The Lower Quote, As If You Didn't Know, Is By Richard Dawkins, Son.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Blog

Frequent topic-submitter to me and fellow skeptic Tony has started a blog called Retired in Toronto and it's about, predictably, being retired in Toronto. Go welcome him to the blogosphere and say hello!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

One More Thing About Hovind

So I had to make some notes while going through the treasure trove of stupid that is Kent Hovind's "doctoral dissertation". Again, to be clear, he got his M.A. and Ph.D. from a diploma mill called Patriot Bible University, which is this place:Patriot Bible "University"
No joke. Here's the sign from a picture taken in 2006:Patriot "University" Sign
Aaaaaanyway, after slogging through his "dissertation", I thought you fine folks might be curious as to what, exactly, makes up the 102 pages of airtight argument that is Hovind's thesis. Well, sit back and enjoy.

The first typo is literally not even in the paper proper; it's in the "dedication" on page two. It says, "Patriot University inspired me the continue my education..." Sort of sets the tone for the rest of the travesty. Sit back, crack a beer, and delve into the intellectual swamp of creationist logic.

Here are a wide selection of quotes from the whole thing:
If the Bible says that something was created a certain way, then that is just the way it happened. Now, as a science teacher, I want to keep an open mind and understand why, how, and when God created the earth, if those things can be known. There are some things we cannot understand, and some things I believe that we can.
Amazingly inconsistent.
Some things in this book I couldn't prove to anyone. I only ask that you realistically look at the ideas presented and ask yourself the simple question, 'does this key open the lock, does this answer the question?' If it does--it just might be right.
Hovind has a phenomenal lack of understanding of what makes valid evidence.

Apparently, the first 10 chapters of Hovind's book, "destroy the edifice of evolution, and clear away the rubble so that we could build on a clean foundation." (pg. 7) Let's check that claim out, shall we?

Here's an incredible couple of lines:
I would like to trace the history of evolution beginning with the fall of Satan from heaven, through the last six thousand years, to modern-day evolution, and explain what those teaching this doctrine have planned for the future. To really understand the history of evolution, we have to understand the author. Satan is the master-mind behind this false doctrine.
Next we find a profound ignorance of what the theory of evolution states:
Man is trying to exalt himself. This is what evolution is teaching today, that man is the pinnacle, the ultimate.
Ummm, no. But nice try...I guess. If you're four years old.

This religion (Zoroastrianism) believed that Satan and God were equally powerful, thereby, limiting God. This shows that they did not have the right view of God in their theology.
Judge much, Kent? How 'boutcha slam Islam? Okay, go ahead:
The god of Mohammedism is not the God of the Bible by any stretch of the imagination. It is a little pantheistic god of nature.
Here's where my irony meter shakes and sputters for the first time:
The hold of Aristotle's philosophy on the minds of the people of that time was so strong that scientific progress was hindered. We face the same thing today. The faulty teaching of evolution is hindering scientific progress.
...and this...
Another man that is very important as we trace the history of evolution is Erasmus Darwin, the grandfather of Charles Darwin. He was born in 1731 and died in 1802. He was an extremely fat person.
Irrelevant ad hominem, much? Why not just say that the guy was u-g-l-y, and he had no alibi? He ugly. He ugly. His momma said he ugly.

Oh, there's more. Way more.
I think it is not a coincidence that people who are atheists of evolutionists frequently have a wicked lifestyle or at least a lifestyle against the plain teachings of the Bible.
Yes, we tend to abhor slavery and other things, like taking thy little ones and dashething them against the stones, if I may.

Wait for it...wait for it...slam Japan!
It was Shintoism, based on evolution, that was responsible for Japan's actions in World War II. They were determined to take over and rule the world, just like Hitler was doing in Germany.
First Hitler mention! Page 46! Bam! Like clockwork!

You know, we're just about due for the "evolution is just another religion" red herring.
It has long been my contention that evolution is just another religion. There is no empirical evidence to back it up so it is certainly not a part of science.
Sometimes I just want to never stop kissing myself.

Here's some stunning stupidity:
Webster defines a religion as 'a belief in a diving or super-human power or powers to be obeyed and worshipped as the creator of the universe.' What created the universe? Was it blind chance, evolution? If so, then blind chance is their creator and they worship chance.
It's like he didn't even try to have a basic understanding of evolutionary science before he...what's that? Sorry? Oh, ok. I'm being told he has no interest in accuracy or understanding the opposing viewpoint.

