Saturday, July 30, 2005


Everything old becomes new again ...

I am of the opinion that blogging is pernicious and deserving of obscurity. But as such considerations have never stopped me before . . .

Just to prove that "Everything old becomes new again," we have the following from the old fellow himself:

Down, [April 18th, 1860].
My dear Hooker,

. . . Asa Gray has sent me an article† from the United States, clever, and dead against me. But one argument is funny. The reviewer says, that if the doctrine were true, geological strata would be full of monsters which have failed! A very clear view this writer had of the struggle for existence! . . .

† 'North American Review,' April, 1860. "By Professor Bowen," is written on my father's copy. The passage referred to occurs at page 488, where the author says that we ought to find "an infinite number of other varieties - gross, rude, and purposeless - the unmeaning creations of an unconscious cause."

This is the same error that leads some creationists to ask why we don't find transitional fossils with "half a wing."

Too bad it stopped being funny after 150 years.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


Howlerfest Participants:

Against my better judgment, I'll blog again to answer the clamor (one request) to identify the people in the photos.

By the way, anyone stumbling on this who wants to know something of what it is all about I suggest you go to Wilkins' blog "Evolving Thoughts" and check out the entries for July 19th, 25th and 26th.

That's Paul Gans in the light shirt, Chris Thompson in the plaid shirt, Chis' daughter Jade and leaning up against the statue base is Walter Bushell.

In addition to the above people, leaning up against the statue base is "R. Dunno" and in the white shirt, white shorts and blue hat is John Vreland

In the red shirt is Susan Silberstein and next to her in the dark shirt over the black t-shirt is David Utidjian.

Top row, left to right: Andrew Arensburger, Paul Gans, Susan Silberstein, "R. Dunno".

Bottom row: Walter Bushell, John Wilkins, Matt Silbestein and Matt's wife, Cathy.

Oh yeah, I think there is a photo of me around here someplace . . .


Sunday, July 24, 2005


Wilkinsfest: An Ode in Pictures

The day broke fair and hot.
The Museum had been festooned with colorful
banners in anticipation of Wilkins’ arrival.

And while the Museum's participation was greatly appreciated, there were some few that thought that the"dinosaur" crack was rubbing in Wilkins' age a little much.

Like the moon shinning as a beacon in the night, the designated meeting place could be seen far and wide.

Even the local wildlife made ready to welcome Winkins as soon as he was in the right position.

The massive crowds began to gather.

And as the appointed hour neared, all eyes turned to the road from Toronto . . .

Suddenly there was an omen . . .

And a figure, shimmering in the heat, appeared out of the distance . . .

Could it be? . . .

Yes, it was!

Having slipped his keepers . . . er . . . hosts,

Wilkins arrived at last!

Without further adieu, the crowds mobbed into the Museum.

There, they insisted on staring at objects so unfamiliar to them that they needed

extensive written explanations to even begin to understand what was going on.

One of the more knowedgeable participants

points out "one of them dead things".

As sometimes happens, a major discovery was made in a museum exhibit when the remains of a new species of creationist was recognized. Our esteemed guest of honor promised to author a complete description of the find as soon as he can.

Fresh evidence of the perfidy of scientists and museum curators was seen

in their admission in writing that they were attempting to re-create

the Liaoking Forrest habitat, thus admitting it was created in the first place!

After an exhausting morning, the participants

retired to the fine dining facilityof the Museum

where they refueled to continue their explorations.

Some participants commented on how appropriate it was

that they next visited this fellow after their meal.

As the day wore on, the participants naturally broke down into smaller groups

to discuss what they had seen.

Late in the day, the group reassembled at which time

it was revealed that the Howlers had arranged a surprise

for John. They had paid to have him make the rest of

his trip by luxury liner.

Fortunately, the Museum had a model of the magnificent vessel:

Having completed the tour of the Museum, John was treated to

some of the more exciting sights in New York, including Broadway . . .

the sign for which was clearly visible from the subway station.

Then at one of the City's more stylish eating establishments

there was every attempt to make John feel at home by

providing foodstuffs native to Australia.

Then, at the end of a full and pleasant day,

all and sundry saw Wilkins (center), laden

as he was with gifts, off on the next leg of his

Grand Tour.

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