Grey Thoughts
Evolutions Lucy Lies
In researcher the evolutionary story of human origins, I came across this astounding and appalling piece of information about 'Lucy' and the species of fossils she belongs to, being Australopithecus Afarensis. The story goes something like this.

The Laetoli footprints, 'dated' at 4 million years old provided a problem for evolutionists because they seemed unmistakably human-like. They had the same weight pattern and structure as a human foot, clearly showing a human-like bipedal walking action.

If evolution was assumed to be true, they needed a bipedal hominid, with human like feet and gait to make those prints. Humans were not supposed to be around for another 3+ million years so they needed a different species. Enter Lucy, the 40% complete fossil skeleton. Found by Donald Johanson in 1974 (and his earlier find of a leg/knee joint in 1973) Putting aside for a second the self-serving artistic creations that were passed off as how 'lucy' looked, a much worse travesty was about to happen.

As the knee joint showed signs of some bipedal like motion (the angle and locking mechanism), and the evolutionists needed a human-like foot and gait, Lucy was given human like feet and hands, even though the fossil found did not have hands or feet. Evolutionists, in their rush for a bipedal human ancestor created details (repeated in countless drawings) that didn't exist. In their rush to pronounce the knee as human-like, they ignored the excessive angle of the joint (15 degrees, as opposed to humans, chimps and orangutans at 9 Degrees and other apes at 0 degrees), and many continue to ignore even more recent evidence that Lucy was a knuckle walker, like many other apes. Hand and wrist fossils were found that showed she had the wrist locking mechanism of a knuckle walker and also that she had ape like hands, not human-like.

Christine Berge, in her study of the australopithecines, also pointed out that many evolutionists assumed that the muscle patterns were also human like, and then went on to show how an ape-like muscle structure would offer better ability, of course, further reducing the case that Lucy walked upright.

(Berge, C., How did australopithecines walk? A biomechanical study of the hip and thigh of Australopithecus afarensis, J. Human Evolution 26:270, 1994.)

Many other evolutionists are now arguing against the upright bipedal locomotion of the afarensis (e.g. Richmond & Strait, Nature 2000, Stockstad 2000), but it is of course still trumpeted as having a human like gait in order to bash creationists.

Assumptions forced to fit evolution are standard fair of the evolutionists, so none of this is that shocking. What is shocking however, is the lengths some evolutionists have gone to force Lucy to fit into the upright bipedal locomotion that they needed to explain the Laetoli footprints. The pro-evolution PBS Series Nova provides the sordid details (in a completely accepting way). From the transcript
DON JOHANSON: ...We needed Owen Lovejoy's expertise again, because the evidence wasn't quite adding up. The knee looked human, but the shape of her hip didn't. Superficially, her hip resembled a chimpanzee's, which meant that Lucy couldn't possibly have walked like a modern human. But Lovejoy noticed something odd about the way the bones had been fossilized.

OWEN LOVEJOY: When I put the two parts of the pelvis together that we had, this part of the pelvis has pressed so hard and so completely into this one, that it caused it to be broken into a series of individual pieces, which were then fused together in later fossilization.

DON JOHANSON: After Lucy died, some of her bones lying in the mud must have been crushed or broken, perhaps by animals browsing at the lake shore.

OWEN LOVEJOY: This has caused the two bones in fact to fit together so well that they're in an anatomically impossible position.

DON JOHANSON: The perfect fit was an allusion[sic] that made Lucy's hip bones seems to flair out like a chimps. But all was not lost. Lovejoy decided he could restore the pelvis to its natural shape. He didn't want to tamper with the original, so he made a copy in plaster. He cut the damaged pieces out and put them back together the way they were before Lucy died. It was a tricky job, but after taking the kink out of the pelvis, it all fit together perfectly, like a three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle. As a result, the angle of the hip looks nothing like a chimps, but a lot like ours. Anatomically at least, Lucy could stand like a human.{Emphasis Added}
Appalling. Lovejoy took the 'kink out'. He reworked the fossil in order to make it fit his assumptions. Note how Lovejoy said that the fossil parts of the hip fit "so well" that they were in an "anatomically impossible position". Yet the Johanson clearly indicates the hip was pretty much like a chimp's hip. If a chimp can have a hip like that then it is not so much anatomically impossible then, as much as being impossible if the evolutionists WANTED lucy to walk like a human.

