Category Archives: Evolution

ICR: Ship’s Sea Serpent Carving Proves the Bible

There is no limit to how far creationists will go to “prove” the veracity of their favorite legends. We have a good example today from the website of the creation scientists at the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom.

Their latest post is Sea Serpent on Danish Ship Prow. It was written by Brian Thomas. He’s usually described at the end of his articles as “Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.” This is ICR’s biographical information on him. Here are some excerpts from his creation science article, with bold font added by us:

On August 11, researchers from Södertörn University in Sweden raised an ancient 660-pound ship’s prow from the floor of the Baltic Sea. The 11-foot-long beam features an exquisite dragon carving. Discovery News wrote that Marcus Sandekjer, head of the nearby Blekinge Museum which aided the extraction “believes it looks like a monstrous dog.” It fits in well with other sea-serpent artwork in history.

Here’s a news story about it at the website of Södertörn University: A unique salvage operation in Ronneby – “The Monster” sees the light of day after 500 years under water. It says:

This figurehead was positioned at the fore of the ship, and was carved from the top of a 3.40 m-long beam. It has the appearance of the grimacing head of a dog or other monstrous animal, and may depict the very “Grip Dog” that the name of the ship (“Gribshunden”) reflects.

Interesting, but we don’t see anything there that would be of interest to a creationist. ICR, however, sees things that the rest of us don’t. They tell us:

Carvings and written descriptions of a dog-headed, long-necked sea serpent called “ketos” in Greek are found sprinkled across the ancient world. An online search for “ketos” reveals a consistent theme. Similar-looking features found on artwork from several countries span over a thousand years. One possible reason why all these different artists illustrated the same basic water creature — on figurines, paintings, tapestries, mosaics, and carvings — was that they had live animals to reference. But few researchers think this way.

Does ICR think ancient artwork showing centaurs, winged horses, mermaids, and other mythical creatures were also based on live animals? Let’s read on:

Professor of maritime archaeology at Södertörn University Johan Rönnby told the BBC, “I think it’s some kind of fantasy animal — a dragon with lion ears and crocodile-like mouth. There seems to be something in his mouth. There seems to be a person in its mouth and he’s eating somebody.”

A fantasy animal. That seems reasonable. But not to ICR. Their article continues:

Such a creature probably does not exist today, but why not long ago? From fossils, drawings, and written accounts, we know that dodo birds, wooly mammoths, and the Chinese river dolphin have all gone extinct since the Flood.

Hey, good point! After all, why didn’t such a creature live long ago? Here’s more:

Similar hound-like sea monsters likenesses from about 800 A.D. adorn many artifacts, including a large stone at the church in Fowlis Wester, Scotland, as pictured in the new booklet Dinosaurs and the Bible. The booklet also discusses the use of ketos in the Bible. Matthew quoted Jesus, who said, “For as Jonas [Jonah] was three days and three nights in the [ketos’] belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” If carvings like this Danish ship’s figurehead are a clue, then Jonah was not the only man gripped by a sea-hound’s toothy jaws.

[*Curmudgeon swoons*] Skipping some nonsense about Beowulf, we come to the end:

This 500-year-old prow’s carving confirms other dog-headed sea monster accounts that together build a picture of a Bible that referenced ancient animals correctly.

Yes — it proves what ICR has always been telling us. The bible is true in all respects. The logic is undeniable.

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

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Klinghoffer: Public Defecation Is Darwin’s Fault

The Discovery Institute is rapidly descending into the depths. Their latest is In San Francisco, Watch Where You Step, written by David Klinghoffer, a Discoveroid “senior fellow” (i.e., flaming, full-blown creationist), who eagerly functions as their journalistic slasher and poo flinger. He says, with bold font added by us:

We try to keep the conversation decorous here at ENV [the Discoveroids’ creationist blog] but the story from San Francisco is relevant to our concerns — namely the intersection of science and culture — and sadly, it could not be any more elemental.

Decorous? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Klinghoffer then informs us of the “elemental” news from San Francisco:

Ahead of Super Bowl 50 and the Christmas shopping season, SF’s Mayor Ed Lee says he’s dead set on clearing homeless “campers” from the streets of the city. It’s not just the inconvenience of tents sprawled in the center of sidewalks of that stylish and affluent city — it’s the sanitary problem involved in what sounds like rampant public defecation.

