Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Zoo Review

Today was fun! We met up with Calladus and his wife at the Fresno Zoo (technically called the "Chaffee Zoo"). P4 had been wanting to go to the zoo for a very long time and we figured his birthday was a great excuse. The day went very nicely. I used my UV blocking clothes. Although, I figured out a problem with these items of clothing. The weave is so heavy that it's unbearable to wear them in the oppressive heat of the Central Valley. It was easily over 100F. I wore the pants but had to ditch the long sleeve top because of the heat. No shocker, then, that my arms broke out almost immediately. It was so bad that Calladus noted it right off. I also forgot to take my mask along. DOH! BUT, we did have the wheelchair. It was my first time on a family vacay since we went to Cambria last year for the day. Before that...it's been two years since we did anything like this.
The kids had a lot of fun. P3 was taken with the elephants. P4 liked the camel. We got to do a stingray encounter where we could sit on the sides of a salt water pool and touch the rays as they swam by. It was amazing. None of us imagined that they would be slimy.
A few of them got into "race mode" and started doing laps. I had no idea how fast they could be.
We also saw a giraffe trying to get fresh with a tree wrapped in caging. I swear that this is the goofiest giraffe I have ever seen. It made for great pics.
LOL. Nice tongue! Then he started opening his mouth and...I'm not sure what he was doing. Singing? Or, just yawning? I don't know. Any giraffe experts out there?
We saw many animals, but I have to say that the animals I most enjoyed were the elephants.
I'm amazed at how well they use their trunks to accomplish so many different things. The dexterity they display is amazing. We got to watch them being fed! The trainer through in bags of Timothy Hay and we watched in awe as these two elephants approached us (within ten feet) and started taking the hay out of the bags, as if they were handling fine china.
While we were walking through the zoo, it struck me that all of these animals, at one point (long, long, long ago) shared a common ancestor with us. I've heard Creationists go on-and-on about the diversity in the animal kingdom and how they interpret this as evidence that God created everything. But, what struck me was not how different these animals were. When you observe these animals, you see that they definitely have personalities and talents specific to their environment. I was looking at the tapirs and I remembered a quote from The Ancestor's Tale (Richard Dawkins) that talked about the similarities in species you wouldn't even guess were related. The tapirs are related to horses and rhinos. But, they look like a relative of a pigs or anteaters. Not even remotely close to reality! "The first true tapirs, appeared in the Oligocene, and by the Miocene, such genera as Miotapirus were almost indistinguishable to the extant species. It is believed that Asian and American tapirs diverged around 20 to 30 million years ago, and that tapir varieties moved from North America to Central and South America around 3 million years ago." (Encyclopedia Brittanica) The Oligocene was 55 million years ago. Contrast tapirs to homosapiens: "Modern Man" originated 250,000 years ago.
While I was thinking about this on the way home, the absurdity of creationism hit me like a ton of bricks. How can these people claim objectivity or plausibility? Anyone with half a brain can see the evidence of evolution. Why do they cling to the idea that a Creator made all of these examples of life in the animal kingdom but didn't have the talent or resources to make them genetically different? Is it because they don't care or don't want to learn? Is it easier to remain ignorant? They are missing out on these amazing realizations to please a deity that does not exist and keep a 2,000 year old book from becoming obsolete. Those are shitty reasons for ignorance.









33 comments:

Milo Johnson said...

Are there any good ones?

Mary said...

Hey Pmomma,

I'm reading a book called "Your Inner Fish: A Journey Into the 3.5 Billion-Year History of the Human Body" by Neil Shubin.

He and some other paleontologists have found fossils with the "missing link" for when fish started coming out of water and developed hands. He then shows that early fish have the same exact wrist/hand formations as all mammals today (though the length of the bones are varied giving variations on how they're used).

He also talks about DNA and how it was discovered that finding a gene that made the hands was found across the mammal and fish kingdom (using sharks) and could be manipulated to create the same results (double hand/fin, deformed hand/fin, two thumbs, etc).

Fascinating read. This was all put together in the last 4 years or so. I think you and your readers would enjoy it.

Here's also a fun video of an elephant painting. I think you and the kids will love it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=He7Ge7Sogrk

*I'm kind of disturbed about the animal testing but I can't say I'm not impressed at the findings, as well.

