Wednesday, October 31, 2007

AiG is 4 reetardz

Ken Ham gets beat in a debate by a mentally challenged man. Watch here.


Okay, not really, this guy was just acting... Still funny, though. It's funny how Ham talks about Vertebrate fossils being rare, when AiG and ICR are both known for demanding finely graduated chains of transitional fossils.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

An Amphibian was Moving Around during the Flood

Today I went over to LiveScience, and read an article about the fossilized body imprints of a Salamander like creature. This has huge implications for a Global Flood. This would mean that right when the geologic column was being "thrown down" by the flood, something was moving. Not only that, but this flooding didn't destroy the imprint. Think about it. A flood happens and is rapidly burying everything in sediment, yet this creature is moving, and moving right in the middle of the geologic column.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

They Just Won't Let Us Have A Transitional Fossil... Tiktaalik

This entry is on another transitional fossil that was attacked by AiG. It is of a fish-tetrapod mosiac named 'Tiktaalik'. Lancelet has an entry on this, which as far as I can tell is correct. I read the summary of two papers on PubMed about it, neither one describing the Pelvic fins of Tiktaalik. In addition, Devonian Times states that the pelvic fins are "poorly known". And By the Way, you may recognize the name of the man who wrote the article for AiG: David Menton. I busted his chops a while back for being misleading on the infamous 'Lucy' fossil.

Also of Interest:
The Pharyngula Entry on Tiktaalik

Vestigial Organs Explained

Hey Folks!

I watched a video today that explains Vestigial Organs very simply. It even clears up the common misconception that vestigial organs are utterly useless. So without further ado, the video.

By the way, someone had commented on this video:

"Type in appendix. You will see that a news item was released last week that discovered the appendix is used for breeding good bacteria. I read the item last week. It reached the front page of reddit. That livescience article needs updating. Science has advanced in the last week"

Here's my response:

From CNN
"That use (harboring useful bacteria) is not needed in a modern industrialized society, Parker said.

If a person's gut flora dies, it can usually be repopulated easily with germs they pick up from other people, he said. But before dense populations in modern times and during epidemics of cholera that affected a whole region, it wasn't as easy to grow back that bacteria and the appendix came in handy."

Another good link:

Evidences for Macroevolution: Vestigial Structures

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Hello Everyone!

Well, it looks like it will be a while before I can finish the debate. My opponent has had stuff on his hands. Instead of leaving you guys hanging, I thought I'd go 'head and write a new post. This post will consist of things you (probably) hadn't read or seen before.

First off...

When I started this blog I wrote a few articles that I don't think got read much. Which is ashame because I feel that these are some of the best! Anyway, here they are:

AiG finds a man with the Dinosaurs?

Hopeful Monsters, Stephen Jay Gould, and AiG

Living Fossils

I also want to encourage those who haven't to check out my youtube account:

Finally, I'd like to extend a hand to anyone reading to post your questions about evolution or creationism. I'll be all to happy to answer!


P.S. One more thing, please click on an ad while you are here! It keeps my fridge stocked with Drinks so I can keep writing! ; )

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Debate Part 1

Hey Everybody!

I have been having a debate with a creationist named Dave Lone Ranger on Free Republic (read it here). We agreed to each present three evidences for our viewpoints. After that, the opposing speaker would respond, and the presenting speaker would get the last word. I went first, and presented my case for evolution as follows:

When you see this (1) that is there to denote the passage. A reference will be posted at the bottom.

Evidence #1 The Fossil Record

When you start off with a 5 toed horse like animal, then higher up in the strata find a 4 toed horse like animal, then a 3 toed, then a single toed, what does that mean to you? The Geologic column is riddled with example after example of this. Here is the infamous horse series:

Here are other examples:




The Sea Sloths

Why is the fossil record littered with sequences that just so happen to be in an order that makes them look like they evolved? I cannot make sense of it without evolution. In fact, I think anyone who saw these sequences would suggest evolution, had it not already been proposed so long ago.

Evidence #2 ERV’s

Another Major line of Evidence is the Endogenous retroviruses (ERV’s). About 8 percent of our genome is made up of these ERV’s(1). On a rare occasion a virus will insert itself into it’s host’s genome at random(2), and the host’s descendants will inherit this and have the virus in their genome. Our genome is 3 billion base pairs, so it is extremely unlikely that any creature would share the exact same virus in the exact same place in the genome. But yet humans and primates do have the same viruses in the same places in their genome.(3)

2. The Blue Lollipops show the regions that HIV has inserted:

Full article:
NOTE: When it says “distinct target site preference” it does not refer to one specific place, but rather a very wide range of places (the gene, the promoter of the gene).


