Field trip to the Creation Museum

I mentioned I was back in Ohio last week. The occasion was the celebration of my grandparents’ 60th wedding anniversary, but while I was in the area, a number of us from Panda’s Thumb also met up south of Cincinnati to take our own tour of Answers in Genesis’ Creation Museum. (Wesley has a picture of the group here; I’ll also try to scan in another “official” picture tomorrow).

My brain still hurts. My thoughts on everything below (with photos, of course):
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David Crowe takes it way beyond HIV denial

HIV “dissident” David Crowe is like the gift that just keeps on giving. Last year, I mentioned a paper he’d written in the journal Medical Hypotheses, suggesting that influenza serotype H5N1 doesn’t exist. Well, it just keeps getting better. Now, it seems he’s writing a book on “the infectious myth”–like previous commenter jspreen, he’s going to write about how the germ theory is wrong. Read more about it below…
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Behe pwned again

You’ve probably already seen a few reviews of Michael Behe ‘s new book, The Edge of Evolution. I’ve barely cracked open my review copy yet, but I already know that one example that features prominently throughout the book is malaria (hence my interest in it, moreso than any more “irreducible complexity” or bad math). However, Nick’s already managed to take away some of my interest even in the malaria angle, dang him. More below…

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Reporting on the Creation Museum…it all makes sense now

As a native Ohioan and longtime creationist watcher, of course I’m morbidly fascinated with (and dismayed by) the opening of the new Creation Museum just outside of Cincinnati. I’m not going to give a full response to its ridiculous “science;” others have done that across the blogosphere (collected by PZ here). However, you may have seen the New York Time’s particularly bad piece on the museum opening (if you haven’t, you can find it here), where the writer–instead of commenting on the atrocious science–lauds the museum’s “daring” more than once, for example. Well, John Hawks has dug up a reason why, perhaps, the reporter was so uncritical:
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Up is down, black is white…

A few readers have asked in comments or emailed me regarding the tenure denial of Iowa State astronomer (and Discovery Institute fellow) Guillermo Gonzalez. I noted that I’ve not written about it because I’ve just not been around much lately due to travel, and because others are covering it quite well themselves (including lots of coverage over at The Panda’s Thumb.) There are so many angles to the story–the reasons for tenure denial, the “academic freedom” issue (and is it really “academic freedom” to espouse anti-scientific beliefs in a scientific department?), the tenure process itself, Gonzalez’s martyrdom and use by the DI (in spite of the probable irreparable damage it may cause his career), many others. Of course, to those of us in the reality-based community, we see this as yet another strike against Intelligent Design, but others (via Uncommon Descent) still manage to see this as a victory:
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Yet another study shows no link between abortion and breast cancer

Last summer, I mentioned that groups receiving federal funding were providing misleading information about abortion, including the unsupported statement that having an abortion increases the risk of development of breast cancer. As I noted, this “link” has been refuted by a number of analyses, including a 2004 Lancet paper and a 2003 National Cancer Institute report. As if those weren’t enough, a new study comes to the same conclusion: yep, no link. More after the jump.
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Margulis on HIV/AIDS

I was out yesterday, and as such missed Lynn Margulis’ blog tour stop at Pharyngula. For those who may not be familiar with Margulis, she’s a professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and was the one who pushed the (now accepted) idea that chloroplasts and mitochondria in cells came about due to symbiosis. In the post announcing her impending arrival, there were lots of questions about her stance on HIV/AIDS. This is mostly due to a review she co-authored on Amazon of Harvey Bialy’s biography of HIV denier Peter Duesberg. The review ends: “As both Bialy and Duesberg emphasize, let us see the research results of those who show that cancer is ’caused by an oncogene’ and that ‘AIDS is caused by the rapidly mutating HIV virus’. Please point us to the published evidence.”

However, since this review was co-authored, it was uncertain how much of this was Margulis’ view alone. She answers that at Pharyngula; I’m going to quote it in its entirety here because it’s just so incredible:
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While all the HIV “dissidents” are milling around….

…I’m sure they’ll be happy to see that Gambia’s president is curing AIDS:

From the pockets of his billowing white robe, Gambia’s president pulls out a plastic container, closes his eyes in prayer and rubs a green herbal paste onto the rib cage of the patient — a concoction he claims is a cure for AIDS.

He then orders the thin man to swallow a bitter yellow drink, followed by two bananas.

“Whatever you do, there are bound to be skeptics, but I can tell you my method is foolproof,” President Yahya Jammeh told an Associated Press reporter, surrounded by bodyguards in his presidential compound. “Mine is not an argument, mine is a proof. It’s a declaration. I can cure AIDS and I will.”

Foolproof, y’hear? Who needs research when we have an assurance like that?

More after the jump…
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Whereby Jon Wells is smacked down by an undergrad in the Yale Daily News

I suppose everyone has someone who they consider an embarrassment to their alma mater. I can probably think of a dozen just off the top of my head regarding my undergraduate institution (including a number of politicians who shall remain nameless). However, one who really sticks in my craw is the infamous Jonathan Wells of the Discovery Institute, who also happens to be a Yale alum (Divinity school–small comfort that it wasn’t Yale College, at least).

So, Wells has been back polluting Yale lately, via the Opinion pages of the student newspaper, the Yale Daily News. Predictably, Wells mischaracterizes evolution, but he also uses his “authority” as a theologian to rail against the upcoming Evolution Sunday sermons, following a previous editorial by Jonathan Dudley describing Evolution Sunday as “not entirely benign.” Dudley is a student at the Divinity school where Wells received his degree, and according to the YDN, is also a molecular oncology researcher at the Yale School of Medicine–so he dislikes the perceived conflict between science and religion. As such, he’s in favor of events like Evolution Sunday that seek to counter this idea, but he’s worried that one argument from authority is being traded for another:
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