Ardent defenders of the First Amendment and the Separation of Church and State


Saturday, August 23, 2014

AIG and Their Lies About Scientific American

As professing Christians Ken Ham and his writers do not have a very good track record on honesty.  A good case in point is the 22 August article by Troy Lacey, "Popular Science Is Now Popular Spin?" .

My grandfather bought me a subscription to Popular science for my birthday every year for six years (12-18 years old) so AIG has stepped into deep do-do trying to tell me what you find in the pages of that august publication.  Lacey proclaims::

"Popular Science’s September 2014 issue has jumped into an arena that it is unprepared for...."

PS has indeed featured not only newest inventions, but also many articles on possible future technology which they would showcase on the cover as attention grabbers.  But they also featured, as their masthead states, articles by prominent scientists on "Gadgets, Cars, Science, Technology and DIY."  Indeed, after 140 years of continuous publication, SI is far more prepared to publish articles on valid science than any writer at AIG. 

Then this:
"..., and this particular issue should be renamed Popular Spin magazine. Popular Science has long been known for featuring the newest inventions and the latest electronic gadgets, and for looking at potential breakthroughs in technology."

Ahhhh,,,,,no.  That is bullshit.  PS has been publishing articles on evolution since 1884, and also publishing articles on pseudo science since it's first publication 140 years ago.

And finally Lacey bloviates:

"But, in recent years, they have been diving into more and more religious topics by pushing the religion of secular humanism."

Only in recent years, eh?  .

April 1876:
"only an evolution of the individual from the moment when it became more heterogeneous by the differentiation of parts and functions, but also an evolution of the ensemble of living beings, from the first appearance of life in its least ..."

October 1877,
"The important truth that it has been sought to reach by these considerations is, that organic evolution is but one of the minor manifestations of universal evolution. It occurs at a stage of the process when the struggle between the contending...."

March 1904,
"physical barriers in the work of subdividing species, this would mean that evolution sometimes results in segregation, not that segregation results in evolution. Evolution is a process of change in species; it is the journey of which individual......"

December 1897,
"the general public, and also of the majority of medical men, who, " while observing the effects of disease on man the individual, have signally failed to observe its effects on man the species." While he accepts evolution in its widest and most .."

January 1888,
"EVOLUTION AND RELIGIOUS THOUGHT. BY PROFESSOR JOSEPH LE CONTE. FROM what has preceded, the reader will perceive that we regard the law of evolution as thoroughly established ..."

September 1889,
"THIS periodical has been established as a medium for the publication of essays and lectures presenting the modern scientific or evolutionary aspect of various subjects. Each number contains one essay."

Ham's Idea of materialism inspiring evolution was debunked in this article......FROM 1878!

May 1878,
"I think I can show you that materialism is not the necessary outcome of scientific studies and the scientific spirit. For this purpose, I will select that scientific theory which is supposed to be par excellence materialistic, viz.: the theory of evolution"

Even worse for Ham are countless articles since the late 1800s debunking the flood myth:

May 1894, page 5
"...naming "every living creature" ; or to reconcile the dimensions of Noah's ark with the space required for preserving all of them, and the food of all sorts necessary for their sustenance, whether they were admitted by twos, as stated in one .."

November 1909,
"A Noah's ark was built at Toulouse, but the year was distinguished for its drought. Ridicule is sometimes more efficacious than argument in overthrowing false theories."

The list goes on and on, along with many articles critical of the Bible itself:

From Scientific American, July 1893:

May 1875, page 91
"........speak the language of science; and the other attempts to falsify science to meet the supposed requirements of the Bible."  Yeah, Ham has been doing this for decades.  Ham is just another crackpot in a very long line of religious crack pots.

It only takes a simple search of he Scientific American archives to see that the claim that they have only recently started criticizing anti science religionists is bogus and most often they are on solid scientific ground.

It is not the mission of SI to regularly criticize religious superstitions, but rather to publish articles on the hot topics of the day, which they do here and have been doing for 140 years.



Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Dismal Failure of Ken Ham, Creationism, and Intelligent Design

It amuses me greatly to watch the anti-science crowd contort themselves into perverted shapes in their efforts to discredit sound science.  Their mendacity is astounding.
They know they are just making pathetically crafted arguments.  They know it very well.  Their plan is not to prove the science wrong.  Their plan is to obfuscate science in the minds of their hapless minions.  They think that creating doubt in the minds of their ignorant and gullible followers is the way to perpetuate their power and authority.  The problem is, it is not working, and funny enough, most of them admit it.

Ken Ham has done studies, written books, and continues to use those studies to scare people into giving him money.  Demonization of opponents is all they've got; all the while scaring away anyone with a bit of sense or education. 
And, what are the results of their study?  The results and conclusion is that they must] begin the indoctrination of their children at younger ages and sequester them from society in general to achieve their plan of complete and total cultural conditioning.  No room for free expression or inquiry. 
Everyone is sorely aware of Ken Ham's supercilious attacks on everything not AIG.  He now lashes out almost daily at the boogie men he sees under his bed and in his closets.  His rambling exhortations are the antithesis of perspicuity, yet he is his own worst enemy and here is the reason why.

When we look at the veracity of the vast conclusions of science, it is obvious that the scientific method and the vetting process works to a very high degree.  If nothing more, we can look around us and see the results of our technical and scientific accomplishments, but it just so happens that the only science that the deniers oppose, is the science that shows them in error.  Then, rather than merely state that God is capable of anything he chooses, they lay out their jejune hypotheses while eliding the evidence to the contrary and offering no record of evidence or experimentation of their own doing.

One of my personal favorites is their penurious hypothesis of "Hydraulic Sorting of Animals During the Flood."   I can hardly type while laughing out loud.  What really amazes me is that they think no one will notice that they do not have a hypothesis of the hydraulic sorting of Plants during the flood, and the reason why is that the way that plants appear in the geologic column shows the least biologically complex plants at the lowest strata and becoming more complex the farther up the column we go.  They claim that the tiny fauna sank to the bottom quickly while the larger animals bloated, floated and sunk later....orrrrrr.....ran to high ground to then be nicely covered by a completely different type of strata than the layer below.  First of all, there is no model that shows how this can be accomplished under swirling, or even stagnate waters and there is no flood plain on earth, as far as I know, where that type of sorting is observed.

But the plants?  Well, they are rooted down.... and the more evolved/ complex cannot run to high ground.  Of course their density (density of chlorophyll) is such that most of them would sink at about the same rate, yet here we find those plants in their rightful geologic locations.  The hypothesis of hydraulic sorting is vacuous and absurd beyond description.

What the creationists have failed to note, and the cause of their continued demise, is that any good religion has to have a magical supernatural being in control;  a mysterious entity that can annul the laws of nature as he sees fit, with the mystery being part of the mystique and the attraction to the religion.  They don't mind applying this magic to the virgin birth or the resurrection (for the most part, but I have seen some of them try to explain those events using their fractured conjectures) but when they try to explain the flood and other biblical events using pseudo science, they leave themselves wide open to attacks and incursions from without and within. On their decision to make the bible a science book they have painted themselves into the proverbial corner, since now they have no room for supernatural intervention.  But yet we find them often, when left with slack jaws at a challenge, appealing to the supernatural powers of their god.  It seems to me that to try to have their cake and eat it too is spelling their accelerated doom.

The weaknesses of intelligent design/ creationism, is its failure to offer a mechanism.
The Creationist's magical designer is not only unseen and unknown, but his alleged handiwork is detectable only to those who experience some mysterious revelation from reading he bible. 

It is my opinion that the creationists have bastardized their beliefs and destroyed the mystique of their own superstitions, opening them to logical and reasonable scrutiny of which they have no hope of overcoming.



