Free Fire Zone for August First

You know what we do when our global news sweeps produce nothing we can blog about. Yes, that’s right — we take advantage of the lull and declare another Intellectual Free-Fire Zone.

But before we get started, we found something interesting at the Fox News website: The world’s weirdest tourist attractions. Their list includes only five places. You’ll be amazed at the second item. Apparently the park is called “World’s Biggest Dinosaurs.” It originally consisted of only two huge T-rex replicas. Fox says:

[S]ince [the designer’s] death in 1988, the World’s Biggest Dinosaurs have been taken over by a religious group who also set up a Creationist museum at the site.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Fox News says a creationist museum is among the world’s weirdest tourist attractions.

We’ll mention one other item. We recently stumbled across one of the earliest things we wrote for this humble blog. Most of you have probably never seen it, but we think it’s rather good: When Gravity was a Theory in Crisis.

That’s all we’ve got, so now 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 © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

14 responses to “Free Fire Zone for August First

  1. We see in the comments to your “Gravity” post that Gabriel Hanna was one of your earliest regular commenters. However, we haven’t seen him here for a few years now. Hope all is well with Gabriel and that he just got bored with the IDers and creationists.

  2. retiredsciguy says: “Gabriel Hanna was one of your earliest regular commenters.”

    Right. I have no idea why he dropped out. I’m not used to losing good people. But he had just gotten his PhD, so maybe he was too busy.

  3. And too, his field of interest is physics, whereas this blog is focused more on biology. But I sure appreciated Gabriel’s input when he explained why radioactive decay rates had to be unchanging, why Jason Lisle’s arguments for anisotropic light where at best improbable, and so forth.

    But then, all biology is nothing more than chemistry (life is a self-sustaining chemical reaction, after all), and all of chemistry is nothing more than physics. In a word, Gabriel’s comments are missed.

  4. The whole truth

    I wouldn’t call these tasteful but it’s interesting (in a maddening/face palming sort of way) to see how bent out of shape theobots get over the sex lives and relationships of other people:

    There ain’t no second jebus:

    There isn’t any evidence of a first one either.

  5. But I sure appreciated Gabriel’s input when he explained why radioactive decay rates had to be unchanging, why Jason Lisle’s arguments for anisotropic light where at best improbable, and so forth.

    I’d love to have a compilation of “best of…” explanations of various science concepts like those. is great but it’s not been updated in a while. And there’s some new rubbish (in terms of new versions of old rubbish) coming from some of the young PhDs like Lisle and Nathaniel Jeanson.

    I remember reading about somebody raising crowdfunding through Kickstarter or similar to create a replacement for I can’t remember the name and haven’t done that much to find it. Does anybody have news on that?

    I’ve also thought it would be nice to have a compilation of bad analogies used by creationists and IDists and not only explain and shred them but to replace them with valid and memorable analogies which can help the reader to learn to recognize good analogies versus poor analogies.

    It could also be instructive and interesting to produce an outline of logic fallacies and then list under each type the various creationist and IDist examples which readers will most likely see.

  6. I’m looking for Young Earth Creationists to interview on this topic.

    Do YECs *REALLY* believe education is “merely brainwashing” if students aren’t taught to think by teaching the controversy and let them learn to think critically?

    Young Earth Creationists and IDers so often tell us that students should learn “critical thinking” skills whereby teachers should “teach the controversy” and let students decide. Many claim that NOT doing that reduces education “to mere brainwashing”.

    So, do those who want creationism and ID taught in the public school classroom for the aforementioned reasons have any EXAMPLES of academic subjects or individual topics/concepts which are presently taught in that manner? Do ANY Christian private schools teach the controversy and let students develop critical thinking skills so that they make up their own minds?

    Keep in mind that lots of creationists and IDers home-school their children. So, do they use textbooks which let students develop critical thinking skills in order to make up their own minds? Do THEY teach the controversy in any academic subject? Which ones? Biology? History? Sex Education? Earth science? Geology? Paleontology? Physics? Theology? Sociology? Anthropology? Civics & political science? Economics? [e.g., Free-enterprise capitalism, Communism, Ayn Rand.]

    For two years now I have been looking for an anti-evolution creationist who could explain to me—if this teaching methodology is so wonderful—why they don’t implement “teach the controversy and let the student decide” and thereby avoid brainwashing. And if that instructional methodology is as great as they claim, what academic subjects or course concepts have they lobbied their local public schools to teach in that manner?

  7. Professor Tertius asks:

    For two years now I have been looking for an anti-evolution creationist who could explain to me — if this teaching methodology is so wonderful — why they don’t implement “teach the controversy and let the student decide” and thereby avoid brainwashing.

    They only want to “teach the controversy” where they think there actually is a controversy. In their little world, that means evolution — and not much else.

  8. Charles Deetz ;)

    @TomS, more detail at the GoFundme, which is live right now. Don’t know about the sponsor or how this fits into the internet ecosystem, especially as PDFs.

    I found this tidbit there interesting, as also probably other CS fans would:

    the antievolutionist community represents only around 2500 primary enthusiasts, a topheavy arrangement relying in turn on an amazingly small core of ill-informed activists: half of all antievolution works are generated by only 70 people.

  9. @TomS: Thanks for the tip about TIP. Looks like his site could use some help controlling monopolizing creationist trolls, however.

  10. Dave Luckett

    Retiredsciguy: There’s only one creationist on that thread, and oddly enough, Byers isn’t exactly a troll, if we define “troll” in internet terms as “one who posts nonsense, threats and insults to a thread simply to get a reaction”. Byers doesn’t post insults or threats, and he isn’t doing it for the lulz of it. He actually believes the fruitloop ideas he spouts. He’s hopelessly fuddled, terminally confused, and word-blind to a degree that causes his prose to descend at times into complete incoherency. I described him once as the William Topaz Macgonagall of creationism, and he has the same talent for towering, crashing bathos as the great Bard of Dundee.

    Among the Byers insights are that marsupials are just placental mammals with pouches. The Tasmanian thylacine (claimed as convergently evolved) was simply a wolf. Koalas are shrunken bears. Marsupial mice are… yes, mice, and as for marsupial moles, why they are simply… come on, let’s not see the same hands all the time… yes, that’s right, they’re just moles. This solves the problem of how only marsupials got to Australia. They were placental mammals, and then made minor changes to their reproductive method after they arrived. This wasn’t evolution, mind, simply small changes within a kind.

    That is, Byers is a ripe loony, but he should be encouraged. His dimwiddery is so blatant, his thinking so riotously impaired, and his ignorance so catastrophic, as to stonker practically anyone. Almost nobody can read anything Byers writes and not think, “Dude, you’re nucking futz.”

  11. Creationists don’t want to “teach the controversy”–that’s a lie, not merely a sincere belief that there really is a controversy. What they want is to get a foot in the door, to make it easier to push in further until they can find a way to overturn Epperson v. Arkansas and bring back the good old days when states could flat-out forbid the teaching of evolution in public schools. (It was under one such law, in Tennessee, that John T. Scopes was tried in 1925.)

  12. So is this guy liable for copyright infringement? 🙂 Curmudgucation

    A grumpy old teacher trying to keep up the good classroom fight in the new age of reformy stuff. ”

    Or is this wholly owned subsidiary?