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SECTIONS

Critique of Intelligent Design

Evolution vs. Creationism

The Art of ID Stuntmen

Faith vs Reason

Anthropic Principle

Autopsy of the Bible code

Science and Religion

Historical Notes

Counter-Apologetics

Serious Notions with a Smile

Miscellaneous

Letter Serial Correlation

Mark Perakh's Web Site

Serious Notions with a Smile

Evidence that the Second Law of Thermodynamics is wrong?
 
Professor Felsenstein one more time shows the absurdity of creationists' claim asserting that the 2nd law of thermodynamics makes evolution impossible. In this particular case such a well worn out and more than once shown to be lacking any validity argument was proposed in a book by a mathematician Granville Sewell. With all respect to and admiration of mathematics, regrettably the conclusion is unavoidable: even among mathematicians some are hopelessly ignorant in elementary physics. Sewell's senseless arguments have been refuted on Talk Reason before.
author(s):
Felsenstein, Joe;
published: Feb 21, 2010


Oh No! Iíve Seen the Impossible! My Eyes!
 
Carl Zimmer demonstrates the ludicrous fallacy of a pro-"irreducible complexity" argument by the notorious pseudo-expert Casey Luskin of the Discovery Institute. (Off-site link.)

Note: The one-wheel bike YouTube video has been reported as no longer available. Instead see this.
author(s):
Zimmer, Carl;
published: Jan 02, 2009


Casey Luskin abuses what little credibility he has
 
Timothy Sandefur points to another ridiculous escapade by Casey Luskin, a lawyer employed by the Discovery Institute. (Off-site link.)
author(s):
Sandefur, Timothy ;
published: Jan 29, 2008


The Coulter Hoax: How Ann Coulter Exposed the Intelligent Design Movement
 
When confronted with Ms. Ann Coulter's diatribe against evolutionary biology in her 2006 book Godless, many educated readers will be upset, annoyed, outraged. However, if one instead assumes that Ms. Coulter is only joking, in fact providing a faux criticism of evolution in order to expose the ID movement in a Sokalian fashion, her writing suddenly becomes a brilliant satire.
author(s):
Olofsson, Peter;
published: Mar 14, 2007


The Year in ID
 
A brief partial chronology of ID movement's activities during 2006. The pseudo-scientific propagandistic campaign by the ID crowd has suffered a number of setbacks in 2006, revealing the falsity of their pompous declarations of alleged successes, in particular of Dembski's delusional claims of ID's non-existent victories and imminent glorious triumphs. (Off-site link.)
author(s):
Lynch, John ;
published: Dec 20, 2006


Casey Defines Creationism
 
One more exposure of nonsense propagated by Discovery Institute's spinmeisters, in this case by Casey Luskin. Comments to this post at Panda's Thumb are well worth reading as well.
author(s):
Dunford, Mike;
published: Jun 04, 2006


Privates by Satan
 
Readers who are longing for a good laugh -- just look up this post and the comments accompanying it. As Skip Evans demonstrates, if the creos did not exist, they would have had to be invented just for the comical value of their behavior.
author(s):
Evans, Skip ;
published: May 05, 2006


Nancy Pearcey: The Creationists' Miss Information
 
Profesor Shallit, who is an expert in information theory (and specifically in algorithmic theory of probability-complexity-information) shows in this brief essay (written in a humorous tenor) that the writing of Nancy Pearcey -- one of the leading figures in the pro-ID crowd -- manifests an abject ignorance of even the seminal concepts of information theory, thus making her arguments preposterously wrong.
author(s):
Shallit, Jeffrey ;
published: Mar 18, 2006


Life on Mars? The real lesson from Lowell
 
A brief look at the screed by Discovery Institute's Jonathan Witt, discussing the well-known story of the so-called "canals" on Mars proposed by the astronomer Lowell, who used arguments quite similar to those used nowadays by ID advocates.
author(s):
Bottaro, Andrea;
published: Mar 17, 2006


The slippery slope controversy
 
A light-hearted parody of ID's argumentation. While a number of Panda's Thumb weblog commenters suggested several further versions of parody, it also has immediately caused one of the notorious trolls on Panda's Thumb (one David Heddle) to post a comment vividly illustrating the complete lack of sense of humor rather typical of ID advocates.
author(s):
van Meurs, Pim;
published: Feb 24, 2006