This is a nice example of the "either/or fallacy", aka, black and white bull-pucky:
Evolution without a question is a religion. It is a religion of humanism. Either man is the ultimate king of the world, or God is the ultimate king of the world.
Um, no. How about, "There is no 'king' of the world." Let's try that. Geez.

Check pg. 55:
If evolution occurred in the past, it should have been preserved for us in the fossil record. We have trillions of fossils, yet we have absolutely no evidence of evolution occurring in the past. There is nothing going on in the present that gives evidence of evolution.
Pssst...over here. In the "people-who-check-things-out" section. (Yes, I realize that this covers from 1999 onward, but as if it would have made a difference. Really. I mean, come on.)

Again, from pg. 56:
Evolution is a religion. It does not fit the criteria of science. It is not observable. There is no observation for evolution in the past or in the present.
How about this? Anything? Anyone? Bueller?

The Hitler Zombie rises from the grave...
Adolf Hitler, for instance, was an avid evolutionist...Hitler slaughtered the Jews and hated the blacks because he was an evolutionist...Hitler was an evolutionist and it was the crazy doctrine of evolution that is fundamentally responsible for World War II.
Ding ding ding! We have a winner! No, wait, "loser". He loses everything - including his freedom for tax evasion! *rim shot* Thank you...thank you...I'm here all week....

Yeah, that's right, page 72:
If a person believes evolution is true, that we just evolved with blind chance, the abortion would be fine. The abortion issue really needs to be argued on creation/evolution ground first. The same could be said for many other issues of life like euthanasia, drugs, teen sex, homosexuality, etc.
Ok, so the evil atheists would kill folks, take drugs, have sex as teens...and with teens (rawr!), love the gays and kill babies. The Bible folks would keep people alive regardless of the person's wishes or state, ban drugs, teach only abstinence (because it's been so effective so far), keep the huge hate-on they have for them gays, and, I guess, make it illegal to have an abortion regardless of the circumstances. Say what you will, but I'm firmly in camp A.

And now, behold(!), Hovind's "four steps" of the scientific method: "observation, experimentation, classification of data, and conclusion." It's weird, because I'm not a scientist, nor do I play one on TV, but I think there are a few more steps in there. How about: observation, hypothesis, experimentation, collection/classification of data, review of hypothesis, conclusion, peer review. That last bit is pretty damn important, in my opinion. Apparently, not Kent's. Go figger.

Now is where my irony meter melts and turns to stupid-powder:
The effect that evolution has on science, I think, is devastating. America is rapidly losing ground in the world market in our science students. We are turning out students that many other countries are able to beat in academic scores and academic knowledge because we waste to much class time and textbook time on this dumb idea of evolution."
Yeah, it's evolution that's the dumb idea. Keep on that track, see how it works out for ya.

The Other-Other Moon Hoax!
The cosmic dust layer indicated that the mood was only six or seven thousand years old.
Call NASA! Call the Pentagon! Somebody call somebody!

A declaration worth noting:
We tend to think that this is April 28, 1990 (or whatever date it is) in heaven. This is the most common mistake people make when thinking about God. God is not limited by time. There is no time at all in heaven. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever because He is in a different dimension then (sic) we are.
Yeah, way to just make some untestable claim up right out of thin air...from this dimension. Welcome to Wal-Mart, helmets are in aisle six.

When arguing for a universe only thousands of years old (pg 91-2):
Someone would say, 'What about stars? We know that they are billions of light years away.' I don't want to sound like a crackpot, but actually we don't know that stars are billions of years away.
Not wanting to sound like crackpot doesn't stop you in any capacity. Trust me here.

A gem from page 92:
We are in the same position as the people in the days before Columbus, when people were teaching that the earth was flat, or when they taught the doctrine of humors or draining blood to cure illnesses, and many other wrong conclusions of science. They were wrong. Science has a long history of being dogmatically wrong.
"Dogmatically? Really? I thought a trait of dogma was not changing your mind, regardless of evidence, much like what you're showing, Kent. Funny that....

On page 92 Kent says he'll get to talking about "red shift" later. Surprisingly, he never does.

An objective report from page 93:
I believe that the earth is young and Darwin's theory is not only unscientific, it is absolutely stupid. To believe that all of this complicated life in this complicated universe came about just by the random shaking of molecules demands an awful lot more faith than I have.
Tremendous. Bravo, sir. It takes a special sort of person to get things so completely, insanely, spectacularly wrong. You know what, it's what I'll now dub as "worng".

