Science > Flood

December 22, 2009 Leave a comment

Being that I have a severe interest in modern geology, as well as historical geology, I’ve always been curious about these “great flood” rumors and how I could prove them wrong. Over time, it’s easy to nitpick at the majority of their talking points, but there are some details that many people might not know in favor of science.

Let’s start with the actual evidence in favor of a global flood. Yup, I said it. There was indeed a global flood at one point in Earth’s history. However, it was a few billion years ago and not at 2348 BC: an exact creationist date. All of the water on Earth was brought to us by extraterrestrial sources. According to NASA, most of the water seems to have come from the asteroid belt: an orbit of billions and billions of asteroids and meteors that are farther away from the Sun than the Earth. This enables them to maintain the water content more easily since Earth would have been a bit too close to the Sun at the time to maintain small amounts on its own. Over time, more and more meteors crashed into our planet, creating a global ocean and clearing the path for our atmosphere’s birth. This theory is corroborated with the recent findings of water on our Moon.

Okay, so now that we have that out of the way we can get to the fun stuff! Assuming that the supposed flood was only a few thousand years ago, we can be fairly sure that the topography of the Earth was relatively close to how we see it today. Nearly everything we see: volcanoes, mountains, oceans, rivers, lakes, deserts, etc. would have been nearly exactly the same, with a slight possibility for minor changes. And, yes, the Grand Canyon would have already been “carved.”

Flood Argument #1: The Fossil Record (billions of dead things buried in sedimentation all over the Earth)

So, we’ve found fossils inside sediments all across the planet. So? Who says they were laid down at the exact same time? Consider continental drift (or plate tectonics) – over millions and millions of years, the continents have been moving and shifting all over the Earth’s surface. It’s highly probable that every area has been covered by an ocean at one time or another. Not only that, but fossils don’t necessarily need to die and fall into an ocean to be preserved…

Then there’s the garbage attempt at an argument about fossils being at the tops of mountains. So? Let’s consider plate tectonics again! Many of the mountain chains we see are along subduction plate boundaries. When Plate A pushes against Plate B it subducts, or goes under, thus pushing up the sediment of Plate B and creating mountains. That’s a bit simplistic, but you get the idea. So when you keep pushing up fossils higher and higher above their original level, you get fossils… in a mountain! Wow!

Last on the list for this argument are the concerns over fossilized trees that are at “odd” angles and saved in several sedimentary layers. These are generally called “polystrate fossils” if you’d like to look it up yourself. Well, apparently this is superior evidence for a cataclysmic flood. Explain this away, science! Well, alright. I will! Although these fossils do suggest rapid accumulation of sediments around them, there is no need to even consider that it had to be a global flood. The breaking of a dam, flooded rivers, mudslides, even volcano eruptions can all contribute to a quick movement of sediment. One of the coolest (in my opinion) ways that this could happen is via volcano. A volcano (often one created over an oceanic plate) erupts water, along with molten rock and gas. The mixing of these materials can create lahars – or very hot mudslides – that can cover a lot of ground in a small amount of time. This is the case with Yellowstone’s polystrate forest. Voila!

Flood Arguments #2 and on…

According to allaboutcreation.org there is innumerable evidence for a biblical flood. Now, they don’t go into detail on these arguments (I’d have to buy the book and I’m definitely not going to), but I still find them incredibly humorous. Here are a few of my favorites:

- Earthquakes, Ice Age, The Grand Canyon, Frozen Mammoths, Volcanoes and Lava, Geothermal Heat, Magnetic Variations on the Ocean Floor, Changing Axis Tilt.

Changing Axis Tilt? A FLOOD would change the axis of the Earth? HA! Oh, it would be soooo funny if it weren’t so sad.

Last on my debunk list is against the ability for a worldwide flood to even happen due to the amount of water itself. According to biblical stories, the flood happened due to an epic rainfall and the erupting of underwater fountains. So, essentially, the flood was all made possible by groundwater and atmospheric moisture. Would you be interested in knowing that groundwater only makes up about 0.62% of the water on Earth? Even more devastating to a flood claim is the fact that the water content in the atmosphere is at about 0.001%. And, even if the glaciers all melted that would still be only an extra 2.15% of water. How could an extra 2.771% cover the continents entirely? They couldn’t. Never. I’ve debated this particular argument several times and it always gets a creationist to rely on the “god did it” answer. What I’m continually frustrated with is why a creationist would try to use science to explain a flood into existence – then backtrack when it is clear that science never could. It’s just a very sleazy thing to do… and they say that we’re the evil ones! Hmmph!

