Subtitle

The Not Quite Adventures of a Professional Archaeologist and Aspiring Curmudgeon

Thursday, April 17, 2008

It's a Bumper-Crop of Idiocy

First, the man who thinks that lame observations about bannanas overturn long-proven scientific fact, and who demonstrates that he knows nothing about evolution by carting out an image he refers to as the "Crocoduck" has a book out which claims to disprove evolution.

Read more at: http://friendlyatheist.com/2008/04/17/evolution-is-a-fairy-tale-for-grownups-says-man-who-believes-in-crocoduck/

And an excerpt is available at: http://www.livingwaters.com/Merchant2/graphics/pdf/Evolution_excerpt.pdf

My favorite part? Where he claims that quote-mining is a valid way of getting at truth because the words surrounding the quote he wants are like the dirt around a nugget of gold.

Let's try an experiment shall we? You are attempting to prove that one John Smith is a murderer. As evidence, you submit the fact that one Nathan Wilson wrote, and this is an exact quote, "Smith stood over the murder victim holding a bloody blade."

Looks bad for Smith, doesn't it? Unless the quote was excerpted from the following paragraph:

"At the Morgue, Dr. Smith, the county coroner, continued his work. Smith stood over the murder victim holding a bloody blade. He had made the incision, and was prepared to proceed with the autopsy."

Rather different, isn't it? But, Mr. Comfort would like you to think that the words surrounding the favorite quote don't matter. Of course, Comfort also hangs out with Kirk Cameron, so his judgement is clearly lacking.

On a similar topic, the professional dogmatists and liars at the horribly mis-named Discovery Institute are out to prove evolution is evil, pretty much as usual, this time using newspaper columns to try to fool people into agreeing with them. I would dissect it and make my gripes, but Sam Ogden has beat me to it, and done a better job than I would: http://skepchick.org/blog/?p=1298



Oh, and on the groovy side, check this out, and attempt to recreate Neandertal speech (and, no, that's not a typo, the correct spelling for the fossil type is Neandertal, no "h"): http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/science/04/16/neanderthal.sound/index.html

I am dubious as to the accuracy of the reproduction - so much of speech is reliant on soft tissue that does not rpeserve, and the relationship between the soft tissue portions of the human vocal system and the hard tissue ain't so simple as many folks think, but the fact that someone is even trying is pretty damn cool!

5 comments:

Melissa said...

The also did the "what does Mona Lisa's voice sound like." I found that more believable than the Neandertal. Maybe next they will look at portraits of Jesus and see what he sounded like. Even though none of the portraits look like him.

The quote mining was fun. I wonder how much trouble I can get into by doing a little quote mining with my friends. Maybe I'll be able to prove that evolution doesn't exist too.

Betty said...

Obviously, you do not live in the south. I have no trouble at all understanding Neandertal speech. It usually starts out, "Get in the truck, bitch." Hawk, spit.

The Berserker Librarian said...

Uhm, where can I get a Crocoduck?

As for Mr. Comfort being an idiot. Seems like. Personally I am betting that he is also in upper management.

BTW... nice to see your blog!

Anthroslug said...

The Crocoduck lives in the hearts of children everywhere!

And thanks for the compliment.

So, Neandertals can get drivers licenses in the south now?

Nancy said...

Leave it to Mike Seaver to consort with loons......