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The Monthly Dembski Watch – July 2007 Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Posted by henry000 in anti-creationism, anti-evolution, anti-fundamentalism, Behe, creationism, Dembski, evolution, fundamentalism, intelligent design, materialism, MIT, rationality, religion, Richard Dawkins, science, Uncommon Descent.
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This is a summary of Bill Dembski’s July posts at Uncommon Descent. I started this last month when I was utterly appalled by Dembski’s classless act of making fun of Coyne’s physical appearance. Since then I have been interested in what Dembski writes, and this post is a result of it. I am particularly curious in what kind of positive contribution Dembski (and ID in general) can provide. Note that it is not the purpose of this post to provide anything substantial; it is merely a summary with some element of sarcasm (with people like him – why not?).

So these are what Bill has written in July 2007 (in reversing chronological order):

27th of July – SCIENCE’S BLIND SPOT by Cornelius Hunter

This is a short post from Bill recommending an anti-science book to his audience.

26th of July – A Scoville Scale for Dangerous Questions

This is a good one from Dembski – he is using the scale that measures the hotness of chilli as a way of rating questions proposed to “materialists”. Bill can be very creative too.

24th of July – Intelligent Design in Business Practice

Dembski cries and feels sorry for ID and wants to make it go into business practices. Be aware, the emptiness of ID has turned from school classrooms to business offices! Let’s see what ID has to offer for the success of the economies around the world.

Bill says:

Get used to it: ID is going every place that Darwinism has gotten its fetid little fingers.

I am seriously worried about Dembski’s state of mental health, no kidding. His bitterness has turned to this me-against-the-world ill feeling which has shown time and time again.

20th of July – Casey Luskin interviews Robert Marks, director of Baylor’s Evolutionary Informatics Lab

A short post by Bill advertising for his colleague Robert Marks. If you have read Bill’s post earlier, they are actually writing a very important and critical academic papers on, er, disproving Jesus Tomb.

20th of July – Kevin Padian: The Archie Bunker Professor of Paleobiology at Cal Berkeley

For those who aren’t familiar with Padian, he is a paleontologist who testified in the now famous Kitzmiller v. Dover trial in 2005 which led to the defeat of the Intelligent Design side. Here is the entire testimony by Padian. Given this background, no wonder our oh-so-lovely Bill takes issue with Padian.

Bill creatively calls Padian the Archie Bunker this month, and as reported here last month Bill called the evolutionary biologist Coyne Hermant Munster. I am eagerly waiting what Dembski the creative soul will come up next month.

Incredibly Bill is actually on the defensive for once.

For a rebuttal of Dembski’s whining and vileness, see the wonderful Jason Rosenburg’s post here (and its comments). Jason said well to sum up William Dembski’s mentality:

Mentally healthy human beings do not write paragraphs like that.

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Creationism Article in The Seoul Times Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Posted by henry000 in anti-evolution, biology, Christianity, creationism, evolution, fundamentalism, intelligent design, Korea, religion, science, Seoul, South Korea, Turkey, UK, United Kingdom.
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I came across this creationist article the other day and didn’t really pay too much attention to it, as it is yet another typical creationist fundie mumbo-jumbo. Then again on a second thought, this article seems just a little bit different to the other ones out there. You will note that the publisher is The Seoul Times – a South Korean based newspaper.

You’d thought that creationism is a peculiar US phenomenon? Well, it is not true anymore. For example, the recent creationism movement in Turkey is making great inroads in the Islamic world and has captured the attention of the media in the West. The recent Intelligent Design Movement is also making some noise under the ironic name of Truth in Science in the UK. And now, this article published in a Korean newspaper shows just perhaps creationism is also making progress in South Korea.

A while ago I posted an entry showing how the theory of evolution seems not very well accepted worldwide, however there is no data regarding South Korea, a country with a history of producing Christianity cults, so perhaps we must not be all that surprised by it.

This is what the article has to say:

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Echoing Dawkins – Don’t Call Us Fundamentalists Thursday, July 26, 2007

Posted by henry000 in anti-fundamentalism, atheism, Bible, Chinese, Christianity, Dawkins, faith, fundamentalism, God, Islam, Judaism, Koran, rationality, reason, religion, Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion.
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Richard Dawkins has lately written an article titled “How dare you call me a fundamentalist” as a response to some of the main criticisms he received for his controversial bestseller The God Delusion. Here I will add my own arguments to what Dawkins has already said, because when rational people criticise god and putting religion in perspective, they get unfairly judged, and this we must address.