Evidence #3 Embryological Evidence

Now, the first thing I want to make perfectly clear is that I am NOT referring to Haeckel’s work nor to his long discarded theory. Ontogeny does not recapitalate Phylogeny, but there are some interesting similarities in development which I believe are best explained by evolution.

Mammal Kidneys

Mammal Embryos develop 3 sets of kidneys(1). The first, pronephros, is the same set found in primitive fish like Lampreys.(2)
After 3.5 weeks, the mammal embryo replaces it. The second set, the mesonephros, is the same set found in higher fish and amphibians. In human males it gives rise to urogenital structures, while in females the remnants are vestigial. The third set (Metanephros) is the set which develops and becomes the adults set of kidneys, and it is the same set found in mammals and birds.

Other Evidence

Snakes as well as Dolphins are known to develop legs as embryos, only to reabsorb them later. (3)

Whales Develop hair as embryos, only to discard it later (except for the nosehair) (4)

All Kidneys are listed here:

That's it!!

After this was posted, another member challenged me on the ERV's, claiming that insertion was not random. However, if you read the paper he cites, you will notice that it says the "envelope genes" are used in reproduction. So this isn't a case of a fully functional ERV, rather a case of exaptation. This material in the genome was used for another function.

Dave is not done with his rebuttal yet, but I do plan on keeping everyone updated!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Jim Lippard's posts about Answers in Genesis

I just visitied Jim Lippard's blog, and I found out some veeeery interesting things about AiG. For instance:

The bizarre Wikipedia edits that members have made.

Jeffrey Dahmer's connection with them.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The 'Information' Argument Recieves Another Blow

I assume most of you have heard the infamous creationist claim that evolution "cannot produce new information". Well, that argument just took another beating. Check it out,
The Origin of Vision.

"We now have a time frame for the evolution of animal light sensitivity," said study leader David Plachetzki, a UC Santa Barbara graduate student. "We know its precursors existed roughly 600 million years ago.

These findings, detailed in a recent issue of the online journal PLoS ONE, counter arguments by anti-evolutionists that evolution can only eliminate traits and cannot produce new features, the authors say.

“Our paper shows that such claims are simply wrong," said co-author Todd Oakley, also a UC Santa Barbara biologist. "We show very clearly that specific mutational changes in a particular duplicated gene (opsin) allowed the new genes to interact with different proteins in new ways. Today, these different interactions underlie the genetic machinery of vision, which is different in various animal groups.”

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Deception of True.Origin

The following is an email correspondence between a fellow blog reader and the owner of the creationist site True Origin, Tim Wallace. If you are interested in verifying what Darwin originally said, it can be found here.


Here is the email exchange I had with Timothy Wallace who runs the trueorigins website:

I can’t help but notice that on the home page of your true.origin website, you invoke the advice of, ironically enough, Charles Darwin of all people, to claim that evolutionists unfairly dismiss any creationist explanations of origins and that creationism supposedly has a lot of supporting evidence. Unfortunately, your quote of Charles Darwin is actually a misquote. Below is the quote in its entirety taken from Darwin ’s “On The Origin of Species” and the part you conveniently omitted is in bold.

"For I am well aware that scarcely a single point is discussed in this volume on which facts cannot be adduced, often apparently leading to conclusions directly opposite to those at which I have arrived. A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question; and this cannot possibly be here done."

What Darwin was trying to say was that he was under time constraints to publish this book and that he didn’t have the time to include in it the evidence for his conclusions which would refute any attempts to challenge them. That he said would require an additional volume. I offer the following quote as evidence:

"My work is now nearly finished; but as it will take me two or three more years to complete it, and as my health is far from strong, I have been urged to publish this abstract."

Below is another quote from the same paragraph which you cited:

"I can here give only the general conclusions at which I have arrived, with a few facts in illustration, but which, I hope, in most cases will suffice. No one can feel more sensible than I do of the necessity of hereafter publishing in detail all the facts, with references, on which my conclusions have been grounded; and I hope in a future work to do this."

