Posts Tagged ‘intelligent design’

Creationist Dirty Tricks: Censorship on YouTube

20 June 2009

For the past year or so, various YouTube channels have been the target of a campaign of censorship by Creationists. THis campaign has consisted of the following:

  • filing false DMCA claims. Filing a false DMCA -wherein an person oo organization claims ownership of a video that they do not really own – is considered perjury and is illegal and the filer can face civil and criminal charges in a court of law;
  • False flagging. YouTube has a flagging feature which allows users to mark a video as potentially unsuitable for minors to watch or could be a violation of YouTube’s Terms of Service. In theory, a YT moderator is supposed to actually look at the video to confirm this, but due to the large number of videos on the site, it appears that YT simply takes the flaggers’ word for it and marks the video without confirming its content. This has become common knowledge and is an often-used tactic;
  • Down-rating comments. ThHis involves marking a videos comments with a “thumbs-down”. This used to involve marking only the comments that supported the video, but it is far easier to simply mark them all, so the person doing this doesn’t have to read the hundreds or thousands of comments that are posted;
  • Marking comments as Spam. If comment rating is disabled, in order to protect them from the previous tactic, then a user can mark a comment as Spam. With enough marks, the comment is hidden from view, unless some one clicks on Reply. Due to the amount of time it takes to do this, many people might not take that step;
  • Votebotting. This involves using a computer program to rate a video with One Star ratings, in order to prevent the video from appearing in search engines on YouTube. You simply run the program and it goes to each video several times, each time giving it a One Star rating. Supposedly, only registered users can rate a video, but there seems to be a glitch in YT’s system that does allow such programs to function without hinderance. As a result, even though a video may have only a few hundred views, it could still have thousands of One Star ratings. This has become the favored tactic of creationists in their fight against the pro-science (i.e. the side that explains the Theory of Evolution and debunks creationists’ claims) due to the total lack of legal consequences and YouTube’s lack of self-policing, as well as YouTube’s apparent lack of concern that this is even happening.

When YT users, such as Thunderf00t, posted videos calling for viewers to directyl contact YT to complain about the above tactics being used against their channels, YouTube would either ignore the complaints or would retaliate against the channel by suspending them or even closing their account permanently.

As such, the pro-science and atheist channels on YouTube have been censored and harassed with little or nothing they could do in response.

Few Christians have publicly condemned the above tactics being used, as it seeems to make their propagandizing on YT easier by eliminating the opposing side.

As pointed-out by YouTube user cdk007, this camapign of censorship only proves that creationists have no argument against evolution that can stand-up to scientific scrutiny and they must resort to dirty tricks in order to try to win the argument.

However, instead of “winning”, the usage of the above tactics and the failure of the general Christian community on YouTube to condemn them only shows that they have lost the debate and have nothing to bring to the table.

Here is a list of some of the hardest-hit channels on YouTube. feel free to watch their videos and subscribe, if you like:

Thunderf00t
AronRa
Potholer54

DonExodus2
ExtantDodo
AndromedasWake

dprjones
FFreeThinker
djarm67
ThetaOmega
JaguarJ0nes
ZOMGitsCriss
C0ct0pusPrime

These are just a few of the many channels hit by the censorship campaign. You will find links to other channels through them. You can also find a more complete list at the League of Reason webforum.

It seems that creationists have realized that they have no argument against science. So, they have decided to try to silence the opposing side through a cowardly censorship campaign.

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My Thoughts on YouTube User VenomFangX

27 May 2009

If you ever wanted to make a list of the most contoversial YouTube users, you would have to include a young man from Canada who called himself VenomFangX,

Shawn (his real first name, which he openly admitted) is a devout Christian and Creationist. He made numerous videos expounding Creationism, borrowing much of his source material from convicted criminal and former minister Kent Hovind. While Hovind and Shawn may convince those without a scientific backbround, people with scientific educations find such “information” laughable and several YouTube users, posted videos of their own debunking the claims of Shawn, as well as ridiculing him. The most famous groups of video series posted in response to Shawn and other Creationists on YouTube include:

There are, of course, other videos posted by these and other users, but these are the most well-known. Shawn’s initial response to these videos was to attempt to get into “debates” with these posters. However, Shawn’s near-total lack of a scientific education made any sort of debate with him to be a waste of time for the people he challenged and VenomFangX even admitted in one of his videos to Thunderf00t that he simply wanted to try to get Thunderf00t to “get out of his scientific bubble” and get him to try to see the world and universe from Shawn’s perspective. In other words, he wanted to preach Christianity to Thunderf00t in some sort of attempt to convert him. He even asked his subscribers to send messages to Thunderf00t to pressure him into agreeing to watch Shawn’s videos and debate him. However, Thunderf00t rejected the offer.  Shawn’s attempts to contact Thunderf00t and earn his respect seemed to border on the level of an obsessed fanboy, which Thunderf00t found to be rather disturbing and insulting.

While Thunderf00t and the other YouTube users allowed comments and ratings on their videos by anyone, Shawn did not. VenomFangX closed his comments to “approval only”, which meant that only the comments he allowed would be posted and it gave the appearance that everyone who commented on his videos agreed with him. When this point was brought-up, he did not change his practise and he also disabled ratings, so that no one could rate his videos either and neither could anyone post video responses. As such, Thunderf00t nicknamed Shawn “Posterboy from Creationist Stupidity” (PCS) and Shanw has been called PCS by numerous non-Creationists on YouTube ever since.

In an obvious attempt to eliminate the counter-arguments of Thunderf00t and others, Shawn began to file DMCA complaints against over 150 individual videos posted on YouTube. For a time, these videos were removed and a shitstorm of controversy was the result. Shawn tried to claim that “a friend” had filed the DMCAs on his behalf, but this was soon proven to be untrue and Shawn was revealed as the filer of those complaints. This resulted in Thunderf00t calling for Shawn to either shutdown his account for six months or face criminal and/or civil prosecution for his abuse of the DMCA system. At first, Shawn tried to bluff his way out of it, along with encouragement from other Creationists, but eventually was forced to admit his guilt for filing the false DMCAs and lying in an attempt to cover it up.

After receiving this smackdown, Shawn was a bit quieter than he had been before. However, he soon began to find new ways to offend people.

For a few days, Shawn closed his account after claiming that people had obtained his personal information and had threatened his family. Shawn posted a video announcing this, saying goodbye to everyone. However, he did log-into his account over the next few days and eventually returned with a video consisting of clips from his supporters’ videos asking for his return. This bit of drama was derided by his opponents as nothing more than appealing for sympathy.