The criticisms made on Dawkins are in bold.

I’m an atheist, but I wish to dissociate myself from your shrill, strident, intemperate, intolerant, ranting language.

How you feel about the tone and language of the book is entirely up to you. Some might find it clear and concise. I find it to be passionate and blunt, and I think blunt is a much better and objective description of the tone and language of the book.

Take the first chapter for example. The one line where I can find people might find it offending is this line:

The idea of a personal God is quite alien to me and seems even naive.

Now seriously, how shrill and intolerant is this? Try replacing the words “a personal God” with something else say “United Nations” or “the Live Aid concert”. Does it make a difference?

I offer this advice to people who feel the book is arrogant and condescending: read it again (or at least some of it), and you might come to feel differently about it as the first time might come as a shock.

You can’t criticise religion without detailed study of learned books on theology.

The book is not ignorant on theology and various aspects of religion – see Dawkins’ own explanation – this alone should settle this particular criticism. I would add that you need not to be a scholar to highlight the obvious problems of religion, such as the blind faiths people have in ancient scriptures that drive them to happily hurt and kill others for no other reason than religion. There is a difference between criticising something while being completely ignorant (such as simple-minded creationists), and being knowledgeable enough.

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Atheists – Face Your Worst Nighmares – An Awesome Video! Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Posted by henry000 in anti-creationism, anti-evolution, anti-fundamentalism, creationism, faith, fundamentalism, funny, God, humor, humour, nightmare, parody, religion, science, video.
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Following the overwhelming success of the now famous Peanut Butter and Banana videos on the Internet, here is another video presenting not one, but many convincing and irrefutable evidences of how the Almighty God created everything! So there you go, those damn non-believers…

Courtesy of the Friendly Atheist.

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Darwinists’ Worst Nightmare – The Frightening Spectre of ID Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Posted by henry000 in anti-creationism, anti-evolution, anti-fundamentalism, anti-ID, creationism, Darwinism, evolution, Fred Hoyle, fundamentalism, intelligent design, natural selection, naturalism, rationality, reason, religion, science, scientists, straw-man.
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Apparently the Intelligent Design movement has got the “Darwinists” scared, according to an article posted on an American right-wing extremist website (courtesy of the resourceful Darwininia).

While the title of the article “The frightening specter of Intelligent Design” sounds spectacularly frightening, it fails spectacularly to frighten anyone who knows something about ID. This is because the article is a simple repetition of the usual ID and creationism rhetorics.

So why are Darwinists scared? Because the progresses of science have rendered natural selection more and more unable to explain the complexity of life.

And this is pretty much the entire article offers – it mentions absolutely nothing, zero, nil, nada, on what these recent science progresses are.

And unlike many other more sophisticated ID arguments, the author displays all the hallmarks of basic creationism knowledge. The article starts with the main ID theme that life is too complex to be explainable by natural selection. This is where the ID argument (if there is one to start with) ends, and the good old dose of creationism takes over.

The author says that life is too complex to have come about by random chance – and he even brings up the really, really, really old and wrong Fred Hoyle chance calculation which I thought has been buried for good!

Then the scientific community is under attack with his straw-man argument:

But if design, conversely, is rational, why do so many scientists reject it? Because this is not an issue of science, but of religion. Their religion is that of materialism and naturalism, and they are under no illusions as to the implications of design.

Now this line of thinking exemplifies the frightening spectre of religious fundamentalism.

Abide By The 10 Commandments Saturday, July 14, 2007

Posted by henry000 in Australia, Bible, Christianity, comic, funny, humor, humour, rationality, reason, religion, Ten Commandments.
9 comments

I stole this cute clever comic from the Rationalist Society of Australia website.

