Evolution, “It’s Just a theory”

Recently I stumbled across a blog here (wordpress) that offered some opinion on the insidious Westboro Baptist Church. In the comments there is yet another of the multitudes that have no idea what a scientific theory is, let alone what the word theory means in that context. A comment  there:  “Actually, evolution isn’t a fact. It’s called a theory and it’s one that hasn’t been proven.”

You see this a lot in internet land, a wild misconception that is so easily explained, yet so widely used you almost have to think it is done on purpose. The only other option is that people who use this lame ass lie are mind numbingly ignorant. Either way, it goes a long way to illuminating the  mind of a creationist.

I could not overpower the urge to comment, so I did, and here is my reply:

“Bzzzzt! Wrong. Evolution only has 150 years of facts supporting its “Theory”

X-ians, please learn the definition of a scientific theory.

The scientific theory definition is basically “an explanation that best fits the evidence” This explanation can be revised upon the addition of new facts. Which is something you will never have. A scientific theory can also have strong predictive power, you know, being grounded in reality and supported by multiple lines of evidence. Science does not pretend to know everything (unlike religion) and is constantly striving to learn more about the world we live in, and places beyond. (also unlike religion, you just happen to have all the answers you think you need) A scientific theory is as close as you can possibly get to understanding a subject.

The layman’s definition of theory goes something like this: Billybob’s theory of why his tire is flat, is that Bigfoot came along and sucked the air out of it.

Now can you spot the difference? Given the level of disconnect I’ve seen this deep in the comments…I don’t have much hope of your answers being a “yes”. Please, please, learn to distinguish the difference here.This misunderstanding of the the use of the word theory, is far too commonplace. So much so I have to wonder if it isn’t intentional.”

I also did a follow up reply referring to another comment:

“There are plenty of Biblical scholars that have created tons of resources in support of the Biblical account of creation. It’s fascinating to study and I highly recommend it.” and…”Related to evolution, there’s plenty of science and math that disproves this.”

My reply: 

“So where is this fascinating information you keep jabbering about?
The “plenty of math and science that disproves this”? Show us where you are getting your information.

Dollar to a doughnut its AIG*, or the DI*. Both institutions dedicated to the keeping of the wool pulled over the rube’s eyes, with bogus scientists pretending to do science stuff. If they were really doing any science, where are the results? Where do they show the science they have done? What methods did they use to reach their conclusions? What credentials do their “scientists” have? Oh right…they don’t really “do” science, that stuff is too hard, all they do is stand on the sidelines proclaiming to know better than real scientists, and scream about how evolution cant work because (insert discredited mumbo jumbo here)

There is so much evidence to support evolution, that any genuine scientist will tell you that the theory, is a fact, Jack. AIG and the DI, are whats known as damage control.

Couple of questions: are you a YEC? Did man co-exist with dinosaurs? How old is the earth? Is the earth the center of the universe? Does the sun orbit the earth? Is the sky held up on 4 pillars? Do you believe that germ theory and the theory of gravity are just “theories”? Did you know that real scientists recently proved that there was never a genetic bottleneck of just 2 people? Were fossils put there to test your faith? Are fossils really as old as scientists say they are, or is there an issue with the dating technique? Why is it that every year a new flu vaccine has to be developed? Why do antibiotics lose their effectiveness? Is it plausible for a man to live inside a whale for 3 days? What is the secret behind steel* chariots and the resistance they have against god’s magic powers? Do you take medicine when you get sick, if so why? Is there an issue with the speed of light changing over time? Do you wear cotton blends? Do you know what rationalize means? I could go on and on, but that should be enough for your head to explode. Unless of course the CD is fully developed, then you will be fine.” …and I added this to address the OP: “Oh and the WBC is a fine example of the poison that is religion.”

In conclusion, the only people who would conflate the meaning of the word theory, are either hopelessly ignorant, or deliberately doing so in the hopes  the former will never bother to actually look it up and learn for themselves. This is a common condition apparently, and those that would take advantage of it, do so often. Authoritarianism, a topic for another day.