In one of Shawn’s earliest videos, he appealed for a video camera and soon received one from a supporter. However, in clips of many of his videos, Shawn revealed that he lives in a palacial home with expensive decor, which made such appeals to seem selfish. He was obviously not from a poor family, so was seen as having no business asking for donations of any kind. In my view, even if some one knew that Shawn is from a wealthy family, but still wanted to give him a donation, that was certainly the donor’s choice.

Later, after Shawn claimed to have lost his job at a video store – after having used the store’s equpiment to copy DVDs from Kent Hovind’s organization and playing the DVD “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” on the store’s television and giving-away copies of Hovind DVDs to store customers as a way of prostelytizing to store customers – Shawn posted a video asking for people to financially support him so that he could Preach the Gospel as a full-time preacher. Specifically, he asked for at least 500 people to donated $1 each. He said that he would keep $500 for his own use and give anything over the $500 to Sick Kids Hospital. Shawn began to receive donations of more that $5 from several people, including donations of $500 from a couple of individuals, which was far in excess of the $500 he had initially asked for. A YouTube user, ImSoCritical, posted a comment that Shawn should simply put the excess into a savings account to carryover into the next month, rather than giveaway the excess. This account is seen by some, including myself, to be a sockpuppet account that Shawn used to post supportive cooments to himself. Whatever the case may be, Shawn soon abandoned the idea of giving away the money he received in excess of the $500 and began to spend it on other things, whether related to his ministry or not. These expenses included paying for parking at the college he preached at, car expenses and video recording equipment.

When pressure was brought on by people asking why he didn’t donate to the hospital, Shawn’s reply was that he had asked for 500 people to donate $1 each, but he said that, since he had wanted 500 donors, he still had not reached his goal. This flew in direct contradiction of his initially stating that he wanted only $500 per month and instead counted only the number of donors. So, if he received, say, $1000 from 499 people, he did not feel obligated to give any money to charity until he had gotten money from the 500th donor. While he did end-up making donations to various charitable organizations, he did not donate any money to Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto, but instead to other Christian groups.

In response to apparently fraudulent use of the name of Sick Kids Hospital to raise moeny for himself, YT user UNFFwildcard posted this video.

UNFFwildcard’s video was posted both a response to VenomFangX and as a way to raise money for Malaria No More, whose goal; is to supply bed netting for people in Sub-Saharan Africa in an effort to combat the spead of malaria.

This same YT user published further criticism of Shawn here

as well as a Thank You to all YouTube users who have helped in the fundraising drive

Unlike VenomFangX’s donation drive, UNFFwildcard’s effort was fully transparent and you always knew how much money had been raised and exactly where it was going.

Not to let Shawn off-the-hook for what was apparently an an attempt by Shawn to get money from people without having to work for it, another YouTube user lordhathor began his own campaign to interrupt the flow of money into Shawn’s pockets and you can view his playlist here

When Shawn began his donation drive, he stated that he wanted to be a full-time preacher and the donations were simply to financially support him while he did that. He posted videos on his channel showing him witnessing to several students at a local college. This was obviously an attempt by shawn to justify his money-raising and show that he wasn’t simply freeloading on the goodwill of others. Howvever, lordhathor uncovered evidence through an interview with a Christian minister who lives close to Shawn that

  • Shawn was offered an actual job as a missionary with a local church, but turned it down;
  • Shawn’s response to the church that offered him the job that he wasn’t interested in it because he didn’t want to answer to the church’s authorities;
  • Shawn also was not satisfied with the salary offer from the church, since he was making more money than that through his donation drive on YouTube;
  • the videos that showed Shawn converting people to Christianity were actually faked and the people he was preaching to were already Christians and, in some cases, had been so for years;
  • despite Shawn’s claims that he wanted to be a minister, none of the college courses he was taking were related to that occupation.

You can hear the interview on this video

We’ll never know how much money Shawn raised or what he did with it. Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter.

In the end, Shawn posted another video on his channel to say goodbye. In this video he stated, once again, that people – Muslims, in this case – had obtained his personal information and sent threats against his life and the lives of his family members. As such , he was shutting-down his channel and deleting all his videos.

He did this…for a few days.

Shawn then reopened his channel, sans videos, and stated that he was giving his channel and its 26,000+ plus subscribers to another YouTube user, known as GEERUP. GEERUP is known as a rather off-the-wall character on YouTube and had less than 2500 subscribers. Now, with Shawn’s subscribers, he has a wider audience. GEERUP believes in the New World Order conspiracy and posted rather strange videos on his own channel. To his credit, CEERUp does allow comments to be posted on his video and allows comments on the VenomFangX channel, which is something Shawn did not. Time will tell if Shawn’s subscribers remain with GEERUP or will tire of his rantings and strange behavior.

Did Shawn really receive threats agaisnt his life and the lives of his family from Muslims, as he claimed? Personally, I don’t think so.

What I do think happened is this:

  • people reported Shawn’s use of the name of Sick Kids Hospital for the purposes of his money-raising;
  • it became obvious that Shawn had given none of the money he collected to that same hospital and had no real intentions of doing so;
  • copies of the video were sent to the Hospital’s legal division, as well as Canada’s Revenue Service and the Toronto police and an investigation of possible fraud was launched;
  • since Shawn lives with his parents, they became aware of what was happening under their roof when they were contacted by law enforcement and/or Sick Kids Hospital as part of this investigation;
  • Shawn’s parents, whom he lives with, were unaware of what he was doing until this contact was made. Since Shawn is over 18, they are not responsible for him or his actions previous to contact. However, now that they became aware, they are now responsible to prevent any further misuses of the name of Sick Kids Hospital by their son while he lives in their home;
  • rather than face criminal and/or civil repurcussions for the actions of their son, as well as damage to their reputations in the community, Shawn’s parents forced him to shutdown his YouTube channel and close his website.

Shawn made one last appeal for people who still wanted to send him money via his Paypal account. It’s anyone’s guess as to how successful this will be for him. For most of us,”Out of sight, out of mind” is how we are and while some of his subscribers will want to help him out, I think that when enough time passes, Shawn will be forgotten by most of his former followers and the money will stop coming in, if it does at all.

