Archive for May, 2013

Countdown to ww1: The end of the First Balkan War.

theyounghistorian77
theyounghistorian77
Thu May 30, 2013 9:59 pm by theyounghistorian77

As I am sure you may be all aware, the centennial of the Great War, “the war to end all wars” is looming ever closer. And to mark the occasion, it has been decided that I should commission a series of short posts (such as the one you are reading) to mark the events that led up to it, so here goes. And perhaps what better way to begin this series by marking the signing of the Treaty of London, which was signed on this very day as I type, 100 years ago. A treaty that marked the formal ending of the First Balkan War! What you see below is a map of how what the Balkans looked like, after this Treaty and to commemorate the signing of it, what I am going to do in this post is give you a very basic guide to the territorial changes for the Balkan nations as a result of the first Balkan War. Of course, if there’s anything you feel that I have missed, feel free to point it out to me.

 

Crete was allowed to become formally unified with mainland Greece in accordance with the latter’s demands for “enosis”. Note this: officially the enosis took place during December 1913 with the ceremonial raising of the Greek flag at the city of Chania.

The Treaty of London also confirmed Albania as a independent state in the eyes of the western powers, but this didn’t mean all its peoples belonged to it. Instead, its borders had to be decided by an international commission due to the fact its neighbouring states in the Balkan league also had substantial Albanian populations. And it was this that meant Kosovo (whose inhabitants are mostly ethnic Albanian) would come into the fold of the Kingdom of Serbia, for example. So one can easily guess Albanians have a mixed opinion of this treaty? For a brief time (until WW1) the ancient port of Vlorë was made the new capital and its politics resembled a western style monarchy, lasting until 1925 when Albania became a republic.

As for the Kingdom of Serbia, it got from the war and the Treaty of London a practical doubling of its territory, through expanding southwards into Kosovo and Macedonia, although the Kingdom was frustrated by not having a slice of the Adriatic coast. This, with a growing Serb nationalism and dreams of all the Serb peoples united under one single state, was not healthy. And this nationalist dream included all the Serbs residing in Bosnia and Herzegovina which at the time was under the jurisdiction of the Austria-Hungarian Empire through it being annexed in 1908. This dream would go on to have ramifications with regards to the assassination of Archduke Franz-Ferdinand, But I think I can save this for another time. I would also like to note that Serbia also shared its spoils in the region of Sandžak with Montenegro and thus the latter got a slight expansion of its territory.

As for Bulgaria, it got territorial expansion to include Black and Aegean sea coastal regions thus becoming the largest of the Balkan nations, as you can see on the map, yet was left physically weak due to it’s large role in securing the Balkan league’s victory over the Ottoman Empire

And finally? Perhaps one should spare a thought for the suffering peasants of Macedonia who did not get any independence! Instead, their land became a flashpoint of conflict between especially Bulgaria and Serbia over who should own what part of it. But I think I might just save my thoughts about the second Balkan War for another time.

Rebuttal to Ian Juby’s “’In 7 Days’ Crash Course in Creation” Day 5

he_who_is_nobody
he_who_is_nobody
Mon May 27, 2013 8:15 pm by he_who_is_nobody

Read part one, part two, part three, and, part four.

Day 5:  Dinosaur Egg Nests: An argument against a global flood?

I’ve had numerous skeptics try to use dinosaur egg nests as an argument for an old earth, and to counter the claim that the rock layers we see around the world were formed by Noah’s flood.  After all, if those layers were made by Noah’s flood, how did the dinosaurs lay nests on the bottom of this raging, world-wide ocean?

 

I have actually never heard this argument made against creationism, but it is a good one. Truly think about a flood and how destructive they are, even a small-scale one. Does anyone truly believe that a nest of eggs would be preserved during a flood of any scale?

Such comments betray a lack of knowledge of what the Bible says, and what Noah’s flood would accomplish, how, and when.  The Bible indicates that Noah’s ark did not float until the 40th day after the start of the flood – that’s almost a month and a half! (Genesis 7:17)  During the flood of Noah, tides would still be in effect – in fact, they would be enhanced as more and more of the land becomes submerged, and thus resistance to the tides become less and less.

Thus, every twelve hours, you have a tide flowing inland, laying down a new layer, and then flowing out during low tide.  Because the waters of the flood are continually rising, the next tide that comes in will be higher than the last, and so it lays down another layer.  During low tides, dinosaurs, people, and other animals will go out onto these new tidal flats as they forage for food or try to get to higher land.  Footprints are made during this time, which harden into rock and become fossil footprints.

Dinosaurs carrying their eggs during this time ( a period of weeks at least) are going to do one of two things: They are either going to ditch the eggs, or try to lay a nest.

 

I will not argue against a global flood having larger tides, and I will just accept his premise. This leads to an experiment that Juby can perform in order to verify his hypothesis. Juby could take eggs from various species of birds and other reptiles today, place them in mock nests in a tidal zone and record the experiment. He can see whether the force of the tides bury the nests or destroy the nests and move the eggs to different areas. Since Juby believes that the tides would become larger and larger as the flood went on he can also try this experiment in different locations (e.g. Minas Basin, in Nova Scotia) in order to truly test his hypothesis.

Now, Juby travels around the U.S. and Canada with his traveling creationist museum. During his travels, he could stop at different coastal cities and perform his experiment in order to verify the claims he is making. The fact that Juby has not already done this speaks volumes about how much stock he actually holds in his hypothesis. On the other hand, Juby is a creationist; they never perform experiments to test their hypotheses.