Calladus said...

We had a great time. Thanks for inviting us along to share in your day.

aimee said...

Was that really a Giraffe or Gene Simmons in disguise? The giraffe hands down has much better hair though.

Eat Well (was Teresa R) said...

The giraffe - maybe he was licking the minerals off the metal fencing? We often see birds and squirrels getting minerals or salt off the middle of the road (and sometimes we see the flattened results).

Midnight_RN said...

P-momma
To answer your question, I believe that yes, it is easier to remain ignorant. A large majority of believers don't want to think for themselves which is why they gravitate to organized religion--the "answers" are handed to them.

Happy to hear you and the little P's had a good time

Mary
Your right, it's a really good book and I appreciated that the author made the subject approachable to the average reader.

Dark Heart said...

Its so sad how deep some peoples delusions go.

I went to the Royal tyrrell Museum of Paleontology here in Alberta and when we got to the ice age exibit where it was explaning how humans evolved, i could hear people behind me saying that the info was wrong and god did everything.

It took so much willpower not to turn around and say something. I'm glad you guys enjoyed the zoo. Cheers!

Saved Servant said...

Anyone with half a brain can see the evidence of evolution. Why do they cling to the idea that a Creator made all of these examples of life in the animal kingdom but didn't have the talent or resources to make them genetically different?

I must have half a brain. I think God created the universe and everything in it. You "cling to" the idea that God doesn't exist which I think is "evidence" of half a brain. I was an avowed atheist with piles of money. Then I grew up and accepted Jesus Christ as my personal savior. Seven teen years were wasted on my ego driven desire to have no boss. My education included propping up evolution and I was almost deceived. I was sure God did not create the world until I saw the light. I was finished rejecting the truth. I used to be you. I did as you do by giving glory to yourself or your family. What do you really want for them? You are guiding four souls who are precious in the eyes of God. He made them in his image. You are like a step-mom who won't allow the kids to hang a picture of their real mother in a room. Be an atheist if you are stupid enough to keep that position. Free your children to learn as I did. Everything in creation supports creationism. You said it yourself. How can any random change make creatures who share the same building block but look and act differently? You don't get dogs from cows. God was amrt to use one general piece of the puzzle to add purpose to the rest.

Calladus are you a Christian? Have you asked God to let you see the world by his terms? If you have a loving heart for her children you should see past good behavior. God does command us to honor our parents. This is proof that God exists when atheist children follow the spirit inside. An empty spirit is dangerous. Give them the best gift in the world = God. Your blog has a post about child molesters. Atheist parents are worse, they molest the spirit in the child. Meeting a child's need for God is not being done by possummomma. Her ego is getting in the way. Jesus did. He was and will forever be active. Will you take his command to minister to this family? I hope you give me the right answer.

MidnightRN, are you a Christian? Being an atheist takes more faith than accepting Jesus Christ. I fought God for reasons like pride and egotism. I had all the answers for the world. Evolution was the reason for life and ethics were relative. I was wrong. When I put down my burden of non-belief the world opened to me. God provides us beauty when we look upon his creation. Evolution can't tell you how life began. Where did your life come from? No atheist can answer that.

Dark heart you said it. Delusions. Jesus has the power to make life easy for you. Possummomma could have an easier life if she stopped fighting God. Do you hate her enough to let her go to darkness?

Possummomma you need to give your children Jesus. Put their needs first for once. Just try this please. Be open to God's word. Let your children decide if evolution is the truth or you are a coward.

Milo Johnson said...

"I must have half a brain."


You flatter yourself.

Calladus said...

Saved Servant, if you're really and truly interested in saving my soul, if you honestly want to save me from Hell, then you need to email me so we can have an honest discussion.

You can find my email address from my blog - it's only a couple of clicks away.

If I don't get an email, I'll assume you're just posturing in public, displaying your righteousness in order to curry favor with God in defiance of Matt. 6:1.

charla said...

Where should PMomma go to give her children to Jesus? My exhusband and I meet at the local grocery when we exchange our child.

Momma is that convenient for you? Jesus will be in the third row.

Not sure what he's drivin' though....

Paul said...

[silentsanta, NZ]

It was my first time on a family vacay since we went to Cambria last year for the day. Before that...