Thursday, August 15, 2013

Ham's Ark Park Donations Still Flat

At the present rate of donations it will be years before Before AIG reaches their goal of  $24MM.
I published this graph on this site and one of my cronies added an interesting feature referencing the new Zip Lines at the Hamseum.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

AIG Uses "Historical" Science to Prove His Version of How Craters on the Moon were Formed!

Confused?  You should be.  What in the actual fuck is wrong with these people?

So, here we go.  I open the AIG to see Ken Ham's blog boxing at shadows concerning Richard Dawkins' use of 'Historical' science and how wrong it is.

It’s clear that Dawkins doesn’t understand what the Bible teaches or the differences between operational (observational) and historical (origins) science. Frankly, he is quite ignorant of the issues of science and origins.
Now, Dawkins also claims there’s a “mountain of evidence” against biblical creation. But this is a clear confusion of operational and historical science. Operational science is repeatable, observable, and testable. It’s the kind of science that allows us to make advances in medicine, technology, and so on. Historical science, on the other hand, deals with the origin of the universe. But, clearly, no humans were there to witness this event, and it can’t be tested or repeated.
OK, nothing new there.  Ham has used this non-existent difference in types of science for a long time now and nobody outside his circle of loony pseudo-scientists give it any heed whatsoever.  It is a strawman argument.

To clearly show that Ham is full of manure, on the very next page on the very same day, Ham's hired science distortionist, Danny Faulkner discusses "Ghost Craters-Evidence of a Young Moon."
He states:
The moon’s impact basins and ghost craters are excellent “time markers,” helping us to decipher how much time passed between the various cratering events in the moon’s history. When properly understood, they give powerful evidence that the moon is very young: since its creation, it was battered by lots of impacts over a very short time.

Whoooooaaaaaaaaa!  I'm calling total bullshit.  Using Ham's own strawman, were you there?  Did you see those craters being formed?  How do you determine this time frame?  Oh you extrapolated?  What?

Never mind.  In the interest of brevity, Ham does this all the time.  He can use 'Historical' evidence to prove his point but nobody else is allowed to because why?  You tell me.  Read the article and it is very plain that Ham wants to have his cake and eat it too and he is a preposterous, delusional, hypocrite that will say anything to try to influence his hapless minions.

He comes up with all these lame brained evidences for a young earth and the flood by mimicking the scientific method while loading it with absurd presuppositions.  This is some weapons grade crazy going on right here folks.


Friday, July 12, 2013

The Ineptitude of AIG Darling, Ray Comfort, and His Lies, Exposed

As if it were not enough for AIG to engage in their pseudoscience, it is another step into the pit of dishonesty that they embrace the tactics of their apparent darling co-conspirator, Ray Comfort.

You know AIG is hitting rock bottom when they welcome the works of Ray Comfort.   Ray is a New Zealander that recognized that the USA provided more fertile ground for his snake oil style of Christianity; yes sad, but true.

Comfort is a self styled rhetorical hit man for his own brand of creationism and his interpretation of the bible wherein he employs gimmicks, magic tricks and ability to pry certain words out his targets that he uses to twist, mangle and distort to his own satisfaction, and worse yet, he brags about it.

He's extended his repertoire of prying predictable words out of people and then manipulating their meanings, or even inventing entirely new meanings.

He writes:

"My friend PZ Myers (I hope he doesn't mind me calling him a friend) is thinking that I am going to misrepresent him in the upcoming movie “Evolution vs. God.” He said, “Someday maybe I’ll get to be in a movie in which I’m not selectively edited and misrepresented. It will not be this movie.” I don’t know why he is thinking this way when he hasn't seen the movie. The interview was edited back for the promo, but that’s what you do with promos because they have to be short. But in “Evolution vs. God” PZ gets to talk as much as or even more than anyone in the entire movie. Of course it was “selectively edited.” That’s what editors do. They remove the mundane and irrelevant and select that which is interesting--and a lot of what he said certainly was interesting. When I do interviews I fully expect to be cut back to that which the producers believe is relevant to their theme. After all, it’s their program.

