But Hitler would be 128 years old!

The things that get said on Alex Jones’ demented ‘news’ show — pig-human chimeras, false flags, and now, according to Owen Shroyer, Hitler is still alive, a fact being covered up by The Government.

Welcome in to The Alex Jones Show folks. It’s amazing, here we are, so much news and the news is so big and the news is so frequent that the biggest news every day becomes a back-page story the next day. The Las Vegas massacre cover-up, nothing. The JFK files being declassified, Hitler still alive. All the history textbooks lied to us. I was lied to my entire life about JFK, knowingly, by my government. I was lied to my entire life about Hitler, knowingly, by my government. And that’s just a nonstory now because you’ve got another radical truck running people down in the streets.

Yes. Let us talk about Fake News. Who is subsidizing this lunatic?

Dodgy and getting dodgier

I read that story about two women being rescued after 5 months at sea, and it bugged me. Wasn’t it awfully convenient that they’d packed a year’s worth of supplies before taking off on a short trip? And gosh, but they looked in good shape for people stranded at sea for so long. Even the dog! Wouldn’t they have eaten the dog after the first month of living on ramen?

Anyway, now there’s a detailed breakdown of all the fishy stuff in their story. They had an emergency beacon that they didn’t even bother to turn on!

I’m looking forward to learning the true story behind this phony tale of survival at sea.

Deep fat fry the rich? Stuff ’em with greasy cheese? Gotta think about appropriate fates.

I had Papa John’s pizza once, long ago, and did not care for it at all, and haven’t had any since…which means a boycott by me isn’t going to change anything at all. But since “Papa John”, John Schnatter, is a terrible human being, sure, boycott the place. He’s an evangelical Christian/Republican who hates the poor except when he can suck the money out of their pockets for crappy pizzas. He’s now blaming the NFL for a major financial loss, because somehow the fact that he advertises heavily at games where players are now kneeling to protest racism means viewers buy less pizza? I don’t quite follow the logic, but OK.

Of course, no boycott is going to hurt Schnatter. He’s built a personal fortune of $800 million off his terrible pizza chain, so really, he could not sell a single pizza ever again and he’d still be living on the lap of luxury, praising Jesus and refusing to pay the hired help a decent wage. I guess I’ll have to add his name to the long list of Up Against the Wall nominees.

By the way, how did the boycott of Chik-Fil-A’s homophobic executives go? Nothing seems to get in between awful, exploitive fast food franchises and the American public.

No, your brain is not alive when you’re dead.
I feel stupider for having to write that.

Have you noticed this recent rash of truly stupid headlines?

I could show you many more, but that’s enough. None of that makes any sense! Some of the stories make it sound like your mind is trapped and screaming inside of your corpse after you’re dead, and none of it is true — it’s all an incredibly egregious distortion of what the paper actually says. I don’t know whether the ‘journalists’ were too stupid to comprehend the work, or they simply hadn’t read it so they were just making stuff up.

I read it, though. Here’s the summary:

Purpose of Review

Of the approximately 350,000 out-of-hospital, and 750,000 after in-hospital cardiac arrest (CA) events in the US annually approximately 5-9% and 20% respectively may achieve return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) after attempted cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Up to 2/3 of these initial survivors may go on die in the subsequent 24-72 hours after ROSC due to a combination of (1) on-going cerebral injury, (2) myocardial dysfunction and (3) massive systemic inflammatory response. In order to successfully manage patients more effectively, monitoring methods are needed to aid clinicians in the detection and quantification of intra-cardiac arrest and post-resuscitation pathophysiological cerebral injury processes in the intensive care unit.

Recent Findings

Over the last few years many modalities have been used for cerebral monitoring during and after CA, these include quantitative pupillometry, transcranial doppler sonography, optic nerve sheath diameter measurements, microdialysis, tissue oxygenation monitoring, intra-cranial pressure monitoring, and electroencephalography. Current studies indicate that these modalities may be used for the purpose of neurological monitoring during cardiac arrest resuscitation as well as in the post-resuscitation period.


