When You’re Feeling Lonely …

Here’s something you may want to try. We found it at the PhysOrg website: Solitude breeds despair: Worm injects sperm into own head. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

From the shooting of sperm darts to post-coital cannibalism, there is not much that surprises researchers into the weird ways of animal sex.

And it’s all good! But here’s something new:

[O]n Wednesday, biologists said they have witnessed a behaviour so weird that it warrants scientific mention: a creature which procreates by jabbing a needle-like “penis” into its own head.

Glory to the intelligent designer! Want more information? Sure you do. Here it is:

The bizarre beast is a microscopic, water-dwelling flatworm dubbed Macrostomum hystrix, a team reported in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. And they theorised it may have evolved the unconventional method of self-impregnation in order to procreate “under conditions of low mate availability.”

The paper in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B is here: Hypodermic self-insemination as a reproductive assurance strategy, but unless you have a subscription you can only read the abstract. Back to PhysOrg:

M. hystrix is a transparent worm about one millimetre (0.04 of an inch) long — a hermaphrodite with both male and female reproductive organs. Normally, they exchange sperm with others of their kind using a needle-like protrusion called a “stylet”, which pierces the partner’s outer body membrane in a method known to scientists as “traumatic wounding”.

A “stylet” — we like that! Here’s more:

But when sex partners are scarce, it seems, these worms can turn their stylets, located in the tail section, on themselves.

We don’t see anything wrong with that. One more excerpt:

The findings indicated that when deprived of a mate, M. hystrix self-injects sperm “including or even exclusively into their own head region,” said the team. The sperm migrates from there to the site of fertilisation in the centre of the tiny body.

So there you are. Now go forth, and do thou likewise.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Glenn Beck — Bonkers Over Darwin Movie

It’s been a long time since we posted about Glenn Beck. That was when he claimed Bill Nye Would Persecute Galileo. Some of our earlier posts were Glenn Beck on Darwin and Racism, and before that Hey, Glenn Beck!

We’re discussing him again because he’s sounding off about something we wrote about recently: Discoveroids — Disney, Darwin, & Indiana Jones. Disney is considering — not yet filming — a movie about Charles Darwin. The Discoveroids are already foaming at the mouth about it, and now it appears that other creationists are too.

In the US edition of London’s Guardian we read Glenn Beck planning boycott of Charles Darwin movie. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Former Fox News commentator Glenn Beck has suggested a boycott of the just-announced Disney film about the celebrated English naturalist Charles Darwin, during an episode of his nationally syndicated radio show.

It’s difficult to boycott something that doesn’t yet exist, but that doesn’t bother Beck. The Guardian then reminds us:

Disney’s plan to greenlight a film about Darwin’s voyage on board the HMS Beagle in the 1830s – the expedition that revolutionised scientific understanding of evolution and natural selection – was made public a week ago. A rough reception was inevitable after the difficulties faced in the US by a previous Darwin film, Creation.

We discussed that in last week’s post. Let’s read on:

Beck’s comments came after a discussion on whether or not boycotts were a legitimate political tactic. Beck has previously disapproved of them on free speech grounds, but his attitude appears to have changed – at least as far as Disney is concerned. After citing his disapproval of Walt Disney World’s decision to project rainbow lights on its Cinderella Castle to mark the supreme court’s backing of gay marriage, Beck said: “Boycotts work and we [conservatives] … do nothing.”

Wow — Disney is going wild! By the way, WordPress — the website where this humble blog is hosted — displayed the rainbow flag for a few days following the recent decision of the US Supreme Court. But it was only visible on our statistics page and a few other internal places. There were dozens of protest threads about it in the user forums, but management quickly shut those down. We didn’t bother joining in those discussions — we don’t care about anything WordPress does since Beep Beep Boop was imposed on us. Anyway, let’s get back to the Guardian:

Beck then said: “They’re doing a new movie, kind of an Indiana Jones swashbuckling spirit of a five-year voyage in 1831 on ship HMS Beagle to the coastline of South America to find and follow the man who made discoveries that made him one of the most influential figures in human history.”

No one knows what the movie will be like — if it ever gets made. The Beck quote continues:

Wow, this sounds like a swashbuckling thriller that we are going to have to take our families to see. Doesn’t it sound great? It’s Charles Darwin. It’s the story of Charles Darwin and so we’re going to find out how exactly he came up with the idea, made the discoveries that brought him to the theory of evolution. Thank you, Disney! That’s fantastic.

