WTF

Jun. 23rd, 2007 09:31 pm
ailsa_chan: (Default)
Hey [livejournal.com profile] marmaladecat looks like we may not have to go to Kentucky for our creatist road trip after all.

http://www.csm.org.uk/expo.php

I feel utterly vinidicated in considering Portsmouth an uncultured shithole :)

On ID

Jan. 9th, 2007 05:50 pm
ailsa_chan: (sephy)
The following is an article published in today's Guardian and mentioned by at least one on my flist.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1985698,00.html

Anyone who knows me will tell you that this is something I think strongly about, and indeed more than one has had fun winding my up with the banana line. (Don't ask, and you will be less likely to discover that the banana fits perfectly into other parts of the human anatomy.) It's not just ID / creationism that winds me up, any pseudo-science tends to make me grumpy, it's just there's a log more creationism bollocks floating around at the moment.

Anyway, lets take a look at this.

They author states fairly early on that "But despite the brilliance of Darwin's work, it is overoptimistic to claim that his theory explains the origin of all living things." This is because it doesn't. At all. Darwin's work was "The Origin of the Species." The theory of evolution required an imperfect replicating system to begin with. In other words, it makes no attempt to explain the origins of life, only the patterns of divergence that come from that life.

It's common to find creationist who think that evolution is flawed because the can't understand the concept of the big bang. You come to expect it of some red-neck texan 14 year old who thinks he's smarter than 200 years of combined scientific study because his pastor told him he's not a proper Christian if he doesn't take the bible literally. However, if this guy is sitting on a panel called "Truth in Science", I'd expect him to have a bit of a better idea what he's talking about.

The article is full of unsupported claims, and loaded language. "...coded information", "tiny machines" etc all point the body being like a well put together machine. But how closely does this actually resemble reality and how many laymen are going to spot this. If the human body was designed, then the designer was certainly not intelligent. He was sloppy and lazy. There are plenty of design flaws that make no sense from an engineering point of view, such as blind spots in our eyes; the fact that we breath and take food through the same orifice running the risk of choking and so on.

The author finishes by exploring the idea of ID as a science. "But, whatever the limitations of Darwinism, isn't the intelligent design alternative an "intellectual dead end"? No. If true, ID is a profound insight into the natural world and a motivator to scientific inquiry." How? Setting aside how you would test for such a concept, how does knowing nature is designed help you to understand it? As far as I can see the only thing it would do would be give you somewhere to go to demand your money back for this shoddy product called the human body.

"ID is not a science because "there is no evidence that could in principle disprove ID". Remind me, what is claimed of Darwinism? If, as an explanation for organised complexity, Darwinism had a more convincing evidential basis, then many of us would give up on ID." For a start, there is no such thing as Darwinism. Darwin was a long time ago, and his ideas have been tested and changed as more evidence came out. The theory of evoution, (which the author shows he's not very clear on above) is based of evidnence and study over a much longer period that Darwin was around for, and using tools the man never dreamed off. Darwin got things wrong, and didn't have any evidence of other things. Leave him alone.

If ID proponents would put the effort into studing the evidence of evolution, rather than trying to change the definition of science, then they would give up. IP can never be science, because science ignores the the metaphysical. If it can't be tested it can't be commented on. And ID cannot give predictions, cannot produce testable models. What it is is an excuise of people to try and squeeze God into a gap in their knowledge becase that is easier than looking for the real answer.
ailsa_chan: (journal)
This made me angry:

Intelligent design being promoted in UK schools

This just made me very sad

Herceptin costs 'threat to care'

And the flame war that is currently raging on [livejournal.com profile] techsupport just makes me laugh.
ailsa_chan: (Default)
Compared to last week, which was stressful and unpleasant, last weekend was lovely.

Ilpala came round and we mounted a small bristol invasion team. Matt had spent the morning replacing the throttle body on his car, so we were ensured a swift getaway if we were spotted. Of course, the fact that he had fitted it with the help of a saw and knife meant there was a chance it wouldn't go in the first place, but Matt seems to have spent his man points wisely and the car drove fine, as far as I could tell. No smoke at least was a good sign :)

Have found beautiful fur for making latest costume. It's described as kangaroo plush and its lovely. Its proper high quality fur, of the sort that expensive soft toys get made out of and considering what fur can cost was very reasonable. If a long way off cheap :) However, there was not enough of it to meet my needs, so I'll have to head back into Bristol to pick it up.