Your selective quote makes it sound like Darwin believed that his theory of evolution is no better than any alternative explanation, such as creationism, but that is not at all what he was saying. You either did an innocently sloppy job of quoting him or were being deliberately deceptive. And if the former is true, then I would expect an immediate revision of this quote on your home page to more accurately reflect what he was trying to say. According to the very first sentence of your home page, “The TrueOrigin archive comprises an intellectually honest response to what in fairness can only be described as evolutionism…”. Intellectually honest??? Yeah right.

Not only you, but a number of contributors to your website’s creationist perspective also have the habit of misquoting or quoting out of context. I’ll provide a couple of examples.

John Woodmorappe has contributed a handful of articles in your Geology & Radiometric Dating category. Steven H. Schimmrich has published an online essay at where he critiques a paper by Woodmorappe titled “Radiometric Dating Reappraised” submitted to Creation Research Society Quarterly (Vol. 16, Sept 1979). Among other things, Schimmrich points out that Woodmorappe misquoted an article by McKee & Noble in Geological Society of America Bulletin and another by Wasserburg & Lanphere in a different issue of the same journal. While attempting to break down Schimmrich’s paper point by point and responding to each sentence or few sentences individually, Woodmorappe wondered if he will “ever see the day that anti-Creationists stop repeating this mendacious crap” in response to being accused of quoting people out of context, but otherwise fails to address the out-of-context quotes.

Jonathan Sarfati, another frequent contributor to your creationist perspective website, is no better. In his article “Exploding Stars Point to a Young Universe: Where Are All The Supernova Remnants?” first published in Creation Ex Nihilo 19:46-48 and later online at, Sarfati tries to claim that the absence of Type III supernovas suggests that the universe is young, perhaps a few thousand years old, not billions of years as evolutionary scientists claim. He offers the following quote from Clark and Caswell in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 1976, 174:267:

"As the evolutionist astronomers Clark and Caswell say, ‘Why have the large number of expected remnants not been detected?’ and these authors refer to ‘The mystery of the missing remnants’."

Sarfati conveniently forgot to finish the last sentence, which actually appears on page 301. In its entirety, it reads

"…and the mystery of the missing remnants is also solved."

The above are just a few of many, many out-of-context or incomplete quotes found in creationist literature. Whole books have been written about them. To find more, visit Quoting authorities in this manner to prove one’s point is dishonest and deceptive. Yet creationist websites are teeming with them. If this is what creationists have to resort to in order to validate their claims, it doesn’t bode well for creationism or for creationists. This is yet more evidence that creation science is bad science and a bad form of Christianity. If Christianity is true, then its followers should also use truth to proclaim their message, and since creationists generally do not, as evidenced by the many examples of quote mining found in their literature, then they are not good practicing Christians. They are frauds and hypocrites. I realize these are harsh accusations, but they are not baseless, as I have documented above. If you don’t believe me check out everything I have said for yourself.

Tim Wallace’s Response:

I suggest that if you would try taking things (including quotations) more at face value, you would waste far less time crafting stuff like what is found below. Darwin's statement, as quoted, doesn't mean (or NEED to mean) any less or more than what it plainly says, which is plainly what he meant by it, when taken at face value, and in context, notwithstanding your pedantic pedagoguery, which is conspicuously devoid of an unequivocally corroborated explanation as to why when he wrote:

"I am well aware that scarcely a single point is discussed in this volume on which facts cannot be adduced, often apparently leading to conclusions directly opposite to those at which I have arrived. A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question."

that he could not have meant:

"I am well aware that scarcely a single point is discussed in this volume on which facts cannot be adduced, often apparently leading to conclusions directly opposite to those at which I have arrived. A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question."

Tim Wallace

The TrueOrigin Archive

My response:

Using your line of reasoning, I could do the same with you. I could selectively quote you as saying:

"The Neo-Darwinian macro-evolution belief system finds overwhelming support in the data of empirical science"


"The alternative—biblical creation—fails to find any compelling, corroborative support in the same data."

Therefore, taking these quotes at face value, as you suggest, and notwithstanding your sarcasm, I could reasonably conclude that they don’t mean any more or less than what they plainly say. I’m sure you wouldn’t mind, after all that would be “pedantically pedagogic” of you if you did.

Incidentally, I don’t consider this wasting my time. Frankly, I am enjoying this exchange. I find your “intellectually honest response” quite fascinating.

Tim Wallace’s Response:

Please stop wasting my time with your infantile charade. My "line of reasoning" has never had anything to do with deliberately omitting significant portions of a quoted statement and calling it "face value." Kindly go embarrass yourself elsewhere.