ID and Assault
 
For several days now there posts have appeared all over the internet discussing the "Mirecki affair". Professor of religious studies Paul Mirecki (who planned to teach a course critical of ID and other subjects he characterized as "mythologies") claimed that he was physically attacked by two people on a rural road in Kansas, and that his attackers made references to his planned course as the reason for their attack. So far the information regarding this story has been very scarce. We at Talk Reason have no knowledge of Professor Mirecki's activities or of the story in question. Therefore Talk Reason takes no position on the story until more information becomes available (although we, of course, are in principle categorically against any violence regardless of supposed reasons for it). Obviously, pro-creationist and pro-ID advocates likewise so far possess insufficient information about Mirecki affair. However, on many pro-creationist and pro-ID sites there have already appeared renditions of the story in question where various premature interpretations hostile to Mirecki have been presented. While we propose no interpretation of our own until the fog clears and do not predict the outcome of the investigation, the hasty spins already on pro-creationist sites call for the satirical glance which is posted here.
author(s):
Cartwright, Reed A. ;
published: Dec 11, 2005


The Wrathful Dispersion controversy: A Canadian perspective
 
A Canadian spoof poking fun at the ID "movement." Have fun! (off-site link.)
author(s):
q_pheevr, ;
published: Dec 05, 2005


Organisms that Look Designed
 
The author of this post, Allan Glenn, passed away on November 4, 2005 from cystic fibrosis, at the age of 20. A surgery that could possibly have saved his life would have cost about $400,000. His insurance refused to cover such a surgery.

He was bright and witty. We all suffered a loss on November 4.


(The following summary was written by Allan himself.)

A tongue-in-cheek spoof (and, I've been told, devastating reductio ad absurdum) of the "irreducible complexity" arguments put forth by proponents of Intelligent Design "theory." This article describes some of the most grotesque lifeforms known to man and makes a case for a sociopathic god worthy of an H.P. Lovecraft novel. "Equal Time" proponents, be careful what you wish for--or the baby-killing liberals might just have this taught in schools. Now with dozens more evolution-wrecking lifeforms, lots of colorful pictures and myriad inside jokes! Note: This article contains mature subject matter like utterly horrendous parasites and graphic illustrations of disease-ridden walking corpses; it is NOT for the squeamish.
author(s):
Glenn, Allan;
published: Nov 06, 2005


In Dover suit, a day to sweat
 
As the Dover trial approaches its end, Mike Argento continues reporting with his usual wit. Have fun while getting the latest information on the court proceedings.
author(s):
Argento, Mike ;
published: Nov 02, 2005


Buckingham seesaws on the stand
 
Mike Argento, in his usual charming style familiar to our readers, reports on the testimony of William Buckingham at the Dover trial. "Unbelievable," says Mike, and it is hard to disagree with him. With a witness like Buckingham, ID creos need no adversaries. (Off-site link.)
author(s):
Argento, Mike ;
published: Oct 29, 2005


Intelligent design's plea for help
 
One more report from the Dover trial by the incomparable Mike Argento -- have fun while also getting a succinct report on the latest development at the trial. (Off-site link.)
author(s):
Argento, Mike ;
published: Oct 28, 2005


Scientists, sex mark Day 10
 
Any reader with a minimal sense of humor will have a few minutes of fun reading this piece by Mike Argento, which, besides its satirical side, shows a vivid example of the silliness of Michael Behe's pro-ID views. Those readers who enjoy Mike Argento's piece, may have more fun looking up his other post, where Mike talks with the same touch of humor about one more example of Behe's silly statements in his testimony at the Dover trial. (Off-site link.)
author(s):
Argento, Mike ;
published: Oct 23, 2005


Origin of the Novel Species Noodleous doubleous: Evidence for Intelligent Design
 
This is a proof of intelligent design much superior to all the volumes and essays incessantly produced by all the fellows of the Discovery Institute. We expect an acknowledgement of our contribution to their cause from the fellows of Discovery Institute. (Off-site link.)
author(s):
Schneider, Thomas D.;
published: Oct 13, 2005


William Dembski Factors 59!
 
