Friday, 28 November 2008


I'm leaving for a bit (two months) so there isn't going to be any new posts until I get back.

So you are more then welcome to read the archives.

Monday, 24 November 2008


Phyclaordgenspeciesusersslum is a word that I think should be used by creationists. It has a single synonym, which is "kind".

However phyclaordgenspeciesusersslum is far more honest.

With "kind" you can never tell exactly what the creationist is talking about. You can't see the movable goalposts with "kind" and you invariably end up asking for a definition that you end up wasting time trying to get them to pin down.

Phyclaordgenspeciesusersslum doesn't have that problem. You can see exactly what it means, and how far the goalposts are being moved. It stops creationists from letting the argument falling into one of definitions, which they seem to hate, and you can see exactly what they want to say.

Okay I'll be the first to admit that it doesn't roll off the tongue easily, but everybody knows that big words are sciency. Take pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism, for example, or pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis, or even aequeosalinocalcalinoceraceoaluminosocupreovitriolic. All are long words and if you use them you will sound sciency. Why shouldn't phyclaordgenspeciesusersslum be able to join the ranks of sciency-sounding words?

So encourage creationists to use phyclaordgenspeciesusersslum. It makes our life easier to argue with them, and they can continue to use an appeal to authority by pretending to be science-type guys.

Bible Quiz

Just a little fun thing for you to try.

The Freedom From Religion Bible Quiz.

See how well you do. I got 30 out of 50.

I don't really want to spoil the quiz, or inflate the results, so I'll try to be as vague as possible.

The last actual commandment is actually quite interesting. I think I'll have to re-read Exodus.

All Christians are wrong when it comes to who created evil.

It's very odd to read what the Bible says about how you should feel about killing babies.

You really have to wonder what Jesus thinks about his own father who his himself.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

The Problem with Wikipedia and WWI In Games

My though process for this post is based on this xkcd comic on Wikipedia.

I remember starting my search on the film Full Metal Jacket (which was on SBS last night, it's 2am when I write this so it's valid). I then went to the article on the film Paths of Glory. That took me to an article on a board game called Paths of Glory. That was the most direct route (the indirect involves things like Blackadder Goes Forth and the 1914 Christmas truce and the 1915 football game) The flash game Dog Fight: The Great War sprang to my mind.

Now here is the interesting thing. Beyond flash games like Dog Fight that I linked to above, or Warfare 1917 the gaming world is, as Gamespot says for this review, under-represented in games. Yes, there was in Rise of Nations and Empire Earth II and I'm also assuming other games of that type, have such a concept, but it isn't really the same thing.

I guess it's a little hard to make a WWI game. Although untrue, the popular perception of WWI is summed up nicely in the last episode of Blackadder:

[B]oth sides advanced further during one Christmas piss-up than the next two years of war

In the European theatre this is basically true. WWI was basically long periods of nothing followed by extreme action. I know I'm describing something else (technically the narrative of Mafia is like that, except you only play the action) but I can't remember what it is.

It would be unappealing to play a game like that.

I can already think of one exception. Paul Erich von Lettow-Vorbeck commander of the forces of German East Africa in WWI. His army was the only one of the German colonies to be undefeated. He ran a very fluid campaign, although this was essentially to tie up as many Allied forces as possible, which he did quite well.

You could make a game about that. But I'm guessing that the reason that you don't seem to find one (or that at least I haven't found one) is because a) it's German not Allied, and b) He surrendered peacefully on November 14, after a British magistrate called Hector Croad notified him that the war was over.

As I see it WWI and WWII were a turning point in conventional warfare (like Vietnam was a turning point in unconventional warfare). WWI saw the end to the traditional army. From then on people wouldn't fight on a single battlefield or a series of battlefields with set armies, but saw the "scope" of a battlefield increase exponentially. It also saw the end of traditional tactics, something that many Generals at that time did not seem to comprehend.

WWII saw the rise of very fluid warfare. In a way it was an about face when it came to taking land, but the emphasis turned towards mobility rather then strength alone.

Both wars saw a change in the use of technology and the use of different types of "unit" (I am thinking games here, remember) and tactics to win.

The question is how to translate WWI into a dedicated game. Personally I have no clue what to do for an FPS. I'm sure that you could have a Battlefield-type game, but maps would be limited since jumping out of your trench would most likely equal suicide.