It isn't bad enough that fossils are so pliable (as Shreeve said in Discover Magazine 11(8) 1990 "Everybody knows fossils are fickle; bones will sing any song you want to hear") or that fossils are incapable of identifying ancestory (as Paterson admitted in his letter to Luter Sunderland in 1979 "...statements about ancestry and descent are not applicable in the fossil record. Is Archaeopteryx the ancestor of all birds? Perhaps yes, perhaps no there is no way of answering the question. It is easy enough to make up stories of how one form gave rise to another, and to find reasons why the stages should be favoured by natural selection. But such stories are not part of science, for there is no way of putting them to the test."). Having evolutionists falsify evidence to make it fit their assumed reality is just appalling.
Poverty and Terrorism causes
Another study has come out showing that the supposed link between terrorism and poverty is bogus. From the report of the study
One finding was that the wealthier and better-educated the Muslim was, the more likely he was to be radicalised....
They continue: “It’s no secret that many in the Muslim world suffer from crippling poverty and lack of education. But are radicals any poorer than their fellow Muslims? We found the opposite: there is indeed a key difference between radicals and moderates when it comes to income and education, but it is the radicals who earn more and stay in school longer.”

In fact, the surveys found that the radicals were more satisfied with their finances and quality of life than moderates.
Yep. Education and increased wealth are more of a cause than poverty.

Another theory about the cause of terrorism, from people like Bin Laden, is that it is because of the bad morals of America, yet the study also found
The Gallup findings indicate that, in terms of spiritual values and the emphasis on the family and the future, Americans have more in common with Muslims than they do with their Western counterparts in Europe.
If it was just morals, then Europe would be more of a target.

Apparently, it isn't even about the US being Christian either...
Religion was found to have little to do with radicalisation or antipathy towards Western culture. Muslims were condemnatory of promiscuity and a sense of moral decay. What they admired most was liberty, its democratic system, technology and freedom of speech.

One particular note is that this study also counters the idea that how religious you are affects whether you are a radical extremist or not. (Take note Professor Dawkins)
“We find that Muslim radicals have more in common with their moderate brethren than is often assumed. If the West wants to reach the extremists, and empower the moderate majority, it must first recognise who it’s up against.”

“They often charge that religious fervour triggers radical and violent views,” said John Esposito, a religion professor, and Dalia Mogahed, Gallup’s Muslim studies director, in one analysis. “But the data say otherwise. There is no significant difference in religiosity between moderates and radicals. In fact, radicals are no more likely to attend religious services regularly than are moderates.”

This makes the job of dealing with terrorism even harder. There is no simple way of differentiating between moderates and radicals by anything other than when they are attacking you.

(HT: Tim Blair)
Herion Users To Legally Steal to Fund Habit
A top Scottish cop (no, this isn't a joke) has suggested that his government fund the heroin addiction of more of its citizens. Why? In order to stop them committing crimes to fund the addiction.

You see, this way, the government can legally take peoples money to fund the addiction instead of the addicts illegally taking peoples money to do the same. Thats how you solve crime peoples!
Iraq Irony
Rep. John P. Murtha is attempting to exert control over America's military efforts in Iraq using beauracracy and guidelines to avoid looking like he is against the war. Pity he is too stupid to not let his guileful plan become obvious.
Mr. Murtha has a different idea. He would stop the surge by crudely hamstringing the ability of military commanders to deploy troops. In an interview carried Thursday by the Web site, Mr. Murtha said he would attach language to a war funding bill that would prohibit the redeployment of units that have been at home for less than a year, stop the extension of tours beyond 12 months, and prohibit units from shipping out if they do not train with all of their equipment. His aim, he made clear, is not to improve readiness but to "stop the surge." So why not straightforwardly strip the money out of the appropriations bill -- an action Congress is clearly empowered to take -- rather than try to micromanage the Army in a way that may be unconstitutional? Because, Mr. Murtha said, it will deflect accusations that he is trying to do what he is trying to do. "What we are saying will be very hard to find fault with," he said.
Tactical genius eh...Just the sort of guy you want in charge of a war.