On a final note, I’d like to offer the photographic evidence of Noah’s Ark found. Okay, not really… but the image itself is quite funny-looking, to me anyway.

No wonder they like it so much...

Now, I ask you – does that not look like a huge vagina?

The reason for the season?

December 21, 2009 1 comment

All of this nonsense about putting “Christ back into Christmas” is driving me absolutely bonkers. For Christians to say that having equal share over the winter holiday season is diminishing Christ is such a sleazy and conniving thing to do. Secularization does not remove anyone’s ability to celebrate whatever they want – be it Zombie Jesus or a bottle of Coca Cola. It just makes it possible so that you are indeed able to celebrate those things.

So, after my nerdrage settled down, I started to wonder why we celebrate the things we do during the month of December. And not only why, but where it started and for what reasons. What I’ve discovered aren’t the only supposed reasons people celebrate, but they happen to be the most popular in America – and most are supposedly Christian.

ORLY?

1. The birth of Christ was on December 25

I don’t happen to believe that the evidence is outstanding that Jesus even existed, but if he did it is highly unlikely that he would be born in the middle of winter. Biblical stories barely mention his birth, let alone when it was. So, for Christians to ever say that Christmas (on Dec 25) comes from the bible is… bullshit. So, let’s deconstruct the story a little bit so as to understand why a birth would be improbable considering the surrounding elements. Before Jesus was born, Mary lived in Nazareth but traveled to Bethlehem (about 70 miles). What woman that’s 9-months pregnant would (or could) want to travel days, if not weeks, in the middle of winter? Not only that, but for Jesus to have received visitors (which isn’t in the bible… sorry three wise men) during a frigid time in the desert would have been ridiculous. Shepherds, even today, don’t generally keep their flocks out in the cold of night. Biblical scholars even claim that the notion of a winter birth is highly unlikely and would make more sense (if it makes sense at all) happening in the spring.

2. But my church says he was born on December 25th – why would they say that?

Well, the most obvious reason is that the winter solstice happens just a few days before and was widely celebrated amongst non-Christians. The Roman Catholics picked this time of the year as the easiest, sneakiest way to convert everyone to Christianity by melding a holiday with one that the people had already been celebrating. So, the reason? Fucking evil, conniving greed. Jesus wasn’t born on December 25th, Christians, your churches just pretended he did so they could brainwash more people. Celebrating anything on this day, insert idols here, is continuing a pagan tradition.

3. Christmas trees are ways to celebrate Christ! Duh!

Actually, no. The taking in of greenery was a widespread tradition. It can be traced back to Germanic traditions, but an Estonian friend of mine even says his ancestors did the same. Romans, Egyptians, and many Europeans all participated. Having plants around that remained green during the winter was especially important to these people. It makes sense, right? How else to survive the winter blues than by having some bright green reminders of spring/summer indoors? The solstice meant that the following days and months would provide more and more sunshine, so part of celebrating was by honoring those things that thrive on it. The actual decorating of trees with lights and baubles (as we do today) didn’t start until the 16th century, or so and wasn’t even popular until the 1800’s. Again, using/decorating green trees and boughs is continuing a pagan tradition. Sorry, Jesus, no tree for you! In fact, having a decorated tree in the home is specifically condemned in the bible. Yup, check out Jeremiah.

4. Gift-giving was because of the ‘Three Kings’ bringing gifts for baby Jesus!

No. Like I mentioned previously, the bible never mentions three wise men visiting Jesus in the manger. There is a mention of “wise men” but their visitation isn’t corroborated along with the traditional story – nor does it even say how many of them were around and it definitely doesn’t say that they were kings. There is a mention of the gifts that they supposedly brought, but again, for what reasons they were brought is unknown. If it was for Jesus’ birth, then it still doesn’t make sense because it never specifies that they even saw Jesus as baby. He might’ve been a toddler by that point for all we know.

