Category Archives: Science

The Ancient Aliens’ Atrocity

The ‘Ancient Aliens’ Atrocity

This post was originally published on Mar 19 2015 here

Today Atheists Against Pseudoscientific Nonsense takes its proverbial baseball bat to the skull that is the intellectual clusterfuck known as the ‘Ancient Aliens.’

Before treading any further down this alley, we would like to take a moment to make something clear. It is quite commonly acknowledged by many that given what we know of the mechanisms of life – its prerequisites, emergence and gradual evolution -, it is more than reasonable to assume that some forms of life can be found elsewhere in this wondrous galaxy of ours. As a group that is sincerely dedicated to the promotion of rationality, skepticism and informed thinking rooted in hard science, it is our firm conviction that these principles must be applied to the pursuit of the knowledge of whether or not we are alone in the universe. That being said, when it comes to tackling profound questions like this, there is a right approach and there’s a wrong approach. ‘Ancient Aliens’ doesn’t only sit firmly on the ‘Wrong’ side of the line – it’s so far on that side it almost disappears behind the horizon.

Skipping over the broader and clearly more fruitful debate on the possibility of extraterrestrials existing, we can turn our attention on what makes ‘Ancient Aliens’ such an atrocity. We could, of course, bombard it with the same accusations we have leveled against other brands of pseudoscience we’ve covered so far but it would be an exercise in repetition. Ultimately, the greatest sin of the Ancient Aliens Theory is that is the proverbial ‘other side of the coin’, the first side being creationism. At first glance, these two may not seem related but they are, in fact, shockingly similar.

Both muddy up the waters of any meaningful discourse on how to better understand our past and origin by presenting questionable, poorly construed, wildly speculative, insufficient and – at the very best – biased ‘evidence’; both shamelessly promote and glorify their application of demonstrably false claims, logical fallacies and non sequiturs as a sign of enlightened, independent thinking and love to portray themselves as the victims of the exclusion and persecution by “elitist” academic establishment; and both rely on sensationalist, populist and emotionally evocative arguments to win approval. Most crucially, however, they both promote intellectual and scientific laziness by playing the Argument From Ignorance and God of the Gaps argument – creationism literally so; the AA advocates substitute ‘aliens.’

The fact that ‘Ancient Aliens’ is into its seventh season with some 1.5 MILLION regular viewers – despite the avalanche of negative reviews from critics and the scientific community – is a clear sign of a major intellectual bankruptcy in our society.

AnAL

  • Corax

 

What Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter Fails to Address

What Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter Fails to Address

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(Above is the picture of the Wyoming)

There are many, many flaws with the Genesis story of Noah’s Flood, and there are many articles debunking it as well. So to add the case we will debunk just the size and construction of the wooden Ark alone.

The ark was purported to be 516.24′ x 86′ x 51.6′(converted from cubits). There was supposed to be 3 decks. Using this data, we get a total square footage of 133,189.92 ft on 3 decks.

Assuming you don’t accept Evolution, you must arrive at the assumption that the number of species we currently see is exactly the same number of species that existed at the time of Noah. (Excluding the Dinosaurs, even though Ken Ham believed they were also on the Ark.) And for simplicity we will forgo that whole 7 of every clean animal part since the math with only counting 2 of every species is more than adequate.

According to conservative estimates, there are between 3 Million to 10 Million different species on Earth today.
Using the MOST CONSERVATIVE numbers, 3 Million species x 2 of each species (not taking into consideration species that reproduce via non-sexual reproduction)= 6 Million animals.

133,189.92 Sq Ft divided by 6 Million animals = 0.0221983 sq ft, or 0.27 sq in. This is simple math folks and we aren’t even including food, water or excrement. So each animal gets about 1/4 of a square inch in the Ark, but we’re not done just yet.

Let’s talk about the live animal cargo on the Ark and how it’s construction effected that as well.

An adult elephant in captivity will eat around 50kg of food per day. A mixture of hay mostly but with vegetables and oddly, bread. 50×365= 18,250kg. Times two, of course, is 36,500kg of food or 36.5 metric tonnes. Also, an elephant in captivity will drink about 200 litres of water per day. That’s 146,000 litres of water for two elephants, or 38569 gallons. And this is for just elephants, there’s apparently an entire planet’s worth of animal species x2 left to feed after this. So with every animal having only a 1/4 inch to roam, where did they fit all the food?

