Card Wiper

When I looked around for a program to test Compact Flash memory cards I found a good free one. The program is from a company I wrote about before, DataRescue makers of PhotoRescue. You can get a copy at the bottom of the PhotoRescue Expert download page. This is a very dangerous program, not only can it permanently delete CF card data, it sure looks like you could wipe your hard drive if you set it wrong. Please be very careful with CardWiper and heed their warning on the page.

Card Wiper is a dangerous program: remember, the data you wipe is gone forever. Use it at your own risk! If you have ANY question about CardWiper, you probably should not be using it!

Now that you’ve been warned, I can say I highly recommend this program for its test function. I had to set the “Media access mode” to “Physical drive” in the options dialog before I could select my card reader. Once that was done it was easy to run a good write/read test of my suspect CF card.

Expelled reactions

Randy Olson, creator of the excellent documentary film Flock of Dodos, has weighed in with a post and a lively debate in the comments, Meet Ben Stein, the New Spokesman for the Field of Evolution. I was particularly impressed with JuliaL’s comment in that thread.

Extremely effective as propaganda.

I went to see the movie this weekend because I can’t expect to have any credibility in discussing it with my church friends if I haven’t seen it.

I’m comfortable with the context of witty debate, and, viewed as part of that context, Myers and Dawkins were clever and surprisingly mild-mannered.

I’m also familiar with the context of conservative Christian conversations about religion, and in that context, Myers and Dawkins look cold, callous, arrogant, and hateful.

Myers takes something that the audience treasures as the most valuable element of their lives, the source of comfort in pain and tragedy, the source of the ethical and social systems they live by, and compares it to a trivial hobby (accompanied by ad by an old clip of an ugly, foolish-looking woman knitting). The very off-handedness of his comment reads as a powerful insult. The method by which one is dealing with the death of a child, the way in which one makes life-altering decisions, all a trivial hobby? That doesn’t come across so much as a put-down of religion as a dismissing of the pain, hopes, and lives of the people themselves.

As a Christian who is entirely comfortable with the scientific Theory of Evolution, I hope that very few of my fellow church members see this movie because I think its effect may be hard to counteract. I’m sorry to see today so much scienceblog discussion focused on money – for the fundamentalists, this is an investment in missions, not a source of income – and so much less focused on what a powerful tool this movie is for turning a religious person who has known and cared little about the evolution/ID struggle in public schools into a determined advocate for ID.

Sadly I think she’s correct about the reactions to the film by conservative/fundamentalist Christians, I recommend you read the whole comment

Michael Shermer received a letter demonstrating some of the harm Expelled is doing by spreading lies. Richard Dawkins wrote a wonderful reply, ‘Open Letter to a victim of Ben Stein’s lying propaganda’

A young Christian wrote an interesting post, Expelled, or Why I Won’t Be Seeing It.

Blake Stacey has put together a list of people actually harmed in the evolution/creationism wars in his post, Creation, Power and Violence.

Scientific American has many articles about Expelled, here are two to get you started. Ben Stein Launches a Science-free Attack on Darwin and Six Things in Expelled That Ben Stein Doesn’t Want You to Know.

Peter Manseau wrote a review for Science & Spirit magazine, Is I.D. Ready for Its Close-up?

Blue Collar Scientist has quotes and links for Some Expelled Reviews.

Skeptico comments on Ben Stein’s appearance on the Craig Ferguson show, What’s Ben Stein Smoking? Seriously, has Ben lost all his brain, expecting evolution to explain things in other unrelated fields of science, WTF!