So, most of the reasons that anyone celebrates Christmas are usually quite secular – whether they’d admit it or not. Shopping for gifts to give, decorating a tree, putting up lawn ornaments, and getting together with family are traditions that aren’t really Christian in origin at all. There is little-to-no mention in the bible about Jesus’ birth so it’s quite obvious that the stories surrounding this specific holiday are just bits of made up tales. The next time you hear someone whine about how the heathens are “taking Christ out of Christmas” you can tell them that he was never really there to begin with.

Oh hai Phelps clan!

December 20, 2009 Leave a comment

So, amidst my own personal issues combined with the mounting stress of returning to school, I’ve been a little quiet on the blog scene. However, I am back and ready to rock!

Last week I got wind that the infamous Westboro Baptist Church (godhatesfags.com) was coming to various cities across South Florida. Not only that – but they were actually going to protest at my old high school: Fort Lauderdale High. (Go Flying L’s)! Anyhow, never one to pass up an opportunity to piss off the fundamentally-ridiculous religious, I made a few signs and headed over at 7am on Wednesday morning.

The few of us that had planned on making the first counter-protest of the day had agreed to meet up at… well, you’ll see.

Shame DQ wasn't open!

Around 7:05am-ish a friend of mine had showed up and so we headed straight down (the sidewalk in view) and set up camp across the street from the Phelps clan. The first thing I noticed was the large police presence. I assume this was not only because of the issue of arguments between the nutcases and the general public, but also for protection from them – especially since there were children nearby.

Jarek and a friendly bishop.

On “our” side there was myself, Jarek (a FLASH member), and a friendly bishop. This bishop, in fact, I found out was a master of several forms of martial arts. He’s a ninja priest! So awesome. Anyway, his protest was in reference to the crazy signs that the WBC uses that are anti-Jew. His sign was more or less about how Jesus was a Jew – do you hate him, too? Not that I even think Jesus was a real person, but if I believed biblical literature then I’d understand his point. So, what were the signs from the “other side” you ask?

I don't know about you - but that would be a fun Xmas.

At 7:40am on the dot – the Phelps’ (including Fred’s wife, Shirley, and grandsons) hopped into a circling black sedan and jetted off to their next stop: a Jewish Community Center (of course) in Plantation, FL.

Having lived in the area all of my life, I was quite certain we could make it there before the WBC freaks and prepare another counter. This time Jarek and I were joined by Chet (another FLASH member) and a gentleman from the JCC. We marched up and down Sunrise Blvd ahead of the area where the Phelps’ were protesting as a “forewarning” of what was just ahead.

I'm particularly proud of the "facepalm Jesus"

We had lots of honks and hollers in our favor, but because the actual protest only consisted of four or five crazies I suppose it was hard to grasp what was going on until you got right up next to them. Overall, it was a decent day. It was definitely a quieter show than what had been done on previous days during the WBC’s trip, but that’s probably a good thing. They didn’t receive any media coverage at the locations I visited, and while that means we didn’t get exposure – neither did they. I think it was important to go counter and show that people don’t agree with what they do, but I also believe that giving such a cantankerous group a lot of attention can be dangerous.

Hell Houses

October 3, 2009 1 comment

With Halloween upon us, my favorite holiday, I’m reminded of an American tradition that I’m really not fond of. In fact, it’s quite despicable: Christian Hell Houses. Instead of a haunted house filled with ghouls, goblins, witches and warlocks, these fundamentalist institutions display exhibits of deplorable things (according to the bible of course). Walk around one corner and you’ll find a mock-abortion; around another and you’ll see a faked suicide. Homosexuality, alcohol consumption, adultery, occultism, pre-marital sex, and drug abuse are also frequently reenacted. Could people really be subjecting themselves, let alone their children, to this insane garbage? Yes.

