2010-09-28 10:17:24Best news website article about a scientific paper ever
Dana Nuccitelli

Absolutely hilarious piece by the Guardian describing news website articles about scientific papers.  Some excerpts:

"This paragraph elaborates on the claim, adding weasel-words like "the scientists say" to shift responsibility for establishing the likely truth or accuracy of the research findings on to absolutely anybody else but me, the journalist.

In this paragraph I will state in which journal the research will be published. I won't provide a link because either a) the concept of adding links to web pages is alien to the editors, b) I can't be bothered, or c) the journal inexplicably set the embargo on the press release to expire before the paper was actually published."

"This paragraph contained useful information or context, but was removed by the sub-editor to keep the article within an arbitrary word limit in case the internet runs out of space."
2010-09-28 11:00:47

Thanks for the link, Dana.  You're right, that IS absolutely hilarious.
2010-09-28 17:30:46


One of the back-up journals the article links to is hilarious:


Seems to be a sincere effort to shoe-horn science into a Creationist worldview. Seems like tough work: along the lines of 4 impossible things before breakfast.


2010-09-28 20:59:02Answers in Genesis
John Cook

Neal, I made the mistake of following your link and ended up reading a long treatise on the Biblical view on global warming - which was a grab bag of your usual zombie skeptic arguments plus a new one - God created CO2 so it's a good thing. That argument is so stupid, I'm not going to bother adding it to our database. As a Christian, let me extend an apology for that entire website.
2010-09-28 21:20:48Don't dump it so quick


"God created CO2, so it's a good thing."

Actually, if you ever get a theology student to join the stable, s/he could go to town on that one. Get into the meaty questions of original sin, man's responsibility to deal with the freedom to sin, and so on; as well as the more narrowly focused arguments, like "What's the redeeming feature of river-blindness worms (Onchocerca)?"

Could open up a whole new market for responsible individuals: There are socially conservative Christians in the US who feel the call to take responsibility for taking care of what has been created: "We didn't make it, so we shouldn't destroy it." 

Maybe when more of the science is under our belt...


2010-09-30 21:47:09
Shirley Pulawski
AIG is a really well known "Creation Science" site. I think it's loosely related to the Apologia educational program, which is designed for home-school kids. They even have a "Creation Science" course for young teens. I knew someone in NC who was homeschooling her kids and sent them to one of their chemistry classes, but apparently, they have learned to not interject creation into those classes. Or so she said, but it's probably the case, since it seems that like other kinds of denialists, the goal can be to first put forth a credible view of science, then run away with it once they have the reader convinced of their credentials. John, sorry you got sucked in!
2010-09-30 22:00:05Creation scientism


For my sins, I was once teaching high school physics and covered a unit on radioactivity and carbon-14 dating. In my class there were a handful of students who believed in the literal truth of the Bible.

I asked them if they had any problems with nuclear physics; the answer was No, there was no Biblical conflict.

I asked them if they had any problems with carbon-14 dating as a technique derived from nuclear physics; No, no conflict.

I asked them if they had any problems with confirming recent dates with carbon-14 dating; No.

I then pointed out that they then had a logical conflict between Biblically derived time frames and carbon-14 dating (and thus with nuclear physics). I didn't bother to try to resolve the problem for them.

Maybe we should use the AIG site to train the next generation of Skeptic-Skeptics.

2010-10-06 15:15:54


The author of the piece does a followup. Very much worth reading, there's serious intent behind the spoof.



2010-10-06 21:05:47


As a Christian, let me extend an apology for that entire website.

John, nobody has to apologize for the actions of others who happen to fall under some broadly shared common identification.  (If we did. there's enough wrongdoing widely distributed over space and time to tar every human being by association with some nutcase who shares the same religious, ethnic, national, political, social, or cultural background).


2010-10-07 03:07:49very nice
Dana Nuccitelli
Thanks for the link to the follow-up, doug.  It was indeed very good.  It would be nice if some media outlets actually followed his advice, particularly in terms of doing some actual thoughtful analysis instead of just acting as stenographers, which is my pet peeve with regards to science reporting (and in fact most reporting) these days.
2010-10-09 01:48:51


That was awesome, dana, thanks (and doug for the follow-up of course).


@John: as a long time critic of creationists, let me say that, although I have been known to be highly critical of religion in general, I'd never hold the bizarre bronze-age delusions of the scientifically challenged folks at AIG against moderate Christians, least of all one who displays a strong commitment to intellectual integrity (i.e., no apology necessary). }|:op