Archive for category Evolution

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm Runs Aground

Noah's ArkSo, it emerged last week that a zoo in North Somerset has been criticised for promoting a creationist agenda. The Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm – and the name alone should be setting off alarm bells and red flags in any skeptical listener – claims to represent the natural world as a product of both God and evolution, causing the British Humanist Association to appeal to local tourist boards to cease advertising the attraction.

The BHA have roundly criticised the zoo for undermining the teaching of science – which is a pretty tough charge for the zoo to deny, given that signs around the zoo state that animals hunt and kill food because “man rebelled against God”, and that the “three great people groups” in the world could be descended from the three sons of Bible ark builder Noah.  The bit about three great people groups is especially nice – I can only assume this refers to an absurdly simplistic and offensive generalisation of the whole worldwide gamut of racial diversity. If we’re filling our kids’ heads with nonsense, it’s efficient to try and pack multiple nonsenses into the same punch, I guess. Read the rest of this entry »

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Question of the Week: If humans weren’t here, which animal could take our place?

Humans!

We’re great, aren’t we? Flying around the globe in our artificial vehicles, showing off our large brains and swanky opposable thumbs. We’ve mastered the lot. We’ve left the trees, split the atom, stuck a flag in the surface of the moon and invented the cappuccino. We’re king of the world! Sort of.

No other animal has achieved the position that humans have. We have manipulated our environment to an extraordinary degree, and have used our powers of imagination to create all kinds of never before seen inventions. We can even listen to the ‘noise’ from events that happened billions of years ago! Cool, eh?

But the truth is that despite all this, we’re nothing special. Everything humans can do can be found to some degree in the animal kingdom, we just do more of it and all at once. It’s a matter of quantity rather than quality.

So this week’s question is this: if humans weren’t the dominant species on the planet, what other animal could potentially be in the driving seat?

Of course, evolution is not directed and we could simply be an aberation. The exercise is simply one of imagination. Maybe dolphins could have invented the ocean equivalent of the wheel? Maybe bears and their  big brains would eventually get around to doing something more than catching fish and scaring Heath Ledger off his horse? How about meerkats with their complex social structures? Why stick with mammals. Maybe the world could be run by giant lizards? If you speak to David Icke, that’s already the case…

So, who are the pretenders to humanity’s throne?

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60 Uncomfortable Seconds for Dr. Andrew Parker

In his recent interview in the Metro’s ’60 Seconds’ column on August 4th, Dr. Andrew Parker – a biologist from Oxford University – could have been forgiven if he’d expected a pretty easy ride.  It’s a free paper, it’s a quick interview, it’s bound to be a cake-walk, you might think.  But you might well be wrong…  especially given that his new book is titled ‘The Genesis Enigma: Why The Bible Is Scientifically Accurate’ and claims that Genesis matches the history of the universe so accurately it could only have been written with divine intervention.

As it happens, the interviewer eschews the soft-ball questions you’d expect to find in a quick interview like this, and really pulls no punches – producing what is actually a highly entertaining read.   Read the rest of this entry »

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The View from the Top of the Mountain

Am I paranoid?

Everywhere I look lately, creationism seems to be springing up from cracks in the pavement like the pernicious weed that it is. Back in March, there was a kerfuffle in Hampshire about attempts to push it into the classroom (read about it here), a case worryingly similar to oh so many, from the Scopes trial of 1926 to the Kitzmiller vs Dover School District trial in 2005 (an excellent documentary on this can be viewed here). Every five minutes, random evangelical preachers seem to burst forth from their woo-cocoons to badmouth ‘Darwinists’ and ‘Evolutionists’ as being part of some scientific anti-truth cabal.

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Don McLeroy – standing up to those damn experts

Homo sapiens, humans, us, you and me, are thousands of years old – not personally, of course, but as a species. America was colonised around 50,000 years ago; humans reached Australia within a few thousand years of that time.

Older still, evidence of a 500,000 year-old ancestry to humans, Homo Heidlebergensis has been found in Boxgrove, England.

At least, that’s what the experts tell us.

America (or Texas, to be more precise) has decided to take on these experts. Humans on the American continent at 50,000 BC? A not-quite-monkey-not-quite-man who is 500,0000 year old? Who lived in 497,991 BC? Why, that’s older than the Earth itself! These ‘experts’ trust the collaborating data from dozens of different scientific disciplines, but ignore the one, just one, that doesn’t fit in. The scriptures don’t collaborate. But these experts ignore scripture, they shun the foundations of all our knowledge – when you live on the second floor, you don’t demolish the first floor because the neighbours are noisy!

“I disagree with these experts. Somebody’s gotta stand up to experts that are… I don’t know why they’re doing it.” – Don McLeroy (Source: TFN Insider)

Don McLeroy is standing up to these experts.

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