Tuesday, 27 October 2009

How to teach a Creation Science lesson

Journal of Imaginary Sciences, Volume 28, 2009

How to teach a Creation Science lesson

Due to the demand from faith schools, the JIS has drawn up guidelines on how to educate young Christians in Creation Science. The recommended literature is mainly The Bible, especially Genesis whilst further reading includes the Genesis Flood by Henry M. Morris and Of Pandas and People.

The aim of this course is to educate young creationists in the theories surrounding the Earth's creation. This centres on (mainly) the idea that God created the world as stated in the Bible, around 4004 BC. This requires reading Genesis 1-9 and analysing the theological importance of these words.

It is recommended that the subject matter is learnt by rote rather than allowing questioning of principles surrounding creationism. Pupils must be informed that if reality does not fit the Bible then it is wrong and should be explained using supernatural measures.

Teachers are advised to take the children to Creationist institutes such as the Noah's Ark Zoo in Britain. Close links with RE teachers must also be maintained as well.

Older students should be aware of the competing theories that try and undermine Christian values such as Evolution. In this, pupils are encouraged to think critically and find flaws with Evolutionary biology. Material by creationists such as Ken Ham, Kent Hovind and Michael Behe should also be accessed. If possible, Ben Stein's film, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, should be used to demonstrate the ways that the scientific elite silence objections to their views.

Evaluation should take the form of testing, which marks should be awarded for intelligent use of theological concepts such as irreducible complexity and Biblical accuracy.

Mass deportations seem very distant.....

Good evening and welcome to another post from JIS. This week I am pleased to announce that the Merseyside Skeptics have added me to their grassroots blogroll. In return I am adding them to mine and I highly recommend that if you are in the Merseyside area that you look up their Skeptics in the Pub events which according to one of my good friends, seems to be a great event.

Onto racism. I find racism very, very similar to pseudoscience, especially when we add their "scientific" methods of justification. I was highly amused the other day when I found out that Nick Griffin was allowed to go on Question Time. Despite the controvesy it caused, I was pleased that the program seemed to be a whole hearted dismissal of the BNP and Nick Griffin was proven to be a smug, lying pompous idiot with the knowledge of a peanut and the honesty of a wanted paedophile. I found the hour program had been posted on Youtube here (my apologies for the racist comments that may be on the comment pages of these videos):

Besides this, I was also amused when I found that Nick Griffin stated that true British people are those that can trace their line back 1700 years! As far as I am aware, I can only trace my grandmother's side back to 12th Century (thanks to an extensive piece of research on a very obscure surname) and my surname to the Scandinavian/Norman roots. With comments like this, it is no wonder why the BNP will probably slip back into insignificance again after that scenario.

And for those that wish to have their dose of true pseudoscience, here is this week's RaptureReady poster with how the world looks as old as it is:

Ok y'all stay with me.

For this Experiment you will need: a Bible, one brand new sheet of paper, bowl full of water, hair dryer, blue,yellow, gray, and brown crayons, a lighter, and a pen

Look at the sheet of paper, note that it is brand new.
Step 1: Open Bible to Gen 1 and read verses 1-5
Step 2: Using pen draw a circle on the sheet of paper and label it earth
Step 3: read Gen 1:6-13
Step 4: using crayons draw clouds, water, land, grass, plants, and trees
Step 5: Read Gen 1:14-19
Step 6: Using crayons draw the sun, moon, and stars
Step 7: read Gen 1:20-23
Step 8: Using the pen draw fish in the water and birds in the air
Step 9: Read Gen 1:24-31
Step 10: Using pen draw cows, spiders, and a cat or dog. Then draw two people and label them Adam and Eve.
Step 11: Sit back and look at picture. See how wonderful and perfect it looks?
Step 12: Read Gen 3
Step 13: Using pen draw a snake
SIN has entered the world

Step 14: Crumple your picture and straighten it back out. Do this 10 times. It doesnt look so brand new now does it?

Step 15: Read Gen 6&7
Step 16: Throw picture into bowl of water, crumple and straighten it out
Step 17: Read Gen 8:1-14
Step 18: Using hair dryer, dry your picture compleatly. Your picture is looking a little worse for wear.
Step 19: repeat step 14
Step 20: Using lighter burn hole in middle of picture and quickly put it out.
(I SAID THE PAPER NOT THE HOUSE!!! call fire dept! )
Step 21: Repeat step 14

WOW!! Your picture doesnt look new anymore. Its only a few minutes old!!! But because of it being crumpled and straightend, drenched in water, being blow dried, and set on fire, your drawing looks like it could be 100 years old.

God created the Earth 6,000 years ago. But because of SIN, a flood, earthquakes, and volcanoes it only LOOKS 4.5 Billion years old.