I personally have a bit of an aversion to a total RTS or TBS. I don't really like the idea of having to build proper bases on the battlefield in question ("Hold your fire, I SAID HOLD YOUR FIRE, I need some men so I can build a farm right outside this trench") and I don't really like the idea of taking turns to move people around and fight.

I think that an RTS/TBS (like Aggression: Reign over Europe for example or a Total War game) would probably be the better option. Think about it. You could make your units away from the battlefields (like in real life) and send them there, and have the fighting in real time. Although I still don't know how you would get the fighting done properly. But you would have the advantages of a better overall diplomatic system (something which you would have to implement a "carry over" system for in a total RTS) and a wider variety of things that could be done.

There is one more alternative that I have thought of. Expanding on the "Home City" concept from Age of Empires III. Either have a bunch of cards that you can select to be sent to you, or you could have a "home city" in real time that you could switch to. The added advantage would be that you could ensure that the levels go to specific points of action. I suspect however that this option might be hard to implement without a really, really good system to play it on.

But I'll close with what I have said now, and I'll open the floor to anyone else who has a better clue then I would about why WWI isn't represented as well in games as other wars. Oh, and does anyone know if someone has made a game on the Korean War?

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Creationist Claim: Death Before the Fall

This will look a bit more formal then most posts, but I think it would be better to do it this way then in a more informal post.


Those of us who have encountered creationists online or perhaps in real life will have encountered the claim that "There was no death before the fall". Examples of this claim may be found on blogs such as this one, internet forums (my chosen reference seems to have disappeared, sorry) and is the main viewpoint for Answers In Genesis (AIG). This viewpoint also appears in their Creation Museum. However, such a claim is blatantly false, and is, in fact, not supported by scriptural interpretation.

Assumptions, Bible Version and Notation

The following are the assumptions made in this post:
  1. The Bible is 100% accurate (i.e. non contradictory)
  2. The Bible is infallible
  3. The Bible interprets itself (Sola Scriptura wiki)
I will state that these assumptions are not my personal beliefs, but are being made to show the thought process.

The Bible version used is the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), all links to scripture sources (in superscript) will take you to an online copy of the NRSV.

Citing will be done by superscript link. For ease, links to bible verses will be lettered while links to sources will be numbered.


The idea of "the Fall" bases itself on the "second" account of creation in Genesis 2[a]. This second account is considered to be non-contradictory and is in fact a more detailed description of the creation of mankind.[1]. In it God creates man[b], creates woman when God thinks that it is not good that man should be alone in the garden[c], and then created animals for man to name[d].

The event known as "The Fall" starts with Genesis 3[e]. In this event we see woman being tricked by the serpent, which in modern Christianity is said to be Satan in disguise[2]. Man and woman eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and are punished for their transgression by being banished from Eden.

Death in the Garden

The fall is considered to be the point in time where death is said to have started and all of the worlds ills appear. According to Tommy Mitchell of AIG:

"To have been very good, God’s creation must have been without blemish, defect, disease, suffering, or death. There was no “survival of the fittest.” Animals did not prey on each other, and the first two humans, Adam and Eve, did not kill animals for food. The original creation was a beautiful place, full of life and joy in the presence of the Creator."[3]

This is based on Genesis 1:31 in which it is stated:

"God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good... "[f]

In the article Two Histories of Death by Ken Ham[4], Ham questions whether creation can be considered "very good" if there was so much death. The article, although presenting two sides and "letting the reader decide", makes the answer obvious. The nature of God is good, therefore you cannot have a creation that has death.

The idea that death came after the first sin is also mentioned in Romans 5:12 :

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death came through sin, and so death spread to all because all have sinned—[g]

What could be considered to be the last verse that supports the claim that there was "no death in Eden" is Genesis 1:29-30:

"God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. 30And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so." [h]

This also gives rise to the claim that carnivores in the garden were herbivorous.[5]

Verses Verses Verses

When arguing using Sola Scriptura this is what the argument can end up becoming. Since a literal Bible is also one that supports itself arguments will end up being ones with verses thrown around. This argument is no different.

The first question is "do we know that life in Eden was immortal"? Based on scripture the answer is no.

As Glen R. Morton said in Death Before the Fall: The Theology[6], why would life need to reproduce if it was immortal?