Furthermore, Juby alludes to the tides during this worldwide flood creating different sedimentary layers, thus accounting for the geologic column we see today. This is a very sophomoric look at sedimentation and does not account for major features found in the geologic column (i.e. angular unconformities, lava flows, eolian sandstone, and shale; just to name a few). Additionally, flooding would sort sediment by grain size and in many places in the geologic column; this is simply not the case.

On the right is a reconstruction of an Oviraptor egg nest.  Most dinosaur eggs are found in a disordered state, not an ordered one like this.  We will focus on the “ordered” nests here.
This nest would be a text-book example.  The Oviraptor apparently stood in the middle of the circle, and apparently laid eggs in pairs, toward the outside.  It would then rotate, lay another two eggs, rotate, lay another two eggs, etc… It would then sometimes lay a second level on top of the first circle, and sometimes a third level.

 

Juby claims that Oviraptors laid eggs in pairs yet cites no evidence to support this claim. Based on birds and crocodilians (the closest living relatives to dinosaurs), I highly doubt that Oviraptors would have laid their eggs in pairs. Nevertheless, I digress, where is Juby going with this?

Oviraptor was originally so named because it was found associated with some dinosaur eggs.  The evolutionary assumptions of “Survival of the fittest” and “there has been no global catastrophe” led to the conclusion that it was stealing the eggs for food.  This led to the name Ovi-raptor; ovi for egg, raptor for thief.

Later on however, an identical egg was found with an embryo still inside of it.  As it turns out, these were Oviraptor eggs!  It wasn’t stealing the eggs for food – it was the mother trying to protect the nest from whatever catastrophe buried it and the eggs together!

 

There is just so much wrong in this, it is hard to know where to start. First, there have been several mass extinctions in earths passed, and paleontologists have often speculated about some sort of global catastrophe behind all of them. Juby is just upset because a global flood is not one of them. However, Juby is correct in pointing out that the eggs belong to Oviraptor thus the name is misleading. Nevertheless, what Juby does not tell you is that the people who corrected the old ideas of Oviraptor being an egg thief were actual scientists, not creationists. I do not understand why Juby thought this was relevant to point out.

The evolutionary assumptions of these finds is still evident, even in the wikipedia article on Oviraptor citipati.  This was an Oviraptor found buried alive sitting on its nest:
“This brooding posture is found today only in birds and supports a behavioral link between birds and theropod dinosaurs.”

Wait a minute – was it in a brooding posture, or did it have its arms wrapped around the nest to protect it from the flood that buried it alive while sitting on top of the nest?  Even the evolutionists agree it was a flash flood that buried it alive while sitting on its nest.  But the evolutionary beliefs (that of dinosaurs evolving into birds) are assumed, whereas the catastrophic interpretation (which is more logical) is ignored.

 

Juby seems to be missing the point of the fossil cited, he even admits that the Oviraptor was sitting on its eggs, something birds do and other reptiles do not. Whether this fossil was formed by a flash flood, sandstorm, or global flood it appears the Oviraptor was in the brooding posture.

Furthermore, Juby also fails to understand the vast amount of evidence that links therapod dinosaurs, such as Oviraptor to birds (e.g. feathers, hollow bones, skeletal anatomy, etc…). In addition, Juby believes that a wall of water (which would be produced in a worldwide flood) burying this Oviraptor in the brooding posture is logical. Does he not understand the physics that goes into a flood (small or large scale)?

Next, we move onto Juby’s biggest blunder of this whole crash course:

Here is another example of an Oviraptor “nest” found in Montana.  The eggs are again laid in pairs, but apparently this Oviraptor laid its eggs on the run!

This is, again, the more logical explanation – but in the original article on this “nest,” the authors claim (for some inexplicable reason) that the Oviraptor re-oriented the eggs in this position.  You see, an evolutionary perspective is programmed into you in school and via the media.  I’ve been a hard-core, young-earth creationist for almost 20 years now, and I still find myself having to de-program myself of my evolutionary assumptions that I was taught when I was younger!  Evolutionary assumptions that were colouring my world-view, and I did not even know about them.

 

First off, Oviraptors are found in Mongolia, not North America. Second, there is a reason why Juby does not cite the article in this lesson, and that reason is that the eggs seen above come from a Troodon, not an Oviraptor. Juby’s inability to honestly portray the evidence speaks volumes about his character. Potholer54 has a wonderful video about this specific claim from Juby.

Juby, it does not seem like you are deprogramming yourself, it seems like you are willfully deceiving yourself, and others, into believing in creationism. This blatant misrepresentation can only be interpreted as a lie and I do remember how Juby felt about being lied too.

Our last nest we’ll look at today comes from a Hadrosaur.  Again, the Hadrosaur apparently stood in the middle and laid its eggs in a circle.  However, notice how the eggs in this nest were laid – each higher than the last?  Apparently between the time the first egg was laid and the last one was laid, there was mud rising around the ankles of the dinosaur!  In fact, the highest egg was actually a polystrate egg – the rock layer cut right through the middle of this egg.

Again, clear evidence of eggs being laid in catastrophic conditions, when apparently the dinosaur had no other choice.

 

This is not clear evidence of a catastrophe, at least not one that Juby thinks happened. Everything that Juby attributes to the fossil I can agree with, it does appear that the Hadrosaur laid its eggs in a muddy area, leading to the polystrate egg (remember polystrate fossils are not what creationists wish they were). However, making the leap from this fossil to global flood does not follow from the evidence.

Floods are seen in the geologic column and they leave evidence behind. The fossil evidence Juby points out in this lesson is not the type of evidence we would see for a flood. Again, if Juby wants to make a case for a global flood, he needs to start with the sedimentation and point to a layer in the geological column that, not only is created by a flood, but stretches around the world and dates to the same time. Without evidence like this, one cannot claim evidence of a global flood.

