The God of Creationism

Believe it or not, as an atheist I don't see this as an irrefutable text.

As far as atheists are concerned, I think I come off being rather tame.  I have never suggested that religion is some horrible institution that should be burned to the ground and I have been quite outspoken with my fellow skeptics about my belief that there are forms of belief which cannot ever be debunked through skepticism.  That said, creationism bothers me on multiple levels.  Last week, I wound up spending an inordinate amount of time arguing with a creationist on this very blog and I came to the conclusion that reactive defense of evolution was not going to win an argument with someone who refuses to look at evidence.  So I’ve decided to go on the attack on this one.  My reason is simple: whether there is a god or not, the specific God of Christian Creationism is logically impossible. … continue reading this entry.

Let’s see what we can do with this internet

What do you write on the Critical Thinking chalkboard?

Driving back from the debate on Friday, Steve and I got into talking about critical thinking.  I don’t remember how it happened.  Talk about the debate moved to discussing what I wished I’d been able to say in the debate, to “here’s what I think skeptics believe [...]

Teaching the Controversy: Let’s not and say we didn’t

You say sniffing this kills brain cells, but I say it smells terrific. Let's teach kids the controversy!

Our old friends, the creationists, appear to no longer be content to spread their sadly not so unique garbage around just our country any longer.  Recently a new “educational” attraction in Bristol England was awarded a “quality badge” by the British Council for Learning Outside the Classroom.  The attraction’s name?  “Noah’s Ark Zoo.”  Of course, we shouldn’t just assume that they’re religious because a) The Guardian says so or b) the name.  So let’s take a look at their website where they talk all about how Noah’s Ark Zoo is a working farm.  Oh what’s this?  A section on their website devoted to “Evolution & Creation.”  Hmmmm… … continue reading this entry.

A Non-Scientific Argument Against Intelligent Design

I was at Drinking Skeptically on Wednesday, trying to talk to people about how they should write for the Gotham Skeptic, because frankly, I get tired sometimes and I’d like to share that terrifying “it’s Wednesday/Sunday at 9:00 and I still don’t know what I’m going to write about” feeling that has become such a regular part of my week.  I was talking with Mitch, who if you’re a regular member of the NYC Skeptics, you probably know, and he’s telling me about this story he’d like to write all about “what if Intelligent Design was real.”  I’m not going to go into it too much because that’s his thing, but I had a question on it, he encouraged me to write about it here, and that’s what’s been done and what I’m doing. … continue reading this entry.

Lessons in evolutionary theory for all

From Charles Darwin's 1859 book "On the Origin of Species "

In spite of (or perhaps because of) the prolific amount of posts PZ Myer’s pens for his blog Pharyngula over at Scienceblogs, I have trouble being a frequent reader. He focuses on a wide variety of topics, many of them uninteresting to me, but one that I find him to be a terrific source of entertainment: evolution. In an uncharacteristically long post over the weekend, PZ delved into an easily digestible essay on just a few of the more complex and frequently misunderstood aspects of evolutionary theory. Given the attention that TQM paid yesterday to a journalist’s misunderstanding of Intelligent Design, I thought it was worth continuing the conversation.

PZ is correct that evolutionary theory is now a rich field of study that is commonly distilled down to an inadequate sound-bite for mass consumption. … continue reading this entry.

Some Words Actually Have Meanings…

Would you look at this man and say he ISN'T monkey-like?

I don’t know why, in spite of almost all evidence to the contrary, I continue to expect an educated press.  I read an article this morning in USA Today highlighting an evangelical woman who’s recently published a book about her transformation from creationist to defender of evolution.

The majority of the article, written by Bob Smietana of the Nashville Tennessean, isn’t bad.  The woman in question, Rachel Held Evans, is from Dayton, TN, home of the Scopes Monkey Trial.  Her message is that one does not have to decide they believe their religion or science, and that she can love her deity while accepting that the world is older than 6000 years.  Great.  I’m always happy to have religious people accept science, because I’m of the opinion that it’s a more helpful way to examine the world and that the lens of scientific naturalism is the best one for understanding the world around us.

Where Smietana pisses me off is around the middle of his article where he drops this whopper.

Instead of choosing sides, some prefer the middle ground of intelligent design, which claims God designed how life evolved. … continue reading this entry.

Late Night Skepticism

Evolutionary biologists have determined that the most influential factor in human evolution in the past ten thousand years is human culture itself. Raising cattle has let us drink milk, living in houses has made our skeletons lighter, and Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” will make the next [...]

A Salute to John Freshwater: Creationist Science Teacher

Yesterday Page brought your attention to this New York Times story about the hardship being put on John Freshwater: an innocent scientist who just wants to have the right to have his bible on his desk and teach creationism.  Okay, that’s not completely true.  He just wants to teach that kids shouldn’t trust evolution and that scientists make mistakes “because the Bible states that homosexuality is a sin, and so anyone who is gay chooses to be gay and is therefore a sinner.”  This was in reference to the idea that homosexuality may be genetic.  And what eighth grader struggling to accept his or herself and finding out that they may have a sexuality different from their peers wouldn’t want their science teacher telling them that they’re a sinner?  So obviously, I’m behind John.  Maybe you don’t understand that.  Well maybe you would if you’d been through what he’s been through, like I have. … continue reading this entry.

Agnostic Intelligent Design

This is totally proof of... something

This is totally proof of... something

I was cruising around the mighty internet when I found an article about Sarah Palin and Creationism over at the Atlantic. There’s not much to talk about here. Yeah, she’s a creationist, we’ve known it for a while, and the fact that America almost put such a scientifically illiterate person into one of the highest positions of power we have in this country still has me experiencing night terrors. But this really isn’t the proper forum for that type of political talk, and so instead, I want to address your attention to one of the more ingenious comments made on the page.  … continue reading this entry.

The Banana Man vs. The Smart Lady

Whos the sexy chick that can tell you why evolution is science and God creating the banana isnt?  SCOTT!  Youre damn right.

Who's the woman that can tell you why evolution is science and God creating the banana isn't? SCOTT! You're damn right.

There’s a man out there named Dan Gilgoff who publishes a blog for US News and World Report called “God & Country.”  The blog is, as you may be able to guess from the title, about religion.  Gilgoff regularly dips his toe into the world of politics, but we’re not here to do that.  We’re here because Gilgoff decided to recently enter the world of evolution.

Our story starts in September, when Gilgoff wrote a short blog on Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron’s new version of Darwin’s Origin of Species.  Now, it seems that we “Darwinists” are an easy group to rile, so Gilgoff figured out that this was an issue he should tackle again.  He got the infamous Ray Comfort and the great Eugenie Scott to write in competing posts about Comfort’s fifty page introduction to Origin of Species. … continue reading this entry.

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