Don’t blame America! We’re not ruining the coronation!

The coronation of King Charles will take place in May. Some grifters see the teeming crowds going to the event as an opportunity, and are planning to attend. Now I have zero interest in royal shenanigans, but I think it’s fine if the people of England have a big party, and I certainly wouldn’t dream of disrupting it, so I don’t want us Americans to get the blame for a particular stupid bunch of party-crashers.

Ken Ham (Australian) and Ray Comfort (New Zealand) are teaming up to print these One Million Pound fake banknotes — they’ve printed 3 million of them — for evangelists to hand out at the coronation.

This is a tired old Ray Comfort schtick. The notes are worth nothing, less than nothing since they’re garbage, and are tedious old gospel tracts. For years, you’ve been able to buy these worthless tracts from Living Waters — here’s an American version.

Servers will be able to tell you that some Christians love to leave these as tips at their restaurant table. You can imagine how galling that would be.

Now these obnoxious twits are going to London with a gigantic pile of tracts to scatter. They are practically salivating at the opportunity — in this video, they are first excited about the size of the crowds at Queen Elizabeth’s funeral, and then cut to scenes from Elizabeth’s coronation. It’s a religious ceremony! It’s in a church! There are jewels and gold and pageantry!

Ray and Ken imagine that their cheap-ass cheesy old-timey tent-revival act will blend right in, and they’ll be welcomed by the crowds attending an Anglican ceremony, and that they’ll get hordes of converts by passing out pieces of paper with inane conservative Christian apologetics printed on them.

I think that at best what they’ll get is some deeply annoyed people offended by this foreign intrusion on their reverently observed historical tradition, and at worst they’re going to meet some hooligans who will make a strong response to their efforts. It could get ugly. I don’t think they’ll get to meet any royalty, but maybe a truncheon or Piers Morgan.

Hey, if anyone should get one of these, send it to me!

Mawwiage!

Ken Ham is irate about another thing: kids today are cohabiting! They aren’t sufficiently dedicated to marriage!

We certainly do live in a very secularized culture. The once-Christianized veneer (the Judeo-Christian ethic based on biblical morality) has worn off, and secularism and moral relativism have taken its place. And study after study just continues to confirm how secular this nation really has become. For example, according to a new study, nearly 80%—almost 8 in 10—of US teenagers (15–19 years old) “expect to cohabit before marriage.”

What’s wrong with that? Be happy together, I say. Who are you, Ken Ham, to tell others how to live their lives? I know, you’ve got your holy book, but that book doesn’t seem to be a very good guide to living well. He can claim some experience with marriage, at least.

Mally and I will celebrate 50 years of marriage this December. I am so thankful for a wife who has been one with me in the ministry God called us to. Without her, the ministry of AiG would not be where it is today or even exist. I can honestly say we love each other more than ever. And what is the core factor for a stable marriage? Having a third “partner”: the Lord Jesus Christ.

I know ol’ Ken doesn’t understand elementary logic, but I can say that Having a third “partner”: the Lord Jesus Christ isn’t actually a core factor in a stable marriage. I’ve been happily married and in a strong relationship for 42 years now, and so far, Jesus has not horned in even once. We’d be horrified and kick him out if he tried to crawl into bed with us, the creep.

This is not to suggest that being married for a long time confers some special virtue on a couple. People can grow apart. One partner can be an intolerable jerk. There are many reasons why a marriage might break up, and it’s better to separate than to live in miserable company. Also, I should note that there are marriages that Kenny boy disapproves of, such as same-sex marriages, that bring joy to people’s lives and can last a long time, and some of them also have Jesus in the relationship, and some don’t. Some even have Allah dancing with them in their imagination! It’s all good. You really don’t need a third partner…although, uh-oh, some marriages actually do involve three or more actual physical flesh-and-blood people.

Logic isn’t going to persuade him, I’m afraid. How about revelation? When I was reading his hateful post, a song popped up on my playlist, as if by a miracle. It sounds relevant.

This is how it works
You’re young until you’re not
You love until you don’t
You try until you can’t
You laugh until you cry
You cry until you laugh
And everyone must breathe
Until their dyin’ breath

No, this is how it works
You peer inside yourself
You take the things you like
Then try to love the things you took

And then you take that love you made
And stick it into some
Someone else’s heart
Pumpin’ someone else’s blood

And walking arm in arm
You hope it don’t get harmed
But even if it does
You’ll just do it all again, and…

Jesus told me that you should listen to it, Ken Ham, and take it to heart.

Things you never knew about water

I think I poisoned my brain on Sunday reading these claims about different phases of water. Or, at least, I poisoned my Google algorithms because now this crap keeps gurgling up.

