Archive for the ‘General Interest’ Category

Hello and Welcome!

Posted: June 9, 2010 in General Interest

I’ve just switched over to WordPress and I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts and views more regularly! I’ve been itching to do a video series, but I think that’s the point where one should back off and think HARD about what they have to say BEFORE they start shouting it! Nothing worse to me than seeing a tiny square for a video sample and it’s a floating head, mouth agape. The title alone had better be good to get me in the door!

This blog will be a collaboration between myself and the readers and commenters, trying to figure out how we can all coexist when the problems we face seem so intractable. The plain fact is that I’m just a 41-year-old guy who thinks he’s got something to add to the discussion but wants to make sure.

Thanks for listening! I imported the posts from my Blogger account to give anyone who chances by a look at what they can expect. Given the increase in activity on the world stage over last several months, I think I can do much better. I hope you’ll agree.

Timothy Riches

Secular Response

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His Imperfect Creations

Posted: November 21, 2009 in General Interest, Religion
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Creationists love to point to the perfection they see around them as proof that all things were intelligently designed. They use what Atheists call the ‘Argument from Incredulity,’ which amounts to saying “Look at the wondrous beauty and complexity all around us and tell me there is no God!” The fact that they can´t conceive of a universe without a Creator conveys nothing meaningful about the universe at all; it merely expresses the poverty of their imagination.
When flaws in living things today are pointed out to them, many Creationists claim they are a result of imperfections adding up over time since creation. However, one can see that, far from going backward, the path each creature took in it’s development led inexorably upward.
Below I give two examples of ‘design flaws’ which prove in and of themselves that Evolution by Natural Selection is fact.
The Eye
The human eye is used as an example of perfect design often, despite it’s shortcomings when compared to the eyes of other, ‘lesser’ beings. The fact is, far from being the perfect optical instrument Creationists claim, it bears the stamp of it’s lowly origin every bit as heavily as the rest of our makeup.

Much of the infrastructure that allows the eye to function, including nerves and blood vessels, are unfortunately positioned in front of the light receptors, blocking some portion of the light that would otherwise hit the retina. In creatures such as the octopus, the eye is much better ‘designed,‘ with the infrastructure in back where it belongs.

The video below is an interview of Richard Dawkins on TVOntario with host Allan Gregg where he explains this in a bit more detail. The spot in the interview starts at 20min10sec:



The Laryngial Nerve
Viewers of the UK’s Channel 4 enjoy a series called Inside Nature’s Giants, and the latest episode (4) deals with the giraffe. Professor Richard Dawkins points out that in all mammals the nerve that connects the larynx with the brain takes not a direct route, but rather passes close by the larynx on it’s way down to the middle of the chest, where it then makes a u-turn and heads back up to the larynx!
In the case of a human, the diversion can be measured in inches, but when the giraffe is considered, the journey adds another 30 feet to the length of that nerve! Where it begins it’s journey is two inches from the larynx and it passes within an inch of it’s goal on the way down! What sane designer would have arranged it this way?
Here is a clip from the program on giraffes which deals specifically with the laryngial nerve: (WARNING! Explicit content!)


From these and many, many other examples, one can plainly see that even the most complex parts of the bodies of all living things made their way from rudimentary origins to their present forms. The sheer variety of routes which different creatures took to achieve similar goals, and that some results are markedly better than others proves that Natural Selection is the force which led to everything now living.