Gotta have the penultimate be this from page 92:
I believe that the earth was created in six literal days, not eons or epics of time like the Living Bible says in the notes given in Genesis 1.
"Epics". Amazing.

On page 98 Kent refers to "plate tatonics". Great stuff.

Listen, if you have the time and the mental barrier to stupid that I, apparently, have in spades, slog through the thing on a lazy Sunday. It's worth it. Sort of.

Hovind's Poem

Ok, so I just read Kent Hovind's supposed "doctoral thesis" and it is so embarrassingly bad that I'm amazed the diploma mill he submitted it to even accepted it. Well, ok, not that surprised.

Don't bother reading it unless you're slightly masochistic like me. I do want to share, here and with the world, the poem Hovind wrote and included in his - I'll say it again - doctoral thesis comparing blind men to atheists. It's on pages 82-3 if you want to read the real McCoy. Enjoy...
Two blind men argued well into the night
about the great question, "Is there really sight?"
Said one to the other (and quite fervently)
"There cannot be colors or else we could see!
So take red and green and blue off the list.
If I cannot see them, they must no exist.
A crazy man told me the sky is bright blue.
I listened intently but I caught no clue
of anything out there to alter my mind.
I'm not deaf you know, I here perfectly fine.
Be quiet and listen, and then you will know
that colors aren't real. How dare they say so?
They tell me that grass is some sort of green.
It looks like the rest of the world that I've seen!
It tastes a lot different that jelly or cheese
(if I smell it too long it sure makes me sneeze).
It feels a lot different that ice cream or snow
but to say that it's green? I'd have to say no.
I will not believe it until I have seen.
There isn't a difference 'twixt red, blue or green!!
And so the men argued with all of their might,
and I couldn't show them that they were not right.
They cannot see colors because they re blind!
But I couldn't get the truth in their mind.
Until they are given the great gift of sight,
never, not ever, will they see the light.

Two atheists argued (on university sod)
about the great question "Is there a God?"
Said one to the other (and quite fervently)
"There can't be a God or else we could see.
So take that old Bible and God off the list.
If I cannot see Him, He must no exist.
Be quite and listen, and then you will know
that God is not real, how dare they say so??
A crazy man told me God lives up in Heaven.
I used to believe that when I was just seven.
But not that I'm older and wiser you see,
I will not believe it. You can't prove it to me.
I cannot sense God with sight taste or smell.
I do not believe in Heaven or Hell!
I've never heard God or felt Him at all.
If He's really up there, I wish He would call."
I said, "Listen fellows, you're spiritually blind.
You've only five entrances into your mind.
That limits your input. I wish you could see.
You can't fathom God or eternity.
There are lots of things that really are real.
It doesn't disprove God because you can't 'feel'."
So you two can argue the rest of the night.
There's no way to show that you are not right.
When you get to Heaven (or Hell if you please)
you'll understand God as you fall on your knees!
I wish you could see Him or hear Him somehow.
But that isn't possible where you are now.
To deny His existence is really absurd.
You'll have to believe Him and trust in His Word.
Amazing, isn't it? Such a concentrated dose of stupid in one place. You'd think that even computers in 1990 or '91 would have, I don't know, spell check or grammar check? I seem to remember having it in my first year of university, which was 1990. Hm, and you'd think that if you had access to spell/grammar check, you might want to use it to make sure your goddamn doctoral thesis was all crossed t's and dotted i's and such. I once bought two short works of lunatic fiction from a homeless fella that were better written that this mess.

Reading this makes me annoyed at the skeptical/atheist movement. If this is the level of intelligence/preparedness of the top players on the opposing team, why the hell haven't we routed them? How has this game not been stopped due to the "mercy rule"?

Seriously, if you have a bit of time and want a laugh, check out the paper. It's 102 pages, but most are worth the read just for the facepalm factor.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Missed My Blog Anniversary

Reminded by both Orac and Sean the Blogonaut having blog anniversaries, I forgot about my own. This humble, foul-mouthed blog turned four on December first, so thanks to everyone who keeps fumbling by, intentionally or not so. I know I've been delinquent recently and will continue to be so over the holidays, but as always, I'll be back to complain and/or revel in something or other.

You folks are great.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Respectful Insolence at Five

People at five years of age are just starting school and learning (hopefully) how to think and about the fabulous world in which we live. Orac's blog has just turned five and, in blog time, he's one of the elder statesmen who regularly slaps down the woo-woo offensive with great aplomb. Drop over and tell him he's doing an ass-kicking job.