Ultimately, here is my assessment of Shawn:

  1. Shawn grew-up in a well-to-do family and his parents indulged him with gifts of expensive items;
  2. Shawn became a Christian recently and became a follower/admirer of Kent Hovind;
  3. Since Shawn was doted-on by his family, he has a strong need for attention and admiration from people around him;
  4. Shawn does not like being criticized by anyone for any reason and reacts badly to it;
  5. Shawn also has a vindictive nature, looking for ways that he can strike back at his detractors with little risk to himself for his actions;
  6. Shawn is a coward and when caught doing illegal or immoral things, will try to bluff or threaten his way out of them;
  7. When Shawn does not receive admiration, he will try to gain sympathy from others. He will settle for people feeling sorry for him, if they cannot admire him;
  8. When Shawn’s parents told him that he had to earn his own money, Shawn attempted to use the job as a platform to garner followers for himself and converts for his religion;
  9. Shawn was always allowed to do whatever he wanted to by his parents and was upset that his employers would not do the same;
  10. Shawn does not like having to work for a living and wanted to find a way to receive money without having worked for it;
  11. Shawn will try to use either people’s admiration or sympathy for him to get money for himself;
  12. He views whatever money he gets as his own money and will be loathe to give it up to anyone for any reason that does not benefit him in some fashion;

Basically, Shawn is just a selfish little punk kid who never had to earn his own money and he discovered that some people would give him money if he asked for it. He’s a lazy piece of shit who doesn’t want to break a sweat on a job and would rather spend his days playing on a computer and living the same carefree life he did when he was a child. Because his parents indulged him, he expects the rest of the world to do the same and he just can’t stand it that we all don’t line-up to kiss his ass.

Finally, it seems that his parents may have realized what a selfish little shit they raised and have taken some belated action to rein him in before he ends-up in prison or the family gets sued. I hope that they sat him down and gave him a good talking-to about how he risked their family’s reputation for his schemes.

Now, I would view this all differently if Shawn lived on his own and appealed for donations from people without mentioning Sick Kids Hospital or any other legitimate charity as a form of leverage to get people to send him money. If he wanted to ask for money on his own and people gave it to him, then I really don’t care. People give money to fake preachers all the time.

But, his use of a legitimate charity’s name to raise money for himself so that he could continue a life of leisure without doing a bit of real work for it just burned me up.

Shawn isn’t even 25 years old yet. I hope the little shit grows-up before his actions land him in criminal or civil court facing real consequences for his nonsense.

He’ll be back, I think. When he’s not getting anymore donations and he feels a need for attention-whoring, he’ll come back to YouTube or some other forum and try to pickup where he left off.

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Tea Party, Part 2

16 April 2009

These are just my own predictions for life in America after the Tea Party Tax Day Protests. Bear in-mind that these are assumptions, based upon my observations of past events and movements like this, so I could be wrong.

Or I could be absolutely right and I think I am.

For one thing, this is not about taxes and never has been. That’s just a cover. Everybody hates paying taxes and Americans are no exception, especially since we created an entire mythology around our own Revolution on “no taxation without representation”.

This whole thing is about the elections across the USA in 2010, 2012 and 2014. That’s it and nothing else. It’s not about creating a popular movement or reforming the tax code.

It’s about creating the next crop of Republican candidates for the next three elections to unseat the Democrats in the White House, Congress, State and local government bodies over the next six years.

The Republican realized after the last election that they had alienated their base of “small government, low taxes, pro-business and pro-family” and they are trying to build some kind of movement of people with that mindset in order to gather enough potential voters to take them into office over the next six years. Plus, the emerging leadership of the anti-tax movement will be looked-over as potential candidates to run in those elections. The ones with the best popular support wil be vetted for future runs for political office, the ones who don’t make the cut may be seen as poptential helpers along the way, but that is doubtful. Remember, there is an entire machine out there for the Republican Party to tap into. All they need are candidates and that’s where this current movement comes in.

In the near future, we’ll be seeing more from the pro-gun lobby, creating a stir about supposed infringements of their right to carry or own firearms. Second Amendment advocacy groups are going to be coming out of the woodwork in the next few months.

Creationism is going to be making the news again soon, as Evangelican Christians use this as a means to further thier own agenda. It won’t take much to stir-up a base of people afraid of their kids learning about Evolution. Certain groups of people don’t want their kids being told that Life got started here on Earth as a natural process, without the need for Divine Intervention or a Divine Plan. Never mind that Creationism, Creation Science and Intelligent Design are laughed-at by real scientists. Most people don’t really know that much about Science and it will be that ignorance – and in many cases, fear – which will be exploited for the purposes of political gain.

Let’s not forget about the Family Values Issue. With four states no legalizing same-sex marriage, anti-gay rights forces will be on the march to reverse those. Yes, they will be trying to have gay marriage made illegal again there and rallying the voters, along with serious cash to try to undo them. Likewise, there will be other movements to undo any legal recognition of civil unions in any of the States that recognize it and will be mobolizing against it in any States where the movement appears to be strongest. Any State that looks like it might even consider recognizing gay marriage or civil unions will be getting some serious attention in the next six years. Forces will be aligned with the anti-abortion movement which has always attracted a strong based of Conservative Christians.

The rise of the “Drill Here, Drill Now” movement during the last election, I anticipate some sort of backlash against the environmental movement and laws that have been passed to curtail the increase of greenhouse gases and pollution. Painting such movements and advocates as “charletans and panickmongers” will be seen in the future, especially in such media as FOX News, which remains one of the most-watched television networks in the USA and whose word is often taken at face value.

Over the next four years, the Right will be atempting to recreate what they accomplish during the Clinton Administration by trying to paint President Obama as a socialist, pro-gay, anti-gun, tax-and-spend Democrat. Any sort of attack on his personal life will be exploited to its fullest extent. As far as his personal life, he certainly has given much less for them to work with than did Clinton, but that will not stop certain groups from looking for such material or making it up out of thin air if it becomes neccessary to do so.

However, it is a point of history that the eight years of the Clinto Administration were far better for the US economy than were the eight years of the Bush Administration. Under Clinton, we had economic growth and budget supluses, while Bush resulted in the exact opposite.

Any positive economic news will be spun to either give credit for it to President Bush and/or attempt to downplay any role that the  Obama Administration policies had in enabling it to happen.

So, we have the potential rank-and-file lined-up to form a base for the Six Year Plan:

  • anti-tax;
  • anti-gay rights;
  • anti-science;
  • anti-environmentalist;
  • pro-gun; and
  • anti-abortion.

Along with a machine to denigrate the Obama Administration at every turn, these people are looking to take back the White House and Congress beginning in 2010.

The sad part of this is that I don’t think the Democrats will even see it coming until they are fighting for their political lives in 2012.

You don’t hear much about Ron Paul anymore. If he doesn’t come out more visibly in the next few months, I think he will become irrelevent. The luster has worn-off, for now, and it will take some sort of action on his behalf to get back into the limelight. I believe that Ron Paul will make an attempt to attach himself to the movement I am describing, but they will not be enthused about his assuming any kind of leadership position. He will be kept at arm’s length, though his supporters’ votes and money will be appreciated and solicited.

Let’s see what happens in the months ahead. Look for activity in the fight to prevent a national health care system in the USA. Michael Moore has gone quiet on this issue and the void will be filled by some one who opposes any step in that direction.

