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Reviews Written by
Gary S. Hurd "Dr.GH" RSS Feed (Dana Point, California)
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Slavish Shore: The Odyssey of Richard Henry Dana Jr.
Slavish Shore: The Odyssey of Richard Henry Dana Jr.
by Jeffrey L. Amestoy
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $25.00
61 used & new from $21.00

5.0 out of 5 stars A journey returned and extended., May 29, 2016
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I happen to live in Dana Point named after an exploit by Richard Henry Dana. This biography written by Jeffrey L. Amestoy will I hope return Dana to the pantheon of America's Heroes. Amestoy expands some of the events Dana described in Two Years Before the Mast.

Of even greater interest is the story of Dana's life after returning home to 19th century Boston.


Psychopathia Sexualis
Psychopathia Sexualis
DVD
Price: $12.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Medicalizing Morality, May 29, 2016
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If you have had a medical education, particularly in psychiatry, or clinical psychology, you will at a minimum have heard of von Krafft-Ebing.

"Psychopathia Sexualis: eine Klinisch-Forensische Studie" (Sexual Psychopathy: A Clinical-Forensic Study) published in 1886 was a seminal work in the medical diagnosis, and treatment of sexual dysfunction. 130 years later we take a very different approach which is why I liked this cinematic presentation. The advantage of watching it over merely reading a textbook is that the acted scenarios provided a temporal context that I think helps a student viewer realize that we a looking into the past.


Grand Canyon: Monument to Catastrophe
Grand Canyon: Monument to Catastrophe
by Steven A. Austin
Edition: Paperback
57 used & new from $0.25

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This book has been the popular source of lies repeated ..., May 11, 2016
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This book has been the popular source of lies repeated by thousands of young earth creationists about the Grand Canyon. In the photos below we can see how gross, and obvious they are. On the first example are supposed geology students from the Institute for Creation Research. The principle author of "monument" claims, "All these layers had to be soft and pliable at the same time in order for these layers to be folded without fracturing. The folded Tapeats Sandstone can be seen in Carbon Canyon (top)." This is repeated elsewhere, "The whole sequence of sedimentary layers through which Grand Canyon cuts has been bent and folded without fracturing. This includes the Tapeats Sandstone, located at the bottom of the sequence. (A 90° fold in the eastern Grand Canyon is pictured here.)"

The second photo is marked to show the extensive stress fracturing that should be obvious to anyone claiming to be a geologist.

A new book just published by a group of professional geologists who are also evangelical Christians exposes this lie, and many others;
The Grand Canyon, Monument to an Ancient Earth: Can Noah's Flood Explain the Grand Canyon?
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The Grand Canyon, Monument to an Ancient Earth: Can Noah's Flood Explain the Grand Canyon?
The Grand Canyon, Monument to an Ancient Earth: Can Noah's Flood Explain the Grand Canyon?
by Wayne Ranney
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.36
50 used & new from $15.14

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flood? What flood?, May 11, 2016
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I have been waiting for my copy of “The Grand Canyon Monument to an Ancient Earth” since I heard about it nearly a year ago. It arrived May 5th, and it was worth the wait. The first thing readers will notice is that this is a beautifully illustrated book. The efforts of Tim Helble and graphic designers Bronze Black and Susan Coman are proven on nearly every page. The second thing you will notice is that this book is an excellent short introduction to geology. This is true even ignoring the special focus on countering widely believed falsehoods about the Grand Canyon.

The principle authors are professional geologists, and most are evangelical Christians. Over the years they became increasingly concerned at the distortions, and outright lies that are spread by young earth, “Flood Geology.” This book’s title is in fact a counter to a popular creationist tract, “Grand Canyon Monument to Catastrophe” which promotes the absurd idea that Noah’s Flood deposited all the sediments, and carved the Grand Canyon in a single year just 4000 years ago. The authors show that this is not merely physically impossible, but that such an idea is unsupported by the Bible.

There are an estimated 40 percent of Americans today who are being fooled by outfits like Answers in Genesis, or the Institute for Creation Research. These people are the intended audience for this book. As the last sentence in “The Grand Canyon Monument to an Ancient Earth” says, “Truth always matters.”


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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars "Patriot?", July 1, 2015
This is not "patriotism." Is is profoundly disrespectful.

But, you all knew that already.


Tomb Of Torture
Tomb Of Torture
DVD

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, January 27, 2015
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This review is from: Tomb Of Torture (Amazon Video)
Best watched in a chemically induced altered state of consciousness.

It is just bad enough to be funny.


Temple Wood: A Quest for Freedom
Temple Wood: A Quest for Freedom
DVD
Price: $5.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Just bad., January 27, 2015
I knew it was bad before I watched. But, would it be bad enough to be good?

Sadly, it was just bad.


Bowanga Bowanga
Bowanga Bowanga
DVD
Price: $1.99

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This was really really bad, March 16, 2014
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This review is from: Bowanga Bowanga (Amazon Video)
This was an ultra cheap flick made of equal parts news reel footage, and a a few weekends shooting in Palm Springs, Topanga Canyon, and Simi Valley.

