Friday, June 15, 2012


If there was a Grand Old Man of the Usenet group, it would have been Richard Harter. He was a fount of knowledge and wit, a consummate punster, and a thoroughly decent human being. The news that he passed away in April has been slow to filter out, bringing shock and sadness to current and former Howler Monkeys. Perhaps his best memorial is his own sprawling and chaotic website. Tonight we donned our official University of Ediacara T-shirts, poured two glasses of Innis & Gunn, and drank a toast to Richard's memory:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Where have all the bloggers gone?

For those of you who might have come here from Why Evolution is True, you know where Kizhe has gone. As for Theo Bromine and Eamon Knight, we are now blogging for CFI Ottawa:

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hey, we're almost famous!

My wife just ran across this YouTube video from last year's foray to Ken Ham's Kook House. The young guy is Derek Rogers, who got kicked out of the place (well, sort of: he got hassled by Security as we were walking through the exit hall anyway) for wearing an atheist bus T-shirt, then for expressing an opinion on the KHKH in the hearing of some tender Christian ears. PZ Myers is to Derek's right; we are right of PZ. Theo manages to make a few intelligent remarks while I lurk in the background grinning foolishly.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Orion's High in the Southwest Sky the song says. Except last week, when we were in Buenos Aires on vacation (short version: we got a cheap opportunity to spend a week in an exotic-sounding place, so we took it). And one clear night it occurred to me to have a look at the southern stars. Which was kind of hard, being in a big city with tall buildings and light pollution, but I managed to find Orion pretty quickly -- only somewhat higher in the sky than I'm used to and upside down. And of course Orion is closely followed to the southeast by his hunting dog, Canis Major, with the star Sirius -- the brightest star in the sky, and easily visible even through the city's sky glow.

So far, these are still things visible from southern Ontario where I've lived my whole life, just shifted to an unfamiliar angle (Buenos Aires is at 35 degrees south latitude). But continuing a little further south from Sirius I found another bright star: Canopus, or Alpha Carinae. At -52 degrees declination, it is never visible from home.

We spent a while mucking with Google Sky and trying to find a spot with a good southern horizon to check out the circumpolar stars, but never managed to identify anything. Unlike the case in the northern sky, there aren't a lot of bright stars around the south celestial pole, and it's too hard to make out constellations when you can't see a big swath of sky all at once. So we contented ourselves with having "bagged" Canopus.

Back home, I went for a walk about 9pm the other night -- and there was Orion back where he usually is, half-way up the sky, and with his sword hanging below his belt. And for some reason, more than any amount of exotic architecture, foreign money, or a different language, that made me realize that I'd been to a far-off land.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Origin of Species: The Chick Flick

Just joking! Creation is much better than that. "Skeptical" Jon Abrams thinks so too.

Minor historical gripes: Annie was not the Darwin's first child, but the second. And she died in 1851, while the bulk of the movie's plot clearly takes place in 1858 and 1859, with the arrival of Wallace's letter precipitating the completion of Origin of Species. Was Darwin really a cranky hysterical for seven long years? I know, time gets compressed in Movieland....

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Ken Ham: Liar, Hypocrite and Hate-Monger.

Ken Ham doesn't trust us:

The Scripture tells us [atheists] “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1). Basically it comes down to the fact that they don’t want to have to answer to anyone—they want to set their own rules. They generally want to abort babies if they want or make marriage whatever they want to make it to be (or reject it altogether). They want to do what is “right” in their own eyes! Thus, a Creator who owns them, to whom they owe their existence, and against whom they have rebelled, is anathema to them!

It baffles the mind as to why these atheists even bother to try to aggressively convert people to their meaningless religion—after all, what’s the point? The only reason they would even bother is if they are engaged in a spiritual battle. Otherwise they wouldn’t care. They know in their hearts there is a God, and they are deliberately suppressing that, as the Scripture so clearly tells us.


I’m sure most of you realize that you often can’t trust what atheists say. After all, if there is no absolute authority, there is no basis for right or wrong (just one’s own opinion). Thus, atheists can say whatever they want—even if it is not the truth.
Dear Ham-head: I've read your website. I've been in your joke of a museum. I even exchanged brief words with you, some years ago. Substitute "creationist" for "atheist" in the last paragraph above and then it might be somewhere in the same ballpark as the truth. You wouldn't know truth if it ran over you on the Interstate.

And while I'm on the subject of Christian douchebags, I may as well as join the chorus pointing out that Pat Robertson is an evil old man whose God is created very much in his own image.