-persona “Richard Johnson” (see 7th reader comment from newspaper wire) or it was formatted wrong? As it stands, plagiarism glares. Come on.

    from “Richard Johnson’s” reader comment: “This isn’t just wrong, it’s appallingly wrong. He’s wrong on the facts, wrong on the interpretations, wrong on the understanding of how science works. If we’re charitable and grant that a 14 year old has some reasonable excuse for ignorance, we can still indict his parents, his science teacher, and the judges at this fair on gross incompetence on multiple charges.

    * This experiment has nothing to do with biology.
    * Epsom salts are magnesium sulfate; stalactites are made of calcium carbonate.
    * Stalactite growth rates are estimated to be around 0.1-10 centimeters per thousand years. If we assume his ‘stalactite’ was 10 cm long and use the slowest growth rate, that’s 100 thousand years, not millions.
    * Even if he had demonstrated an accelerated rate of stalactite growth, stalactite length isn’t the method used to date the age of the earth.”

  389. MartinM says

    I may be confused: is PZ Myers’ alter-persona “Richard Johnson” (see 7th reader comment from newspaper wire) or it was formatted wrong? As it stands, plagiarism glares. Come on.

    Plagiarism, indeed. Clearly, PZ hitched a lift with Dr Who, grabbed a copy of Johnson’s comment, and cunningly posted it as his own work a day before the original was even written. Sneaky git.

  390. says

    Yeah, I gotta soup up that time machine–the range is too short, so all I can do is hop back a few days and steal other people’s comments. And the lottery numbers. But plagiarizing is the most important thing I can do with it.

  391. West says

    Aaw, he is an 8th grader, I feel bad. The article sounded a bit harsh about an 8th grader getting it wrong. LOL, I feel bad for the kid- I bet in his mind he thought he proved something BIG. He thought he proved a part of the theory of evolution wrong, he must have been SO excited (for who knows how long). Aaw, poor thing.

  392. says

    Ichthyic: Cats certainly are complex …

    Carlie: Indeed – and in India, the secularists are finding that Hindutva nonsense.

    Arthur Abogadil : Hm, a precise science book, eh? Where is the value of the fine structure constant?

    anthony: Hint – we don’t think the universe was created. Also, common sense is very limited in its scope, that’s why science is so useful.

    Kseniya: Think of a sphere as an ellipsoid with the lengths of its axises being equal.

  393. says

    It strikes me as rather ironic when a guy like Arthur makes (dubious) claims about the Bible being scientifically correct about a spherical Earth, and thereby “proving” the Bible’s inerrancy, when he is at the same time ignoring passages like the Garden of Eden, Noah’s Ark, etc – stuff that conflicts spectacularly with science.

    Or perhaps we’re not supposed to interpret those passages as scientific? That would be convenient.

  394. PostPwned says

    This is how i see it, We as humans have about… say an average of 80 years to live. Our Earth is about 4 billion years old and will continue to exist for billions more. Knowing this, we dont have that long to live so what are we gonna do, live it up… sex, steal, carefree, you know the funn stuff. But this also has a down side pretty soon everyone is gonna start killing each other with all this havoc as history proves. There is no fuking chance that they will listen by just asking them, so a bunch of dooshbags invented “religion”, inducing fear that if you dont obey you will burn in hell. But if your obedient your goin to heaven. Sorta like giving a dog a treat if he sits or rolls over. So anyway, the retards that believed God thought there intensions were good so believed it. Why not believe in something good rather than nothing eh? Im from pakistan but born here, i was taught to believe in Islam let me rephrase that forced to believe in Islam. See thats another thing it all depends on where you were born and lived. If i was born in the UK i would be a christian or in Tibet a Buddist. Well any i can go on and on, on how god is truly the biggest hoax in history. All i can say is that religion did more harm than good. I am a creature of the Earth.

