Archive for the ‘Ignunt Fool of the Week’ Category

Ignunt Fool of the Week (Quantum Edition)

This week’s ignunt fool of the week is…

lonelygirl15

Well, actually since lonelygirl15 is a fictional YouTube user can she really be an ignunt fool?

Anyway, here is the ignunt video titled “Proving Science Wrong“:

Description: Does science really have the answer to EVERYTHING? I don’t think so, and here’s PROOF! Enjoy 🙂

“The uncertainty principle states that no one can truly observe the universe in its present state because as soon as you look at it it changes.”

Lonelygirl15

What? Fictional characters can’t look up the Heisenberg uncertainty principle? I mean, I know that they don’t exist but the show’s writers could at least pick up a physics textbook or check Wikipedia, right?

The Heisenberg uncertainty principle states that the more you find out about the location of a quantum particle (like an electron) the less you can know about its momentum, and the more you find out about the momentum of the particle the less you can know about its location. Hence, uncertainty.

Weird stuff, I know, but then… what about quantum mechanics isn’t weird?

For the record… This does not apply to things on the much larger scale of the universe we are currently existing at. It applies at a really really small level.

I would scream “straw man” but the show’s writers probably got their screwed up interpretation of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle because of all the popular New Age stuff that uses the word “quantum”. “What the Bleep Do We Know?” similarly misinterpreted it to say that our consciousness is the only thing shaping the universe around us or something. But again, a lot of the principles of quantum mechanics don’t apply to interactions between big things like you, and me. Both the New Agers and this fictional character are making the mistake of testing quantum mechanical principles on the macro level.

It really, really, really annoys me when people say they’re using science even though they’re full of nonsense. It causes videos like this where people misunderstand what science really says. I mean, I haven’t even had high school physics yet and I know enough to bang my head into the desk when people define stuff like that.

A commenter on the video suggested that maybe she was talking about Schrodinger’s cat and confused it with the Heisenberg uncertainty principle…

I doubt it but I just wanted an excuse to put in my most favourite LOLcat EVER!!!

I commend lonelygirl15 on having disproven the premise of The Secret (quantum mechanics says wanting makes it so), and What the Bleep Do We Know? (positive thinking makes water crystals look prettier) which she had misinterpreted as a science. However, because lonelygirl15 is a fictional character her results in this experiment can’t be published in a peer-reviewed journal so somebody will need to do the experiment again in the real world.

Ignunt Fool of the Week

This week’s Ignunt Fool of the Week is…

The British Media

The title of this article in The Independent reads “Bigfoot: New Evidence” and the sub-title says… “Hairs found in Indian jungle are of ‘no known species’ say scientists.”

Okay, okay, okay… I’m going to take a deep breath now, allow my brain to get oxygenated, and surely this article is just a delusion. Nobody has that poor logic skills, right?

Two things before I continue:

  1. There is no doubt in my mind that there are undiscovered species on Earth. I do not deny the possibility that there is some ape-like primate we have not discovered yet roaming somewhere around the world. I am very open to the possibility that there is some truth behind the myth of Bigfoot even though it gets hyped a lot by people who are kooks.
  2. Just because you don’t know what species the hairs are from does not mean that it is a Yeti. It doesn’t even mean that it’s a primate. It could be any mammal of any order.

It is right up there with the Loch Ness monster: the subject of claimed sightings, passionately promoted by believers, dismissed by the scientific community. But now experts say they have found the best evidence to date that the yeti might – just conceivably – be real.

Oh, oh, oh… and what was that evidence again?

Tests at Oxford Brookes University on hairs which local people believe came from a yeti in an Indian jungle have failed to link them with any known species…

Okay, okay, okay… does that really say it? “Failed to link them with any known species” right? So… since we can’t figure out what it is apparently it’s safe to say it’s most likely a yeti, right?

Ape expert Ian Redmond, who is co-ordinating the research, said: “The hairs are the most positive evidence yet that a yeti might possibly exist, because they are tangible. We are very excited about the preliminary results, although more tests need to be done.”

Oh. The fact that we can’t identify them is positive evidence.

Media sensationalism does not end with The Independent. The BBC even had the good sense to do a story on it though there was a part at the end talking about “disagreement” so it wasn’t as bad… although the guy who gave them the story is… pretty special.

The BBC was given the hairs by passionate yeti believer Dipu Marak, who retrieved them from a site in dense jungle after the mande barung was allegedly seen by a forester for three days in a row in 2003.

Mr Marak says the hairs may provide compelling evidence of the existence of a black and grey ape-like animal which stands about 3m (nearly 10ft) tall.

Mr Marak estimates the creature weighs about 300kg (660lb) and says it is herbivorous, surviving on fruit, roots and tree bark.

What I would be very interested to know is how he determined the size, weight, and diet of this creature by looking at a few hairs.

He could make a career out of that alone! He could get a booth at carnivals and have you bring in cat hairs and then he could guess the weight and size of your cat (and whether you feed them Friskies or Meow-Mix) and if he guesses wrong you win a stuffed animal, preferably from the superfamily Hominoidea (which just means “apes” fyi).