Multiple overlapping processes, including alterations in cerebral blood flow (CBF), raised intracerebralpressure, disorders of metabolism, imbalanced oxygen delivery and reperfusion injury contribute to cell death during the post-resuscitation period has led to the birth of post-resuscitation management strategies in the 21st century. This review provides a succinct overview of currently available bedside invasive and non-invasive neuro-monitoring methods after CA.

The rest of the paper consists of fairly detailed descriptions of various techniques of assessing the neurological state of dying patients. What it’s saying is that death isn’t like flipping off a light switch — there’s a progression of physiological changes over a short period of time, some of them irreversible, and many of them contributing to problems in prognosis if the patient is successfully resuscitated. None of this is surprising.

Unfortunately, the lead investigator, Sam Parnia, babbles somewhat outside of the content of the paper about near-death experiences and unconscious patients being able to witness what’s going on around them and the usual bullshit wrapped around confabulation. None of that is in the paper, though! It is kind of sleazy: say defensible, sober things inside a peer-reviewed paper, and then make up crap and pretend it’s supported by scientific research by association.

Niraj S, Parnia S (2017) Monitoring the Brain After Cardiac Arrest: a New Era. Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports 17:62.

The Battle of Tollense Valley

Here’s an odd little article about some significant archaeological discoveries in Germany: the site of a major Bronze Age battle is being excavated in the Tollense Valley. On the order of 2000 men fought in it; radioisotope analysis reveals that the men came from a couple of distinct geographic areas, and that some of the fighters were presumably mercenaries. At least 130 men died — that’s the number of skeletons that have been dug up. It was a huge conflict, possibly over a nearby causeway, for its time, 3200 years ago.

Yet no one knows who these combatants were, or what they were fighting for, or even who won.

Just keep that in mind next time someone asks people to die for a cause.

Exposing Christian inanity is a life-long calling

You know what really annoys me about creationists? The unwarranted confidence in their beliefs; the smug and almost always incorrect dismissal of the evidence; and the ridiculous repetition. There isn’t an original thought in their heads, so every discussion turns into yet another refutation of the same stupid talking points we dealt with last week, last year, last decade. Here’s an example, a letter the the editor of the Argus Leader by Jeff Hambek. He’s complaining about a previous letter from a <gasp> atheist.

He stated that he does not believe in an afterlife. Since that cannot be scientifically proven, this is an element of faith. Is there a way to establish the truth regarding afterlife? For the free thinker, the well-documented life, death and resurrection of Jesus present plenty of evidence that there is a soul or being that remains after death of the body.

Hang on there, Mr Double Standard. You dismiss the idea that there is no afterlife, because it “cannot be scientifically proven”, yet you immediately turn around and claim that the Jesus myth is evidence of an afterlife. This is a lie. There is no scientific proof, to turn your claim against you, of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. There isn’t even any contemporary evidence. It’s a religious fable packed with miracles and magic written decades after the claimed events.

On the other hand, we do have good scientific evidence that the mind is a product of activity in the brain. Damage to the brain causes, for instance, personality changes. We don’t have any evidence of human minds functioning without a brain. It’s reasonable to infer that the self does not survive brain death, and that there is no mental activity when the brain rots down into a putrescent puddle.

Mr Hambek is just getting started, though, and launches into a criticism of the science of the origins of life, and quickly demonstrates that he has no idea what he’s talking about.

The atheist must also believe that life in the universe began as a happy accident. Science cannot prove this either.

Chance and necessity, guy. Early chemistry was a stochastic process that depended on random events that produced a predictable outcome. Chemistry is not a series of “happy accidents”.

Consider that the chemistry of the early earth was not favorable to formation of amino acids (per NASA).

Huh. That’s weird. We find amino acids in meteorites, for instance. The early Earth was not favorable for formation of stable compounds when it was molten, but once it cooled enough for water to condense, amino acids would have formed. That part isn’t hard.

Even if there were amino acids,

There were amino acids, no “if” about it.

it is against the statistical odds that these would spontaneously form life-sustaining proteins, since only some amino acids will work and other chemicals combine more readily with amino acids than other amino acids.

Isn’t organic chemistry fun?

This odds-based argument is bunk, though. It’s not about chance at all. It’s about likely chemical pathways that would have been present in the pre-biotic earth.