  395. Daniel says

    Whats sad is – someone(6th grade teacher without a college education) told all of you accusers about (so-called)science and you just took it as fact instead of coming up with your own solution(doing your own research) or consider the fact that thier actually may be a intelligent creator bigger than your eago! Darwinism is constantly being DIS-proved, yet we teach it as fact. Darwin observed life and came up with an opinion of what “he thought” was how human life came about. If we are constanly evolving then where are all the human/monkeys walking around. Why do we use Carbon Dating to determine how old something is when its based on circular reasoning. Anyway, im shure i will stir up this bees nest, so go ahead and call me ignorent and bash me all you want, but atleast i am smart enough to come up with my own opinion and actually do some research on my own. The main reason i belive in GOD is because i have seen things knowone in this world can explain!! No, not even you.
    http://creationtruth.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=CTB&Product_Code=B1015&Category_Code=GB6

  396. G. Shelley says

    I am sure Daniel is probably trolling, but perhaps he could explain why he things that the idea that radioactive decay is consistant is circular

  397. says

    Funny thing is, I’ve been doing my own research as well, Daniel, and my conclusion is that anti-evolutionary arguments are mostly an unscientific load of crap, especially those served by fervent Christians who don’t even understand the concept of science.

    You illustrate this very well, serving two cliché arguments, one about carbon dating (which has been proven by correlating it with hundreds of other methods of age determination), and another about previous races (which doesn’t even make sense).

    By the way, you misspelled “ignorant”.

  398. Nick says

    Funny thing about evolution is, its not true.

    When something mutates it becomes sterile, thus evolving is impossible. I love people who believe in evolution, they have the IQ of a monkey. Science has proven evolution wrong many times

  399. Joe says

    Oh and every year the earth and moon become further apart, if you rewind this, like 10,000 years ago the moon would be touching the earth…

  400. says

    Nick and Joe: you’ve never touched a science book in your life, have you?

    We mutate organisms all the time; it happens spontaneously even more often. We not only generate new mutations, we breed them and maintain carrier lines. And you carry a handful of new mutations yourself, as does everyone on the planet. It’s pretty much a certainty that the process of replication will introduce errors. So, are you sterile? Are you defective?

    Joe, the moon is 3.8 x 10^^10 cm away, and receding at a rate of 3.8 cm per year. Try to do the math.

  401. Ichthyic says

    Joe, the moon is 3.8 x 10^^10 cm away, and receding at a rate of 3.8 cm per year. Try to do the math.

    for a much more recent and detailed presentation of how the moon and earth interact, there is this:

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/moonrec.html

    which does an excellent job of not only explaining how the moon slows the earth’s rotational velocity over time, and why the moon is receeding, but also neatly explains tidal forces as well.

    very nice summary article.

  402. Icthyic says

    nick-

    Science has proven evolution wrong many times

    WOW! someone must have gotten a Nobel the first time evolution was proved incorrect and the result published in a peer-reviewed science journal.

    Hell, that must have made the cover of either Science or Nature, and somehow, we all just missed it!

    care to cite the amazing article that changed the entire world of science so that we all dropped the ToE as the most consistent and well tested biological theory of all time?

    btw… another question that interests me even more…

    How on earth do you expect someone to take you seriously when you say REALLY dumbass shit like you just did?

  403. Ichthyic says

    keith-

    Ichthyic: Cats certainly are complex …

    *whoosh*

    er, i looked, and I can’t figure out wtf you are referring to at all.

  404. Dumbass says

    Try taking your head out of PZ’s ass and stick it in the cat’s ass and I promise you that you will find something.

  405. Ichthyic says

    try going back on your meds.

    but then, that would require pulling your head out of your own ass.

  406. Rey Fox says

    Ichthyic:

    You in post #227:

    “there ya have it:

    Cat’s tails are irreducibly complex.”

  407. says

    Holy snikes was that WoMI making a troll drive by? I should have suspected it considering the idiot creationist fools displaying their rank stupidity so far in this thread.

    When something mutates it becomes sterile, thus evolving is impossible. I love people who believe in evolution, they have the IQ of a monkey. Science has proven evolution wrong many times

    Time to join the last 140 years Nick. That is one of the either most ignorant or blatantly dishonest statements I’ve read in a while…. well not that long considering the other contestants here on this thread.

  408. Ichthyic says

    ah, thanks rey.

    I was scratching my head furiously over what he was referring to.

    still can’t figure out if his response is meant seriously, as a continuation of the idiotic line of reasoning that spawned the joke to begin with, or is just a random bit of gibberish.

    don’t really feel like wading backwards to figure it out.

    your conclusion?