Preliminary test by the scientists in the UK have not so far disproved his belief.

And preliminary observations by astronomers in the US have not disproved my belief in the existence of dancing pink unicorns on Neptune.

The BBC gets a little better at the end…

Both Mr Redmond and Ms Nekaris agree there is “every chance” they could belong to an unknown species of primate.

“Only two years ago a new species of macaque was discovered in northern India. It’s perfectly possible that there are pockets of jungle there where a previously undiscovered primate could exist,” he said.

To The Independent’s credit, it gets better about not jumping to conclusions at the end as well.

If DNA analysis cannot identify the creature, it should be able to work out what it is related to, he explained. “It could easily be an unknown primate, even if it is not a yeti.”

But alas, it seems that we encounter a similar dilemma that we get when defining what “God” is. As Richard Dawkins once said, “If you say that God is energy, then you can find “God” in a lump of coal. Having done a research project on the Yeti in second grade, I know that what people mean when they say “Yeti” could mean a variety of descriptions of some ape-like creature. How do we define proof of the Yeti as opposed to proof of an undiscovered primate?

Zoologists are always looking for new species because when they do find a new species that tends to be really exciting and awesome. Unfortunately, the “cryptozoologists”, though they seem to have a scientifically legitimate search, don’t seem to go about this scientifically.

But y’know… if we find a new species that would be so very exciting to the science nerd within me that I might be able to silence the anger from the skepchick within me at dumb media sensationalism.

Ignunt Fool of the Week

This is a toast which I wrote for Teen Skepchick on questioning people and investigating things for yourself. I also decided that it would make a good Ignunt Fool of the Week.

I have definitive proof that unicorns exist. I’ve heard testimonies from various reputable people who have seen unicorns with their very eyes. There are documents with code names and code numbers of secret government projects involving the investigation of unicorns. I have papers from a bunch of zoologists about resonance biological quantum fields which allow unicorns to have inter-dimensional phase matrices.

If I just said unicorns exist, it would be a good starting point to say “prove it,” but now that I’ve said that I have proof are you just going to be content with that? Or are you going to question me further?

Two nights ago, I went to see a man named Dr. Greer (an actual medical doctor) give a talk on the Metropolitan State College of Denver campus. He wasn’t talking about his specific field, medicine. Instead he was talking about how he had definitive proof that extraterrestrials have been visiting us and that they’ve given us the capability to have sustainable energy.

He wants to get a ballot initiative passed in Denver that will create an “Extraterrestrial Affairs Comission” and get the government to disclose all this information they’ve been keeping secret.

The talk began with a man saying “there are a lot of people out there who want to keep this information secret, so if you read anything out there that is completely negative of what Dr. Greer is saying, obviously they’re part of it.” Since this post isn’t going to be particularly fond of what he’s trying to do, I guess most of the people who heard that are just going to start going on about how I am working for the government without caring for my reasons why I don’t think he has much substance behind what he’s saying.

Most of what he talked about on that stage with a few hundred people packed in the lecture hall was the conversations he had had with people in government who had seen UFOs or who had told him that Eisenhower was hiding information locked away in a little black box which could bring about sustainable energy and world peace.

Besides people diverting their resources which could be spent doing actual science to find sustainable energy, he wouldn’t ordinarily cause harm… except… he wants us to spend tax payer money on his quest to find sustainable energy and our government to support him.

Okay, so the government does stupid things without good reasons, but we ought to do things for good reasons. Since whether or not he’s correct affects the way taxes get spent should we take these words at face value? Or should we ask him for evidence?

We could just absorb all that he’s saying, or we could wonder if there really is any possibility behind his affirmation that we already know how to do things like extract zero point energy and the government just isn’t telling us. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Perhaps we could look on his website to see if he has papers from peer-reviewed scientific journals.

And look! Under “research” there are links to some papers, but do they have any substance in them? Should these links cause us to throw all our support behind him?

Most of the papers are just put up on the website without any reference to having been published in the journal Nature or another reputable journal, but let’s take a look at them anyway.

One of them is by a man named Stanley A. Meyer. The paper doesn’t get off to too great a start with him saying (emphasis added, grammar unedited):

The Law of Change

A law of Physics establishes a proven function based on “Preset” conditions…

Change anyone of the conditions and the law no longer applies…

A “new” law emerges in the consciousness of Physics

Why? … Atoms possess intelligence

Pseudoscience has a talent for abusing scientific terms that people are unfamiliar with to appear as if they know what they’re talking about. If it appears nonsensical, then there’s a reasonable chance that it’s because it is nonsense. I’ve had quite a bit of physics in school and I’ve read quite a bit about it and it appears to me that’s he’s just throwing out jargon so that he sounds scientific even though he hasn’t a clue what he’s talking about.

