January 29, 2008

Peer Reviewed Creation Science Website Now Up

AIG (Answers In Genesis)is sponsoring new science website
Peer reviewed papers will be published, but non creationists are frowned upon to be the reviewers.

Here is one of the papers from the site (gotta love this term: creation microbiologists):

p7–10Microbes and the Days of Creation

by Alan L. Gillen

The world of germs and microbes has received much attention in recent years. But where do microbes fit into the creation account? Were they created along with the rest of the plants and animals in the first week of creation, or were they created later, after the Fall? These are some questions that creation microbiologists have been asking in recent years. Ongoing research, based on the creation paradigm, appears to provide some answers to these puzzling questions. The answers to these questions are not explicit in Scripture, so the answers cannot be dogmatic. However, a reasonable extrapolation from biological data and Scripture can be made about the nature of microbes in a fully mature creation. This article attempts to provide reasonable answers to when microbes were created and is meant to stimulate discussion and further research in this area.

Very little has been written in Bible commentaries or in creation literature on the subject of when microbes were created. Some have postulated that microbes were created on a single day of Creation, such as Day Three—when the plants were made. This is partially due to the “seed-like” characteristics that bacteria and fungi have—therefore classifying microbes as plants. In addition, we observe microbes (such as Escherichia coli) isolated in the lab and we tend to think of microbes as individual entities much like birds or fish or animals and, therefore, created on a single day. However, in nature, the vast majority of microbes live in biological partnerships, not in total isolation. The natural symbiosis of microbes with other creatures is the norm. Therefore, we postulate that microbes were created as “biological systems” with plants, animals, and humans on multiple days, as supporting systems in mature plants, animals, and humans. This idea is further supported by the work of Francis (2003). Francis calls microbial symbiotic systems a biomatrix, or organosubstrate. He proposes that microbes were created as a link between macroorganisms and a chemically rich but inert physical environment, providing a surface (i.e., substrate) upon which multicellular creatures can thrive and persist in intricately designed ecosystems. From the beginning, God made His creation fully mature, and complex forms fully formed. This would ensure continuity and stability for the times to come. Although we cannot be certain as to specifically when the Creator made microbes, it is within His character to make entire interwoven, “packaged” systems to sustain and maintain life.

Getting a little lazy of late, I posted the above at Raving Atheists. Check the thread out.

I like this response by RA member UBS: "What is Sanskrit for microbe?"

Typical creationist bs. Lots of scientific jargon but next to zero science. Just philosophical nonsense in another attempt to fit in part of the observable world into a literal bible.

I not a scientist, but isn't man made up of bacteria, and don't we need it to survive? I pretty much pointed this out in an earlier post: Revelation: All Life Evolved From Bacteria. So maybe God created microbes on Day 1 or Day 2:) God needed microbes to create all life forms, and since man is created in Gods image, God is full of microbes too. Which came first? God or microbes?

January 26, 2008

Reflections At 47

I turned 47 yesterday, no fanfare, didn't want any. Another day of reflection, just like Christmas day was, except it was more about me, mortality, and me again.

Time flies, it really does. I can remember things that happened to me in my mid 20's like it was yesterday. OK, not yesterday but 5 years tops.

When you are in your 20's the idea of being in your 70's closing in on death's door is almost non existent. I think it really gets to people in their early 40's, the reality of the situation that is. There is no turning back....unfortunately.

Well at least we aren't living in an age when 47 is our life expectancy, unless of course, if you are living in the third world.

I started thinking about record albums for some reason.

When will I finally throw out my record collection and my record player? I haven't played a record in over 10 years, probably closer to 15. Records are worthless, maybe not all of them. I remember looking in awe when my father threw out an inherited collection of 78's that included Jolson and early Sinatras.

I remember my first record album. I was 9, and I felt peer pressure because I knew nothing about "rock and roll." It was 1970. I asked my mother to buy me a current album. I wound up with The Best of Tommy James and the Shondells....never heard of them. I listened to the album, and I didn't get it. My father weaned me on Sinatra and more Sinatra. I didn't feel any cooler thanks to Tommy James.