The first hell house, Scaremare, was created by the late (thankfully) Jerry Falwell in the 1970s. Since then they’ve become more popular and are aimed at children as young as 12 to prevent them from living a life of sin. According to the website, religioustolerance.org, these evangelical phenomena are focused on ‘scare tactics’ and they do so willingly. They admit freely to using this as an attempt to proselytize not only their already faithful, but members of secular society as well. They even disguise their hell houses “to resemble conventional secular haunted houses. The customer only realizes that they have a religious theme after they have bought their ticket and gone part of the way through the scenes.” Not only is that ridiculously disturbing – I wonder if that’s even legally allowed.

Once the patron has entered (knowing what is inside or not) they are subject to some pretty fucked up scenes:.

(Also from religioustolerance.org)

A person being sacrificed during a Satanic ritual. The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) web site warned of Wiccan rituals and stated “… evidence persists that some Satanists and voodoo groups offer sacrifices — usual animals, but, possibly, human babies” at this time. Satanic Ritual Abuse was a widespread hoax that was commonly believed during the 1980s and early 1990s.

A phoney reenactment  of the murder of Cassie Bernall, a teenager victim at the Columbine High School in 1999-APR. She was allegedly asked whether she believed in God, answered yes, and was murdered on the spot. The incident never happened. But the story has taken on a life of its own. She is frequently referred to in conservative Christian magazines, books, and radio programs as a Christian martyr.

Women undergoing very bloody late-term abortions, complete with screaming, lots of blood, and particularly insensitive, uncaring health providers. Some of these scenes have been partly abandoned in recent years in favor of a portrayal of guilt and depression arising from Post Abortion Syndrome.

Gays and lesbians being tortured in hell for all eternity because of their same-sex behavior while they were alive on earth.

A man having an argument with his wife and is later seduced by his secretary.

Personal tragedies arising from pre-marital sex.

A 9/11 ground zero scene.

I’m really not even sure what to say after that… if I were 12 and interested in dressing up for Halloween just to run around and grab as much sugar as I could find – then suddenly be forced to attend one of these… just wow. How could anyone live with themselves for doing this? However, apparently the kids find it just as great. A movie was made back in 2001 aptly titled ‘Hell House’ and basically shows a production and operation by adults and even the children themselves. Harry Potter is bad, mmkay?

scared?! no... not really...

scared?! no... not really...

Against my better judgement I decided to visit a site actually promoting one of these Hell Houses. It was created back in 2002 and has been held in Temple, Texas every year since. From the first click, I will say the music is pretty eerie. Although, I don’t particularly find it scary.. more like something I’d want to sit in the dark with a glass of bourbon and ponder my thoughts to. Anyhow… the site overall isn’t impressive, it’s not filling me with the fear of hell, and it sure isn’t making me want to visit it. Even their so-called “promo” video is fucking laughable. Let’s throw some words on a screen to dramatic music and call it a preview. Someone needs to work on their marketing…

Lucky for me I’ve gotten wind of just such a place happening at a local high school nearby in Miami, Florida this month and I’m curious to see what it’s all about. (Even though I’m quite certain I know what will happen). My prediction is I’ll giggle through the entire thing – but $5 for an hour or two of silly religious entertainment might be worth it. How terrifying can a group of high schoolers be? Oh wait… kids are kinda scary!

Zoologist <3's Kakapo.

October 3, 2009 Leave a comment

Rachel Maddow had this clip on her show yesterday evening and I can say I haven’t laughed this hard in a LONG time. I know, I know… I should be focusing on more serious topics, but this really has to be shared.

And the Creationists are off!

October 2, 2009 2 comments

Rather than fit all of this into my previous post about the research released today regarding “Ardi,” or Ardipithecus ramidus, I figure I’ll make a brand new one – because this is very special. The information has only been official for about a day and already the sheeple are at it. Like I mentioned in the post prior, there are several websites (at least) now saying that some source (who probably isn’t even qualified to wipe my ass) believes Ardi is showing ape came from man and not the other way around. If you’re reading this then chances are you’re like me and would find this quite hilarious if it weren’t so sad. What is the most depressing, albeit not shocking, are posts from average Americans on a website named ‘Rapture Ready.’

I don’t expect any religious group to completely agree with our theory of evolution as it does pose quite the conflict in their own minds… but they’re turning researched and studied information into a ‘god did it’ answer and, I’m sorry, but that pisses me off. Here are just some of the posts I happened to find the most humorous and feel quite ashamed to be of the same species as these mentally-incapacitated authors.

