Pharyngula

Todd Wood teaches a creationism course at a bible college, and he has a creationism blog. He has one of the most promising introductions to his way of thinking ever.

Anyone who knows me at all knows that I break down creationist biology into four main components: design, natural evil, systematics, speciation, and biogeography.

That sentence alone is just a marvel.

Read the whole thing, though, and you’ll laugh and laugh. He tries to justify all those “well-designed” predators like venomous snakes, and all he’s got is the usual creationist answer to all those nasty critters. The Fall. The Curse. God had to do an amazing redesign act after Eve bit that apple.

I may have to check into that blog now and then for the comic relief.

Comments

  1. #1 Hockey Bob
    March 12, 2009

    That sentence was so insipid, it made you forget to close a tag!

  2. #2 Azkyroth
    March 12, 2009

    There are three kinds of creationists: those who can count, and those who can’t.

    (How is he about closing blockquote tags, though?)

  3. #3 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 12, 2009

    Typo formatting Police.

    I’m going to have to write you up.

  4. #4 Elwood Herring
    March 12, 2009

    “Natural evil” – as opposed to the artificial stuff I presume.

    And with that I’ve actually managed to get a post in before #100 for a change!

  5. #5 Nomen Nescio
    March 12, 2009

    interesting; when an italics tag is left open, the remainder of the blog page is italicized, but a blockquote is automatically closed at the end of the post. you’d think there’d be an automatic close-all-open-tags function in effect at every post boundary, but if there is, it’s apparently unreliable. the underlying code must be a mess.

  6. #6 Eidolon
    March 12, 2009

    My – that’s amazingly stupid. Not surprising, but really stupid.

  7. #7 Unstable Isotope
    March 12, 2009

    I think that all the crazy letters from creationists have affected P.Z. He’s starting to write in Comic Sans.

  8. #8 JD
    March 12, 2009

    You comic-sansed yourself. Oops. I hope it washes off.

    Reading that would make me drop his class. Immediately. Even if I agreed with his stupidity, if he thinks five is four, imagine his grading scale!

  9. #9 Shekar
    March 12, 2009

    Aha! He fixed it!! That was fast…

  10. #10 Citizen Z
    March 12, 2009

    Typo formatting Police.

    I’m going to have to write you up.

    I knew it. Darwinism leads to Grammar Nazism.

  11. #11 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 12, 2009

    One of these days, I hope our research at CORE will help us to better understand where predators come from.

    Um, yeah. Good luck with that buddy.

    Check out the real official sciency picture of cool technical real life microscopy thing.

    I bet that get’s a lot of use at CORE.

  12. #12 AJ Milne
    March 12, 2009

    …Our chief weapon is surprise, surprise and fear… fear and surprise…

    …Our two weapons…

    /Mandatory

  13. #13 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 12, 2009

    Oh nice. Check out CORE’s research page. Click the links.

    It’s full of “teh funny”.

  14. #14 Copernic
    March 12, 2009

    To pull from a previous post of mine….

    What does a non-carnivorous tiger look like? Without the teeth, claws, and forward-facing eyes w/ binocular vision of a carnivore? Without the stripes and crouching & stalking instincts of an ambush predator? Without the rudder-action tail and incredible speed used for pursuit of prey. Without the digestive track of a meat-eater? Or, in other words, not a tiger.

    What a bummer for Adam. He spent all this time naming millions of species of animals, only to have them transmogrify after his ejection. Would he even have bothered to start naming them again?

  15. #15 Sven DIMilo
    March 12, 2009

    Dr. Wood has a BS in Biology from (wait for it) Liberty University, and a PhD in Biochemistry from…the University of Virginia!?

  16. #16 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 12, 2009

    My link skills are the funny

    CORE’s research page

  17. #17 Mena
    March 12, 2009

    Is anyone surprised that you can’t leave comments?

  18. #18 Ian
    March 12, 2009

    PZ: “God had to do an amazing redesign act after Eve bit that apple.”

    But, he should have known he was going to have to do it, because he is omnipotent and therefore must have known A&E would sin…

    He could have saved himself a lot of work just by starting us out as sinners in the first place, because it was an inevitability.

  19. #19 raven
    March 12, 2009

    Anyone who knows me at all knows that I break down creationist biology into four main components: design, natural evil, systematics, speciation, and biogeography.

    Guy can’t even count. He breaks Gibberish down in 4 components.

    Then he lists “design, natural evil, systematics, speciation, and biogeography.” That is 5 components.

  20. #20 Felix
    March 12, 2009

    I read his post there. In short, he has no clue about anything, but nevertheless he’s confident at educating people about it in a real life ‘college’ setting, and to conduct further research. Why would he need to do that? If I know the end point, the purpose and the starting point as well as the designer of something, why would I need research other than asking the guy how he made it? And that’s the point Todd (deliberately?) ignores: he claims but doesn’t really believe that he has a way to contact the guy, or get any reliable information from or about him by using faith-based methods. Since he doesn’t have the slightest clue about scientific methods either, he doesn’t even know where to start. All he has is the hope to get started on doing some research someday in some way or another. Which is what his post concludes with.
    Recap: Whaa? Howzat? God. Huh? Must true. Dunno. Sumfink. Later.

  21. #21 tweetbirtietweet386sx
    March 12, 2009

    I know it sounds silly, but every time I see the word “baramin” I think it looks like “barimoron”. Yes, it’s silly, I know.

  22. #22 Zeno
    March 12, 2009

    I see that Mr. Wood likes the word “baramin”, which is a fancy creationist neologism for “created kinds”. Since microevolution is okay but macroevolution is a satanic delusion, creationists like to insist on the stability of “kinds”. (Dogs may evolve, but they’re still dogs, always and ever.) That’s a reference to Genesis, in which God supposedly says, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind.” The word “kind” appears over and over again in the KJV, but it’s not a good word for pretending to do science. Hence the coinage “baramin” and “barminology.” You see those words, you’re seeing creationist stuff, all puffed up to look like science.

  23. #23 Sven DIMilo
    March 12, 2009

    From the Rev’s link, the abstract of Dr. Wood’s latest publication:

    Animal and Plant Baramins
    Todd Charles Wood
    November 7, 2008
    Abstract
    To increase the number of identified holobaramins, 63 character sets from 61 different groups of animals and plants were examined using baraminic distance correlation and multidimensional scaling. Forty holobaramins and twelve monobaramins were identified. With previously published work, these new groups bring the totals to 49 holobaramins and 57 monobaramins. Newly identified holobaramins include the first arthropod, fern, and annelid holobaramins. The species counts for the 49 holobaramins are log normally distributed, and a complex model of post-Flood diversification that includes exponential growth, exponential changes in carrying capacity, and exponential decay in diversification rate is proposed to account for this. Despite the increased size of the database of holobaramins, it remains unclear what kind of characters should be used to recognize holobaramins. Several of the newly-identified holobaramins will have important implications in other areas of creationist biology, including natural evil and diversification.

  24. #24 Kimpatsu
    March 12, 2009

    @Citizen Z:
    We’re not grammar Nazis; we’re orthorgraphy commandos!

  25. #25 allkom
    March 12, 2009

    [quote="Todd Wood"]One of these days, I hope our research at CORE will help us to better understand where predators come from. [/quote]

    Err.. I think reading some very basic book on evolutionary biology would help to speed things up. Then again, I suppose their “research” is limited to scriptures, and that surely will somewhat delay it.

  26. #26 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 12, 2009

    I know it sounds silly, but every time I see the word “baramin” I think it looks like “barimoron”. Yes, it’s silly, I know.

    honestly, I had to look it up.

    It makes it all much much funnier.

  27. #27 Chiroptera
    March 12, 2009

    I want to major in Natural Evil!

  28. #28 Daenyx
    March 12, 2009

    I’m still fuzzy on the whole “evil” concept – whether natural or not. O.o

    In my understanding of Christian theology, “sin” is defined as an act of separation from/resistance to the will of the Big Guy in the Sky. Evil is… sin, or close to it, I’d assume. But wasn’t the special thing about humans that they COULD sin because they had a choice as to whether or not they obeyed God? Animals never got to make that choice, so are (I think) incapable of sin. So how can they be evil? And even if they were somehow evil without freedom of choice, why would God make purely “evil” creatures?

    Then of course that leads into the whole “what the fuck is Satan, anyway?” question, since if God is good and all-powerful, it doesn’t exactly make sense that he lets Satan hang around making an ass of himself.

    I’d respect fundamentalist Christians a lot more if they were at least consistent about their crazy ideas.

  29. #29 Ryan Egesdahl
    March 12, 2009

    @Azkyroth #2: Aw, damnit! I wanted to do that one! Ah, well – good get.

    But just remember, there are two types of people in the world: those who divide people into groups and those who don’t.

  30. #30 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 12, 2009

    Oh seriously. Please.

    You all must go here and download the PDF of “How to build Noah’s Ark”

    Here’s a taste.

    If you think about it, that?s not a lot of detail. How many rooms would be necessary? Should this Ark be shaped like a ship or just a big barge? How big should the door be? What about that window? What does ?finish it to a cubit from above? mean? How should the space be divided? How much space should be set aside for Noah and family? How much for the animals? How much for the provisions? How would the Ark be lit? How would it be ventilated? What would they do with all the animal dung?
    These kinds of questions might seem impertinent when faced with the commands of God, but let?s face it: If Noah was to build a sea-worthy vessel to actually save people and animals from the Flood, he would need a bit more detail than these brief verses. Did God answer all these questions as miraculously as His first revelation to Noah? The Bible doesn?t say. Maybe He did; maybe He didn?t. Noah eventually figured out all of these problems, though, because if he hadn?t, we wouldn?t be here wondering about it.

    I need to refill my Makers on the rocks after that… and get a rag to clean my monitor.

  31. #31 BlueIndependent
    March 12, 2009

    I count 5 parts. Todd Wood = MATH FAIL

  32. #32 Josh
    March 12, 2009

    I want to major in Natural Evil!

    Ha. Fuck–that’s what I did major in.

  33. #33 'Tis Himself
    March 12, 2009

    Ian #18

    he should have known he was going to have to do it, because he is omnipotent and therefore must have known A&E would sin [emphasis added]

    Omnipotence is the ability to do anything.* Knowing everything is omniscience.

