F Rosa Rubicondior: July 2018

Monday 30 July 2018

The Unintelligent Designer: Refuting the ID Hoax [Update]

$10.75 (£8.45, €9.25) Paperback. $5.95 (£4.55, €5.10) Kindle
How can the malaria parasite, with its hugely complex life cycle and all the internal complexity of its single cell possibly be described as intelligently designed when whatever it was 'designed' for - apparently making people sick, killing children and making more malarial parasites - could have been achieved far more simply?

And how could such a design be explained as the work of a maximally good creator without abandoning science and falling back on a religious superstition including 'The Fall' and 'sin'?

Why do Giant puffballs produce 70 trillion spores just to ensure one or two become new Giant puffballs? Why does every cell in every chicken contain genes for making a dinosaur face and growing a penis only to have them overridden and made redundant? Why do some humans have tails and why do Christmas trees have seven times more DNA than you?

And why is almost all life on Earth dependent on the least efficient enzyme known?

These and many more examples of needless complexity, prolific waste, ultimately futile arms races and sub-optimal efficiency, all refuting the notion of intelligence and design in nature are revealed in my latest book, The Unintelligent Designer: Refuting the Intelligent Design Hoax, which reveals ID to be a hoax, deliberately intended to fool the gullible and scientifically illiterate.

Sunday 29 July 2018

More Holy Kiddie Fiddling

(Former) Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Archbishop of Washington.
"No recollection of abusing boys and men".
Cardinal McCarrick, prominent US Catholic, resigns over abuse claims | BBC News

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, former Archbishop of Washington, and ordered him to a life of seclusion, spent in prayer and penance following the emergence of more allegations of sexual abuse of boys and adults. He is to face a Church trial.

McCarrick, who is 88, claims no recollection of the incidents which last month, Catholic Church officials investigating the allegations described as 'credible'. His resignation means he will no longer have the titles 'Cardinal' and 'Your Eminence'.

Friday 20 July 2018

Fraud of Turin Exposed as Fake - Yet Again

A BPA Approach to the Shroud of Turin | Journal of Forensic Sciences - Wiley Online Library

If it wasn't for the Catholic authorities, with the Pope's cooperation and approval, refusing to accept that what they have on display in Turin Cathedral is not the authentic shroud that Jesus was allegedly wrapped in but a Medieval artefact, possibly a deliberate forgery as this recent paper suggests or a prop used in Early Medieval Passion plays as British historian Charles Freeman convincingly argued, it would have been put into a museum drawer labelled Medieval European Religious Artefacts years ago.

And all this despite Catholic Bishop Pierre d’Arcis writing to Pope Pope Clement VII in 1390 to tell him that the 'shroud' was a forgery.

[The Shroud is] a clever sleight of hand [by someone] falsely declaring this was the actual shroud in which Jesus was enfolded in the tomb to attract the multitude so that money might cunningly be wrung from them.

Bishop Pierre d’Arcis,
Letter to Pope Clement VII, 1390
But here we are again with yet another scientific investigation and yet another conclusion that the Shroud of Turin is a forgery.

In fact, this discovery is not itself particularly new, being presented at the 66th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, February 17‐22, 2014, in Seattle, WA, USA and again at the 67th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, February 16‐21, 2015, in Orlando, FL, USA. However, it appeared in print for the first time here. Regretably, all but the abstract is behind a paywall:

Wednesday 11 July 2018

Yet Another of Those 'Non-existent' Transitional Fossils!

A. afarensis juvenile foot DIK-1-1f.
DIK-1-1f shown in (clockwise from top left) medial, dorsal, and lateral views. To right, dorsal view of DIK-1-1f and the adult A. afarensis foot A.L. 333-115. Scale bars, 1 cm.
A nearly complete foot from Dikika, Ethiopia and its implications for the ontogeny and function of Australopithecus afarensis | Science Advances

Imagine, you're a creationist and you've spent hundreds of hours on the social media yelling at scientists and people who accept what science demonstrates over an over again as true beyond a shadow of doubt, telling them that there are no transitional fossils and that Charles Darwin said this would destroy his theory, and you keep being shown yet another example of a transitional fossil!