  409. Ichthyic says

    Brace yourself. It probably will not be a monkey.

    hey, if i used an endoscope on a cat, and found a monkey in its rectum, I would count that as evidence for a divine creator with a very sick sense of humor.

    kind of like your sense of humor.

    btw, morphing is grounds for placement in the dungeon:

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/plonk.php

    so, keep em coming.

  410. Ichthyic says

    I thought Nick and Joe were being funny. Satire.

    Guess not.

    so hard to differentiate any more.

    either way, the posts were worthy of derision.

  411. Watersglimor says

    Well in my highschool biology class we studied everything from space to geology… you have to have a basic understanding of how things work to understand how life works. And remember this is a kiddy science fair, what are they gonna come up with that makes any sense? Catagoricaly speaking, this was placed in the right catagory of biology, but rather biology for kids. Did you expect a kid to have studied details of the subject he was talking about? HE IS A KID, HE BELIEVES WHATEVER HE IS TOLD…

  412. Savvy says

    As a Christian I just have to say…

    Quoting Pratchett was the pinacle of the article. Well used quote ;c)

  413. says

    Well, I think we can safely say Watersglimor didn’t read anything. The kid isn’t the problem. It’s the fact that he’s being praised is what we have a problem with.

  414. Rey Fox says

    “And remember this is a kiddy science fair, what are they gonna come up with that makes any sense?”

    Eighth grade isn’t what I’d call “kiddy”. And just what the hell are you trying to say here? That we should pat them on the back no matter what irrelevant and thoughtless projects they come up with? This is about something called “education”, you might want to look into it.

    “Did you expect a kid to have studied details of the subject he was talking about? ”

    Yes.

    “HE IS A KID, HE BELIEVES WHATEVER HE IS TOLD…”

    And you see nothing wrong with this. Kids being told garbage and believing it. Come to think of it, just what the heck is your point?

  415. says

    Hi guys,

    I’m discussing Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection with a good friend of mine (we’ll call him “Dave”), he understands the basic concepts but is having trouble with the following concept:

    If species X moves out of the water and onto the land for whatever means, what is the spark that moves the genes to enable species X to develop, for example, legs?>

    Without him having to read “The Extended Phenotype” by Dawkins (not his type of book) or something similar, is there a layman’s explanation?

    It is my understanding that over a given timeline, if species X moves from one environment to another, either thru adaptation or mutation, it will be the genes (the extended phenotype) that instigate this “change” in order to survive and adapt.

    The genes have the intelligence to make this change (grow a leg; grow lungs; grow hair) built into them and it is the active replicator that ensures this change happens over the given timeline in order to ensure the survival of species X.

    So, if species X needs legs to survive on land having once lived in the sea, it will be the active replicator that “triggers” the switch in the chromosomes/DNA to ensure this adaptation/mutation starts and continues throughout the species ensuring survival, until it becomes a dead-end replicator.

    “Dave” reckons the intelligence for this change had to come from somewhere, I reckon it’s embedded in the genes themseleves (the alleles?). He’s unsure but knows it’s not God :-)

    Am I on the right track with this? Any help would be most welcome.

    Best regards.

  416. says

    With a name like Tyler Durden it’s hard to trust you.

    However, there is no intelligence that is built into anything that predicts the need to make a change to “grow a leg”. There is no plan that evolution follows that is built into the creature. No hidden intelligence, no grand plan…. and I’m pretty sure this question of yours is bait.

  417. says

    No, no, way too elaborate and unsubstantiated.

    This was a case of an exaptation, or what used to be called a preadaptation. The ancestor evolved stouter and stouter limbs first, because they were useful structures in its aquatic environment, where it lived resting on the bottom or in very shallow water. Those strong fins were enough to allow it to also move across the land in a clumsy fashion, and selection continued its job of refining the limb to better support it on land, which enabled it to spend more time on land, which put a premium on selecting for variants that could better cope with the terrestrial environment, which led to their descendants spending more time on land, and so the cycle went.

  418. Torbjörn Larsson, OM says

    [Sorry for comment delay – I am currently backtracking.]

    Meaning it could potentially be represented in 3d space…

    No (but a möbius strip can), see Davis’ comment. (Immersion means selfintersection means not connected volume.)

