Creationists are just buggy about bugs

A few months back Frank Sherwin,  “Senior Science Lecturer” at the Institute for Creation Research, launched an amusing attack on evolution that is nigh on word-salad; this time focusing on insects, and how they are supposedly problematic for evolutionary theory.

As usual it is stated with the confidence and the faux authority that is typical of “creation science” practitioners but when you actually look at it and try to make sense of what is being said it quickly becomes apparent that much of it is really unintelligible nonsense.

Read on»

Hyracotherium misinformation at scientificamerican.com

I am going to give another wag of the finger, this time to Scientific American. They posted a number of paintings of reconstructions of various extinct “horses” in a picture gallery titled “Ancient Miniature Horses”, which includes an entry for the famous “dawn horse”, Hyracotherium.

However, the problems lies not in the painting, which is probably a reasonable guesstimate of what Hyracotherium might have looked like in life but rather with the blurb of information included with the painting:

Hyracotherium This genus of small early horse roamed the early woodlands of Asia, Europe and North America some 55 million to 45 million years ago. It was already larger than Sifrhippus, weighing about 22.7 kilograms. But when Richard Owen first discovered Hyracotherium in 1876, it was so diminutive that he thought it was some unknown hyrax species, a group of extant mammals that live in Africa and the Middle East. 

Painting by Heinrich Harder used by S.A.

No, no, no, a thousand times no! It is bad enough when creationists claim that Hyracotherium is merely a hyrax (rather than a ancestral horse) and claim that Richard Owen thought so as well but to have a venerable science publication like Scientific American falling into the same pit of misinformation is extremely vexing.

Read on»

Holy crap, I’ve been demotivated!

That is I’ve been incorporated into a demotivational poster! It seems someone (picardo85?) over in the atheist section of reddit snagged my picture from the title explanation page of this blog along with an unattributed version of Scott Weitzenhoffer’s pigeonchess quote and combined them into a demotivational against Christians:

I have mixed feelings about this. While I have opinions about religion I tend to stay out of that debate and focus on issues involving science and attacks on science (creationism/antievolutionism), so having my image used (without my permission btw), as part of an attack Christians as a whole is a bit disconcerting.

On the other hand, having my image become part of a larger internet meme is somewhat amusing. Another funny thing came in the comment thread for the image on reddit:

If the pigeon represents the christians, why’s it playing chess with Jesus?

To which someone else responded:

It looks like Alan Moore to me…

Ha! Inserted into an internet meme, thought to look like the Messiah and/or the author of  Watchmen and V for Vendetta all in one thread? Nice!

Seriously though, do I really look that much like Moore?

[I swear I already had this picture on my hard drive before I saw the one of Moore above.]

The Proceedings of the 44th Carnival of Evolution is now available

Ladies and Gentlemen… Mesdames et Messieurs… Damen und Herren… The Carnival of Evolution XLIV! This month the carnival is inhabiting The Atavism (great name) and is cleverly set up as a scientific symposium. See for yourself.


Previous Carnivals of Evolution:

If you missed any of these you’ll definitely want to go check them out!