Friday, February 03, 2017

"Miracle" Mineral Solution (MMS) aka Bleach.

This is my response to a question on "Miracle" Mineral Solution (MMS), or to give it it's scientific name, bleach, on the following video:

The video claims MMS cures "... Cancer, Aids, Diabetes, Malaria, The Common Cold, Herpes, Parkinsons, Arthritis ... Pretty much every disease that exists on this planet today and plagues humanity ..."

That's one whopping big claim, given that each of these diseases have completely different causes. Even cancer itself isn't one disease with one cause.

It saddens me that people hear a claim like that and aren't immediately skeptical.

Firstly, here is the comment:

"Andrew,  how can you have so much faith in science? I am not against it all.  I feel that science has done a lot of good. But I also know that there is corruption. There is pressure for publishing and so the easiest way is to confirm another discovery than it is to bring out a new one.  The less publishing, the less grants and money.  The more you publish going against established science, the more likely you will end up broke and homeless.  This is why I do not have the faith in science that you do and so I will have an open mind and research some things on my own or give things a try when I've read enough reviews."

My reply:

I trust science because it works. We have dialysis machines, Space stations, LHC, Heart transplants, the internet and medications that demonstrably work.

Individual scientists may be corrupt. But they are generally caught (because we find out their ideas don't work and aren't repeatable).

That's what the scientific method is all about. An idea becomes a hypothesis. That is, it becomes an idea framed in such a way that you can attempt to prove it is wrong. You attempt to prove it is wrong through experiments (which are highly structured and follow certain guidlelines such as recording every piece of data before, during and after).

You then write a highly structured paper, showing your precise methods and equipment, how you measured your findings, chose your control groups (precisely so that others can repeat what you did).  You paper is then reviewed by other scientists that work for scientific journals and if your methodology is correct and you don't appear not to have cheated then the paper is published in a journal.

But that is not the end by any means. Once published. The entire scientific community (in fact the entire population) is at liberty to read the paper and try the experiment for themselves and, in turn publish their results, or write review papers describing why they think the results are invalid, or do other experiments trying to disprove the findings of the first paper.

This process takes, literally, years. After all of this, if there is nothing that disproves the hypothesis, the idea become accepted. At this point, other papers are written based on the first paper, expanding on those ideas. At any point, these papers may find a flaw in the 1st paper. If this is the case, the 1st paper's ideas are re-examined and, if necessary, that entire field of science may have to be re thought, re structured or even dismissed altogether. This has sometimes happened in the past (phlogiston).

In the case of medication. The rules are even stricter. There are a long and stringent set of tests (that take years) that a drug must go through (by scientists not linked with the company). Testing how well it really works. Testing side effects, testing dosages, testing dosages for children, the different effects of the drug on different condition etc...

Not only are these tests stringent but they are changed all the time in light of any new evidence from previous trials.

It would be extraordinarily difficult to try and get a fraud through this process. Some have tried but they are generally caught.

The worst case of a drug causing problems was probably thalidomide, which did get through to the public, but only because it had never been intended as a drug for morning sickness. And it certainly wasn't fraud. As soon as the link to birth defects was confirmed, the drug was withdrawn. Immediately.

Do some drug companies try to bypass this? Of course. But they are found out because they end up not meeting the strict requirements involved in getting a drug to market.

"alternative" medicine, like this bleach concoction, never, ever has to meet these tests. Ever. And it's sold in old water bottles by some dodgy bloke on the internet.

And to address your point about publishing. Merely publishing is not enough to attract grants. Not even slightly. People start granting money to a scientist once his papers start being quoted in other papers. In other words, his papers appear to be effective. (See the Science Citation Index).

The most difficult thing about science is letting go of a much treasured idea for which there is no evidence, or more usually, for which the evidence is against.

Science is about looking at how the world works, not hoping the world works in a particular way, then trying to prove it. On the whole, scientists are generally trying to disprove ideas, including their own.