    *Notice I do not mention anything about eating incredibly hot burritos. Wild horses couldn’t drag that out of me. Kill me a hundred times, I will not discuss whether an omnipotent being can microwave a burrito so hot that he can’t eat it. My lips are sealed, my fingers are superglued to my ears.

  34. #34 Rey Fox
    March 12, 2009

    “One of these days, I hope our research at CORE will help us to better understand where predators come from.”

    Better understand? They come from GOD. GAAAAAAAWD. Are you trying to figure God out? Trying to second-guess him? I don’t think the Big G likes that. Step away from the microscope and no one gets hurt.

  35. #35 Jaycubed
    March 12, 2009

    I wonder how he justifies his Belief that:

    “Prov. 25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal a matter…”

    as he quotes in the subtitle of his blog,

    When god himself is quoted to clearly state:

    “Job 27:11 I will teach you by the hand of God: that which is with the Almighty will I not conceal.” (KJV)

    But then again (another non-quotation by god):

    “Isaiah 45:15 Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour.” (KJV)

    Oh well, to update Emerson, “Foolish inconsistency is the hallmark of Believers’ minds.”

  36. #36 Anonymous
    March 12, 2009

    Obviously what he meant was neutral evil.

    Chaotic evil being Kent Hovind and lawful evil being Behe.

  37. #37 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 12, 2009

    I always pegged Hovind as Chaotic Dumbass.

  38. #38 Elwood Herring
    March 12, 2009

    Looks like he knows we’re checking him out – it now quite clearly says five main components.

  39. #39 'Tis Himself
    March 12, 2009

    Fred Phelps is chaotic evil, Pat Robertson is neutral evil.

  40. #40 'Tis Himself
    March 12, 2009

    Looks like he knows we’re checking him out – it now quite clearly says five main components.

    See, this shows Ol’ Todd is sciency. He’s self-correcting.

  41. #41 brokenSoldier, OM
    March 12, 2009

    Noah eventually figured out all of these problems, though, because if he hadn?t, we wouldn?t be here wondering about it.

    Therein lies the major flaw in all creationist/ IDiot methodology and thought.

    Seriously RBDC, I was carefully reading that until I got to that sentence, and I’m really glad I had already put my drink down.

  42. #42 Chupacabras
    March 12, 2009

    @raven #19 You took the words out of my mouth!

    1.- design,
    2.- natural evil,
    3.- systematics,
    4.- speciation,
    5.- and biogeography.

    Or perhaps he meant “design = natural evil” ???

  43. #43 Sven DiMIlo
    March 12, 2009

    paging Cap’n Obvious

  44. #44 Gotchaye
    March 12, 2009

    Natural evil is just the stuff in the world that we don’t like but which we don’t control. Tornadoes, man-eating tigers, etc. There’s also evil that stems from the free choices of agents, but this has always been regarded as less of a problem for a perfectly good God.

    I love this bit:

    Think about this for a second: How could the world we live in now exist without animal death? To be honest, it couldn’t. Overpopulation alone would bring it to a grinding halt, not to mention the need for a completely different kind of ecological cycling of nutrients.

    So, so close, and then:

    Whole components of creation had to be redesigned

  45. #45 CatBallou
    March 12, 2009

    He lost me when he included the giant panda with bears.

    Well OK, he lost me at “anyone who knows me.”

  46. #46 Sven DiMIlo
    March 12, 2009

    The giant panda is a bear.

  47. #47 Josh
    March 12, 2009

    Noah eventually figured out all of these problems, though, because if he hadn?t, we wouldn?t be here wondering about it.

    Okay, that pretty much does it. We really need to do the world a favor.

    *grabs his M4 again*

    Can’t we ship this fucker to some other planet where he can’t poison children anymore?

  48. #48 tweetbirdie386sx
    March 12, 2009

    To increase the number of identified holobaramins, 63 character sets from 61 different groups of animals and plants were examined using baraminic distance correlation and multidimensional scaling. Forty holobaramins and twelve monobaramins were identified. With previously published work, these new groups bring the totals to 49 holobaramins and 57 monobaramins.

    Better be careful with identifying too many holobaramins. It might be sinful to have too many of those. You could go to hell for misidentifying a holobaramin. Jesus might go into a “tweety-bird fit” or something. He might go a flying around up in the clouds like a birdie and stuff. “Tweet tweet tweet tweet tweeeeeeeeeeet… helloooooo angel birdies!!” You don’t want to mess with tweety-bird Jesus, believe me.

  49. #49 'Tis Himself
    March 12, 2009

    Ol’ Todd has a blog but nobody except him can post comments on it. Why am I not surprised?

  50. #50 Coturnix
    March 12, 2009

    Why is this not on FAIL blog yet?

  51. #51 AnthonyK
    March 12, 2009

    baraminic distance correlation and multidimensional scaling

    I…uh…it’s…it’s…beautiful

  52. #52 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 12, 2009

    The giant panda is a bear.

    I thought it was more related to the racoon but I see via the always trustworthy source of Wikigod that it is now reclassified with Ursidae.

    When did that happen?

  53. #53 'Tis Himself
    March 12, 2009

    He lost me when he included the giant panda with bears.

    Of course pandas are bears. They aren’t called “panda bears” for nothing, n’est-ce pas? What did you think they were? Raccoons?

    /snark

  54. #54 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 12, 2009

    What did you think they were? Raccoons?

    /skulk

  55. #55 AnthonyK
    March 12, 2009

    How much is that baramin the window? The one with the vestigial tail?

  56. #56 Caymen Paolo
    March 12, 2009

    Did you notice that the creation biologists have invented a whole new terminology — baraminology. Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Created_kind

    Dr. Wood takes part in this.

    There’s a website where they publish “peer reviewed research”:
    http://www.creationresearch.org/

    and they have even set up a creationist clone of wikipedia to define their terms: http://creationwiki.org/Baraminology

    It’s great — if you can’t hang with logical thought in the rest of world then invent your own.

  57. #57 Eamon Knight
    March 12, 2009

    Our friend Todd sets up the problem nicely: all that predatory specialization for dealing death and consuming corpses — Dawkins himself could hardly do it better. Then answers the question: Magic happens here.

    Creation Science in a nutshell.

  58. #58 Nasikabatrachus
    March 12, 2009

    The world is divided into three kinds of people: those who can count, and those who cannot.

  59. #59 AnthonyK
    March 12, 2009

    Baraminology is the study of the ancestry of life on Earth

    It all fits on ….one page!
    Oh mercy!

  60. #60 Citizen Z
    March 12, 2009

    @Sven DIMilo:

    You really should read the entirety of that abstract:

    Despite the increased size of the database of holobaramins, it remains unclear what kind of characters should be used to recognize holobaramins. Several of the newly-identified holobaramins will have important implications in other areas of creationist biology, including natural evil and diversification.
    Organic nerve impulses alter the homogenous genetic classification of the holobaramins, as detailed in the holobaramin database. 7 of the 63 character sets are of the midichlorian family.
    My father knows how to retrieve all the 63 character sets from the holobaramin database. This database must be safely delivered to him on Alderaan. Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.

  61. #61 Sam C
    March 12, 2009

    Yer Man Todd Woodentop has now corrected his blog to change “four” to “five” so clearly either he reads this here blog-thing or a Christian with a brain cell left told him.

    Of course, as a good Christian, Mr Woodentop knows that the imprecation not to tell lies is one of The Nine Commandments. And that if he commits one of the Six Deadly Sins he will be in trouble with The Holy Duality.

    Gold bless y’all.

  62. #62 Falyne
    March 12, 2009

    What creationists need is some good old fashioned horse sense.

    That is, if there’s created kinds and “baramins” with clear divisions between them, you would expect that the offspring of any two creatures that can produce viable offspring together would itself be able to interbreed with all other members of its “baramin” set. And yet… have none of these idjits never seen a mule?

    Proof of macroevolution right there. MULES + JENNYS!!

  63. #63 Falyne
    March 12, 2009

    …….I mean hinny. Jenny is a donkey. mixed them up before double-checking on wikipedia. dammit.

  64. #64 Sam C
    March 12, 2009

    I just clicked on a link to CORE (the Center for Origins Research) and got an interwebby page saying:
    This document contains no data.

    I guess I found the right place.

  65. #65 'Tis Himself
    March 12, 2009

    The Creation Research Society has the following “Statement of Belief”:

    1. The Bible is the written Word of God, and because it is inspired throughout, all its assertions are historically and scientifically true in the original autographs. To the student of nature this means that the account of origins in Genesis is a factual presentation of simple historical truths.
    2. All basic types of living things, including man, were made by direct creative acts of God during the Creation Week described in Genesis. Whatever biological changes have occurred since Creation Week have accomplished only changes within the original created kinds.
    3. The great flood described in Genesis, commonly referred to as the Noachian Flood, was an historic event worldwide in its extent and effect.
    4. We are an organization of Christian men and women of science who accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. The account of the special creation of Adam and Eve as one man and one woman and their subsequent fall into sin is the basis for our belief in the necessity of a Savior for all mankind. Therefore, salvation can come only through accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior.

    No further comment necessary.

  66. #66 Martin
    March 12, 2009

    Yep, he fixed the “four” to a “five.” Still, this guy has seriously scarfed down a Double Meat Failburger with Cheese, with a side of Failure Fries and an Extra Creamy Deluxe Failshake.

  67. #67 Feynmaniac
    March 12, 2009

    His apt pupil:

    I can sum it all up in three words: Evolution is a lie

  68. #68 Kevpod
    March 12, 2009

    Anyone who knows him hears all about his four five theories?

    He must be the life of the party. But I feel sorry for the girl at the Stop & Shop.

  69. #69 Jeff Sijkes
    March 12, 2009

    Cool – I like that – just make stuff up.

    Didn’t that happen to the economy too?

  70. #70 bobxxxx
    March 12, 2009

    Posted by: Mena | March 12, 2009 8:11 PM Is anyone surprised that you can’t leave comments?

    Posted by: ‘Tis Himself | March 12, 2009 8:43 PM Ol’ Todd has a blog but nobody except him can post comments on it. Why am I not surprised?

    That’s the first thing I looked for, a place to enter comments. Some Christians censor comments. Other Christians don’t allow comments at all. It’s like they know they’re being laughed at but they don’t want to hear it.

  71. #71 Riman Butterbur
    March 12, 2009

    Posted by: ‘Tis Himself| March 13, 2009 02:24

    …whether an omnipotent being can microwave a burrito so hot that he can’t eat it.

