When they criminalize chemistry, all chemists are criminals

Another casualty in the War on Drugs: an enthusiastic science student, of the sort that would normally go on to be a scientist, is arrested for having a chemistry lab.

A Canadian college student majoring in chemistry built himself a home lab – and discovered that trying to do science in your own home quickly leads to accusations of drug-making and terrorism.

Lewis Casey, an 18-year-old in Saskatchewan, had built a small chemistry lab in his family’s garage near the university where he studies. Then two weeks ago, police arrived at his home with a search warrant and based on a quick survey of his lab determined that it was a meth lab. They pulled Casey out of the shower to interrogate him, and then arrested him.

A few days later, police admitted that Casey’s chemistry lab wasn’t a meth lab – but they kept him in jail, claiming that he had some of the materials necessary to produce explosives. Friends and neighbors wrote dozens of letters to the court, testifying that Casey was innocent and merely a student who is really enthusiastic about chemistry.

Errm, having the “materials necessary to produce explosives” is an awfully low bar to set. If we’re going to go that route, let’s round up and arrest all the farmers — they’ve got fuel oil and fertilizer in bulk, and are a far more serious danger.

Don’t criminalize reagents. Monitor them, sure, but instead target the products of criminal chemistry. Anything else is going to have lots of false positives and is going to damage science education.

Radio reminder

Tune in on Sunday morning at 9am Central time to Atheists Talk radio for an all-science hour, reviewing the top science stories of the past year. It’s going to have a bit of a developmental bias, and maybe even some zebrafish bias, as the big man of the hour will be Perry Hackett of the UMTC, a well-known zebrafish researcher who has been doing a lot of work on gene therapy related experiments. They’re also sneaking in another developmentalist/zebrafish guy — me — in a call-in.

I get email

First of all, I have to point out that sometimes, amazingly cool people are incredibly stupid about biology. Case in point: Jack Kirby was an evolutionary ignoramus.

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Now that’s just sad. Of course we share this world with related forms of life — we’ve been looking for years, and what would be a disturbing enigma would be if we found a species that was not related to every other species on the planet. So I’m afraid those panels contain three characters, every one of whom is babbling complete drivel. Still, you have to concede that Jack Kirby was a major influence on comic book art, and stylistically, he’s one of those artists whose work is instantly recognizable.

I doubt that Martin Patterson has quite the name recognition, but he is recognizable as a stereotype: the pompous, stupid creationist with a pocketful of fallacies that he thinks trumps the work of nearly every biologist on Earth, and isn’t shy about pontificating on the subject.

First of all, I am somewhat disappointed that the blogs require you to be an atheist or agnostic to post a discussion. There is no point in having a blog if only individuals who share the same views are allowed to join. That only defeats the purpose of hearing other opinions for consideration or research. If I were to start a blog only for people who believe that the earth is flat, what would we learn from each other? That is the blind leading the blind. I hope you will share that with your fellow bloggers so that they might consider opening a real scientific debate on the issues.

Well, you see, I developed this special mind-reading software that can instantly discern the philosophical position of my readers, and block them from commenting if they try to argue with me. The only catch I’ve discovered so far, and that you readers may have noticed as well, is that creationists are still able to freely post — it turns out that mind-reading software is completely stymied by mindless people.

I know. You read that first paragraph, even that first sentence, and you immediately realize that the writer is an utter moron. That impression is not corrected by the second schmear of a paragraph.