    A sphere inherently includes the concept of volume

    No, in math (as opposed to colloquial use) the ball is the interior of the sphere, and the sphere is the boundary of the ball. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sphere , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ball_%28mathematics%29 )

    It is a terminology confusion, is all.

    Similarly, if one only if one argues that any point on a circle can be described purely in terms of angle, then we are faced with the absurd situation where all circles share the exact same radius, and therefore all circles are not only equivalent, but identical.

    This is confusing metric (“identical”) with topology (“equivalent”).

    For a certain circle, you need only one coordinate to describe traveling around it. Hence it is a 1D object.

    But the angle is confusing, you want travel length around the perimeter (which keeps telling you their size). You consider an already done parametrization, true (thus no radius needed), but using the angle gives a degenerated coordinate as you noted.

    And you need two coordinates of the embedding space if you want to discuss different circles (which gives their placement).

  419. Torbjörn Larsson, OM says

    [Sorry for comment delay – I am currently backtracking.]

    Meaning it could potentially be represented in 3d space…

    No (but a möbius strip can), see Davis’ comment. (Immersion means selfintersection means not connected volume.)

    A sphere inherently includes the concept of volume

    No, in math (as opposed to colloquial use) the ball is the interior of the sphere, and the sphere is the boundary of the ball. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sphere , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ball_%28mathematics%29 )

    It is a terminology confusion, is all.

    Similarly, if one only if one argues that any point on a circle can be described purely in terms of angle, then we are faced with the absurd situation where all circles share the exact same radius, and therefore all circles are not only equivalent, but identical.

    This is confusing metric (“identical”) with topology (“equivalent”).

    For a certain circle, you need only one coordinate to describe traveling around it. Hence it is a 1D object.

    But the angle is confusing, you want travel length around the perimeter (which keeps telling you their size). You consider an already done parametrization, true (thus no radius needed), but using the angle gives a degenerated coordinate as you noted.

    And you need two coordinates of the embedding space if you want to discuss different circles (which gives their placement).

  420. says

    “There is no plan that evolution follows that is built into the creature. No hidden intelligence, no grand plan…”

    So, is time the only factor? Given enough time adaptation/mutation will allow a species to move environments?

    How much information is contained within the genes/DNA of any given species that can allow, for example, “strong fins” to evolve into limbs for use on land (i.e. a new environment) given in the example above by PZ Myers.

    My point being: how much of a “mutation” is fin -> limb as opposed to a genetic change (adaptation) from within the species itself?

    Is there a limit to the change? Ruled by the DNA or the environmental change (if any)?

  421. David Marjanović says

    How much information is contained within the genes/DNA of any given species that can allow, for example, “strong fins” to evolve into limbs for use on land (i.e. a new environment) given in the example above by PZ Myers.

    None. That requires mutations.

    My point being: how much of a “mutation” is fin -> limb as opposed to a genetic change (adaptation) from within the species itself?

    What do you mean by “within the species itself”? Species boundaries are so foggy that some say there is no such thing as a species. Google for “ring species” to get an idea why.

    Is there a limit to the change?

    Evolution can only work with what is there. Wholly new things out of nowhere don’t occur, at least not easily — though keep in mind that what “new” is is defined in terms of developmentary genetics, not in terms of easily visible features of the adult.

  422. David Marjanović says

    How much information is contained within the genes/DNA of any given species that can allow, for example, “strong fins” to evolve into limbs for use on land (i.e. a new environment) given in the example above by PZ Myers.

    None. That requires mutations.

    My point being: how much of a “mutation” is fin -> limb as opposed to a genetic change (adaptation) from within the species itself?

    What do you mean by “within the species itself”? Species boundaries are so foggy that some say there is no such thing as a species. Google for “ring species” to get an idea why.

    Is there a limit to the change?

    Evolution can only work with what is there. Wholly new things out of nowhere don’t occur, at least not easily — though keep in mind that what “new” is is defined in terms of developmentary genetics, not in terms of easily visible features of the adult.

  423. David Marjanović says

    So, is time the only factor? Given enough time adaptation/mutation will allow a species to move environments?

    Time, opportunity, good luck (if the required mutations don’t happen, the move to another environment won’t occur), and the absence of constraints (e. g. jellyfish would have to evolve some kind of support and some potential protection against desiccation before they could live on land).

