Neural Nets, Part One

Today’s Daily (pseudo)Science Update from the Institute for Creation Research’s Brian Thomas is called IBM Attempts to Build Computer ‘Brain’, and waxes lyrical about how IBM – the folk who brought us the hard drive, the ATM, Deep Blue, Watson and appreciable portions of the Linux kernel, among much else – are taking as inspiration the human brain. Here’s his conclusion:

Some of the best and brightest engineering brains are involved in seeing this project to completion. If and when they succeed, they will also have succeeded in proving that the human brain they used as their model could only have been created through intelligently and purposefully directed power. Something that intricately designed could never have “just happened.”

This post has long been my go-to post whenever what Natural Selection can achieve is brought up in the context of what we as humans can design. Now is the time, I think, to expand on that.

Neurons Continue reading

I’m Sure I Just Did This One

It was only a few days ago now that I posted The Scars of Eye Surgery about Brian Thomas’ article Do Eyes Carry ‘Scars of Evolution’? Mr Thomas has decided that he needs to write on the same article again, apparently because there really isn’t much evolution/creationism related going on right now.* The result: Eye Evolution: Assumption, Not Science. In the circumstances, that describes much better his reading of the subject than the actual thing.

Note the "cup" eyespots that give this organism a slight ability to detect the direction of light, as well as its intensity Continue reading

Late To The Party: Historical Adam

As you may be aware, a few weeks ago there was a great furore about the possibility that some evangelicals may have “come to their senses” on the subject of whether or not Adam and Eve actually existed. This was what, two, two and a half weeks ago now? The eternally late Institute for Creation Research now weighs in on the matter, in a DpSU called Christian Professor Claims Genetics Disproves Historical Adam. Let’s see where Mr Thomas goes with it: Continue reading

Caudipteryx, and Other Bird-Like Theropod Dinosaurs

I believe I’ve been here before.

When creationists talk about bird evolution, it is entirely to muddy the waters. They are prepared to say anything to make it look like the amazing evolutionary tour-de-force of bird evolution isn’t. In this case – in the article Feathers Missing from ‘Feathered Dinosaur’ Display – Brian Thomas of the ICR is claiming, against all the evidence, that a fossil dinosaur that he went to see has no evidence for feathers upon it. I can only guess that the (presumably fossil cast) he went to look at was of particularly poor quality, or his photo’s were, or both. Here’s another cast of the same fossil, from Wikimedia. Can you spot the feather impressions?

Caudipteryx fossil

They’re there alright. Continue reading

The Scars of Eye Surgery

You may be aware that the Discovery Institute’s David Klingoffer just tried – and failed – to counter claims that the human spine couldn’t have been designed, because, if it had, said “designer” would’ve had to be rather bad at it. Today – in a post entitled Do Eyes Carry ‘Scars of Evolution’? – Brian Thomas of the Institute for Creation Research tries to do the same, but for eyes.

normal (human) retina Continue reading

Pseudohelpful Pseudogenes

Pseudo-words abound in this latest Daily (pseudo)Science Update from the ICR. Indeed, it goes beyond the usual pseudoScience element – this is a pseudoUpdate as well. Far from his usual two-week-old news, Brian Thomas is reporting in his latest post – RNA Discoveries Refute Key Evolutionary Argument – on a “recent” study from way back in March. Continue reading

Erosion on a Biblical Scale

We interrupt what was looking to be a reasonably pleasant week (at least in these parts) to announce that the ICR has returned to the old creationist gambit of “why haven’t the continents eroded already?” “Pleasant” having been replaced by the “hilarity” that last week seemed to lack, of course.

Mt Parícutin in 1943, the same year an otherwise presumed benevolent Creator decided that Mexico was short a volcano and preceeded to rectify the situation immediately, killing three people with lightning and destroying a village. Continue reading

Wood You Like Some Cellulose With That?

I apologise for the cheesy title, but it was just crying out to be used.

Cellulose 3D balls, from wiki[m/p]edia

Brian Thomas’ latest article at the ICR is called Earliest Fossil Shows Wood Could Not Evolve despite said wood fossil showing nothing of the sort. Indeed, the majority of this article has nothing to do with the fossil, and could easily have been written without it. If you take a look at my Terminology page you will see that for a short while I called these kinds of DpSU’s “Type Io” for the reason I give there. I think I shall resurrect that classification for this post. Continue reading