Jesus and Mo

The author of Jesus and Mo hits the rhetorical nail on the head. You can’t insult an idea.

A cartoon shows four panels of Jesus and Mohammed in bed, reading and talking

Happy Holidays, everyone!

You can get your science-oriented cards from here: Science Gallery Christmas cards.

An atom symbol with a snowflake in the centre: card says All I want fo Christmas is a rationalist view of a Universe governed by physical laws"

All I Want for Christmas

Data Safety Sheet for Water

water molecule

H2O

From Kausik Datta at In Sciento Veritas over on SciLogs we have a bit of nerdish humour: The Material Data Safety Sheet for hydrogen hydroxide, or was that dihydrogen monoxide?

Happy Holidays! Ho, ho, ho!

And a “Ho, ho, ho!” to you and yours. You can buy these sciency cards at Not on the High Street.

ho3-christmas-cards

Who controls the economy?

vengeful god

This just in: Many Americans think that God controls their economy for them. And in other news, Thor personally forges every thunderbolt that strikes the U.S., Neptune hand-carves the waves that lap their shores, and Quetzalcoatl cares who wins a football game.

How much is a centi-Dembski?

You may Have seen William Dembsk’s assertion, or repeated it, that he has proved that natural selection working on random chance is not an efficient way of generating mutations or that it’s less efficient than random chance alone. This somewhat nonsensical conclusion was supposedly proved by a computer program written by Dembski and Robert J. Marks. They put up an essay, “The Unacknowledged Costs of Evolution,” criticizing an evolutionary program called ev,  on an unofficial web page.  Unfortunately, obvious errors in basic computing make their results invalid.  The errors were such that the program would never find a solution, such as filling a table with 1’s and then randomly changing some of the cells to 1’s and waiting for some zeroes to appear. With programming skills like those, they would wait forever. And then they used the wrong size of matrix, compounding their error.

Wesley R. Elsberry has the details in an article called  “Unacknowledged Errors in ‘The Unacknowledged Costs’” over on the Panda’s Thumb. It covers who was able to find the errors and why,  what they wrote to the authors, what they did or didn’t do in response, what has happened when other errors were pointed out, and so on. In the badinage of the comments the standard size of a Dembski error was discussed and 65 orders of magnitude was calculated. That’s 1 followed by 65 zeroes.  Someone else pointed out that creationists, in taking the age of the earth to be 6,000 years instead of 14 billion, were only 63 orders of magnitude off target–a centi-Dembski!

Cellular Respiration Song

Electron Chain Transport:

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