Look What I Found in My Letterbox

More Than A Monkey cover

Don’t expect anything too soon – I have a set of exams coming up which I really ought to be studying for. It’s not a very long book though, so it shouldn’t be too onerous.

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Bill Nye Round Two

A few days ago Bill Nye did an interview with CBS, following up on his earlier comments on not teaching creationism to children. Your Origins Matter has once again produced a (partial) transcript, writing Rebutting Bill Nye – Round 2. There’s a little less crazy here than in last ’round,’ so I’ll go into a bit more detail on the actual arguments.

Once again, YOM misses the point. Nye is apparently fine with people believing in creationism, he just doesn’t want kids taught it. His argument rests on the fact that he wants said children to grow up to become scientists. YOM claims that you can be a creationist and a scientist, but they have missed why you don’t want the kids being indoctrinated if that’s the outcome you want. Continue reading

High Density Data Storage

The structure of DNA, for referenceApproximately two weeks ago you might have heard of a story about the storage of an entire genetics textbook in DNA – quite a feat. Today, Brian Thomas writes Scientists Store 70 Billion Books on DNA. If 70 billion sounds like a bit much, note that numerous duplicates were needed to avoid errors – that, and the researches were trying for a record.

The reason why Thomas chose to write about this subject can be summed up with this quote:

There is no material that has as much data storage density as DNA. It is better than blue-ray discs, hard drives, and even flash drives. The Science report shows that DNA is six powers of ten denser than flash drive technology.

The sheer superiority of DNA as a data storage medium is strong evidence for its supernatural creation.

I could discuss the flaws in this article – talking about what data storage actually means, and probably mentioning along the way how it does not logically follow that the best data storage system must be created by something supernatural. But that would be unnecessary and pointless, because it’s simply not true that DNA is the absolute best medium around when it comes to storage density. Continue reading

Headdesk Time: A Response to Bill Nye

You should have seen that video by now – you and a million other people. It’s not perfect, I’ll be the first to admit, but it raises some good points about why you should not indoctrinate children with creationist beliefs. The Institute for Creation Research has also seen it, and today on Your Origins Matter they have a response: What Does the “Science Guy” Have to Say About Evolution? Continue reading

Not Once, but Twice

For his first trick in Discovery Rewrites Plant Evolution, Brian Thomas will dredge up an old botanical discovery from 2009 which he apparently forgot to comment on at the time:

One of the first lessons in plant evolution is that algae existed for millions of years before the more complicated materials and structures necessary to convert them into woody land plants had ever evolved. This lesson sounded more feasible when evolutionists thought that algae were missing a critical land plant tissue-building chemical. But when secular scientists discovered this very material in algae from the coast of California, they invented new lessons to replace the old. Changing evolutionary lessons illustrate important origins lessons.

is that ”one of the first lessons in plant evolution” (I doubt it)? Has Brian ever conceded that any evolutionary process was ‘feasible’? (In this case he would probably have claimed that not having lignin – the chemical in question – was just one more impossible step.) For that matter, is feasibility even affected here? So many questions in this paragraph alone… Continue reading

Ultraconserved Elements

Another Jeffrey Tomkins post on Designed DNA? Oh, why not.

This one is called Ultraconserved DNA Elements – An Evolutionary Enigma. What are they?

Ultraconserved DNA elements are short chunks of genomic sequence 200 bases or more that are highly similar (conserved) among different types of animals and are generally noncoding (1,2). Hence, they should have very little evolutionary selective pressure acting upon them and evolve rapidly (3).

The first sentence there is correct, or as near to as needs to be,* while the second is not – and with that this post falls immediately. Continue reading

Yet More Videos

You may have seen this recent tweet in the ICR feed on the right panel:

Yes, they have a youtube channel of their very own, as of a few hours ago. That video, all 44 seconds of it, is their first – though oddly it neither asks nor answers the title question “How would you respond to your evolutionist professor?” Continue reading

Coelacanth Adaptation

Does this paragraph make sense to you?

It was once the banner fossil behind the idea that land-walking creatures emerged from fish with overgrown fins. The lobe-finned fish was found in strata deemed 400 million years old—close to the time when land creatures supposedly evolved—making a tidy evolutionary story. But that didn’t last long. Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer became famous for finding the live creature on a small fishing boat in 1938. A new survey of the critically endangered fish’s genes shows that they are not finished divulging surprises.

That’s the opening of Lobe-Finned Fish Supplies Surprises, and it sure doesn’t make sense me. But some of the the individual words do, so perhaps something can be salvaged.

First, what’s a lobe-finned fish? Continue reading

Scientists Agree With Us

I’m not sure it’s a quite a trend as such, but there’s something I’ve been noticing lately: an apparent attempt to deny, or at least ignore, the fact that most scientists don’t believe the nonsense that creationists peddle. For example, consider the latest Ask Dr Rhonda, on polar bears (last seen here):

Q: Where did polar bears come from? Did they start out as brown bears and then turn white, or what?

Continue reading

Envious Eyes

Engineer Envies Plant Cell Structure contains basically the same argument as Monday.

“Gibson sees plant mechanics as a valuable resource for engineers concerned with designing new materials. But researchers have been unable to fabricate cellular composite materials with the level of control that plants have perfected,” according to MIT news. What or who deserves the credit for the masterful way that lowly plants organize their own building materials?

From that quote you should be able to reconstruct most of the article, though you may well underestimate the sheer stupidity of the concluding paragraph:

But what reason or evidence even hints that plants or nature can engineer anything, let alone construction techniques and material management that surpasses man-made technology? Plants don’t have brains or hands like human engineers possess. Those who deem plants to be expert engineers would not entrust a plant to produce even something so simple as a fork. When it comes to origins science, brilliant engineering professors are barking up the wrong tree.

Brian Thomas just does not understand how evolution works, does he?