    Of course he can. But then, being omnipotent, he can eat it anyway.

    Next question?

  72. #72 Elwood Herring
    March 12, 2009

    You can’t help but get the impression that these nutters are like kids playing at being scientists, making up their own words and definitions as they go along. It’s really sad. If only they tried reading more than just one book, and maybe tried to get their heads around how science actually works. You don’t start off with a conclusion and then try to fit your wild guesses around it!

  73. #73 AnthonyK
    March 12, 2009

    I just can’t…it’s a whole new sciencey…And I want a holobaramin, right now.

  74. #74 The Biologista
    March 12, 2009

    Posted by: Riman Butterbur | March 12, 2009 9:16 PM

    Posted by: ‘Tis Himself| March 13, 2009 02:24

    …whether an omnipotent being can microwave a burrito so hot that he can’t eat it.

    Of course he can. But then, being omnipotent, he can eat it anyway.

    Next question?

    Circular logic is circular.

  75. #75 Kevin
    March 12, 2009

    It’s all true! If jellyfish are designed to kill then this guy is designed to stupefy.
    Also, I always wanted to learn to play the baramin. It makes those swell science fictiony sounds.

  76. #76 CatBallou
    March 12, 2009

    A panda is now a bear. Dammit, just when I got used to thinking of them as raccoons.

    Next you’ll tell me that my teddy bear has been reclassified.

  77. #77 David N
    March 12, 2009

    There are 10 kinds of people in this world, those who can count in binary and …

  78. #78 minimalist
    March 12, 2009

    Ugghh. I’m ashamed to say I got my Ph.D. at UVa at roughly the same time as him.

    You wanna know something really jaw-dropping about this? Look who he worked with, and look what his dissertation dealt with:

    Evolution of protein sequences and structures.
    Wood TC, Pearson WR.

    One guess why that didn’t make it to his Bryan College list of “selected publications”!

  79. #79 Anne Hedonia
    March 12, 2009

    further evidence that all forms of theistic belief are mental illness. These individuals must be forced to confront reason or be removed from society.

  80. #80 origin
    March 12, 2009

    Damn, now I’m wondering if he stealth-edited any other hilarious and flagrant errors. If anybody happens to have it cached, feel free to post it…

  81. #81 Barry
    March 12, 2009

    It gives me a lot of strange thoughts. Here?s one ? Two of his students take the GRE in biology and after the test one says to the other: ?Can you believe that? There were no questions on natural evil. I shouldn?t have studied so hard in that area.?

  82. #82 minimalist
    March 12, 2009

    Whoops, here is the link for his faculty advisor.

    Seriously, can you say “cognitive dissonance”? I wonder what Bill thinks about this…

  83. #83 AnthonyK
    March 12, 2009

    my teddy bear has been reclassified

    It has – it’s now a teddy bearamin. And it won’t be sleeping in your bed any more.

  84. #84 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 12, 2009

    holobaramin

    It sounds so Falloutish

  85. #85 AnthonyK
    March 12, 2009

    I hope he’s reading this thread. Would he? In any case – his blog’s as dead as a dodo baramin.

  86. #86 Larry
    March 12, 2009

    So if I major in natural evil, will there be, like, labs and stuff? What about a senior project?

  87. #87 R Hampton
    March 12, 2009

    Why would plants have seeds in a world without death?

    God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. (Day 3)

    I guess God designed the Downfall before he got around to making Adam & Eve. Poor kids, never had a chance.

  88. #88 Elwood Herring
    March 12, 2009

    Message to Todd, if he’s reading this page: Come on over and have a chat with us. We’d love to discuss your delusions theories here. Come on – I dare you!

  89. #89 The Atheist Missionary
    March 12, 2009

    The reason why I love Pharyngula is because it lets me send emails like this one:

    To: info@bryan.edu

    To whom it may concern:

    I am a Canadian parent currently surveying Christian oriented colleges in and around Tennessee to enrol my daughter in. [ok, that's a bit of a white lie ... I'm an athiest and, although my daughter is really smart, she is only 8. Who knows - someday she might want to go to Bible College just to piss me off]

    This evening I was surveying your website and your institution appears very impressive. However, am I correct in understanding that the Center for Origins Research is part of your institution? If so, are your regents or board of governors (or whatever you call them) aware of what is going on with that program? I was surveying CORE’s website as well and they describe their research as follows:

    “These are just a few of the research questions that we are exploring here at CORE. Our research emphasizes five components: design, natural evil, speciation, biogeography, and biosystematics. Design is concerned with the how and why of God’s design. In this area we work most closely with philosophers and theologians. Explaining the origins of predators, pathogens, parasites, and poisons is the focus of our work in natural evil. In the area of speciation, we work to understand how the animals and plants that God created gave birth to the animals and plants of our modern world. Biogeography is the science concerned with the places animals and plants live. We try to understand how the world was re-filled after the devastation of the Flood. Biosystematics is the discipline concerned with organizing and classifying the created kinds. For a more complete discussion of the CORE research model, see Dr. Wood’s book Understanding the Pattern of Life.”

    Please tell me this is all a joke.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Yours truly,

    [my real name]

    PZ, I’ll let you know if and when they reply.

  90. #90 cactusren
    March 12, 2009

    Think about this for a second: How could the world we live in now exist without animal death? To be honest, it couldn’t. Overpopulation alone would bring it to a grinding halt.

    So if Eve had never eaten the apple, nothing would ever die, and the world would have become overpopulated in, what…a few centuries? That sounds like a lovely little Eden.

    Also, I’m thouroughly amused that he assumes herbivory to be the starting point, with carnivory evolving (oh, i’m sorry…appearing through redesign) later. Plants are hard to chew and digest, and most early animal lineages were either marine filter feeders (eating plankton), detritovores (eating rotting animal/plant/fecal matter) or carnivores. The earliest terrestrial ecosystems were detritus-based: animals couldn’t eat the plants, only their rotting remains (yes, microbes pretty much run the world). The earliest evidence for herbivory among vertebrates isn’t until the Permian (with insects sometime earlier than that).

  91. #91 Roger
    March 12, 2009

    Now that PZ (aka The Devil) has taken notice of this Good Christian’s ™, how long do y’all think it will take for the Toddmeister to show up and tell us (and that godless heathen non-scientist PZ) that we are mocking godly science?

  92. #92 Ryogam
    March 12, 2009

    “Actually, I don’t think these things are that much of a problem. Sure, they’re designed. The real question is when were they designed? What I think these things do for us is deepen our understanding of the Curse. Think about this for a second: How could the world we live in now exist without animal death? To be honest, it couldn’t. Overpopulation alone would bring it to a grinding halt, not to mention the need for a completely different kind of ecological cycling of nutrients.”

    A lack of imagination is the greatest block creationist have in terms of their ignorance.

    Did god have to create animals designed for killing? Of Course not.

    God could just designed animals to give birth much less often or to die of old age sooner or created plants that grow so fast that death by starvation is never a problem or any other of thousands of potential solutions an all-knowing, all-loving, all-powerful being could come up with to prevent the world from turning into a natural world “red in tooth and claw.” There is no NEED for poison injecting jellyfish or vipers or any other ‘evil’ animals.

    However, I am glad natural selection gave us stinging jellies and poisonous vipers and deadly tigers and bears, if for no other reason that they are marvelous animals.

  93. #93 AnthonyK
    March 12, 2009

    will there be, like, labs and stuff

    Labs – yes. Labia – no. You’ll need to study un-natural evil before you can have a field trip to see those.

  94. #94 Epikt
    March 12, 2009

    Todd Charles Wood:

    The species counts for the 49 holobaramins are log normally distributed, and a complex model of post-Flood diversification that includes exponential growth, exponential changes in carrying capacity, and exponential decay in diversification rate is proposed to account for this. Despite the increased size of the database of holobaramins, it remains unclear what kind of characters should be used to recognize holobaramins.

    …where by “complex model” I mean “I put a buttload of invented adjustable parameters into my model, and I still can’t fit my ‘data.'”

  95. #95 Roger
    March 12, 2009

    Ooops–missed a word. That should have read “…this Good Christian’s(tm) blog…”

  96. #96 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 12, 2009

    Now that PZ (aka The Devil) has taken notice of this Good Christian’s ™, how long do y’all think it will take for the Toddmeister to show up and tell us (and that godless heathen non-scientist PZ) that we are mocking godly science?

    Or more hilariously, how long until someone from the Matt Nisbet School of Pearl Clutching and Concerning shows up to tell us how this is not the way to inform the “other side”?

    Erasmus?

  97. #97 Newfie
    March 12, 2009

    Todd, if you’re reading…. here’s some research material for you. Try your sciencey hand at a few of these and get back to us when you have results, mkay?

  98. #98 AnthonyK
    March 12, 2009

    Some sites positively welcome PZ’s attention – see The Daily Grail. This one? Methinks no.

  99. #99 GBM
    March 12, 2009

    “Think about this for a second: How could the world we live in now exist without animal death? To be honest, it couldn’t. Overpopulation alone would bring it to a grinding halt, not to mention the need for a completely different kind of ecological cycling of nutrients.”

    Ugh. I hate it when christians forget who they are supposed to be defending. Did this idiot forget that God is the omnipotent author of the universe? This being is supposed to have created the physical constants of the universe, with an eye towards life. Thus the proposition he is obliged to defend with regards to natural evil is not ‘does it currently have a useful function’ but ‘there is no possible world in which natural evil does not have a useful function’ or ‘a world without natural evil is logically impossible.’ Otherwise God is doubly blameworthy–Once for designing nature so as to be partially evil, twice for choosing to make this universe not function without unnecessary evil. fucking assholes.

  100. #100 Ryogam
    March 12, 2009

    God could have also saved himself a lot of redesigning of animals if he had just planted that damn tree of knowledge in Antarctica rather than the middle of the garden.

    He’s a piss-poor planner, all around.

  101. #101 Blake Stacey
    March 12, 2009

    Ryogam (#100):

    What could you expect? He was only twelve years old.

  102. #102 Ryogam
    March 12, 2009

    Blake,

    I love that hypothesis. That’s a god you can believe in…

    but worship? Not so much.

  103. #103 SLC
    March 12, 2009

    Re Sven DIMilo

    How did this fucktard get admitted to the UVA graduate school from a piece of shit “college” like Liberty University? Us Virginia taxpayers want to know.