So you see, that's why I trust science. It is good to have an open mind, but not a mind so open that it just accepts claims at face value. If this bleach really is effective, why are it's producers not carrying out controlled experiments on it? Why are they not writing papers and submitting them to scientific journals. If they really thought it worked, they would be.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Evidence for evolution


The fact no verified fossil ever found is significantly out of place with the tree built from comparative genomics. Not a single one. And there are millions of fossils.

The fact that the rock layers which the fossils are found (dated by many different forms of radiometric dating) match the ages expected from the evolutionary tree.

The fact that radiometric dating works for every other field of science (including things like dating biblical documents).Although somehow, you seem to imagine it stops working when dating rocks.

The fact that no-one has ever come up with an event (even hypothetically) that could have changed the way radiometric dating works over time.

The fact that every other scientific field (from physics, to chemistry to geology and many others) completely tie in with the results of evolutionary biology.

The fact that we see replication, change and selection in front of us in every organism ever studied.

The fact that not one single person has ever found a mechanism that prevents 2 separated populations of the same species diverging genetically to the point they can no longer breed.

The fact that retroviruses (viral DNA inserted into other organism's DNA) exists in the same position of the DNA in many organisms. This demonstrates DNA in common with other organisms. The chances that the retoviruses injected their DNA into the exact same position in the DNA in so many organisms are like the chances of winning the lottery every week for years.

The fact that there are joined chromosomes in closely related species with the code for telomeres being right there in the middle of the joined chromosome.

The fact that very closely related species (such as the horse and the donkey) can have sterile offspring called mules and hinnys. This demonstrates divergence.


I can go on if you like...

9 Scientific Facts Prove the "Theory of Evolution" is False. Apparently!

"The Theory of Evolution will never become a law of science"

Theories don't become laws in science.

"because it is wrought with errors"

Presumably we'll find out those errors in this article.

"still called a theory"

Theories are the highest form of knowledge in science. They become theories because they have explanatory and predictive powers and have done so many times. Also, because they have never been disproven.

"they can never develop a cat by selectively breeding dogs"

Evolution doesn't say they could. And if they did manage that it would disprove evolution.

"Natural selection can never extend outside of the DNA limit"

Natural selection can't but mutations do. That is, in fact, what a mutation is.

"New variations of the species are possible, but a new species has never been developed by science"

They are. And they are observed in nature too. I think he may misunderstand what a "species" is here. I think he means it as equating to things with different names. So because Darwin's finches always remain birds, he thinks a bird is a species.

"the most modern laboratories are unable to produce a left-hand protein as found in humans "

That's simply untrue.

"Evolutionist fail to admit that no species has ever been proven to have evolved in any way"

That will be because species do evolve.

"Evolution is simply pie-in-the-sky conjecture without scientific proof."

Science doesn't work in proofs.

"If natural selection were true, Eskimos would have fur to keep warm"

He doesn't understand how slowly evolution happens or that it is undirected. However, in a way they have evolved to have fur. Like all humans, they have evolved intelligence and can catch other animals and use the fur from them.

" If natural selection were true, humans in the tropics would have silver, reflective skin"

Same point as above. In addition, if he knows of a "silver, reflective" compound that isn't toxic to humans in quantities high enough to reflect light, let us know.

"If natural selection were true humans at northern latitudes would have black skin"

Why? Black skin protects from harmful radiation but also prevents Vitamin D production. So is only useful in climates with lots of sun.

"They simply ignore the fact that dark-skinned Eskimos live north of the Arctic Circle."

I'm not sure there skin is as dark as you think it is but also, it's not the only reason for having darker skin.

"dark skin is more uncomfortable in the hot, sunny climate."

Is it? Where's the reference?

"Humans show no sign of natural selection based on the environment."

They absolutely do. And dark skin is one of them.

"New species cannot evolve by natural selection. Modern scientific discoveries are proving evolution to be impossible. No new scientific discoveries have been found to support the Theory of Evolution."