We assume that’s sarcasm. It’s difficult to know when dealing with creationists. Anyway, there are dozens of comments at the Guardian website. We can’t wait to see ol’ Hambo’s reaction to this proposed movie. At times like this, the creationists are more entertaining than any movie could possibly be.

Hey — maybe Disney should consider a creationism theme park. It could be right next to the Haunted House.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Casey Won’t Admit That The Designer Is Yahweh

The Discovery Institute continues to insist that they’re a science outfit, in spite of the overwhelming evidence to the contrary — starting with their own Wedge strategy. You can read the actual document at the NCSE website: The Wedge Document. It forthrightly declares:

Discovery Institute’s Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture seeks nothing less than the overthrow of materialism and its cultural legacies. … Bringing together leading scholars from the natural sciences and those from the humanities and social sciences, the Center explores how new developments in biology, physics and cognitive science raise serious doubts about scientific materialism and have re-opened the case for a broadly theistic understanding of nature.

Here’s a scan of the original: The Wedge. It’s a pdf document which begins with a graphic of Michelangelo’s God creating Adam. We discussed the whole thing in What is the “Wedge Document”?

Aside from that, they’ve all but admitted that their magic designer is Yahweh — see Casey Admits the Designer Is the First Cause. Before that they had already emerged out of their closet, pranced around wearing ecclesiastical garb, and confessed that their “scientific” designer — blessed be he! — is transcendent. That means their designer exists beyond time and space, in that inaccessible and incomprehensible realm known only to the gods. Jeepers — who could it be?

Although the Discoveroids continue to insist that their “theory” of intelligent is scientific, no one who knows anything about science agrees with them (except for a few oddballs), and despite the Discoveroids’ endless denials — which are entirely for the purpose of slipping their dogma into the public schools — no one doubts the divinity of their imaginary designer. Yet they continue their shabby charade.

The latest from Casey Luskin — our favorite creationist — is Why Doesn’t Intelligent Design Identify the Designer? We all know the answer. If they did announce that their designer is Yahweh, they’d be in the same boat (or Ark) as ol’ Hambo, and their misnamed Academic Freedom bills would never even be considered anywhere.

Okay, you know what’s coming — an ark-load of disinformation. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us. Casey says:

A friendly scientist contacted me recently with a question about intelligent design and specifically the identity of the designer. He believed that the ID movement has “adopted a policy of carefully avoiding explicit identification of the source of ID as the God of the Bible, or any other specific deity” and that this policy “follows from the cultural state of affairs which tolerates nothing having to do with biblical religion.” He was concerned that our approach was simply a legal or political strategy, rather than one driven by the search for truth.

The “friendly scientist” is absolutely correct. But you know Casey is going to deny it. That’s his job. Here it comes:

I replied, respectfully, that his description does not accurately reflect the thinking of the ID movement. Yes, he is correct that ID does not identify the designer. But this refusal is principled, not some kind of rhetorical or legal “strategy” or politically motivated “policy.” It stems from a desire to take a scientific approach and respect the limits of scientific inquiry, rather than inject religious discussions about theological questions into science.

Does anyone believe that? Anyone? No? Well, maybe Casey will convince you. Let’s read on:

Because ID sticks to scientifically tractable questions, it stays silent on such matters. This is a crucial point to appreciate if you want to understand why ID doesn’t identify the designer: it’s not because ID takes a scientific approach and science arbitrarily avoids such questions; it’s because ID takes a scientific approach and science has no means of addressing such questions.

He lost us when he said that that they take a scientific approach. Anyway, we’ll continue:

[T]he empirical data — such as the information-rich, integrated complexity of the flagellar machine — may indicate that the flagellum arose by intelligent design. But that same empirical data does not inform us whether the intelligence that designed the flagellum was Yahweh, Allah, Buddha, Yoda, or some other source of intelligent agency. There is no known way to use such empirical data to determine the nature or identity of the designer, and since ID is based solely upon empirical data, the scientific theory of ID must remain silent on such questions.

So they remain silent. Nevertheless, every drooling idiot who encounters Discoveroid propaganda immediately knows what they’re saying. Here’s more:

The point of all this is that ID’s non-identification of the designer isn’t a “policy” or a “strategy,” but rather it’s something that just flows out of ID’s choice to take a scientific approach, rather than a theological one.

That’s enough. Okay, you’ve seen what Casey has to say. Now we’ll ask again: Does anyone believe him?