I think that I started getting hipper on my own, actually my grade 6 teacher (in 1973), Mr. Nixon, made me hipper. Each Friday from around 11-12 (you know, I can't really remember, it could have been from 2-3), he would play current songs in class. I remember songs like American Pie, Cecilia, Sound of Silence, Sweet City Woman, and lots of Cat Stevens. The first album I actually got because I wanted it, was Sweet City Woman by the Stampeders. I didn't even know they were Canuckians until way after the fact.:

I remember signing the dates on the school books that year, and I also have a vague recollection of thinking what it would be like to sign the year 2000 instead. The year 2000, I would be 39 then. It seemed like light years away.

I went on to buy some Ktel albums. They were the ones that put a bunch of number ones on the same album by different artists. Bought American Pie too.

I then started discovering The Beatles, actually this happened after discovering Paul McCartney in 1974 or 1975. I remember going on one of those charity Walkathons in Toronto. 26 miles. My motivating factor was a puppy love crush. I was really shy, but somehow got the girl of my fancy (her name was not McGill, Lil or Nancy, but Rachel) to join me on the walk. Somehow my friend Eddie (he was a Bad Boy) also wound up tagging along, and by 15th mile, I think Eddie and Rachel became boyfriend and girlfriend. He quit after the 18th mile, his mission was complete, and the last 8 miles and the ride home (Rachel's dad drove us) was awkward for me.
Back to McCartney. The most popular radio station in those years in Toronto was 1050 CHUM. During the walkathon, for some reason, they played Band on the Run at least 10 times that day. I liked it more and more every time I heard it. I had to buy the album.

Whatever happened to Rachel I wonder? I wound up going to a different high school, and I have no idea. Does it really matter anyway? I'm married, and before I know it, I'll be forty fricken eight.

Whatever happened to the blonde girl I used to walk to school with from kindergarten to grade 3? Her name was Ray Beetelstone (or Beetlestone). I moved halfway after grade 3, and never saw her again.

Upon further reflection, I remember really liking some songs when I was 9 to 10. One that comes to mind is As The Years Go By (appropriate for this post):

Mashmakhan was another Canadian band (just found that out now).

Yes Patti (see comments), I forgot about Jeremiah Was A Bullfrog (Joy To The World)...that was a biggie in school (grade 5 I think, my teacher was Mr. Buttons). Lets also not forget "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head."

January 20, 2008

Got My 200,000th Visitor

My 200,000th visitor came to my blog on Friday just at 6:32 PM EST. Was it a regular? No. Was it atheist related? No. Was it Jewish related? Yes. The person from Greenville, N.C. wound up at my blog after doing a Google search for "eli manning and jewish." I used to make football predictions on this blog, and I wrote a couple of sentences about Eli. The post made no mention of Jews at all. Google works in mysterious ways, as my blog comes up as the number one match for "eli manning and jewish."

I guess the name "Eli" sounds like it could be Jewish. But Manning? Maybe Mann.

I did learn a few things after looking into Eli Manning (the quarterback for the New York Giants for those who don't know, and the less famous brother of Peyton Manning) and his supposed connection to the Tribe. It seems that Eli Manning's favourite show is Seinfeld. And because of that, a local Green Bay TV station pulled Seinfeld from its schedule this weekend (there is a playoff game in Green Bay today for those who don't know).

Jerry Seinfeld fired back:

Jerry Seinfeld Boosts NFL's Eli Manning With 'Complete Series'
by Staff

Jerry Seinfeld is boosting his local American football team's chances of making this year's (08) Super Bowl - by sending the star quarterback copies of his hit show Seinfeld.

The comedian stepped in after discovering that bosses of Green Bay Wisconsin's Fox Wluk-TV had pulled the show from the schedules ahead of the Green Bay Packers' championship game against the New York Giants on Sunday (20Jan08) - because it is Giants player Eli Manning's favourite show.

Giants fan Seinfeld says, "You think I'm going to take that sitting down?

"I'm going to send Eli a complete collection of Seinfeld Dvds."