See if I am right.

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Louisiana Becomes Creationism vs Science Battleground

18 January 2009

Providing the basis for a possible, and probable, series of lawsuits, the Louisiana State Board of Education approved a new set of rules to allow the introduction of creationist materials into school classrooms.

After failing on a 5-5 vote to delay adoption of the rules, BESE members unanimously approved them, minus a section that specifically excludes materials promoting “creationism or intelligent design or that advance the religious belief that a supernatural being created humankind.” Such language in the rules was determined to be outside the realm of the legislation.

During a committee hearing opponents and advocates of the new rules expressed their views on the subject of whether the new rules should be adopted. The board was most swayed, however, by Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek’s argument that the language was unnecessary. He said “I’m satisfied that you cannot teach creationism or intelligent design” with other language in the rules. The portion he referred to states, “The materials shall not promote any religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs, or promote discrimination for or against religion or nonreligion”.

Teaching that life on Earth is the result of divine creation was expressly prohibited by a ruling of the United States Supreme Court, so openly teaching it as science is illegal. However, creationist organizations plan to review science textbooks for what they consider “objectionable material”. I guess they mean anything too scientific for their tastes.

See, this is how it starts. Allow creationist materials to be “available” to teachers, so any teacher who might have religious objections to teaching evolution could dip into the ready-made supply of creationist materials. That would equally be true of any teacher who might be pressured by outside groups to include “just a little” creation “science” as part of their classroom instruction.

According to the five year plan of the Discovery Institute, they want to start with creationism being taught in addition to evolution. From there, they want it to become the dominant scientific perspective in twenty years. Never mind that science has wholly rejected creationism or intelligent design as legitimate, creationists plan to use the ballot box and the general ignorance of science on the part of the masses in order to further their agenda.

What do they hope to gain, you ask?

Simple answer: Power.

If more people disregard science in favor of religious dogma, that gives more power to religious leaders. That means more congregants, more donations and more influence in the political arena in order to pursue their agenda on issues such as abortion, gay rights, and the futherance of the accumulation of power for the Religious Right.

They want power and the best way to achieve power is to start by indoctrinating the young while their minds are still vulnerable. If they can indoctrinate the young, they wil have followers for decades to come. When the yound mature, they will grow-up and become voters who will support those candidates the Religious Right tells them to and then the agenda can be brought to fruition via the ballot box.

I seriously doubt if even the Doscovery Institute really believes in the crap they’re peddling. After all, their arguments get torn to shreds by real scientists whenever they actually manage to get into a debate with them. However, teaching evolution in public schools and convincing the general public to believe in it doesn’t empower the Religious Right. But, creationism does.

They want o be the kingmakers of America. They want to be the ones calling the shots as to who has the right to do what and when. They don’t really believe this nonsense, as it is only a means to an end.

Belief in evolution empowers science and that’s the last thing the Religiuos Rights wants, which is pretty frakking scary.

 

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Creationism & Evolution: Hearing Both Sides

12 January 2009

Science expert questions intent of teacher’s aids

It seems that a teacher in a Mount Vernon Middle School classroom decided to inject a bit of creationism into her science class. Naturally, this has the school board upset at what is essentially teaching religion in a public school.

I’m going to talk about something that one student was quoted as saying in the article whose link I posted above.

Levi Stickel, 17, who attends the hearing daily and carries a Bible, said he thinks it is good to hear both sides “to strengthen your own beliefs.”

This is what I want to discuss, the whole idea of “hearing both sides”.

Creationists like to claim that they are unfairly shutout of science classes and they simply want kids to hear both sides of the Creation vs Evolution Argument.

The problem they have is that Creationism isn’t backed by science, at all. Anytime creationists try to quote what they call “science” a real scientists immediately shows them why they are wrong and most creationists really don’t know that much about science.

Creationism or Intelligent Design isn’t based on science, but faith. They start out with a preconceived idea – that G-d or an Intelligent Designer created the world and all the life on it – and work backward to try to find evidence to support the conclusion. Science does it the other way around, by collecting information, formulating hypotheses, doing tests and coming to a conclusion based upon the preponderance of evidence. That’s a simplified way of explaining the Scientific Method, but it will do for now.

So, there is no scientific debate between the two. It’s religion versus science and that’s it.

Let’s take the whole “let’s hear both sides” argument to it’s natural conclusion, shall we? Let’s go over some of the ideas that we teach kids in school these days and juxtapose what we would also have to teach them if we wanted them to learn “both sides”:

  • teach them that Apollo 11 landed on the moon in 1969 and that the whole thing was faked by the US government;
  • teach them about racial equality and that one group of people is racially superior to others;
  • teach them about the biological and environmental causes of disease and that evil spirits cause illness;
  • teach them that the world is round and teach them that the world is flat;
  • teach them that the Earth orbits the Sun and that the Sun orbits the Earth.

Where does it stop?

Oh, I know. The creationists say that there is so much evidence that the world is round, the Earth orbits the Sun, etc and all the other ideas have ben refuted by science that there is no reason to teach the “other side”.

But, the scientific evidence tells us that life on Earth evolved over time. Beginning with simple forms of life,  then on to more complex lifeforms until we come to where we are now. All the scientific evidence supports it, so why not teach that in science class?

Answer: because it disagrees with somebody’s religious beliefs. Not because it disagrees with science, but because somebody feels that it opposes his religious faith, he wants to have his side taught alongside, even without science to back him up.

As far as “equal time” is concerned, there is really no desire to have Creationism on an equal footing with the Theory of Evolution in science classes or in the scientific community. The true goal is to have creationism become the dominant view in scientific circles, including in America’s classrooms.

How do I know this? Because the Discovery Institute blatantly admits this in their “Wedge Document“, which was written in 1999.

The Wedge Document outlines a twenty-year plan for the inclusion, and then dominance of creationism in our public school curriculum and in public life in general.

To quote from their five-year goals:

  • To see intelligent design theory as an accepted alternative in the sciences and scientific research being done from the perspective of design theory.
  • To see the beginning of the influence of design theory in spheres other than natural science.
  • To see major new debates in education, life issues, legal and personal responsibility pushed to the front of the national agenda.

Their twenty-year goals:

  • To see intelligent design theory as the dominant perspective in science.
  • To see design theory application in specific fields including molecular biology, biochemistry, paleontology, physics, cosmology in the natural sciences, psychology, ethics, politics, theology, and philosophy in the humanitites, to see its influence in the fine arts.
  • To see design theory permeate our religious, cultural, moral and political life.

You can read it for yourself. They will not be satisfied with equal time, as it only serves as a precursor to their hoped-for domination of the scientific perspective regarding the origin and development of life on Earth.