  424. David Marjanović says

    So, is time the only factor? Given enough time adaptation/mutation will allow a species to move environments?

    Time, opportunity, good luck (if the required mutations don’t happen, the move to another environment won’t occur), and the absence of constraints (e. g. jellyfish would have to evolve some kind of support and some potential protection against desiccation before they could live on land).

  425. David Marjanović says

    “Dave” reckons the intelligence for this change had to come from somewhere, I reckon it’s embedded in the genes themseleves (the alleles?).

    “Alleles” just means “versions of a gene that have different effects, having arisen by a few mutations from a common ancestor”.

    No, no intelligence. Just mutations that create a diversity, and selection which narrows the diversity down. Blind, and inevitable.

    Incidentally, there is good evidence that legs evolved before our ancestors left the water. Acanthostega and Ichthyostega still had internal gills as adults, for example. Obviously they used them fairly often — otherwise lungs would have been enough.

    (Lungs are a very old feature, but I digress.)

  426. David Marjanović says

    “Dave” reckons the intelligence for this change had to come from somewhere, I reckon it’s embedded in the genes themseleves (the alleles?).

    “Alleles” just means “versions of a gene that have different effects, having arisen by a few mutations from a common ancestor”.

    No, no intelligence. Just mutations that create a diversity, and selection which narrows the diversity down. Blind, and inevitable.

    Incidentally, there is good evidence that legs evolved before our ancestors left the water. Acanthostega and Ichthyostega still had internal gills as adults, for example. Obviously they used them fairly often — otherwise lungs would have been enough.

    (Lungs are a very old feature, but I digress.)

  427. says

    What do you mean by “within the species itself”?

    Let me rephrase that – My point being: how much of a “mutation” is fin -> limb as opposed to a genetic change (adaptation) from within the specific animal or mammal itself?

    Is there a limit the DNA can mutate/adapt into considering any new “environment”?

  428. Ibon says

    I really hope radical Christians control themselves in the future and not make an ass of the rest of us less-radical Christians. It would also be real nice if the parents of the above said kid would be indicted along with all the school staff who supported him. They’re dumbasses.

  429. Naturally So says

    What is pathetic and sad is the sheer number of ‘lemming’ lackeys who lambast this science fair strictly because of two flambé words: Christian and Creation!! (please note the excessive use of exclamation points!!)

    The pathetic part is that these brainwashed boobies are feasting on fetid fare foisted on them and fed to them by flagrant fools fabricating fantasies (falsely called science), heuristically hatched in the hallowed halls of hokum.

    IOW, stupid people swallowing the stench of the slanted subterfuge of subjective ‘scientists’ (and students) who sully the name of science with their shallow and sordid ‘secretions’.

    Not ONE person…not ONE…here or anywhere else on this planet has the slightest inkling of where life came from.

    Those who jeer and snort at the creationists’ ideas on the origins of life while extolling the silly surmisings of a single individual really don’t know just how ridiculously bereft they are of ANY cognitive ability.

    Truly, professing to be wise, the fool gags and chokes on a gnat, all the while swallowing a camel.

  430. says

    So, then, Naturally So, can you explain to us why the formation of epsom salt stalactites is a “biology” experiment that can allegedly disprove the idea that populations tend to change with each passing generation, or are you just being a Jesus troll because your pastor commanded you to do so?

  431. says

    What is pathetic and sad is the sheer number of ‘lemming’ lackeys who lambast this science fair strictly because of two flambé words: Christian and Creation!! (please note the excessive use of exclamation points!!)

    The pathetic part is that these brainwashed boobies are feasting on fetid fare foisted on them and fed to them by flagrant fools fabricating fantasies (falsely called science), heuristically hatched in the hallowed halls of hokum.

    IOW, stupid people swallowing the stench of the slanted subterfuge of subjective ‘scientists’ (and students) who sully the name of science with their shallow and sordid ‘secretions’.

    My favorite is the alliteration. It makes Legion seem so clever.

    In a trolling creationist boob sort of way.

  432. Rey Fox says

    “Not ONE person…not ONE…here or anywhere else on this planet has the slightest inkling of where life came from.”

