Sunday, May 15, 2005

Random Sunday links

Store Wars. I realize this is propaganda for the organic food industry, but it's just funny enough that I think it's worth looking at, particularly with a new Star Wars movie only four days away. If Darth Tater and Cuke Skywalker don't give you a chuckle, then you're just not geeky enough. (Via Ubergeek Chic.)


Restaurant badness. Fat Eye for the Skinny Guy points out the incredibly annoying things people do when eating out Here's one: The "how about we all order different things and pass them around the table" group. I agree. To me, this practice is only acceptable in a Chinese restaurant. Quote from Fat Eye:
Group ordering, to a fat dude, is like playing a warped game of Russian Roulette. It all comes down to plate placement and plate passing. In any group ordering situation, there will usually be about 1 to 2 dishes you really want to tackle. Now, it's up to Jesus and the waiter as to where those dishes are going to be placed upon arrival.


At last, a day off from crushing tracheas (well, not quite). If you've ever wondered what a Dark Lord of the Sith does on his day off, go here and be enlightened.


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Intelligent design is neither intelligent nor design. Finally, given that much of last week was devoted to the refutation of some of the more silly "intelligent design" apologists, it's only fitting to finish this Sunday roundup with that theme. To start with Jesus' General takes the time to praise Dr. G. Thomas Sharpe of the Creation Truth Foundation for his work teaching children about God's gospel lizards. In the meantime, Tinfoil Hat Pundit suggests a rather disgusting experiment "intelligent design" creationists might set up to disprove Darwin.

Finally, check out the "science" (and I use the term very loosely) that creationists are encouraging school children to pursue as "evidence" against Darwin. I'm still not sure if this is a parody or not, given some of the "experiments" presented. For example: "Using Prayer To Microevolve Latent Antibiotic Resistance In Bacteria." Please, someone, tell me this whole thing is a joke, along the lines of the reDiscovery Institute! They can't be serious, can they?

Why historians should stick to history. Via Pharyngula, I've become aware of a truly awful piece by an historian "questioning" evolution, entitled, The Theory of Evolution: Just a Theory? Ugh. The title alone tells me all I need to know about the author's knowledge. Naturally, reading PZ's evisceration of this piece was enormously entertaining, as this article is full of some of the most idiotic creationist drivel I've seen in many weeks. It even includes hoary old creationist/intelligent design canards such as the "evolution appears plainly impossible," "no one has ever observed an example of speciation," and "new traits or organs must appear fully formed, rather than in stages, to be useful" variety. Get this man to Talkorigins.org, STAT! This is the very reason I don't stray too far out of my area of expertise. When I blog about history, it's generally only about history that I personally have studied and always with some trepidation that an actual historian will tell me that I'm an idiot. Clearly Professor William Rubinstein, the author of this travesty, has not studied enough biology to avoid making a fool of himself. I tried to leave a comment, but it appears that the "staff" has not permitted it; so I'm leaving a TrackBack.

11 example(s) of insolence returned:


At 5/15/2005 11:28 AM, Blogger Dr. Charles said...

i agree with number one completely - let me eat my own damn entree!!!

 

At 5/15/2005 1:53 PM, Anonymous hardindr said...

This is a hoax.

 

At 5/15/2005 2:44 PM, Blogger Orac said...

I rather thought it might be a parody or a hoax (which is why I asked someone to confirm my suspicions), but it's such a good one that it takes a considerable amount of exploration to realize it. The sad thing is, given the silliness coming from creationists and intelligent design advocates these days, I'm still not 100% sure it's a hoax. Just 99% sure.

 

At 5/15/2005 3:06 PM, Anonymous Skeptico said...

Agreed, it’s a spoof. A very good one though. And some of the links are genuine, which makes it hard to tell. But look at the Creation Science Fair. - scroll down to the school projects.

 

At 5/15/2005 4:31 PM, Blogger Ian said...

Other than the sheer idiocy of parts of the site (like the "science" fair), where exactly on the site do you find any indication that it's a spoof?

They sure have put a lot of work into disguising it if it is indeed a hoax - there's a lot of stuff in their store that I can't picture anyone but a true believer wearing.

I'd be willing to believe it's a hoax, but I don't yet. Nothing I've seen on that site seems like anything other than standard fundamentalist craziness.

 

At 5/15/2005 4:36 PM, Blogger Orac said...

I'm starting to feel a bit better. I thought I was the only one who had thought it might be legitimate.

 

At 5/15/2005 6:03 PM, Anonymous Skeptico said...

Well…

Elementary School Level

1st Place: "My Uncle Is A Man Named Steve (Not A Monkey)"

Cassidy Turnbull (grade 5) presented her uncle, Steve. She also showed photographs of monkeys and invited fairgoers to note the differences between her uncle and the monkeys. She tried to feed her uncle bananas, but he declined to eat them. Cassidy has conclusively shown that her uncle is no monkey.

Middle School Level

1st Place: "Life Doesn't Come From Non-Life"

Patricia Lewis (grade 8) did an experiment to see if life can evolve from non-life. Patricia placed all the non-living ingredients of life - carbon (a charcoal briquet), purified water, and assorted minerals (a multi-vitamin) - into a sealed glass jar. The jar was left undisturbed, being exposed only to sunlight, for three weeks. (Patricia also prayed to God not to do anything miraculous during the course of the experiment, so as not to disqualify the findings.) No life evolved. This shows that life cannot come from non-life through natural processes.

2nd Place: "Women Were Designed For Homemaking"

Jonathan Goode (grade 7) applied findings from many fields of science to support his conclusion that God designed women for homemaking: physics shows that women have a lower center of gravity than men, making them more suited to carrying groceries and laundry baskets; biology shows that women were designed to carry un-born babies in their wombs and to feed born babies milk, making them the natural choice for child rearing; social sciences show that the wages for women workers are lower than for normal workers, meaning that they are unable to work as well and thus earn equal pay; and exegetics shows that God created Eve as a companion for Adam, not as a co-worker.

You really don't think that is a spoof?

 

At 5/15/2005 6:40 PM, Blogger Orac said...

Actually, the "life from nonlife" experiment sounded like something creationists would use to refute abiogenesis.

But I agree that it seems likely to be a spoof. Actually, this part might give a hint:

Landover Baptist shutdown

I wonder if the Landover Baptist Church parody site has anything to do with this site.

 

At 5/16/2005 4:04 AM, Anonymous outeast said...

On the subject of 'Star Wars': is Bush really Palpatine (or whatever his name is)? http://film.guardian.co.uk/cannes2005/story/0,15927,1484795,00.html

 

At 5/16/2005 3:19 PM, Blogger Ian said...

Orac, you accidentally left that link blank.

Having read more of the site, I now agree it's probably a spoof, but honestly Skeptico, that has nothing to do with the "science" fair entries. I can completely believe a poorly-run, dogmatic religious school would support that sort of thing.

But if you go here and scroll down to "Kyle Goldman"; I think we have the real brains behind the site. Most of the "members" have fitting "favourite Scriptures", but a few are quite funny. And Kyle's, of course, is the one about the truth setting you free.

 

At 5/16/2005 3:20 PM, Blogger Ian said...

To be fair, Skeptico, I think the difference is that I'm more pessimistic about how stupid people are than you seem to be. Love the "five apples" post, by the way.

 

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