Here is the blog in question: http://faithfullydoubting.wordpress.com/2013/04/21/westboro-baptist-the-best-christians/

I said in a blog post recently something about NOT participating in an activity that can reduce your IQ by 50 points. Using either link below can most assuredly have that effect. Do so at your own risk.

*AIG :  www.answersingenesis.org

*DI:     http://www.discovery.org  

* I meant iron, instead of steel…

Manslaughter by suicide?

Please note: the following link is an autoplay video, that requires watching a stupid commercial. Why is it, that to watch a video I want to see, requires me to watch an ad, that I don’t want to see, AND…it uses up part of my monthly data allowance, that I do not want to spend on watching forced advertisements? Something wrong there…in a sense we are paying to watch a commercial.

http://home.myhughesnet.com/tv/3/player/vendor/GeoBeats/player/fiveminute/asset/gnrc_19984882/source/Clips

I am not real certain to the validity of this report, but if it is true then a man killed an innocent 5 year old girl, while committing suicide, by jumping from the 11th floor of a building. 

Please if you are considering suicide, get help. If for whatever reason that notion is off the table, please consider the ramifications of not thinking it through…and if you are still thinking about suicide, GET HELP!

Suicide, way too close to home to suit me. I’ve lost a good friend, and my 1st wife from this terrible affliction. I don’t care much for suicide jokes, gestures, and insinuations. So, if you happen to be thinking of a suicide joke…don’t.

 

Please, don’t feed the machine

What machine? The Stupid machine. You know, the one where everywhere you look its an ad for a supposed trick, or a testosterone treatment that makes grandpa look like a ripped weight lifter, or some strange gadget that the power companies hate, or watch this video before its banned crap. Or maybe UFO’s, giving Bigfoot an anal probe while the president is snorting cocaine…look here for what may be the scariest web site ever http://beforeitsnews.com/  A guy I know actually referred me to this place to support whatever it was he was buying into that day. I haven’t had a good nights sleep since.

If the internet is ridiculous, so has become cable TV. We have Ancient Aliens, absolute buffoonery, where  every single awesome achievement of man, had alien intervention. We have ghost detectives ranging from east coast white guys to down south hillbillies. We have reality show after reality show, all apparently vying to become the lowest common denominator in absurdity. We have RWCRFM productions pretending to be news. We have competitions ranging from nerdy nerds doing nerdy stuff, to manly men traversing Alaska. We have dancing and singing competitions that need your input to vote the advancement of your favorites. For crying out loud one of the most popular shows right now is about a bunch of goofy goofs that make duck calls. Where does it all stop?

The one thing every one of these shows, or internet scams require, is YOU. Well, maybe not you, but somebody like you, to tune in or click their way to cuckoo land. The only way these purveyors of ignorance continue to exist is by someone, or lots of someones participating in or with what they are selling. And what they are selling is a path to fantasy land where rules of science, common sense, and truth, are foregone for a moments worth of somehow pleasing abandonment of reason. Which after repeated exposure, could  result in permanent dislocation of the ability to even think for oneself. Assuming that malady isn’t already an inherent condition…

I make a conscious effort to avoid these shows, that I call “speculation TV” or “reality shows”   Even if I’m watching a decent show and a stupid commercial comes on, Ill mute, or change the channel. I do my best not to travel to hysterical conspiracy theory internet sites, I also do my level best to instill into my kids the ability to reason, and think critically. I’m teaching them to separate the wheat from the chaff. How to see the B.S. for what it is, and to point and laugh appropriately. And most importantly of all, not to participate in an activity that has the capacity to lower your IQ by 50 points.

