Forget Creationism & Evolution! Meet Fungus Man

This may be the most exciting news we’ve ever told you about, dear reader. It comes to us from an article in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner of Fairbanks, Alaska. The newspaper has a comments feature. Their headline is Fungus Man and the start of it all. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Alaskans love fungi. This was evident one Saturday when author and mycologist Lawrence Millman offered a mushroom walk at Creamer’s Field on one of the wettest days of the yellow-leaf season. “Eighty people showed up in the rain, all eager to learn about fungi,” Millman said by email after returning to his home in Massachusetts. “I dare say the hunter-gatherer instinct is alive and well in Fairbanks.”

That is a strange beginning. Wikipedia has a write-up on Lawrence Millman. They say he’s a mycologist, a biologist specializing in Mycology — the study of fungi. Okay, but where is Millman’s mushroom walk going to take us? You must continue reading, dear reader. All will be revealed. Here’s where it starts to get interesting.

During a lecture at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Millman introduced the crowd to Fungus Man, a character in a Haida myth. Millman showed a drawing depicting a wide-eyed Fungus Man paddling a canoe. Fungus Man guides Raven, who sits in the front of the canoe holding a spear.

According to Wikipedia, the Haida people are natives of the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America. Some live in British Columbia, and some live in Alaska. Okay, at this point we’ve got Fungus Man padding Raven around in a canoe. So what? Here it comes:

As the legend goes, Fungus Man paddled Raven the Creator to the land of female genitalia, “thus making it possible for homo sapiens to appear on our beleaguered planet,” Millman said.

Hooray for Fungus Man! Where would we be without him? Then we’re told:

Robert Blanchette of the University of Minnesota once fleshed out Fungus Man in the journal Mycologia: “Fungus Man originated from a bracket fungus with a white undersurface upon which Raven drew a face … Of all the creatures that Raven placed in the stern of the canoe only Fungus Man had the supernatural powers to breach the spiritual barriers that protected the area where women’s genital parts were located.

You must admit, dear reader, this is much more satisfying than the creation account in Genesis. The article then tells us that some native people have a higher regard for fungi than others. That’s far less interesting than a journey to the land of female genitalia, but it’s still worth mentioning:

… Millman, a frequent visitor to the far north, noted in his lecture that Interior and coastal Alaskans didn’t seem to have the same reverence for fungi as the Southeasterners. … Perhaps, he said, it was because a Yupik translation of mushroom means “that which makes your hands fall off.” Or because some Natives of the far north explained mushrooms as “the (excrement) of shooting stars.”

That’s good to know. This is how the article ends:

“You can quote me as saying that Fungus Man is a far more benevolent deity than the Christian God,” Millman said. “(It’s) a pity no one believes in Him anymore.”

Yes, it is a pity. Of all the gods we’ve ever heard about, Fungus Man may be the most benevolent. It’s too bad Darwin never visited Alaska. The theory of evolution would have been greatly enhanced by this information. It still could be! More research is needed.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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New Giraffe Species Disprove Theory of Evolution

We recently noticed this headline at Physorg: Genetic analysis uncovers four species of giraffe, not just one. The article says:

Up until now, scientists had only recognized a single species of giraffe made up of several subspecies. But, according to the most inclusive genetic analysis of giraffe relationships to date, giraffes actually aren’t one species, but four. For comparison, the genetic differences among giraffe species are at least as great as those between polar and brown bears.

[…]

The genetic analysis shows that there are four highly distinct groups of giraffe, which apparently do not mate with each other in the wild. As a result, they say, giraffes should be recognized as four distinct species. Those four species include (1) southern giraffe (Giraffa giraffa), (2) Masai giraffe (G. tippelskirchi), (3) reticulated giraffe (G. reticulata), and (4) northern giraffe (G. camelopardalis), which includes the Nubian giraffe (G. c. amelopardalis) as a distinct subspecies.

We thought about it briefly, but then decided it wasn’t noteworthy enough to mention here. There are more than 400,000 known species of beetles, with new ones discovered all the time, but we don’t blog about them either. We never imagined that the creationists would find anything to say about the giraffes. But we were wrong.

