An extended essay investigating the claim that Hitler's political views were influenced by Darwin's scientific findings. Using many primary source historical documents it is shown that this was not the case. Rather, evidence suggests strong commonality between Hitler's views and some schools of thought within fundamentalist Christianity.
The Generation Game: No Prizes For Young Earth Creationists
According to Biblical literalists Homo sapiens suffered a population bottleneck of eight people (five of whom were closely genetically related), around 2348 BCE. If this is true, then no more than about 200 generations of humans can have lived since the Noachian flood. Current genetic and historical demographic evidence demonstrates that this is a physically impossible scenario.
The formerly wealthy, now poverty-stricken inner city neighbouring suburbs of Balat (once the Jewish area) and Fener (once the Greek area) are my favourite places to photograph in Istanbul, Turkey. These images were captured over two days in November 2015.
Destined to Fail: The Ministry of William Meirion Evans
Biographical essay concerned with the life of William Meirion Evans, an idealistic 19th century Welsh Calvinistic Methodist preacher from North Wales who played an important role in colonial Australia establishing churches and supporting Welsh language and culture in the colonies of South Australia and Victoria.
You Cannot Count Back From Infinity: An Infinitesimal Argument Against a Past Eternal Universe
A comprehensive discussion concerning the claim that ‘you cannot count back from infinity’, thus negating a past eternal universe. The claim is shown to be spurious, being predicated on misrepresentations and misunderstandings of physics, philosophy and mathematics. Particularly so the latter.
A comparison of the Buddhist attitude to human desires and quest for psychological permanence with those of Christianity and Islam. Buddhism, though not entirely convincing as a psychologically-based approach, appears nevertheless to be the more reasoned approach.
A brief history of the now redundant Church of St. Cynhaearn in North-West Wales followed by biographies of four of the people buried in its churchyard; the composer and harpist Dafydd y Garreg Wen; the railway pioneer James Spooner; chemist, writer and publisher Robert Isaac Jones (aka Alltud Eifion), and the reluctant West African emigré Jack Ystumllyn.
Opposition to Same-Sex Unions is Mathematically Wrong
In response to an argument loosely based on set-theory, two mathematical formulae are presented demonstrating that opposition to same-sex unions has no logical basis unless the a-priori assumption is made that one biological sex possesses a greater degree of moral and personal autonomous value than the other.
The Fictitious Influence Of Darwin On Marx And Engels
It is claimed by some authors that Darwinian evolutionary theory acted as the necessary precursor for Marx and Engels to formulate their political philosophy. However, evidence from primary source historical documents strongly refutes this claim. First, the timeline would need to be reversed. Second, Marx and Engels consistently showed little respect for Darwin or for those trying to meld Darwinism and socialism. Third, proponents of a Darwin-Marx ideological link depend heavily on misrepresenting Darwin’s scientific findings and ignoring Marx and Engels'misunderstandings, particularly concerning Darwin's acceptance of Malthusian theory.
Missing Universe Museum: The Monty Python School of Evolution
The now defunct website 'Missing Universe Museum' purported to demonstrate to high school students that evolutionary theory was nonsensical and so Biblical creationism must be correct. However, their knowledge of modern evolutionary theory was highly inaccurate and fatuous at the level of an absurdist, Pythonesque comedy.
Photo-Essay: Christian Imagery, Atheist Interpretation
Light and dark are concepts that play important an role in both photography and Christianity. Despite being an atheist, as a photographer, I find myself visually drawn toward some types of Christian imagery and symbolism, especially that allows for a dark, morbid or macabre interpretation. Here is some examples of my work.
Tunisia is considered one of the more secular-minded Islamic countries and in some ways, this is so. However, a dark undercurrent of fundamentalist Islam is also noticeable. This travelogue describes a visit to the Tunisian towns of Sfax, Madhia and Sousse in 2011, soon after the 'Sidi Bouzid Revolt' or 'Jasmine Revolution'.
The St Fagans Pterodactyl: Lies, Damned Lies & Christian Fundamentalism
On their TV show, Eric Hovind and Paul Taylor made the ludicrous claim that eyewitnesses reported pterodactyls swooping on a battlefield in 17th century Wales. Unsurprisingly, no historical documents or even local folklore verify this. Yet similar untruths are regularly found in Christian fundamentalist school textbooks, as well as in Kent (Dr Dino) Hovind's hilarious 'PhD thesis'.