Maybe you've even spent hours indoctrinating your unfortunate home-schooled children that 'evolution' had been proved false because of this absence!

What do you do?

Thursday 5 July 2018

Creationists! Test Your Personality With This Simple Test!

Find out what makes you a creationist with this simple personality analysis.

Just note down the letter of the answer that comes closest to your reaction to everyday online experiences. No scientific knowledge is needed and you don't even need to know your holy book. Just be as honest as you can.

What could be simpler?
  1. When you see the word 'evolution' in an online debate do you:
    1. Start typing stuff about the Big Bang, Atheism, life from nothing and evolution being a religion?

Tuesday 3 July 2018

More Malevolence From the Malevolent Designer

Once it enters the cell, the parasite rotates to close the door it has opened. This movement also seals it into a vacuole, a sac where it stays and develops.
© Isabelle Tardieux
A new twist on how parasites invade host cells - CNRS Web site - CNRS

To get a proper perspective on the sort of creature creationists imagine they're worshipping, consider a man in your neighbourhood who obsessively invents and refines ways of making his neighbours sick and frequently killing them, indiscriminately at any age from babies to old people.

He doesn't just do this once but continually and isn't satisfied with just making them sick but tries to find ingenious ways to overcome any attempts his neighbours make to avoid getting sick or reducing the harm he's doing them. The methods he chooses to harm them are invisible to the naked eye; they get into them via their food, in the air they breathe, by being injected by blood-sucking parasites or in any number of ways that are hard to control or defend themselves against.

Australian Catholic Child-Abuse Archbishop Sentenced

Archbishop Philip Wilson
Archbishop Philip Wilson sentenced for concealing child sex abuse - BBC News

Archbishop Philip Wilson, the most senior Catholic cleric to be convicted of covering up child sex abuse by fellow priests, has been sentenced to 12 months detention.

The Archbishop of Adelaide, News South Wales, Australia, was convicted in May of covering up the child sex abuses of his friend and colleague, James Patrick Fletcher, and had been awaiting sentence by Adelaide magistrate, Robert Stone. In sentencing Wilson, Stone said he had shown no remorse.

Monday 2 July 2018

More Pain for Creationists - The Evolution of Testes

Kidney (blue) and testicle (orange) position in elephants, seals and horses.

© Lehmann & Eberhardt/ Senckenberg
The evolution of testes | Max-Planck-Gesellschaft

Crisis? What Crisis?

Creationists frauds continually dupe their credulous marks with the absurd idea that 'evolution is a theory in crisis'. The reason is that this was a central dogma of the Discovery Institute's Wedge Strategy which aimed to spread enough dis and mis-information about science to cast serious doubt as to it's validity in the largely scientifically illiterate American electorate.

This was to be in preparation for the overthrow of the US Constitutional prohibition on an established religion and the establishment of a far-right Taliban-style Christian fundamentalist theocracy in the USA, complete with brutal Levitican laws.

It was of course nonsense; a lie intended to mislead for a political agenda. There is no such crisis in biological science and evolution continues to be the grand unifying theory underpinning much of biology, palaeontology and comparative anatomy and physiology, as this paper, published in PLoS Biology illustrates. It concerns the location of the mammalian testes and in particular why a group of African mammals have retained their testes inside their abdominal cavity instead of having them outside in a scrotum.

As the press release from Max-Planck-Gesellschaft explains:

Hypocrites For Jesus

Ocala Police Chief, Kenneth Gregory (Greg) Graham
Florida city challenges court ruling over police prayer vigil - The Freethinker

As though to illustrate the Christian sense of entitlement, the city council in Ocala, Florida, USA is defending it's beleaguered police chief after a US District Judge ruled last May that the prayer vigil he organised was in breach of the Establishment Clause.

In his judgement against Ocala Police Chief, Kenneth Gregory (Greg) Graham, Judge Timothy J Corrigan ruled:

The government cannot initiate, organize, sponsor or conduct a community prayer vigil. That is what happened here.
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