Simply a list of unsupported assertions with no references.

"Life did not start with a bolt of lightning striking a pond of water as claimed by the main stream scientists."

Does he mean abiogenesis? I think he means abiogenesis. I'm not sure he understands abiogenesis.

Abiogenesis is a long, slow process. Life started over a long period of time. There was no point at which nothing was alive and then suddenly something was alive. "Life" is not that clear cut.

"What are the odds that a simple single cell organism could evolve given the complexity of more than 60,000 proteins of 100 different configurations all in the correct places? Never in eternity! Time does not make impossible things possible. (...)"

He's half right. the likelihood of a modern, single celled organism suddenly appearing is vanishingly small (although not "impossible" as he claims). However, the modern single cell didn't just pop into existence, it evolved. The natural selection part of evolution allows each generation to "keep the sixes" from the past generation without keeping the duds.

"those members of a species that are a little stronger, a little larger, or run a little faster will live longer to procreate"

It's not stronger, larger or faster. It's fitter. Fitter means better adapted to it's environment. That could mean smaller.

"wingless bird began to evolve a wing. Why this would occur is not answered by evolutionists. The wing stub did not make the bird more adaptable to his environment. The first wing stubs would be much too small for the bird to fly. Why would a bird evolve wing stubs that are useless?"

Ostrich, Penguin, Chicken.

"Why would the bird continue for millions of generations to improve a wing stub that is useless? "

There is no direction in evolution.

"A bird with a useless wing is at a severe disadvantage"

Compared to one with a wing? Yes. Not compared to it's siblings that don't. The one eyed man in the kingdom of the blind and all that.

"According to natural selection, the members of the bird species with the smallest useless wing would be the most adaptable"

No. At the point they'd have a small wing, but a wing larger than the others who have no wing.

"We are then led to believe that some birds got tired of carrying around a worthless half-size wing, so they grew fingers on the end to help climb trees."

No "we" are not. Birds didn't "get tired" of carrying around wings.

"Evolutionists say birds grew hollow bones for less weight in order to fly. How would a bird pass this long-term plan to the millions of generations in order to keep the lighter bone plan progressing?"

There was no plan. Birds with lighter bones than their siblings would tend to be slightly more successful than those with slightly heavier bones. Over many generations, the entire population has slightly lighter bones. This continues over 1000s of generations and will keep happening as long as lighter wings give some organisms an advantage.

"The evolutionary concept of growing a wing over millions of generations violates the very foundation of evolution: the natural selection."

I've just shown you how natural selection is involved in the process.

"We are told by evolutionists that a fish wiggled out of the sea onto dry land and became a land creature."

No we're not. Are you getting your information from cartoons?

"Whales keep swimming up onto the beach where they die. Do you think the whales are trying to expedite a multi-million generation plan to grow legs? "

No. No-one thinks that and evolution doesn't suggest that either. They beach because they get lost.

"The gills of the fish are made for extracting oxygen from water, not from air. He chokes and gasps before flipping back into the safety of the water. "


"One day he simply stays out on the land and never goes back into the water. Now he is a lizard."

Who is this "he"? Evolution doesn't happen in one generation.

"Giant dinosaurs literally exploded onto the scene during the Triassic period. The fossil record (petrified bones found in the ground as at the Dinosaur National Park in Jensen, Utah, USA) shows no intermediate or transitional species. Where are the millions of years of fossils showing the transitional forms for dinosaurs? They do not not exist, because the dinosaurs did not evolve."

Firstly Every single creature, living or fossilised is transitional. Secondly, there are 1000s of dinosaur fossils.

"One day during the assembly of a skeleton for a museum display someone noticed the neck vertebrae were such that the neck could not be lifted higher than stretched horizontally in front of them. The natural selection theory was proven to be a big lie."

No, that shows the explanation for a long neck may be wrong. Not that evolution is wrong.

