Category Archives: Evolution

You Can Watch Creationist Videos for Free

Vomit

With all the weird stuff going on, many of you have been asking us for an old-fashioned vomit opportunity. Today we’re pleased to present a good one, which we found it at the creationist website of the Discovery Institute. Their title is Amazing Offer from Illustra Media — All Videos on Intelligent Design in Life, Now Free to Screen.

It was written by David Klinghoffer, a Discoveroid “senior fellow” (i.e., flaming, full-blown creationist), who eagerly functions as their journalistic slasher and poo flinger. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Our friends at Illustra Media have produced amazing videos over the years making beautifully clear the evidence for intelligent design, in a way that’s accessible to all.

The Discoveroids have mentioned them before, but they’re not alone. Who else was it? Ah yes, it was ol’ Hambo. In Hambo and the Discoveroids — Together at Last, he also refereed to “Our friends over at Illustra Media.”

Okay, we understand what Illustra is all about, so let’s return to Klinghoffer. He says:

Now they are making an amazing and generous offer. While most of us are getting some first-hand experience of what house arrest must feel like, Illustra has made all of their feature-length videos free to screen.

Free? That’s amazing! What a great bunch of folks! After that stunning revelation, Klinghoffer tells us:

The documentaries include [nobody cares]. Discovery Institute scientists and scholars [Hee hee!] are featured in these works, including Stephen Meyer, Jay Richards, Ann Gauger, Richard Sternberg, and Paul Nelson.

That’s priceless material! It’s amazing that they’re giving it away. Klinghoffer continues:

I’m convinced that some positive things will come out of this experience of nationwide shutdown. [Yeah, it’s wonderful!] I don’t know what those will be. Discovery Institute president Steven Buri has offered some thoughts. [Link omitted.]

Let’s read on:

But perhaps one [of those positive things] is an occasion you may have missed up till now, an opportunity to sit down with your family, or by yourself, and consider how the wonders of life give testimony, in scientific terms not only intuitive or emotional ones, to a design at work behind nature’s veil.

Yes! This is your big chance to sit down and contemplate the glory of the intelligent designer — blessed be he! And Klinghoffer’s rosy outlook in these difficult times gives us another opportunity to quote from that scene in Braveheart where Longshanks (Edward I) is planing to send his son’s wife to speak to William Wallace, and he’s warned that she might be killed. Longshanks responds:

My son would be most distressed by that. But if she were to be killed, we would soon find the King of France a useful ally against the Scots. You see, as king, you must find the good in any situation.

Klinghoffer has found the good in the ongoing pandemic situation. Now we come to the end:

Many thanks to the good folks at Illustra. Please look here for a links to the full lineup of free documentaries, good for 60 days. [Link omitted.]

And there you are, dear reader. Now, thanks to the Discoveroids, you know how to use your time while staying at home during the coronavirus situation. Isn’t it wonderful?

Copyright © 2020. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Hambo and the Fossil Fish Fingers

When we saw this at PhysOrg a couple of weeks ago, we knew that we’d be hearing from creationists about it. PhysOrg’s title is Ancient fish fossil reveals evolutionary origin of the human hand. One excerpt from the beginning will be sufficient:

An ancient Elpistostege fish fossil found in Miguasha, Canada has revealed new insights into how the human hand evolved from fish fins. An international team of palaeontologists from Flinders University in Australia and Universite du Quebec a Rimouski in Canada have revealed the fish specimen, as described in the journal Nature, has yielded the missing evolutionary link in the fish to tetrapod transition, as fish began to foray in habitats such as shallow water and land during the Late Devonian period millions of years ago.

Here’s the paper in Nature: Elpistostege and the origin of the vertebrate hand. Unless you have a subscription, all you can see is the abstract. Anyway, now we have the inevitable creationist response.

It’s from Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else. He just posted this at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), his creationist ministry: Human Fingers Evolved from Fish? Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

With our fingers we can type on a keyboard, play notes on a piano, and sketch a detailed landscape. Whom do we have to thank for these nimble appendages? [Great question!] Well, according to a recent news item [Fish sprouted fingers before they ventured onto land, fossil shows], we can express our thanksgiving to . . . an extinct fish! [Gasp!]