The firework plan was a success. We had a couple of hours of display, some right in front of us. There was only a few of us, but it was a very pleasant evening. We had picnic in the dark and watched Bath light up.

D&D was equally good. The party managed to achieve the goal of rescuing the princess. They are currently wondering why They allowed themselves to be pushed into this plot - the princess is a bit special, to say the least. She breaks Turk, which is wonderful to play with (sorry Dom). I though they may get away with not doing anything particularly stupid.

However, at the last minute, Esslt decided he would get one last shot at Amari. So fired a few crossbow bolts into the crowded rebel base. The rebels, not knowing what he was firing at, took it personally and as punishment took most of his money (enough to buy a couple of horses, so a lot of money.) Esselt wants it back, so now I have to stat a rebel base. Oh dear.

Word Count

Oct. 11th, 2006 07:59 am
ailsa_chan: (Default)
I broke the 40 000 word barrier on monday. Its the second time ever that I've done that. It meant I was very tired yesterday as I went to bed later than I wanted to. Still, I couldn't stop 300 words away from 40 000, could I? I'll post update shortly, once I've finished this scene.

Come November, I don't know how much I'll get written. Dirge of Cerberus and FFXII are coming out, finally. The pretties will be mine. You may not see much of me after that...

Enjoyed my week in Coventry. It was nice to do something different for a change and having 3 course meals everyday was also lovely. I enjoyed working in an office where they could have the radio on and the phone wasn't ringing constantly (they have call loggers to take all the details, we would then ring the user back).

Yesterday we calculated I took about 20% of the calls. That's about twice my share. Given I probably did more than my share of work as well... Oh well, roll on November - I've taken every monday off from mid November to Christmas, so that ought to make up for it.

Work are going for a curry on Friday night. This is the first job where I've wanted to socialise with people out of work. It helps that two people I work with are good friends, but I get on with the rest of them too and that makes life so much more pleasant.

Finally, found a video of a creationist talking on you-tube. He was explaining the meaning of dinosaur. Saur, as we all know, means lizard and dino, well that means explosive because, you know, dynamite... So now you know: dinosaur means explosive lizard.

You have to laugh, or you'd cry.
ailsa_chan: (journal)
I'll probably update this later, but at the moment I'm too shocked.

Creationism in schools

It depends what the syllabus actually requires, but I'm loathed to give any time to even dismissing bollocks like this at high school level.

I came across this on another formu I read. Its from a few years ago.

Aritcal from Daily Mail

Not that the Daily Mail and this woman in particular annoy the hell out of me. She personally, must responsible for some of the drop in MMR vaccination.
ailsa_chan: (Default)
That the calibre of students at Bath Uni is diminishing, I found it in impact this week.

There was a creationist writing in there.

For anyone who has not come across these people before, they are religieous fanatics who don't believe in evolution. They come in a few forms from the ones who belive the earth is 6000 years old and God did it exactly as in Genesis, to preponents of Intelligent Design who say that most of science is correct, but living things are too complex to have been created though natural means alone.

This isn't a rant about Christianity, by the way as I know most Christians in this country at least are sensible intelligent peopel. I also know there are Muslim creationists and I supect there may be Jewish ones (though I've never heard of any.) I don't even particulally mind if people want to believe the earth is flat, in the centre of the solar sytem and 6000 years old or whatever. What i object to is people who think that is this a vaild scientific viewpoint that needs to be taught to children.

The artical starts:
"Once again, the failures of evolutionary theory expose itself as a humanistic construction designed to squash the problem of who we are."

NO, evolution is a scientific thoery to explain the diversity of the species on the planet. Nothing more. There is no morality of it, any more than there is to the theory of gravity.

Dawin himself was a deist at the time he was travelling on the Beagal and making his observations. He later lost his faith, but that was largely due to the death of his daughter, not because he thought we were "the product of random processes, an uncooridnated jumble of chance."

The aticle makes no attempt to refute evoltion, but instead makes an emotional appeal that evolution is a way to get out of your responsiblity to God. If you belive in evolution then you're just a monkey so you can do whatever you like !!!!111!1!

He also says "The inescapability of a moral dimention demands an Arbiter thant exists above any man or woman to define right and wrong."

If such a being exists, why then is morality so varied across cultures. Hell, I bet there's variety of morality in my friends list. Funnily, since Darwins book was published, civiliation has not gone to shit. There are still lots of Christians who consider themselves accountable before God, and plenty of us who don't, and wouldn't do even if evolution was false.

Anyway. I'll stop ranting now.
But only as I have to start work.

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