The article continues though, with something that I have recently been thinking about.
Mr. Murtha's cynicism is matched by an alarming ignorance about conditions in Iraq. He continues to insist that Iraq "would be more stable with us out of there," in spite of the consensus of U.S. intelligence agencies that early withdrawal would produce "massive civilian casualties."
The violence and car bombs in Iraq continue to target civilians more than soldiers. The media reporting is focusing more and more on these civilian attacks. It seems fairly obvious that the power vacuum left by the US leaving suddenly would create an all out civil war. Put these things together, and it seems that the anti-war parts of the media and population are trying to use civilian casualties as the basis for pulling the west out of Iraq, which would lead to even more civilian casualties.

If that doesn't make sense to you, you are not alone. The focus of these 'moralists' seems to not be to help, but merely to not be involved in a costly or risky exercise. They would prefer to have heaps of blood split, than to have themselves feel responsible for a smaller amount of blood.
Lying with Graphics

The latest strategy for helping free a terrorist who committed treason against he country is clear. Lie.
They say a picture speaks ten thousand words. This new image of David Hicks — created by a world renowned face recognition expert — is a graphic illustration of the passage of time David Hicks has being left to languish in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Five years in isolated detention, without trial, leaps out in this image. It's a ghost of the David Hicks we're used to seeing, and one that reflects the accurate descriptions of his Australian lawyer, David McLeod, who has just seen him.

This picture has also prompted veteran journalist Ray Martin to publicly, and very powerfully declare, that he's "ashamed to be an Aussie" over the Federal Government's response to David Hicks, wisely asking "what has happened to the Aussie 'fair go'? ".
How the heck does "Five years in isolated detention, without trial, leaps out in this image."??? Anyone? And of course, the 'graphical illustration' MUST be accurate because his lawyer said it was. You know, that lawyer who is trying to get popular support back home so that Hicks the 'wayward aussie' can come home for a 'fair' trial. (And people complain that our politicians endanger relations with comments about the iraq war, yet they happily insult america at every turn).

This image is a cheap, deceitful and lame attempt to play on peoples emotions. We have little idea what Hicks looks like. If other prisoners are used as an example, then he has probably gained weight.

If you look into why David Hicks has been held for 5 years without trial (other than the fact that we are still at war) you find this little gem.
But appeals and other trial hold-ups, which have been consistently used to test the legality of military charges against Guantanamo detainees, could extend the imminent military trial date by months.
So who is holding the trials up? It certainly isn't the prosecution that is trying to call into question the legality of the trial. It is the defense attorneys for people just like David Hicks.

Of course, another great fact is that only 1/3 of the over half a million dollars given to the tv campaign to bring Hicks home has gone into that promotion. The rest went on expenses and salaries. Someone should tell Dick Smith.

This whole thing is a farce. If an Australian citizen is caught smuggling drugs or committing murder in another country, they get tried in that country. That's how it works. Why is David Hicks any different? Is it just because the anti-war crowd are involved?
Religious Discrimination In Action
I missed this earlier, but a Young Earth Creationist received a PHD for his thesis on Mosasaurs, and was promptly attacked by all and sundry. I'm not sure whether the explosive response was due to the thought that a YEC might use the credentials to promote YEC or because it broke their hallowed and shallow perceptions about how YEC must be stupid.
Although his thesis advisor describes his work as "impeccable", some have "argued that his religious beliefs should bar him from earning an advanced degree in paleontology", according to the New York Times.
That is religious discrimination, pure and simple.
News of Marcus Ross' degree also reached the ears of Paul Z. Myers, a professor of biology at University of Minnesota, Morris. On his blog, Pharyngula, he calls Ross a "trained parrot" and wants the university to "review their doctoral programs".
Of course, these are the people who pretend to be 'objective' and complain when a YEC organisation requires scientists to sign a faith statement. Such double standards are common when the fanatical wing of evolutionism is trying to stamp out the 'heresy' of YEC.