All this talk about scientists “being afraid” of creationism being taught is erroneous. Scientists aren’t afraid of the idea of creationism itself. The fact is that there is no scientific evidence for the instantaneous creation of life on Earth in its present form by a Higher Power.

None. Zero. Zip. Nadda.

The Theory of Evolution does have practical applications, as well. Scientists can accurately predict how life could be affected by climate changes, how viruses can adapt to antibiotics, and other practical applications.

Creationism has no practical applications. You can’t use it for anything other than attempting to validate a religious opinion. Beyond that, nothing.

That teacher who attempted to sneak creationism into a public school classroom is only a footsoldier in the Discovery Instutue’s plan to subvert science and further their own goals.

In that same document, under “ACTIVITIES”, they include as item #10 Academic Debates, which is interesting since very few real scientists question the Thery of Evolution as a fact-of-life. The only people the creationists can usually find to argue their position are people either with no scientific degrees, people with degrees from non-accredited universities or even people with real degrees but in a field of science unrelated to evolution.

Scientists have no problem with debates. They just prefer that both sides know what they are talking about and creationists have a problem when the best they can come up with includes tactics like quote mining and deception.

One thing creationists like to do is claim that evolution is “only a theory” without understanding how scientists actually define “theory”.

Most people use the word to describe a guess or a hunch. In science, a theory is the best possible explanation for an occurrance, based upon a preponderance of evidence. A theory can be tested, modified, changed or even scrapped altogether if subsequent evidence invalidates it.

A “hypothesis” is the closest equivalent to a guess, in the scientific community. But, it’s not supposed to be a wild hunch based upon a gut feeling. More like an educated guess, to put it simply.

So, once again, creationists are attempting to hide their true objectives, hiding behind a wall of lies and ignorance. Never mind how teaching creationism in our schools will harm future generations of scientists. They’ve got an agenda and a religion to validate. SO, the facts be damned.

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Creationist Dirty Trick: Masquerading As Some One Else

6 January 2009

If I had a website, using my real name of an intenet alias commonly associated with me, as the URL, people would think that the website was really mine and the views expressed on it were, in fact, my own.

That may be the heart of the reason some dirty mutherfrakker has created a website using the name of well-known (on YouTube, anyway) evolution apologist and pro-science advocate AronRa.

The website http://aronra.com was created on 14 November 2008 and it was done by an individual who chooses to remain anonymous. The domain is registered via GoDaddy.com and the registrant is Domains By Proxy (a subsidiery of GoDaddy), a service that allows you to own a domain with only the company you purchased the domain from to know who you are. Supposedly, this protects the website owner from spammers and other vile scum who try to contact you in some way.

The website is a crationist/Christian website founded as part of the “Atheist vs Christian” conflict and was doubtlessly founded by some creationist butt-muncher that had encountered AronRa on YouTube and didn’t like what he/she/it saw and heard.

Really nice way to “take a stand for the Lord”, don’t you think? I thought that Christians were supposed to be unafraid of the World, which is supposed to be under the control of Satan, the Father of Lies. But, it seems that concealing one’s identity and attempting to co-opt the identity of another is perfectly okay, as long as you do it in the Name of Jesus.

I am reminded of this verse from Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians,

“Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints”
Ephesians 6:10-18

I put the parts about “truth” and “righteousness” in bold text in order to pose the question to the registrant of the website: what part of truth and righteousness is covered by registering your website under some one else’s username? It’s just a question and it’s one I’m dying to hear the answer for.

This isn’t the first item out of the dirty tricks bag that creationists have pulled – the most famous being the filing of false DMCA claims against videos posted by evolution defenders. But, it is one of the most cowardly. After all, when you file a DMCA claim, the targeted person does discover who the petitioner is and can react accordingly.

As far as damaging AronRa’s reputation as a strong advocate of science and as an atheist, I feel that this website’s total effect upon his reputation will come to a grand total of zero effect and Epic Fail.

AronRa already lists his website on his YouTube homepage and is located at http://LocoLobo.org where you can learn a lot about evolution and the classification of lifeforms.

Unlike the putz-smoker that registered AronRa.com, the real AronRa does let everyone know, not only where he goes to university, but also what he studies and he even provides his email address.

Odd how people who supposedly support the life-changing faith of the Bible and Jesus, are some of the most duplicitous scumbags you’ll ever meet.

Frakk you, you frakking frakkers!

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Laymen’s Guide in Debunking Creationism

5 January 2009

Lack an advanced degree in science, but want to know how you can respond to creationists?

Want to know if what creationists are telling you is true or not?

Or do you just want to know more about Life, the Universe & Everything?

Well, I have decided to collect every video series that I can find on YouTube that debunks creationists claims and post them on this blog entry.

This list will grow as I update it with new listings. However, I will mention the updates in future blog posts.

Watching all of these videos would take days, even weeks. But, after you’ve seen them, you will have a much better knowledge of science and how creationists are full of Bantha poodoo.

Here they are:

Creation Astronomy Propaganda (CrAP) Debunked
by AndromedasWake

Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism
by AronRa

Evidence FOR Evolution and Against Creationism
by cdk007

Origins the Series
by cdk007

Why Young Earth Creationists Must DENY Gravity
by cdk007

Creationist Dishonesty
by DonExodus2

Evolution Proven Beyond Reasonable Doubt
by DonExodus2

God, Darwin, and Design – Ken Miller

by DonExodus2

How Evolution Works
by DonExodus2

Transitional Fossils I and II
by DonExodus2

Way of the Master- Lies and Ignorance Exposed
by DonExodus2

From Big Bang to Us — Made Easy
by potholer54

Debunking Hovind – The Age Of The Earth
by ThetaOmega

Intelligent Design Is Not Science
by ThetaOmega

evolution vs creationism (some videos are not functioning in this playlist)
by Thunderf00t

Why do people laugh at creationists?
by Thunderf00t

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Why the Religious Right is So Powerful

4 January 2009

A modern phenomenon in the USA, which makes it unique for a Western Democracy is the sheer power of a religious organization to achieve the level of power that it has. While other Western countries have their own religous organizations which exert force within their own political structure, the United States stands alone as the one Western republic where a blatantly religious group  holds such sway, not only on the state level, but on the national stage as well.

But, where does this power come from and what can be done to counter it?

That’s a question many people on the Left have been asking for decades and there’s really no simple answer, but I’ll give it my best shot.

Historically speaking, the United States has always been a religious nation. Even today, the USA is the second-most churchgoing country in the Western World, second only to predominantl- Catholic Ireland.