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Ken Ham Believes Babylonian Science

It is generally agreed that early versions of Genesis were first committed to writing during the period known as the Babylonian captivity, starting in approximately 600 BC. The degree to which the Hebrews appropriated the views of their more advanced conquerors isn’t known — except that the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh existed in 2100 BC (written versions have been found from a few centuries later), and it undoubtedly served as inspiration for the tale of Noah and the Flood. Some have even suggested that it influenced the tale of the Garden of Eden.

Young Earth creationists insist that what they call creation science — based on Genesis — must be true, and all modern science to the contrary is not only blasphemous, but it’s based on false assumptions — i.e., verifiable observations and testable hypotheses. Given the Babylonian influence on Genesis, one might be curious about Babylonian science. Go ahead, search for it. Wikipedia has no entry for that topic, which isn’t surprising — there was nothing we’d recognize as science in those days. What we call science is quite new — it began with people like Galileo and Newton, and it incorporates the logic of Aristotle — of which the Babylonians knew nothing.

Nevertheless, the Babylonians weren’t idiots. Like other cultures of their time, they had some technology, such as agriculture and metallurgy, and they built cities. They had a calendar. Astronomy was primitive, as with all cultures before the invention of the telescope. Being limited to naked eye observations of the heavens, they believed The Earth Does Not Move. And being limited in geographic knowledge by their primitive transportation methods, it’s understandable that they thought The Earth Is Flat. Those beliefs found their way into several scripture passages, which we cited in those two links.

Although young Earth creationists have abandoned the idea of a flat Earth, despite its unambiguous biblical support, and most seem to have accepted the idea that the Earth moves as part of the solar system, they still insist on the truth of everything else in Genesis. Why?

The creation scientists at Answers in Genesis (AIG) — the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — posted this a few days ago: Biblical Authority and the Book of Genesis. It was written by ol’ Hambo himself, so you you know it’s authoritative. You’ve heard all this before, so we’ll give you only a few excerpts, with bold font added by us:

If you can’t trust the Bible when it talks about geology, biology, and astronomy, then how can you trust the Bible when it talks about morality and salvation? The issues of morality and salvation are dependent upon the history in the Bible being true. God does not separate morality and salvation from geology, biology, and astronomy. However, it’s popular today for liberal scholars to claim that the Bible doesn’t speak about science.

But if Hambo is so devoted to what the bible says, then why doesn’t he believe the Earth is flat? He’s never explained that. He does, however, think it’s the center of the universe — see The Center of the Universe, where AIG says:

Present astronomical knowledge recognizes no singular geometrical point in our universe — in accordance with evolutionary ideas. Consequently, there is no geometrical center and also no defined edge. No place in the universe has a special position.

[…]

However, the earth occupies the central position in the entire universe because of its God-given role, even though it may not be in the geometrical center. The first astronomical object that God created was the earth; this clearly indicates its importance amongst all of the other stars and planets. God’s attention focuses on this planet …. . The clearest indication of the earth’s central position is that God’s own Son was sent here.

You might think that if they can wiggle around like that — and completely ignore the numerous biblical declarations that the Earth is flat — they ought to be able to accommodate the rest of science. But you’d be wrong. Back to Hambo’s essay:

You see, the Bible teaches about geology. It states that there was a global Flood. The Bible also teaches about biology. God made distinct kinds of animals and plants. The Bible deals with astronomy. God make the sun, moon, and stars on Day Four for signs and for seasons. Now the Bible doesn’t deal with chemical equations or the laws of physics that helped put man on the moon, but the Bible does give the big picture in geology, biology, and other sciences, to enable people to have the right way of thinking about the universe.

Uh huh, the big picture. Let’s read on:

The history in Genesis 1–11 is foundational to the rest of the Bible. Incidentally, liberal teachers understand the best way to get rid of the Bible. First, get rid of the history (the geology and so on), because once the history’s gone, it’s then just some pie-in-the-sky religion, divorced from its foundation, and ultimately it will collapse. The Bible has been disconnected from the real world and relegated to just a collection of stories. No wonder people are leaving the Church.

The essay is far too long. Here’s one last excerpt:

Friends, we need to contend for the faith. There is a spiritual battle in this world, and it’s about time Christians were willing to stand up for what we believe, be bold, and deal with these issues. The creation movement is part of a movement that God has started to get people back to the foundation of His Word, beginning with Genesis.

So there you are. Hambo — on behalf of God — is engaged in a spiritual battle. The really tragic part is that he’s battling for Babylonian science — which doesn’t exist. But that’s where he wants to take his stand.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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