Shocking! Then he says:

Researchers recently reported the discovery and analysis of a nearly complete (yet poorly preserved) specimen of a supposedly [Hee hee!] 380-million-year-old fish, Elpistostege watsoni. This five-foot-long fish, found in modern-day Quebec, Canada, is being heralded as a “transitional form” between fish and tetrapods (four-legged animals). Why? Well, because of the bones found in this fish’s fin.

Hambo is horrified! He tells us:

While not regarded as a direct ancestor to modern man, this fish is being interpreted as the “closest we can get to a true ‘transitional fossil,’ an intermediate between fishes and tetrapods.” But is this really a “missing link” in the evolutionary story? [Is it?] Well, that’s a matter of interpretation.

No one can interpret these things better than ol’ Hambo. Here it comes:

You see, the observational evidence — a cobbled together specimen of Elpistostege watsoni — didn’t come with a tag saying it was 380 million years old or that it was in the lineage of tetrapods. That’s an interpretation of the evidence, based on the evolution story. [Ah, then it’s worthless!] The evidence merely shows us there was a lobe-finned fish that, sometime in the past, was buried and fossilized. Whether you start with an evolutionary or biblical starting point will determine how you will interpret this fossil.

We can always count on Hambo to keep us thinking correctly. Skipping a lot, he continues:

[T]he idea that these evolutionary scientists are starting with is homology — the idea that features shared between organisms is evidence of a shared evolutionary relationship. But that’s not the only interpretation that explains so-called homology. [What’s the other interpretation?] Biblical creationists attribute shared structures to a common Designer.

Ah yes, the common designer. Let’s read on:

God, the ultimate engineer, used similar structures to accomplish similar purposes throughout his creation, just as we do when we design things.

Brilliant! And here’s our last excerpt:

So Elpistostege watsoni is not a “transitional fossil.” It’s a now-extinct lobe-finned fish, buried during the global flood [Aaaargh!!], with fins that point to a common Designer who used the same basic forelimb design throughout vertebrates — possibly including this fish.

Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant. There’s nothing else to be said. But we suspect you’ll think of something.

Copyright © 2020. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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The Discoveroids Have Wonderful News

With all the disturbing news in the world, it’s comforting to know that the Discovery Institute hasn’t lost its focus. At their creationist blog we found this today: Evolution and the “Experts” — A Liberating Message from Molecular Biologist Doug Axe. It was written by David Klinghoffer, a Discoveroid “senior fellow” (i.e., flaming, full-blown creationist), who eagerly functions as their journalistic slasher and poo flinger. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

As molecular biologist Douglas Axe recalls, the Greek philosopher Gorgias (born about 483 BC) spent a lifetime pondering the nature of existence. At last he arrived at a firm conclusion: “Nothing exists.” In a presentation at the 2020 Dallas Conference on Science & Faith, Dr. Axe used Gorgias to illustrate his point that “expertise does not necessarily drive you in the right direction.” Sometimes it does the exact opposite. How could that be? Watch now and find out:

There’s a video embedded in the Discoveroid post; presumably it’s Axe discussing Gorgias. We haven’t looked at it. We understand there’s some dispute about whether Gorgias was serious, or if he was just being ironic — but we’re not well informed about him.

Some of you may be wondering: Who is Douglas Axe? He isn’t a Discoveroid “fellow.” Instead, he’s the director of Biologic Institute, the Discoveroids’ in-house research lab, where all the work is “peer reviewed” by Discoveroids. The Biologic website has a bio page which mentions Axe, so you can learn even more about him there — if you care to do so. Anyway, Klinghoffer says:

When Dr. Axe was planning his book, Undeniable: How Biology Confirms Our Intuition That Life Is Designed [link omitted], he considered doing as other scientists have done: distill a lot of technical literature down for a lay audience. But he ultimately decided that that was to “play into the hands” of those atheists and materialists he was arguing against. [Can’t do that!] They would simply tell his lay readers that the readers were in no position to judge even an ultimate question like this — the origins of life — and must instead docilely confirm the majority or “consensus” view of people holding PhDs in the correct fields. As Axe says here, “I firmly believe you don’t need a PhD to decide whether we are cosmic accidents or not.”

