Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Journal 2

02/09/09 (this was from hella long ago!)

At the same spot in the park, I spotted a black phoebe, particularaly by the way it wags it's tail. There were a few more around, but the little guy who I was watching was able to nab a couple of insects which was cute (except for the insects of course, such is the war of nature). I'm also going to grab a couple of these interesting pine cones that are always littering the ground near these two trees in thie one spot near the park. They tower over all the other willow trees and their some kind of pine (duh) but I'm not sure what species yet. 

It's a much colder day due to the wind chill and I wasn't able to get out for a while because of it. Ah oh, well I'll come back out again as soon as I figure out what kinda pine trees those are.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"The sky isn't blue"-says a creationist

I'm on Youtube alot and I knew before hand that there are alot of crazy people out there. I'm also quite aware that over half the people in my country currently deny evolutionary theory, which to a person currently studying evolutionary biology is like denying the sky is blue.

So when I encountered a new video denying evolutionary theory, I posted a comment that went something like "To deny evolution is deny a direct observation. It's like denying the sky is blue while refusing to look up." About an hour later, someone posted a reply and I am here posting it in it's entirety

"the sky isnt blue you silly person you, its clear and how is evolution a direct observation when have you obsevred a monkey give birth to a human or an animal evolve . evolution is not a true science! science are things you can test,observe its called empirical science which is true science , you believe animals did something millions of years ago that they never do now, that's change into another kind of animal then you have more faith than i do. "

Yes you read that correctly "the sky isn't blue". *blink*

Now I could have linked the guy to this page, http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html, that shows direct evidence of speciation . I even could have linked him to the wiki page that says ". During daylight, the sky of Earth has the appearance of a deep blue surface because of the air's scattering of sunlight."

However I'm still numbed by the stupidity rays that are currently being blasted through my computer screen due to the extremely high radiation level that this comment gives how. If anyone has any suggestions, pleeze let me know.

Friday, March 13, 2009

50 Reasons I Reject Evolution

(For the lawls! I found this online and my day has been made. LOLOLOLOL)

50 Reasons I Reject Evolution

1.) Because I dont like the idea that we came from apes despite that humans are categorically defined and classified as apes.

2.) Because Im too **** and/or lazy to open a **** book or turn on the Discovery Science Channel.

3.) Because if I cant immediately understand how something works, then it must be bullshit.

4.) Because I dont care that literally 99.9% of all biologists accept evolution as the unifying theory of biology.

5.) Because I prefer the idea that a (insert god of choice) went ALLA-KADABRA-ZAM MOTHAH-FUCKAHS!!!

6.) Because I cant get it through my thick logic-proof skull that evolution refers ONLY to the process of speciation, not to abiogenesis, or planet formation, or big bang cosmology, or whether God exists, or where they buried Jimmy Hoffa, or why the sky is blue, or how many licks it takes to get to the center of a **** Tootsie Pop.

7.) Because the fossil record doesnt comprise the remains of every single living thing that ever existed on this 4.5 billion year old planet, even though fossilization is a rare process that only occurs under very specific circumstances.

8.) Because science has yet to produce any transitional species except for the magnitudinous numbers of them found in the fossil record which dont count because I uh, OOH LOOK! A SHINY OBJECT!!! *runs away*

9.) Because I know nothing about Darwin except that he had a funny beard.

10.) Because the theory of evolution (which, according to scientists, perfectly explains the richness and diversity of life on Earth) contradicts biblical literalism ya know, flat Earth with a firmament that keeps out the water, talking snakes, people rising from the dead, bats are birds, flamey talking bushes, virgin births, food appearing out of nowhere, massive bodies of water turning into blood etc etc.

11.) Because I think the word theory actually means: random stabs in the dark when it really means: "an explanation of certain phenomena that is well-supported by a large body of facts and often unifies similarly well-supported hypotheses" i.e. atomic theory, gravitational theory, germ theory, cell theory, some-people-are-dumb-motherfuckers-theory, etc.

12.) Because the fact that science is self-correcting annoys me. Most of my other beliefs are rigidly fixed and uncorrectable.

13.) Because I am under the severely mistaken impression that evolution implies someone in my very recent ancestry was a chimp.