Tim Wallace

Oh but I have incriminating evidence which suggests that it does. I won’t write you again, but I’ll pass our little exchange onto other anticreationists I know and who knows, they may have a few questions for you too. Have a good day.

Jere Yost

If any blog reader has uncovered deception such as this, please send it to me at this address:

Ryansarcade @ (remove spaces)

Thanks Jere!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Dinosaur Blood B.S.

The AiG article started off like this:

"Actual red blood cells in fossil bones from a Tyrannosaurus rex? With traces of the blood protein hemoglobin (which makes blood red and carries oxygen)? It sounds preposterous—to those who believe that these dinosaur remains are at least 65 million years old."

That's funny, if you read the Q&A session NOVA held with Dr. Schweitzer, you would come away with the impression that red blood cells were NOT found:

"Q: It looks as if the T. rex may have nucleated red cells. Is this so?
Judith Chester, Santa Fe, New Mexico

A: Well, there are small, red structures within the vessels that look like nucleated red cells. So on the surface, this is a case of "if it looks like a duck…." But after 70 million years, just because something looks familiar doesn't mean that that is what it is. The fossil record can mimic many things, so without doing the chemistry to show that there are similarities to blood cells at the molecular level, I do not make any claims that they are cells. "

No Hemoglobin. No red blood cells. Remnants of hemoglobin and what appeared to be red blood cells were found. AiG has responded to a reader's doubts on this matter:

"This seems rather disingenuous, since they saw what appeared to be red blood cells under the microscope. Obviously, this was stunning, and it was Dr Horner who, as we cited, suggested to Mary Schweitzer that she try to disprove that they were red blood cells that were being seen by these people under the microscope. The immunological reaction was the factor that, coupled with the histological appearance, made it more than reasonable to claim that these were actual red blood cells (i.e. their remains). As you will see from the rest of this, they have most definitely not succeeded in disproving that these are red cells."

Note that they were unable to disprove that these were red blood cells, they did not prove they were red blood cells. We do not have to prove a negative, it is on them to prove the positive. So basically, AiG is arguing that this point is "rather disingenuous..."; But if it is, why did they have to inflate the finding in the first place?

He goes on:
"It should surely qualify as ‘wishful thinking’ to try to believe that red blood cells and at least part of some hemoglobin molecules could last 65 million years."

Again, not according to her. A North Carolina University News Release had this to say:

"She [Dr. Schweitzer] believes that heavy metals, specifically iron, may have played a role in preserving these structures. Hemoglobin, the protein inside a red blood cell, contains iron, and when this protein breaks down, the iron is released and becomes unstable. When the iron attempts to restabilize, it creates free radicals, which cause “cross linking,” or the binding together, of tissues. In living creatures, this cross linking explains why your skin loses elasticity as you age.

Once cross linking occurs in a cell or vessel, the structure usually becomes insoluble, meaning that it won’t dissolve, and may not degrade further. Schweitzer believes that heavy metal cross linking could be one mechanism by which soft tissues may be preserved within the fossils she’s studied."

Finally, Dr. Mary answered the question about whether this was evidence for a young earth or not:

"Q: Many creationists claim that the Earth is much younger than the evolutionists claim. Is there any possibility that your discoveries should make experts on both sides of the argument reevaluate the methods of established dating used in the field?
Carl Baker, Billings, Montana

A: Actually, my work doesn't say anything at all about the age of the Earth. As a scientist I can only speak to the data that exist. Having reviewed a great deal of data from many different disciplines, I see no reason at all to doubt the general scientific consensus that the Earth is about five or six billion years old. We deal with testable hypotheses in science, and many of the arguments made for a young Earth are not testable, nor is there any valid data to support a young Earth that stands up to peer review or scientific scrutiny. However, the fields of geology, nuclear physics, astronomy, paleontology, genetics, and evolutionary biology all speak to an ancient Earth. Our discoveries may make people reevaluate the longevity of molecules and the presumed pathways of molecular degradation, but they do not really deal at all with the age of the Earth."

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Dear Readers...

I want your opinion. Do you think I should make longer articles (a few pages) more often or shorter ones (a few paragraphs)? Also, do you have any recommendations or suggestions for future articles? Leave a comment telling me what you think! People who aren't registered for Blogspot can also leave a comment under the anonymous title.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Quantum Fluctuation and Something from Nothing

Hello Fellow Genesis Haters! A person commented on my last article and left me with an AiG article to read, so I thought I'd go ahead and refute it. It's another one about the origins of the universe. Read here.(Most of what we will focus on is over half way down the page). Also, leave a comment and let me know if this makes sense.