Now look at your Bible. Look at how new it is. Did you know that the words of the New Testament are about 2,000 years old? The Old Testament is even older than that! How cool is that? God can take something so old and make it brand new!
The thread is here however, you need to be signed up to see.....

Monday, 12 October 2009

Ray Comfort edited!

Journal of Imaginary Sciences, Volume 27, 2009

Ray Comfort edited!

Last week I mentioned that the evangelist, Ray Comfort was producing a censored copy of Origin of the Species. Due to this, I have decided to produce an edited version of Ray's post on his blog "Atheist Central". Red is my own words on what Ray might actually mean....... Blue are the words deleted.

"If Darwin’s theory was true (which it is but since I'm making money from all this, better we ignored this), there (are) should be buried within the soil, the skeletons of millions of animals changing from one species ("kind" (my own arbitrary definition which has no relation to biology)) into another. But Darwin admitted that they didn’t exist (he didn't know of any because they weren't aware of them). There were none at all in the geological formation (that they knew of). He asks, "Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory. The explanation lies, as I believe, in the extreme imperfection of the geological record."

Unbelievably, instead of questioning his theory, he blames deduces geological record (is at fault)! Yet he is forced to admit, "So that the number of intermediate and transitional links, between all living and extinct species, must have been inconceivably great." If Charles Darwin was right, the amount of skeletal remains must have been inconceivably great, and yet in the same passage he again admits to "not finding fossil remains of such infinitely numerous connecting links." They were infinitely numerous (millions upon millions) and they have all (most have) disappeared (due to diagenesis, which I know absolutely nothing about). All of them.

And after 150 years of desperate searching, they still can’t find any (that I won't ignore, despite of the numerous occasions I have been presented with the evidence)."

I feel a lot better now. Apparently this editing lark is quite fun!

I also sent this (as a friendly gesture towards Ray) post which I will copy here for reference:

Dear Ray,

As you disallow urls I would recommend visiting my site, The Journal of Imaginary Sciences on the same blogger network as yours. Please find enclosed under today's date, a post of yours which has been edited for scientific accuracy. This comment is also repeated on my own site as well.

Now as a trained archaeologist, let me take you to task for your discrepancies. Firstly, let us tackle the issue of fossilisation. Look at wiki Ray it is your friend. You might want to note that not all things fossilise. The conditions that the remains are buried in need to be perfect in order to ensure that they survive. It is quite clear to both of us that just leaving out a dead body causes a massive stink and the soft parts decay. After a while, we are left with the bones. But these don't always remain do they Ray? I recommend visiting a nice little place in England called Sutton Hoo, a famous Anglo-Saxon ship burial of a possible early Christian. The body was buried in acidic sandy soil. Bones decay in these conditions Ray and produce what are called "sand mummies" the outline of the remains only.

This outlines that due to natural conditions, remains decay, even the bones, especially if we go outside the Biblical time frame (which scientists do because of the evidence). Even then, a lot of remains would have disappeared because of physical and chemical processes as well as biological ones. A field you may want to look at is diagenesis (using it in an archaeological context) as well, which gives all this information.

Now secondly, let us move onto the hominin remains found in Africa suggesting clear links between us and apes. A paper I would like to direct you to is one by David Strait on knuckle walking, the referencing is given below:

Richmond, Begun & Strait, 2001, The Origin of Human Bipedality, The Knuckle Walking Hypothesis Revisited, Physical Anthropology 44:70–105.

This categorically states that human ancestors such as Lucy had morphological features in their hand which are closely associated with knuckle walking. These hominins however, are defined as bipedal due to the morphology of the foremen magnum being far more similar to modern humans than a chimp!

This of course is to not forget other articles such as:

Cobb, S., 2008, The facial skeleton of the chimpanzee-human last common ancestor, Journal of Anatomy, 212: 469–485

Which examines the facial anatomy of our ancestors including other hominins.

Dean, C., 2006, Tooth microstructure tracks the pace of human life history evolution, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 22;273(1603):2799-808.

Again this analyses hominin teeth and shows clear evidence of evolution!

Harcourt-Smith, W.E.H. & Aiello, L.C., 2004, Fossils, feet and the evolution of human bipedal locomotion, Journal of Anatomy: 204, 403-416

And finally evidence for the evolution of our feet.

It is clear, from the fossils we do have, that there are transitional fossils. Ray, I highly recommend you correct your mistakes in your post.

Thank you

Any articles you wish to read, please contact me via email for more info.