14.) Because everything appears designed to my mind which was expertly tuned by nature to perceive design, probably as a survival mechanism.

15.) Because some secretly fabulous closet-dwelling televangelist (who unironically preaches hate towards gays) told me that evolution is Satans way of leading me away from God.

16.) Because that same guy (who was also caught snorting blow off a male hookers shiny naked ass) told me that God planted those fossils to test my faith.

17.) Because Im 100% correct about everything 100% of the time and there is 0% chance that some snooty Oxford educated scientist with numerous honorary doctorates could possibly know something that I dont.

18.) Because I dont know that fossils are found in sedimentary strata corresponding to their age as one would expect if evolution were true.

19.) Because I dont understand why, if we share common ancestry with chimps, there are still chimps. And when someone with more than three brain cells in their head inevitably replies: for the same reason Americans share common ancestry with Brits but there are still Brits, I cant follow the logic. Its just too big a leap. Who am I, Evil Knievel?

20.) Because my mom dropped me on my head when I was a baby.

21.) Multiple times.

22.) On purpose.

23.) Because the idea that life evolved naturally over billions of years is infinitely less believable than the idea that an 800 year old man crammed two of every species into a giant wooden boat when the entire planet flooded, an event for which there is absolutely no geological evidence whatsoever and also makes no **** sense at all.

24.) Because Jesus totally rode around on a **** t-rex. Hes just that badassed. And also, did you know that t-rexes were vegetarians? Ken Ham says so and I believe it.

25.) Because I dont realize that saying microevolution is possible but macroevolution isnt is as **** as saying I can pick my nose for one second but I cannot pick it for 10 seconds.

26.) Because the education system failed me miserably.

27.) and then took a big wet dump on my face.

28.) Because I think that knowing how nature works magically obliterates all of its beauty.

29.) Because I didnt know that evolution has been tested and observed in laboratories.

30.) Because when confronted with that, I refuse to believe it. Its obviously a scientific conspiracy aimed at turning everyone on the planet into atheists... even though evolution says nothing about god's nature nor whether he, she, it, or they exist.

31.) Because Im too **** to realize that Social Darwinism has nothing to do with evolution and is actually a pseudo-scientific bastardization that real science largely rejects.

32.) Because the planet and all the life on it was designed for humans kinda like how the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY was designed specifically for the dust-bunnies that may accumulate on the floors.

33.) Because I dont realize that if we actually found croco-ducks in the fossil record, it would falsify evolution.

34.) Because plenty of respectable people like Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, and Mike Huckabee (who are not scientists) dont accept evolution, and that somehow validates my opinion.

35.) Because my mother didnt know not to drink while she was pregnant. She also didnt know not to repeatedly throw herself down a flight of stairs in an attempt to undo the accident of screwing someone who voted for Bush both times.

36.) Because I dont know that irreducible complexity has been debunked a frazillion times by a frazillion different people and is no more credible an argument than NEEN-er NEEN-er NEEN-er, Im right and youre wrong.

37.) Because I have never seen a duck evolve into a cat over night, despite the fact that such a thing would be contrary to all known scientific disciplines.

38.) Because I have no imagination, learning is too much effort, I dont like proven facts, change scares me, and I think deoxyribonucleic acid is something Im supposed to clean my bathroom floors with.

39.) Because evolution means that I absolutely MUST reject everything else I know, abandon all my beliefs, and start aping around my house like a **** monkey. OOOh-ooohh-ooohohh -OOOOOOHHHHHH!!!!!

40.) Because I havent put my cave on the market and moved into the 21st century yet. Im waiting for the cave market to rebound from the recent financial meltdown.

41.) Because I dont know what an atavism is and if you told me, I still wouldn't believe it. Too weird.

42.) Because I dont know that evolution explains methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and also provides the answer in preventing it from turning into a superbug and killing massive numbers of people.

43.) Because I dont know that evolution is routinely used in medicine to diagnose and treat certain illnesses such as genetic ailments, bacterial infections, and viral infections.

44.) Because I believe there is a strong comparison between designed inanimate objects such as buildings, paintings, and watches (which we know were pieced together from identifiable components by human beings) and living organisms (which reproduce with genetic variation under the effects of environmental attrition).