  104. #104 wheatdogg
    March 12, 2009

    Check out his Bible college. Go here: http://www.bryan.edu/academics.html

    Click on “Bryan Institute for Critical Thought & Practice.”

    This is what you see: “The page you’re looking for no longer exists.”

    Need I say more?

  105. #105 Jen
    March 12, 2009

    #17: “Is anyone surprised that you can’t leave comments?”

    I had that same thought. I’m shocked, I tell ya! Shocked! ;)

  106. #106 Ichthyic
    March 12, 2009

    The species counts for the 49 holobaramins are log normally distributed

    It’s a baraminologist?

    ROFLMAO!

    don’t see too many of those around these days.

    …well that will admit to it openly, anyway.

  107. #107 Ichthyic
    March 12, 2009

    Todd asks:

    maybe one of you will give me some helpful feedback

    sure thing Todd:

    Quit while you’re behind.

  108. #108 George
    March 12, 2009

    oops. Five.

  109. #109 John Marley
    March 12, 2009

    Then of course that leads into the whole “what the fuck is Satan, anyway?” question, since if God is good and all-powerful, it doesn’t exactly make sense that he lets Satan hang around making an ass of himself.

    it gets even worse. In Job, Satan kind of walks up to God and says “What up?” God is the ass=hole who comes up with the whole “Go torture my biggest fan” thing.

  110. #110 Kugelblitz
    March 12, 2009

    Funny how the Problem of Evil keeps coming back, no?

    Isa 45:6 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.
    Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

    Sky Buddy-a.k.a. God-clearly has some issues to work through and not least amongst them is how he could make followers so amazingly dim that they can glom onto anything in the bible that supports their notions and quietly ignore anything that undercuts them.

    So…god is omnipotent and omniscient and omnibenevolent, and his flawed creations are going to defend him? No wonder folks like Todd Wood can tie themselves up in knots as they do.

  111. #111 Numad
    March 12, 2009

    There’s something about Anne Hedonia’s comments that is making me uncomfortable.

  112. #112 CortxVortx
    March 12, 2009

    “THERE…ARE…FOUR…PARTS!

  113. #113 g
    March 12, 2009

    Noah eventually figured out all of these problems, though, because if he hadn?t, we wouldn?t be here wondering about it.

    Remind me, is that the Weak or the Strong Noahnthropic Principle?

  114. #114 LordJiro
    March 12, 2009

    There’s something about Anne Hedonia’s comments that is making me uncomfortable.

    Indeed. The tone is a bit too fascistic(?) for me, and it’s those kinds of comments that give the fundies ammunition against atheists.

    I, too, hope for religion to die out, but I want it to be because of a higher quality of education, NOT something forceful.

  115. #115 T. Bruce McNeely
    March 12, 2009

    Natural Evil?

    Sounds like a Basic Science course at Evil Medical School:

    “I didn’t spend six years in evil medical school to be called ‘Mr’!” – Dr. Evil

  116. #116 Kristine
    March 12, 2009

    There are three kinds of creationists: those who can count, and those who can’t.

    Azkyroth, that was one of two kinds of comments: beautiful, beautiful, and beautiful.

  117. #117 Numad
    March 12, 2009

    “[It's] those kinds of comments that give the fundies ammunition against atheists.”

    That might be the least of my worries, though, since fundies generally have pretty low standards for what consists ammunition. If nobody gives it to them, then they’ll either scrape up some harsh language someone used or just lie.

  118. #118 Rick T
    March 12, 2009

    “The Creation Research Society has the following “Statement of Belief”:

    1. The Bible is the written Word of God, and because it is inspired throughout, all its assertions are historically and scientifically true in the original autographs.”

    I’ve confronted Heddle (typing softly lest he appear) with the absurdity of this belief and he has yet to respond to it’s implications. Probably because it is indefensible.

    According to Bart Ehrman, there is no such thing as an original autograph in that we have none, have never had one to read, and we don’t have a copy of one nor a copy of a copy of one. And so on. This means one could not claim the originals to be true and yet have that statement mean something. Since we don’t have it to inspect, whatever it said is lost to history and we will never know if these copies of copies, etc., have remained consistent to the originals. We do know that there are no 2 copies of a text that are not different leaving the probability that the oldest of our manuscripts have failed to faithfully record the copies of the copies of the original autographs.

    I hope you now realize how stupid it is to place such faith in a nonexistent text, or its cop…. Oh hell, you get it.
    Also the rest of the “Statements of Belief” are crap too. But the first one is one that I would like to hear explained to me. I need a good laugh from time to time.

  119. #119 Kevin Schreck
    March 12, 2009

    Should’ve taken a screencap of his blog when it said “four,” PZ!

  120. #120 Ron Sullivan
    March 12, 2009

    Re: Anthony K @ 55: Someone’s bucking for a Molly.

  121. #121 Tulse
    March 12, 2009

    there is no such thing as an original autograph in that we have none, have never had one to read, and we don’t have a copy of one nor a copy of a copy of one.

    Yeah, but that’s the ultimate out — they can insist that the Bible is literally true, but when pressed can say “Well, that’s only true for the original autographs, and we don’t actually have those, so any errors are due to transcription.” This is a variant on the “A Wizard Did It” explanation.

  122. #122 Krystalline Apostate
    March 12, 2009

    I figure these are the five most basic components of pretty much any question about origins, and until we have a good handle on all five, answering specific questions will always be extremely tentative.

    I think this fellow’s grasp of the facts are ‘extremely tentative’.

  123. #123 Jeeves
    March 12, 2009

    On Bryan College’s English faculty page (I got my degree in English, so of course I’m curious) all the professors have listed topics of expertise. Amid a bunch of normal areas of expertise (Shakespeare, Milton and the like)Dr. Wendell M. Jones lists child raising, parenting and husband-wife relationships. Am I crazy to think those “topics” are a bit out of place? Unless of course he means child rearing practices in 19th Spanish literature or husband-wife relationships in William Congreve’s plays. It’s funny though, if he had put bass fishing and needlepoint, I probably wouldn’t have cared because I would know it referred to a benign hobby but this (I fear) is something else entirely.

  124. #124 MartyM
    March 12, 2009

    I noticed he doesn’t have a comment section. Wonder why?

  125. #125 Tark
    March 12, 2009

    Ahhhhh. g at #113 A comment of beauty and filled with joyous win.
    I am your humble slave and beg for Molly.

    Tark

  126. #126 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    March 12, 2009

    Having read further into his blog, he also seems to be friends with Stephen Matheson, of Butler University. Stephen is a very smart guy, and a good evolutionary biologist. I can imagine that Matheson likely has some permanent facepalm contusions from speaking on the subject of evolution with Todd. Or perhaps they limit their conversations to baseball and Jesus. I don’t know…

    Secondly,

    So if Eve had never eaten the apple, nothing would ever die, and the world would have become overpopulated in, what…a few centuries? That sounds like a lovely little Eden.

    The Curse of Adam and Eve seems to have morphed a bit from Death to Sexual Reproduction. God, in his infinite wisdom, hadn’t planned on overpopulation, according to Todd (and the way that I read it,) so predation was a later introduction. It was God’s “Plan B” based on his hasty realization of unintended consequences. God needed better predators and so he invited things like nematocysts, cephalopod beaks, bear-y raccoons called “pandas,” to prevent an overpopulation of madly reproducing bamboo and venomous snakes to deal with H*s Mistake.

  127. #127 Robert Madewell
    March 12, 2009

    Don’t you love “blogs” that don’t allow comments. IMO, a blog ain’t a blog unless I get to read the goofy comments! (TY PZ for allowing goofy comments)

  128. #128 Rick T
    March 12, 2009

    Tulse @ 121 “Yeah, but that’s the ultimate out — they can insist that the Bible is literally true, but when pressed can say “Well, that’s only true for the original autographs, and we don’t actually have those, so any errors are due to transcription.”

    Ya, religious logic is quite Simpsonesque.

    I did say, however, that saying this is a statement without meaning. You can say that it is true but you would not know what it said, so you would not know what the truth was. Something very damning to those who think the book has the ultimate truth. “It’s original autographs were truth, but sadly, we can’t be sure what that was because they have all been lost”.

    By the way, how is it possible to lose the most precious (let’s pretend shall we?) writings the world has ever known.
    Oopsy poopsy, we misplaced them/lost them/loaned them to the library and they weren’t returned. Must not have held much value back in the day.

  129. #129 eddie
    March 13, 2009
  130. #130 hje
    March 13, 2009

    Our three weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency…and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope…. Our four…no… Amongst our weapons….

  131. #131 clinteas
    March 13, 2009

    It is utterly astonishing to which lengths the human brain will go to try to rationalize a belief system.

  132. #132 Richard Simons
    March 13, 2009

    I see from the blog that CORE Issues volume 4 is out. The theme is Christian writing on the origin of species, with writings from 1668 to 1947 and a median date of 1910. Nothing like keeping up with the latest!

  133. #133 clinteas
    March 13, 2009

    further evidence that all forms of theistic belief are mental illness. These individuals must be forced to confront reason or be removed from society.

    Agree with the first part .
    Think the second part is fascist bullshit,think before you post.

  134. #134 bastion of sass
    March 13, 2009

    “Explaining the origins of predators, pathogens, parasites, and poisons is the focus of our work in natural evil”

    I don’t see why they can’t use the fallback excuses:
    1. God did it to test our faith.
    2. Satan did it to shake our faith.

    Yeah, I know those’ve been overused to explain everything from fossils to plagues, but if it’s they’re best you’ve got….

  135. #135 JeffS
    March 13, 2009

    He is an educator.

    He educates students.

    How do you grade something correct when its not true to begin with?

    This is scary shit.

  136. #136 Mark
    March 13, 2009

    I’m simply at a loss for words. I cringe in terror for our generation, when we have people like these crazy creationists wasting their lives asking themselves with a straight face, how God ‘redesigned’ the organisms into predators. This makes me sick, it makes me tremble, it makes me so unimaginably INFURIATED, all I can do right now is use all my energy AND some in order to stop myself from lunging with Great Vengeance and FURIOUS Anger at these clowns.

    We ought to be mad. We ought to be OUTRAGED! There’s GOT to be something we can do to stop these zombies, and obliterate all hope for their fantasies to gain a foothold.