Now, I won’t pretend to be an expert in physics but, in another paper

Another theoretical breakthrough by Puthoff is the derivation of Newton’s Law (F=ma) from ZPE electrodynamics. It appears to be related to the known distortion of the zero point spectrum in an accelerated reference frame. We therefore have an understanding as to why force and acceleration should be related, or even for that matter, what is mass. Puthoff explains that the resistance to acceleration defines the inertia of matter and it appears to be an electromagnetic resistance. To summarize: the inertia effect is a distortion at high frequencies whereas, the gravity effect has been shown to be low frequency effect, according to the Puthoff theory.

Three things:

  1. How the hell did he get from Newton’s second law of motion to talking about inertia?
  2. The parts of Puthoff’s Wikipedia entry which contain citations (we should be skeptical of the parts which don’t have citations since anybody can add or change Wikipedia) says that he was involved with the church of Scientology in the 70’s and was convinced that Uri Geller had psychic powers (here’s a 9 minute video with James Randi on why he almost certainly is not psychic). Already he doesn’t seem to have much credibility.
  3. I showed this to two engineers I found in an office at the Metropolitan State College of Denver who spent several minutes rereading it before telling me that it didn’t make any sense to them as respectable scientists.

Two more things:

  1. This time I asked people smarter than me to verify that this was indeed gobledy-gook. However, just because it doesn’t make sense doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t actually  have any idea what they’re talking about.
  2. The argument from authority can be a logical fallacy. Just because somebody is a fancy-pants scientist doesn’t mean that they’re not wrong. Ultimately it’s the evidence they use to back up what they’re saying that has weight on what is true. But it seems that he’s not saying anything.

Most of the papers are like this. Non peer-reviewed gobledy-gook which, if it were true, would be revolutionary enough that they could probably get published easily and win nobel prizes.

The lesson here, don’t take the words of people for granted. Investigate for yourself. Ask other people where your knowledge ends. Use logic. Most importantly…

Demand evidence.

Ignunt Fool of the Week

Okay, so I decided not to be lazy after all since I had someone else do this for me. Thank you to Chalmer from the MSCD Atheists group for responding to a commenter on one of my earlier posts.

Here is her comment:

I was certainly never “brainwashed” by “Expelled”. A friend of mine was denied his Ph.D. because it bacame known in his department that he questioned the evolutionary paradigm. I have seen others in the science departments I was in ridiculed if they expressed any doubt of neo-Darwinism. The message was clear. Toe the party line or have your career destroyed. There was no room for questioning.

The point on self-repicating molecules ignores the point that the molecules required for the first cell to exist are enormous, extremely complex and highly ordered. Having a single amino acid in the wrong place in a protein, for instance, can kill the entire cell. The proteins, DNA, RNA, and other molecules must be in a precise order and these molecules are hundreds or even thousands of base pairs (DNA and RNA) or amino acids (proteins) long. In addition the proteins all are made of L- amino acids in a world where amino acids are 50% L- and 50% D- amino acids. How did they all become composed of a single isomer? Again, it is statistically impossible. Impossibility, in statistics, is defined as any event which would occur in less that 1 time in 10 to the 50th power events. (This is a one followed by 50 zeros.)

As I pointed out in my original letter, all these molecules have to come together in the same place at the same time. They also have to be in a particular order, and have the correct isomers. Then they must not be destroyed or changed in any way before they could be surrounded by the lipo-protein envelope. They all have to be just perfect. If you know anythng about biochemistry and cell biology, you know that this is just not going to happen.

I could go on, but I started doubting Darwinism over 30 years ago, and the more study I did in biochemistry, genetics and cell biology, the more I could see that I had been misled for many years. My doubts solidified over many years, until I fianlly realized that the “wizard” (scientists) was really just a man behind a curtain after all, pretending to be all knowing, all seeing, all powerful. Guess what, scientists are just people, they make mistakes, and are too stubborn to admit it just like everyone else. What are they so afraid of that they will not allow open discussion?

I think they protest too much.

And now I hand off the reigns to Chalmer.

“The point on self-repicating molecules ignores the point that the molecules required for the first cell to exist are enormous, extremely complex and highly ordered”

The number of molecules required for the first cell is unknown!  We know that a single cell has certain requirements in order to survive, and these requirements are indeed vast.  However, this is due to a common mechanism in nature whereby different biological agents interact in a voluntary symbiotic way.  Because of the interaction, the agents will begin to specialize.  Those functions compensated for by the other agent will degrade an disappear.  Eventually, the relationship becomes obligate becuase each agent only retained what was being actively used.  This relationship applies to indavidual biomolecules, cells, and organisms.  This is why a single cell has such vast requirements.  All of its molecular components have slowly evolved an interdependency.  For the same reason, you can’t take the liver or brain out of a human being.  However, as an embryo we do, albeit temporarily, survive without a liver or brain.  The cell is a giant clump symbiotic relationships, whose self-sufficiency was dropped as dead weight a long time ago.

“Having a single amino acid in the wrong place in a protein, for instance, can kill the entire cell.”

The operative word here is can.  That doesn’t mean that it will.  Every single gene can be found in a variety of forms within any species.  Whether of not a mutations is deadly also depends on which system it affects.  Some systems or completely necessary and resist change, while others are more of a biological luxury.

