It’s been three years since I visited Washington state, and Kerry of Federal Way just had to make me homesick by sending photos from the West Coast Chainsaw Carving Competition. I’ve been there before! It’s fun and noisy.
It’s just as well I didn’t go this year: I would not have been able to resist this.
I don’t think it would have fit in an overhead storage bin, either.
Since it is the Fourth of July, it seems only right to post something from the Revolution. Our reading for the day is the Age of Reason, by that fierce freethinking firebrand, Thomas Paine.
All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.
I do not mean by this declaration to condemn those who believe otherwise; they have the same right to their belief as I have to mine. But it is necessary to the happiness of man, that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving; it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe.
It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society. When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind, as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe, he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime. He takes up the trade of a priest for the sake of gain, and in order to qualify himself for that trade, he begins with a perjury. Can we conceive any thing more destructive to morality than this?
Of course, Paine died abandoned and spurned by the Republic he had inspired for these views…if deists could have a martyr, here he is.
I’m going to go fire up the grill in a little while, so here’s something for those of you not yet doing the traditional Fourth of July thing to chew on…a tasty scrap of the kind of email I get.
EVOLUTION IS ENTIRELY
BASIC MECHANISMS SAID TO BE DRIVING EVOLUTION ARE ENTIRELY INADEQUATE,UTTERLY
INCAPABLE OF PRODUCING NOVEL KARYOTYPES,NOVEL FEATURES,NOVEL
PHYLOGENIES ARE TOTALLY INCOMPATIBLE WITH
KARYOTYPES;2)THERE IS NO MECHANISM TO GENERATE NOVEL
KARYOTYPES THAT ARE FERTILE(meiosis,homology,synapsis,centromeres etc.); MEIOSIS
CASTRATES EVOLUTION BY FAILING TO PROCEED IF ANY CHROMOSOMES FAIL TO PAIR
UP WITH HOMOLOGOUS PARTNERS.SEXUALLY REPRODUCIBLE KARYOTYPES THEREBY
FIXED!EVOLUTIONARY PROGRESSION OF CHROMOSOME NUMBERS IS TOTALLY INCOMPATIBLE
WITH THE MECHANISMS OF MEIOSIS.
“Wha…,” you may be saying as you taste that little sample. He goes on and on, though, in some of the most ghastly html ever. I’ve stripped out quite a bit here; if you really want to see the whole incredible indigestible thing, I’ve sequestered it and put it in a separate file you can view (no way am I pasting it intact here—the formatting would almost certainly scramble the page. I know for sure there are unbalanced div tags in it.)
Click on this link to see the whole crazy rant in a new window.
My eyes glazed over and I scrolled quickly through the whole mess—although the section where alternate letters of his screed were in different colors did briefly catch my eye—to his closing babble.
In the beginning was the LOGOS and the LOGOS was
with the THEOS.All things came into being through him and without him not even
one thing came into being.Evolutionism is a pseudo-religion masquerading as
science.The science of evolution is defectiveEVOLUTION HAS BEEN UNEQUIVOCALLY DISPROVEN BY
FACTS!THE ONLY LOGICAL CONCLUSION IS THAT SPECIES DID NOT
ORIGINATE BY EVOLUTION.
origin,compare Old Norse blunda ‘to close one’s eyes’ ,Norwegian
dialect blundra ; see BLIND
P.S.if you have noticed any factual errors in
this presentation please inform me of them
Well. Factual errors? Sure, I noticed a few. So I sent him a one-liner back that said his whole premise was in error, and included a link that shows karyotype variation occurs all the time.
It was a mistake, as you’ll all tell me now. He’s since sent me two more letters insisting that I’m all wrong and that I’m trying to “intimidate” him “with typical evolutionary bluster.”
I’m not going to bother with him, but since he’s feeling like he now has permission to pester me, I’m going to let you have fun with him instead. You can email him at email@example.com. Be nice, but show no mercy. Watch out, though…he throws a mean word salad, and he won’t shut up.
I think I’d rather go fix some steaks and chicken breasts and corn on the cob.
By the way, he claims to be a “medical practitioner.” I’m guessing, oh, chiropractor. Or maybe an iridologist or reflexologist.
You can ignore the gushy science-groupie parts of this post (it just makes me blush, and wonder where all these girls were when I was single*), but the movie—which is on a completely different topic altogether—but the imbedded movie is hilarious.
*It was so long ago, they probably hadn’t even been conceived yet, I know. It’s OK, though, I found my science groupie, and I only really needed one.
You know, I really can’t stand George Gilder. He’s one of those pompous poseurs who pretends to be a fan of science and technology, yet whenever he opens his mouth you discover that he doesn’t know jack about the subject. I’ve excoriated Gilder before (a whuppin’ so cruel that Gilder’s daughter and then Gilder himself showed up in the comments to complain, and he was still publicly complaining about his brutal mistreatment a year later), but now he’s back with yet another rambling whimper about evolution.
Here I am, in the upper midwest, and I still haven’t made it to the Field Museum in Chicago—Chicago is just far enough away that I can’t quite make the trip, and it’s close enough that it doesn’t sound at all exotic. I just have to rely on other people’s accounts. (I’ve also noticed that Megatherium is a spectacular specimen.)
The picture says it all, doesn’t it?
Well, maybe not everything. There’s lots that could be said, but personally, I find it hard to get much beyond shocked silence.
Can we please take our country back from the christianists soon?