Coming up in the next lesson:
Nothing changes….

Education: Some facts

Inferno
Inferno
Wed May 22, 2013 10:00 pm by Inferno

Education has been around since before written history. In one form or another, people have taught other people about stuff they know, and sometimes even about stuff they don’t or can’t know.

Real “education for the masses” has been around for only a relatively short time, since the enlightenment. I’ll talk about the enlightenment specifically in a future post, so I won’t lose time here on the why’s and how’s. In Austria, we owe our first real school reform to Maria Theresa, Empress of Austria, in 1775. She made education compulsory for all 6 to 12 year olds, which was really revolutionary in these days. She caught a lot of flack for that.

Today in the world, we have a total literacy rate of roughly 85%. That number is slightly higher for men (88.5% in 2011) and lower for women (79.8% in 2011). I won’t talk about this here, though I will remark that this imbalance is atrocious.

Global Literacy Rates in 2011

One will note that the highest one gets in this graph is “>97%” literacy. That might strike some as odd, but remember that there are a fair number of people who can’t go to school, for one reason or another, and there is a surprisingly big number of functional illiterates. (That is to say, people can’t read and write well enough “to manage daily living and employment tasks that require reading skills beyond a basic level.”)

Functional illiterates are often thought to make up anywhere between 3% and 99% of the population. In less economically developed countries (LEDC’s), to give them their proper term, the numbers of literacy in itself is low (26.2% for Mali in 2009, see page 174) and the percentage of those 26% being functional illiterates may also be high. More economically developed countries (MEDC’s) tend to have higher literacy rates (usually calculated as 99% for the HDI), but may have huge rates of functional illiterates. Wikipedia claims nearly 50% for Italy in 2003, to name but one example.

These estimates are almost certainly too high. Official figures estimate about 200,000 to 400,000 functional illiterates (plus about 80,000 illiterates) in Austria, so anywhere between 2.5% and 5%.

How many people enrol in school? The numbers are a tad more difficult here. We would need to differentiate between different ethnic groups in the US to do this topic justice, but I don’t have time for that. The general trend is: Whites enrol more than Blacks than Hispanics. (Note: I am using the language from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).)

At most 40% of the population are enrolled in preschool, generally over 90% are enrolled from ages 7 to 17. Then, the numbers drop rapidly. About 30% of the population continue some kind of tertiary education, though half of these are 2-3 year courses. Only 16% of adults are still enrolled between the ages of 22 and 24 (generally the time needed for a Masters or equivalent), compared to about 25% of the population in Finland.

Another thing is worth mentioning in this post: PISA. Arguably the most important assessment of secondary education today is the PISA study. Done every three years, it sets out to test students in three areas (Reading literacy, Mathematics and Science) in a standardized manner. Among the top five countries (well, regions really) in the last few years were almost always Finland, Shanghai, Hong Kong and South Korea.

Now I don’t have data on South Korea’s system of education, nor on Hong Kong or Shanghai, but I think it’s fairly safe to expect that these countries are strongly influenced by at least one socialist trend: Long compulsory education for everybody. It’s certainly true for Finland.

If you want to learn more about various education systems in the EU, I suggest Eurypedia.

I want to end on a slightly depressing note. Research shows (unsourced, I think I read it in Hattie 2007) that between 60-80% of learning achievement can be predicted by looking at the background of children. (Note: Pasi Sahlberg claims about 2/3rds, so my figure is fairly accurate.) Are they from a rich family? Does the family care about education? Do the parents hold at least one degree?

This is a travesty in two ways: It means that, no matter what teachers and the education system of today are doing, we will almost certainly lose a large portion of the children. I hope that we will find ways to make this better.

Second, it means that economic inequality has lasting consequences on your descendants. That’s unacceptable, or should be. Society should work towards making society more equal. All working toward a common goal… wouldn’t that be nice?

In future posts, I will be talking about teaching strategies, effectiveness of teaching, the Hattie study, the politics of education and different systems of education. I want to use this post as a starting point for these later discussions.

The EU wants to restrict seeds!!!1!!!one!!eleven

Inferno
Inferno
Wed May 22, 2013 9:59 pm by Inferno

No reeeealy, believe me! It’s a petition after all. Here’s one of many Austrian newspaper articles on the topic.

The EU is the ultimate force of political evil in the world, we all know that. The EU wastes trillions of Euros every year on full body scanners, requires women to hand in their old sex toys and otherwise tries to infringe on our freedoms.

I am, of course, being only slightly facetious. If you look at the number of myths about the EU made up by newspapers since the early 1990’s, you might find yourself slightly overwhelmed by the stupidity floating around. One of the more ridiculous myths suggests fishing boats must carry a minimum of 200 condoms so the sailors can practice safe sex.

In short, the amount of nonsense about the EU floating around the media is staggering. If you see a story about the EU, be slightly weary.

However, I want to get back to the seeds I mentioned at the top. There is currently a lot of fear, at least in Austria, about the EU interfering with biodiversity and farmers’ rights to own/use/sell particular types of seeds.

The tabloid “Heute” “reported” that the EU wants to once again strip us of our God-given rights. Well, you can already see where this is going. The charges are the ones mentioned in the petition above: Basically, various rare seeds are to be restricted. That means no more green tomatoes and red cucumbers, etc. etc.

There’s only one problem with these allegations: They’re simply not true.

The EU law was only concerned with the compulsory registration of these seeds and the creation of norms guarding the safety and quality of them. The old, rare seeds would still be available to collectors and small enterprises, just like in the already existing laws. In short, nothing would change except that you would have to report which seeds you were planting and buying.