“The proteins, DNA, RNA, and other molecules must be in a precise order and these molecules are hundreds or even thousands of base pairs (DNA and RNA) or amino acids (proteins) long.”

The don’t always need to be in a precise order, and often are not in a precise order.  And the length is erroneous becuase creating linear polymers is anything but impressive.  Besides, as I said earlier, most of the obligate precisions or predicted by evolutionary thought, not contradicted by it.  Or objections seem to stem from a single misunderstanding, the dependency can not evolve from independence.

“In addition the proteins all are made of L- amino acids in a world where amino acids are 50% L- and 50% D- amino acids”

Actually, in our world L-amino acids are more common becuase they are less sensitive to light exposure than D-amino acids.  One of the principle means by which we identify isomers is by their interaction with light, becuase most isomers interact with light differently.  If life evolved in an environment with light exposure, this observation makes perfect sense.  Even if it didn’t, this strategy would need to be adopted for evolution to extend its reaches into the light.

“How did they all become composed of a single isomer? Again, it is statistically impossible. Impossibility, in statistics, is defined as any event which would occur in less that 1 time in 10 to the 50th power events. (This is a one followed by 50 zeros.)”

The unfortunate thing about statistics is that is disregards the physical properties of amino acids.  No only are L-amino acids more available, bu systems that evolved to use them exclusively were much more likely to survive.

“As I pointed out in my original letter, all these molecules have to come together in the same place at the same time.”

No, they don’t.  Dependency is an evolutionary development, not a biological necessity.

“They also have to be in a particular order, and have the correct isomers. Then they must not be destroyed or changed in any way before they could be surrounded by the lipo-protein envelope”

They don’t need to be in a particular order.  If that were true nearly ever single person alive today would be dead.  Lots of different combinations can be and are well tolerated.  Isomer selectivity confers an advantage, and this it makes sense that any species that might have lacked it has long since been out competed, if ever they existed at all.  The the cellular envelope is probably a more recent development, which molecular systems eventually learned to interact with.

“They all have to be just perfect. If you know anythng about biochemistry and cell biology, you know that this is just not going to happen.”

To put you at ease, I’m an under graduate in chemistry and biology and near the top of my class.  If you know anything about biochem and biology, you know that molecular properties predict these sorts of developments.  They don’t need to be perfect.  If that were true we wouldn’t have the huge number of discrepancy that we do.  Different bacterial species all have variations of a gene that carries out the same process.  Change is tolerated, and the genome is malleable.

“I could go on, but I started doubting Darwinism over 30 years ago, and the more study I did in biochemistry, genetics and cell biology, the more I could see that I had been misled for many years.”

Your objections are based on misunderstandings, and a lack of knowledge on the subject.  How exactly did you go about you investigation?

Ignunt Fool of the Week

This week’s ignunt fool of the week is committed to a man who is passionately committed to having our splendid country march back into the Dark Ages.

This week’s ignunt fool of the week is…

HIS

Today is indeed a sad, dark day as Governor Jindal decided to value fundamentalist evangelical voters over reason when he signed Louisiana’s anti-evolution (which was also anti-insert scientific theory which conservatives and fundies don’t like here) bill. But what’s more depressing is one of the comments left at the bottom of the article. I have taken the liberty of breaking it down ignunt statement by ignunt statement.

I am amazed at the lack of intelligence by the comments here concerning the THEORY of evolution. Did you not notice the little word “theory”. This is not a proven, scientific absolute.

Don’t you love it when people make fools of themselves as soon as they open their mouths (or start typing sentences)?

I suppose he never noticed the little word “theory” in front of several other scientific theories in his grade-school science textbooks. Ever heard of the atomic THEORY of matter? The germ THEORY of disease? The THEORY of relativity? The THEORY of gravitation? If you want to say that gravity is not a proven, scientific absolute, you are welcome to come with me to anything above oh… three stories with me and jump off. If you jump off, you win!

In fact, if you did some objective research you will find that more & more real scientists are dropping this theory altogether because of the mounting physical, factual evidence to the contrary.

Uh-huh. Real scientists dropping this theory altogether, I see… Except…

Not a single one that I have ever met. At least not a single real biologist, and I have met many. For some odd reason, the majority of scientists who reject evolution aren’t biologists but are chemists, physicists, engineers, and other people who don’t actually specialize in that field.

As for “mounting physical, fatual evidence to the contrary,” I’d like to know why DNA, the fossil record, and all that jazz are completely compatible with evolution.

It is nothing more than a man’s theory !

And you think that your Bible isn’t? What about Greek myths, do you believe that the Greeks made those up? If so, why isn’t your Bible made up by a man?

It amazes me at the lack of integrity people posses in the fact that they can believe in something so whole heartedly, & passionately in something just because “alot” of other people believe in it. This is no different from old wives tales, where people believe in something just because it was taught them & believed in by others. They need no proof or evidence, it’s just blindly accepted & what’s worse is even passionately defended out of pure ignorance.

First of all, the most recent Gallup poll has shown that there’s still a lot of people who believe in creationism. And no, I did not blindly accept evolution.

