Wednesday 21 August 2019

Catholic Abuse News - Cardinal Pell Conviction Stands

Cardinal George Pell. Outside court, wearing prison cloths and clerical collar
Cardinal George Pell loses appeal against sexual abuse convictions - BBC News

Cardinal Pell, former archbishop of Melbourne, Australia, formerly number three in the Vatican and the personal choice of Pope Francis to sort out the rapant financial corruption at the heart of the Catholic Church, has lost his appeal against conviction for child sexual abuse. Pell now becomes the most senior Catholic to be convicted of child abuse offences.

By a majority of two to one, the Australian appeal court judges upheld the conviction last December and dismissed the claim that the chief witness - one of the two whom Pell had sexually abused as a child - was unreliable and therefore there was insufficient evidence on which to convict.

Wednesday 7 August 2019

Big Bat Cave Bother For Creationists

Gomantong Cave, Borneo, Malaysia
Photo: Donald McFarlane

Deep inside a massive limestone cave in Borneo, there is a mound of bird and bat droppings, produced by a constant 'rain' of fresh excrement from the bats and birds that occupy the ceiling of the cave, some 60 metres above.

This is not a place for the squeamish, and probably not a nice place for creationists desperate to believe Earth is just a few thousand years old.

In places, this mound can be 10 to 12 metres high. So massive it it that is sustains a whole ecosystem of cockroaches, microorganisms and other creatures that depend entirely on the fresh guano.

Monday 5 August 2019

40% of Americans Believe in Creationism!

40% of Americans Believe in Creationism.

As though having elected Donald Trump as president wasn't bad enough for America's reputation, we now learn that four out of every ten Americans still believe that a god created modern humans exactly as they are today.

However, hidden in these abysmal figure is evidence that this sorry state of affairs is changing. Believe it or not 40% is close to the historical low for this figure since Gallup began polling on this issue in 1982. Although there is a statistically insignificant rise of 2 percentage point in the last year, this is the third year in a row that the figure has been at or below 42%; a figure only once before bettered with 40% in 2010. Prior to 2008, figures in the upper 40s were the norm.

Friday 2 August 2019

Refuting Intelligent Design Creationism

Lee Thomas Wimberley, MD.
CDesign Proponentsist
On the Emergence of Life | Lee T. Wimberley, MD.

First a little background.

Apparently, Lee Thomas Wimberly, MD, is highly regarded in creationist circles in the social media, though not in scientific circles, where he appears to be a complete unknown. He has written what he believes is a critique of evolution and what he calls 'evolutionists'.

He has a medical degree from the University of Alabama School of Medicine and works as an internist associated with several hospitals in Birmingham, Alabama, USA. He appears to have no background in biological research or scientific research of any kind. He is an 'intelligent design' advocate, in other words, he is a creationist. As his record in the social media shows, he is a Bible-literalist Young Earth Creationist who believes in Noah's Ark, and a 6000 year-old Earth.

Having asked on Twitter why evolution can't explain the origin of life, as though demanding a scientific explanation for one thing - evolution - explain another - abiogenesis - is some sort of rebuttal of the ToE, and having conspicuously ignored the proffered ten-step process by which abiogenesis could very plausibly have happened, Wimberly challenged me to read and comment on his blog.

These tweets are my response, numbered to overcome the limited number of permissible characters on Twitter.

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