    Yes we do.

  433. Steve_C says

    “Not ONE person…not ONE…here or anywhere else on this planet has the slightest inkling of where life came from.”

    Really? Someone here has spent too muct time in the confessional.

  434. maidstragedy says

    I concur with Triumphal_Thusnelda on the Cat/Dog thing. My cat and dog get on just fine but it’s clear to me that neither one speaks the other’s language when it comes to playing. My dog likes to rough it up and jump around which of course scares the hell out of the cat because the dog is so much bigger, but I can see that she just wants to play and means no harm. Likewise, the cat does playful rolling over and scratching when she wants to play (and she is the most gentle of cats) but the dog sees this as an attack when it happens to her. Both often want to play with each other but they can never seem to communicate this effectively.

  435. Ichthyic says

    “And remember this is a kiddy science fair, what are they gonna come up with that makes any sense?”

    um, just to compare what “kiddies” are in fact capable of, if allowed to explore science without the imposition of irrationality on top:

    http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2007/05/evolution_essay.html

    compare that student to the one under discussion in this thread, and then tell me which one will make the better scientist.

  436. Ruphert says

    Well everyone knows why cats and dogs hate each other. Back in Egypt was at the high of its power the evil cats were controlling all Egypt, making the humans work as slaves. Finally after many years the humans, embolden by their new allies, the dogs, launched a massive attack against the cats. This strike managed to dislodge the Cats from their positions of power and all mankind was free, with the dogs protecting their sides for the rest of eternity.
    And that’s why cats and dogs ate each other. The cats blame the dogs for their downfall from rulers of the world, and dogs can remember the countless atrocities the world faced at the hands of the cats.
    New World Cats
    EVILS
    Who really inspired Hitler?
    The Real Ninjas

  437. says

    Don’t criticize the kid too harshly. He formed an hypothesis, and he “proved it.” I do that to my husband all the time. It might not be true, but it demonstrates a certain logic. Ultimately, certain logic is one of the comfortable tools we use to justify ourselves.

  438. Steve_C says

    I think we’ve mostly been criticizing the the adult that are twisting the 1st place winner’s mind. The kid probably thinks he’s on the way to a Nobel Prize now.

  439. Steve_C says

    Hehe. Yeah. In the twilight zone.

    Maybe he’s a weapon of mass instruction too.

  440. David Marjanović says

    Let me rephrase that – My point being: how much of a “mutation” is fin -> limb as opposed to a genetic change (adaptation) from within the specific animal or mammal itself?

    Ah, so you don’t know the meanings of “mutation”, “genetic change”, and “adaptation”.

    Mutation: a change in DNA (no matter if in a gene or outside, but those outside usually don’t matter) by substitution of one base pair in the DNA for another or deletion of a base pair or addition of a base pair. That happens due to copying errors and repair errors.

    Adaptation: This is not a process, it’s the result of another process — natural selection. Those individuals who have the greatest number of fertile offspring in a certain environment are best adapted to that environment. If this is inheritable, sooner or later the whole population will consist of individuals that have inherited this trait — then we say the population has adapted.

    Is there a limit the DNA can mutate/adapt into considering any new “environment”?

    On the DNA level there’s no limit at all.

  441. David Marjanović says

    Let me rephrase that – My point being: how much of a “mutation” is fin -> limb as opposed to a genetic change (adaptation) from within the specific animal or mammal itself?

    Ah, so you don’t know the meanings of “mutation”, “genetic change”, and “adaptation”.

    Mutation: a change in DNA (no matter if in a gene or outside, but those outside usually don’t matter) by substitution of one base pair in the DNA for another or deletion of a base pair or addition of a base pair. That happens due to copying errors and repair errors.

    Adaptation: This is not a process, it’s the result of another process — natural selection. Those individuals who have the greatest number of fertile offspring in a certain environment are best adapted to that environment. If this is inheritable, sooner or later the whole population will consist of individuals that have inherited this trait — then we say the population has adapted.

    Is there a limit the DNA can mutate/adapt into considering any new “environment”?

    On the DNA level there’s no limit at all.

  442. ann says

    This kid is obviously being trained so he can grow up and be in the GWB administration in charge of the “christian science” department (yes, george plans on still being king)…