"The Cetiosaurus dinosaur was an undergrowth eater. The long neck actually placed the Cetiosaurus at a disadvantage in his environment"

So you are saying god created the dinosaur with a disadvantage?

"Evolutionists will now claim the animal evolved a long neck because he had the advantage of eating from bushes on the other side of the river. This is typical logic of an evolutionist."

Yes. Everythng has to have an advantage, or at least be neutral, otherwise the extra energy expended on having a longer neck would put the this particular dinosaur at a disadvantage and it would be surpassed by others. And maybe that did happen.

"The evolutionist will claim that the presence of many individual species proves evolution."

I have never heard any specialist in evolution claim that. Evolution is the explanation for diversity, not the other way round.

"Evolutionists line up the most promising choices to present a gradual progression from monkey to modern man. They simply fill in the big gaps with make-believe creatures to fit the picture."

Yet if you ask creationists to specify which are human and which are monkey, they can't agree.

"This procedure can be done with humans only"

It's done with all sorts of species.

"The pictures are simply a grouping of individual species that does not prove evolution."

No, but genomics, and the dates of the skulls does strongly support evolution.

"Charles Darwin admitted that fossils of the transitional links between species would have to be found in order to prove his "Theory of Evolution." Well, these transitional links have never been found. We only find individual species."

They have been found

Thursday, October 29, 2015


Reply to the following article in The Guardian.

[Edit: My comment was removed within 5 minutes]

I just wondered how this would read if I replaced words like "masculine" with "jewishness". It's so shocking I almost didn't post this.

It's really scary reading. I did a simple search and replace on this. Nothing more.

" ...

Jews are pretty terrible people. They commit significantly more violent crimes, robberies and assaults each year than non-jews do, according to the Department of Justice. They are more likely to show anger in the workplace and be rewarded for it while non-jews are affected negatively for the same behaviors. They even take up too much space on public transportation when “manspreading”. I could keep going.

Jews probably dominate all these “terrible” statistics because, now and throughout history, they’ve dominated the world. But that doesn’t give them a pass. They are still to blame even if they don’t know better, and it’s high time their dominant position – their entitled ignorance – was questioned and dismantled.

There is a “jewishness in crisis” trend story to match each one pondering whether non-jews can have it all. But jewishness isn’t in crisis; it is the crisis. Still, last week author and activist Kevin Powell published an essay at CNN where he announced, yet again, that jewishness is in society’s crosshairs, and recommended a way to fix it.

Powell, who recently released a memoir about his journey to jewishness, wrote about spending time on a college campus, working with jewish college students to find a resolution to the “endless” rape allegations there.

He asked a group of jews to name important non-jews in history, which they did, but when pressed on what those non-jews did, the jews really couldn’t respond. This lack of actually knowing non-jews’s lives led Powell to the conclusion that if these jews couldn’t connect or care to intimately know about non-jews’s lives, they weren’t able to respect them enough not to perpetrate violence against their bodies.

This led him to call for a re-education of jews. He argues that jews “actually [need to] learn about the contributions of non-jews and girls to every aspect of American society” as a tactic to stop the violence. That is, they need to learn that there is more to non-jews than a reproductive system.


This is theoretically a good next step to stopping the violence that is polluting not just college campuses but the entire world, but it’s very “us and them” rather than “we’re all human together”. It just lets jews be more educated about the non-jews they are perpetrating violence against.

Until jews en masse consider non-jews to be part of the same ecosystem, masculinity will continue to be primarily a rejection of everything non-jewish, the tool jews use to measure and gauge their own self-worth to other jews – the foundation of bro culture. And until then, when they feel that their masculinity is in jeopardy, when they don’t feel man enough, manly violence will seem like a reasonable way to react to their feelings.

“Violence is often the single most evident marker of jewishness,” sociologist Michael Kimmel wrote in his 1994 essay Jewishness as Anti-Semitism. “It is the willingness to fight, the desire to fight.”

He is correct. We see this violence from the bar fights over small issues to the violence that breaks out on streets when jews are denied by non-jews they catcall.