So PZ, you were of course “selectively edited” (as was every person in the movie), but I have to protest when you accuse me of misrepresenting you. That would show a lack of integrity on my part and a disregard for our friendship. I really enjoyed meeting you. It really was an honor, and I would gladly enjoy a meal with you any time you are back in Southern California (at my expense, of course). PZ kindly posted the promo on his page".

There is so much wrong with those two paragraphs I hardly know where to start.

He defends the selective editing of his new movie....."the editors did it!"  How sad that he revels in his dishonesty.  Comfort is listed as the Executive Producer.  So, when have editors have become masters of their producers?

Rather than understanding the subject and setting out to disprove it, he spends all his time inventing new ways to distort the words of his adversaries, while never even one time discussing the evidence that they explain, and never once utters any evidence to the contrary.  And that is exactly how he fails.   What were Ray's  responses to the criticisms?    He laughs them off....

And now AIG, who seem to pride themselves on some sort of internal 'Peer Review System" have embraced Comfort's unethical tactics.  I was quite surprised at this, however it probably signals the desperate straights that they find themselves in while trying to manage their dwindling customer base.  AIG has been unable to rally their (supposed 75,000) hapless minions to donate the minimum $24 million to supplement Ken Ham's for-profit boondoggle Ark Encounter debacle.

"Spectacular New Film- Evolution vs God"
"Ray Comfort will be at our Answers Mega Conference in Sevierville, Tennessee, whereEvolution vs. God will have its world premiere on Monday evening, July 22."

Oops!  The bumbling Comfort has accidentally released his "film" into the wilds of the internet and can be seen by anyone with any interest, but there are no surprises and it is just exactly more of what he has already done in his past lame attempts at film making.

I would recommend it to anyone who wants to show their children how to recognize unethical tactics.   In that respect, Comfort has a winner.


Sunday, June 30, 2013

Ham Asking for Donations to Profit Himself and his Unnamed Cronies | Ark to be a For-Profit Entity

Ken Ham was shrieking about an article in Christianity Today where they claim funding for the Ark has slowed down.
Ken Ham responds:
...... had they contacted us directly about Ark donations, CT would have learned that funding is steadily coming in for the Ark Encounter. Instead, CT used old figures.

Well then I shall use up-to-the-moment figures directly from the AIG site updated today.  Funding for the Ark by month:

Funding for Ham's Ark through 1 July 13

Considering that AIG was planning to break ground in 2013, it looks to me that the funding has, indeed, ground to a crawl.  At the rate of donations over the last six months, it will take many years to reach the goal of $24 million US.

It could be that Ham's supporters aren't willing to part with their hard earned money once they learned that the Ark Park would be a for-profit entity.  I'm sure none of us would donate money to Wal-Mart so they could open a new store, and this is no different.  Let the people who will take the profit invest the money.  And on top of that, the state of Kentucky has promised tax breaks and thus enhanced profits for Ham and his cronies.  It would be stupid to donate good money so Ham can enrich himself and his undisclosed investors.

Or, better yet, Ham should convert the donations into investments and share the profits with those who donate.  Another option would be for people who want to donate to the Ark Park to contact AIG and ask about details concerning investing money to share the profits rather than donating so someone else can make the profits.

It takes a lot of brass to solicit donations for a for-profit business.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Warped, Vile, Flawed, and Fractured logic of Ken Ham

Noah's Ark is merely a harmless myth perpetuated by the fundamentalist science deniers in the USA because where science conflicts with the bible myths they have no choice but to lie about and obfuscate valid science.  But one of their more nefarious activities is shown in the exchange below which I picked off the AIG Facebook page (which is heavily censored.)  They were talking about climate change, with Ken Ham denying it, of course. So then a fellow Christian tries to defend taking care of the planet as a mere 'good thing' to do, but Ken Ham is having none of that.
What is worse though is that Ken Ham is making his normal case that if you're not his brand of Christian, you have no basis for morality or for doing good of any kind.  He is essentially demonizing anyone who opposes his myopic views.

