Commentary on the so-called Creation/Evolution/Intelligent Design Debate and Right-Wing nuttery in general - and please ignore the typos (I make lots!)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

American Taliban

And it isn't this guy:

"I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution. But I believe it’s a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God. And that’s what we need to do is amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than trying to change God’s standards so it lines up with some contemporary view of how we treat each other and how we treat the family. "
And this Christo-fascist has lots of supporters.
What a sad state of affairs.

Friday, January 04, 2008

"Professor Smith"

A person calling him/herself "Professor Smith' has a blog up here.

I've tried to leave several comments, but "Smith" is not letting any of them through - creationist censorship and all.

He (I suspect it is a he for reasons I will expand on later) makes a number of very idiotic claims and assertions, and in typical creationist fashion, doesn't seem willing or able to support any of them.

Most of his posts there are just whines about "Darwinists", but the following exchange took place here:

factician // January 3, 2008 at 3:37 pm
I’ve already stated my view on this, that evolution should be taught (fully taught, meaning the strengths and weaknesses)

Which weaknesses did you have in mind?

professorsmith // January 4, 2008 at 11:33 pm
The weaknesses that are swept under the rug, of course. Wells has pointed out some. Others are there if one dives in with any sort of eye to find the weaknesses,
like my recent post on whale evolution where a bone is being called a supposed
precursor of whales, found thousands of years after the cetacean split. The uses of vestigial organs could be discussed or the spectacular failures of the predictions of junk DNA, or the failures of evolutionary simulations, etc. There are lots of examples. That none of them are presented means it’s all about indoctrination, not learning.

Now, I won't mention the fact that 'Smith' is likely not a professor at all, and is quite likely a physics major in a non-research Master's program and Intelligent Design/Creationism activist. Nor will I mention the fat that this 'professor' can't spell common biology terms like pheromone and does not seem to have a very good grasp of evolutionary biology and seems to get all his information from creationist/ID sites. Nor will I mention that he refuses to say what his field supposedly is... [for some interesting discourse on this 'new' blog, see this thread on

I'll amend this post later to discuss 'Smith's' nonsensical claims re: Wells, vestigials, and junkDNA ...

Thursday, January 03, 2008

And ever more from "Intelligent Designer"

I know, I know - more "ad holmiums"...

But old Randy just keeps plugging along with his fallacious 'reasoning' and argument via (pseudo)authority:

"Now since I am a software developer, mutation (development) and selection (testing) of complex systems is an everyday activity for me. So there are similarities between what I do for a living and the concept of evolution. This difference is that DNA is considerably more complex than software. Yet no one develops software by random mutation and testing alone. Instead of random mutation the software development process employs intelligent design. I don't believe that random mutation has any place in the software development process -- so why should I believe in evolution?"

Emphases mine.
Incredible, eh?

I mean jeepers - Randy Stimpson knows software development, by golly, his opinions on biological evolution are beyond reproach!

I don't know Randy, maybe because folks who are just as smart as you have dedicated their professional careers to studying the concept and doing research and that sort of thing and have concluded that evolution happened and happens? Because that is what the evidence indicates happened?

Why on earth is what you do in software development relevant in any way, shape, or form to the process of populational phenomena like evolution?


Well, to be fair, here is the rest (first part) of his post, interspersed with my comments:

Probably one of the most annoying laws of science is the fact that entropy
tends to increase.
I am reminded of this whenever my wireless mouse stops working. When that
happens it means that the batteries powering my mouse have reached maximum
entropy. Well maybe that's a bad example of how annoying entropy can be because
if it wasn't for entropy the mouse wouldn't work at all. But when I look into
the mirror that's when entropy really annoys me. That's when I notice that I
don't have as much hair as I used to and that it is turning gray.

This should be good...

Basically I notice that I am growing old. Human aging and its associated
diseases and conditions can be traced to a gradual increase in cell division
errors in tissues throughout the body.

Well, some of them can. Let's not use too many wild extrapolations...

This process begins slowly and increases gradually with advancing age. We can do
things to slow the increase in cell division errors (or speed it up) but we can't stop it. If not by accident, we all eventually die due to the increasing entropy of our own DNA.

Well, the accumulation of 'errors' in DNA due to cell division are not really examples of entropy in the normal sense. Since you like to use Wikipedia as your primary source of information, you should check out the entry on entropy. You willnotice that DNA is mentioned nowhere in it.

Now what I have just said is based on indisputable scientific fact which is readily observed (unfortunately) by every single one of us.

What is? That cell division increases entropy, or that peopel age and die?

But cell division errors not only affect us as individuals they also affect groups of individuals when these errors are of the type that can be transmitted to offspring. These errors are genetic disorders which vary in severity and there around 4,000 genetic disorders that are currently known. Most disorders are rare and may affect one person in every several thousands or millions. Others, like early onset lactose intolerance, are more prevalent. Entropy predicts that over time inherited genetic disorders will become more prevelent within a species and will eventually cause extinction.

Entropy predicts this? Really? Amazing. Do you have a non-Wiki reference for this prediction? And is it really genetic disorders that necessarily cause extinction?

This prediction is confirmed by the fossil record and is contrary to the
belief that genetic mutations lead to superior genetic organization, that is,

Whoa, hold on. The fossil record confirms this "prediction" that 'entropy' leads to an increase in genetic disorders? Talk about leaps of faith (not to mention 'logic'). Tell us all, Mr.Software Developer - how is that "prediction" confirmed by the fossil record?

Evolutionists argue that genetic mutatution plus natural selection has resulted in evolution.

Well, that is the simple version, sure. Namely because there is no evidence to the contrary and there is evidence supportive of this position. Doubts by those lacking sufficient understanding of the subject are irrelevant.

This leads us to the cosmological question: Is natural selection sufficient enough to overcome entropy?

I don't know - is a refrigerator sufficient to overcome entropy?