Quick Rundown

Posted By on November 9, 2006

“Some Things I Think You Should Know”

.: 90% True has been very buggy over the last couple of weeks, but it seems to have settled down recently. I’m almost completely certain my host, Authentic Hosting, has forgotten about me, since they haven’t responded to a single request from me to have my CC information changed. I lost my wallet over a month ago and I canceled my card, so at some point in the future my website should go down, no? I mean, it’s perfectly reasonable for a company to pull the plug on a website if the monthly bills aren’t being paid, and there’s no way I can pay the bill if I can’t change my CC information. My only guess is that I actually haven’t paid for quite some time, which is why they’re not responding to me: I don’t exist as a customer.

.: My twitch I wrote about in the previous post is pretty much gone. I asked my mom what could cause an involuntary twitch, and she said it could be a variety of things, such as a brain tumor, liver failure, or a vitamin B deficiency. Half a bottle of Flintstones vitamins later, I was back to normal. I now only twitch in those understandably twitchy situations, like when someone tells me, “The negation of any universal assertion is itself a universal assertion” or when my English professor responds to a ridiculously stupid comment with, “Yes, that’s a good point.”

.: It didn’t take me too long to be banned from OverwhelmingEvidence, a website recently launched as part of a student-focused initiative in the world of Intelligent Design research. Check out the front page; you’ll see these words right next to a caricature of Judge Jones:

Judge Jones?
He’s a wacky zany activist,
He’s a rogue,
And he loves that
Old time Darwinian religion!

.: “Wacky zany”? Nope, just doesn’t quite have the same ring to it as “breathtaking inanity“. At any rate, I registered an account to respond to this post by Samuel Chen, whom I caught ever so plainly rehashing creationists arguments against evolution. The post is titled “Thoughts on the Fossil Record” and is almost entirely quotations from the usual suspects.

“The fossil record with its abrupt transitions offers no support for gradual change….”

.: What kind of thoughts do you think Chen intended to generate when he posted this half-quote? My guess is something along the lines of, “Boy, even famous scientist and popular science writer Stephen Jay Gould admits there are problems with evolution!” But anyone familiar with creationist thinking knows to never let an ellipsis lie. Here’s the quote in full:

“The fossil record with its abrupt transitions offers no support for gradual change, and the principle of natural selection does not require it — selection can operate rapidly.” – Stephen Jay Gould (Natural History 86:22, 1977)

.: And, if you’re interested, here’s an earlier instance of an out-right creationist using the exact same half-quote (scroll down to Real Gaps in the Fossil Record?). So we see Intelligent Design proponents once again using the same arguments as the Creationists. My question is, what are the odds this is due to chance alone, and are they lower than the universal probability bound?

.: Finally, one last thing I think you should know. Several weeks ago I was too rushed to prepare a thoughtful abstract for a physics lab report, so I churned out a crappy paragraph with the following sneaked into the middle for fun: “Experimentally, our equipment recorded our tests and, using technology far beyond this humble undergraduate’s grasp, presented us with numbers which we dutifully wrote down for use in later calculations.” When I received the graded lab report, I was surprised to see a positive note written in the margin: “I agree with you. When I was an undergraduate, I had no clue.” Okay, so it’s no Electron Band Structure In Germanium, My Ass, but I thought it was cute.

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One Response to “Quick Rundown”

  1. Gigi says:

    (in response to the post below)

    I half hoped that it was the beginning of MS.

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