Wells: “Darwinism is Doomed” because we keep making progress

There are days when I simply cannot believe how dishonest the scoundrels at the Discovery Institute can be. This is one of them. I just read an essay by Jonathan Wells that is an appalling piece of anti-scientific propaganda, an extremely squirrely twisting of some science news. It’s called “Why Darwinism is doomed”, and trust me, if you read it, your opinion of Wells will drop another notch. And here you thought it was already in the gutter!

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I consider myself an adventurous eater, BUT…

I have to draw the line somewhere.

The dish in front of me is grey and shiny.

“Russian dog,” says my waitress Nancy.

“Big dog,” I reply.

“Yes,” she says. “Big dog’s penis…”

We are in a cosy restaurant in a dark street in Beijing but my appetite seems to have gone for a stroll outside.

Nancy has brought out a whole selection of delicacies.

They are draped awkwardly across a huge platter, with a crocodile carved out of a carrot as the centrepiece.

Nestling beside the dog’s penis are its clammy testicles, and beside that a giant salami-shaped object.

“Donkey,” says Nancy. “Good for the skin…”

I’m sorry, but butchering random animals, sometimes endangered animals, for the purpose of consuming arbitrary small bits of their anatomy because of a perceived magical benefit…no, thanks. Besides, if driving a big car is a sign of a tiny penis, I suspect anyone caught needing to consume a tiger’s erectile organ is deeply inadequate, not just in the crotch, but the brain as well.

A devil’s catechism

My review of Dawkins’ The God Delusion(amzn/b&n/abe/pwll) (currently at #4 on Amazon’s bestseller list!) is in the latest issue of Seed, which showed up at my door while I was flying out East. They changed my suggested title, which I’ve at least used on this article, in favor of the simpler “Bad Religion”. You could always buy the magazine to read it, but I’ll give you a little taste of what I thought.

Oh, yeah…Seed does that nice plus of having an artist render a portrait of the author, so there’s also a picture, artfully ruggedized and made much more attractive than I am in reality. Not that I’m complaining.

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Squid Hox genes



It’s April (not anymore—it’s September as I repost this), it’s Minnesota, and it’s snowing here (not yet, but soon enough). On days like this (who am I fooling? Every day!), my thoughts turn to spicy, garlicky delicacies and warm, sunny days on a lovely tropical reef—it’s a squiddy day, in other words, and I’ve got a double-dose of squidblogging on this Friday afternoon, with one article on the vampire squid, Vampyroteuthis infernalis, and this one, on squid evolution and cephalopod Hox genes.

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Paul Nelson in Norway

A reader sent along a few notes on Paul Nelson’s grand tour of Norway—I’ve got to say that his strategy and his talk sounds awfully familiar, right down to the vacuous thought-experiments and god-praising screen-saver that conveniently kicked in during the Q&A. Most significantly, the Norwegian audience of scientists had little patience for his nonsensical arguments, just like our audience of students.

I really wonder how Nelson gets these travel invitations. Did the Scandinavian creationist groups pay his expenses, or is the Discovery Institute funding his missionary work? I think I need some atheist organization sugar daddy to front my junkets to Trondheim and other exotic locales in my ancestral homeland—I’d willingly go into a Norwegian church to lecture on godless evilution and get hammered on by the fundies if it meant I got to visit some interesting people and places.

The summary of his talk (in English, you’ll be relieved to know) is below the fold.

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