Now, all of that said, I do like Pawn Stars, and Swamp people. Both reality TV, both obviously using arranged situations, but at least one  can learn a few things from Pawn Stars (besides the fact that the shows stars can be total jerks), and Swamp People is just too similar to a line of work I’ve been in for over 30 years. No I haven’t been killing gators, but I have been out on the river/lakes enduring the weather, the wind, and risking my butt to make a living. So, lets call them my reality show vices. I guess its ok for everyone to indulge in some escapism, but damn at the sheer volume of the available ways to do it, yet there are some lines that I wont cross. (Fox News/Ancient Aliens/and X-ian Mingle commercials)

Ok, end rant…yeah, I know its crazy to condemn the situation and still subscribe to some of it. I guess how deep you dive in can be called the ‘dipstick’ gauge. I come up 2 reality shows deep. Which is 3 shows short of a full crankcase. There is room for many puns here…

Hot Foot

I’m sitting here with my foot burning all to hell. Working on an old truck with one of my sons, we have water in the crankcase oil. I finally got around to getting the old truck in the shop, and poured some old kerosene I had, about a quart, in the crankcase and warmed the engine up for a few minutes. The kerosene, or diesel either one, acts as tarnish remover, and helps clean up sludgy goop from your engine. Speaking of goop, Gunk ( I believe) makes a product that does exactly the same thing. I have used the Gunk product a few times, and guess what? It smells exactly like diesel, but it will cost you 5 bucks or so for a quart!

Anyway, I put the kerosene (kerosene and diesel are closely related, kerosene being a tad more refined) in the crankcase and warmed it up for close to 5 minutes, then turned it off. Time to drain the oily goopy mess. That job done, its time to pull the cylinder head, and look for a blown head gasket, which would be  best case scenario, or a cracked head, being a bad bad scenario, or worst case scenario, we have a cracked block. I figure to start in order of  gasket first, then have the head pressure tested, and if neither one of those is the culprit, the block will be the guilty party by means of elimination.

Time to remove the water hoses from the block to radiator, my son uses a flathead screwdriver to loosen the clamp on the lower radiator hose, and using an old shop rag to shield his hand tugs at the hose. It spews a little bit, nothing too surprising, then Whoosh! It blows loose with a tremendous steam fueled force, the main flow went downward, right on my left foot. Thankfully what little that spewed upwards did no real harm to either of our upper body/facial areas, but my foot took a hot bath. I was hopping on one foot, with my foot burning, all the while looking at my son, trying to determine if he was ok, and the burning in my foot instead of decreasing, kept getting worse. Once I saw he appeared safe, I took the time to yank off my shoe and sock. Safe to say, we are done for the day. Another lesson learned in life, and sadly learned the hard way. I honestly did not think the engine had been run long enough to build up that kind of heat, but I was surely mistaken…

Tomorrow is another day.

 

 

 

Just…wow

No bail for Pa. parents in faith-healing death:

http://home.myhughesnet.com/news/read/category/Us%20News/article/ap-bail_hearing_set_in_pa_babys_faithhealin-ap

How do you even respond to such…infantile stupidity? Tragedy enough when it happens once, but this is the SECOND time one of their own flesh and blood children, have died from a case of severe neglect, due to religious numbskullery. Apparently they were convicted of involuntary manslaughter the first time. So how is it these fine representatives of religion were enabled to do it a second time?

All I can do is shake my head, and wonder for the fate of our species…and hug my kids a bit harder today.

BSA votes

The Boy Scouts of America voted to allow gays in their membership. Time to cue up the “wailing and gnashing of teeth” by the RWCRFM’s. (Right Wing Conservative Republican Fundamentalist Morons, I wish this place offered a glossary) The surprising thing to me, is a stale ole stodgy, dogmatic institution actually had the guts to put it to a vote at all. The norm for such an institution is usually to hold on to their out dated ideals no matter how loudly the public outcry becomes…and then act like nothing happened at all, writing it off as a misunderstanding, or engaging in outrageous victim blaming episodes.