  137. #137 James Brown
    March 13, 2009

    Its easy to laugh at people like this because we consider them to be no major treat to our civilization – how could anyone group be this stupid and still be effective. But consider the major group you will find in Salt Lake City that firmly believes that man is not a product of evolution.
    Also consider that we came much to close to electing one of that tribe to be our leader.

    Suddenly not funny anymore.

  138. #138 Thomas Winwood
    March 13, 2009

    #5: It’s to do with how your browser handles block-level and inline-level tags in HTML – chances are it’ll continue an unclosed inline-level tag if you open a new block-level tag, but it won’t continue an unclosed block-level tag past the closure of another block-level tag.

  139. #139 brokenSoldier, OM
    March 13, 2009

    Posted by: James Brown | March 13, 2009 1:27 AM

    But consider the major group you will find in Salt Lake City that firmly believes that man is not a product of evolution.

    My favorite line about them is Maher’s – “These people think that on his way up to heaven, Jesus took a detour to party with the Indians.”

    And granted, Romney was kinda close to getting the Repub nomination, but he lost even that – I definitely don’t think he’d have won the general election. But true, it is scary enough that he got as close as he did.

  140. #140 Rick R
    March 13, 2009

    Ugh. I feel all oogy. Time for a Baramin Enema.

  141. #141 Kseniya
    March 13, 2009

    Marvelous!

    Our latest drive-by, Sirius Knott, would get along famously with this block of Wood.

  142. #142 cactusren
    March 13, 2009

    Mike Haubrich, FCD @126 said: The Curse of Adam and Eve seems to have morphed a bit from Death to Sexual Reproduction.

    Maybe that’s how some christians interpret it these days, but they have no basis for it. Just after God creates humans, in Genesis 1:28 (KJV): “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply” He also says this to the animals in previous verses. So reproduction clearly occurred before the fall, according to the Genesis account. Anyone who believes the bible literally but says reproduction didn’t occur in Eden is either ignorant of their own story or lying. What a surprise.

    This leaves us with an Eden that would rapidly become overpopulated, given that death isn’t supposed to have occurred there.

    Though to be honest, I don’t know where the “no death before the fall” idea came from, either. Nothing like that is mentioned in the creation story in Genesis. Could be that it’s mentioned elsewhere (anyone know?) or it’s more dogma that has no basis in the bible. I love it when fundies claim to be interpreting the bible literally even though some of their most fervently held beliefs aren’t even in the book.

  143. #143 Cheezits
    March 13, 2009

    Noah eventually figured out all of these problems, though, because if he hadn?t, we wouldn?t be here wondering about it.

    And God would be saying “S**t, that was a dumb idea.”

    “Holobaramin”??

  144. #144 Susannah
    March 13, 2009

    I can’t resist a new Creationist Noah’s Ark explanation, so I was forced to click on The pre-Flood floating forest: a study in paleontological pattern recognition. (Wise, 2003)

    Pay dirt!

    From the abstract:

    Although the creation model does not make specific predictions about the order of fossil appearance for the plants, evolutionary theory does. The first appearance of higher plant taxa occur in an order strongly correlative with the order of evolutionary branching predicted from published cladograms. The higher plant taxa represent a strong stratomorphic series. The probability that this pattern could be arrived at randomly is so low as to suggest that an explanation is required in the young-age creation model. … It is proposed that the Flood destruction of pre-Flood floating forest biome would explain this data. In a fashion analogous to the plants of a quaking bog, it is suggested that the floating forest biome grew out over the ocean through an ecological succession of rhyzomous plants of steadily increasing size generating and thriving upon an increasingly thick mat of vegetation and soil.”

    And then, there’s this: “It also incorporates … the floating logmat theory …” My monitor barely survived.

  145. #145 Ryk
    March 13, 2009

    So Todd is smart enough to realize that the existence of specialized carnivores, calls bullshit on the Genesis story. Yet instead of conceding the obvious and saying “oh OK this old book is a bunch of crap.” He makes up a story about his God pulling a cosmic mulligan and redoing creation after dirtman and ribgirl ate the apple.

  146. #146 clinteas
    March 13, 2009

    It is proposed that the Flood destruction of pre-Flood floating forest biome would explain this data. In a fashion analogous to the plants of a quaking bog, it is suggested that the floating forest biome grew out over the ocean through an ecological succession of rhyzomous plants of steadily increasing size generating and thriving upon an increasingly thick mat of vegetation and soil.”

    A brilliant example of how a human brain can stray into madness,by using its computing power on woo.Amazing.

  147. #147 Psychodigger
    March 13, 2009

    I had a look at the blog, and the stupidity is simply overwhelming. I wonder if that’s the reason you cannot comment on the mindless bile presented there. The man probably knows he is a complete and utter arse.

  148. #148 martin_z
    March 13, 2009

    Well damn! There’s a conference called Genesis Kinds; Creationism and the Origin of Species. There is a UK session, and it was not far away from where I live too. But it was last month.

    That could have been one of the more entertaining weekends I had ever spent in my life. Oh, well.

  149. #149 Matteo
    March 13, 2009

    “four (4?) main components: design (1), natural evil (2), systematics (3), speciation (4), and biogeography (5!)”

  150. #150 clinteas
    March 13, 2009

    Paging Captain Obvious…..

    AGAIN !

  151. #151 Edgewise
    March 13, 2009

    Hmm… no geology department listed at Bryan, I wonder why not…

  152. #152 gabriel
    March 13, 2009

    Stephen Matheson, of Butler University

    Last time I checked, Matheson was at Calvin College.

  153. #153 Ed Darrell
    March 13, 2009

    Proof of macroevolution right there. MULES + JENNYS!!

    Shouldn’t that be a bit differently phrased? “MULES = JACKS + JENNIES!!”

    Don’t be a jack about it.

  154. #154 Dirk Hardpec
    March 13, 2009

    After a glance at the home page but bowels seized up…I think I need a baramin enema

  155. #155 Ed Darrell
    March 13, 2009

    But consider the major group you will find in Salt Lake City that firmly believes that man is not a product of evolution.

    Summum adherents don’t “believe” in evolution? Who else is based in SLC? LDS?

    Check out the biology or geology departments at Brigham Young University. Evolution is fine with the leaders of the Mormon church, and required in biology courses. If one could get at the archives, one might learn that teaching the church is opposed to evolution is one of those quaint Mormon sins known as “preaching false doctrine.”

    Alas, the enforcement arms of the LDS church moves slow on some sins — misdemeanors, I suppose. Preachers of false doctrine, against evolution, get a pass that other sinners don’t.

    But remember that at every major Christian university, inclduing Brigham Young, evolution is taught in the science courses, and not creationism. It’s like creationism is under assault from the intelligent and smart Christians, too.

    In a more important issue, notice that this is Bryan College that Todd Wood preaches at, the college set up to honor William Jennings Bryan, the creationist prosecutor from the Scopes trial. This is part of the evidence that scientists and other lovers of science and good education slept too long on some of these issues (“While Science Slept” might be a good essay somewhere).

    Remember Scopes lost his case, and was fined; the overturning on appeal was due to a technical error in the fine, not due to other obviously major flaws in the law (which was signed and promoted by Gov. Austin Peay, who also has a college named after him).

    Some people thought Mencken’s judgment on the trial was final. Not creationists. While the rest of the world went on, fundamentalists developed a powerful, out-of-the-major-media network to spread and promote their ideas. Part of this network was the establishment of Bryan College, and to some degree, I think Austin Peay State University (though, as a state university with serious intentions on educating people, APSU is in the evolution camp in curricula).

    Why is there no Clarence Darrow College? Why is there no John T. Scopes Institute for Teachers (say, at the University of Chicago, where Scopes went back for his advanced degree)?

    Unless we get out there and fight in the trenches of education and religion and culture, evolution will continue to face silly opposition. Feynman warned us of the dangers of cargo cult science. (Honestly, though, Wood’s stuff looks like cargo cult cargo cultism, it’s so far removed from real science — doesn’t it?)

    In the end it’s odd that a progressive-on-most-issues guy like Bryan would be memorialized by naming a college after him to preserve his most profound errors. It’s effective propaganda. I’d be willing to wager Bryan would have come around to evolution with the evidence stacked as it is now. His error was emotional and theological, I think. Education can prevent and correct such error.

    The John T. Scopes Institute for Teachers could run in the summer months, it should have a thousand teachers of science from primary and secondary education in every session, and it should emphasize the best methods for teaching the best science we have. We really need such an agency — or agencies — now. Our children lose interest in science between fourth grade and graduation, their achievement in science plunges in comparison to other nations.

    And our economy suffers as a result.

    But, creationists have Bryan College to help them spread their versions of cargo cult science, apparently with that mission specifically in mind. We can fight fire with fire, but we have to fight ignorance with education, I think. And, my friends in science education, we are behind.

  156. #156 Ed Darrell
    March 13, 2009

    Remember, the Institute for Creation Research is working diligently to get the ability to grant science degrees and science teaching degrees, in Texas. There’s a new bill in the state legislature intended to do just that after the state agencies refused to give them the authority. This is a war that has yet to be won.

    Now consider Bryan College, where Todd Wood is stationed. It’s fully accredited — this is from their website:

    ACCREDITATION: Bryan College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 404-679-4500).

    MEMBERSHIPS: International Assembly for College Business Education (IACBE).

    APPROVED BY: Tennessee State Board of Education and the Association of Christian Schools International for Teacher Education, Certification and Licensure.

    We’ve been sleeping. Wake up.

  157. #157 csrster
    March 13, 2009

    “No one expects the Creation Inquisition. Our four chief weapons are design, natural evil, systematics, speciation, and bioge … _five_ weapons. Amongst our chief weapons are …” etc. ad libitum.

  158. #158 Seeker
    March 13, 2009

    I break down creationist biology into four main components: design, natural evil, systematics, speciation, and biogeography.

    Five! Five main components: design, natural evil, systematics, speciation, biogeography and advanced quote mining.

    Six! Six main components: design, natural evil, systematics, speciation, biogeography, advanced quote mining and cryptozoology.

    Seven! etc….

    [apologies to Monty Python]

  159. #159 pedanticguy
    March 13, 2009

    #76 CatBallou:

    A panda is now a bear. Dammit, just when I got used to thinking of them as raccoons.