Telic thoughts also has another post on how another university professor things they should just flunk anyone who thinks ID might be accurate.

So essentially, this is just a slow increase of the same method of bias that currently controls peer review. Stop the debate about evolution by denying the other side a voice as much as possible.

The evolutionist inquisition continues.
Richard Dawkins The Humble Moron
I continue to lower my opinion of Richard Dawkins. After his anti-religious (mostly anti-christian) polemic, the God Delusion, he has been lambasted by many people on both sides of the debate as dogmatic, arrogant and lacking an understanding of logic. Richard responds to some of his critics with even more worthless rhetoric.
I never tire of emphasising how much we don’t know. The God Delusion ends in just such a theme. Where do the laws of physics come from? How did the universe begin? Scientists are working on these deep problems, honestly and patiently. Eventually they may be solved. Or they may be insoluble. We don’t know.

But whereas I and other scientists are humble enough to say we don’t know, what of theologians like McGrath? He knows. He’s signed up to the Nicene Creed.
Poor Richard. He is so deluded or dishonest that he doesn't admit to believing that no gods exist. This is a negative claim. One that requires essentially knowledge of everything to be able to make confidently. McGrath, one of his critics, however beleives in the Christian God. This is a positive claim which only requires a small amount of knowledge to be justified. Already we can see that Dawkins' big claim is infinitely more arrogant than McGrath's (and that is not just to mention the different demeanors of the two).

So Dawkins makes the far more arrogant claim, and then proceeds to lecture his critics (only his religious critics) about being humble, like him. But it is even worse than that. Richard not only believes there is no God, no supernatural, presumably he would argue that he has not seen any evidence for it, but that no one else could possibly have any evidence for God or the supernatural either. The arrogance is breath taking. If that sort of claim sounds suspiciously like begging the question, simply assuming what he wants to believe, it is. When it comes to reason and rationality, Richard Dawkins it appears, is blinded by his fanaticism.

As a final bit of underhanded rhetoric, notice how Dawkins highlights that McGrath is a theologian, but fails to mention that he is also a well credentialed biochemist. Dawkins is not the guy atheists should want as a poster child for atheism.

Update: Typo's pointed out by Justin fixed.
How to Create an Ancient Evolutionary Tale
Many people I have spoken to repeat the myth that 'We only use 10% of our brains'. Others tell me the myth of how Columbus received opposition to his voyage because the people of the time thought the world was flat. Of course, these examples differ markedly. The first is a meaningless quote, often attributed to Einstein, which continues to get passed around like a chinese whisper and more often than not, used to support the New Age religion. The second however, was taught in schools.

I remember being taught that the people of Columbus's time thought the world was flat, as do other people who have been out of high school less than 10 years. Scary, but true. A well known falsehood continued to be taught, well after it was found to be false. I have no idea whether it is still being taught, or how widespread it is being taught, but the point is that many many people, are walking around today with a false belief about history simply because someone in authority (their teachers) told them it was true within the context of a nice little story about Columbus.

Attempting to correct false beliefs is not that easy however. A belief that was accepted a long time ago, for seemingly good reasons, doesn't get changed without effort. The weight given to a long held belief, especially when it fits with other beliefs (Like the other false belief of the 'enlightenment' rescuing man from irrationality), is quite strong.

This tendency to hold onto false beliefs is readily apparent in the areas of evolution and the age of the earth. At school, I and many others were taught that bones took thousands of years to form, diamonds took millions, oil and coal the same, and that rock layers were laid down very slowly. Every time I saw a fossil, diamond or rock layers, the immediate thought was about how 'old' they looked. Even today, theistic evolutionists continue to tell me about how 'old' the earth looks. The problem is, science has shown clearly that all of these things I was taught are wrong. But, as Sir Winston Churchill said ""A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on." The lie of these 'slow' processes was used to build the foundation for an ancient earth, so that when radiometric dating came along with all of its untestable assumptions, only those methods that found an old earth were considered. The original evidence is now questioned, but we now have 'new' evidence to support the original conclusion.

