Monday, 28 February 2011

The Intelligent Design Colouring Book

Hey Kids! It's the birthday gift you've all been waiting for... The Intelligent Design Colouring Book, and (according to the cover) it's 100% Fact free! YEY!!! Check out the description below:
A child’s life is full of both joys and challenges—the infinite wonder of learning, the literal and figurative scraped knees of everyday life, and, of course, deep, penetrating theological terror.

That’s why Pastor Brett of the Mega-Pheasant Heights Assembly Church has created an activity book that will divert those long lazy hours of idle youth into a soul-saving good time. Inside are crafty puzzles, mazes of wrath, and connect-the-dots! Also, the mysteries of God’s creation are revealed and explored, including, but not limited to: why God sometimes does not answer your prayers; why heterosexual monogamy is demanded of us; and why listening to scientists will end with your corporeal destruction and eternal damnation. You will learn the nature of other “religions” as well as how best to crush them. And then there will be juice boxes.

While tradition states that the path to heaven is paved by knowledge of scripture, the doing of good works, and the conversion of heathens, it has recently been revealed that no one can obtain their eternal reward without first obtaining a copy of The Intelligent Design Coloring Book!

It's quite obviously a parody, but if you're still not convinced or have a complete lack of faith in mankind, check out the author's bio:
Before joining the Mega-Pheasant Heights Assembly Church in 2010, Pastor Brett Pirkle headed up the Intelligent Design think tank at American Family Mission. A proponent of corporal punishment, he claims that the Holy Spirit channels God's love into his fist before he corrects the evildoer. The jury did not see it this way.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

A Medical Dilemma for a Sunday Creationist

This is just genius cartoon highlighting the problem of making choices based on your beliefs when they are misinformed :)

 A strip from Doonesbury by Garry Trudeau

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Brontosaurus- Was it a great dinosaur hoax?

In 1874, Othniel Charles Marsh discovered a huge sauropod dinosaur which he declared as a new species. It's name was Brontosaurus. The discovery came during the "bone wars", a period of intense fossil hunting marked by a  heated rivalry between Marsh and Edward Drinker Cope. Cope, among others, was not convinced that Bronotosaurus was a new species, but was actually Apatosaurus. Marsh died in 1899 having discovered around 80 new species of dinosaur, far more species than Cope had unearthed.

However, in 1903, scientists announced that Brontosaurus was not a new species at all. It seems that this news did not reach the general public, nor did it reach the U.S. Post office who issued four dinosaur stamps, including one for Brontosaurus. Even museums continued to use the label Brontosaurus on their exhibits. Many saw this as  promoting scientific illiteracy, and the media enjoyed the scientific scandal. It wasn't until 1974, however, that the name of Brontosaurus was formally removed from paleontology. It is unclear whether Marsh made a deliberate mistake due to his intense rivalry with Cope, or whether it was an accident.

Yet to this day, people still use the word Brontosaurus despite the fact that it is scientifically obsolete. But does it really matter?
Elmer Riggs, the scientist who discovered the  mistake, certainly didn't think so:
"As the term 'Apatosaurus' has priority, 'Brontosaurus' will be regarded as a synonym."

Stephen Jay Gould, in his essay Bully for Brontosaurus, didn't think it mattered much either:
"If you . . . [claim] that our postal service has mocked the deepest truth of paleontology, I will know that you have only skimmed the surface of my field." 
Basically, it's good to know that Brontosaurus is actually Apatosaurus, but it's also good to know that it doesn't actually matter.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

The Saga of Biorn: Not everyone wants to get into heaven...

What does a Viking have to do to get a decent afterlife? Die in battle apparently. But it's not as easy as that when other people think they know what is best for you...

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

The PCR Song: A musical tribute to one of the most important advancements in genetic research.

The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a technique used amplify multiple copies of specific DNA sequences. It was developed in 1983 by Kary Mullis and is now one of the most widely used techniques in the biological sciences (even I use it). PCR provides scientists with a large quantity of pure DNA, allowing scientists to perform DNA analysis even with tiny amounts of genetic material. In additional to scientific pursuits, PCR is also applied to the diagnosis of diseases and DNA-fingerprinting, so its has also made a significant contribution in the fight against illness and crime.

This is a music video made by a company that develops equipment for procedures such as PCR, which humorously highlights how thankful scientists are for this technique.