I in fact had my doubts about evolution for quite some time in grade school. During my middle school conservative phase, I was very much in favour of equal time for evolution and creationism Intelligent Design. But then, in 8th grade I actually read some creationist literature and realized how fucking dumb people like Ken Ham are. It was after that that we studied evolution in my 8th grade science class and the teacher presented us with loads more evidence for evolution. Even after that, I wasn’t sure about some things and I read and read and read books about evolution until all of my doubts (mostly from creationist propaganda which I hadn’t realized was creationist propaganda until then) were answered.

Is this guy going to realize soon that he should be asking himself why he’s blindly accepting his faith?

If you want to believe in something, believe in God & do this whole heartedly & passionately. The real igorance is in shunning God, His love & wisdom in favor of the narrow minded & short sighted wisdom of little men.

Why should I?

Why your God? Why not Zeus, Allah, Thor, Ba’al, Ra, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

This country is messed up & getting worse by the day not because you people can’t get all the politicians to do what you selfishly want but because there is no longer any genuine reverance for the God who created you & this creation in the first place.

Gotta love Jerry Falwell’s quote from September 13, 2001.

How’s this for ignorance ? You liberals do not want religion being taught in schools basically because it is based upon “believing” in something.

No. We (and I’m not a Liberal) don’t want religion taught in schools because this is a secular country. There’s a reason the founding fathers wanted to keep church and state separate and I think you are a good enough reason why. Creationism doesn’t belong in the science classroom because it’s based upon blind faith.

Believing in something that supposedly has nothing factual in this world with which to substantiate it’s validity. Instead you wish to “impose” a BELIEF that there is no one & only true God that created you & me & all that there is in existance. There’s not enough room here, but there is more than enough evidence to believe in God then there is to not believe in God so that it takes more faith to not believe in God then it does to believe in Him. The truth is, not believing in God who has made Himself known to all men, in your innermost being, is more an act of simple deffiance than that of disbelief.

Again, give me a reason why I should believe in your God and don’t just ramble about “evidence”. Present your evidence.

With that being said, I am not a proponent of telling or forcing people to believe in God & neither is God. He gives all people a free will to choose for themselves. Therefore, when it comes to child eductation, there should exist every opportunity for the child to be given the right to choose for himself.This cannot be a legitamate opportunity if it does not contain the true “options”. To force either Christianity or Darwinisim or any other thing is outrageous & hypocracy. If anything at all is going to be exposed to impressionable children it should be done in such a way as to allow them the opportunity to choose just as God Himself proposed in the garden of Eden.

You know, there is a difference between teaching and indoctrination. Children don’t have evolution forced upon them, but they do have to have a basic understanding of it to pass the class. Something which you obviously lack.

Yes, children should be able to choose. But they should also have a good understanding of the subject before they choose, unclouded by creationist propaganda which this bill is obviously trying to inject into the classroom.

I find it interesting that these people make arguments about giving children the right to choose and then label their children as “Christian children” and send them off to Sunday School.

Personally, I think that because it is vertually impossible to present opposing beliefs objectively, I would tend to lean towards not teaching these types of things at all in public schools. The only way this could be done properly would be to “offer” these as electives to be taught by teachers who themselves believe in what they are teaching.

You know, I’d agree. Have a elective course called “comparative religion” or “mythology” where they can study creationism along with Greek creation myth, Mayan creation myth, Lakotan creation myth, Aborigini creation myth, etc. But sorry, science is still going to be a required course.

Praise the Lord !

Fuck your “Lord” with a female seahorse.

RAmen, and congratulations on making Ignunt Fool of the Week!

Ignunt Fool of the Week

This week’s ignunt fool of the week is…

George W. Bush

As if you needed to be told that he’s an ignunt fool.

I’ve been reading The Assault on Reason by Al Gore. In some parts I love him. In other parts, particularly where he tries to make a weak case for the decisions Bush has made in favour of the religious right being motivated more by ideology than by faith, he annoys me. Which makes me wonder why I’m not going to bother making him IFW for this week, but I’ll pass judgement when I’m done…

Anyway, his comments on Bush’s presidency has inspired me to do a special Ignunt Fool of the Week on a few of my favourite things that Bush has done.

  1. The Iraq War – Forged documents to make it seem like Iraq had attempted to purchase yellow-cake uranium and other “evidence”. Something around $875 billion later, no weapons of mass destruction and the country isn’t stable. One good thing, though. That arse, Saddam Hussein, is out of power. Saudi Arabia, North Korea, etc. are still run by tyrannical arses.
  2. Abstinence-Only Sex Education – Teens are going to be having sex anyway. It’s just a question of whether or not they’re going to use condoms to not get STDs or pregnant.
  3. Patriot Act – Nothing says 1984 like ignoring the fourth amendment and disrespecting people’s privacy without a warrant to hunt down terrorists. How many terrorist attacks have been averted by wire-tapping without warrants again?
  4. Torture – As another “fuck you” to the Bill of Rights, let’s torture people!
  5. Etc. etc. ad nauseum – I could go on but I’m too sleep deprived.