45.) Because I see no significant similarities between humans and apes. *scratches my ass-crack then smells my fingers*

46.) Because I think Im too special to have been crafted by any natural process and the entire planet, solar system, galaxy, and universe were created with me especially in mind.

47.) Because I unquestioningly swallow the ignorant anti-science bullshit spewed directly from the fraudulent **** asses of people like Ken Ham, Ted Haggard, Fred Phelps, and Kent Hovind.

48.) Because Im a freethinker and freethinking really means ignoring anything that contradicts what I already believe.

49.) Because I dont know what confirmation bias is.

50.) Because despite the fact that in all my years of life, I have never seen any magic, I still believe magic is the answer to anything I dont immediately comprehend.

Ladies and gentlemen, I rest my case. Quod erat demonstrandum, I **** win. Take that you EVILutionists!

(on a serious note, to deny evolution is to deny a direct observation, it's like denying the sky is blue while refusing to look up)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Personal Update

Wow, I haven't blogged in about a month! I've been so busy reading and hanging out with friends etc, that I haven't spent as much time on the Internets as usual. 

Rest assured I'm back! I'll put up some reviews of the books I've been reading and blab more about science etc. Oh and I finally was able to indentify these two trees near my house by their bark! HA! Take that trees! 

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy Darwin Day!

Happy 200th Birthday Charles Darwin! (and of course Abe Lincoln) 

I dressed as Darwin (white beard and all)and my friends and I advertised our club (Secular Student Allaince) in the main quad my college. it went really well, I got alot of laughes and I had only one creationist the whole time!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Hudson landing was NOT a miracle

And the co-pilot agrees with me! http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/02/10/lkl.hudson.crew/index.html

When I heard about the amazing Hudson river landing, I immediately thought to myself, Thank goodness no one was hurt! That pilots must of known what they were doing! And I thought the flight crew and the pilot would get the credit for this amazing achievement. But nooooooooo

Bill O'Reilly is a perfect example. He declared it to be a "miracle", that there was no way that these amazing circumstances could have happened by accident and that secular people would give coincidence the credit for the aversion of disaster again.

No it WASN'T a miracle nor was it "just chance". The laws of nature weren't suspended, no invisible hand reached down from the sky and helped the plane come to stop, prayer and other superstitious behavior had NOTHING to do with it. Disaster was averted due to the exact opposite. The flight crew relied on their knowledge of both the aircraft and their training. They kept calm in the face of great danger and uncertainty and were able to keep 150 people from catastrophe by relying on reason and experience. Imagine if they had hoped for a miracle. What if the pilot had thrown his hands up in the air and said "Jezuz'll land da plane!" 

The lives were saved due to the instinct and expertise of the pilot and the crew. This was a a demonstration of the detrimination and tough mindedness of the human spirit, not the imaginary paranoid fantasy that "made" or let birds fly into the planes engines and then reached down to help the plane out because the people had prayed to the right god. This was a human acheivement. Period.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Journal #1

Okays, I'm an amateur birder/hiker and I keep a little log of what I see and think about on hikes and I decided to start posting some of it here!

At the park near my house, I saw & was able to identify a Steller's Jay! I had been hearing a particularly loud bird for the whole of the time I was out and luckily the bird finally managed to fly low enough for me to see it. It was much bigger than than the other songbirds in the area and it took me a few minutes to flip through the little field book I carry with me and find him(my thanks to the bird who stood reasonable still this whole time!). 

About the same time I identified him (it was his beak size and shape plus the feathers on his head that gave him away), he flew to the branch that was right above my head and then chased another Stellers Jay away!

My binoculars aren't that great so smaller birds are harder to look at but I'm pretty sure that there was a finch of some kind near me too. However all the birds took shelter when it started raining again. I wuz able to find a big tree near the creeks edge and jot down some notes on what I had seen. I could stayed there longer and listened to the rain splash against the creek but I hadn't dressed warmly enough! As I was out, I couldn't help thinking of all the other animals that don't have a home to run to and they have to tough it out in the storm & it started pouring by the time I got inside. 