Ooooooooooooh! Axe says you don’t need a fancy college degree; you can decide the Big Questions for yourself! After that liberating information, Klinghoffer tells us:

Axe tells some of his own personal story, which I did not know. As a high school student he dissected frogs in biology class and found that uninspiring. [But it was fun to watch the girls squirm.] It wasn’t until college at U.C. Berkley and grad school at Caltech that he came to appreciate the wonders of life at the molecular level. He realized, “This is engineering, remarkable engineering, far beyond anything humans can do.” [Brilliant insight!]

It seems inevitable that Axe would become a Discoveroid. Klinghoffer continues:

But he explains why, even without his background as a professional scientist, we all already know what we need to know to decide whether life reflects intelligent purpose. [Yes!] This is an affirming and liberating message.

It brings tears of joy to your eyes, doesn’t it? And now we’ve arrived at Klinghoffer’s final paragraph:

Looking for more great content in contrast to all the negativity everywhere else in the media and online? [Of course! Isn’t everyone?] We have been releasing videos from Discovery Institute’s January event in Dallas. [Ooooooooooooh!] Come back next Wednesday for Stephen Meyer on “The Return of the God Hypothesis.”

Wowie! Best news we’ve heard in a long time. We’ll be here!

Copyright © 2020. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Our Twelfth Anniversary — Free Fire Zone

We usually post an April Fool’s story on this date, but for obvious reasons we’re skipping that this year. These are peculiar times, and most of you aren’t in the mood for a silly joke. That will come later in the year, when the coronavirus pandemic has subsided. So let’s get to our other tradition at this time of year.

Tomorrow, dear reader, 02 April 2020, is the twelfth anniversary of the beginning of this humble blog. Our first post was Clarke’s First Law and Intelligent Design. We started on the second day of April, not the first, because … well, it’s obvious.

There’s not much to say here that we didn’t say last year in Our Eleventh Anniversary — Free Fire Zone, but we can give you some updated statistics. This is post number 8,152. That number would be higher if we had continued our previous pace of posting twice a day, but as we’ve mentioned before, there’s a lot less of our kind of news lately. And that’s good news! Creationists are still blogging away at their websites, but they’re not suing when they’re not allowed to teach their nonsense at secular universities (they always lose those suits), and they’ve stopped sponsoring obvious, old-style creationist legislation.

But they haven’t given up. Rather, their tactics have evolved. If you want to read an excellent article about what creationist activists are doing these days, take a look at this by Glenn Branch, Deputy Director of the National Center for Science Education: Anti-intellectualism and anti-evolutionism: Lessons from Hofstadter. It discusses the slick tactics of today’s creationists, and there’s also a nostalgic reminder of Florida’s Rapturous Rhonda Storms.

We’ve had over 5.79 million page-views (plus uncountable others who read us without actually visiting), and y’all have made more than 120,000 comments. Have we changed anyone’s mind? Of course not. Creationists don’t change their minds; but they’re very entertaining and we’ve had a lot of fun observing them. We plan to continue.

And so we begin our thirteenth year of blogging from the fabled CITADEL — the Curmudgeonly Institute for Tactics, Advocacy, and Defense of the Enlightenment Legacy — the secret global nerve center for monitoring events throughout the Creosphere, where your Curmudgeon is headquartered in his luxurious underground control room.

Because this post contains no news, please use the comments as an Intellectual Free Fire Zone. 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. Say what you will, beware of the profanity filters.

But wait! Before we throw open the comments, we’ll conclude with a warning, followed by our famous guarantee of quality:

Warning

Creationists who read this blog may experience some or all of these symptoms: headache, fainting, dizziness, shortness of breath, rapid breathing, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, high blood pressure, mood swings, paranoia, delusions of persecution or martyrdom, chronic fatigue, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, slowed thinking or impaired concentration, speech impairment, sexual dysfunction, memory loss, hypertension, depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, and panic attacks due to lake of fire phobia.

If you experience any of these symptoms while reading this blog, and such symptoms last for more than four hours, it is strongly recommended that you discontinue reading and promptly seek professional assistance.

And now the quality guarantee:

Self-Proving Truth Certificate

Everything written by the Curmudgeon in this blog is true. The presence of this Certificate is your proof. Our logic is undeniable.

All right, dear reader, the comments are open. Have at it!

Copyright © 2020. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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