And now, just to end with what I think may be the only Bush quote I can agree with…

“Freedom and fear, justice and cruelty, have always been at war, and we know that God is not neutral between them.”

George W. Bush

For a God who doesn’t speak a word against slavery, who sent a flood to wipe out every living thing on Earth, who wants us to surrender reason and freethought for blind faith, who sends anybody who doesn’t believe in His son to an eternity of Hell fire no matter how good they are, you can’t argue with that.

Ignunt Fool of the Week

Firstly, the Ignunt Fool of the Week is normally posted on Friday. Today may be Sunday for you, but we have learned that time is just a social construct (that thing Einstein said about time being relative was just a conspiracy. Pay no attention to the German physicist behind the curtain). So, without further adieu and whatnot, the Ignunt Fool of the Week:

Ignunce. It’s a thing. It’s stuff. It’s whatnot. Short sentences. It has a face. Here it is:

This is John Hogue. He “writes about Nostradamus with the clarity and interpretive accuracy of a kindred prophet.” The preceding link may not be right for you if you are nursing, pregnant, may become pregnant, could be pregnant, are named Mary, may be impregnated by the Holy Spirit, etc. May also cause hypertension and glaucoma.

Now that you’re fully aware of the medical risks associated with clicking on that link, it’s time to learn why John Hogue is ignunt. To start, he claims to be able to predict the future and isn’t Steven Hawking. This is automatically ignunt, but not quite ignunt enough to be an Ignunt Fool of the Week. We do have standards, after all… don’t we?

What makes John Hogue the Ignunt Fool of the Week is found a bit lower on his “biography” page. Within his poorly written excuse for an “About Me” page is enough ignorance to power the planet for at least a year by fueling the Stupidity – Anti Stupidity reactor to the left of my spleen. He claims to be unlike all the “doom and gloom” prophets because he offers solutions to all these upcoming problems. I’m amazed. A person sees a problem and thinks of a solution. So far he’s managed to be hypocritical in a paragraph devoted to proving he’s not a hypocrite.

Later on in this multi – page support of 500th trimester abortion is a gem of unbelievable quality: Him inflating his academic qualifications. According to him,

“I hate writing about myself. Anything said will only have a glass fragment of truth and not present before you the whole mirror reflecting a human being. Fragments held too tightly as the whole truth tend to cut and slice one’s hand. Any identity or label is a piece of the whole person; however, as this is the dark age of Kali Yuga, let us move forward in the darkness of print.Over the past 30 years, I must have studied enough on my own to become a Rhodes Scholar but I attained no degrees, short of the minimum requirement–a high school diploma–in 1974. More than this degree in society’s de-education of my intelligence was too much to bear. The price for a further dulling of intelligence required I assume to many others’ degrees of BS, BMs, acidic PhDs of borrowed knowledge. Thus after a number of interesting adventures, nervous breakthroughs and jumps into the unknown, I currently, and somewhat cheekishly, go by the title “Rogue” scholar.”

For someone who doesn’t like writing about himself, he says a lot. His distaste for acadamia in general is a classic symptom of someone suffering from Those Mean Scientists Wouldn’t Let Me Join Their Smart People Club So Now I’m Bitter Syndrome (TMSWLMJTSPCSNIBS).

He goes on to babble about “awakening people” and “creating true skeptics”. If anything, he’s creating a bunch of mini-selfs: more supposed prophets with even more to be mocked. Of course, it’s more productive for me to focus my mockery on the Queen of this colony of crazy conquistadores (who says alliteration has to make sense?).

Eventually he makes a point consisting of less than 3 Tbsp Stupid and 1 Tsp Baking Ignunce: “People are stupid.” This tiny jewel in his page of patheticfulness (if Steven Colbert can make “truthiness”, I’m claiming patheticfulness) does little to redeem him.

The paragraph,

“Idios also means being ‘special’ or ‘distinct’ from other personalities. I-diocy is what you get when the society seeds the empty skylike being of a child’s soul with the dark rain clouds of a borrowed identity. Nevertheless, if one is aware, one sees that for any identification to exist, it requires its opposite. If society and religion can program you to I-dentify, there is a chance you can deprogram yourself from religious and societal conditioning and experience dis-I-dentification. No matter how dark is society’s hurricane of beclouded thoughts and feelings conditioned to roil life into ego personified, it must rotate around a profoundly becalmed inner eye in its center. That eye in the idiot’s storm can be a window to the larger sky we have forgotten. It is a reminder of the unbearable lightness of being infinite.”

wins the Thrawn Award for the Best Butchery of Philobabble. What it’s supposed to mean I’ll let you interpret for yourself. I think it has to do with pancakes.

Now, he tells us a bit about some things other than his bag of poorly cooked oatmeal he calls a brain, informing us of the nature of his birth. He’s reached neutral idiocy in a paragraph for once. Frankly, I’m shocked.

He has to ruin it, though. It’s just the way he works. He describes his “career in the arts” with much fondness. He just had to leave it to spread his amazing knowledge, of course. His “promising singing career” was apparently not ended by his inability to think and breathe at the same time, but rather his sudden change of career from mediocre performer to abysmal Predictor of Bad Things.