    Next you’ll tell me that my teddy bear has been reclassified.

    The red panda, or lesser panda, is more related to the racoons (they are in the same superfamily).

    Although some “teddy bears” are in fact koalas, the true Teddy Bear is an American black bear.

  160. #160 pedanticguy
    March 13, 2009

    I meant to write: more closely related …

  161. #161 evermorepedantry
    March 13, 2009

    The teddy bear has been found to be a junior synonym of Ursus americanus

  162. #162 Wayne Robinson
    March 13, 2009

    Pandas aren’t strict vegetarians. If they can, they’ll eat meat, if they can catch it (when I was in Chengdu, China, my guide reckoned one managed to eat a sheep, although it would have had to be a particularly dim sheep to get caught).

  163. #163 Liberal Atheist
    March 13, 2009

    Creationism is awesome in one way at least: It’s like the “science” in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

    King Arthur: “Explain again how sheep’s bladders may be employed to prevent earthquakes.”

  164. #164 Dances with MILFs
    March 13, 2009

    It’s always mindless fucks like this guy who insist on using “we” and “let’s” a lot in their writing, as if to convince themselves they aren’t deluded and functioning on a psychological island. What a sad waste of an education.

  165. #165 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 13, 2009

    “It also incorporates … the floating logmat theory

    That’s an oft used “theory” (snicker) by great flud apologists to explain how insects and some non aquatic plants survived the flud.

    They of course base this on some log mats that floated for long after the mt St. Helens ka-bloom.

    Mt. St Helens, the greatest excuse for creationists and easiest way to show them how fucking stupid they are.

  166. #166 IST
    March 13, 2009

    Wayne Robinson said

    although it would have had to be a particularly dim sheep to get caught).

    A particularly dim sheep? That anything like a particularly dim pigeon? Bread mold may be higher in intelligence… The damn things stand in the middle of the road and stare when you honk at them! (unless they’ve evolved since I lived in places that had sheep)

  167. #167 DiscoveredJoys
    March 13, 2009

    The four components of Creation biology…
    The five components of Creation biology…

    Schism! Kill the miscounters of the Holy Components!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Ahem. In other news, creation biology is pleased to announce that they have confirmed by experiment that the human hand was designed to hold the Holy Banana. People who belive that the banana was designed to be held by humans are guilty of heresy…

    {/sarcasm} This comedy stuff is depressing, isn’t it?

  168. #168 Edgewise
    March 13, 2009

    I was, until now, unaware of the Red Panda. Now that I know of them I am very much in favor of them. Thank you.

    BTW, does anyone know if they happen to be politically minded?

  169. #169 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    March 13, 2009

    Last time I checked, Matheson was at Calvin College.

    I knew that, too. This is the reason that nobody ever takes me seriously. I write before I think.

  170. #170 www.10ch.org
    March 13, 2009

    For creationists, 2+2=5. Enough said.

  171. #171 (((Billy))) The Atheist
    March 13, 2009

    The world is divided into 10 kinds of people: those who understand binary, and those who don’t.

  172. #172 Steve
    March 13, 2009

    Send him the story on the testicle munching horse.

  173. #173 Silva
    March 13, 2009

    Aw man.

    Once, years ago, I explained to a mentally handicapped man that snakes were just animals, like any other animal, and not the living embodiments of Satan. He was pretty mixed up at first, but he caught on after a while.

    What’s this clown’s excuse?

  174. #174 phantomreader42
    March 13, 2009

    Larry @ #86:

    So if I major in natural evil, will there be, like, labs and stuff? What about a senior project?

    You can earn a PhD in Horribleness! I think the senior project involves building a freeze ray or stabilizing Wonderflonium so it doesn’t blow up when it bounces. There’s also a pretty good music program if you’re looking for electives. But watch out for Bad Horse

  175. #175 young & secular
    March 13, 2009

    Dear American academics and educators, I have a question:

    How the fuck can Bryan College be accredited? ??!?

  176. #176 Tulse
    March 13, 2009

    This is not my hammer.

  177. #177 Tom
    March 13, 2009

    Dr. Wood will be taking on biogeography? Good luck with that one. Linnaeus made a decent run at that one (where did the ark land and how did the animals get to where they all are now?). I am eager to see where The Center of Origin is (and whether it corresponds to the resting place of the ark they seem to find every few years).

  178. #178 AJS
    March 13, 2009

    I honestly don’t have a problem with Anne Hedonia. We need less Chamberlain and more Churchill.

    Somewhere, in some little cemetery, lie the remains of a Buddhist monk who believed that germs were living creatures too and therefore it was wrong to kill them with any kind of medicine or disinfectant.

    Theists are a drain on precious, finite resources. If they can’t accept reality when it’s staring them in the face, then they need Dealing With. The elimination of theism from society will involve having to face up to some pretty unpleasant choices, but we have to remember just how much damage theists are doing — and will continue to do, as long as theism exists.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think it would be lovely and fluffy and peaceful if theists could just change their minds; but some of them simply aren’t going to.

  179. #179 extatyzoma
    March 13, 2009

    “Animal and Plant Baramins
    Todd Charles Wood
    November 7, 2008
    Abstract
    To increase the number of identified holobaramins, 63 character sets from 61 different groups of animals and plants were examined using baraminic distance correlation and multidimensional scaling. Forty holobaramins and twelve monobaramins were identified….”

    etc, its rather like TSR fiend factory or monster manual, the difference being that most D&D players realise that it is fantasy.

    it must be very weird to be in a subset of people who know they talk utter shit but also know that as long as they remain in their own subset they can surround themselves with people who dont notice that shit. its like pseudo status, maybe they get laid more often on average and so its adaptive as such.

  180. #180 Pi Guy
    March 13, 2009

    “For creationists, 2+2=5.”

    That’s true for large values of 2.

  181. #181 secularguy
    March 13, 2009

    AJS,

    so how do you suggest we should Deal With the theists who won’t change their minds?

  182. #182 Bodach
    March 13, 2009

    hje @ #130:
    “Our three weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency…and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope…. Our four…no… Amongst our weapons….”

    Well done, hje, but I’m disappointed Python didn’t show up earlier. C’mon people, let’s stay on task and get the cultural references in early!

  183. #183 Russell
    March 13, 2009

    He doesnt seem to want any feedback, you cant comment his site at all.

  184. #184 Fernando Magyar
    March 13, 2009

    Proof That Five Equals Four
    Posted in Science & Math by Greg Ross on November 29th, 2006

    -20 = -20
    25 – 45 = 16 – 36
    5^2 – 45 = 4^2 – 36
    5^2 – 45 + 81/4 = 4^2 – 36 + 81/4
    (5 – 9/2)^2 = (4 – 9/2)^2
    5 – 9/2 = 4 – 9/2
    5 = 4

  185. #185 peep
    March 13, 2009

    Oh, i get it:

    Anyone who knows me at all knows that I break down creationist biology into three main components: design, natural evil, systematics, and speciation…Four!
    Anyone who knows me at all knows that I break down creationist biology into FOUR main components: design, natural evil, systematics, speciation, and biogeography…
    Oh, I’ll come in again…

  186. #186 AJS
    March 13, 2009

    @ secularguy, #181:

    That’s up to them, isn’t it?

    Begin with polite persuasion using reasoned arguments and work up from there, employing incrementally more forceful methods until one of them succeeds.

    It’s not a pleasant thought; but then, neither are some of the things that these people have done, and will continue to do for as long as we let them, in the name of their imaginary friends.

  187. #187 KI
    March 13, 2009

    AJS@178
    I believe you are referring to Jains (who won’t eat onions because of unseen beings) but as a Zen Stoic I can assure you I have no problem with penicillin or sulfates.

  188. #188 Janice
    March 13, 2009

    Wow, he counts about as competently as Monty Python’s Spanish Inquisitors did!

  189. #189 clinteas
    March 13, 2009

    The elimination of theism from society will involve having to face up to some pretty unpleasant choices, but we have to remember just how much damage theists are doing — and will continue to do, as long as theism exists.

    Ok,enough of this nazi bullshit.
    I have a suspicion that this is a theist spouting nonsense,I havent come across this sort of stupid thinking on Pharyngula before.

  190. #190 charley
    March 13, 2009

    @Anne Hedonia and AJS:

    If all theism is mental illness, then the vast majority of humans are mentally ill. I don’t buy it. As for forcing people to believe or disbelieve something, aside from being inhumane it can’t be done. You can only force them to profess belief or disbelief. Would a gun to your head change your beliefs about God?

  191. #191 lowey
    March 13, 2009

    FOUR main components: (1)design, (2)natural evil, (3)systematics, (4)speciation, and (5)biogeography!!!!

    Hardly suprising

  192. #192 Geek
    March 13, 2009

    clinteas@189

    Ok,enough of this nazi bullshit.
    I have a suspicion that this is a theist spouting nonsense,I havent come across this sort of stupid thinking on Pharyngula before.

    I agree. Anne Hedonia and AJS seem to be promoting the “you need God to be good” argument. Without much subtlety.

  193. #193 phantomreader42
    March 13, 2009

    Janice ! #188:

    Wow, he counts about as competently as Monty Python’s Spanish Inquisitors did!

    At least he’s slightly better at it than King Arthur.

  194. #194 Rasmus Holm
    March 13, 2009

    One of these days, I hope our research at CORE will help us to better understand where predators come from.

    I like that “one of these days” remark. Yep Todd, it is gonna be any day day. You are clearly on the right track

  195. #195 clinteas
    March 13, 2009

    I agree. Anne Hedonia and AJS seem to be promoting the “you need God to be good” argument. Without much subtlety.

    Nah,Anne Hedonia(sic) is on an entirely different trip.And it aint pretty.

  196. #196 Peter Ashby
    March 13, 2009

    @RevBDC

    Your confusion re pandas and racoons is resolvable if you were thinking of the Red
    Panda http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_panda which is racoon like and not related to the Giant Panda. Relating things to my speciality the red panda is notable for having the superfast myosin isoform in its jaw muscles. Stops that pesky bamboo escaping I guess.

  197. #197 cactusren
    March 13, 2009

    @ 184: I’m assuming you were being sarcastic, but the math tutor in me can’t resist fixing this…

    (5-9/2)^2 = (4-9/2)^2
    +/-(5-9/2) = +/-(4-9/2)
    so 1/2 = 1/2 or -1/2 = -1/2

    Nice job completing the squares though.