This was recently reported in “Der Standard”, quoting Mr. Borg: “Die Kommission schlage lediglich eine Vereinfachung der Meldepflicht vor. Ausgenommen von den EU-Vorschriften ist der Einsatz von Saatgut für private Zwecke.”

And in English: “The Commission merely suggests a simpler way of notification requirement. These prescriptions do not apply to the use of seeds for private use.”

The prescription (not a law!) has since been amended, though neither drastically nor have any of the points changed in their essence. And yet, this is counted as an “Austrian victory against the EU”. (Minister of Agriculture, Niki Berlakovic)

When will people stop talking crap and just take the time to research what is actually said?

This leads me to another point. The other day, I was talking to my uncle. He said something along the lines of “We need to know WHY laws are being passed. But companies will continue to prohibit that knowledge because that would interfere with their profit margin.”

I call bullshit on that, but that’s not my main point. I disagree with the “why?”. We do not need to know why a law is passed, at least not as a first step. Far more important is the knowledge WHAT is suggested and HOW that affects us. Knowing the exact details is often far too complicated and really up to experts, but we should be able to understand the broad gist of the laws and prescriptions, not only of the EU but most importantly in our own country. Currently, we are light-years away from that goal.

In two future posts, I will suggest ways to achieve that goal.

Disproving Genesis

Frenger
Frenger
Mon May 20, 2013 6:30 pm by Frenger

Recently, Dr Joseph Maestropaolo, a Calfornian Creationist, pledged $10,000 of his own money to anyone who could disprove the literal word of Genesis. While the challenge is rigged with more booby traps than a Marks and Spencer’s lingerie section, I thought it would still be fun to disprove Genesis, chapter by chapter over a series of blog posts. So, here we go.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

For the time being, I’m going to gloss over the concept of god. Personally, I don’t see any evidence for such a being, but this isn’t the point of the series.  The point is that Genesis is in direct conflict with what we know about the Universe and our species from evidence.

So, in the beginning, there was the heaven and the earth. As Heaven isn’t defined here I’m at a loss of what to do with it, so I’ll simply ignore it until a more concrete description is given. The Earth however, is something we can work with.

The Earth, is 4.5 – 4.6 billion years old. We know this by dating meteorites surrounding the earth using Lead isotope systematics. As Claude et al show;

The PbPb ages of the most radiogenic compositions measured in Allende refractory inclusions range from 4.568 to 4.565 Ga, the PbPb ages of secondary phosphates in equilibrated ordinary chondrites vary from 4.563 to 4.504 Ga, and basaltic achondrites show ages between 4.558 and 4.53 Ga.

Sauce

Of course, the Earth will be slightly younger than primitive meteorites, about 0.1ga. This is due to a series of processes that will need to take place before Earth can be recognised as Earth, such as core formation, end of accretion, atmospheric extraction etc.

So, I could stop here, as in the beginning god made meteorites, waited a bit, then through a series of processes made Earth. However, I want to show that our Universe is MUCH MUCH older than our planet.

The recent WMAP (Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe) mission from NASA produced results showing the Universe to be around 13.77 Billion years old (sauce). This is likely the most precise measurement to date, although other systems of measurements have produced similar results.

By measuring the Cosmic Microwave Background, Knox et al were able to show the age of the Universe to be 14.0 ± 0.5 Gyr.

If Ωtot = 1 and structure formed from adiabatic initial conditions, then the age of the universe, as constrained by measurements of the cosmic microwave background (CMB), is t0 = 14.0 ± 0.5 Gyr. The uncertainty is surprisingly small given that CMB data alone do not significantly constrain either h or ΩΛ

Sauce.

So, the Earth is 4.5-4.6 Billion years old along with the rest of our solar system. However, the Universe is, according to new estimates 13.77Gyr. Unless it can be shown that Earth was static and the Universe was built around it, I would suggest that in the beginning, god did not make the Earth.

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters

That the Earth was without form and void, leaves me to believe it didn’t actually exist. But glossing over that, we’ll look at the next two points.

“Darkness was upon the face of the deep”. Well, according to the Nebular hypothesis, the Earth formed out of the solar nebula left over from the formation of the Sun. This would suggest then, that the Sun was producing light as a bi-product of nuclear fusion during Earth’s accretion, and therefore darkness would not be upon the face of the deep.

“And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters”. Again, I’m not here to look at the claims made concerning spirits, gods, afterlife’s or anything super natural, so I shall miss out the spirit of god in this instance, however, that he moved upon the face of the waters, is up for scrutiny.

According to Genesis, we are still in day one, a day in Earth terms being 24 hours, or the amount of time it takes for Earth to spin 360o on its own axis. However, according to Mojzsis et al, evidence of water has only been found as far back as 4,300 myr

Here we report in situ U–Pb and oxygen isotope results for such zircons that place constraints on the age and composition of their sources and may therefore provide information about the nature of the Earth’s early surface. We find that 3,910–4,280 Myr old zircons have oxygen isotope ( 18O) values ranging from 5.4 0.6 to 15.0 0.4 . On the basis of these results, we postulate that the 4,300-Myr-old zircons formed from magmas containing a significant component of re-worked continental crust that formed in the presence of water near the Earth’s surface.

Sauce

So, with this being the earliest evidence of water on the surface, we are left with around 200 myr where the planet was too hot for water to form as liquid. Therefore, would not have been present on the same day as the Earth’s formation. It will be said that a day is relative, and that days were longer back when the Earth was formed some 6,000 years ago, however, the Bible makes no reference to this, and so we take it literally as is asked by your man Joseph.