My brain hurts. John Hogue, you is ignunt, hunny.

Bunnies.

Ignunt Fool of the Week

“At this time, a famous British scientist (and creationist), Dr Richard Owen, coined the name ‘Dinosauria,’ meaning ‘terrible lizard,’ for this is what the huge bones made him think of.”

Ken Ham

It may be true that Richard Owen was one of the ignunt fools trying to disprove evolution, a really sexy scientist named Thomas Henry Huxley soon exposed his IDiocy in supporting creationism.

This week’s ignunt fool of the week…

Ken Ham

Ken Ham is, and I hope I don’t get too sentimental here… Ken Ham is the man who got me to be as interested in evolution as I am today.

I first learned who he was when we were researching the conditions of early Earth which eventually gave rise to life in my 8th grade science class. I stumbled upon Answers in Genesis, specifically an article titled “Dinosaurs and the Bible”. Imagine me, in the 8th grade, one year more naive than now, having only completed my 7th grade education, and, admittedly, with a poor understanding of how evolution worked.

But, not poor enough to be laughing my arse off.

Ken Ham, it’s now time for me to give you a science lesson which I should have given you a few years ago.

“According to evolutionists, the dinosaurs ‘ruled the Earth’ for 140 million years, dying out about 65 million years ago. However, scientists do not dig up anything labeled with those ages. They only uncover dead dinosaurs (i.e., their bones), and their bones do not have labels attached telling how old they are. The idea of millions of years of evolution is just the evolutionists’ story about the past. No scientist was there to see the dinosaurs live through this supposed dinosaur age. In fact, there is no proof whatsoever that the world and its fossil layers are millions of years old.”

‘You ignunt fool, Ken Ham,’ I thought to myself, ‘A middle-schooler can see through you!’

Obviously, dinosaur fossils don’t have little labels on them saying “70 million years old” or even “Cretaceous”. But, then again, I don’t have a little label on me saying “15 years old” but you can look at my birth certificate. A horse doesn’t have little labels on them saying how old they are either, but we can look at their teeth to find out.

We have other means of dating fossils besides looking for little labels. We use radiometric dating. Radiometric dating is easy enough for an 8th grader or up to understand. Atoms are made of protons, neutrons, and electrons. The electrons orbit on the outside, and the neutrons and the protons form the nucleus at the centre of the atom.

Some atoms are very big (relatively speaking) and heavy because they have many protons and neutrons at their centre.

That’s a uranium nucleus. Because it’s so heavy, chunks of it come off in the form of radiation and the atom decays into a lighter form. Some atoms decay into other atoms. The half-life is a term that refers to the amount of time it takes for half of a substance to decay into its other form. This is determined through scientific, empirical tests. From there, if you have a knowledge of logarithms and exponential equations, you can calculate how old something is based on how much of the original substance is left.

“Other scientists, called creation scientists,”

Sorry, too much of an oxymoron to take that seriously.

“They imagine that one kind of animal slowly changed over long periods of time to become a different kind of animal…

[M]any fossil experts admit that not one unquestionable transitional form between any group of creatures and another has been found anywhere.

For somebody who has so many citations, you’d expect that he would cite something other on the Bible on at least one outlandish statement.

Yes, Ken Ham. We just “imagined” that some animals changed into other animals. We don’t have any transitional fossils at all! This isn’t a picture of a dinosaur with feathers! No sir! Nuh uh!

Oh, and… evolution doesn’t limit itself to the animal kingdom. All life forms on this planet are subject to evolutionary change. Palaeobotany can be pretty sexy too.

“Evidence of these ‘transitional forms,’ as they are called, should be abundant[!]”

Mr. Ham (can I call you Ken? Mr. Ham sounds derogatory), if it were that easy to fossilize something, don’t you think more little children would be fossilizing their dead pet fish/dogs/cats? If I’m interpreting what Richard Dawkins said to me about me “leaving [my] mark in the world” correctly and I will be come fossilized, I shall consider it an honour greater than personally knocking some sense into you.

When reading evolutionist literature, you will be astonished at the range of ideas concerning their supposed extinction. The following is just a small list of theories:

Dinosaurs starved to death; they died from overeating; they were poisoned; they became blind from cataracts and could not reproduce; mammals ate their eggs. Other causes include-volcanic dust, poisonous gases, comets, sunspots, meteorites, mass suicide, constipation, parasites, shrinking brain (and greater stupidity), slipped discs, changes in the composition of air, etc.

It is obvious that evolutionists don’t know what happened and are grasping at straws.”

Again, Ken… about citing stuff other than the Bible when making outlandish statements…

Now, the great thing about science is nobody is arrogant enough to assume that they have all the answers about everything and that “truth” is unchanging throughout the millennia. Science is always changing and getting closer to the truth, while the Bible remains stagnant and begins to reek of scientific illiteracy as humanity moves forward.

No, I’m going to do something a tad hypocritical. I’m going to remove some of the theories which Ken Ham claims are common scientific theories of how the dinosaurs died based on the ones which I have heard of, assuming that the others are too far out on the fringe.