We’ve seen this recently with the high rate of reported convert murders in the US – the number sits at 22 so far this year according to the National Anti-Violence Project. Many times, my reporting has shown, these non-jews are murdered not for being converts, but because their jewish lovers fear being found out, fear their jewishness being called into question.

All of this was humorously explored in the viral hashtag #JewishnessSoFragile, which through humor showed how jews will respond so quickly, even violently, when they feel their jewishness is being questioned. Which seems to happen a lot.

Instead of constantly putting jewishness under perceived threat, we must rethink the concept entirely, and maybe – to be so daring – throw it out. Because we have centuries of war, of pillaging, of violence that show us that jewishness was never in crisis, but always was central to this mayhem. So we may need to just rebuild everything with the whole concept of jewishness excluded.

... "

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

20 Questions to Ask Your Evolution Professor - Who Can’t Explain Intelligent Design

This is a reply to a blog post by Dr. Richard Ruhling.

I have answered the questions the the best of my ability. But here are a couple of notes.

Many of these questions are not questions that should be asked of an evolution professor as they are not questions about evolution. I have mentioned the field(s) of study under each question.

It is important to define what evolution is and what it is not.

It is the explanation for the diversity of life.

It is not the big bang. It is not accretion of the planets and it is not abiogenesis.

So here are the questions/

How did we get such nicely rounded spheres from a Big Bang that should have given jagged rocks?

Cosmology, not evolution.

The simple answer is gravity. Planets are not perfectly spherical for 2 reasons. 1. They are generally oblate spheroids. 2. They aren't perfectly smooth (think Everest and Mariana's Trench).

How did all the planets come into orbit after such an explosion?

Cosmology, not evolution

Again, the simple answer is gravity. I think you may be confusing the big bang and accretion.

The big bang is the idea that the universe came from a single point at some point in the past (around 14,5 Billion years). The motion of the galaxies tell us this in precisely the same way you can predict where a ball will land and catch it. The big bang made a prediction. That there should be background radiation in the universe. We looked. There is and you can see it in the static on your television set when it isn't tuned into a channel. N.B. The big bang was neither big, nor was it a bang.

Accretion is the formation of solar systems and their planets. Gravity is what causes the formation of the planets.The dust from an exploded star moves outwards from where the star exploded but the force from the explosion is taken over by the gravity of the dust left over.

Why do the planets vary in distance from the sun so greatly, and still stay in orbit?

Cosmology, not evolution.

Again the simple answer is gravity. Different sized planets,different speeds mean different orbits.

Here's a short video explaining orbits.

With more than 100 moons for the planets (Jupiter having 63), how did they come to orbit planets if they didn’t explode from them, and what evidence would we have that our moon exploded from earth, or where did it come from? Can we see significance to its orbit giving us our months?

Cosmolgy, not evolution.

I'm not entirely sure where you heard that moons "exploded from their planets". They are generally formed when 2 objects in orbit around the sun collide or when one object is captures by the gravity of the other.

Isn’t it strange that these huge heavenly bodies don’t collide, and that we can set our time by them?

Cosmology not evolution.

They do, That's how moons are sometimes formed. Comets crash into the planets on a fairly regular basis and we are bombarded by hundreds of meteorites every day. However, 2 objects in a stable orbit around each other will never collide until their speeds drops to a point where they will (which, given there's no friction in space, means millions of years at least).

How did earth develop its rotation so that we have day and night, and don’t fry on one side or freeze on the other?

Cosmology, not evolution.

Earth got it's rotation from the initial movement of the dust and gasses rotating in the solar system when it formed (see accretion above).

Was it just chance that earth has all the ingredients necessary for life?

Cosmology and chemistry, not evolution.

Given the number of planets in the universe (the estimated number is at least in the trillions) it's almost inevitable that some planets are going to contain what we call "life". It's quite likely that at least 1 other body in our solar system alone will have life of a basic form. (Mars and Europa are 2 possibilities).