Here’s one that’s so over-the-top it was almost amusing, except that it’s a commercial site using ludicrous claims about biology to sell miracle water.

Dr. Gerald Pollack is a biomedical engineering research scientist from the University of Washington that discovered a new state of water beyond liquid, solid and vapor. H3O2, sometimes called gel water, structured water or exclusion zone water (EZ water), is in between a solid and a liquid. An extra hydrogen molecule and an extra oxygen molecule make it silkier than H2O. This matters because that 70 – 90% you’ve heard about in your body is actually H3O2. That’s why water doesn’t come gushing out of you like a hose if you get a cut. Your cells are full of the thicker, H3O2.

Oooh, silkier. How do they measure that? Also cool that they think I’d turn into a firehose if I only contained normal water.

Water in nature is naturally structured even though you can’t see any form in it. At a molecular level, under a microscope water has shapes that are organized in geometric patterns. Spring water, waterfalls and glaciers are structured. And the water in fruits and vegetables is naturally structured. What Dr. Gerald Pollack has revealed to us is that if we want to get our bodies into alignment with nature and health, we need to be thinking about hydration with structured water.

Yes. Put water under a microscope and you’ll be able to see the geometric patterns. I guess it’s supposed to look like this:

If your water looks nothing like that, you can buy a tube full of quartz crystals that will structure your tap water for the low, low, low price of only $1799.

Man, this is an amazing racket.

One way to be Less Wrong is to avoid faulty premises

While I was digging into the question of who this Gilbert Ling character was, I ran into lots of sources that didn’t make the final cut. Unfortunately, most of those sources were from fringe or unsavory places — I did check my collection of textbooks, too, and nowhere does he get any mention. So it’s down into the sewers after all! Like this article on Less Wrong.

The Association-Induction hypothesis formulated by Gilbert Ling is an alternate view of cell function, which suggests a distinct functional role of energy within the cell. I won’t review it in detail here, but you can find an easy to understand and comprehensive introduction to this hypothesis in the book “Cells, Gels and the Engines of Life” by Gerald H. Pollack. This idea has a long history with considerable experimental evidence, which is too extensive to review in this article.

No, it has a 70 year history all centered on the long-winded writings of a single crackpot. There is no experimental evidence for any of it other than the willful distortions of one Gilbert Ling. Pollack is utterly batty, and not a credible source.

Worse still, this guy is using Ling’s theories as a starting point for discussing how we can use this information to potentially increase IQ.

So this suggests a ‘systems biology’ approach to cognitive enhancement. It’s necessary to consider how metabolism is regulated, and what substrates it requires. To raise intelligence in a safe and effective way, all of these substrates must have increased availability to the neuron, in appropriate ratios.

I am always leery of drawing analogies between brains and computers but this approach to cognitive enhancement is very loosely analogous to over-clocking a CPU. Over-clocking requires raising both the clock rate, and the energy availability (voltage). In the case of the brain, the effective ‘clock rate’ is controlled by hormones (primarily triiodothyronine aka T3), and energy availability is provided by glucose and other nutrients.

Oh god. Nerds discussing overly simplistic analogies between brains and computers always makes me leery, too, so just stop already. Especially when your ‘over-clocking’ idea is built on a bogus model of cellular metabolism that has been known to be wrong for the entirety of its “long history”.

I know I started this by dissing the Less Wrong forum, but I will say that, to their credit, most of the commenters were tearing that article apart.

Would you debate a creationist for a bottle of Thunderbird and a pack of cigs?

Jesus fuck, but I despise the debate cultists. The most ignorant, unpleasant, dishonest people seem to have adopted this grift: set up a YouTube channel, find some over-confident idiot spoiling for a fight, invite rather more qualified people to get into hours and hours of argument, and then sit back and rake in the pennies from YouTube. You don’t need to know anything to set up a debate channel, and in fact, most of the ones I see are run by creationists and flat-earthers and other such loons.

It’s basically a digital bum fight. It’s despicable.

I guess a lot of people are catching on, though, and are refusing to play that game. The organizers are getting desperate, because there’s a challenge going around demanding that people debate Kent Hovind or…a creationist will call them chicken. They’re reverting to childish schoolyard behavior.

Any evolutionist (PhD and non-PhD) who turns down the challenge will be added to a list of those unwilling to defend evolution in a live debate.

All we require is a “yes or no”. If our challenge goes unanswered or ignored (after an extended period of time), your name will be added to the list.

Oh no. If you refuse to dignify ol’ Kent with a debate, your name will go on a list. That ought to send a chill down your spine…not. I am amused that you can get put on this list by simply ignoring Hovind, because that means 99% of the scientific community ought to be on the list of shame.