Digesion of food = gas and waste…

In order to prevent explosive levels of methane gas, not to mention an odor of biblical proportion, the air in the ark would need to be totally exchanged every two hours. The velocity of the air in Noah’s window needed to be maintained at 170.45 miles per hour for 11+ months. No provision were made for exhaust gas according to the bible, they must have overlooked this ripe fact.

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What is very convenient is that the folks involved in The Ark Encounter and Answers in Genesis never address what happened to the Wyoming . Although they give a size comparison of the Wyoming, they conveniently fail to go into the details about this ship, and what happened to it.

The Wyoming was a wooden six-masted ship, and the largest wooden schooner ever built. She was built and completed in 1909 by the firm of Percy & Small in Bath, Maine. Wyoming was also one of the largest wooden ships ever built, 450 ft (140 m) from jib-boom tip to spanker boom tip, and the last six-masted schooner built on the east coast of the US.

Because of her extreme length and wood construction, Wyoming tended to flex in heavy seas, which would cause the long planks to twist and buckle, thereby allowing sea water to intrude into the hold. Wyoming had to use pumps to keep her hold relatively free of water. In March 1924, she foundered in heavy seas and sank with the loss of all hands.

ark-compared-to-other-ships
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Now as you can see, the Ark was considerably larger than the Wyoming and would have had to carry an immense weight in cargo.
So going by all this information, just the construction and contexts surrounding the Ark is enough to sink this story.
-AAPN

 

Responses to Popular Anti-GMO Arguments & Rhetoric

Responses to Popular Anti-GMO Arguments & Rhetoric

 

 

Anti GMO march

The typical rhetoric from the anti-GMO crowd can range anywhere from harmless, benign questions to malignant, ignorant claims based on complete scientific illiteracy.

There are hundreds of questions, concerns, and claims from the anti-GMO movement, some more legitimate than others, but I will only be addressing a few of their main talking points.    Continue reading Responses to Popular Anti-GMO Arguments & Rhetoric

The Wolfe Howls Nonsense

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A plea to think.

When it comes to whole cloth nonsense, one can think of few better examples than David Wolfe. His fear mongering pseudoscience dupes people into believing the most outrageous of claims. It is scary to think that a man who actually believes that without salt being in water it would just ‘float away’. Of course anyone with a primary school education could understand that this is absolutely demonstrable nonsense, but what makes it so that people are drawn to the nonsense this man spews? David Wolfe engages in what’s called pleading to emotion, he makes claims that draws gullible people’s wishful thinking and allows them to believe the completely outrageous things Mr. Wolfe claims. Let’s dissect one of his videos and expose the plethora of nonsense he spouts off shall we?  Continue reading The Wolfe Howls Nonsense

Logic, reason and pseudscientific nonsense

Logic, reason and pseudscientific nonsense

Originally published on www.answers-in-reason.com as Logic, reason and pseudscience

The tripartite definition of knowledge states that propositional knowledge , i.e. knowledge that p , has three individually necessary and jointly sufficient conditions: justification, truth and belief. In short, propositional knowledge is justified true belief. The belief condition requires that anyone who knows that p believe that p. The truth condition requires that any known proposition be true. And the justification condition requires that any known proposition be adequately justified, warranted or evidentially supported.

 

Reason

The power of the mind to think, understand, and form judgements logically.

I guess we should define logic and a few other terms also

Logic

Reasoning conducted or assessed according to strict principles of validity. Check or prove the validity or accuracy of,

“all analytical methods should be validated in respect of accuracy”

demonstrate or support the truth or value of.

Truth

That which is true or in accordance with fact or reality.

 Fact

A thing that is known or proved to be true.

Following through the above list of definitions to reason we need facts, which have been validated as such to show they are true. We have seen historically how a good premise can still present a faulty conclusion. For instance Aristotle concluded that the testicles were weights attached to the voice box because when a man’s testicles dropped his voice deepened.  This is obviously not the case which has been verified by biological experimentation which has shown this factually not to be true. Continue reading Logic, reason and pseudscientific nonsense

Facts are Facts!

Facts

 

Facts are Facts!

When the facts and evidence contradicts ones beliefs then you need to change your beliefs because facts are facts regardless of what you believe.

-Fact: We evolved from a common ancestor that we share with other great apes.

Evidence: Fossils found in Africa and DNA studies have consistently shown us this and is even part of the basic foundations of biology.

-Fact: The earth is roughly 4.6 billion years old.