Today we found New Evidence for Evolution? Giraffes Turn into . . . Giraffes! at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG). It was written by Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

After briefly mentioning the new discovery, Hambo says:

These four giraffe species and the okapi are all members of the giraffe kind that God originally created. God designed each kind with a massive amount of genetic variability in their DNA. This incredible variety allows them to spread out and fill different environments all over the world (e.g., dogs in the desert and the Arctic). These new species may look a little (or a lot!) different from one another, but they are all still part of one kind and are genetically different from every other kind. These giraffe species confirm that they were created according to their kind. New species can form, but giraffes are still giraffes.

Ah yes. Ever since the days of Adam & Eve, giraffes have always been giraffes. Then Hambo promotes his latest creationist attraction:

You’ll find sculptures of what the original giraffe kind may have looked like at our Ark Encounter, south of Cincinnati.

How exciting! After that he tells us:

Dr. Nathaniel Jeanson, a researcher and speaker here at Answers in Genesis with a PhD from Harvard University, commented on the finding:

[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] Jeanson’s write-up in the Encyclopedia of American Loons says he has “a Medical PhD from Harvard.” What did he say about the giraffes? Hambo quotes the genius:

The recent giraffe study exemplifies a massive pattern of which few people are aware. “Species” as we understand them are very recent discoveries — because the tools by which we discover and identify them are new. When Charles Darwin proposed an origin for species, less than 1,800 of the modern mammal species were known to science. Global travel was much more difficult then, and genetics wasn’t even a field of science. Today, over 5,400 species of mammals are recognized.

Wow — compared to the experts on Hambo’s staff, Darwin was an ignoramus! The quote from Jeanson continues:

Since Darwin was unaware of the existence of roughly two-thirds of mammal species, could he really talk about their origins in a persuasive way? Could he make enough observations to derive the answer to their origin? The history of classification — which reveals a massive increase in species numbers within the last 200 years — raises vexing questions about the heart of the creation/evolution debate.

Yes — vexing questions! There seems little doubt that if Darwin had known about these newly-discovered giraffe species, he never would have proposed his godless theory of evolution.

Hambo doesn’t say anything else, other than referring us to some other article by Jeanson, so now we’ll stop and let you contemplate the meaning of these new giraffe species. According to Hambo, they’re evidence for special creation.

The big question is: now that you’re confronted with this giraffe news, why do you still cling to the obsolete theory of evolution, dear reader?

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Klinghoffer Thinks Stephen Hawking Is a Fool

The Discovery Institute has a history of posting rants about Stephen Hawking — for example, see Egnor: Stephen Hawking Is “Sophomoric”, and before that Food Fight: Klinghoffer v. Stephen Hawking, which links to others.

Today, David Klinghoffer, upon whom the Discoveroids have bestowed the exalted title of “senior fellow” (i.e., flaming, full-blown creationist), is battling his old foe again. His new post at the Discoveroids’ creationist blog is Dr. Hawking’s First World Problem: What If Aliens Call!?. We’ll give you some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Here from Stephen Hawking is a First World problem if ever there was one: If aliens call, do we pick up?

Then he quotes from this article in The Independent: Stephen Hawking warns that humanity should not respond to aliens in case they kill us all , which says:

If we actually end up discovering aliens then they’ll probably just wipe us all out, Stephen Hawking has said. When we made contact with any aliens it would probably be like when the Native Americans first met Christopher Columbus. And, in that case, things “didn’t turn out so well” for the people being visited, Professor Hawking has said. … It’s far from the first time that Professor Hawking has warned about the risk of chatting to aliens.

After that, Klinghoffer tells us:

Sometimes I wonder if Dr. Hawking is being manipulated to say these things or does he really lie awake at night worrying about the “risk of chatting to aliens”? He seems to spend a lot time of “warning” about a diverse list of threats.

He then links to several articles, in which Hawking has warned about the risks of artificial intelligence, Brexit (the UK’s departure from the European Union), global warming, and the extinction risk inherent in humanity’s failure to expand its domain to other planets. The Discoveroids think Hawking is a nervous Nellie. Klinghoffer continues:

But back to the “chatting to aliens” dilemma, he says of Gliese 832c, “[T]he planet could have Earth-like temperatures with an abundant liquid water, and where there is water, there is very often life.” There is? Very often?

Wikipedia has a write-up on Gliese 832 c. It’s a newly-discovered extra-solar planet that is “located approximately 16 light-years (4.93 parsecs, or about 151,400,000,000,000 km) away in the constellation of Grus, orbiting the star Gliese 832, a red dwarf. The planet has an Earth Similarity Index of 0.81, one of the highest Earth Similarity Indices for any known extrasolar planet. It is in its star’s habitable zone. To date, it is the third closest known potentially habitable exoplanet to Earth.”