... it was the pre-Cambrian?

Thanks, I'll be here all night..

Karen said...

Pmomma:It was my first time on a family vacay since we went to Cambria last year for the day. Before that...

paul[silentsanta]:... it was the pre-Cambrian?

Paul, if my favorite Paleontology professor read this blog, you'd be trilobite food. :-)

Karen said...

Pmomma, thanks for the lovely photos. The giraffe ones were exceptional. I, too, wonder what they were really trying to do...

Karen said...

saved servant: I used to be you.
Yeah, right, and I used to be a flying pig. The rest of your screed indicates you have willfully ignored the real PMomma.

How can any random change make creatures who share the same building block but look and act differently? You don't get dogs from cows.
Neither do you get any reasonable understanding of evolution from creationist tracts... which is where yours appears to have come from.

God does command us to honor our parents. This is proof that God exists when atheist children follow the spirit inside. Small children "honor" -- rely on -- their parents by instinct. The older Possums are growing up enough to start assessing their parents by the values that social creatures naturally have: honesty, fairness, and supportiveness. I think it is clear from reading PMomma's posts for many years that she (and probably PDaddy) value those attributes highly.

Being an atheist takes more faith than accepting Jesus Christ.
Unthinking religionist BS.

I fought God for reasons like pride and egotism. I had all the answers for the world. Evolution was the reason for life and ethics were relative. I was wrong.
Of course you were wrong, but you were probably young. There's this experience called "growing up", whereby one can acquire an adult understanding of reality, with or without the "support" of an invisible sky-fairy.

Where did your life come from? No atheist can answer that.
Why should we care? We're far more concerned about where our lives are going; how to best support the people important to us and the changes we want to see in the world. We know that's all of us that will remain after we die; that, and a few people's memories. What little good we can do in the few moments allotted to us is the best we can strive for.

Karen said...

I (Karen) said: What little good we do in the few moments allotted to us is the best we can strive for.

That did NOT come out right. The geologist in me is talking. Each of us humans truly does have just a few moments of life, compared to the scope of history of our universe... but together we can make a big difference for the humans who come after us. They, in turn, can collectively make a significant difference... and in time, we may well become a truly enlightened species, seeing the true value of each of us.

Whenever these goals seem small to me, I remember that mammoths only had the goals of eating and reproducing. Those sorts of goals just aren't high enough for social, thinking beings. We're worth more than that, individually and collectively. And THAT, Saved Servant, is where morality really comes from. Your imaginary sky fairy is just one filter (of many possible filters) to bring you out of your self-centered childhood.

Just Another Atheist Mom said...

Where did your life come from? No atheist can answer that.

Ooh, ooh! (raising hand from back row) I know this one!

(ehem) I came from my parents. They provided a sperm and an egg, a comfy place to grow, and 9 months later - there I was! I have witnesses & legal documentation to prove it!



This is so great! I usually get here too late to actually answer the easy questions....

Terra said...

shitty reasons, indeed!

I'm going to bypass feeding the troll, as I can't be bothered to read the whole comment. Calladus-you'll let us know if the servant addresses you in private?

Pmomma, I absolutely adore giraffes. Those are some great pics you got. I have a lot of admiration for your photography in general and those shots in particular.

Perpetual Beginner said...

So, Saved Servant - HOW did God make life?

No, really, it's a serious question. "POOF!" isn't a sufficient answer. However God created life, there was a process there - what was the process?

That's what I don't understand about most of my fellow theists. How can you see this marvelous universe and dismiss all the wonder of it with "God did it"? How did God do it? When? What order?

When I see a wonderful sweater, I may know that Grandma knit it, but I want to know what she did. What yarn, what pattern? Did she create the pattern all herself? Was she using bits of other patterns? How much more is there to know about biology than a sweater?

Curiousity is one of the cardinal attributes of humans - why throw it away for the simple incurious answer?

Calladus said...

Honestly, I don't think I'll get an email. I've put out the same offer to several Christians with similar M.O.'s. It's been my experience that this particular type of Christian is much more interested in looking good than in doing good.

I think of them as "sandwich board wearers". The type of Christian that wears a sandwich board and carries a megaphone as they yell into the bar at all the "drunks, whores, and fornicators!"