Dinosaurs starved to death; they died from overeating; they were poisoned; they became blind from cataracts and could not reproduce; mammals ate their eggs. Other causes include-volcanic dust, poisonous gases, comets, sunspots, meteorites, mass suicide, constipation, parasites, shrinking brain (and greater stupidity), slipped discs (sounds like the chiropractors would’ve been raking in more dough if that were the case), changes in the composition of air.

The comet and meteorite theories are really the same thing. Imagine something big accelerating towards the surface of Earth. When it hits the planet, it’s going at a speed of about 72 kilometres per second. This translates to…

BIG BOOM

The impact throws dust up into the atmosphere, blocking the sun, killing the plants (the source of food for herbivorous dinosaurs) and they starve to death. That means “dinosaurs starving to death” will also fall under “comets/meteorites”. We’ll just call that category “Death from the Skies!” which is in no way product placement for a certain book.

Sunspots would relate to climate change, I suppose. When the sun is more/less active the climate changes which is a scientific possibility for how the dinosaurs died.

Volcanic activity has also been blamed for potentially causing a similar effect to “Death from the Skie s!” with smoke blocking out sunlight and all that jazz again.

And… egg-eating has also been blamed. Egg-eating would cause obvious problems for the survival of the dinosaurs.

So we’ve narrowed this down to four scientific possibilities. Sunspots has its evidence because we can see a correlation between the “mini-Ice Age” in Europe and a lack of activity on the sun. We can assume that the dinosaurs may have gone through similar sunspot cycles. But, I doubt that egg-eating could have been rampant enough to lead to the downfall of all dinosaur species so we’ll knock that off (though it may have been a contributing factor).

But, I am now going to provide evidence to support the “Death from the Skies!” theory. At the K-T boundary (it’s a layer between the Cretaceous and the “Tertiary”. The “K” is used so that people don’t confuse Cretaceous with the Carboniferous, and the “K-T extinction” was coined before they changed the geologic periods so that Tertiary wasn’t a geological period of time any more,) there is an iridium anomaly. Iridium is very rare on Earth but common in asteroids in the Solar System. But, at the K-T Boundary, the amount of iridium suddenly spikes.

Also, there is a big crater off the Yucatan peninsula which may be the remnants of an asteroid big enough to cause the mass extinction of the dinosaurs.

There are proponents of lots of theories, as with everything, but there is usually a general consensus and in this case, it’s mostly with the asteroid/comet/death from the skies hypothesis.

But see, we have just walked through the steps scientists used to decide which theory to support over the other. We looked at evidence. We didn’t say “oh, there’s a lot of disagreement, therefore we have no idea!” Meanwhile, Ken went and got his Bible.

It was after I’d read this article that I became interested in the creation/evolution controversy. It was then that I started reading books about evolution to understand it better. Now, here I am today using my primary school science education to expose an ignunt fool. Thank you, Ken Ham!

Ignunt Fool of the Week

This week’s ignunt fool of the week is…

James Randi

Why? He thought that Uri Geller didn’t have real telekinetic powers when he clearly demonstrated his spoon-bending powers multiple times like in this video which eliminates all possibility of trickery!

Alright, alright… Just kidding (and Mr. Randi, if you’re reading this, I’m terribly sorry and I didn’t mean it).

I’m actually dedicating this week’s ignunt fool of the week to everybody who bought into Uri Geller’s claims without investigating them sceptically.

And I know, I know… it’s easy to be fooled, but James Randi was putting the truth out there for years and people still insisted on believing Uri Geller was the real thing.

In the days before the Internet, I suppose it took more effort to research this stuff, but it’s a lot easier nowadays to investigate claims since the invention of… Google.

Google is amazing. Type in something like, say… magnetic therapy. That’s how I first stumbled upon The Skeptic’s Dictionary which turned out to be an amazing resource for the sceptical investigation of claims.

So, in the Age of Google, don’t be lazy. Check on these claims before you decide to be a blind sheep.

Ignunt Fool of the Week

“Freemasons, scientists, same thing…”

Masonic-Conspiracy-Man

“The Van Allen Belt is so powerful that anything that tries to get through it will be fried to crispy bacon.”

Magnetosphere-Conspiracy-Man

“That’s why the moon landings never happened!”

Moon-Landing-Conspiracy-Man

“The only thing that is strange that could come into this Earth would be the Nephelim and Satan!”

Satanic-Conspiracy-Man

“This machine is capable of a very very powerful blast of electro-magnetic power into the Van Allen Belt creating a Stargate…”

Stargate-Conspiracy-Man

Do I have many ignunt fools this week? Nope. Just one.

This weeks ignunt fool of the week is…

Gorilla199

(via Phil, no I’m not creative enough to find YouTube videos on my own)

He believes that the Large Hadron Collider is being built so that we can punch a hole in the Van Allen Belts so that we can be invaded by people from the planet Nibiru.

Damn, there are times when I’m embarrassed to be a Stargate fan (the TV show, not the conspiracy).