Founded as a haven from the waves of religious persecutions in Europe, for a time groups such as the Quakers, Unitarians, Jews, Roman Catholics from predominantly Protestant countries and other groups found themselves a safe haven where while religion played a factor in everyday life, there were few instances of outright massacres of groups which were even minorities in the colonies or states in which they lived. Granted Catholics and Quakers weren’t exactly welcome in certain areas, but you didn’t find the state-sponsored street massacres of innocent civilians as had occurred in much of Europe. Even the historically-disliked Jews were never the victims of wholesale slaughter and pograms as had happened in Europe.

For a time, the Unitarian Church was one of the most powerful churches in America, with several of the Founding Fathers among its membership. George Washington, America’s first President, even sent a letter of assurance to the Jewish community that they would have nothing to fear from the government regarding their freedom of religion.

So, how did we get to where we are now?

Well, religious groups that flee from their native country to avoid persecution tend to be the most devoted follwers of that faith, so there was a concentration of religious fervor of all types in this country from early times.

This was coupled with the missionary zeal inherent in some churches, notably the Baptists, which energized the desire to convert the newcomers to the domestic churches in the USA at the time of their immigration. For some groups, they had no local branches of their churches in America, so they could either found their own church – a very difficult task, especially when they lacked clergy – or assimilate to a church in America that most closely resembled a faith they had left behind. For example Eastern Catholics from the Assyrian and Antiochan Churches, usually converted to Roman Catholicism. For a long time Eastern Orthodox Christians had a difficult time finding a church for themselves and sometimes became Catholics also. Still, others would abandon their old faith to join a local demonination in the effort to gain social acceptance in their new locale. The best example might be Irish Catholics converting to Baptist when moving to the Southern States pre-Civil War.

Over decades, Americans found themselves at war with people with whom they had religious differences, though these were not religious wars in the true sense. Catholic Spain and France, though they assisted America in its War of Independence, were strong regional powers and controlled much of the New World outside America’s borders. Native American tribes either followed their own religions or had a strong influence of Catholicism, due to missionary work from Spanish or French priests or monks. Even Great Britain, with its Church of England, was a major rival, oweing in part that its church had a pope-like figure in the King or Queen.

Independant, pastor-led denominations where congregations held more power than a college of cardinals or similar religious assembly, flourished in America and a spirit of religious independence took hold in this country. Local pastors became politically powerful, especially when there were no ccontrols from higher authorities to keep them in check.

Protestantism became entrenched and with its lack of oversight, the pastors held political power and could influence how people voted on election day. Pastors would exort their flocks for whom to vote and what type of ballot measures to approve.

Catholics had a similar experience in America and the Church often had to attempt to rein-in American priests and bishops who felt little need to adhere to the dictates of Rome. One notable example was Father Charles Edward Coughlin, who had a radio program a few years before World War Two, where he openly admired Adolph Hitler and railed against the Jews in to forty million listeners who tuned to his weekly broadcasts. The Church had to repeatedly admonish Coughlin to tone-down his rhetoric, with Coughlin often obeying for a time and then resuming his activities.

During the Cold War, where America found itself opposing the decidedly atheistic Soviet Union, Christian religious fervor reached a new peak. Despite the fact that Western Europe was similarly threatened, only in the USA did Christians feel that they had a special role to play in fighting both communism and, especially, secularism.

Conservative Christians see Secularism as a much more severe threat than communism. Most Americans would never accept the abolition of private property, so the very idea that America could ever have become a communist state was ludicrous. But, it could be very possible for a nation, such as the United States with its plethora of religious denominations all co-existing in relative harmony, to become a nation where, while the general populace could be very devoted chuchgoers, religion would play little part in deciding America’s foreign policy or how its educational curriculem would be selected. After all, that’s what happened in Western Europe, right?

While Europe’s churches once held great power, the tide shifted around the time of the French Revolution, where the Catholic Church was deposed from its place of guaranteed power and never assumed it again. As much of Europe moved away from church-dominated monarchies and toward more secular forms of government, the days of a church-dominated government came to an end. Mostly, this change happened peacefully in Western Europe. In Eastern Europe, the most direct cause was the Soviet expansion after World War 2, where churches were closed and clergy either killed or imprisoned.

Either way, the effect was the same: the power of  the Christian Church was primarily limited to the pulpit.

However, the United States proved itself unique. While Christian ministers could influence elections on the local level, there was no national movement to effect the imposition of a particular theology or political view.

That is, until television came along and certain Protestant ministers began to view themselves as having an agenda that could, and should, be imposed on a national level.

One of the first was Pastor Jerry Falwell, who led the Moral Majority for a long time. His influence is credited with helping Ronald Reagan become President in 1980 and re-electing him in 1984. After over 200 years without a unified conservative Christian front in the USA, the Left was off-guard and severely misjudged how much power the Religious Right could and would attain in a very short time. The effect on the nation was palpable and the United States seemed doomed to fall into an ideological quagmire from which it would take a long time to extricate itself from.

However, the leaders of the Religious Right overstated their sense of self-importance. When even conservative Republicans began to resist the influence of the very pastors who had led much of the movement that got them elected, the Religious Right soon found itself relegated to the fringe. Scandals rocked the Religious Right as Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart were engulfed in sex scandals that ended their position of power on the national stage.

The Commercial Appeal, a Memphis newspaper. ran a series of articles authored by Michael Stephen  Clark that exposed the strong influences of the Falwell-led Moral Marority upon the Republican Party. The organization dissolved in 1989 and was succeeded by the Christian Coalition, led by Reverend Pat Robertson.

While the Coalition enjoyed a heyday of power for many years, it couldn’t escape from the Taxman. The Internal Revenue Service repeatedly butted heads with the Coalition over back taxes and its tax-exempt status. Fortunes declined and the organization was essentially bankrupt in 2004, which is quite a fall from its having $26.5 million in 1996 to only $1.3 million in 2004. The power of a pastor-led political movement seemed on the decline. Pat Robertson even ran for President of the United States in 1988 and did well in some primaries, but ended-up leaving the race.

While the Coalition claims to have 1.2 million members, according to its list of contributors and former employees, it has about 30,000.

Plus, there were added image problems for the Religious Right when Falwell and Robertson made outlandish public comments. Falwell in blaming the 9/11 attacks on liberals and homosexuals; and Robertson predicted natural disasters occuring in the United States in 2006 and terror attacks in 2007; neither of which happened, despite his claiming that G-d told him that they would. Public comments like those embarrassed the Religious Right and caused many of their adherents to shy away from them, at least publicly.

The Religious Right had an epiphany: Americans might be the second-most church-going populace in the Western World, but they are more than a little uncomfortable with megachurch pastors running for political office or holding great sway over elected officials, especially in light of the effects of clergy-led governments in Iran and Afghanistan, whom the United States condemned for their religious fanaticism and intolerance of religious minorities.