As a kid I was Cub Scout, for a year..maybe a year and half. Been a long time ago, and I’ve eaten and slept a few times since, so my memory is a little fuzzy on the subject. I graduated to the Boy Scouts, but didn’t stay long. I enjoyed the experience for the most part, but there was always a nagging uncomfortable knowledge, even at that point in my youth, that being forced an oath of sorts to Glob, was somehow a necessity to be part of the group. I played along like a good lil doubter, but it rubbed me the wrong way then, as it still does today. I wonder how many decades it will take, to be allowed to join this group, without proclaiming a belief or loyalty to the x-ian Glob?

As far as gays being allowed to join. Good! There should be no effort by public or private institutions in this country to hold judgement on, or restrict any particular ethnic group, sexual orientation, or religious affiliation held by anyone. To do so is a direct violation of our constitution’s intent.

Cue up the x-ian revisionists claiming “this is a x-ian country based on biblical values” Umm, nope, sorry. Do some actual reading up on the subject. Do not believe the crap you have been told by the Becks, the Limbaugh’s, Faux News, or the RWCRFM’s you may know. This country was founded by men who had the knowledge and the foresight to understand that religious intrusion in matters of the state was a very bad idea.

“What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society?  In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people.  Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries.  A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not.- “A Memorial and Remonstrance”, 1785 (James Madison)

I lifted that phrase, from here: http://freethought.mbdojo.com/foundingfathers.html     – a good many more there, and the entire page is a good read. Read that page, let it soak in, and understand the x-ian revisionists are lying to you.

Finally, congratulations to the BSA for getting caught up with the 21st century…well sort of.

In a hurry was I to get my

In a hurry was I to get my 1st blog post up. I suppose I should have started off with a hearty hello, and welcome to my new world. Evidence Based Reality.

I have long been appreciative of science, I was a young lad, and watched with much enthusiasm the Apollo moon landing, I saw Cosmos at some point, and of course was a Star Trek fan. Growing up with black and white sci fi movies, that haunted my dreams at night, and looking at the moon with a pair of Jason 7×35 binoculars my aunt gave me for x-mas are fond memories of my youth.

As a kid, I was smart enough to do well in school, and held my own with the nerdy kids. I also was boy enough to hang out with the wild bunch, that roamed the streets and the infamous “woods” that was close by. Safe to say I could enjoy both worlds without being completely ostracized by either group.

As an adult, I’m married, 2nd time around, have kids from both marriages, I love em all, and also safe to say, my wife of the 2nd time around is a good un : )

I love astronomy. I have 4 telescopes of varying sizes and design, and 3 or 4 pair of binoculars ranging from smaller hand held, to large bins that require mounting. I’m also fond of classic cars, music, I play guitar..quite well, and good food, and good drink are welcome companions.

Enough about me, just another life form among the many on this wonderful planet we call home. Nothing special, I reckon. I can only hope my jump into the blogosphere is as good an idea in the end, as it seems in the beginning.

I don’t expect to be a widely read blog, if anything this is merely a place for me to vent. When you live in a redneck infested zone, full of RWCRFM’s (Right Wing Conservative Republican Fundamentalist Morons) it is difficult to strike up a conversation about anything except dogs, guns, trucks, and that damn “N” word president we have, that is ruining our country and “may be the devil”  It is impossible to to have an intelligent conversation with anyone here, I’m not sure but maybe the population here has an IQ approaching the 90’s overall, and a rare few show the ability to think critically, and most just keep parroting the same old crap they hear their daddy’s say, or what they hear from Fox News, without taking a moment to even think about “what” they just said. Then the expected response is to nod approvingly, and backslap each other with a big grin and a “yee haw”. I swear I do not belong in the same clade as these people! Indeed, this is my place to vent, and to speak freely about what is important to me.

As I still have a couple of kids that go to school ’round here, I will keep my name to myself for now, lest the local populace decide to do the x-ian thing and persecute my kids, because I claim no alliance to their idiotic ways.

Shelldigger