Probabilities, Deductive Arguments & Theology Don't Add Up
In recent years there has been a rise in the number of p-inductive arguments for God’s existence (which require only that each premise in an argument has a >.5 probability of being true). This is problematic for theists for two primary reasons. First, when prior probabilities are unknown, estimates are too easily weighted by belief. Second, even in cases where premises are known to have a >.5 probability of being true, conclusions do not necessarily yield a probability >.5. Examples are given.
The Blood Of The Lads It Falls Like Rain: Portraits of The Slain From The Rural Welsh Parish Of Llanfrothen in The First World War
Historical essay discussing the impact of the First World War on small, predominantly Welsh-speaking parishes in North-West Wales, with biographical details of each of the 17 men from the parish of Llanfrothen who died, and the roles they played in the conflict.
Rev. Paley Finds A Watch: A Poorly Designed Argument For Design
Discussion of the reasons we have to doubt Rev. Paley's notion of design in the natural world and its modern equivalent in the intelligent design movement. There remains no viable methodology in which to identify purposeful design in biology because natural mechanisms are observed to regularly and effectively mimic the claimed designed characteristics of organisms without recourse to supernatural explanations.
Once A Not So Jolly Swagman: The Story Of Joseph Jenkins
A biographical essay of the 19th century Welsh farmer, poet and diarist Joseph Jenkins who, without giving any warning to family or friends, left his farm and family to become a swagman and labourer in the Australian colony of Victoria for 27 years, with his experiences and thoughts meticulously recorded in his diary.
Images captured in April 2017 at the event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first on-air episode of the British surreal cult TV series 'The Prisoner'. The event took place in the village of Portmeirion, Gwynedd, Wales, where the bulk of the series was filmed, and included a re-enactment of the second episode.
A cogent argument exists that there is at least a modest probability that the universe is an artificial simulation. Furthermore, the nature of a simulated universe suggests we may have no viable way of discerning whether this is the case or not. Whether this is the case, or even accepted as plausible, however, there must be profound and unpleasant consequences for classical theology.
A satirical, though ultimately quite serious, look at what could ensue if members of an extra-terrestrial civilisation visited Earth and encountered the kind of Christian fundamentalist morality expounded by the likes of Ken Ham.
Free will theodicies are often touted by theists as incontrovertible responses to the 'problem of evil'. This comprehensive discussion outlines numerous philosophical, logical, theological and demographic shortcomings with the notion. Finally, a review of the experimental neuroscience literature reveals no physiological or behavioural evidence for human contra-causal free will.
This essay tracks the history of land ownership in Assynt, a region of the north-west Scottish Highlands, through the 20th century, from a feudal-style system and attitude which largely ignored the needs and wishes of the people living on the land to a more democratic system which better considers these inhabitants.
This slightly edited piece was originally published in 2013 as one of a series of essays titled 'Why I Am An Atheist' on the well-known 'Pharyngula' blog. It subsequently received over 700 comments, though I took little part. Many comments were either complimentary or added something useful to the discussion but unfortunately some responses were personally vitriolic both toward myself and atheists in general. And yes, I actually did have the dream, it's not a literary device.
First, a short essay outlining my philosophy toward the genre of street photography, followed by images of some of the people I've had the honour to photograph on the streets of the world; Australia, Wales, Croatia, Morocco, Algeria, France, Spain, Tunisia, USA, Romania, Oman, Malta, Portugal and the Canary Islands.
An Honest Look At Flood Mythology Leaves Biblical Literalists All At Sea
Close examination of the mythology of widely spread cultures reveals that tales involving floods similar to the Noachian story are not nearly as globally prevalent as young earth creationists claim. Examples are given in which accepted methods of investigation have been ignored and/or evidence is knowingly presented dishonestly. I conclude with a general discussion of the psychology of mythology and how it impacts on creationist claims.
Primary source historical documents show that Nietzsche neither admired nor was influenced by Darwin. Claims of a Darwin-Nietzsche ideological link depend heavily on misrepresenting Darwin’s scientific findings and ignoring Nietzsche’s profound misunderstandings of evolution.
A collection of images captured in 2012 at the famous shingle beach in Kent, England, dotted with decaying fishing boats. The rate of deterioration has increased markedly in recent years and the place no longer looks as it did in these photographs.
A Fallacy Of Gamblers: The Collective Noun For Creationists
Analysis of the likelihood that, if discovered, the mechanism underlying abiogenesis will demonstrate physical causation rather than some supernatural 'miracle'. Creationist misunderstandings regarding the concept of randomness, how probability calculations are made, and the distinction between concurrent and consecutive events are discussed.
Brief comment on the obviously milder winters experienced in the Snowdonia region of Wales today, compared with years past, and the attitudes of those who readily acknowledge this yet still consider the notion of climate change is bogus.