A creationist textbook's description of "atheistic evolutionism"

(via Boing Boing) Can we just talk for a minute about the ridiculous notion that "You can't get something from nothing"?  Few things annoy me more about the 'origin of the universe' argument.

How many people, religious or not, have direct experience of what it's like when there isn't anything?  None, right?  Because there has never been a time when there hasn't been stuff, but there were people around to observe it.  We've got no idea what nothing is like.

I hate the argument that stuff just can't pop into being.  For all we know, the only reason stuff doesn't just pop into being now is because there's already other stuff in the way.  As far as I can tell, in fact, that's what's going on with Hawking radiation, where the absolute nothingness created around the black hole makes space for particle-antiparticle pairs to form, one end being sucked into the black hole and the other shooting out into space as new stuff.

We do this a lot in human thinking:  we assume that, because we have intimate experience of one state, we can draw conclusions about a state that we describe as being opposite to it.  Absence is not the mirror-reflection of presence.  We don't know how nothingness behaves just because we know how stuff behaves.

That is all.

Nessie disproves evolution

I've been hearing about this story all day, so I give up.  I have to say something.  A text book distributed at private schools in the US asserts that the loch ness monster (a.) exists, and (b.) therefore disproves evolution. SourceFed's story on it downplays the WTF element.  And I can respect that -- they work hard to be fair and balanced[1. FOX lol etc.] and they downplay its importance on the basis that it's not every textbook, that it's private schools, and they concede that it's incredibly goofy.

But, seriously.  This isn't just crossing the line.  This is looking back at the line, laughing, then pointing out that it's unconstitutional to expect them to adhere to an interpretation of spacetime that includes measurement, and therefore lines, then getting on a flying motorcycle made of the corpse of the personified line they murdered to get this far.

Private schools should be able to teach whatever they want.  But graduating from those private schools shouldn't subsequently be acknowledged as an education.  Because it obviously isn't.