God says in Genesis 1:22 that animals should "be fruitful and multiply"[i]. Logically, as well as using scripture, this would seem to be contradictory. Under the "no death" argument, had the fall never happened all animals on Earth would reproduce while never dying. This would start to cause stress on the flora, which would be the food source for all life and would cause suffering due to food shortages - the exact opposite of what the concept of "the Garden of Eden" is supposed to be about.

The closest non-biblical modern example would be the Koala population of Kangaroo Island. Without any natural predators on the island (and the reason for putting them there in the first place) they have been able to reproduce at a much faster rate then they normally would, only dying of old age or from various accidents. This has put much stress on the ecosystem of the island.[7] This is what is being suggested by AIG, except on a larger scale.

Next we have an interesting passage in Genesis 3:22:

Then the Lord God said, “See, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”—[j]

A tree of life would be redundant in a place where there is no death to begin with, so why would God fear man reaching out and eating from this tree?

It appears that the tree of life is a once off, possibly hereditary way of becoming immortal.

This really is the strongest piece of biblical evidence that there was death before the fall.

Other Views

The majority view from a theological perspective is that the "fall" was not a physical death, or the appearance of death, but a spiritual one.[8][9]. However, it should be noted that this is not a literal literal interpretation, which states "death" which would imply physical.

The second view, which I share, is that it's a very nice story, but none of it is true.


The claim of "no death before the fall" does lead to an interesting conundrum. Had there been no fall, would that mean that God would have a more active role in the world because he would have to feed a large number of immortal beings? And would he be a loving God if he didn't?

The answer to the second question would be no, he wouldn't be a loving God.

But, the clear answer is that no, there was no immortality before the fall, because the Bible itself states that there was an additional requirement for man to become immortal. It forces a literalist to accept that there would be death before the fall, however that creates a contradiction in their view of God. The result from the literalist side is that there is a group of people who have picked and chosen their verses that supports what they want to support, but left out the verses that show they are wrong.

Sunday, 9 November 2008



Today is 9/11.

I wonder why Americans seem to go on about it so much about this day?

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Interesting Developments

Firstly, I have to apologise to Robert Lancaster and his wife for this post. I've been a bit naughty.

I've been looking at the blog that has appeared, replacing the excellent Sylvia Browne articles written by Robert Lancaster.

As we all know, Robert Lancaster's website, Stop Sylvia Browne has been taken over by someone.

That's right. I now have no clue as to who owns the website. According to the site, it now supposedly belongs to a bloke called Matt.

See, as far as I can tell this Matt clearly isn't Boris Kreiman.

As a side, the linked page says that Kreiman has been accused of taking anabolic steroids. Clearly I don't know what they do, since Kreiman is a chess player. I mean I'd understand if it was say, chess boxing, but chess???


This person is asking (I'm trying out the "nofollow" html, so I hope it works, unless Blogger is already using it, then it would be a bit redundant.) for people to submit evidence of readings whether successful or not.

Sounds like this has never been done before right?

Oh wait, just take a look at this Sylvia Browne related link.


Robert Lancaster has tried to get people to provide examples of readings being successful.

Doesn't seem to have worked at present.

Well the comments are interesting, there is somebody there called "Mike" who is claiming that Stop Sylvia Browne is biased against Sylvia Browne.

He also suggests that people who support Sylvia Browne should link to that site.

I think that if they want to support her they should link to say Go Sylvia Browne. Yep, there already is a site dedicated to supporting Sylvia Browne.

The one thing that I'm assuming will happen is that what once was Stop Sylvia Browne will turn into a pro-SB site.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Stop Sylvia Browne Still Lives On

Stop Sylvia Browne

Take that people on the internet who support Sylvia Browne and were most likely cheering for the demise of the site. You've lost anyway.

This is an excellent site, with plenty of resources that show how Sylvia Browne is a fraud and a liar etc.

I know that many of the people who read this blog will know of the site, I just thought that I would point it out.

And considering recent events involving the original domain name being taken over by an apologetic, foolish, possibly illegal "entrepreneur" slash "chess grandmaster" most things are well with the universe.

Except people who find news sources with the old address on it.

However, in the vein of Stop Kaz, RSL's family has found a new place to host all the lovely, eye opening information about everybody's favourite psychic, Sylvia Browne on the Kaz-like address of

If you really want to help, link to the new site. And make the git who pounced on the old domain rue the day they chose to hijack a site with a good search ranking by moving it off the first page of google.