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Monday, September 8, 2008

AiG Tract

A few weeks ago at work, I got an Answers in Genesis tract called "Major Categories of Scientific Evidence for Special Creation" that was written by Carl Wieland. This was the first time I came across one of these and Rob Penn's post from earlier today inspired me to blog about it (yes, there is a million dollar bill tract hanging on a bulletin board in one of the hallways). The Wieland tract presents six arguments, none of which we haven't heard before:

1. Natural Law - Evolution doesn't take into account the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. Even worse, Wieland mistates the law by saying that it applies to open systems.

2. Living Things - An evolutionary model is incapable of causing an increase in information, but the creation/Fall model works perfectly.

3. Fossils - The are only four or five transitional fossils, when there should be millions.

4. Age of Things - The Earth is young because all the evidence is opposed to the billions of years scenario. Some of the evidence provided is too little helium in the atmosphere, too little salt in the sea, and C-14 found in coal.

5. Cultural-Anthropological - Many cultures have stories of being flooded, so there must have been a global flood. Also, studies on DNA show very little genetic diversity among all "races" of humans.

6. Design and Complexity - Nothing more than a tired rehash on reducible complexity.

At the end, Wieland declares that I am a sinner and that I should give myself up to the Jesus Christ so his "holy" God will not have to be a part of my "everlasting destruction".

All of the arguments presented in the tract have been thoroughly debunked on talkorigins. I can see how those that are scientifically illiterate would be taken in by something like this. Wieland uses a lot of scientific sounding language to cover up the false dicotomy that states "if evolution is wrong, then creation is correct".

On a happier note, Friday was the best day of my life. I finally got the surgery to remove the infusion port in my chest that was used so the chemo drugs would not destroy my veins. I only got a local anesthetic and was able to watch the entire procedure. It was so cool to be able to look down and see the doctor removing tubes from an open incision in my chest.


Is it just me, or does storeytwin_a over at Ray's look and act like she could play Mama Fratelli in a remake of The Goonies?


  1. Congrats on your surgery - I assume this means no more chemo? And yes, I've always had a fascination for watching medical procedures - especially when they involve myself.

    I never get tracts up here in Canada - I'm almost jealous.

    It upsets me that people will believe any claim without doing the slightest bit of research for themselves. I'm forever looking up and reading about things that intrigue me, that I don't quite understand or that just sound plain fishy to me. Is there really a huge demographic of people that will believe whatever you tell them?

  2. I collect tracts and other religious propaganda but I've never seen any of Ray's Million Dollars (or other thing from Living Waters) in the wild.
    They're harder to get where I live because religious nut are mostly ignored.

    Down here in Geelong, Australia we get:
    1) Potter's House (who followed me home once and fill up my mailbox)
    2) One guy handing out photocopies of his own gospel tract. No-one seems to take them.
    3) Someone with broken English hiding colour-printed tracts that start with "YOUNG PEOPLE! YOU KNOW ONE DAY YOU WILL DIE!" He's my favourite.
    4) Out of towners. Occasionally Americans come. Usually Mormons, Krishna and _loud_ Jesus Freaks.

    Anyway, I get the best tracts if I travel elsewhere....

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Yeah. StoreytwinA is an idiot and apparently damn proud of that fact.

    I suspect she'll ignore the solid trouncing she got over the issue of polystrate fossils she received after calling us out.

  5. In the "Fundies verse Crazies continued . . ." thread
    Ray said:
    I can handle being called names that are fired at me--liar, money-hungry, idiot, etc., (all with colorful words preceding them) because I know that what is said isn't true.
    September 8, 2008 7:38 PM

    Ray's not letting any of my posts through so I'll say this here:
    Ray, have you ever told a lie? Even just one? What does that make you? A LIAR.
    Have you ever wanted money? Even just one cent? What does that make you? MONEY-HUNGRY.
    Have you ever done anything stupid? Even once. What does that make you? STUPID.
    Ray, you need help. Accept science into your heart and repent!

  6. Well, it looks like Rando was right:

    Storeytwin A said...

    I will try to answer all of you with this one comment. It looks like I've hit a nerve.

    Sorry if I sounded cocky, but I've just about had enough of the silly games you people play.

    Just who gets to decide which layers were laid down rapidly and which took millions of years? You people give your extensive, wordy explanations that go on and on and on but never really answer some vital questions.

    And as far as my going to your suggested website to "learn" from, it's not going to happen, because I don't much care for reading the fallacious material written by people desperate to try and discount the GOD of the universe.

    I'm into "truth"!

    Geez, what the hell does one do with this?

  7. maragon,

    Getting the port out means no more chemo. Even better, it means that I can start working out again in a few weeks.

    In the United States, I believe that there is a huge demographic of people that believe whatever you tell them. There is a reason why people like Ann Coulter have a huge fan base.

  8. Poor woman. She thinks that the intention of science is to kill imaginary friends, whereas that's actually just a side effect.

  9. "She thinks that the intention of science is to kill imaginary friends, whereas that's actually just a side effect."

    That's very good. I'll probably steal it.