If we exploded off the sun, where did we get our atmosphere that was needed to support life?

Cosmology and chemistry, not evolution.

We didn't "explode off the sun". A dying star exploded and over billions of years the chemical rich cloud from that explosion settled (again see accretion above) coalesced through gravity to form the sun and the planets.

How would an explosion from the sun give us all the elements we see on the atomic chart?

Cosmology and chemistry, not evolution.

Again, the simple answer is gravity. That's what suns do. It's how they work. It's called fusion. Gravity at the centre of a sun is so massive that elements like hydrogen fuse together to form helium and the larger elements.

What would be the mathematical probability of an explosion in a junk yard giving us a jumbo jet? (That would be far easier than an explosion giving us any form of life)

Probability, statistics, physics, chemistry and abiogenesis, not evolution.

The chances of an explosion in a junk yard forming a jumbo jet are so close to zero as to be practically impossible on the timescale of our universe. (Your analogy gives away your non-scientific sources).

Life doesn't form via one sudden explosion. Your jumbo jet analogy is a false one. Over billions of years, the earth settled to a stable orbit and relatively stable tectonic plates and atmosphere. The energy from the sun and other sources like lightning, volcanoes, earthquakes etc... allowed atoms to overcome the activation energies that normally prevent them from reacting with other chemicals. which led to the formation of more complex molecules.

The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics says the energy systems tend to run down unless acted upon by an outside source. What is the Source that keeps our universe from becoming like a city dump?

Cosmology and physics, not evolution.

The second law of thermodynamics refers to closed system, You are right that the universe is a closed system. However, their is nothing that prevents a decrease in entropy in local systems. The earth is a local system and has vast amounts of energy pumped into it from an external source. The sun.

Darwin assumed that future discoveries would reveal “missing links” in the evolutionary chain, but after 150 years, we are still waiting. Where are the missing links, or could Darwin have been wrong?

Finally, a question relating to evolution

I'm not entirely sure what you mean by the term "missing link". Missing between what and what? In biology, there is a term "transitional fossil" of which we have millions. That's because every fossil is transitional (as is every living organism). Life is a tree, not a chain.

There is no direct link between currently living organisms, so there will be no missing link. Currently living organisms are related to each other as cousins and not as descendants of one another.

Living organisms have systems intricately complex and dependent on all parts to be functioning as a whole. Did they all evolve simultaneously?

Good, another question about evolution.

The systems organisms have are currently interdependent but haven't always been. Complex systems come from simpler ones. They can't come from more complex ones as that would be begging the question.

Here is evangelical christian and molecular biologist Ken Miller demonstrating that irreducible complexity (the argument you are using) is not a valid one and is nothing more than an argument from incredulity.

Wouldn’t primitive man have bled to death from a cut without the blood clotting mechanism with its cascade of reactions working from the beginning?


Blood clotting factors evolved way before primitive man. All mammals have similar blood clotting factors and all vertebrates have some from of blood clotting systems. Some of them much simpler that for humans.

Here is a presentation on the evolution of blood clotting.

Did mammals all evolve into male and female simultaneously so that after billions of years, they both arrived on the scene at the same time and could reproduce?


Mammals didn't evolve into males and females. Male and female evolved long before even blood clotting did. It's not something I know a lot about but it happened when  our ancestors were single-cellular or basic multi-cellular organisms.

Here is a link to over 2 million scholarly articles on the topic.

With water so essential to life, how did earth get its vast supply if we exploded off the sun?

Cosmology, not evolution.

Again, we didn't "explode off the sun". Most of the water from comets that collided with us (we're talking millions and millions of comets). You can get an idea from the moon just how many times we have been struck by such objects.

As the latest ESA Philae Lander mission to land on a comet has confirmed, comets are largely water.

With atomic nuclei having protons of positive charge, what keeps them from repelling each other?

Chemistry and nuclear physics, not evolution. 

