Ark Fight!

An (English) CoracleSo you remember that “round ark” story from a few weeks ago, right? Brian Thomas has finally gotten around to poo-pooing it with an article called “Cuneiform Reed-Ark Story Doesn’t Float.” He begins:

News emerged in 2010 that Irving Finkel, a cuneiform expert at the British Museum, had translated an ancient tablet describing Noah’s Ark as round and built of reeds. Now, Finkel is publishing a book on the find, and news reports again assert the tired tale that the Bible’s authors borrowed a Babylonian flood tale like the one on this tablet and modified it into their “story” of Noah. Babylonian or biblical, round or rectangular—which Ark story stays afloat?

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Stone Age Language?

The Daily Science Update for Friday was Stone Age Art Holds Hints of Language. The source article (from the Guardian) discusses the abstract symbols found next to cave art and in other places, and suggestions that they might have some kind of meaning.

One annoying feature of these symbols is that people havn't bothered to photograph them much. As such, have a picture of the entrance to the Cueva de las Monedas. Continue reading

Humans Were Made for Walking – Quick DpSU June 3

Brian Thomas – in an ungodly blend of Fine Tuning and Irreducible Complexity – claims that Humans are so good at walking that they must have been designed. New study that doesn’t really deal with the subject at hand: Check. Ten year old studies on the evolutionary side of things that could easily be obsolete by now in such a dynamic field: Check. Ending paragraph containing statements that could really do with a nice, juicy citation: Check. In short, a classic type Io DpSU (in contrast with type Amber/Embryo) from Mr Thomas.

As in added bonus, here’s the last paragraph:

Without all of the bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles properly integrated with one another all at the same time, it would be impossible to walk like a man—let alone to switch to a whole separate running gear. Evolutionists must put their faith in imaginary physical “transitions” that could not work because they would require long time spans of creatures with not-yet-formed leg structures that would render any such animal immobile. Those who “walk humbly with [their] God,” however, can rely on the data showing that the mechanics of walking were well-created.6

The citation at the end implies that Mr Thomas has “data showing that the mechanics of walking were well-created”. Instead, the link at the bottom is to “Micah 6:8” in the version of the bible that the ICR prefers: The New Defenders Study Bible. The NDSB remands me somewhat of the Conservapedia Bible Project (but not nearly as audacious) – they seem to be adding annotations that retrofit the whole thing so as to “resolve its alleged contradictions, point out the evidences of its divine origin, confirm its historical accuracy, note its remarkable anticipations of modern science, demonstrate its fulfilled prophecies and in general remove any doubts about its inerrancy, its authority and its ability to meet every human need”. They didn’t go so far as to actually change the text, however – it’s seems to be copied wholesale from the KJV (compare this and this). As an example of an annotation, take the annotation to the passage Thomas links to (“He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” in both the KJV and NDSB).

6:8 walk humbly with thy God. These characteristics are not enough to earn salvation (actually no one could achieve them perfectly anyway), but they should characterize all who have been saved through faith in Christ, whose perfect sacrifice for sin was anticipated in type by all the previous animal sacrifices.

This is the Old Testament, you know… Basically, they interpret the whole O.T. as a giant case of foreshadowing for the New.

As for the actual argument in the article, Thomas thinks that we could only have been created because we are so efficient at walking. To stopper the holes caused by applying fine tuning to biology (it’s usually used to explain why the universe is so “perfect for life” from a religious perspective), he invokes Irreducible Complexity as well. Look, IC is for Bacteria. This is too big. As mentioned above, Thomas fails to provide any reference for the claim that intermediary forms “could not work because they would require long time spans of creatures with not-yet-formed leg structures that would render any such animal immobile”. Is he really saying that all other similar ways that you could have a human leg and foot could not work? My feet naturally fall at ninety degrees to each other, but I can walk perfectly well…

If you then disregard the alleged IC through lack of evidence, you find no problem at all. Adaptation and efficiency is what evolution does best.