Planetologist's Blog – February 2009 Archive (9)

Ben Stein is wrong... again.

I liked Ben Stein a lot more as a character actor and game show host. Stein embarrassed himself terribly last year in Expelled, in which his painful ignorance of evolutionary science was put on display for all the world to see. In that movie he equated science - apparently all science, judging from comments he's made since - with Nazism, and supporters of the facts of biological evolution with Nazi sympathizers. All of that is bad enough for one flailing end-stage career in… Continue

Added by Planetologist on February 25, 2009 at 9:05am — 4 Comments

Experimental theology

Sorry to have been under radio silence for so long, but I'm working on a scientific manuscript for publication. Once that's off to be savagely critiqued in peer review, I'll be back for more god-bashing. For now, though, I can only offer this ridiculously lengthy reply I just wrote, to a comment on one of my previous posts on evolution. Enjoy:



I actually don't think I'm being unfair to theists, in… Continue

Added by Planetologist on February 24, 2009 at 4:00pm — 2 Comments

Exposing bigots: eightmaps.com

An interesting convergence has occurred between information technology and election-donor transparency. California's election laws disclose to public record all campaign donors giving $100 or more. As part of the public record, anyone can access such data. Anyone can know who gave how much to what campaign... including the recent bigot-eruption in California, Prop 8. Using those public records a group has set up eightmaps.com, which uses Google map… Continue

Added by Planetologist on February 14, 2009 at 9:12am — 6 Comments

Darwin at 200

Darwin Day, 2008: the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, founder of evolutionary biology.



Darwin wasn't alone in his discovery of the process of biological evolution; Alfred Russell Wallace almost beat him to fame's finish line. But Darwin made the key logical connections first, and for mostly the same reasons Wallace did: species around the world didn't appear to all come from the same Monster Manual, they varied tremendously from place to place, and they seemed… Continue

Added by Planetologist on February 12, 2009 at 2:19pm — No Comments

Bad Thermodynamics: Information

A reader commented on my recent post about entropy, and asked how information and entropy are related. Creationists sometimes argue that information can't spontaneously increase because of the Second Law of Thermodynamics (they're wrong), and then they use that mistaken understanding to try and assert that evolution is impossible. I mentioned that issue briefly in my post, but left further elaboration for later. Well,… Continue

Added by Planetologist on February 11, 2009 at 6:02pm — 2 Comments

Our Father, Who art in Valinor...

As an atheist I've long attempted to put myself in the mindset of a true believer. I can't seem to do it. In my adult life I've never ascribed to a belief system that relied solely on self-justifying ideology, detached from rational proof, based entirely on the folktales of primitive peoples. I can understand academically that people can believe so strongly in invisible forces that they're willing to kill and die for them. The lesson of history is clear on this point. But it used to be couldn't… Continue

Added by Planetologist on February 10, 2009 at 7:05pm — 1 Comment

Senate slashes science

Friday's Senate version of the Federal stimulus package cuts funding for science and research, specifically the National Science Foundation (NSF), the top government program supporting investigator-driven scientific research in the US. If you're a scientist - or simply a person who wishes not to live in an ignorant nation - and you haven't called or emailed your Congresspersons yet, now might be a good time to do… Continue

Added by Planetologist on February 8, 2009 at 3:17pm — 1 Comment

Evolution is a fact: followup

I really need to stop writing responses to responses on my blog that are longer than my original blog post. I still don't know precisely what to do with such verbiage. What's the Internet conventional standard model?

Anyway, we now rejoin said discussion already in progress...

Added by Planetologist on February 5, 2009 at 11:02am — No Comments

No more theories: Evolution is a fact

I just read a depressing article on LiveScience.com by Robert Roy Britt, discussing the limitations and flaws inherent in most public surveys about "belief" in evolution. I have to use quotation marks there, because "belief" is absolutely irrelevant. The proper term should be acceptance, as in "Do you accept the evidence of biological evolution, or are you sufficiently ignorant and narcissistic to… Continue

Added by Planetologist on February 3, 2009 at 11:22am — 10 Comments

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