Richard Dawkins & PZ Myers

A few friends and I went to see a discussion between Richard Dawkins and PZ Myers hosted by the British Humanist Association. The event was marred slightly by some people protesting about things entirely irrelevant to the talk (see videos below).

A recording of the event is available here thanks to the Pod Delusion: PZ Myers and Richard Dawkins in Conversation.

Perhaps the most annoying thing however is the number of bad/banal questions. It would perhaps have been better to have people write questions down and then select from those ones which are interesting (and ideally related to the talk).


On Dinosaurs and Lice

An interesting article published in Biology Letters suggests that dinosaurs may have had lice. The article was covered by the ever-understated Daily Mail as: So that's why dinosaurs were bad-tempered... scientists reveal they were plagued by lice.

One of the comments made on this article:

"Dr Vincent Smith, from the Natural History Museum, London, said: 'Lice are like living fossils. The record of our past is written in these parasites." No. The record of our past is written in the bible. "Study of insect DNA shows that lice evolved more than 65million years ago." Study of the bible shows that lice were created perfect much less than 65 million years ago and then became imperfect. And this isn't guesswork; the day they and everything else became imperfect and started decaying was written by an eyewitness - the man from whom we are all descended - whom we know as Adam. The 65 million-years-ago history is false. It never happened. This scientist started with a pre-conceived world-view and interpreted his finding through this. But he has ignored the written account preserved in the bible and has subscribed to an imagined history. Adam has put his name at the end of the account in thre first book of the bible, and it's his 'written record.'"

Yet again it seems that the science is more interesting and fascinating the Bible. Oh, and it's a lot more likely to be right.


A Quote

The root of all superstition is that men observe when a thing hits, but not when it misses.

Francis Bacon


Stephen Fry on the Bible

"The Bible is crammed from end to end with stories of temptation, interdiction and chastisement. A forbidden fruit hangs from a tree on the very first page, and as we go through we are given more terrible lessons on how greed is punished and lust accursed until we reach the full, final and insane damnations and ecstasies of St John's Revelations, having passed through wilderness and desert trials, locusts, honey, manna, ravens, sores, boils, plagues, scourages, tribulations and sacrifices. Lead us not into temptation. Get thee behind me, Satan. Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord, I will repay."