Abide By The Ten Commandments

Intelligent Design Marching Into UK Thursday, July 12, 2007

Posted by henry000 in anti-creationism, anti-evolution, anti-fundamentalism, anti-ID, BBC, creationism, education, Eugenie Scott, evolution, intelligent design, Lewis Wolpert, podcast, rationality, religion, science, Science Weekly, Simon conway Morris, Truth In Science, UK, United States, video.
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Blue Rat alerts us that the dishonest, disingenuous and manipulative movement called Intelligent Design is trying to get into the UK schools. Here is a video of an interview conducted by the BBC’s Newsnight program between an ID advocate from an organisation called Truth In Science and Professor Lewis Wolpert, a distinguished biologist and humanist.

In December 2006 Science Weekly published a podcast on this very topic, this time again involving Professor Wolpert as well as the famous paleontologist Simon Conway Morris. Also in the podcast is Dr. Eugenie Scott from the USA, a leading science educator who has been at the front-line of combating creationism and Intelligent Design for years, and has recently published a book titled Not in Our Classrooms: Why Intelligent Design Is Wrong for Our Schools. You can download the entire podcast in mp3 format on the Science Weekly website.

A Boy Named Hell Rejected by School Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Posted by henry000 in Australia, Catholics, Chinese, Christianity, hell, numerology, rationality, religion, superstition.
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Here is another piece of the middle-age mindset that has characterised the Catholic church. A boy whose surname is Hell, which has its origin rooted in Austrian, was rejected from enrolling in a Catholic school in Australia simply because of the name, for the obvious reason.

Apparently here is the sequence of events that happened: at first the father of the boy offered to change the surname, but the school would not change its mind. Then the father decided not to change the boy’s surname, but the Catholic school decided to accept the boy. However this was too late for the father, who now says there is now no way that he would send his boy to the school.

The father correctly states:

“It’s 2007, not 1407 — it’s not the Dark Ages.”

According to the report, this is what the school statement has to say:

“The issue of a change of surname of the child was an initiative of the parents which they believed would assist the child in the transition of schools,” the school said in a statement.

“The school is working with the family in the best interests of the child,” the statement added.

While this issue has its religious context, this kind of incredible stupidity know as supersition is not limited to the religious. Numerology is one obvious example. Apparently the recent date of 07/07/07 has seen a large number of weddings planned on that day because many people believe this unique date brings good luck.

Also the number 13 and springs to mind. In the Chinese culture, the number 4 is considered bad luck because it sounds very similar to the word “death”, while the number 8 is considered very good simply because it sounds like the word “fortune” or “sudden fortune” in Chinese. So next time if you see a number plate filled with 8’s – you know why.

Another Faith-Based Human Tragedy Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Posted by henry000 in Australia, faith, family, fundamentalism, Jehovah's Witnesses, murders, psychiatry, rationality, religion, scientology, tragedy.
3 comments

This is a family murder tragedy that could have been avoided. But sadly it wasn’t, apparently because of blind beliefs in scientology.

A 25 year old Australian woman in Sydney has been accused with the murder of her father and sister whose bodies were found last Thursday. She is also charged with grievous body harm on her mother.

Investigations into this family tragedy have shown that the accused woman has been denied psychiatric treatment for about a year by her parents because of their scientology beliefs. From the news article it is quite clear that the woman has been very ill mentally, but the parents have denied her of psychiatric medication on scientology grounds, and so no effective treatment was done on her.

This really maddens me – lives are lost, souls are destroyed because of credulous minds believing in completely ignorance and utter stupidity. When are we going to make this aspect of scientology a crime? This, along with Jehovah’s Witnesses’ horrible religious doctrine of rejection of blood transfusion, must be made criminal offences so that lives can be saved. This is not about freedom of beliefs; it is about saving human lives!

While it is so unfortunate that the father and the sister died, I feel even more saddened for the woman, and cannot imagine how she will live the rest of her life knowing the family-destroying crime she inflicted upon her own family. What she said after the murder is truly haunting and painful to bear:

“What have I done? I just butchered my family … I have just butchered my family. I stabbed Dad, Mum and sister. They are all dead.”

And all this could have been avoided.

Creation Museum Video Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Posted by henry000 in anti-evolution, Bible, creation museum, creationism, evolution, fundamentalism, God, museums, rationality, religion, science, video.
4 comments

Here is a creation museum video clip. It is not a virtual tour, nor does it contain lots of shots of the inside of the museum; rather it is a refutation on the concept of “super evolution” presented by the museum.

Warning – the background music might irrate you. 🙂

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