Part of me wants to carry on, although I’ve already hit nearly 1000 words debunking only 2 sentences. Therefore, I’ll save the “let there be light” for next time, as I want to go into that in some depth.

Comments and addition always welcome.

Rebuttal to Ian Juby’s “’In 7 Days’ Crash Course in Creation” Day 4

he_who_is_nobody
he_who_is_nobody
Mon May 20, 2013 6:29 pm by he_who_is_nobody

Read part one, part two and part three.

Day 4:  Dinosaurs and the flood of Noah

Meet “Big Al.”  Big Al is an Allosaur (Allosaur means “different” or “strange” lizard) from Howe Ranch of Wyoming.  He was found in the “Death pose” – his head was arched back as far as it could go.
This is common in the fossil record.  Technically known as the “Opisthotonic” posture, it is a sign of being asphyxiated to death and rapid burial.  In fact, the rapid burial may have caused the suffocation that caused the opisthotonic posture!

 

First off, it is rare to find an animal as large as Allosaur articulated in the fossil record. I am not saying that it is impossible, but seeing as how Juby does not provide a picture of the actual fossil in situ is quite telling (especially since he does provide pictures of the fossils for all the other examples he has. Second, this is common only among articulated specimens. The vast majority of fossil specimens discovered are disarticulated, meaning they were not rapidly buried. If Juby is truly trying to claim that all the animals found in the opisthotonic position are evidence of a flood, than that would mean specimens discovered not in that position and disarticulated specimens would be evidence of not dying in a flood.

Third, suffocation is not the only reason for an animal to end up in this position. When animals die their tendons and mussels can retract or relax pulling the body into different positions. This seems to be the more likely cause for the death pose simply because the tails along with their heads are pulled back towards the body. I will leave it up to the reader which they think caused the vast majority of the death poses seen in some fossil specimens, but either way, it would not be evidence of a worldwide flood nor would a world wide flood disprove evolution.

One last thing, Juby suggests that the rapid burial of an animal may have caused the suffocation, which caused the opisthotonic position. Does Juby truly believe that an animal would be able to move once it is incased in sediment and has tons of water over head? This seems to be a very asinine suggestion, one that would only be suggested by someone who does not understand just how much sediment and water weighs.

For example, Archaeopteryx – the supposed half-bird/half-reptile is also found in the death pose.

The death pose was common enough that some tried to speculate as to the cause – perhaps it was the result of the creature lying out in the desert, and the tendons dried up, pulling the head back?  But this does not stack up to the evidence, as the backs of the legs of these creatures also have large, strong tendons – and the legs are found in various positions.

 

Again, a case-by-case examination of the fossils would have to be done for each fossil to determine weather the animal died in a flood or by other means. I do agree that the Archaeopteryx specimen shown above probably was not lying around well the tendons dried up (I say this because of the fossilization of the feathers, which suggest rapid burial). However, I also do not think this specimen is fossilized in the position that it took its last breath in. Look how far back the head is from the body. It seems to be in a very unnatural position.

A new addition to the collection of the Creation Science Museum of Canada was this Coelophysis, coming in at almost four feet long, from the Ghost Ranch of New Mexico.  Hundreds of these dinosaurs have been unearthed there, and I do not know how many were found in the death pose, but I think it safe to say the majority of them.

 

I have been to this site and seen several specimens of Coelophysis from there. The fossil replica that Juby uses here is easily apart of the most famous fossil collected from New Mexico. Here is a photo of the actual fossil on display at the American Museum of Natural History:

What is that above it you ask? Well, that is another Coelophysis, which is not in the death pose. Juby also said he did not know how many were found in the death pose, but it seemed he should have at least known one of them was not. Again, together, those fossils make up, arguably, the most famous fossil specimens ever to be discovered in New Mexico. Furthermore, here is more evidence that the Coelophysis from Ghost Ranch are mostly not found in the death pose.

 photo 2013-03-03091919_zpsaa913bc8.jpg

That is the Coelophysis exhibit at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. The photo below shows what the animals would have looked like fleshed out.

Only two of them appear to be in the death pose. Yet, it is thought the Coelophysis remains from Ghost Ranch were produced by a flash flood. The animals would have gathered around a dried/drying riverbed and a flash flood would have washed them down stream drowning them in the process. The river would have washed their bodies onto a bank were they would have been rapidly buried by the river. Furthermore, at the site there is evidence of multiple deposits of animals being drowned in flash floods, this was not a one off event, which we would expect from a worldwide flood. One is able to tell flash flooding caused this by the way the sediment is deposited.

However, it is not just the land animals that are found in the death throes.  These fossil fish are part of Edgar Nernburg’s collection in his creation museum in Calgary, Alberta.  What would cause these fish to arch their backs while they were buried so fast that they were captured in that position?

 

Juby seems to be suggesting that the sediment that trapped them suffocated the fish displayed in this fossil. Again my question to Juby would be does he really believe that these fish would have been able to move buried alive under sediment and water?

Anyone that has lived/visited a desert can tell you why those fish appear the way they do, and it is because they were stranded on land and dried up in the sun, very common site to see in the summer here in New Mexico.

The extent of the layers containing these fossils, combined with the way we find these animals is excellent evidence for a global catastrophe, specifically, a global flood.

 

No, it is not, and for the simple reasons I have pointed out above.

The Bible records a global flood at the time of Noah, yet the evolutionary interpretation of these layers is that of deep time, and not a global flood.

 

Again, Juby is conflating evolution, and in this case, I would say he is not only doing it with geology, but with modern science. Second, the bible says many crazy things, and frankly, no one who cares about science or history should take it seriously. Thus, I do not understand why Juby thinks citing it as evidence matters in the least.