Rampant public defecation in San Francisco? How horrible! What’s the cause — bacteria in the drinking water? Let’s read on:

Not only San Francisco has this problem. New York is considering decriminalizing public urination, something we observe here in the heart of the Seattle business district as well.

This Discoveroid post is exactly the kind of job at which Klinghoffer excels. Faced with disgusting phenomena like those described above, the staff at Discoveroid headquarters would naturally think: “This is a job for Klinghoffer!” He continues by presenting us with a brilliant question:

But here’s the point. If dogs do it, and the pigeons just on the other side of my office window, why not human beings?

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! This is Klinghoffer at his best! Here’s how it ends:

If we are just another species of animal, offered up by an evolutionary process that attaches no significance to what makes us exceptional, then animal behavior hardly deserves censure.

Golly — he’s right! Such behavior never happened before in human history. It’s the inevitable result of Darwin’s theory, and creationism is the only remedy. But wait — if everyone becomes a creationist, then we’ll be faced with the problem of rampant public drooling!

We need to think about this. But not right now. We’re going out into the back yard to be with the dogs. Miss Scarlett and Aaaargh! know what to do out there. And thanks to Klinghoffer, so does your Curmudgeon.

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

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A Tale of Bizarre Biological Research

From time to time we see reports of research we regard as ridiculous. Most often it’s done by sociologists, but this time it was biologists. The story is in PhysOrg: ‘Evolutionary fitness’ key in determining why some females more physically attractive than others. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Scientists from the University of Aberdeen have been working as part of an international collaboration co-ordinated by the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing to try and discover why there is a link between body fatness and perceived physical attractiveness.

Of all the questions that require investigation, few are more important than why svelte is more attractive than tubby. We’re told:

The study, which was funded by the National Science Foundation of China and involved researchers from 10 different institutions around the world, was published today (August 25) in the journal PeerJ.

That journal was started three years ago. Here’s a link to the paper: The relationship of female physical attractiveness to body fatness. You don’t need a subscription to read it online. Let’s stay with PhysOrg:

One idea about how we rate physical attractiveness is based on the impact that different aspects of our bodies (like body fatness) have on evolutionary fitness. For example, we know that above a certain body fatness females have greater risks of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease, and lower fertility, which might make fatter subjects less attractive. On the other hand, in the past fatter people might have had greater abilities to survive famines, making fatness more attractive. This might suggest there is an optimum level of fatness that is maximally attractive which is somewhere in between.

This is a problem that has puzzled scientists for millennia. We continue:

The study was coordinated by Professor John Speakman, of the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing and the Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. Professor Speakman explains: “Fitness in evolutionary terms comprises two things: survival and the ability to reproduce. What we wanted to investigate was the idea that when we look at someone and think they are physically attractive, are we actually making that assessment based on a hard-wired evolutionary understanding of their potential for future survival and reproductive ability?

Brilliant question: “When we look at someone and think they are physically attractive,” what are we really thinking? Here’s more:

To test their idea, the scientists built a mathematical model which combined the relationships between levels of obesity and the future risk of mortality from all causes, and the relationship between obesity and the future possibility of having children. This model predicted that people would perceive females with a body mass index (BMI) of between 24 and 24.8 as being the most physically attractive.

Researchers then tested the prediction on more than 1,300 people, both males and females, from the UK and nine other countries. Participants were shown 21 image cards showing females with different levels of body fatness and were asked to reorder them from least to most attractive.

They tested their mathematical model. This is really great research! What did they discover? We’re told:

In all the populations, males and females rated physical attractiveness of the female images very similarly. The very thinnest images with body mass index of around 19 were rated as most attractive. As fatness increased above that value, the less attractive they were rated. This contrasted the predictions of the mathematical ‘fitness’ model that there should be a peak in attractiveness around a BMI of 24 to 24.8.

Egad — their math model was wrong! Why? Moving along:

The reason for the discrepancy was revealed when subjects were asked how old they thought the people in the images were. In this exercise they judged that the fatter people were older. Age is itself a strong indicator of evolutionary fitness. When the age factor was included into the model the optimum fatness fell to a BMI somewhere between 17 and 20 – corresponding exactly to the images people found to be most attractive.