  10. Mjar,
    Good to hear of your progress!

  11. Stew, m'man, I'd rather have you stealing from me than Dumbfort. Go for it!

  12. jill,

    I have a small collection of tracts and various propaganda too. My favorite are from a ministry in Ocean City, MD called The Son Spot. They usually have some interesting insights on what young people do when they go to the beach.

    I live in Pittsburgh so there are not too many religious nuts roaming the streets so it is very rare to see them in the wild. However, I work with a lot of Christians and come across them there at times.

  13. My fiance is going to have to travel down to the States over and over again on business( in fact he'll be going to Washington at the end of the month)and I've instructed him to pick up any and all tracts he sees so that I can has them.


    That's great about the chemo. It's amazing how medical science was able to help you recover from such a life threatening situation. Things like this put in contrast, sharply - at least for me - how far we've come, but also how far behind some of us are(like your co-workers who insisted god cured you).
    I can't imagine having to not work out for months at a time. Going to the gym is just so...routine for me. I swear I get more of my reading done on those elliptical trainers than anywhere else. =)

  14. congrats mjarsulic on getting through chemo so well. I hope I wont catch anything (against the odds), but I find it difficult to stop smoking. The slightly oversized naiveté compartment of my brain tells me they're going to defeat cancer on time...

  15. I quit smoking over a year ago.

    I thought I felt okay then. But man, the difference in my breathing, moods, energy level, etc is amazing.

    I'm not trying to be preachy - it was fairly hard to convince myself to quit. I read Allan Carr's book on how to quit and after a few agonizing days, it actually became fairly easy.

  16. 5. Cultural-Anthropological - Many cultures have stories of being flooded, so there must have been a global flood. Also, studies on DNA show very little genetic diversity among all "races" of humans.

    I have something semi-related to this. The TBs at Ray's blog like to talk about moral absolutes and ask why, if evolution is true, all cultures have the same moral code. They get quickly debunked and then repeat themselves.

    So I took the liberty to look at Wikipedia's list of cultural universals, thinking it might shed some light on this idea. For what it's worth, these are the qualities associated with every culture known to Western science:

    * language and cognition (see also linguistic universal)
    o language employed to manipulate others
    o language employed to misinform or mislead
    o language is translatable
    o abstraction in speech & thought
    o antonyms, synonyms
    o logical notions of "and", "not", "opposite", "equivalent", "part/whole", "general/particular"
    o binary cognitive distinctions
    o color terms: black, white
    o classification of: age, behavioral propensities, body parts, colors, fauna, flora, inner states, kin, sex, space, tools, weather conditions
    o continua (ordering as cognitive pattern)
    o discrepancies between speech, thought, and action
    o figurative speech, metaphors
    o symbolism,symbolic speech
    o synesthetic metaphors
    o tabooed utterances
    o jokes
    o special speech for special occasions
    o prestige from proficient use of language (e.g. poetry)
    o planning
    o units of time

    * society
    o personal names
    o family or household
    o kin groups
    o peer groups not based on family
    o actions under self-control distinguished from those not under control
    o affection expressed and felt
    o age grades
    o age statuses
    o age terms
    o law: rights and obligations, rules of membership
    o moral sentiments
    o promise/oath
    o prestige inequalities
    o statuses and roles
    o leaders
    o de facto oligarchy
    o property
    o coalitions
    o collective identities
    o conflict
    o cooperative labor
    o gender roles
    o males dominate public/political realm
    o males more aggressive, more prone to lethal violence, more prone to theft
    o males engage in more coalitional violence
    o males on average travel greater distances over lifetime
    o marriage
    o husband older than wife on average
    o copulation normally conducted in privacy
    o incest prevention or avoidance, incest between mother and son unthinkable or tabooed
    o rape
    o collective decision making
    o ethnocentrism
    o etiquette
    o inheritance rules
    o distinguishing right and wrong, good and bad
    o generosity admired, gift giving
    o redress of wrongs, sanctions
    o sexual jealousy
    o shame
    o territoriality
    o triangular awareness (assessinjg relationships among the self and two other people)
    o some forms of proscribed violence
    o visiting
    o trade

    * myth, ritual, aesthetics
    o magical thinking
    o use of magic to increase life, win love,
    o beliefs about death
    o beliefs about disease
    o beliefs about fortune and misfortune
    o divination
    o attempts to control weather
    o dream interpretation
    o beliefs and narratives
    o proverbs, sayings
    o poetry/rhetorics
    o healing practices, medicine
    o childbirth customs
    o rites of passage
    o music, rhythm, dance
    o play
    o toys, playthings
    o death rituals, mourning
    o feasting
    o body adornment
    o hairstyles

    * technology
    o shelter
    o fire
    o tools, tool making
    o weapons, spear
    o containers
    o cooking
    o lever
    o tying material (i.e., something like string), twining (i.e. weaving or similar)

  17. maragon said:

    My fiance is going to have to travel down to the States over and over again on business( in fact he'll be going to Washington at the end of the month)and I've instructed him to pick up any and all tracts he sees so that I can has them.

    Washington state? Would it be too creepy to offer for my wife and I to buy him dinner or something?

  18. Glad the chemo is over with. Working out again will be a bitch but it'll all come back soon enough.

  19. "Washington state? Would it be too creepy to offer for my wife and I to buy him dinner or something?"

    Washington, DC - should have been most specific, sorry. =)


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