"Theories that the universe is a quantum fluctuation must presuppose that there was something to fluctuate—their ‘quantum vacuum’ is a lot of matter-antimatter potential— not ‘nothing’."

Note the double negative at the end. So, is the quantum fluctuation nothing or not? The quantum vaccum could count as something. Then the universe would be eternal. The Quantum vaccum might be eternal and unchanging, who knows?

Now for the next part of the article that caught me off guard:
"If QM was as acausal as some people think, then we should not assume that these phenomena have a cause."

Victor Stenger has written an article on whether quantum events are caused, and they may not be.

We all know how Radiometric Dating Works: Certain atoms, like Uranium, spontaneously change into lead. They do this based on statistical laws, so they may not be caused at all. Some decay sooner, and some decay later. No one knows why they do what they do. So it's reasonable to suppose they are not caused.

Now, even if they were caused events, this would not upset me at all. Subquantum forces may have started the universe. Then, we would only have to say that the laws of nature are eternal.

Another bone I have to pick with Safarti:

"Also, if there is no cause, there is no explanation why this particular universe appeared at a particular time, nor why it was a universe and not, say, a banana or cat which appeared."

Why didn't a cat appear? Well, I suppose that it might be because it is highly improbable, or because vacuum fluctuations only produce energy particles.

Why did this universe appear at one particular time? This is a good one. My answer is that firstly the vacuum of space is eternal. With that in mind, quantum fluctuations would have happened all over the universe. Since these fluctuations act on statistical probability, we know that somewhere lots of this would have happened at once. (NOTE: I am leaving the realm of science and going into speculation with this next bit. I do not know for sure, and I am taking an educated guess.) Now, once all of these particles collected together via gravity, they formed the singularity of the big bang. Matter formed afterward.

What does this guy think he's getting away with, who is he fooling? He is refuted with common sense and a few google searches. This is pathetic.

[Keep in mind that I am not saying this view of the universe's origin is correct, only that his criticisms are incorrect. There are a lot of models for the universe, such as the brane hypothesis.]

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Homology: Common Descent or Common Design?

You will often hear creationists criticize homology as being evidence for evolution, because, according to them, it could be evidence of a common designer (eyeroll). Well here's some of my objections to that, and it doesn't so much focus on the similarities that life shares, but the differences that are only explainable via evolution:

* As Michael Shermer pointed out in a debate against Kent Hovind, the fish moves his tail side to side while the whale moves his tale up and down (and when the whale does this he uses the same muscles terrestrial Mammals do when they run). No common design there, but common descent explains this very well.

* Analogous genes. Over half of our genes perform the exact same function as the banana's. So why are they different? Well, if they evolved independently after we split from our common ancestor, the problem is solved.

* Why did God create everything in a nested hierarchy pattern (what we would expect from evolution)?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Answers in Genesis Launches a Weak Attack at a New Cosmological Theory

Some of you may have heard of theories put forth that allow the universe to come from desolate nothingness. AiG has found one of these in Discover magazine, and tries, weakly I might add, to undercut it. [Read here]

The argument for a Universe from nothing is as follows:

"All matter plus all gravity in the observable universe equals zero. So the universe could come from nothing because it is, fundamentally, nothing."

So in essence, the universe is made up of positives and negatives, whose sum is equal to nothing. Basically, if something, some force, divided this nothingness into an equal set of positives and negatives, it would create a universe. We can see that our universe is consistent with this, by the evidence given above. We also know about quantum fluctuations, the temporary appearance of energetic particles out of nothing. When these fluctuations happen, it creates a particle and antiparticle, the positive and the negative.

It blows my mind, but it certainly does make sense and is, in my opinion, (and many prominent physicists') a valid theory.

But AiG won't have it. They don't directly attack this theory, they just state that the article does not give a method for this to happen (probably not true), and then go on to accuse Discover Magazine of making the Fallacy of Equivocation. "If we define the universe as nothing, then it is completely consistent to say that its origin is from nothing. Using this technique, I can prove that black is white, and that night is day."

Can you believe the stupidity and ignorance contained within his statement? We are not defining the Universe as nothing; Our universe is consistent with what we would expect from it if it came from nothing.