I had been arguing for the death throes being evidence of catastrophe, and evidence for Noah’s flood, for several years.  I was greatly pleased to see the July 2007, Journal of Paleobiology article by Kevin Padian and Cynthia Faux.  The pair of scientists had carried out various experiments on muscle and tendons from the butcher shop, salting them, drying them, soaking them in water, etc…
They concluded, after many experiments, that the “death pose” was the result of pre-mortem activity.  In other words, it was death throes, followed by rapid burial which preserved the position of the animal.

 

As I stated before, for every specimen found in the death pose, we have several others that are not. In addition, as I have shown with the Coelophysis specimens from Ghost Ranch, the death pose is not good evidence of flooding, sedimentation is. Thus, I wonder why Juby is wasting our time with death poses in dinosaurs when he should be able to present the sedimentation of a worldwide flood.

Furthermore, one wonders why Juby had never carried out the experiments to show that suffocation is a cause for the death pose. One guess would be because Juby is a creationist; they never perform experiments to test their hypotheses. That is to say, they never perform experiments to test for anything.

Coming up in the next lesson:
Dinosaur Egg Nests: An argument against a global flood?

Rebuttal to Ian Juby’s “’In 7 Days’ Crash Course in Creation” Day 3

he_who_is_nobody
he_who_is_nobody
Mon May 13, 2013 5:59 pm by he_who_is_nobody

Read part one and part two.

Day 3:  Dinosaurs & Humans step on evolution

 

In this lesson, Juby recites a list of well-known and refuted creationist claims, essentially covering the Greatest Hits (complete with pictures!) from the Talk.Origins “Index to Creationist Claims.” The Talk.Origins page adequately covers the claims made in this lesson, so I will give brief rebuttals and link to the appropriate pages.

According to the scriptures, God created the dinosaurs (the land animals) on day 6 – the same day He created people.  Therefore, according to the scriptures, man and dinosaurs have lived together.

 

Actually, there are two accounts in Genesis of the creation of humans. The first account states that humans and the other land animals were created on day six. Nevertheless, the second account claims that a god created all the life on earth and man second to last. However, after seeing that man was lonely, the god decided to create a partner for him out of one of man’s ribs.

Furthermore, humans have lived with dinosaurs for our entire existence. Birds are dinosaurs!

According to evolution, dinosaurs became extinct at least 60 million years before people ever evolved.  So what would it mean if we found man and dinosaur together?

 

First off, non-avian dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago and modern humans first evolved ~200,000 years ago. Thus, Juby’s math is a little off. Second, this is not according to evolution; here Juby is equating evolution with the geological record. Third, it would mean nothing if humans and dinosaurs were found together, because humans and dinosaurs are found together (birds are dinosaurs). However, the point Juby is trying to make is what is the implication of finding evidence of humans and non-avian dinosaurs together. The only implication would be that our ideas of the extinction of all the non-avian dinosaurs 65 million years ago would be wrong and there is a problem with the geologic record. This would in no way invalidate our understanding of evolutionary theory.

Well let’s ask the evolutionists:
Dr. Richard Dawkins, one of the most outspoken atheists in the world, wrote “…there are certain things about the fossil record that any evolutionist should expect to be true. We should be very surprised, for example, to find fossil humans appearing in the record before mammals are supposed to have evolved! If a single, well verified mammal skull were to turn up in 500 million year old rocks, our whole modern theory of evolution would be utterly destroyed. Incidentally, this is a sufficient answer to the canard, put about by creationist and their journalistic fellow travelers, that the whole theory of evolution is an ‘unfalsifiable’ tautology. Ironically, it is also the reason why creationist are so keen on the fake human footprints, which were carved during the depression to fool tourists, in the dinosaur beds of Texas,” (The Blind Watchmaker, 1986, p.225, emphasis mine)

 

This is where I fundamentally disagree with Dawkins. It would not destroy our modern theory of evolution. It would however, throw a wrench in our understanding of the geological record, as I already said. There is far too much genetic data supporting evolutionary theory today to ever allow a field such as geology the ability to over turn it.

Juby goes on to quote two other evolutionary proponents to the same effect as above, so I see no need in repeating myself. However, I must point out that the Dawkins quote is the most recent; being from the year I was born. The other two are from before that and well before our modern understanding of genetics. This also makes me doubt that Dawkins still holds this position today, and is probably why Juby has to look to the 80s for his quotes (after all, these lessons were created in 2008).

Now we get into the Greatest Hits from Talk.Origins:

This is a replica of a cast-iron pot, found in a lump of coal supposedly 285 Million years old!  This is well before the first dinosaurs were supposed to have evolved, roughly 225 million years ago.

There are only limited conclusions we can draw from such evidence:

A) Aliens were around 285 million years ago, and inadvertently dropped a pot
B) Humans were around 285 million years ago
C) The assumed age of the coal, and the assumptions of the stratigraphic record are incorrect.
D) It’s a fake.
E) It’s evidence of time travel.

 

Alternatively, F) the pot is of modern origins that fell into the coal mine.

The London artifact was a hammer found in Cretaceous rocks near London, Texas.  Max Hahn and his family were fishing near a waterfall when they found a rock with a piece of wood sticking out of it.  They took it home as a curiousity, and broke open the rock later on to find out that the wood was actually the handle of an ancient hammer!