Like all creationists, Klinghoffer doubts that intelligent life exists anywhere other than on Earth, because their mystical designer — blessed be he! — created us right here on The Privileged Planet. That means Hawking is worried about nothing. He’s a fool!

Klinghoffer ends his post with a smugly superior dismissal of Hawking’s fears:

Meaning no disrespect to the oracular physicist, how does he know this? And if receiving a return call from aliens is a sensible thing to fear in such apocalyptic terms, along with Brexit, global warming, [etc.], why search for a signal, “scan[ning] the nearest million stars for signs of life,” to begin with?

If only Hawking paid attention to the Discoveroids, he wouldn’t go around behaving like an idiot.

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Ken Ham Offers Hope, Meaning, & Purpose

Answers in Genesis (AIG) — the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — has often written that atheism (which it equates with evolution and every other scientific theory they don’t like), is a religion. A typical example is Atheists Follow a Dogmatic Faith, where we quoted AIG saying:

Chief among these elements of blind faith is your belief that God does not exist. Since you could never prove the nonexistence of God without possessing all knowledge (in which case you would be God), this is a tenet of your system that is held by blind faith.

They’re doing it again today in a new post of which ol’ Hambo is co-author, along with Avery Foley. AIG says she holds a masters of arts in theological studies from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, which certainly qualifies her to write for AIG. The article is titled Atheism: Hopeless, Meaningless, Purposeless. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

[W]hen I call atheism a religion on social media, many atheists get very upset. They hate having atheism referred to as a religion or a belief system. But that’s exactly what it is. One of the definitions of religion is:

A cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith.

Hambo’s done that before. Other creationists do it too. It’s the fourth definition of religion in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, which you can see here. AIG skips the more commonly-used definitions given earlier, such as “the service and worship of God or the supernatural,” and “commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance.” The last time Hambo used that 4th definition, we said that your Curmudgeon’s devotion to the principles of the US Constitution would also be a religion — which of course it isn’t.

So far, Hambo has just been repeating himself. But then he says:

Below are some of the tenets of this belief system. Notice that none of them are scientifically proven (and even go against science!) — that’s where atheists’ faith comes in. They accept these assertions based on faith that they are true.

• There is no God or gods.
• There is no supernatural.
• Everything is the result of naturalistic processes over time.
• Life evolved from a single-celled organism.
• Death is the end — when you’re dead, that’s it.

Well, dear reader, can you deny Hambo’s claim that none of those things has been scientifically proven? Of course you can’t! Aha — then he’s gotcha! Hambo believes the opposite of each proposition, so who’s the religious fanatic here? Then he asks:

Is atheism a good alternative religion? Does it provide its followers with hope, meaning, and purpose, something human experience shows we all crave? Or is it a religion devoid of hope, meaning, and purpose?

That’s a powerful question. Does your godless science offer you hope, meaning, or purpose, dear reader? Hambo then spends several paragraphs expanding on those points. Here’s just a bit of it:

Hope? Consider this: according to the atheistic religion, there is no God and death is the end. … We won’t remember we ever lived, and eventually no one else will either. … Not only is each individual human rushing headlong toward the grave, so is our very universe. Our species, just like every other species, is destined for extinction. … This is certainly a bleak and hopeless perspective.

Meaning? “Why am I here?” is a question that every human wants answered. We innately know that our lives have some kind of meaning. But where does it come from and what is it? Does atheism give the answer? … In an atheistic view, our lives have no real meaning. We are just the result of random, chance processes over millions of years, and it’s just an accident of nature that we happen to be here. How’s that for meaning for your life?

Purpose? Does atheism offer a sense of purpose for our short lives? To put it simply, no it doesn’t. You see, in an atheistic worldview it doesn’t matter how we live or what we do, because there is no ultimate standard for right and wrong and because everyone’s fate is the same — death. … Atheism offers no purpose to life because no matter how you live or what you do, your fate is the same: death.

We’re only about half-way through Hambo’s post. The rest of it is bible quotes, which Hambo says offer you hope, meaning, and purpose — the very things your science doesn’t provide. So there you are, dear reader. Which religion is the better one? It’s your decision.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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