Weekend Free Fire Zone #28

This is shaping up to be another weekend with no news of The Controversy between evolution and creationism. And yet another week has passed without a decision in the Coppedge case — the trial ended on 16 April, so we’ve been waiting five and a half months.

Until we find some good stuff (i.e., creationist wackiness) to write about, here are some items that you may find interesting: How to see Uranus. This is an especially good time for Uranus gazers, because:

The planet Uranus reaches opposition on Saturday (Sept. 29). This means that Uranus is directly opposite the sun in the sky.

In addition to observation tips, the article also provides “Strange Uranus facts.” Included is a description of its axis of rotation, which means that for half its year, one hemisphere of Uranus is where the sun don’t shine, and then the situation gets reversed. You will also learn how that celestial orb got its name.

In other news, as you may have already heard, the writings of Alfred Russel Wallace are now online. That’s a link to the news report from the National Center for Science Education, and the actual website is here: Wallace Online.

That’s all we’ve got, so once again, we have to entertain ourselves. As with all our free-fire zones, we’re open for the discussion of pretty much anything — science, politics, economics, whatever — as long as it’s tasteful and interesting. Banter, babble, bicker, bluster, blubber, blather, blab, blurt, burble, boast — say what you will. But avoid flame-wars and beware of the profanity filters.

We now throw open the comments to you, dear reader. Have at it.

Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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14 responses to “Weekend Free Fire Zone #28

  1. Any Faux News watchers around?
    Wondering if they are covering the Florida GOP voter
    fraud. Faux took the lead in falsely accusing Acorn.
    Unfair and unbalanced?…..you decide if they don’t cover
    the hottest political story around today.

    Seems the GOP billionaires hired the same company to register
    voters in three? other states, too.

  2. The article/ letter that the first post here refers to is not available
    except in Google’s cache or pay to view. Here is the letter from
    Google’s cache. If it violates some rule, SC, feel free to delete it.
    As if you need my permission…:)

    Dear Editor,

    It was interesting for me to read that the University of Wisconsin is once more going to attempt to advance its Darwinian theory of evolution on our area’s people through its lecture series, “Morning with the Professor.” When professor emeritus William Cordua of the geology department gets through with his talk — “A Billion Years in the Making” (of the St. Croix Valley) will there also be a follow-up discussion on the subject of how the Biblical flood, of just several thousand years ago, shaped the valley? (That discussion rarely happens; wonder why?)

    It’s amazing that evolutionists continue, year after year, to push their anti-God, anti-creation views on the American public, even though something like 75 percent of us don’t buy Darwin’s lies!

    Huge numbers of scientists from all over the world have come forward to state their beliefs that evolution is not true, that the world isn’t billions of years old, that the earth was created by a creator and that fossils and other evidences disprove Darwin. But our taxes continue to pay for these lies to be taught to our children, and, it appears, to gullible adults as well!

    It’s amazing to what lengths people will go to in attempting to keep God out of our world! Makes me wonder that they are afraid of!

    Meredith Berg, North Hudson

  3. Charley Horse says: “Here is the letter from Google’s cache. If it violates some rule, SC, feel free to delete it.”

    No rule violated, but none of it is any big deal. We’ll let it stand.

  4. Since you mention “Uranus,” for ~20 years, every time I hear or see that word I think of Ben Stein as the nerdy science teacher on “The Wonder Years.” That was long before he became an anti-evolution activist, starring in “Expelled.” So do any of you know if he has been peddling his pseudoscience-wrapped-in-paranoid-propaganda lately? Except for the occasional interview where he recycled some tired old sound bites, he seems to have given up his “crusade.” Might that be because he knows he is unable to respond to this without admitting that he had been duped?

  5. There was a science fiction short story explaining why Uranus is not a member of the United Solar Planets Federation. At the founding ceremony, as each planet joined, the delegation from that planet would shout, for example, “Up Mars”, “Up Earth”. Need I go further?

  6. I wonder who all the creationist scientists are. I have seen on another blog of a YEC geologist who suspends disbelief and does good geology. The only one I have known personally was the late Dick Lumsden. We were graduate students, and friends, at Tulane in the early 1960′s. Here is a link. http://www.wayoflife.org/database/lumsden.html

  7. Jim Thomerson: “I wonder who all the creationist scientists are. I have seen on another blog of a YEC geologist who suspends disbelief and does good geology.”

    You might mean Glenn Morton. If anything, given that a small % of scientists in all fields give in to the temptation to sell out to pseudoscience, I’m amazed at how few biologists (<1%) deny Darwinian evolution, and how only a small minority of that <1% denies common descent. That’s especially amazing since all biologists would love to find a better theory if the evidence would only let them.

  8. @Jim:

    If by “suspends” disbelief you mean only while he’s doing his job, as opposed to permanently, like Glenn Morton did, you might be thinking of Kurt Wise.

  9. @Frank J: Be careful about playing the numbers game. It’s completely irrelevant how many accept evolution compared to those who don’t. The theory of evolution, as with all science, isn’t a popularity contest. It would only take one scientist, inside or outside of the field of evolutionary biology, to overturn it so long as she comes with a truckload of evidence to back it up. So stick with your “Forget negative arguments against evolution. What’s your postive argument for creationism / ID?”

  10. Gary, you might take a look at the historical story of continental drift. There was a lot of positive evidence early on, but not enough to be convincing to the scientific community. A major problem was that the proposed mechanism of continental movement was not supported by evidence. Once a method was proposed that was supported by evidence, mid 1960s, a theory of plate tectonics developed rapidly and was widely accepted.

  11. @Jim Thomerson: Yes, but eventually evidence came forward. The reason is that his idea provided a path to find some evidence. This is something that no one in the ID / creationism crowd has done successfully. Their attempts have been irreducible complexity and ideas of that ilk. All of their ideas have been as quickly debunked, but rehashed because they sell.
    THAT is why we need to keep on them to stop bringing up negative arguments and produce some positive evidence for their own pet theory (whichever one it is). Then when they do, “pull a Frank J” and ask them how they reconcile their version of creationism with everyone else’s version.

  12. @Jim & Gary: In my correspondence (heh) with Mr. Droner, he actually tries to credit Creationist scientists as being right about continental drift all along. I responded with a link to the actual history, and made sure to point out that the accepted theory rules out the “runaway subduction” theory.
    The point being, Creationists will never stop trying to take credit for work they didn’t do, and otherwise rewriting history to their own liking.

  13. This topic is a bit stale as it is no longer the weekend, and I’m not even sure if this link will work. Anyway I observed and photographed Uranus. My link is here:http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151423784138238&set=a.10150098168958238.320292.697508237&type=1&theater