Since I must post any pigeon related humor I run across—especially if there is a science angle to it—I present the following, Fibonacci Pigeons:
This will be a departure from my typical novel length dissection of a creationist article and will instead be a short look at a single creationist gaffe. Perhaps I will make this into a series, we’ll see. Anyway, today’s nit will be picked with young Earth creationist Dr Carl Werner (a medical doctor).
I recently acquired a copy, of what I believe is the 1st edition, of his book Evolution: The grand experiment (2007, 2nd printing 2009, coauthored with his wife Debbie Werner) and while skimming through it I noticed a little error on page 57, which is chapter 5 of the book and is apparently meant as a refutation of the evidence for evolution from comparative anatomy. In this particular case he is discussing the homology of various tetrapod forelimbs (yellow highlighting mine):
The “nit” in this case is his illustration of the forelimbs of a whale in the dark blue circle above. When I saw it I immediately recognized that it was not in fact the forelimbs of a whale but rather the hind limbs of one. In this case those of an extinct archaeocete, most likely those of Dorudon (image source).
And these are the hind legs of Dorudon (image source):
For comparison here are a couple modern whale forelimbs:
Clearly what Dr. Werner has pictured are not the forelimbs of a modern whale, rather my money is on them being the hind limbs of Dorudon. Is it a huge deal? No. It is just another example of sloppy creationist research (I mean if a printing press operator recognizes archaeocete legs when he sees them, come on).
Just wanted to share a couple fun Christmas presents I got this year and a couple of gifts I got earlier in the year that I have been meaning to post some pictures of but had not yet got round to doing so.
The first is an amusing caricature of yours truly, drawn by Gabriel Corral (who was, until recently, one of my co-workers):
He drew caricatures of each of us who work, or worked, at AFS Printing as Christmas gifts.
Next is a painting by my sister, Kindra Pizarro, of a skeleton tree:
Very cool (be sure to check out her Etsy store: Voodoo Kitty Handmade Oddities).
Finally a couple of neat dinosaur statuettes given to me by my friends Don and Gaynell Frack, I think for my last birthday (or maybe even last Christmas, can’t recall):
Apparently they bought them, for a very reasonable price, at an art sale put on by a Buddhist temple. Both are very cool, though I think I like the Triceratops best. The only problem is my ever finding a place to display them where the cats won’t be able to destroy them (first world problems).
So that’s it for now, thank you so much Gabriel, Kindra, Don and Gaynell for the thought and the gifts!
And a happy New Year!
While looking through some old photographs, for something else I am working on, I came across some snap shots I took back in 1998 when my friend Don Frack and myself flew back to the East coast to attend the DinoFest 98 symposium (a combination dinosaur fossil exhibition and gathering of dinosaur paleontologists) in Philadelphia, PA.
We figured that to make going really worth our while (and our money), we would make a couple of side trips. We planned to arrive a couple days early, rent a car and drive up to New York for a day and go to the American Museum of Natural History (we were joined on this leg of our journey by our friend Jonathan Woolf who we knew from back in the CompuServe forum CvE debates). We would then
return to Philadelphia and attend the three day symposium, after which Don and I would drive down to Washington D.C., go to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and fly home from there.
It was at once a fun, fascinating and frustrating trip, which I won’t get too much into now. Let’s just say the both of us a life-long Californians experienced a combination of a bit of culture and geography shock.
Anyway, since we were going to go to the American Museum, Don thought he might contact a couple of the scientists who worked there to see if we could go behind the scenes and get a closer look at some of the material in their collection. In this case material that is of particular interest to those of us involved in the creation/evolution debate, namely their casts of the original “Peking Man” (a.k.a. Sinanthropus pekinensis but now recognized as Homo erectus) material. The fossils represented a number of individual H. erectus‘, unearthed in China at a site known as Zhoukoudian (or Choukoutien) near Beijing in the late 1920’s and early 30’s.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you The Onion:
Biologists Confirm God Evolved From Chimpanzee Deity
BERKELEY, CA—Challenging long-held views on the origins of divinity, biologists at the University of California, Berkeley, presented findings Thursday that confirm God, the Almighty Creator of the Universe, evolved from an ancient chimpanzee deity. [Continue Reading at The Onion]