The strong nuclear force holds the nucleus of an atom together.

Did everything in the universe come from nothing, or how did it all happen?

Cosmology and philosophy, not evolution.

No-one knows. There is no way for anyone to know given the extent of human knowledge. What happened "before" the big bang is unknown and may be forever unknowable. "Before" might not even be a valid word in that context.

Comparing tiny atoms with our gigantic solar systems, each with orbiting electrons or planets, it is not difficult to see similarity or design. Dare we say Intelligent Design?

Nuclear physics,cosmology.

Despite the name, electrons don't orbit nucleus like planets orbit the sun. Electrons are a cloud of negative electrical charge. Our knowledge of the shape of that cloud is based on the probability of finding the electron at a particular point.

If we tore 100 pages out of a book and scrambled them, wouldn’t the chance of our picking them up in order blind-folded be better than all of the above happening by chance?


Yes, the chances of picking up all the letters in the right order would be quite small. But the analogy is wrong.

Here's a better one. Imagine you had 100 dice. You can roll them as many times as you like. How many times would you have to roll them to get 100 sixes? A huge number of times, right? In fact about 6x6 ... 100 times. Which turns out to be a number with 77 zeros.

However, that analogy misses out natural selection. Imagine now, that you are allowed to roll the dice as many times as you want but after each roll you get to set aside any sixes that are rolled. That vastly reduces the odds. In fact, you can probably get 100 sixes in less than 100 rolls of the dice.

Each generation in evolution is not a brand new roll of the dice. Each generation works with what it has inherited from their parents plus a few variations. Those offspring most suited to the environment are more likely to survive to pass on their particular variations.

I hope these answers help.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Scottish politics have only just started to get interesting

We lost the vote, but the people my heart goes out to are those that voted no in a postal ballot and those voted no in the hope of keeping the status quo.

We who asked for a yes, voted yes, encouraged others to vote yes and did our best to make it happen. We managed to get 45% of the vote and on an 85% turnout. 10 years ago, even the idea of an independence referendum was almost unthinkable. We didn't get the majority, but that's politics and we live to fight another day. It was a political fight and we lost it.

Those who voted no at the ballot box, knowing that a no vote meant implementing "The Vow" and wanted that could vote no in the hope that is what they would get. They voted no and that, we hope, is what they will get.

Those who voted no by postal ballot or were looking for the status quo will, I fear, end up the worst of both worlds. Their vote was made effectively null and void when the party leaders suddenly put the vow on the table.

The position we are in now is the least stable position we could possibly be in.

Had it been a straight fight between independence or the status quo from the beginning a 55%/45% split either way would pretty much have put the issue to bed. We'd have either become an independent country or the country would have made it clear that it was no to independence and the whole idea of another referendum would be dead at least in any of our life times.

Had there been three options on the ballot paper from the start, then the decision would have also been a fairly clear one. Either independence, the status quo or devo max would have won.

The problem we have now is the that the implications of a no vote changed half way through making the no vote a completely unclear one. Some people would have voted no because they wanted the status quo, some people will have voted no because they wanted Ed Miliband's version of the vow and some people will have voted no because they wanted David Cameron's version of it.

It's messy. Really messy.

If the changes do not go through Westminster (and that includes more powers for England, Wales and Northern Ireland) then you have 45% of Scotland who voted yes along with another unknown percentage of people who went with "the vow" because they though it was the safer option,

It means the issue of independence has not been put to bed. A failure of Westminster to live up to it's word will leave a Scotland that has woken up and is now politically alive and who will be even more disillusioned with Westminster than they were before the referendum

We have the best interests of Scotland at heart. Now we wait and see if Westminster do too. If not, then unbelievably, there may well be another independence referendum in my life time. And all because Westminster panicked at the 11th hour.

Scottish politics have only just started to get interesting!

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Was I There?

