The Tranquil Flood, More Dinosaur Pigments and the Petition to Ban Creationism

It’s been a slow week. Since writing the previous post – which was rather long – I’ve been resting my fingers, attending to other hobbies (so, apparently, if you convert a program from c to c++, and replace the structs with classes, you get less segmentation faults. Or at least you do when I’m writing them…) and, ah, “studying for exams.” However, after three days, I think that there is enough material from the ICR to comment on, so here goes: Continue reading

Ideological Indoctrination

It’s been several weeks now, but I still can’t find the new K-12 blog promised by this month’s Acts and Facts magazine to appear sometime this “Fall” – a season which I understand is roughly equivalent, time of year wise, to NZ’s Spring.

But not to worry – the ICR has been in the indoctrination education business for a while now, but it’s mostly been targeted at home-schoolers until now. The ICR sells a bunch of Science Education Essentials, of which they provide some samples. I’ve taken a look at their Human Heredity sample – which I have uploaded here (fair use for criticism, as always) – and I’ll say that it certainly looks interesting. Continue reading

It’s Dinofuz!

So, as I predicted in my DpSU Predictions post only a few days ago, Brian Thomas of the ICR has indeed written an article on the subject of the Mesozoic feathers preserved in Amber, called Have Scientists Finally Found ‘Dinofuzz’? Here’s a picture of what we’re talking about, which you will have already seen if you read the predictions post – go here for some more, even better ones.

Bird feather in amber A bird feather in amber. Now Read On →

The Paths of the Seas

Launch of SAC-D/Aquarius, June 10 2011

“This must be Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursdays.”

Launched on the 10th of June this year the Argentine satellite SAC-D is better known as Aquarius after its main scientific instrument. Aquarius is built and run by NASA for studying ocean salinity, and is expected to operate for three of the satellites five years in orbit.

It may not be immediately obvious, but tracking the salinity of different parts of the ocean also allows you to get a look at ocean currents. Now, ocean currents are vital for life (as we know it, mind) on Earth. And you should know by now the creationist reaction to that kind of thing. Hence the latest DpSU title: NASA’s Ocean Currents Study Confirms Providential Care.

The Ocean Currents of the World The Ocean Currents of the World: Aquarius has given us a much more detailed and accurate map than this. Click it to enlarge this one to a more readable size. Now Read On →

The Black Death

The Plague: Birth of a Killer is the title of Brian Thomas’ latest DpSU. Naturally it is about the reason why the plague bacteria kill people, considering how wonderful God is. something about the fall? Excuse me while I grab a nice, red, juicy apple…

Yersinia pestis, the bacteria believed to be responcible for the plague The bacteria accused of causing the plague. Now Read On →

DpSU Predictions – September 20

Today’s DpSU – Design in DNA: Flexibility Is Just Right – is pretty boring. The flexibility of DNA is just right – too little and it would break, too much and it wont return to its shape (or something like that) – blah, blah, blah. If you really need me to explain exactly how this is all B.S. email me. Don’t worry – I wont tell anyone.

So – what else to do? Not wishing to repeat  the Star That Should Not Exist debacle with so many obvious creationist targets flying around this week, I intend to list all the recent science news that I think I’ll find myself writing about soon, along with anything else interesting and vaguely relevant. That’s right: I intend to predict the future!

An astrological clock in Venice. Remember kids: astrology is B.S. too, but that doesn't mean I can't have some fun with it. An astrological clock in Venice. Remember kids: astrology is B.S. too, but that doesn’t mean I can’t have some fun with it. Now Read On →

A. sediba and the Laetoli Footprints

This is some kind of weird crossover sequely thing. Australopithecus sediba, last seen only a short while ago in A. sediba, and The Star That Should Not Exist has teamed up with the Laetoli footprints for today’s DpSU from the Institute for Creation Research’s Brian Thomas, Is Fossil Really a ‘Game Changer’ for Human Evolution? Continue reading

Diplodocus, And Other Non-Avian Dinosaurs

It must have been a month now since Brian Thomas last showed his ignorance of the process of Natural Selection. Today’s post is called Nature Article Inadvertently Confirms Dinosaur Design. Only in La-la land. The ‘nature article’ is in Nature News (not to be confused under any circumstances with NaturalNews) and is called Dinosaurs: Rise of the titans, by Fredric Heeren.

Diplodocus, from Wikimedia

Sauropods, such as Diplodocus (my favourite kind of dinosaur) and Apatosaurus (formally popularly known as Brontosaurus), were very big. This gave them near-total immunity against the predators of their day. They also grew very fast to take advantage of this and had lightweight, hollow bones to support this. Continue reading

A. sediba, and The Star That Should Not Exist

A. sediba

The hominid Australopithecus sediba has been in the news again. A. sediba is considered to be at least close to the ancestral line of modern humans, and a recent study on a “nearly complete wrist and hand” strengthens this claim, in that it shows that the fossil has a mixture of hominid and Australopithecine features. Brian Thomas, always the contrarian, thinks otherwise.

When presented with examples of human ancestors Young Earth Creationists place them in one of two camps: Either the specimen is fully human – like Homo sapiens neanderthalensis and the Laetoli footprints likely caused by Australopithecus afarensis – or it is considered to be entirely ‘ape’. For the Creationists there is no middle ground. Continue reading