Monday, August 10, 2015

How I Came to the Conclusion That "Creation Science" is a Silly Thing

As a very science-oriented child raised as a devout Christian, I was naturally drawn to “Creation Science”. This is supposedly a branch of science devoted to proving that the creation story at the beginning of the Christian Bible is actual fact and not an allegorical representation or some sort of myth. It also seeks to disprove evolution as the origin of different species, and claims life could not have arisen on the planet without divine intervention. In my teens this all sounded very attractive, as I could handily rectify the whole Genesis/dinosaurs/etc conflict. It also involves a heavy dose of conspiracy theory, the reason “Creation Science” isn’t mainstream is because the whole of the scientific community chooses to ignore the clear and obvious signs that the earth is only a few thousand years old. The idea that I was privy to secret knowledge and suppressed truths was pretty cool.

Of course, I never stopped being a science-oriented person. I’m also a history-oriented person. Through my natural curiosity, I gradually came to a realization so overwhelming that I had to share it. Anyone who is familiar with the history of modern science is aware that the foundations of science began with the premise that the Bible was literal fact. This assumption continued for centuries, until it was so unmistakably obvious that the evidence did not match the conclusion that there was nothing to do but conclude that the nature of the universe did not match the Bible.

It’s like this: Imagine someone is trying to put together a puzzle, but they haven’t got all the pieces yet.

They think they already know what shape it’s going to be, and at first the pieces fit pretty good.

But the more pieces they get, the less well they fit together to form the picture they are assumed to make.

Eventually there are a whole lot of pieces that don’t fit very well if the picture is what they assume it is.

Finally, they realize that they have to jump through a whole lot of hoops and rationalize a lot of questionable things to make the picture they thought they were making. The pieces fit really nicely together to make a different picture, though.

From there, it was much easier to study the picture and add the pieces as they found them. Abandoning the original assumption about the nature of the picture allowed them to advance their puzzle-assembling skills rapidly in a way they couldn’t before. Knowing this, it’s pretty difficult to make the case for the original picture without going through a whole lot of mental gymnastics and outright denial.

It was only when the evidence was impossible to fit into the biblical story that other possibilities began to be explored. We would never have made the sort of scientific advancements that have brought us where we are today had we continued to shoehorn all the astronomical, geological, and biological evidence we gathered into the archaic model provided by the Bible. That's not even real science.

In real science, we develop a falsifiable hypothesis and then check to see whether the evidence supports that hypothesis. If it doesn't fit, we develop a new hypothesis that better fits the data. We don't just keep trying to make the data fit our original hypothesis. It didn't work hundreds of years ago, and it doesn't work now either. "Creation Science" isn't really science, it's just a futile attempt to resurrect a hypothesis deemed faulty centuries ago. We've done this before, we don't need to do it again.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Dichotomy. Trichotomy?

My inner voice appears to have two separate personas, which seems concerning but is probably nothing alarming. One voice is that of my Logical Thinking Brain, which weighs and values things in a concrete way, values evidence, and might be a psychopath. This is the part of my brain that informs me that I've done something stupid immediately after I've done it. The other voice is that of my Emotional Feeling Brain, which reacts rather than considers and cannot be reasoned with. This is the part of my brain that reminds me of stupid things I did a decade ago for no real reason.
There's also my Primitive Lizard Brain, which gurgles out my deepest instincts.
Emotional Feeling Brain and Primitive Lizard Brain are usually in agreement.
Logical Thinking Brain is kind of evil, but it also insists I do things like get out of bed and go to work when my alarm goes off in the morning. Emotional Feeling Brain tells me to shut it off and go back to sleep because bed is warm and fuzzy. My needlephobia basically consists of Primitive Lizard Brain screaming that we're all going to die, Emotional Feeling Brain insisting that this blood draw will cause an intolerable amount of pain, and my completely upstaged Logical Thinking Brain sitting in a corner insisting that it really won't hurt that bad and will be over really soon anyway so we might as well stop screaming. When I'm not having a nervous breakdown, Logical Thinking Brain runs the show with input from Emotional Feeling Brain and occasionally Primitive Lizard Brain. 

A few weeks ago I tossed a chunk of ice-encrusted potstickers into a pan of hot oil and started an impressive grease fire.

Emotional Feeling Brain took over and I ran in circles shouting for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, my Logical Thinking Brain was mumbling "Wait! I know how to solve this! There is an easy solution for this. I know the solution."

