More from the Antarctic seas

Man that thing looks eerily like a trilobite! But unfortunately it is isn’t. It is however a neat little baby isopod (Ceratoserolis). Isopoda is the group that the woodlice, AKA pill-bugs, AKA sow bugs, that live in your garden belongs to. This probably won’t stop some young earth creationist from claiming it is a trilobite and that therefore evolution is (somehow) disproved, but what can you do?

From National Geographic News, “Bizarre New Deep-Sea Creatures Found Off Antarctica“:

A treasure trove of more than 700 new species has been uncovered in the dark depths of oceans surrounding Antarctica, researchers report. (See a photo gallery of the finds.)

Cool stuff!

Responding to my first blog critic

Some guy name Timothy with a blog is having fantasies about he and I having a “blog-duel” over my post “Contradictory stories from the ID crowd on the Expelled incident“.I don’t want to have a duel with an apparently unarmed man so I will respond once and then he can say whatever he likes.

Me: Over at Post-Darwinist, Denyse O’Leary is quoting Expelled producer Mark Mathis as admitting that he…

Timothy: Troy makes the following assertions regarding Denyse O’Leary’s post:

Someone has reading comprehension problems. I made no assertion about Denyse’s post, I noted that she quotes a statement from Expelled producer Mark Mathis from who she says wrote to her. That quote I believe expresses the true reason for his expelling Myers from the screening.

Read on»

More irony from the ID creationist crowd

On the one hand the ID creationist crowd wail and moan about how they supposedly face discrimination and censure (that’s what film Expelled is about), and on the other we find this sort of stuff:

Pandas Thumb reports on an article in the Washington Post that talked about the case of Nancey Murphy of the Fuller Theological Seminary:

Nancey Murphy, a religious scholar at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif., said she faced a campaign to get her fired because she expressed the view that intelligent design was not only poor theology, but “so stupid, I don’t want to give them my time.”

Murphy, who believes in evolution, said she had to fight to keep her job after one of the founding members of the intelligent design movement, legal theorist Phillip Johnson, called a trustee at the seminary and tried to get her fired.

But this isn’t the only example.

Back in the mid-1990’s Christian biochemist Terry M. Gray was tried and convicted of heresy by the Orthodox Presbyterian Church for daring to suggest that humans have primate ancestors in a review… wait for it… of Phillip Johnson’s book Darwin on Trial (1991).

A. We charge that Dr. Terry Gray has committed the public offense of stating that Adam had primate ancestors~ contrary to the Word of God (Genesis 2:7, 1:26,27) and the doctrinal standards of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (WCF IV.2, W L C 17).

Fortunately Dr. Gray wasn’t put on the rack or burnt at the stake for his “heresy” (like they used to do), but he was censured and had to write a recantation.

Dr. Gray has a page on links to articles on the incident: Documents Related to the Evolution Trial in the OPC

A similar example is Christian physicist Howard Van Till, of Calvin College in Michigan had the school’s board of trustees questioning his views after he wrote in a book (The Fourth Day 1986) in which he argued that “…the stories of the Bible and science’s account of evolution could both be true” (from chicagotribune.com):

His critics on the school’s board of trustees had no interest in reconciling the religious account of creation with a naturalist explanation of how life and the universe have evolved over the ages. For years after the book’s release in 1986, Van Till reported to a monthly interrogation where he struggled to reassure college officials that his scientific teachings fit within their creed. Van Till’s career survived the ordeal, but his Calvinist faith did not. Over the next two decades, he became the heretic his critics had suspected.

Over a span of three years a conservative businessman Leo Peters ran thirty full-page ads in the Grand Rapids Press attacking Van Till for his views.

Seems they can dish it out but can’t take it; though they really haven’t had to actually take it because most (if not all) of their claims of discrimination or censure are nonsense.

The Expelled RSVP site(s) getting to the facts

Strap yourselves in folks this is has some twists and curves.

OK first a synopsis of events: biologist/blogger/atheist provocateur P. Z. Myers signed up online to see a screening of Expelled (a film in which he appears and is thanked in the credits) along with his family and biologist/atheist provocateur maximus, Richard Dawkins, and as everyone not living in a deep dark cave in Borneo that lacks internet access knows, was kicked out of the theater and not allowed to view the film.

The lovely irony of one of the producers of a film, that decries the supposed discrimination and mistreatment of antievolutionists by the scientific mainstream, pettily expelling a scientists who was interviewed in that film, for no apparent reason, sent howls of virtual laughter through the blogosphere along with a sizable heap of scorn down upon the producers head.

This provoked a fairly desperate scramble amongst the ID creationism crowd to defend and justify the producers actions and vilify both Myers and Dawkins (as if they needed more reasons beyond their being evolutionists and atheists). Included in the counter charges they’ve made against Myers and Dawkins is that they were uninvited “gate-crashers” who “gamed the system” to illegitimately gain access to the screening.

Myers in his public comments on his blog and elsewhere has simply stated that he signed up online to see the screening but did not explain how he came to find the web page where this could be done.

Read on »

Check it…

I’m not exactly sure what they’re trying to say, but I kinda like it regardless:

(Via Pandas Thumb)

Expelled! The Movie Rip-off and the Event at Biola

This is where I was supposed to be telling you what I thought about the film Expelled after having paid (yes I know, “boo, hiss”) $10 to Biola university for a ticket to “Expelled! The Movie and the Event“.

Here is their description of the event:

EXPELLED!
The Movie and the Event
with Ben Stein

Intelligent Design: What happens when a group of scientists get terminated for thinking it is reasonable to believe in ID? Actor Ben Stein makes a funny and thought-provoking movie about it. Join us for an exclusive backstage film pass and hear from Stein himself as well as a panel of experts.

The Movie and the event”, “backstage film pass“, sounds like you might actually see the movie right? Wrong! Instead all you get for your ten clams and your forty minute drive (one way) is essentially a commercial for the movie with a few clips and a lot of ID babble from Stephen C. Meyer, Ben (Mad Dog) Stein, and three or four also spokes.

Addenda (3-29): A couple of analogies I thought of regarding this being a “backstage film pass”. Imagine getting a backstage pass to a concert where you get to “go backstage” but the band doesn’t play. Or for the rednecks out there, imagine getting a pit-pass but there’s no race going on. Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense does it? (End)

Meyer and me

Needless to say I am a bit peeved about this.

It gets “better” though. After listening to Stein practically foam at the mouth (he almost seemed like he had a pulse for a minute there) about the horrible injustices supposedly documented in his film and a bunch of stuff about God—despite the fact that one of the clips from the film was one of the Discovery Institute muckety-mucks prattling on about how they want to talk about science and that it’s the “people with no argument” who keep bringing up the “red-herring” of religion—the night was topped off with Stein receiving the Orwellianly titled “Phillip E. Johnson Award for Liberty and Truth” for 2008. All of this to no less than three standing ovations from the crowd.

Along for the ride with me was Dr. Wilfred Elders (Prof. of Geology Emeritus UC Riverside), and Dr. Jim Hofmann (Liberal Studies Dept. Cal State Fullerton) and his wife, I’ll let them speak for themselves as to what they thought about the evening in the comments if they wish.

Good times…

I’m sure more about this disappointment will come out later (I have an audio recording) but it’s late and that’s it for now.

Off to the movies…

Well I’m going to see Expelled for myself very soon. I won’t say exactly when or where I’m going, but I won’t be alone. At least two allies, a retired geologist and philosopher of science will be there as well.

Needless to say my post on the tangled web of Expelled RSVP pages will be delayed a bit longer. But on the up side you can expect another account of seeing the film on top of it.