    [/math tutor mode]

  198. #198 Dutchdoc
    March 13, 2009

    … How could the world we live in now exist without animal death? To be honest, it couldn’t.

    That “To be honest” really reads like “To be honest for a change“, doesn’t it?

  199. #199 Dutchdoc
    March 13, 2009

    re.: #198 But where is this sudden and misplaced (in a creationists blog) honnesty coming from? WHY? Don’t creationists engage in “lying for Jesus” ALL the time? Was this a fact that was TOO obvious, even for a creationist?

  200. #200 Bryn
    March 13, 2009

    @165, Rev. BigDumbChimp:

    But…but…but it says right there in the Big Book o’ Things Godly (Genesis 6) that, “And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.” So, either god was lying or he couldn’t foresee the formation of logmats or, and I think this really has to be it, the logmats arrived in chariots of iron and therefore god was helpless against them. Yeah, that must be it.

  201. #201 ConcernedJoe
    March 13, 2009

    Charley #190: Most people are essentially atheist. They are just too scared personally and/or socially to admit it. And the community of religion and honors afforded them make them that much more attractive – thus the added incentives to be “believers.”

    I believe the one-time pilots on 9/11 were not atheists; nor are those that eschew medical treatments for prayer only. These people are true believers and they are also in my book insane.

    The rest of those that profess faith make the same bloody tangible decisions I make or would make as a hardcore atheist when the chips are down. Actions speak louder than words in this faith game. Wanting to believe so strongly that you think you believe is not the same as really believing.

    Yes the allure or having a sky-daddy, being part of a community, and/or conforming to the model god-fearing citizen is hard to shake for some — but actions betray them.

    Excuses galore like “god is not a trained monkey” are so transparent. Either you have unbounded faith in your lord and master, creator of all, most loving highness or you do not. Put your $$$ where your mouth is. You (the general you believer) will not because in your heart you know such faith would be INSANE!!!

  202. #202 Sarniaskeptic
    March 13, 2009

    In case someone hasn’t pointed it out – on the CORE research page, they have a “support” link.

    They ask for different means of support – one of them being prayer.

    I think we should all do that, at least… so I let them know…

    “I just wanted to email you guys to let you know that I?m praying for you.

    I mean, it is (literally) the least I (or anyone) can do. (I?m praying you?ll be, someday, interested in facts and evidence. Like all other prayers, this one is bound to fail.)”

  203. #203 Numad
    March 13, 2009

    “I honestly don’t have a problem with Anne Hedonia. We need less Chamberlain and more Churchill.”

    I assure you, these are not the WWII figures I’m reminded of when reading your comments. Dealt With? With random capitalization? Horrid.

  204. #204 Jay
    March 13, 2009

    @201

    Either you have unbounded faith in your lord and master, creator of all, most loving highness or you do not. Put your $$$ where your mouth is. You (the general you believer) will not because in your heart you know such faith would be INSANE!!!

    Reminds me of a routine by comedian Doug Stanhope where he says that if you really believe that death leads to eternal bliss then why are you wearing a seatbelt?

  205. #205 Roger Scott
    March 13, 2009

    Darn it, with all this new traffic, someone had to tell him he couldn’t count. (It is just possible PZ?s introductory paragraph gave it away.) I was hoping to use his woeful counting skills as an example of typical creationist competence in my PowerPoint on creationism. Oh well, I already had quite a lot anyway. The Curse as a factor in biology!!!! Bloody hell!

  206. #206 freethinker
    March 13, 2009

    PZ Myers, you are a theist sympathizer and should ba ashamed.

  207. #207 Kugelblitz
    March 13, 2009

    #137

    “Also consider that we came much to close to electing one of that tribe to be our leader.

    Suddenly not funny anymore.”

    You’re quite right, that’s not funny. What’s funny is the Magic Underwear which supposedly identifies you to god. Is that not an image to conjure with…god the all-knowing checking laundry tags to see who belongs to the club…

    I’m sorry…but it had me ROTFLMAO, it would have made a perfect Monty Python scene.

  208. #208 The Tim Channel
    March 13, 2009

    Gomerology, aka Gooberology, seems to be the main study of these creationist relignotards, at least those of this specific baramin group. Is a holobaramin a multiple dimension scalable monobaramin? Is that a creationist textbook in your pocket or are you thinking of a natural evil we could engage in?

    Enjoy.

  209. #209 mothra
    March 13, 2009

    Working late at night in a DI lab, fantasizing how it began.
    Wall hung placards declaring: I am worthy!
    I’m no closer now with my science stuff, almost called his name out in vain!
    There’s no data still, and I am so down the river.

    And with the main frame down, I should just skip town.
    One voice in my head “don’t do it!”
    Another voice (that’s Fred) ‘don’t do it!”
    All three voices said “Stay you right here!”
    But I am flummoxed.

    Can’t count the baramins.
    My OTU’s just died.
    Can’t count the baramins.
    I think I’ll let the data slide.

    In the lecture hall with an audience, they can’t know that I’m a flack.
    Beware that bearded man there, in the corner.
    And with the lights down low, power-point slide show.
    But people there were shouting his name.
    And questions raised by the multitude, I don’t answer.

    And then the bearded man said: ‘your philosophy’s dead.’
    ‘kinds they do evolve’ (I knew it).
    ‘Your ancestors crawled,deal with it.’
    But my only paycheck’s from DI!
    What can I do, ’cause, I. . .

    Can’t count the baramins.
    Ant polytome so.
    Can’t count the baramins,
    so to a different venue now I must go.

  210. #210 SLC
    March 13, 2009

    It should be pointed out that Bryan College used to be the bailiwick of one Kurt Wise, BA in geology, Un. of Chicago, PhD in paleontology, Harvard Un., PhD student of Stephen Jay Gould. A YEC, who admits that the overwhelming bulk of the scientific evidence supports an old earth but considers that evidence to be irrelevant.

  211. #211 AJS
    March 14, 2009

    God-believers are mentally ill — religion would meet the clinical definition of psychosis if it wasn’t given an (unjustifiable, since it clearly constitutes a double logical fallacy: argumentum ad populam and special pleading) exemption. Furthermore, they can spread that mental illness to other people.

    Now, if it was just a fairly harmless kind of mental illness which merely prevented them from getting jobs in science and dependent fields of endeavour because they believe in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contary that the world is 6000 years old, was once flooded and all species were created separately, that probably would be tolerable. Sad nonetheless, but tolerable.

    But when it’s the kind of dangerous mental illness that makes them think it’s OK to mistreat women, homosexuals, those who do not share their delusions &c. and people are suffering because of that, it’s anything but harmless.

    • God-believers’ aversion to contraception is spreading AIDS and other sexually-transmitted infections across Africa.
    • God-believers take such offence at a bunch of cartoons, or a name given to a teddy bear, that they call for violence.
    • God-belief justifies imprisoning people who publish essays on women’s rights.
    • God-believers’ aversion to abortion nearly forced a young girl to give birth to twins conceived as a result of rape with the most probable outcome being that all three would die.

    Then a line has to be drawn.

    The sooner religion goes the way of smallpox, the better. And while it would be nice to achieve this without depriving anyone of their human rights, the fact remains that people are suffering and dying right now, because others are infected with a dangerous, communicable disease. And we need at least to talk about how to stop this disease.

  212. #212 Bisch
    March 14, 2009

    Should’ve taken a screencap of his blog when it said “four,” PZ!

    Not one of you guys see the sweet irony of Professor Myers’s correcting his very minor error with the blockquotes in his post defaming the subject very minor author’s error in counting? Hopefully we can all agree that a Ph.D. in anything could count to five. With this group, maybe we can’t, though.

    Then the subject author corrects his error and many wail “weeeeeeee! it was so much fun making fun that we should have cached the page so we could have made fun some more! weeeeeeeeeeeeee!”

    And then everyone piles on. Fun is had by all.

    You guys are fun. A few of the obligatory “theists have a mental illness” comments thrown in.

    I also note that y’all typically argue with folks and disparage their lack of education. Here’s a guy that comes along with all the correct sheepskin, and since he doesn’t follow your lead, he’s still lacking. Questions about how such a goober could have been accepted, let alone graduated, from U of V.

    Rich indeed. If it’s any source of pride for y’all, I also come here from time to time for a good laugh.

  213. #213 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 14, 2009

    I also note that y’all typically argue with folks and disparage their lack of education. Here’s a guy that comes along with all the correct sheepskin, and since he doesn’t follow your lead, he’s still lacking. Questions about how such a goober could have been accepted, let alone graduated, from U of V.

    Well the thing that gets me going, I can’t speak for everyone, is that he supposedly has the “correct sheepskin” (whatever that means) and still makes the idiotic assertions he does regarding science. The counting error is silly, that’s all. But the other errors are not. They show just how much he doesn’t have a clue about the things he is talking about.

  214. #214 Bisch
    March 14, 2009

    They show just how much he doesn’t have a clue about the things he is talking about.

    With respect, says you. I do understand y’all believe you have the market cornered on truth, so I completely understand you’d say that. What gets me going is the unilateral presumption that there’s nothing outside of Myers-style evolutionary biology to be considered, ever.

    My bachelor’s-degree-in-civil-engineering self comes in and says that I find difficulties in believing in macro-evolution, and I’m told I don’t have the credentials. Someone like the subject author, who does have the credentials says the same thing, and he’s told that he’s an idiot for believing that stuff. Fine. Someone like Antony Flew comes along and says he’s changed his mind about atheism, and he’s given into his senility, mentally declining to the point that he’d buy such nonsense. Okay, where does it end? Who is allowed to question without being rejected right away?

    The entrance requirements to your little club keep changing. No doubt (and I do mean, no doubt) that if Professor Myers wrote a paper refuting macro-evolution, after determining it wasn’t a joke, he’d be discredited in precisely the same manner as the subject author or Antony Flew were.

  215. #215 Bob
    March 14, 2009

    I once had a student who wrote the following sentence with the word “pentagon.” A STOP sign is a pentagon because it has six sides. Now, where do we start in counting the errors?

  216. #216 Relgion? Brand Brain Staples
    March 14, 2009

    Bisch: It’s called making claims contrary to the evidence.

    The reason these people are disparaged is because they keep asserting thing that are demonstrably untrue. Keep that idea (demonstrable) in mind.