There’s only so many conclusions we can draw from this artifact:
A) Aliens were around during the time of the dinosaurs (the Cretaceous period), and dropped their hammer.
B) Humans were around during the time of the dinosaurs
C) The assumed age of the rock, and the assumptions of the stratigraphic record are incorrect.
D) It’s a modern hammer that got encased in old rock and fossils.
E) It’s evidence that man figured out time travel.

The anti-creationists will try and argue for “D”, though no one has produced a historic hammer that looks like this one, and this fails to explain the fossils found in the rock the hammer was encased in.  It can’t be a “concretion” of fossils and rock, because there are no fossils to be found in the dirt in the riverbed the hammer was found in!

 

Again, F). D) is only partially correct. A historic hammer was encased in travertine. The fossils may have been reincorporated onto the concretion or they might not be fossils at all and be modern mollusks. We may never know because Don Patton does not allow actual scientists an opportunity to examine this artifact.

In the Paluxy riverbed in Glen Rose, Texas, literally dozens of fossil human footprints have been found amongst the dinosaur tracks that make this area so famous.

There’s only so many conclusions we can draw from this artifact:
A) Aliens were around during the time of the dinosaurs (the Cretaceous period)
B) Humans were around during the time of the dinosaurs
C) The assumed age of the rock, and the assumptions of the stratigraphic record are incorrect.
D) They’re from a creature other than a human being
E) It’s evidence that man figured out time travel.
F) stands for “Fake!”

Most of the fossil human footprints from the Paluxy are found in trails, excavated from underneath undisturbed limestone, in the presence of multiple witnesses.
So much for option “F”.

 

Once again F), for at least the example provided. The photo Juby provides is a laughable example of a forgery, which is one of the two explanations of the Paluxy River human tracks.

The fact that Juby does not see this for the obvious fraud it is speaks volumes about his knowledge of anatomy.  The other explanation is misidentification of therapod dinosaur track ways, which explains the uncovering of track ways in front of witnesses. The Paluxy River is a wonderful source for dinosaur tracks. Many fossil footprints from the Paluxy River are on display at museums across the U.S.

The last picture on the right is of the Delk track, a fossil that came to light in May of 2008.  This was one of several fossils that have been run through a CT scanner to check for its authenticity.  I produced a video devoted just to this fossil entitled “The Delk Track: Evidence of dinosaur and human coexistence,” and it’s available for free viewing on my videos page:
http://ianjuby.org/videos.html

 

First, the photo provided is from his website, the one that should have appeared in the lesson does not format. However, I am familiar with the Delk Track, thus knew what it looked like. Second, this is the one example Juby uses that does not appear on Talk.Origins “Index to Creationist Claims.” Nevertheless, Glen J. Kuban has written up a superb refutation of the Delk Track entitled “The Alvis Delk Print: An Alleged Human Footprint on a Loose Rock” wherein Kuban refutes everything about this forgery, including an explanation of how the human and dinosaur prints are fakes. I encourage everyone that has not already read his article to please read it. It is well worth your time.

Perhaps you’re still not convinced those are human tracks?  Well not far from Glen Rose, during the construction of the Comanche peak nuclear power plant, a gravel layer, sandwhiched between two layers of the Walnut shale, was cut through.  This fossil human finger was found amongst the gravels.

 

Unbelievably Juby (and his creationist ilk) think a shrimp burrow is a human finger. If I needed to point to one example of Juby’s colossal ignorance or blatant dishonesty, this would be it. This whole lesson is an example of his ignorance or his dishonesty. Either way, Juby is a horrible source for information when it comes to the Origins Debate. Everything, except the Delk track, has been known to be a forgery, misplaced, or misidentified for at least a decade. The forged Paluxy footprints/misidentified dinosaur tracks are included in AiG’s list of arguments that should be avoided, for crying aloud. This is only his third lesson and he is already resorting to evidence this weak? PATHETIC!

Coming up in lesson four: Dinosaurs and the flood of Noah…

Rebuttal to Ian Juby’s “’In 7 Days’ Crash Course in Creation” Day 2

he_who_is_nobody
he_who_is_nobody
Wed May 08, 2013 8:00 pm by he_who_is_nobody

Read part one.

Day 2:  Still in the beginning….

You want deep time?

No problem, let’s give evolution 20 billion years.  Depending on who you ask, this is a typical estimate for the age of the universe.  While the majority of this time is supposed to have been spent building galaxies, stars and planets, let’s assign all of that time just to making life without a creator.

 

Juby cannot even be bothered to locate the actual estimated age of the universe, which is not hard to find out. Off the top of my head, I know it is ~13.5 billion years old and I would expect anyone who has studied the Origins Debate in any detail to at least be able to recall a fact this simple. However, he is only trying to set up a straw man.

And so, we have a stark contrast between the two models of human origins: Creation has a supernatural being who has infinite skill and knowledge, creating the first life.  Evolution, which has no skill and no intelligence, no guidance, no direction, must form the first life by blind chance.

 

First off, Juby is equivocating evolution with a straw man of abiogenesis. One could go a step further and infer that Juby is equivocating evolution with naturalism. Second, Juby is creating a false dichotomy by saying it is either a supernatural creator or blind chance, those are not the only options one can think of, nor are either of those the most likely options that lead to life.

This leads into Juby’s next straw man, which there is no other way to present, so I must quote the whole thing, please forgive me.

Amino acids are the basic building blocks of life.  Think of them as Lego; there are roughly twenty different kinds to choose from, and they join together to form structures called proteins.  These proteins can also join together and these form the essential parts of cells.

One simple protein might be an assembly of 200 amino acids.  So, using fairly simple math, for each amino in the assembly, we have a 1/20 chance of randomly selecting the correct one.  Thus, in our protein, we have 20200 different assembly combinations – and essentially only one of those combinations is correct and will work!