Neil Smith Obviously as a Christian I would like to see people come to Christ, but my point is that this has nothing to do with religion. I see too many people slamming the efforts of those, who aren't Christian, for trying to make our planet better and cleaner.

Ken Ham Neil--why? On what basis? Without a biblical basis you have no foundation for your statements--they are just your opinion. For instance in an evolutionary world why shouldn't man be allowed to do whatever he wants to do after all, he is just another selection pressure and maybe lots of pollution etc will actually help the next stage of evolution! It's only a Christian on the basis of a true understanding of history concerning a perfect world marred by sin and God giving man dominion and what that means in a falle world we can even begin to talk about this. Bottom line--what you stated is your opinion..why should people accept your opinion--they may have different opinions--it's why we all need an absolute authority to whom we are accountable or anything goes.

Open Letter to Ken Ham

Ken Ham,

I am convinced that you know better than what you are saying.  I am also convinced that one time back in the day that you bought into the inerrancy of the bible due to the cultural conditioning by your parents that you have spoken of in the past.  And I don't doubt that when you started your ministry that you were still convinced of, and emotionally bound to your views.  But now, after all the evidence and present day examples available to you, you are merely trying to hang on to the dwindling number of minions from whose pockets you pick on a regular basis.  Yes, power is addictive.  There was a time in your life where you went from a "believer" to a self appointed member of the "Priestcraft," or those who find being a religious leader provides you with a good many credulous minions who end up financing your bankrupt ideas.  But even more important to the Priestcraft is that once you come to the realization that your ideas are, in fact, worthless, your followers stay faithful as long as you keep up appearances.  Some of the Priestcraft have moved on to more fertile ground in the realization that bible inerrancy is a dying and failed philosophy, such as Joel Osteen, Rod Parsley, Joyce Myers, Rick Warren, et al, while you circle the wagons, go into your bunker mentality and lash out against everybody including fellow Christians.  And yes, I am sure that you are filling a niche market that others are abandoning. Actually, that is to your advantage, financially, since you don't have to share your diminishing number of minions with as many fellow members of the Priestcraft.

In this case you state that,
 "On what basis? Without a biblical basis you have no foundation for your statements--they are just your opinion. For instance in an evolutionary world why shouldn't man be allowed to do whatever he wants to do ..." 

That line of thinking is just as worn out and irrational as the idea that he universe is only six thousand years old.  Have a look at Japan where there are virtually no Christians. They have laws and their crime rate is less than here in the USA.  They plan for the future and have moral and ethical standards just like every other tribe/culture.  Hammurabi codified moral laws laws in the 17th century BCE, ~400 years before the supposed Moses.  The development of modern morality and ethics is a process of sociocultural evolution.

Cooperation between humans turned out to be a effective survival skill.  Empathy evolved along with all the aspects of human nature including the drive to reproduce and be a productive member of the tribe.  Empathy is the bedrock of ethics and morals.  The law of reciprocity (don't hurt me, I won't hurt you) has been around far longer than your bible stories.  Recent finding show unequivocally that we all have mirror neurons in our brains which show that when others hurt, we hurt. When others are happy, we share that happiness almost as if it is our own.

Those are moral concepts that have been universal for eons.  The additional religious laws like honoring a supernatural being or not working on Sunday are merely control devices invented by your fellow members of the Priestcraft back in the day.  This is evidenced by the fact that the laws are of the USA are quite universal in nature.  They are not founded on the Ten Commandments since only three of the ten commandments are ensconced as laws in the USA and they are universal laws common to most human cultures.

There are non-theists the world over that do hold the cause for the common goodwill, the preservation of the earth, and the well being of their descendants while finding no evidence whatsoever for any supernatural beings or an afterlife.

Respectfully submitted,