    The credentials aren’t what matters, it’s the evidence that matters. Credentials are not a blank cheque to make whatever you say true or to stifle dissent. They are not an automatic “I win”.

    So try to understand: Anyone can play, but it you’re going to spout bullshit, we’re going to call it bullshit. This may seem cruel to people expecting that their every mental excretion should be called a precious snowflake, but that’s the cutthroat nature of rational, evidence based discussion.

  217. #217 'Tis Himself
    March 14, 2009

    My bachelor’s-degree-in-civil-engineering self comes in and says that I find difficulties in believing in macro-evolution, and I’m told I don’t have the credentials.

    You don’t have the credentials. My degrees in economics say that I don’t have the credentials either. So what? When I go to the dentist and she says I need a filling replaced I don’t argue with her. She’s got the credentials in dentistry that I lack. When I take my car to the garage and the mechanic says I need new ball joints, I don’t argue with him because he’s got the credentials in auto repair that I lack. So when the biologists say that evolution is demonstrably true, I believe them because they have the credentials. Also I believe them because they have evidence that they can produce and explain in a way understandable to someone who last took a biology course some 46 years ago.

    Your boy Todd may have the credentials, but it’s obvious even to an amateur like me that he’s talking out of his ass. He’s saying things that are demonstrably false. His evidence consists of hand waving and goddidit.

    No doubt (and I do mean, no doubt) that if Professor Myers wrote a paper refuting macro-evolution, after determining it wasn’t a joke, he’d be discredited in precisely the same manner as the subject author or Antony Flew were.

    If Myers wrote a such a paper and gave evidence to support it then the next thing he’d be writing would be his Nobel Prize acceptance speech. You don’t get it, do you? You can write anything you want as long as you have reasonable evidence to support your conclusion.

  218. #218 Owlmirror
    March 14, 2009

    Okay, where does it end? Who is allowed to question without being rejected right away?

    Someone who has actual evidence for his assertions. And I mean peer-reviewed evidence.

    I mean, consider Michael Behe. Ph.D in biochemistry. Presumably relatively smart. Smarter than the average grunting YEC, anyway. Accepts evolution; accepts common descent; accepts the billions-year-old universe and Earth.

    But when he makes the claim that bacterial flagella could not have evolved, or that the human immune system could not have evolved, his peers — those who actually know something about bacterial flagella and the human immune system — ask for the evidence; ask him if he’s aware of this huge stack of research done into the evolution of bacterial flagella; ask him if he’s aware of this huge stack of research done into the evolution of immune systems… He’s got nothing. Nothing at all.

    You can look this stuff up. It’s all available in the Dover v Kitzmiller transcripts; Behe gives his expert testimony, and he’s cross-examined to determined what scientific, evidence-based research he might have done to reach his conclusions…

    And he’s got nothing. Nothing at all.

    And his peers are even distancing themselves from him:
    http://www.lehigh.edu/bio/news/evolution.htm

  219. #219 Kel
    March 14, 2009

    It’s now been 13 years since Behe published public ally on Irreducible Complexity, the idea still hasn’t been submitted for peer review.

  220. #220 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 14, 2009

    It’s now been 13 years since Behe published public ally on Irreducible Complexity, the idea still hasn’t been submitted for peer review.

    In real science, one puts up, by publishing the paper in the peer reviewed literature, or one shuts up, tacitly acknowledging the idea is not up to snuff. Poor Behe is not up to snuff…

  221. #221 Cheezits
    March 15, 2009

    I do understand y’all believe you have the market cornered on truth…

    Which proves that you don’t understand at all. What we believe, what science is about, how evolution works, why it is accepted, why creationism is bullshit – you don’t understand any of it. No bachelor’s-degree-in-civil-engineering will change that.

  222. #222 AJS
    March 15, 2009

    What gets me going is the unilateral presumption that there’s nothing outside of Myers-style evolutionary biology to be considered, ever.

    That’s because there isn’t. It’s a little bit like the “unilateral presumption” amongst mathematicians that -1 * -1 = +1, or the “unilateral presumption” amongst television repairers that a cathode ray tube works by means of a beam of electrons impinging upon phosphors rather than by having tiny people inside who act out the shows.

    My bachelor’s-degree-in-civil-engineering self comes in and says that I find difficulties in believing in macro-evolution, and I’m told I don’t have the credentials.

    B.Eng is, frankly, rather overqualified not to understand the mechanism of evolution. Anyone with even GCSE maths ought to be able to make the connection between an accumulation of tiny changes and large changes.

    You know what a nanometre is, right?

    And you know what a kilometre is?

    Right, then. Is there any reason why something that moves only a nanometre at a time would not eventually find itself having travelled a whole kilometre away from where it started out?

    Why, then, do you have such a problem with the idea of small changes accumulating over time and ending up as big changes?

    Someone like the subject author, who does have the credentials says the same thing, and he’s told that he’s an idiot for believing that stuff. Fine.

    That’s because evolution is correct, whether or not you’d like it to be. We’ll give you a temporary free pass if you really, really can’t understand it, and even explain it to you, even going so far as to use nice short words if necessary; but once you’ve demonstrated that despite understanding it you refuse to accept it, we know you’re being wilfully ignorant. And then it’s open season.

  223. #223 David Marjanovi?, OM
    March 15, 2009
    Newly identified holobaramins include the first arthropod, fern, and annelid holobaramins.

    What! Common ancestry for all arthropods? All arthropods, for crying out loud!?!

    And common ancestry for all annelids?!?

    Ten more years tops, and this guy will end up like Behe: common descent for all known life.

    Anyone who believes the bible literally but says reproduction didn’t occur in Eden is either ignorant of their own story or lying. What a surprise.

    Fixed it for you.

    The first of the two creation stories has everything else created first and people (both sexes) last. The second has Adam created almost right at the beginning, then everything else, and then Eve. Celebrity deathmatch!!!1!!eleventyone!!!!!

    And I haven’t even mentioned the contradictions on salvation yet.

    I believe the one-time pilots on 9/11 were not atheists

    Well, no, but there have been atheistic suicide bombers (the Stalinist PKK comes to mind — several people, mostly women BTW, blew themselves up to free Kurdistan and increase the glory of Abdullah Ícalan, not necessarily in that order; also, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam come without a religion as part of their ideology and have nonetheless produced suicide bombers).

    All you need to become a suicide bomber is the belief that something is worth killing and dying for. You don’t need to believe in a god; you just need to disagree with Gen. Patton.

  224. #224 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 15, 2009

    With respect, says you. I do understand y’all believe you have the market cornered on truth, so I completely understand you’d say that. What gets me going is the unilateral presumption that there’s nothing outside of Myers-style evolutionary biology to be considered, ever.

    It’s very simple.

    Provide something that refutes evolution. Hard empirical science not just philosophical gesturing.

    If you are going to question the science you must provide something that calls it into question.

  225. #225 Josh
    March 15, 2009

    My bachelor’s-degree-in-civil-engineering self comes in and says that I find difficulties in believing in macro-evolution, and I’m told I don’t have the credentials.

    That’s because you don’t.

    And you taking that as some sort of insult, rather than a statement of demonstrable fact, simply proves our point.

  226. #226 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 15, 2009

    Bisch, if evolution is wrong, you will have to refute it using the peer reviewed primary scientific literature. Science is only refuted with more science. Religion and philosophy can’t touch science. Unfortunately for you, papers disproving evolution aren’t there. And with a Nobel prize waiting for a person who disproves evolution, if the evidence was there, it would be presented in the literature.

  227. #227 Toth
    March 16, 2009

    Well, I can’t really blame God. Sometimes something just goes wrong in production and you have to debug for a few thousand years before you can release a patch.

  228. #228 faithless
    March 17, 2009

    Anyone who knows me at all knows that I break down creationist biology into four main components: design, natural evil, systematics, speciation, and biogeography.

    Five, five main components: design, natural evil, systematics, speciation, biogeography, and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope — ARRGGGHHHH!

    Cardinal Fang, read the charges!!

  229. #229 Bisch
    March 17, 2009

    Why, then, do you have such a problem with the idea of small changes accumulating over time and ending up as big changes?

    Because I’ve never seen it happen, and neither have you, and neither has anyone else.

    Faith indeed.

    You can look this stuff up. It’s all available in the Dover v Kitzmiller transcripts; Behe gives his expert testimony, and he’s cross-examined to determined what scientific, evidence-based research he might have done to reach his conclusions…

    And he’s got nothing. Nothing at all.

    Did you even read the transcripts? On your recommendation I read them, and “nothing at all” hardly describes what Behe has done in research to reach his conclusions.

    Your claim is poorly written, and it’s painful hyperbole, and it’s incorrect.

    And you taking that as some sort of insult, rather than a statement of demonstrable fact, simply proves our point.

    Keep reading, yo. I was making a bigger point than my feeling slighted because nobody will listen to me about my opinion regarding macro-evolution. I am not taking it as some sort of insult.

    Bisch: It’s called making claims contrary to the evidence.

    I understand, and in reading the transcripts, Behe stated without correction that these irreducibly complex systems haven’t been explained by evolution by natural selection. It’s been attempted, but the attempts by Miller were amazingly weak, totally missing Behe’s definition. The inference that such a machine is designed seemingly could be easily refuted by showing how unintelligent processes could result in such a multi-part machine…you know, evidence. Since it hasn’t been explained by evolution by natural selection, then I’m going to go with my observations.

    So when folks disparage intelligent design, it really comes off as a political objection, not wanting God to be introduced into biology classrooms, and not a scientific objection. Note I’m saying that it comes off that way. I know the response will be much about peer-reviewed literature and such as that.

    And as I’ve noted before, you guys control the debate by being in charge of the science journals. I don’t blame you for wanting to shut out this sort of debate, and even though I think it’s disingenuous, I see the logic in refusing to discuss such topics.

  230. #230 Bisch
    March 18, 2009

    Clarification, when I say “refusing to discuss such topics” I mean to say “refusing to discuss such topics in biology classrooms.”

    Apologies…

  231. #231 Patrick
    March 19, 2009

    As I read some of this guy’s other posts, I feel kinda sorry for him. He seems like a really nice wholesome guy, who really wants to make creationism into science. Poor guy’s whole world is gonna come crashing down if he ever gets to the point when he realizes the rube-goldbergian just-so stories don’t have any explanatory utility.

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