The same thing can be seen in evolutionary theory. Most of the original evidences that Darwin used have been shown to not support evolution. Haeckel's Embryonic Recapitulation is known to have been a fraud. The fossil record continues, despite hope, to not show the gradual progression of species.

The latest of Darwin's evidences to come tumbling down is his 'Tree of Life'. In W. Ford Doolittle and Eric Bapteste, “Inaugural Article: Evolution: Pattern Pluralism and the Tree of Life Hypothesis,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the authors make it quite clear that being able to construct a phylogenic tree of life (TOL) is merely an artifact of method, and provides no support for the truth or falsity of molecules to man evolution. The article also mentions off hand that
The only data sets from which we might construct a universal hierarchy including prokaryotes, the sequences of genes, often disagree and can seldom be proven to agree.
Read that again. When evolutionists try constructing a TOL based on genetic sequence, they fail.

If both the phylogenic and molecular TOL's fail to provide evidence for evolution, then how can the central assumption of evolution, that similarity applies a close evolutionary relationship, be accurate? It just isn't possible to support. Why then, does evolution continue to be held out by many scientists as a 'fact'. Some may have to do with the fact that a lot of scientists think the best evidence comes from outside their own fields. Others have no choice but to accept evolution as fact, because materialism needs a creation myth. Some may have accepted evolution as fact for so long they fail to realise the central supports have eroded away, thinking that other, newer evidence has come in to replace the crumbling pillars.

When the 'evidence' for evolution continues to evolve everytime a central tenant is found to be wrong/fraud, it is time to find a different belief. With evolution, tt isn't that the goal posts are moving, it is the entire playing field that shifts.
Evolution Tricks
Many uninformed or non-scientific young earth creationists (YEC) are lambasted for saying that 'evolution is only a theory', when attempting to downplay molecules to man evolution. Creation Ministries advises people not to use this as an argument because
What people usually mean when they say this is ‘Evolution is not proven fact, so it should not be promoted dogmatically.’ Therefore people should say that. The problem with using the word ‘theory’ in this case is that scientists use it to mean a well-substantiated explanation of data. This includes well-known ones such as Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and Newton’s Theory of Gravity, and lesser-known ones such as the Debye–Hückel Theory of electrolyte solutions and the Deryagin–Landau/Verwey–Overbeek (DLVO) theory of the stability of lyophobic sols, etc. It would be better to say that particles-to-people evolution is an unsubstantiated hypothesis or conjecture.
Personally, it is understandable that someone who hasn't studied science or the philosophy of science would say something like this, as they are not referring to the scientific meaning of the word 'theory', but instead the layman's meaning. It isn't wrong to say it, it is just not desirable as it can confuse the meaning of what was being said.

This all relates clearly to the Kenyan Museum's evolutionary fossil display, which has been catching press lately for a Bishop's efforts to ban the display. From the article
Against him is one of the planet's best-known fossil hunters, Richard Leakey, whose team unearthed the bones at Nariokotome in West Turkana, in the desolate, far northern reaches of Kenya in 1984.

"Whether the bishop likes it or not, Turkana Boy is a distant relation of his," Leakey, who founded the museum's prehistory department, told The Associated Press. "The bishop is descended from the apes and these fossils tell how he evolved."
and further on
"Evolution is a fact," adds Mbua [Dr. Emma Mbua, the head of paleontology at the museum], who has run the department for the last five years.

"Turkana Boy is our jewel," she said. "For the first time, we will be taking him out of the strong room and showing our heritage to the world."
Trained scientists who proclaims that 'evolution is fact' are talking about their faith, not science, because it is impossible for science to conclude that any of it's theories or hypotheses are 'fact'.

Considering these are trained in the scientific method, I have to wonder why they would promote their faith as a finding of science? When evolutionists jump on YEC'ers for the 'evolution is only a theory' argument in light of the many evolutionist scientists who claim 'evolution is fact', it is clear that they should look to their own unscientific pronouncements for the cause of the confusion.
Lee Strobel Interviews Anthony Flew
Anthony Flew, a well respected Atheist, who became a Theist recently, has been interviewed by Lee Strobel. Some of the interview deals with Dawkin's "God Delusion" and also the differences between Christianity and Islam.

It is worth checking out.

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