Since this challenge has been prolific and has also comprised some of the biggest debates on the topic, we understand that most evolutionist YouTubers are more than aware of this challenge. Therefore, those who ignore the challenge, and ignore our emails, or comments, will be added to the list. If an evolutionist name is on the list who steps up to take the challenge, their name will immediately be removed.

Hmm. How can a challenge be “prolific”? I don’t think he understands the word.

He also overstates the importance of these debates. They’re on YouTube, which lets anyone yammer on at ridiculous length. Arguing with idiots might, in some limited cases, be useful for educating bystanders, but no, it’s not going to have any important consequences for evolutionary theory. I’m sure a lot of YouTubers are aware of the chucklefucks ranting in odd corners of the web, but they’re more a target of derision and amusement.

Who is the author of this challenge? It’s Donny B, a used car salesman with no education in science and a remarkably inflated opinion of himself. He portrays himself as a superhero and as fair, sophisticated, and professional, when he is none of those things. He is a clueless moron. But you knew that already, since he worships Kent Hovind.

For those who have adamantly turned down the challenge with unconvincing excuses will be added to the list. Those that refuse the challenge due to the platform it is held on (Standing For Truth Ministries) will also be added to the list. Standing For Truth Ministries has hosted and moderated over 200+ debates. Donny B (who is the main host and moderator for debates) ensures a fair, sophisticated, and professional debate atmosphere. Evolutionists who refuse to debate on a fair platform (such as Aron Ra) with a demand to debate on one of their atheist dominated channels will also be added to the list. We don’t want evolutionist excuses–we want results! This is why all we require is an either “yes or no”. We do not necessarily need your reasons for why you refused the challenge.
NOTE to extra-sensitive evolutionists: the point of a challenge is that you take the challenge and debate according to the challenge requirements (moderated by Standing For Truth Ministries, equally timed, one topic at a time, civil, and professional). Therefore, those that refuse to take the challenge due to an unreasonable excuse (such as a disliking of the debate requirements) will be looked at as refusing the challenge.

The rest of the document is a hideously formatted list of people who refused or ignored challenges to waste time with Kent Hovind. It’s not even a useful list of interesting evolutionists, because browsing it reveals that it contains a peculiar mix of big names in popular science that he’ll never get, some good science communicators, horrible obnoxious people, and obscure lay people who really don’t have the chops to debate science. Donny B is really trawling the scum in the sewage pond, near as I can tell, eager to feed his channel and Hovind’s ego with anyone who will talk to him.

The list is such a mixed bag that I can’t feel anything about the fact that I didn’t make the cut. That’s right, I’m not on it, despite loudly and repeatedly telling Hovind to go piss up a rope when he’s asked to debate me; he even tried to arrange debate with me from prison, for when he got out, and I turned him down (worse, I told him he’d have to split the revenues from any such debate with me, and he balked immediately).

Maybe I didn’t get on the list because Hovind repeatedly claimed that he had debated me, and won, of course, so maybe thinks I stepped up to take the challenge. I didn’t. You shouldn’t either. No one escapes from a bumfight with their dignity intact.

Kent & Matt got nothin’

Kent Hovind recycled a video titled Aronra, Professor Dave, & PZ Meyers get OWNED by Kent Hovind’s Assistant, originally posted by Matt Powell as AronRa & his minions vs. Matt Powell (no link, sorry, they’ve received enough attention). It’s the same damn argument he’s been making for months: They said we didn’t come from rocks, but I found an article I don’t understand that says we did come from rocks. Sorry, guy, no phylogeny includes “rocks” in the tree of life. There is no line of descent from “rocks”. We’re all made of carbon, that does not imply that in the distant past there was a Mama Anthracite that spawned a little family of coal lumps that then led to us. I’ve pointed this out to him before, and he paid as much attention to that as he did to the spelling of my name.

What’s depressing about that is how intellectually bankrupt these guys are. Powell has three arguments he makes over and over again, that he thinks are clever: scientists think we evolved from rocks, scientists think squid came from comets, scientists think dinosaurs farted themselves to death. All wrong. I guess that’s better than Hovind, who has one: incredulously stating that you think you’re related to a mosquito. At least Hovind’s assertion is factually correct.

Wealth and fame make you stupid

That’s the conclusion I draw from the words of the wealthy and famous. Elon Musk was doing a fine job of demonstrating that he was a brainless twit all by himself, but now his ex-partner Grimes has chipped in.

Maybe it’s just religion that screws them up, because she also said this:

Religions are something con artists invent, so I’ll take that as a confession.

I don’t think someone who makes up an experimental polytheistic religion is going to be welcome with young earth creationists like Ken Ham. You never know, though — they may share a common interest in the art of the grift.