A new crop of leaders had to be chosen and they couldn’t be ministers. They had to be secularly-employed or business owners, but still devout Christians. The sledgehammer tactics of openly campaigning for political and social causes had to be abandoned for more covert means, where they would get people elected to public office and then those people would move their respective legislative bodies toward a position the Religious Right approved of. Large money contributors were found to fund their campaigns and ties had to be as obscure as possible to avoid public revelations from derailing their efforts. Churches could still be used to recruit campaign workers and church mailing lists could be exploited in the search for donations.

Certain issues had to be exploited for maximum gain and they had to be issues which could get the most support across denominational lines. These issue were old ones which were dusted-off and used to maximum effect. Pushing the Panic Button became a frequent tactic, where people were warned that if a certain group took power or if something wasn’t stopped, the United States of America would be destroyed from within.

Of course, many people don’t really know too much about American history. For a nation that survived events like its own war of independence, a civil war, the Great Depression, two World Wars in less than 35 years and the nuclear escalation of the Cold War to be destroyed unless Same Sex marriage was outlawed from coast to coast or unless abortion was criminalized or unless Bill Clinton was impeached, etc is perposterous to even comprehend for anyone who knows anything about American history. There have ben attempts by groups to actually turn the United States into a dictatorship, such as the Officers’ Plot near the end of the Revolution or the Business Plot in the 1930s. None of these plots succeeded and the United States remains the oldest surviving republic in the Modern World.

However, as I said, the Religious Right realizes that most Americans don’t really know much about their own history and exploits the “do something about (insert political cause of the day here) or America is doomed!” to great effect.

Let’s be honest and admit that the fight against gay rights has been one of the most successful ploys of the Religious Right. Most heterosexuals don’t like homosexuals, for whatever reason. I have gay friends and I long ago realized that they have many of the same problems as straight people, including paying their bills on-time and making ends meet from week-to-week, but most Americans don’t have many gay friends and haven’t really taken an interest in their lives beyond what they do in the privacy of their own homes. Circulating mass-mailings about some “Gay Plot” to subvert the American family and oft-repeated stories of how gay people are actively trying to recruit more Americans to become gay have caused too many people to view gays with suspicion and loathing. If you don’t know some one, you can be easily motivated into believing something bad about them, especially if it’s coming from people that you trust, like the people you go to church with. Dislike and open hatred of gays and lesbians cuts across all racial and religious lines, so has been a very successful tactic of the Religious Right.

Fear of the collapse of American morality is one reason why so many Christians oppose the teaching of evolution in our public schools. If people think that they are only the end result of a cosmic accident (the Big Bang) and not the result of the direct intervention and creation of an omnipotent creator, then it is feared that people across America will lapse into the most antisocial behavior, such as murder, robbery, rape, etc. feeling that there is no one to answer to and no afterlife to have to worry about receiving eternal punishment in. All this ignores that fact that, even in pagan societies, murder, rape, theft, etc were crimes. Even if you could find an entire society where no one believed in a god, murder would still be illegal, due to the fact that no society could exist for very long if such behaviors were legal. An entire society would collapse in all the chaos that would ensue. So, laws against murder, theft, rape and other antisocial behaviors would still have to be enforced to protect the social fabric. But, most people don’t think three dimentionaly. People often think in simple terms and science isn’t something most people understand or know much about. Real science is difficult, at best, for the layman to comprehend and the Religious Right uses that ignorance to full effect.

To further their war on science, the Religious Right has organizations, such as the Discovery Institute, that produces books and videos that can be easily distributed by mail or over the Internet. They also have lecturers who will travel across the  country to speak at events and before legislative bodies, all paid for from sales of their materials and by donations given from wealthy contributors and devoted legions of devout Christians. People who support evolution being taught usually do not have similar resources at their disposal and they lack a devoted following of similar magnitude. There is no pro-evolution (actually, Pro-science) organization that can dispatch speakers at the drop of a hat to testify at a hearing on the other side of the country. Sheer manpower and financial resources give the Religious Right an edge that they can, and do, exploit.

Abortion is a cause that has had a limited amount of success for the Religious Right. Most Americans want abortion legal, even those for whom may not consider having an abortion themselves. The Religious Right uses fear tactics and frequent comparisons to Nazi Germany or Communist China to further their goals, without admitting that making accurate sex eduacation available and allowing access to birth control does more to reduce the number of abortions than speeches given by any pastor or TV/radio show host ever could. It is no coincidence that teen pregnancy rates are higher in locales where sex education is either limited or nonexistant. By the way, the rates of teen preganancy and abortion went down during Bill Clinton’s Presidency, much against the predictions of the Religious Right.

Nevertheless, the anti-abortion lobby has such a devoted following, that they can have a protest rally set-up in only a few hours, with dozens of people carrying ready-made signs. They are devoted and, in some cases, fanatical to the point of being willing to commit violence. John Eric Rudoplh is only one example. Remember that physicians have actually been murdered by people like this, with little in the way of condemnation from Religious Right leadership, aside from “Well, we certainly don’t approve of violence. But, Dr (insert name here) was responsible for the killing of thousands of unborn children.”. How many times did you hear that?

So, how do we fight an organization that is so well-funded and has a large base of devoted followers?

Well, as with any political and societal organization, the Religious Right has earned the power they have right now. If you work hard and are dilligent, you deserve your place of power on the American political landscape. So, to fight them, you have to earn your position of power, as they did. One bad thing to try to do is try to do it all by yourself. Don’t. You’ll burnout and give-up.

More on this topic in a future blog.

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Creationist Censorship on YouTube

2 January 2009

Over the past year or so, the following creationist/intelligent design supporters have engaged in a campaign of censorship on YouTube through the filing of false DMCA claims against YouTube videos and accounts who published opinions with which they disagreed:

1) Creation Science Evangelism, the organization founded by Pastor Kent Hovind. Hovind is currently serving time in Federal prison for income tax evasion. By the way, when the Internal Revenue Servive raided the Hovind home, they found about $42,000 in cash stashed, in addition to  a half dozen guns. On the day the IRS searched the Hovind home, Kent withdrew $70,000 from the Creation Science Evangelism account. Half in a check, and half in cash.  

2) Illustra Media, which produces creationist videos. They are the producers of the video “Unlocking the Mystery of Life“, which aired on the Public Broadcasting System in 2003. The executive producer of that video is James W. Adams, president of Discovery Media, and it was produced and directed by Lad Allen and Timothy Eaton. The script was written by Stephen C. Meyer of the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture and W. Peter Allen.
Illustra Media is directly linked with Discovery Media – which in turn is the successor to the Moody Institute of Science – being that Discovery Media Productions is the registrant of Illustra Media’s website.