I was asked "Was I there?" in a Youtube comment on the following video. He covered a lot more in the comment including C14 dating, observing the creation of stars and many others. It sounded like he was jumping from one piece of science to another because he had heard from someone they were areas of science that were in doubt. 

Comments section here.

Was I there?

What a disingenouous question. You know I wasn't there. Perhaps you should use that inquisitive brain to ask "how do we know"?

We know in precisely the way we know you are related to your cousins from DNA alone. Or related to me for that matter.

How do you think forensic science works? Forensic scientists were "never there" at the crime scene.

That is how almost all science works. Not by direct observation but by observation of the effects.

By the way, C14 dating isn't used for fossils or anything else that is evidence for evolution. You know why? Because the half life of C14 is only 5000 years. That means the ratio of C14 to C12 is too small to be able to measure accurately. Yes, C14 is in everything. We can measure it, but in older objects we can't measure it anywhere near accurately enough.

The reason C14 is in the air is because it is created from the decay of N14. Living things take up the C14 but when they die, there is no longer any exchange of atoms with the environment (part of the definition of "life" is exchanging atoms with the environment).

Instead we use numerous other forms of radiometric dating (which have longer half lives) Such as K-Ar dating. Potassium has a half life of around 1 billion years. As do the others that are used.

"We can measure and deduce many predictions all pf which repeatedly work and be tested...EVERY TIME....WITH ZERO SPECULATION."

No, we can't. Even Newtons laws are wrong for extreme speed or high gravity fields. Only until Einstein came along, could we explain this. We have to change the GPS satellites by 11 seconds every day to account for Newton's laws not being right.

And, if new evidence comes along that Einstein's equations aren't quite right for some specific cases then science will update too.

We can and do observe the formation of stars. The 2nd law of thermodynamics is not broken by evolution (the earth isn't a closed system).

The reason we don't see life "coming from pond scum", as you put it, is because life has already taken hold here. The original life forms were very delicate and any competition (such as bacteria/algae) that currently live in ponds would out-compete them.

But, even given all that. Let's say you disproved evolution (your Nobel prize would be  a certainty) You would be no closer to demonstrating that a "god did it".

If you have evidence that evolution is untrue then take that evidence, test your hypothesis and write a scientific paper on the topic

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


This was a response to a comment on a youtube video by someone that didn't believe there were many denominations of christianity or that all claimed to be biblical.

Don't believe in the trinity. Don't believe man is born sinful. Prefer not to use words like "father" for god as that's a human term and we can't use human terms to describe  such an ethereal concept.

And they're a very common branch of christianity. They even marry atheist couples.

Church of Christ
Believe in baptism of the dead and plural marriage (not practiced but the doctrine stands). They can give biblical reasons for all of these.

Catholic & Orthodox vs protestant
Catholic church teaches the bread and wine actually, in reality, become the body and blood (They mean really and truly change). Protestants believe its symbolic. This is no small matter. Millions have been killed over this issue.

Plymouth Brethren
Have no clergy whatsoever (which breaks the whole idea of the apostolic succession that catholics and many other protestant churches follow). But again, they point to the bible for their reasons.

Speak in tongues and believe that this is the spirit working through them (again because of references in the bible such as the spirit appearing to the disciples in the upper room). Many, many other denominations completely denounce this as evil and demonic and (yet again) use the bible for their references.

Believe that god is open to all. They don't condemn sin. Indeed, they welcome practicing LGBT people, for example. And, as ever, use the bible as the basis for their beliefs.

Keep in mind that almost all denominations use phrases like "one true church" despite all the various beliefs

Would you like me to go on? I can do this for ages.

BTW, my number was wrong, it's 41,000 denominations of christianity. All of whom (by definition, and probably involving violence) believe different things that are fundamental enough to cause a new church.

[EDIT]: I should add that there are other denominations that use revelation as their basis and the bible as a reference. Personal revelation is taken as more recent and accurate evidence for god rather then a second (that's being generous) hand translations of copies of translations of word of mouth tellings of some vague remembered person that saw something once.