It's a curious feeling, knowing that even though nature seems harmonious and at peace with itself, the closer you look, the more apparent the obvious struggle and strife becomes. Nature is constantly at war with itself, never resting, never letting up, never displaying anything but cold blind indifference. At the same time though, it's so curious why I should get such a feeling of peace whenever I hike. I find it's like meditating in a battlefield, rather perverse indeed. Weird, oh well maybe the my fellow tree huggers who read this will get it! ;)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A snake as long as a school bus?! WTF?!

Wow! When I was younger, I used to go to pet stores and the people who worked there used to drape milk snakes and king snakes around my shoulders. I would love it (my mom and dad never liked doing it with me though......). My favorite part in the first Indiana Jones movie was when Indy had that boa in his lap when he was in the airplane, so when I saw this article, I immediately felt the little kid inside me go YAY! However, I doubt that I would appreciate a 2,500 lb snake dropped on me (or in my lap for that matter.)

That's right, this ancient (now extinct) snake was HUGE! Its been apporiately dubbed Titanoboa and it was dug up in Columbia.

The discovery sheds light on the development of the Amazon rainforest and the "comeback" of the reptiles after the dinosaurs died out, along with simply being an amazing find on its own. I mean come on, imagine tripping over this skeleton in your backyard!. This snake is bigger than the fake snake that tried to eat Jennifer Lopez in that stupid Anaconda movie! Hollywood, religion and imagination have nothing on the unbelievable and jaw dropping brilliance of reality. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Book Review: Short and Sweet

First of all, Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design is a great book, short and sweet. It's not so much a defense of evolution, but all out assault on the junk science of intelligent design.

Intelligent Design is merely creationism (GAWD DID IT) relabeled. It makes no predictions, isn't being actively researched, isn't falsifiable, and is grounded completely wrong headed assertions about Darwinian theory. For more READ THE BOOK

(takes a deep breath) However, Shermer includes several chapters on how science and God occupy different realms and don't effect each other. The two fields should be in harmony, they aren't in opposition. 

I don't accept this, for myself anyway. I don't want to believe anything, I want to know. If I have to rely on "faith" or personal feeling for anything, that means I don't have enough reason or physical evidence to lean on so in that case it's better say that I don't know than attempt to fool myself into believing that I do.

I won't hide the fact that I also get a great deal of annoyance whenever I pass by a church or even the religion section a book store. Pointless speculation with no grounding in reality has no place in the 21st century. A single pair of hands at work beats a billion clasped in prayer. People can believe whatever they want to believe, as long as it doesn't scare the horses or become a problem for humankin but, I would rather have people take comfort in the natural world than on the fantasies that religion commands them to love. 

Oh well, one of my best friends is Christian and I'm sure he'll have something to say about this. lol

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Looooooooooooooooong reading list (and a personal update)

Okays, I'm taking a super easy load this semester and I'm gonna have a ton of free time for the next few months. In the fall I'm going to be taking math & SCIENCE classes again, but I can't wait till then so...................I'm going to devote the time to the many books that I haven't finshed or even started yet. Specifically the SCIENCE books, and even more specifically, the biology books (Imma geek!). Seriously, I've thrown most of my $ at buying pop science books and old textbooks and I'm going to use the next few months to get a shit load of reading done. 

The list includes:
The Origin of Species
The Selfish Gene
Endless Forms Most Beautiful
Evolution: What the Fossil Record Says and Why it matters
The Extended Phenotype
The Beak of the Finch
Why Darwin Matters
The Dragons of Eden
The Ancestor's Tale
The Blind Watchmaker
Ever Since Darwin
Darwin's Dangerous Idea
Your Inner Fish
What Evolution Is

I've almost finished some of them, haven't even opened others. I'm gonna try and post reviews of the books when I get down with them. (First one will be on Why Darwin Matters, it's the shortest!)

I doubt I'll be able to finish the whole list but the more I get out of the way, the more prepared I'll be for my bio courses in the summer & fall. I feel kinda lazy because I'm just reading popular science books, but I feel these books are good place to start. I can't wait to take real science classes again in the fall. SCIENCE, I miss you so! (I apologize if your geek detector just went haywire) I have soooooooooooo much to learn.....lets start with the basics! If you guys want to suggest any books, feel free to.