Evidence: Radiocarbon dating and Lead Uranium Dating, this process focuses on the ratio between the number of carbon-14 and carbon-12 isotopes and is very reliable. Lead Uranium Dating method relies on two separate decay chains, the uranium series from 238U to 206Pb, with a half-life of 4.47 billion years and the actinium series from 235U to 207Pb, with a half-life of 710 million years. It can be used to date rocks that formed from about 1 million years to over 4.5 billion years ago with routine precisions in the 0.1–1 percent range. There are also very old zircon rock from Australia that are 4.374 billion years old.

-Fact: The universe is roughly 13.4 billion years old.

Evidence: The age of the universe is determined by using two different methods, by studying the oldest objects within the universe and measuring how fast it is expanding.

Saying “I feel something” or handing someone a religious text does not count as fact or evidence.

-AAPN

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Facts

Child Abuse Through Pseudoscience

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Jim Hubble has to be one of the worst alternative medicine wackloones/ quacks out there. His solution he has come up with is comparable to industrial bleach,
http://miraclemineral.org/ roughly 28% sodium chlorite in distilled water. MMS is falsely promoted as a cure for HIV, hepatitis viruses, the H1N1 flu virus, common colds, autism, acne, cancer, and much more. There have been no clinical trials to test these claims, which come only from anecdotal reports and Humble’s book.

Sodium chlorite, the main constituent of MMS, is a toxic chemical that can cause acute renal failure if ingested.
Small amounts of about 1 gram can be expected to cause nausea, vomiting and even life-threatening hemolysis in persons who are deficient in glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase. When citric acid or other food acid is used to “activate” MMS as described in its instructions, the mixture produces an aqueous solution containing chlorine dioxide, a toxin and a potent oxidizing agent used in the treatment of water and in bleaching. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has set a maximum level of 0.8 mg/L for chlorine dioxide in drinking water.

Horrible testimonials like:

Mms Helped Autistic Son
Nil from Potomac, Maryland, United States: “Hello, my autistic son dropped his ATEC scores from more than a 100 to 3 in less than a year using MMS. Autism/ASD recovery is possible at any age, my son is almost 16. It is never too late.
Free ATEC score at: autism.com and MMS Protocol info at: mmsAutism.com

Chilling stories of gullible people who are using alternative treatments that are inherently very dangerous to people. There have been suits against this product but people still continue be be duped into this kind of extreme quackery. Children are suffering unnecessarily at the hands of this extreme form of unfounded pseudoscience. –AAPN, best wishes.

“Burger Fear Mongering.”

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A report quickly went viral which claims to explain what happens to our bodies when we eat a McDonald’s Big Mac:

As a biology major and skeptic I was immediately intrigued by this, so I began reading through the post — and holy hell… I quickly found myself reading an article that was nothing more than a mashup of fear-mongering claims from misinformation. A lot of the scientific claims the authors made were just blatantly wrong; whether it was about biological processes or chemistry or something else. It’s especially disconcerting because these people are either completely unaware of what they’re talking about and are spreading grossly misleading information through their ignorance, or they are straight up just lying and purposefully creating fear amongst the public against McDonalds. Now don’t get me wrong, they do get a lot of stuff right but I really want to take the time to deconstruct and refute all the bullshit assertions the authors try to maintain in this article.   Continue reading “Burger Fear Mongering.”

The case against creationists and religious fundamentalism

case against creationists
Religious fundamentalists really do have a habit of wearing down on those of us in the scientific community. They tend to say something nonsensical and disingenuous, then when people point it out they either don’t respond or when they do, it’s often always the same rhetoric some other fool quoted, just in a different religious context. The typical quote: “I have proof of God and (insert religious passage) and you need to believe because of some outlandish or obscure claim, then insert a logical fallacy or Pascal’s wager, or even better talk about some anecdotal nonsense. Then they claim that because they ‘feel’ something which they interpret as the presence of a god is evidence enough and that we are damned to some ill fate for not believing.” -end typical quote. We’ve all seen it, it’s the same argument every time, just a different religion or slightly adjusted for the circumstances. And they all claim they have all the answers and the rest are wrong.   Continue reading The case against creationists and religious fundamentalism

The Three Strikes on Organic Foods.

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Over the years organic foods have taken the produce aisle by storm, yet is there anything to substantiate this claim? Although most informed individuals already know organic foods are not sustainable to the general population, there are many purported claims to the benifits of organic foods vs. conventionally harvested produce. In classic AAPN style, we are going to debunk the ever living crap out of those.

Claim Number 1: Organic foods are safer. (FALSE)   Continue reading The Three Strikes on Organic Foods.