Monday, 5 October 2009

New Term, new tricks

From today I am officially a PGCE Science student, learning how to educate children in the facts and philosophy of science. I must admit it sounds daunting, especially after all the paperwork we've been given and the suggestions on what we need to do. But I picked it for the simple reason that I want to ensure children become scientifically literate, that they understand how science works and avoid the traps of those seeking to infect others with their delusions. Whilst I love archaeology and I would love to go into academia in that area, I feel that I am not ready for this. Furthermore, I would prefer going into this rich and varied career and coming out confident enough to do a post-grad degree and knowledge of the education sector. Anyway, enough about that, let us tread into the weekly news.

It is with great regret that I found out this week that Kirk Cameron & Ray Comfort, they of the banana fame has announced their proposal to published an "altered" version of the great book, On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin. This edition is rumoured to be heavily edited, with almost half the pages of the original. As the copyright on Origin of Species has run out, it is perfectly legal to do what they are doing, censoring a scientific work to produce their own propaganda. I wonder how many people are going to read this new version and start rehashing tired old arguments of design simply because of idiotic censorship turning quote mines into actual quotes. For more info links are here:


In further news, the remains of Ardipithecus ramidus was given a special treatment in Science with several research papers being published on it.


I think I am going to try and abuse my university ATHENs account to try and get my hands on the papers.........

Onto reviews and yesterday for the first time I more or less couldn't stop laughing after seeing a fat, flightless, green parrot dance on a zoologist's head. Last Chance to See brought us the kakapo, a rare and endangered parrot from New Zealand. I must admit, whilst the format is generally the same (45 minutes of analysing conservation efforts in the area along with other rare species, followed by the last 15 minutes on the actual species), you've got to love the animals they see.

And just for everyone, here is Sirocco's famous moment on TV.....

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Lucy prefers a bitter

Journal of Imaginary Sciences, Volume 26, 2009

Missing link is found in British pub

The English pub is noted for its availability for conversation and some good drinks to quench your thirst. However, scientists have recently found that it was home to much more than alcoholic drinks.....

Analysing the anatomy of several locals from a selection of village pubs around England, scientists found that their features closely resembled several species of hominin "found" in the fossil record.

"After analysing several members of the communities and then comparing their measurements and bone structure we found that they closely resembled specimens such as Lucy, Turkana Boy and Shanidar skeletons." said Dr Afreud, Lecturer in Christian sciences at the Patriot Bible University. "We can even demonstrate this with the fact that the Piltdown man was discovered to be human too. This conclusively proves that these fossils that are being dug up by anthropologists are merely the remains of pre-Flood humans. Any discrepancies from this can also be explained as breeding between the Nephilim and the more perfect humans from the time."

After wandering into several British pubs, it seems that the research can be confirmed. In the York Arms, outside the York Minster, several misformed and grotesque individuals can be detected nursing their pints in quiet corners. In any rate it seems that the Piltdown Man's drink of choice is a local bitter.....

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Evolution rising

Good evening and welcome to another week. Unfortunately this week I have had little time to read or see TV programmes, however, I do have a few things to say.

Firstly, Richard Dawkins' show "The Genius of Charles Darwin" is being broadcast on Channel 4 again for UK viewers. The show was in celebration of Darwin's birthday and book this year and I highly recommend it as an interesting review of how people still cannot believe Evolution works.

Tonight David Attenborough's show on Charles Darwin also starts on BBC4. I saw this just before I started writing this blog and again I recommend seeing a great British naturalist present a magnificent show on Evolution.

This week's blog post is a blatantly stolen idea from Ben Goldacre's Bad Science on the Brain Gym. In his review of the pseudoscientific babble that Paul Dennison spouts, Ben Goldacre suggests that waggling his ears could be included into this programme. The other suggestion however, was my own work, building on that. For more information, I recommend Bad Science.

During the past two weeks I have spent my time observing in a local primary school. Coming back into Primary School approximately 11 years after I left the place I was pleasantly surprised to find that this Primary School was a well-run and friendly place with extremely hard-working teachers, a real contrast to my time at Woodley Primary School in Stockport. From my experience I've learnt just how much time teachers have to teach vital subjects and from this I can conclude it isn't enough. This afternoon I spent a session assisting the Year 5 teacher (9-10 year olds) teach about the heart and the circulatory system. Whilst I'm satisfied with the job we did, this took up the entire afternoon, meaning that other subjects which we planned to cover had to be postponed for another day. All the teachers in the school constantly complain of too many government objectives to reach even in reception class (4-5 year olds). I remember (very vaguely) that most of my time spent in reception involved a lot of playing and much less work than the current batch are doing. On the other hand, I have noticed that Phonics (teaching the sounds of the English language to assist reading) and foreign languages have made their appearance in these schools. I personally think this is a good idea, especially when teaching children to learn how to pronounce new words. The foreign languages also helps correct a long term problem with the image of the monolingual English man.

Finally, a little chuckle at Dinosaurs in the nativity!


Had to be done.....