The newest shocking breakthrough in mathematics by ID theorist William Dembski is acknowledged by Stephen Hawking and delays Isaac Newton's scheduled spinning. (Off-site link.)
author(s):
Anonymous, ;
published: Mar 02, 2005


Reinventing the wheel
 
In this brief essay, which has a humorous side to it but nevertheless touches on some serious points, the author tells a story of how he had reinvented the wheel and what came out of it.
author(s):
Perakh, Mark;
published: Aug 17, 2004


Whirled Does Musicals
 

The famous Victorian musical collaborators Gilbert & Sullivan wrote musical and lyrical doggerel which has become part of the culture of the English speaking world. Often their classics, like "I Am the Very Model of the Modern Major General" from The Pirates of Penzance and "My Name Is John Wellington Wells" from The Sorcerer have been modified many dozens of times as vehicles for satire and parody deflating the pompous and pretentious.

We at Whirled Magazine have discovered two fragments of the work of a heretofore unknown pair of collaborators, W.A. Dilbert and Welligan Sullivan, who must have joined this august tradition. We publish them here, as discovered, for the first time.

author(s):
Kassel, John;
published: Jul 23, 2004


Bembi Babelmandebski's view from 2014 - the 450th anniversary of Galileo's birth
 
This is one more parody of one of the articles posted in the online magazine World. These parodies were started by Russel Durbin who poked fun at one of the four authors of the World's articles, referred to by Durbin as John Welligan Coors.

The articles in question turned out to be so inviting to be parodied, that another author, Amiel Rossow, independently of Durbin, also submitted a parody, this time of the article by that member of the "Gang of Four" whose name Rossow presents as I. D. "Bembi" Babelmandebski. The reader familiar with the literary output of the real-life prototype of Babelmandebski will easily identify in this parody slightly modified but still transparently recognizable "quotations" from Babelmandebski's prototype and allusions to his real-life endeavors, only slightly exaggerated, for a comic effect, by the parody's author.

author(s):
Rossow, Amiel;
published: Jun 20, 2004


Project Steve and the Appeal to Authority
 

About a year ago, the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) circulated a statement in support of evolution to a select group of scientists. How select? They only asked scientists named Steve (or Stephanie, or some other variation) to sign it. The purpose? To mock the use of lists, recently put forward by the Discovery Institute (DI), that suggest that significant numbers of scientists questioned evolution. By limiting the eligible signatories to such a small group, it also conveyed to the public just how much more support there was for within the scientific community evolution than against.

The following article, originally published on The Panda's Thumb weblog on April 5th, 2004, relives the joy that was Project Steve, and discusses the appeal to authority. You can read more about Project Steve at the NCSE website. There you'll find the actual list, the original press release, links to newspaper articles, and the Steve-o-meter, which is currently at 431. To read all about the project from its creators, Glenn Branch and Skip Evans, check out this Geotimes article. You can also read Eugenie Scott's take here.

author(s):
Inlay, Matt;
published: May 08, 2004


The Purpose of Life is a Beach
 
In this essay Pim van Meurs offers a parody of the arguments which are commonly used by ID advocates to support their thesis of Intelligent Design being empirically detectable. Comments from a number of readers add more satirical skewering of the ID advocates' typical arguments.
author(s):
van Meurs, Pim;
published: Apr 21, 2004


The view from 2016
 
So effectively has the "Intelligent Design" campaign parodized itself in this latest round of premature self-congratulation, it is difficult to outdo them. (This link is to an online magazine where some of the prominent lights of Intelligent Design imagine how, in their opinion, science will look like in 2025, when, as they believe, evolution theory will be "in the dustbin of history".) The author of this parody imagines instead what would happen if the ID movement decided to revivify religious objections to other seemingly robust scientific theories.
Russell Durbin is a molecular biologist and the parent of an Ohio public school student, currently in the cross-hairs of ID movement's recruiting campaign. He felt compelled to draw attention to the motives of this insidious movement.
author(s):
Durbin , Russell ;
published: Apr 02, 2004


God and the Explanatory Filter
 
In this essay, Rossum (not to be confused with one of the authors on this site, Amiel Rossow) shows that applying Dembki's notorious explanatory filter in a logically consistent way to the question of God's existence leads to the conclusion that God was designed by humans. Rossum's view is that, rather than accept such a conclusion, it is more reasonable to conclude that Dembski's explanatory filter is a logically deficient and hence totally unreliable schema.
author(s):
Rossum, ;
published: Jan 20, 2003