Even if there were the right proteins, they would have to combine with other chemicals in just the right way to form a cell wall. The cell wall would have to be in the right place at the right time and enclose itself around the instruction manual (DNA) and power plant (mitochondria) necessary for the cell to live.

Early cells would not have had DNA or mitochondria. Mitochondria evolved a bit over 2 billion years ago, about 2 billion years after life arose. It’s also unlikely that the first cells would have had a cell wall — a cell membrane would have been assembled some time after the first autocatalytic processes evolved, but even that wouldn’t have come first.

I’m going to guess that Mr Hambek hasn’t read one book or paper about origin of life models.

No one has a reasonable explanation of how those things came into being by themselves.

Incorrect. See below.

Even if that very first cell were formed, it is an incredible leap from there to a multi-celled organism, which requires finely-tuned and interlocking systems to intake and distribute sustenance and dispose of waste.

Multicellular organisms aren’t as big a leap as Mr Hambek thinks. We all still use the same metabolic and replicative processes that evolved in prokaryotes, and even the cell signaling mechanisms that we’ve elaborated upon to produce greater complexity are present in single-celled organisms.

Atheistic religion was easier back in Darwin’s day. With what we now know about the chemistry and machinery inside a cell, I cannot muster the level of faith required for this religion.

Oh god, here we go again — a religious believer using a claim that atheism is a religion as a pejorative, and using the same old slogans I’ve heard for forty years. Please learn a new routine.

I’m going to have to recommend some remedial reading for Mr Hambek. Here’s a paper on Early bioenergetic evolution by, among many others, Martin and Lane. It kinda contradicts a lot of his half-assed claims about the science.

Life is the harnessing of chemical energy in such a way that the energy-harnessing device makes a copy of itself. This paper outlines an energetically feasible path from a particular inorganic setting for the origin of life to the first free-living cells. The sources of energy available to early organic synthesis, early evolving systems and early cells stand in the foreground, as do the possible mechanisms of their conversion into harnessable chemical energy for synthetic reactions. With regard to the possible temporal sequence of events, we focus on: (i) alkaline hydrothermal vents as the far-from-equilibrium setting, (ii) the Wood–Ljungdahl (acetyl-CoA) pathway as the route that could have underpinned carbon assimilation for these processes, (iii) biochemical divergence, within the naturally formed inorganic compartments at a hydrothermal mound, of geochemically confined replicating entities with a complexity below that of free-living prokaryotes, and (iv) acetogenesis and methanogenesis as the ancestral forms of carbon and energy metabolism in the first free-living ancestors of the eubacteria and archaebacteria, respectively. In terms of the main evolutionary transitions in early bioenergetic evolution, we focus on: (i) thioester-dependent substrate-level phosphorylations, (ii) harnessing of naturally existing proton gradients at the vent–ocean interface via the ATP synthase, (iii) harnessing of Na+ gradients generated by H+/Na+ antiporters, (iv) flavin-based bifurcation-dependent gradient generation, and finally (v) quinone-based (and Q-cycle-dependent) proton gradient generation. Of those five transitions, the first four are posited to have taken place at the vent. Ultimately, all of these bioenergetic processes depend, even today, upon CO2 reduction with low-potential ferredoxin (Fd), generated either chemosynthetically or photosynthetically, suggesting a reaction of the type ‘reduced iron → reduced carbon’ at the beginning of bioenergetic evolution.

Chemistry ain’t a religion, OK?

That paper might be too technical for someone who gets his ‘facts’ out of a Bible, so here’s a less complicated discussion of some possible 4 billion year old fossils.

Discovered in slices of rock recovered from northern Quebec, the microscopic metallic detritus—plus chemical signatures associated with ancient metabolisms—could push back the date at which life arose on Earth. If verified, these fossils would surpass 3.7-billion-year-old microbial mats found in Greenland as the oldest known traces of life.

The microfossils also lend support to the idea that the warm, watery, mineral-rich neighborhoods around submerged vents are prime places for life to emerge, whether on this planet, on the seafloors of icy moons, or elsewhere in the universe.

Scientists seem to think the emergence of life is probable, not just a “happy accident”. But who are you going to believe, a bunch of people who’ve studied chemistry and biology for years, or some random Christian doofus from South Dakota who doesn’t even realize that not all cells have mitochondria?