Dembski’s Uncommon Descent blog is a wonderful place, full of giggles and unexpected humorous twists. A brilliant parody of Intelligent Design movement, indistinguishable from the real thing: dogmatic, idiotic, self-righteous and hilarious. Wait! It is the real thing! Damn! All the hilariousness appears to be unintended, such as their About page. Still, such lovely hijinx! such wonderful slapstick humour! Pity those people: they actually believe their own balderdash…

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Here is a frightening, imbecilic, medieval, foul freak: Vlad Kusakin. (In Russian, luckily for those of you who do not speak the language). Made from the same cloth as Ted Haggard, Jerry Falwell, and other miscellaneous hateful, hating, ignorant creationists/fundamentalists/fascists. Americans–or, should I say, English-speaking people–do not have a monopoly on this kind of foulness anymore.

Those IDiots at Uncommon Descent are at it again, gleefully quote-mining a good research paper. The argument and the actual paper, being open source is here. Now I challenge anyone to read the paper and the IDiotic exchange that follows and not get the feeling that those guys just don’t get it at all. They don’t get the scientific method; they don’t get the science itself; they don’t get reality. They are in the grip of a strange ideology that utterly blinds them to any interpretations that differ from their own. They claim that we (“evolutionists”, “Darwinists”) are blind to possibilities, without seeming to realize that their pet alternative has been considered, analyzed, found wanting and discarded a long time ago. Evolution by natural selection can certainly turn out to have been a wrong idea—even though I consider that highly unlikely—but the balderdash of Intelligent Design is certainly wrong. We shouldn’t even waste time discussing it!

The level of dishonesty and ignorance at Uncommon Descent leads me to believe that perhaps life on this planet originated on several different occasions. I do not think I share any genetic material with them…

Scary

08 October 2007

In a rather frightening development, British educators are actually suggesting the teaching of creationism in public schools: the actual article is here; the salient point is:

“(Reiss)said science teachers must treat pupils who have creationist beliefs with respect. “What I am saying is teach evolution as a really good part of science but be open to the fact that in most classes there are increasingly likely to be some children who come from families that cannot accept that – and don’t denigrate those pupils and their beliefs. The days have long gone when science teachers could ignore creationism when teaching about origins.”

This guy is apparently an Anglican priest and holds a doctorate in evolutionary biology. I am not quite sure what to make of this mess: obviously this is bullshit of prime texture and odour, along with any demand to treat religious beliefs with “respect” solely because they are religious. Since there is no evidence for creationist beliefs outside of the believers’ deluded little minds, such beliefs do not belong in a science classroom. Comparative religion, perhaps. What’s next? Should we teach racialist ideologies in class just to appease several Nazi skins that happen to hold some idiotic precepts about the superiority of the Aryan race? Or entertain the possibility of ships falling off the edge of the Earth to pacify an occasional flat-earther? And should the content of science classes be geared to reflect the cultural and religious diversity of the student population?

We can and we should ignore creationism when teaching about the origins. As far as we know (which is not much, currently, I admit freely), Flying Spaghetti Monsters had nothing to do with the emergence of life on this planet. Some people believe so. Let them; that’s their problem. But no scientist worthy of the title should present their belief systems as anything that they are: primitive guesswork illuminated by a rigid set of morals and unamenable to change and growth–the exact opposite of science.

The increasing fundamentalism is definitely a problem, but one that will not be cured by coddling it. Remember Chamberlain?

…is Letters to the editor, of course. Ignorance and a near-total incapacity to think logically are a rule rather than an exception. Consider this:

More questions on evolution

A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing: Global warming Fallacies. Notice the last sentence: as if we need further proof of the dangers of religiously-motivated thought…

More later; need to sleep…

…some belly laughs: the CBN article on the sorry piece of garbage that is going to be Expelled. The title is pretty funny: Evolution Exposed on the Big Screen, but I especially like the beginning of the second paragraph: “But drawing laughs is not the focus of this upcoming film”. But drawing laughs (a lot of them) is precisely what it is going to do!

On a more serious note, you may have heard that the producers of this film have lied to many biologists about the purpose and the content of it in an attempt to get interviews with them. This is a classic Creationist strategy: lie, whine and take quotes out of context. Fuck, I could rave about it for hours, but draw your own conclusions.

I mean, how do you argue with people like this? The sheer combination of inanity and ignorance is breathtaking!

For those that read Russian, an interesting article on the current courtroom challenges in Russia and the status of evolutionary theory is here. Despite the use of some dubious terminology (“darwinist”), it is all right. I especially like “Но для того чтобы убедить креационистов, кажется, потребуется божественное вмешательство” (“to change a creationist’s mind it would require divine intervention”) 😉

Did you know that an old version of spellcheck in AppleWorks that I had back in my junior year corrected “creationism” to “cretinism”? But despite being cretins in any normal sense of the word, their marketing and proselytizing skills are not entirely non-existent. Books for Russian market are published on a regular basis, and with the ongoing failure of Russian educational system, these could do some damage, not to the science of evolution, but to the political climate of the country.

Meanwhile, USA is scarcely better.

resource links

27 September 2007

For Russian speakers: a good antidote to creationist claims is here