3) Answers In Genesis, founded by Ken Ham, which also produces videos on creationism, as well as books and serves as one of the leading creationist organizations in the USA. Pastor Ham had a bit of trouble some years ago, when he was excommunicated from his church after making false accusations of withcraft and necrophilia against a fellow member of the ministry. AiG is the owner of the Creation Science Museum, which features animatronic dinosaurs standing alongside humans, which any credible scientist will inform you is impossible, as dinosaurs died-out millions of years before the earliest humans walked on Earth. If you can show me a dinosaur bone which had been engraved with designs or shaped into a tool by human hands, as bones of mammals had been during the Stone Age, then we can discuss the issue further. Unless you can show me such an item, the debate is closed.

As mentioned in the newspaper, The Australian, in May 2007 Creation Ministries International (CMI) filed a lawsuit against Ham and AiG in the Supreme Court of Queensland seeking damages and accusing him of deceptive conduct in his dealings with the Australian organisation. Members of the ministry were “concern[ed] over Mr Ham’s domination of the ministries, the amount of money being spent on his fellow executives and a shift away from delivering the creationist message to raising donations.”.

Seems like fraud and deception isn’t very uncommon in creationist circles.

4) Another creationist fraudster is YouTube user VenomFangX, who filed over 150 DMCA claims. His abuses continued until his campaign of censorship was brought to an ignonimous end by YouTube user Thunderf00t, as mentioned in a previous blog on this site. VenomFangX was forced to make a public apology, make a full admission of his wrongdoing and promise to never abuse the DMCA complaint system again. In exchange, he escaped criminal and civil charges being brought against him by Thunderf00t and was allowed to keep his YouTube account after Thunderf00t agreed not to report him to YouTube for violating their terms of service.

5) Another creationist group linked to DMCA abuse is a company known as Eternal Publications. Aside from creationism, this company offers resources for people who wish to convert Roman Catholics to Protestantism and links the Catholic Church to the Whore of Babylon mentioned in the New Testament Book of Revelations.

The Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) was created to protect copyrighted material from being illegally copied and distributed without the consent of the original video’s owner. However, creationists have begun using the DMCA complaint reporting system on YouTube in order to silence those people who post videos criticizing and debunking the views of creationists  (a.k.a. intelligent design advocates) and this reign of censorship had been successful, due to the lack of legal knowledge in the general population.

However, as individual account-holders on YouTube began to fight back by filing counter-notices, the tide of videos being taken-down was halted in many cases.

As of January 1st 2009, the creationist individuals and organizations that have abused the DMCA now face an international coalition of YouTube users who have banded together to fight against false DMCA takedowns and, hopefully, reverse the tide.

As stated in my previous blog on this topic, it is the creationist side of this argument that has a history of abusing the DMCA by filing false claims. The pro-evolution/pro-science side has not engaged in any such behavior that I have seen or even heard of as of today. Creationists have accused their detractors of filing false claims, but have yet to show any proof whatsoever that said events actually occured. In other words: creationists lie by filing false DMCA claims and then lie again when they say that they have been victimized by false DMCA claims themselves.

This is just the latest in creationist antics on YouTube in their efforts to silence the opposition. In the past, bots were used to put “thumbs down” ratings on anti-creationist comments on creationist-debunking videos, in addition to attempts to alter the ratings of each video by giving each of them a One Star rating. Such efforts in the past were relatively harmless and seem not to have met with great success, as those efforts appear to have been discontinued and YouTube responded to complaints by users who had been the targets of these attacks. Furthermore, creationists have blocked comments to their own videos from their detractors, thereby having only supportive comments shown for their videos. They also disable the ratings system to prevent opponents from doing unto them as they have done unto others.

However, the filing of false DMCA claims had a much better rate of success, due to the fact that most people don’t know enough about the law to fight a false claim and may not have the financial resources to hire or consult an attorney. Corporations like Creation Science Evangelism, Eternal Publications, Answers in Genesis and Illustra Media doubtlessly all have attorneys on retainer and can utilize their expertise. VenomFangX, I feel, was simply following their lead, as I doubt he has a lawyer on-staff or the money to hire one. He probably saw the success of the companies misusing the DMCA and simply piled-on.

As of today, that has changed and the collective knowledge and activism of YouTube users, joined as one to fight for Free Speech, will turn the tide of censorship and work to restore Freedom of Speech on YouTube. The YouTube users who have joined together to fight the creationist censorship onslaught are:

  1. AndromedasWake
  2. AronRa
  3. cdk007
  4. djarm67
  5. DonExodus2
  6. dprjones
  7. ExtantDodo whose YouTube account has repeatedly been suspended by individuals and groups filing false DMCA claims.
  8. potholer54
  9. ThetaOmega
  10. Thunderf00t whose success in fighting a false claim was the most publicized of all, resulting in the exposure of the individual who filed the false claim.

Unlike their creationist opponents, each of these ten people have education in advanced sciences at accredited universities. Many creationist lecturers have little or no scientific background, with the exception of Ken Ham, who He has a bachelor’s degree in applied science, with an emphasis on environmental biology. from the Queensland Institute of Technology. The vast majority of creationist lecturers either have no scientific background of any kind or have degrees from non-accredited universities, which is basically the same things as having no science education anyway.

What makes this whole thing so frakking intolerable is that creationists, most of whom are Christian but there are some who are Jewish or Muslim, presume to lecture the rest of us about how we need to convert to their religion in order to live a moral and upright life. However, they will use fraud and deceit to accomplish their goals. Rather than live in a world where opposing viewpoints can coexist and each opinion can be freely heard and judged on its own merits by an informed audience, creationists want only  their opinions in the public eye and will work feverishly to silence those who disagree with them. What makes their abuse of the DMCA so appealing is that if they have an entire account removed, there is no one to expose exactly who filed the DMCA claim in the first place, as few YouTube users possess the email address of their favorite channel-holders. Until this morning, there was no united front to oppose the creationist censorshop machine. Now, that the tide is beginning to turn, creationists could find themselves fighting perjury charges in civil and/or criminal courts around the USA and in other countries.

While preaching the values of morality, decency and virtue, creationist organizations and individuals have conducted a campaign of harassment, intimidation, perjury and libel against those with whom they disagree. They have attempted to create a climate of fear where people would be afraid to speak-out against them, for fear of having the YouTube account closed – wasting all the time and energy they put into creating their videos – as well as the real possibility of becoming a target of harassment in the event that their personal information could be discovered and disseminate among creationism supporters.

Given that such behavior patterns were followed by Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union and other totalitarian regimes both past and present, it doesn’t put the Creationist movement in very good company. But, it seems to be the most appropriate company they could be in.

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