I wonder when this will turn out to be false, just like all the other so-called “proof”

What fossils have been renounced as unfit for relation to homo sapiens? I don’t recall any – nor can I find anything scientifically claiming this. Not that it would even matter, but having an ape-top and human-bottomed fossil still would not convince these people…

You are so right, and it’s a shame that people don’t see through the lies, even when they are proven false.

Hey! He read my mind… I bet his god told him what I was thinking… I burn many a calorie whenever I hear a theist utter the word ‘proof.’

I didn’t read the article, but if the skeleton is the one AOL had posted on its news page, I can tell you already that it looked more ape than human. But, you’re right, Glory, the news media will never report the truth that it was yet another evolutionary lie.

He didn’t even read the article! Well what a fucking shocker. If anything shows how ridiculous his beliefs are – it’s that he didn’t even take the time to find out for himself. Fucking amazing.

This is front page of Yahoo too. It looks like nothing more than a very old gorilla. Perhaps a type that when extinct centuries ago. Do these scientists ever think of that? We are still finding new species never before discovered every day. New fish, new birds, new insects, and then this, its just a never before seen by us gorilla.

I wonder if this person has realized that he is essentially claiming evolutionary work here. Nah, probably not.

Nearly 17 years after plucking the fossilized TOOTH of a new human ancestor from a pebbly desert in Ethiopia, an international team of scientists today (Thursday, Oct. 1) announced their reconstruction of a partial skeleton of the hominid, Ardipithecus ramidus, which they say revolutionizes our understanding of the earliest phase of human evolution.
So…it is all based on a tooth they found?

Dude.. can he read? It says right there that they reconstructed a ‘partial skeleton of the hominid.’ Partial does not mean one goddamn tooth! Hell.. if he bothered to look it up – he’d know that the skeleton has been studied using 125 pieces! No, fuckwad, it is not based on a tooth they found.. they found the fucking tooth first and kept digging for more!

Maybe the problem your having is that you’re trying to fit God into what you know about “science”. Maybe that’s the wrong way. Maybe instead you should try to fit science into what you know about God. Don’t start from the proposition that everything you learned in science class was correct, and then try to make God fit into that picture. Instead, start from the position that everything in the bible is true, and then try to see how science fits in with that. If it doesn’t fit, it’s the current world’s view that’s wrong, not the bible.

This is, by far, my favorite post yet. Yes, it is dumbfuckery at it’s best – but the keyword I noticed throughout is his nonstop usage of try. Not, “Oh well you can absolutely, without a doubt, fit science into the bible..” He’s just saying you should try… because, guess what, you cannot fit science into the bible at all. There IS no science in the bible. Oh, that flat Earth thing was scientific at the time, right guys? I also love the fact that if science can’t fit in with their dusty old book – it’s the world that has the view wrong… well there are more people in the world than Christians, so how does that work? Actually, don’t answer that – I probably don’t even want to hear it.

So, when you hear all this talk of “missing link” and see false reporting on our precious Ardi, be sure to curse… loudly. And then correct the sons of bitches. I hope Dawkins, or some other notable atheist/scientist, slams this shit into the ground…

Vaccinate your kids and yourselves.

October 2, 2009 Leave a comment

I was reading Orac’s blog today and he had posted something that I feel needs more attention: vaccinations. I’ve always been wary of the supposed links between vaccines and childhood illnesses as a supposed result, but these videos make it quite clear that the claims are baseless. In watching them I was immediately reminded of the correlation doesn’t equal causation argument posed awhile back regarding pirates and global warming. Ironically enough, this is also mentioned in the video.

oh no! not the pirates!

oh no! not the pirates!

So, if we apply the same thought of vaccination = autism then global warming certainly might just be causing the dramatic reduction in pirate population. Polly’s going to need a new master….

The videos here aren’t trying to prove or disprove anything, merely show you the facts that are out there about vaccinations so you can make an informed decision about whether or not you, and/or your children, should go and get them. My opinion is that the risks of contracting the flu FAR outweigh the consequences, if any, of preparing your body to fight against them. But, take a look for yourselves…

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