November 24th, 2006

Vexen Crabtree 2015

3 years...

I have been in my current job for three years. It's a rollercoaster ride, it is impractical for my studies, it separates me from my friends for long periods of time in barren foreign countries, I live abroad for years at a time, and I have to deal with the forcefulness of 'the system'... but I still like it!

I have to keep fit, I have to keep 'tied to reality', I remain practical, and have to socialize with many people, all day... sometimes working (for example) in a small hut with the same 10 people for 6 months... in a desert. All in all, it challenges me in many of my weakspots, and prevents me from over-using my strong points (computers!). So, as far as 'the challenge' goes, and for self-development purposes, it is still a very good job for me!

Anyway... been here three years; and at present I plan on staying here for another 10... or maybe another 20. There is little reason to change; no other job can offer the diversity and scope of this one!

Oh, and as a result of working late four days this week, most of us have today off. We deserve it!
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Vexen Crabtree 2015

Religion news

1. The famous paleontologist, Richard Leakey is the author of "Origins Reconsidered: In Search of What Makes Us Human", and was for years was director of Kenya's museums. He has been fighting a battle against creationists in Kenya, in particular Pentecostal evangelicals, who are determined to use "religious toleration" to force Kenya's museums to hide science in order to avoid challenging their faith.

The museum's collections include the most complete skeleton yet found of homo erectus, a 1.7 million year-old skeleton, and skeletons of the species that first evolved to walk upright, 4 million years ago. Bishop Adoyo, head of the six-million strong Pentecostal congregation "Christ is the Answer Ministries", seemingly without a sense of irony, says, "Leakey and his group want their theories presented as fact".

2. The creationist Kent Hovind, who pleaded guilty to (three times) constructing a building without permission (he wants to build another creationist humans-and-dinosaurs-existing-at-the-same-time themed park). He has now been "arrested and indicted in federal court on fifty-eight charges, including"... tax fraud, tax evasion, evading banking requirements and making threats against IRS investigators. "The grand-jury indictment alleges that Hovind and his wife, Jo, withdrew $430,500 from AmSouth bank between July 20, 2001, and August 9,2002. The withdrawals, most made only days apart, were consistently for amounts just below the $10,000 starting point for federally required cash-transaction reporting.".

He has been stripped of his passport and guns.

Both of these are reported in Skeptical Inquirer, volume 30, No. 6 (Nov/Dec 2006).

The Skeptical Inquirer is my new 'thing', it is an absolutely awesome resource for discussions on all things anti-science, and has connections to many atheist, humanist and pro-science groups, including Prof. Dawkins (Oxford Uni), Richard Wiseman (Herts Uni), Daniel Dennett, Robert Sheaffer, Elizabeth Loftus (famous psychologist), etc. Just reading it's "Fellows" list made me excited! :-)