"Africa" has orangutangs, rhesus monkeys, plus a tiger, a moose or two, and California mule deer. The background vegetation included Coastal Live Oak, Eucalyptus, willows and mesquite. My working hypothesis was that the producers wanted to hire a lot of girls to have sex with between shots. That would fit the plot as well.

You don't need to be stoned to watch this movie, but I think it might help.


If You Don't Stop It, You'll Go Blind
If You Don't Stop It, You'll Go Blind
DVD
Price: $1.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It exceeded expectation., February 27, 2014
These are old old jokes. Some are probably older than written language. There is a reason they have been told down the centuries.

They are funny.

They are not all funny to the same people all of the time, but they are all funny to some people some of the time.


The Myth of Junk DNA
The Myth of Junk DNA
by Jonathan Wells Ph.D.
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.79
47 used & new from $7.57

24 of 65 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Junk DNA, and Junk Creationism, December 17, 2012
This review is from: The Myth of Junk DNA (Paperback)
Soon after the discovery of how DNA stored sequences used to replicate proteins there began a bidding war for research funds to specify the DNA sequences and identify their function. In the battle, non-coding sections were called "junk DNA" since there was no obvious function that could be intuitively connected with a particular gene. A protein coding sequence clearly had a function, even if what the protein did was unknown at the time. Since building a sequence data base was then extremely expensive (and boring), the argument against deciphering non-translated "Junk DNA" won out. But, the possible functionality of "Junk DNA" was raised in the late 1970s. The argument was simple: there was an evolutionary cost to making copies of useless DNA. Since this cost was being paid, the "Junk" must have a function. The human genome project was conceived after the discovery of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in 1983. Many researchers were still objecting to spending scarce research money on non-coding sequences as late as 1989.

Some likely functions of this "junk" were discovered by geneticists in the late 1980s, reaching journal publications by the early 1990s. The development of automated sequencing machines around 2000 finally eliminated the last objections to sequencing "junk."

(See;
AD Riggs (1990) "Marsupials and Mechanisms of X-Chromosome Inactivation".
Australian Journal of Zoology 37(3) 419 - 441 (Suggested that "junk DNA" would not be preserved without some function, identified control functions specifically as promoters of spreading).

J Brosius and S J Gould (1992) "On "genomenclature": a comprehensive (and respectful) taxonomy for pseudogenes and other "junk DNA"" PNAS November 15, vol. 89 no. 22 10706-10710 (They propose that "junk DNA" is evolutionarily significant by providing raw material for future functions, is implicitly the source for current gene functions, and preserves the evolutionary history of organisms. Received 1991).

Emile Zuckerkandl, 1992, "Revisiting junk DNA" Journal of Molecular Evolution Volume 34, Number 3 / March, 1992 (Received 1991) (Suggested that "junk DNA" would not be preserved without some function, speculated that there were control functions).

What did the creationists have? ... The best they can do is a 1998 article by William Dembski. In an article for the Christian magazine "First Things," he noted the discovery of functionality by scientists (not by creationists) in portions of the human genome that had been considered as uninteresting "junk DNA" by many. Specifically, Dembski quotes Bodnar et al's 1997 abstract from, "Deciphering the Language of the Genome." To a competent reader, Dembski is defending creationism's position from scientific advances by attempting to co-opt them.

Bodnar, JW, J Killian, M Nagle, S Ramchandani (1997) "Deciphering the Language of the Genome." Journal of Theoretical Biology Vol 189, Issue 2, 21 November 1997 Pages 183-193).

Dembski, William A. (1998) "Science and Design" First Things 86 (October 1998): 21-27.

The ENCODE project began releasing reports with 30 articles published in the first week of September this year. They generated a great deal of excitement, and controversy. The first highly controversial topic was how they chose to define "functional" for DNA sequences. Basically, any segment of DNA that was transcribed by RNA was anointed as "functional." The directors of the project are already walking back from that claim. They weakly explained that the "public" might have been confused. Days later, a key project leader, Ewan Birney, Ph.D., was trying to justify using "80% functionality" in his press releases. His answer was to redefine "functional." In practical terms, "functional" became anything they could find that could bind somewhere. For what Birney admitted most people think of as "functional," the percentage falls hard to ~20%.

Here is a portion of his self commentary;.

"Q. Ok, fair enough. But are you most comfortable with the 10% to 20% figure for the hard-core functional bases? Why emphasize the 80% figure in the abstract and press release?
A. (Sigh.) Indeed. Originally I pushed for using an "80% overall" figure and a "20% conservative floor" figure, since the 20% was extrapolated from the sampling. But putting two percentage-based numbers in the same breath/paragraph is asking a lot of your listener/reader - they need to understand why there is such a big difference between the two numbers, and that takes perhaps more explaining than most people have the patience for. We had to decide on a percentage, because that is easier to visualize, and we choose 80% because (a) it is inclusive of all the ENCODE experiments (and we did not want to leave any of the sub-projects out) and (b) 80% best coveys the difference between a genome made mostly of dead wood and one that is alive with activity. We refer also to "4 million switches", and that represents the bound motifs and footprints.

We used the bigger number because it brings home the impact of this work to a much wider audience. But we are in fact using an accurate, well-defined figure when we say that 80% of the genome has specific biological activity."

At this point, Birney has about as little credibility as Wells.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 25, 2016 5:47 PM PDT


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