Amazing! What did the scientists learn from this? Here it comes:

This suggests that we find thinness in females so attractive because we equate it with youth – a BMI of 17-20 corresponds to the average BMI of a young 18-20 year old with maximal fertility and minimal risk of future disease. This was to be consistent across European, African and Asian test groups. Historical exposure to famine does not appear to have been an important factor driving the link between fatness and attractiveness.

We’re shocked — shocked! — that a woman’s ability to withstand famine isn’t a factor when men make judgments about attractiveness. We won’t make that mistake again! And we are pleased to have told you about this vital research.

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

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David McConaghie — Guilty!

Creationist voyeurism

Creationist voyeurism

The trial we wrote about and described yesterday — see David McConaghie Trial — What Will Happen? — has concluded.

We present some excerpts from Ex-DUP adviser guilty of voyeurism by hiding camera in constituency office toilets in the Belfast Telegraph, which has the largest circulation of any newspaper in Northern Ireland. They don’t seem to have a comments feature. The bold font was added by us:

A disgraced aide to a DUP MP [Democratic Unionist Party Member of Parliament] faces up to six months in jail after he was convicted of voyeurism today. Standing in the dock of Craigavon Magistrates Court with his hands clasped in front of him, 50-year-old David McConaghie showed little or no reaction as District Judge Mervyn Bates said he had no doubt he “secreted” the sophisticated spy camera in a pot pourri in the toilets of David Simpson’s constituency office for his own sexual gratification.

Frankly, dear reader, because of McConaghie’s political connections and his career as a preacher, your Curmudgeon wasn’t expecting that result. We are pleased to see that reality denial has its limits, and in extreme circumstances, creationists can be shamed into abandoning one of their own. Then we’re told:

The judge told McConaghie his crime was aggravated by numerous factors including that the act represented a breach of the trust places in him by others who worked in David Simpson’s Upper Bann constituency office, the length of time it was carried out and that it was a “deliberate attempt to observe someone that you knew well carrying out a private act.”

Judge Bates being satisfied “beyond reasonable doubt,” he convicted McConaghie, from Cottage Hill, Dollingstown, of the single charge of voyeurism on dates between August 22 and September 13, 2012 in that for the purposes of sexual gratification, he recorded another person doing a private act knowing that the other person did not consent.

What about sentencing? Let’s read on:

Releasing McConaghie on continuing bail, the judge adjourned passing sentence for five weeks and ordered probation pre-sentence reports. He told McConaghie, a onetime prominent Orangeman and church minister, that depending on what sentence he passes, he may have to sign the police sex offenders register “for at least five years.”

How did the convicted pervert react? No surprise there:

Moments later as McConaghie left the court, he continued with his silence, refusing to comment on his conviction or to even offer an apology to his victim.

The news article then gives a lurid account of the evidence against McConaghie, which we’ve discussed before and won’t repeat here, but if you’re not familiar with it and want to see how a creationist conducts such loathsome deeds, then you’ll want to read that material.

But what about the defense objection that the videos weren’t proven to be for McConaghie’s sexual gratification? Here’s what the Belfast Telegraph reports:

Defence barrister Michael Tierney had argued that the case should be dropped, submitting there was no evidence that McConaghie had placed the secret camera in the toilet for sexual gratification despite the police searching his home and trawling through his internet history. On Wednesday however, Judge Bates dismissed that application, telling the court there was “absolutely no evidence” of it being there for any other purpose.

The application having been dismissed, it was at that stage that McConaghie could have taken the witness box to provide some other explanation but having consulted with the pervert, Mr Tierney said he was “exercising his right” not to and confirmed that he had been advised regarding potential adverse inferences to be drawn from his silence.

Observe, dear reader, now that he has been convicted, the newspaper refers to McConaghie as a “pervert.” And so do we.

So there you are. The sentencing will be five weeks from now — near the end of September or the beginning of October. We’ll be watching.

And once more, we remind you of the advice we’ve been giving whenever such cases come to our attention: Avoid using the bathrooms at any creationist organization — that includes creationist politicians, creationist “think tanks,” creation museums and theme parks, and the church buildings of creationist denominations.

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

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