Jesus has an M16

Forget the Sermon on the Mount. Forget the Golden Rule. Turning the other cheek? That’s for sissies. Real Christians are militaristic thugs.

This is what happens when you build your beliefs on a foundation of nonsense, and refuse to examine it critically—you end up as willing prey to the next evil, bullying creep willing to lie to you.

No genes were lost in the making of this whale


I just learned (via John Lynch) about a paper on cetacean limbs that combines developmental biology and paleontology, and makes a lovely argument about the mechanisms behind the evolution of whale morphology. It is an analysis of the molecular determinants of limb formation in modern dolphins, coupled to a comparison of fossil whale limbs, and a reasonable inference about the pattern of change that was responsible for their evolution.

One important point I’d like to make is that even though what we see in the morphology is a pattern of loss—whale hindlimbs show a historical progression over tens of millions of years of steady loss, followed by a near-complete disappearance—the molecular story is very different. The main players in limb formation, the genes Sonic hedgehog (Shh), the Fgfs, and the transcription factor Hand2, are all still present and fully functional in these animals. What has happened, though, is that there have been novel changes to their regulation. Even loss of structures is a consequence of changes and additions to regulatory pathways.

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Don’t worry, Skeptico

It seems that Skeptico has a copy cat—a guy who goes around posting under the name Skeptico, and who has started a blog of his own at—but I don’t think anyone will confuse the two. This new Skeptico is an evolution denier and global warming denier, and is your typical run-of-the-mill dumbass reactionary. He’s more of an anti-Skeptico…no, a mini-anti-Skeptico.

I took a look at the work of the pseudo-Skeptico, and was surprised at his ignorance.

Well, it so happens that I am quite new to the ID-EVO debate, indeed to ID literature itself (although the controversy has intrigued me for many years). I’ve just only recently finished Behe’s “Darwin’s Black Box.” This whole intriguing field of microbiological complexity, replete with innumerable individual irreducible complexities, is very fascinating. And I am sure that not a few level-headed people, upon reading that book, must have thought it nothing short of a succinct and irrefutable refutation of neo-Darwinism. For, indeed, that is precisely what it is.

Nevertheless, how many hardcore Darwinists will change their positions as a result? Few, I daresay. Very few. Because, at the end of the day, to relinquish this cherished theory requires an act of will that unavoidably involves a whole phalanx of personal vested interests with philosophical, moral, religious, teleological, and most emphatically social ramifications (friends could be lost, you see, or maybe even a mentor). “Science”–howsoever many times that encumbered shiboleth be invoked, howsoever sanctimoniously, howsoever shrilly and desperately–is not the issue here. Not for them. Not for the believer. Not now. Not ever.

There’s an admission that he’s new to the debate, and has only just now read Behe’s crappy little book, and now he thinks the debate is all over. He expects, though, that scientists will refuse to give up their tired old ideas because, unlike him, they aren’t open-minded and are tied up in the establishment. Everything he says is wrong. The book is not irrefutable; quite the contrary, I know a few biologists who have read it (not many, though, since the book’s cheesy reputation precedes it), and they remain unconverted because the science in the book is badly done. Irreducible complexity is a crock. Behe’s testimony in Dover was a farce. His attempts to ‘disprove’ evolution since have been laughable.

The science is against him, which makes that last paragraph I quoted above a fascinating example of creationist projection.