I primarily wanted to write to you to make a statement about the debate between “Science” and “Religion”. One thing that must be made clear in the debate between “Evolution” and “Creation”, is that it is not “Science” vs. “Religion”, it is “Religion” vs. “Religion”. They are both religious world views. The basis for that is this: If you look at the evidence that is used to support the evolution theory, that same evidence can be used to support the creation theory. It is all a matter of perspective. Why then do “Scientists” have such a hard time admitting this? All the evidence that is used to support the Evolution theory as a whole is based off of other ideas and theories that cannot be empirically verified (assumptions based on other assumptions). That is not science. Often times, in the “Scientific” community, when evidence arises that brings to question the validity of the evolution theory, that evidence is simply ignored, or actively suppressed by threatening the source with repercussions or raising doubts about its credibility. That is not science either. Science is using factual information as a basis to test and verify or disprove new ideas. It is also un-bias and leaves all options open for investigation. But in reality, the scientific community is extremely bias on issues that bring to question the validity of evolution, which so much of their work is based off of. The “Big Bang” theory is a great example because it can easily be disproved by the Law of Angular Momentum, the second Law of Thermodynamics, and a number of others. All it takes is one, but it always seems to be that “one” that gets left out when they are trying to convince us of something that isn’t true. Yet some still teach it. Why call a theory “science” when it can be scientifically proven to be false? When we look at Evolution, Micro Evolution is scientific because it can be observed, tested, and verified. But that is a far stretch from the fantasy of Macro Evolution, Cosmic Evolution, Molecular Evolution, and others. Yet “scientists” try to bunch them all together using Micro Evolution as their example so they won’t be forced to answer questions about the others. There are a lot of theories out there about the others, but there is no scientific evidence to prove them. Why then are these subjects taught to our children as fact? If the “Scientific” community wants to have any credibility anymore, they are going to be forced to answer questions about the overwhelming evidence that supports Creation and admit that Creation is no more a religious belief than Evolution. There is far more scientific evidence for creation than there is for evolution, so they are going to have a hard time explaining why creation should not be taught in schools. To give validity to what I have said, feel free to contact me with any questions or challenges. I will be more than happy to answer them with verified scientific evidence (that is legitimate, it has just been ignored) including sources. I can be contacted at martinj803@gmail.com. It is not my intention to come across as hostile, so if I sound as if I am on the attack or have offended you in any way, I do apologize. I am simply concerned about the credibility of the scientific community and want to develop an open forum for all views to be discussed in a professional an respectful manner (in the true nature of the scientific method). FYI, I used to be an evolutionist until I did my research. I just want to share what I have learned with other intellectuals so that they can make educated conclusions based off of factual evidence.

What a mish-mash. Evolution is a religion, the mangled micro-macro distinction, disproof by the second law of thermodynamics, creationism has more evidence than evolution…it’s just the usual gallop through the garbage of creationism that accumulates year by year through the repetition of lies, all dressed up in the pompous pretense that this ignoramus is an “intellectual”. I am not going to discuss such stupidity with any creationists, especially not in email. It’s a total waste of time; do I really need to go over the inanity of their second law arguments again? That’s what Mark Isaak’s The Counter-Creationism Handbook(amzn/b&n/abe/pwll) is for — it succinctly rips up those trivial fallacies and gets them out of the way. Creationists, if you want to write to me, and you haven’t done your homework, I am going to rightfully regard you as a thumb-sucking moron and throw your mail in the trash.

Here’s a better strategy. Show me that you really have done your research (Martin Patterson clearly has not), and bring up specific issues from any of these excellent pop-sci books on the subject of evolution. They all bring up various points that are routinely mumbled by creationists, and they dissect them in detail, showing the positive evidence for evolution. Just once I’d like one of these gibbering lackwits to actually question something significant in evolutionary theory, with some modicum of facts to back up their claims, rather than parroting the same old crap they got from the clueless clown in a clerical collar on Sunday morning. Read these!

  • Donald Prothero’s Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters(amzn/b&n/abe/pwll)

  • Carl Zimmer’s At the Water’s Edge: Fish with Fingers, Whales with Legs, and How Life Came Ashore but Then Went Back to Sea (amzn/b&n/abe/pwll)

  • Jerry Coyne’s Why Evolution Is True(amzn/b&n/abe/pwll)

  • Neil Shubin’s Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body(amzn/b&n/abe/pwll)

  • Sean Carroll’s The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution(amzn/b&n/abe/pwll)

This is not an onerous demand. These books are not overly technical, they aren’t part of the specialist literature, they are just general introductions to the ideas and evidence of evolution. If the stuff I get in my email is at all representative, it’s obvious that these jokers haven’t even done as much as read one of these kinds of books.

I wish…

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No, I haven’t forgotten how to blog all of a sudden — I’ve been distracted. I wrenched an ankle wrestling with a snow blower the other day, and woke up this morning with my foot all swoll up like a lumpy ol’ potato with five little toes wiggling at one end. It’s not good.

Joints are such a fragile point of failure. I’m finding the little lower torso replacement illustrated above extremely enticing right now.

What do you imagine Rick Warren thinks about evolution?

Go ahead, guess. Would you be surprised to learn that Warren is a creationist?

I believed that evolution and the account of the Bible about creation could exist along side of each other very well. I just didn’t see what the big argument was all about. I had some friends who had been studying the Bible much longer than I had who saw it differently…Eventually, I came to the conclusion, through my study of the Bible and science, that the two positions of evolution and creation just could not fit together. There are some real problems with the idea that God created through evolution… My prayer is that you will have this same experience!

The Bible’s picture is that dinosaurs and man lived together on the earth, an earth that was filled with
vegetation and beauty…man and dinosaurs lived at the same time…From the very beginning of creation, God gave man dominion over all that was made, even over the dinosaurs.

Isn’t it nice of Obama to grant this clown a prominent place on the national stage?