My Christian friends who are really interested in saving my soul don't have a problem with pulling up a chair next to me, having a glass of wine, and engaging me as a friend.

I don't mind teaching Christians how to witness to an Atheist.

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

Stay away from the Monkeys if my experience at the Adelaide Zoo is anything to go by.

Saved Servant said...

http://nopossumzone.blogspot.com/2008/08/parental-ego-thomas.html

a response for you Calladus

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

That includes the monkey posting as saved servant...

No that's unfair to our primate cousins.

Berlzebub said...

@ Saved Servant:

MidnightRN, are you a Christian? Being an atheist takes more faith than accepting Jesus Christ. I fought God for reasons like pride and egotism. I had all the answers for the world. Evolution was the reason for life and ethics were relative. I was wrong. When I put down my burden of non-belief the world opened to me. God provides us beauty when we look upon his creation. Evolution can't tell you how life began. Where did your life come from? No atheist can answer that.

I can attest that MidnightRN is actually a Christian, just not in the same apparent flavor you are. She believes in God, Jesus, etc. but not in an innerant Bible.

If you would like a deeper discussion, go ahead and ask her, but she also seems to understand the atheist viewpoint better than you do.

As for your former atheism, I find myself skeptical. Where you an atheist because of your "desire to have no boss", or did you actually critically examine your beliefs and the beliefs of those around you?

I went over and looked through the post you made in response to Calladus, and you came up wanting. For a former atheist, you seem to have no clue how to reason with one. Every argument(?) you make presupposes the existance of a supernatural being, but you don't provide any evidence that being exists. Therefore, the entire arguement falls apart.

aimee said...

@Saved Servant, I highly recommend that you watch the two newest series on the History Channel: Jurassic Fight Club, and Evolve. Watch those and come back and tell us what you have learned. If you don't have cable, I'm sure you can catch them on the internet somewhere.

These shows are awesome. Great shows to watch with the family. My 11 and 9 yr old were very intrigued.

P.S. What does having piles of money have to do with atheism or christianity for that matter? That just means instead of using the money for good, you're probably throwing it away at some church. Way to use your noggin.

aimee said...

Totally unrelated, but funny none the less. In Italy there is going to be an inflatable church on the beach to reach people that are on holiday.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26057763/?GT1=43001

WooHoo, call it The Bounce House of Jesus Christ : )
*Please leave shoes and sock outside in the little cubby, thank you.

Calladus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Calladus said...

You say you used to be an atheist, I think you're confused. Your past atheism seems more like mere atheism. I think you're merely trying to boost your Christian credentials.


One of my pastor friends sent me a note this morning. He says, "Mark, don't bother with this guy. I think he's off of his medication." I'm not sure. I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt. I think you are really, fervently, wrong.

You're worried that in emailing me that I'll twist your words in a blog post. You invite me to reply in your own blog. The problem is that blogs are hostile territory - blog owners can delete posts entirely and then "win" the argument.

I asked for an email because I wanted a discussion, not a sermon. I think it is good to take WITH each other not AT each other, and without this posturing. And if you want our conversation kept off of my blog I'll happily do that too.

Calladus said...

grr. I delete and edit my spelling and grammar and I STILL misspell!

It should read, "good to talk WITH each other"

invisible dragon said...

Hm. After all that up there, I feel kind of silly bringing this up, but oh well.

PMomma, regarding your UV clothing being too hot, perhaps you could get some of the raw UV fabric and have a kind of poncho or cape made. That way you're protected, but still have air flow. ^___^

Paul said...

[silentsanta, NZ]

Re: invisible dragon's comment - you could try modelling your new bat-suit after bedouin robes!

I imagine there was a high artificial selective pressure on developing comfortable subsequent generations of robes, so they should be pretty good by now...

Dark Heart said...

Thats something I've never really understood all these women, coming on here trying to convert us by telling us that god will make our lives easier and that proof that god loves us is us being submissive to our husbands.

But the men never come and talk to us why is that? do the women really believe all that tripe? That the way a woman should be is quite and with out a thought of her own? because if thats the way god wants me to be well then I'm more then happy to be a heathen.

jessieb said...

In response to the question about the giraffe and the open mouth: I think maybe they are similar to dogs in that they don't sweat. Maybe the big guy was panting. You said it was hot....