Written out, that’s:

1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,00,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000 different combinations!

Taking 20,000,000,000 (20 billion) years, and multiplying it by 365 days per year, 24 hours per day, 60 minutes per hour and 60 seconds per minute, you get:

630,720,000,000,000,000
seconds in 20 Billion years!

 

As you can see, we only have a mere 630,720,000,000,000,000 seconds to try all
1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,00,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 different combinations.

Remember – evolution has no intelligence to call upon to select the correct combination the first time, so it’s hit and miss.

So let’s divide our available time into the number of combinations available.  We would have to randomly try

15,854,895,991,882,293,252,156,265,854,896,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000
different combinations, every second, for twenty billion years, to produce one protein by unguided processes.

 

As one can tell Juby chose a nice round number of 20 billion to make his math easier. However, if Juby actually understood the science of abiogenesis he would have noticed that the argument he just put forward is only arguing against a straw man of abiogenesis.

No one argues that a complete protein had to have formed all at once in one shot. The leading hypotheses in abiogenesis, much like in evolution, start with simple combinations of amino acids linking together and forming new structures. Essentially, a crude version of natural selection most likely took place before proteins, as we know them, first came on the scene.

However, Juby then goes on to give up the whole game:

Evolution requires an infinite amount of time, but an infinite creator God requires but the twinkling of an eye.  The complexity of life demands a creator.

 

There are three problems with this statement; first, his last sentence is an argument from ignorance. Life’s complexities have been and are being explained without a creator for the last 150 years of science. Evolutionary theory explains quite well the complexities of life and how those complexities arose. Second, Juby is still equating abiogenesis with evolution, and when he says evolution in the above quote, he means abiogenesis. Furthermore, earth formed 4.5 billion years ago and the first signs of life are 3.6 billion years old, so abiogenesis did not take an infinite amount of time. This could be an example of a lie from Juby.

However, the third point (the one I alluded to above) is Juby admitting that creationism is magic and nothing more. Juby truly wants people to believe that a god created life on earth with nothing more than magic!

However, this does not deter Juby, his next move is to project that fault (creationism = magic) onto evolution.

But never mind that for a second – let’s assume that somehow, by some miracle (yes, if you believe in evolution, you believe miracles – more on that later on in another lesson), we have enough amino acids, and somehow, by some miracle, they are joining together.  Let’s say we’re 10 billion years into the process, and we have 100 of the amino acids joined in the correct sequence, making half a protein.  What’s going to happen to that half-a-protein while the other 100 aminos get their act together? I’ll tell you – they’ll disintegrate! They’ll detach from each other, and we will lose what we already had!

 

Again, Juby’s ignorance of anything remotely resembling science shines through like a beacon in the night. Juby, why will they detach and disintegrate? You state this without giving a shred of evidence.

The other side of the “time” coin that the anti-creationists don’t want you to know about is the deterioration of the genome.  Evolution thrives on mutations.  Mutations are errors in our genetic code – the code that is essentially the blueprint on how to build you, or a plant, or a fish, etc…

 

Juby is essentially correct in his definition of what a mutation is, however, he does use some loaded language in it. Now watch as Juby uses his ignorance of genetics and his loaded language to create another fallacious argument.

Tremendous advances have been made in the arena of genetics and the study of the genome, and the surprises have been numerous.  One surprise that has come to light in recent years is that mutations are usually near-neutral; that is, they usually have no effect, and so are sometimes missed by the DNA repair mechanisms in your body.  The second thing they’ve learned is that these “near-neutral” mutations now accumulate over time (because they’re not detected and removed), and the accumulating errors add up to one BIG error, which is a very big problem.

 

Juby is correct that neutral mutations are the bulk of mutations that occur and he is correct that the neutral mutations can accumulate over time. However, there is nothing that suggests the build up of neutral mutations can lead to problems, as Juby states. Since he gives no evidence of this, I feel it is safe to assume Juby has no evidence to back this claim.

Third, negative mutations (that is, mutations that are definitely bad for you) outnumber the “good” ones considerably.

 

This is also true, but natural selection weeds those mutations out, thus they are not passed down to the next generation as frequently as good mutations. I do not understand why Juby would omit this fact.

Fourth, the “beneficial” mutations (the ones that are supposedly “good” for you) are always deletions – in other words, the supposed “beneficial” mutations which you can read about in the scientific literature, are actually information in the genetic code that is LOST.

 

This is patently false. Beneficial mutations can be any of the forms of mutations that we observe (deletions, point mutation, insertions, etc…). Thus, mutations can add and subtract to the genetic code. This could be classed as another example of Juby simply lying.

So to sum all these points together, we are losing valuable information in our genetic code over time.  We are also gaining errors over time, which really means we’re losing information that way as well.  When enough of the blueprint contained in the genetic code is corrupted, your body no longer has good enough “plans” on how to build/maintain your body, and you die.  We are losing this information so fast that all life as we know it should have died off millions of years ago, if indeed we had been around that long.

 

Now we see why he had to distort and perhaps lie in his last example. It was so he can present this conclusion based on all the falsehoods presented above.

In Conclusion:

Evolution requires an infinite amount of time, and yet, even if evolution was given its required infinite amount of time, it still could not produce life.  If we had millions of years, we would lose the life we have.  It is evident that life has not been around for millions of years, and that an intelligent Creator was involved in its origin.

 

No Juby, in conclusion, you do not know the first thing about genetics, abiogenesis, and deep time or you are blatantly misrepresenting everything you know in order to spin it to suit your preconceived notions.

Coming up in lesson three:

Dinosaurs and humans step on evolution…

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