A couple more things: I expected to hit 200,000 in late 2007, but lately I've been blogging less and less, causing my hits per day to average under 200. At the beginning of 2007 I was averaging over 250 a day.

And secondly, I discovered another "Reason For Not Having Sex" to add to my growing list. I heard it yesterday....first hand: "It is my birthday today, not yours."

January 14, 2008

Joy Behar May Not Have Been 100% Accurate But She Was Damn Close

I've always liked Joy Behar (even though she is adamantly against the Iraq war). She seems to be one of the most vocal agnostic voices on television. She has to deal with two Rapturists on The View daily in Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Sherry (I don't know if the world is flat) Shepherd.
Last week, she let the cat out of the bag when it comes to Saints, prophets, and other biblical characters. Well, watch for yourself:

She pissed off a lot of people with her comments. The one that was most typical by theists, the old hole poking technique was used to discredit her. Apparently, not all Saints heard voices (did you know there are over 10,000 of those critters recognized by the Catholic Church including Moses?), and hearing God isn't a prerequisite when it comes to achieving Sainthood. Uppity theists like Father Jonathan Morris (he is the asshat who is a regular of sorts on Fox News) just doesn't realize exactly what Joy was getting at:

The reality is that what Joy was really saying is that drugs like Thorazine prevents any new bibles from popping up.

The Catholics are taking this as a personal insult. Some Catholics are saying if this was said about Muslims, there would be an immediate apology issued to prevent riots. NEWSFLASH: Joys comments here should insult Muslims too. Didn't Mohammed regularly talk to Allah? And Jews too, Moses and God were really tight. Well, of course Moses most probably didn't exist, but if he did, Thorazine could have helped him immensely:)

If God talks to you in 2008, you are nuts. And if God talked to someone 500 or 2000 or 4000 years ago, they were nuts too. Except if realized by the masses, all biblical texts could be converted into psychiatry case studies.

January 9, 2008

Blondes For Dummies

Rondi (Begin Each Day As If It Were On Purpose) recently linked a story about a study which concluded that males become temporally more stupid in the presence of blondes.
The question I have is whether this is predominantly an innate (evolved) reflex or a subconscious reflex that is based more on cultural upbringing.
When thinking of the innate instincts that are apparent in the animal kingdom, like how apes treat babies for example, I tend to believe it is mostly an evolved phenomenon.

From the article, idea of a dumb blonde is recent. This may or may not influence how males react in the presence of blondes. We would have to know how males reacted to blondes prior to the 18th Century.
I'm sure, that just like most everything, it is a mix of nature and nurture. More examples when it comes to humans:
'The study, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, is not the first to suggest that human behaviour is strongly influenced by stereotypes, according to the Daily Telegraph in London.

Scientists have found people walk and talk more slowly in front of the elderly while other studies revealed female leaders were evaluated more harshly than male ones.'

What I found most interesting when doing further research for this post is that blondiness is a very recent phenomenon:

...blond hair originated in the region because of food shortages 10,000-11,000 years ago. Until then, humans had the dark brown hair and dark eyes that still dominate in the rest of the world. Almost the only sustenance in northern Europe came from roaming herds of mammoths, reindeer, bison and horses. Finding them required long, arduous hunting trips in which numerous males died, leading to a high ratio of surviving women to men.

Lighter hair colours, which started as rare mutations
, became popular for breeding and numbers increased dramatically, according to the research, published under the aegis of the University of St Andrews.

“Human hair and eye colour are unusually diverse in northern and eastern Europe (and their) origin over a short span of evolutionary time indicates some kind of selection,” says the study by Peter Frost, a Canadian anthropologist. Frost adds that the high death rate among male hunters “increased the pressures of sexual selection on early European women, one possible outcome being an unusual complex of colour traits...”