And then my Emotional Feeling Brain took over again.

In an entirely unexpected fashion.

Never have I been so high off my own spectacularness, and never for such a stupid reason. Despite knowing what a serious situation it was, I can't quite convince myself it was anything less than super awesome. This is why I tend to let Logical Thinking Brain remain in charge most of the time.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I Hate Everyone

I describe myself as a misanthrope. This means I hate everyone, despite my warm and cheerful personality. I hate people of every shape and size, age and ethnicity, gender identity and socioeconomic status. There are specific people that I more or less like and appreciate on a personal level, but on a global scale, I hate everyone.

While most people would assume hating everyone would make me angry and bitter, but it's actually rather pragmatic. Since I have already accepted and embraced the fact that I hate everyone, there's no need to focus on which people I hate, or why I hate them. My neighbors' kids scream all day long and they don't seem to care, but it's not because of their nationality or ethnicity or culture, it's just that they are people. Some drivers don't appear to understand how turn signals or turnouts on mountain roads work, but it's not because of their age or gender, it's because they, too, are people. Wars rage across the Middle East because people keep being people. People have always been people, and aren't likely to change anytime soon. They're going to keep being greedy, gullible, and stupid on various scales. Attempting to forgive, accept, and love all of humanity sounds pretty tough, just generally hating everyone is easy and spreads the hate out in a thin layer that doesn't coat anyone too heavily. There's no need to get worked up over a given person's words or actions, because they are a human and thus vindicating my blanket hatred of all humanity.

Monday, September 15, 2014

"Can I Pet Your Dog?"

I was walking Awesomedog, Tinydog, and Fosteruahuah on the hiking trails one day when we were beset by a pack of preschoolers.
I could see them thundering down the trail, well ahead of their parents. Just behind the parents was a guy walking with a large dog sans leash. He kept calling it as rocketed off the trail and back, it didn't appear to hear him. The herd of toddlers spotted my dogs and came stampeding toward us.

It's nice that people teach their small children to ask before rushing someone else's dog, but it would be even nicer if they elaborated on "ask first". These tiny terrors had absolutely no idea what to do when the answer was something other than "yes".
This exchange was repeated for several minutes while the parents finally caught up and hauled their grabby offspring away. The owner of the other dog leashed it while I was fending off the preschoolers, thus saving me from having to break up a dog fight in the middle of a playgroup.

Monday, September 8, 2014


Every so often I have to go through my house and perform paper abatement. This where I gather up all of the random pieces of paper littering every flat surface in the house, and then sort and file them. This is not unlike the weed and brush abatement that property owners are required to perform in fire-prone California.

A specific corner of the kitchen counter collects mail like a barbed wire fence collects tumbleweeds. This is where we tend to open and then abandon our mail for lack of anything else to do with it. Normally I get around to sorting, filing, and recycling the pile before it gets too tall, but occasionally it gets out of hand. Said pile is right next to the gas stove.
Z was cooking during Star Trek Night when the pile fell over and the corner of something slid just close enough to the stove to catch fire. By the time he convinced us that the kitchen was indeed on fire, the paper problem had sort of taken care of itself. The down side to this, aside from the scorch marks on the floor and ceiling, was that we lost pretty much everything we had received in the mail in the year prior. Medical bills, test results, invitations, catalogues, certificates, paycheck stubs, vehicle documentation...
There really isn't a tactful way to say "sorry, I incinerated your wedding invitation. When was it again?"

Friday, August 29, 2014


I threw some little sausages on a hot skillet and they started popping and rolling around.

There is a small voice in the back of my head that occasionally starts shouting.

There is also a much louder, calmer, logical voice that tends to drown out the first one.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Fat Dogs.

Fat dogs make me sad. Some people seem to love their dogs with food, ignoring the incredible amount of stress it puts on the poor animal's body. Others don't even understand what a healthy weight even looks like, because so many dogs are so fat. A lot of people actually think body condition is subjective, despite the existance of objective veterinary body condition scoring charts. "I don't think he's fat." Would they be willing to take a healthy dog and strap a few extra pounds on them?

Imagine forcing a dog to wear a heavy backpack all the time...

Instead of loving our dogs with treats, we could be loving them by taking off those extra pounds they've been carrying around. Isn't mobility and reduced pain worth more than an extra cookie, or a full dinner bowl?