Kind of like with birds, humans may in fact be attracted to brighter colours. Brighter hair colours could be responsible for an innate belief that the woman is more fertile (blonde hair may be an indicator for high estrogen levels in women), or at least we innately believe they like to do it more:)
Eventually through more and more breeding this becomes an evolutionary characteristic that could be true today. Maybe blonde women attracted dumber males to begin with. Perhaps, blondes are slightly dumber today because of it. Do we have an IQ study that compares blond males with bald brown haired males like myself?

In todays world, really good looking girls in general are in such great demand that they don't need to be that bright to get by. And they can easily find a mate to procreate with. Down the road or maybe even what we see today, is good looking dumb kids.

But back to the findings, I think it is a pretty simple explanation why men get dumber in the presence of blondes. Man sees a blonde (our innate attraction to fertile women kicks in and/or our innate belief that blondes are dumber/easier kicks in), blood rushes from our default head (where our brain is located) to our primitive head (you know what I'm talkin bout Willis).

One more thing, I wonder what the evolutionary benefit becoming temporarily stupider has. Possibly, when it comes to procreating, it might be beneficial to drop our defenses a tad. It is a cost benefit thingy, where the act of mating is more important to species survival, than worrying if a predator is going to get you while you are having sex. Maybe someone should do a study to see if our IQs drop while we are doing the nasty. My first thought is of course it does, probably 30 points or so.

Obligatory Dumb Blonde Joke

Three blonde friends died together in a car wreck. They found themselves standing in front of the pearly gates with St. Peter. He told them that before they could enter heaven, they had to tell him what Easter was about.

The first blonde said, "Easter is a big holiday where we give thanks, have a big feast and eat turkey."

"Nooooo," said St. Peter. "You don't get in."

The second blonde said, "Easter is the holiday that we celebrate Jesus' being born of the virgin and give gifts to each other."

"Nooooo," said St. Peter. "You don't get in, either."

The third blonde said, "Well, I know what Easter is all about. Easter is a Christian holiday which coincides with the Jewish Passover. After Jesus celebrated Passover with His disciples, He was betrayed by Judas and turned over to the Romans. They crucified Him on a cross. After He died, they buried him in a tomb and put a huge boulder in front of it."

"Very good!" said St. Peter.

The blonde continued. "Now, every year, the Jews roll the stone away and Jesus comes out. If He sees his shadow, we have 6 more weeks of basketball."

January 1, 2008

Even The Media Is Starting To Get That A Historical Jesus Is No Fact

I'm sure I could find more examples, but I did see this one that is found at CBS News, courtesy of AP:

Priests Brawl At Holy Church In Bethlehem
Rival Greek Orthodox, Armenian Prelates Fight Inside Church Of The Nativity, Christ's Birthplace

BETHLEHEM, West Bank, Dec. 28, 2007

(AP) Robed Greek Orthodox and Armenian priests went at each other with brooms and stones inside the Church of the Nativity on Thursday as long-standing rivalries erupted in violence during holiday cleaning.

The basilica, built over the grotto in Bethlehem where Christians believe Jesus was born, is administered jointly by Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic authorities. Any perceived encroachment on one group's turf can set off vicious feuds.

OK, outside of the humour of picturing to robed priests whacking each other with brooms, there is something that probably wouldn't have seen print in a newspaper even 5 years ago: The implication that Jesus may not have been born in Bethlehem at all, and stretched even further, that Jesus may not have existed at all.

The headline of the article doesn't make the distinction, but the second paragraph definitely does put a question mark on Jesus.

I blame Mel Gibson. He was the one who got me questioning the historical Jesus, when I started looking for pictures of him a few years ago when his Passions movie was being filmed. The reality is, that if you search for a historical Jesus, and you don't need Jesus to exist, chances are, you are going to wind up thinking like me; Jesus was invented sometimes between 50-90 AD.

Atheist Media Blog (Check it out) just found this video comparing the Jesus Myth with the Krishna myth:

For more on theories that help me be convinced that Jesus never existed, check my sidebar for links under the heading "Jesus Never Existed."

For starters check out The Bible and Christianity-The Historical Origins. It is a very quick read, just a page, but very enlightening. And of course, if your curiosity has started up, you could be ready for the Jesus Never Existed website.

Happy New Year:)