Monday, January 30, 2006

Rosa Klebb

The woman who merrily ordered the deaths of hundreds of thousands of healthy farm animals tells you how to look after your gerbil.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Sex, scandal and Simon Hughes

As ever, italicised text is the Nameless Tories.

Right, what are we going to debate this week?

Sexuality in politics – Oaten, Hughes and the Gordon Brown is gay rumours. Should it matter, and should it being a resigning issue?

Now I hate Simon Hughes, I hate him with a passion. I hate his undeserved piety, his sanctimonious television style, I hate the way he talks and the way he looks. I used to live in his constituency and I hate the lack of pedestrian crossings on Southwark Bridge Road just metres away from a primary school, I hate the stench of poverty that pervades the air in spite of his supposed principles and how long he has been MP in that area. I actively campaigned against him in the last general election. I take a lot of satisfaction that he lost 9.8% in 2005, with the Tory vote increasing by 4.9%.

But I have some sympathy for him this week. The Evening Standard headline of “Hughes – I’m Gay” really is not telling the story at all. He said he has had affairs with men and women, which surely makes him bisexual. And the concept that he should stand down because he is a single man who has had relations with both sexes is farcical. Particularly given he is running for the leadership of a left wing party that claims, in its title, to be liberal. He’s not Mark Oaten, there is no evidence he has broken any laws. He has also not cheated on anyone. He is a single man who has slept with other people. Shock Horror.

There is the argument that he lied. Yes, he did repeatedly say he is not gay (although, semantically, he’s not. He’s bi-sexual, so he could argue he has been asked the wrong question). And admitting you’ve been lying is never good for any politician, particularly one as preachy as Hughes. But why should he come out before he is ready? It can take people a long time to reveal to their families that they are gay or bi, and they often lie about it before they admit to it. And this is 100 times worse for Hughes, as he is announcing to the nation (and the world) rather than just his peers. Yes, he lied about his private life. He didn’t lie about the reason for going to war, and there is no evidence that this lie has prevented him from fulfilling his duties as an MP.

There you go, me defending Simon Hughes. And I genuinely thought I would be in my grave before I ever did that.

Your thoughts?

The issue here, as is so often the case, is about our view on morality. You are right that his admissions in no way hinder fulfillment of his duty as an MP, and one could even argue that everybody (even politicians) has the right to some form of private life.

Let us suppose he has breached some form of morality, whether by lying or by being bisexual (and let's be honest, that does offend a lot of people.) What interests me is that we expect high moral standards from politicians. Why do we expect them to live lives of total moral probity, even behind closed doors? I propose it could be because they are so willing to sell their personal lives as part of the package - Gordon, the cuddly family man! Dave, the plan-speaking ex-SAS soldier! Also, it may have something to do with the fact that the decisions they make impinge on our private lives, so we feel they owe it to us to 'do as I do.'

There is also the argument that it is easier - far easier - to dismiss a politician for being immoral than it is to dismiss him following a lengthy and cool-headed assessment of his policies. Why think, when outraged morality provides instantaneous answers for you? Many people hold Alan Clark in contempt for example, but I am willing to bet most of those people who dislike him do so beacase of his 'colourful' private life, not because they have studied his tenure as employment secretary and concluded that he was useless.

Ignoring the obvious problems of having a large number of people in this country still regarding any form of homosexual activity as immoral, the point about personal lives is interesting. Certainly some politicians advertise their private lives as a reason to vote for them. And if you are advertising on something then you also have to deliver on it. Oaten is an excellent example of this – he publicised himself as a family man, even doing family based photo shoots, at the same time as paying a rent boy for sex. But Hughes does not run on the basis of his private life, it is not part of the “Hughes package” so to speak. Even if you do see homosexuality as immoral Hughes has not made his private life public, others have done it for him.

I have got to stop defending Hughes, it feels unnatural.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Jesus does Joy Division

This is utter, utter genius.

'.....a character representing Jesus will sing the legendary Joy Division anthem Love Will Tear Us Apart before dueting his arch-betrayer Judas on the New Order hit Blue Monday, according to senior church sources involved in the production.'

Jesus doing Love Will Tear Us Apart and Bez as a disciple (''E's the son of fooking God, innee? Magic.') Brilliant.

Coming soon: the story of the Koran, with Mohammed performing Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter by Iron Maiden, and the Pali Canon, with Buddha played by Bryn Terfel performing Give Peace a Chance. As long as Kula Shaker don't get involved in the Mahabharata we should be OK.

Hang on, it's not April 1st, is it?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Lycra-clad mushroom-headed f*cknuts

To the cyclist I saw on my way to work today on the pavement who nearly crashed into me, then swore at a woman with a pram who was 'in the bloody way';

The next time you find yourself wondering why motorists give you such a hard time when you are on the road, bear in mind that pedestrians are very often drivers, YOU SELFISH ANTISOCIAL W*NKER.

Ahem. Sorry. Normal service to be resumed shortly.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

ID cards by the backdoor

Monday, January 23, 2006

Seen on the door of a laser physics lab


Meanwhile, the Trousers are out of the closet again.

Friday, January 20, 2006

What on earth could they mean?

A whale spotted in the Thames. Story here.

'There was no immediate comment from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott.'


Problem? What problem?

'We think we should now try to move the debate on from the specifics of rendition'

Translation from the NuLabourish into English - We've been caught bang to rights. We don't want a debate of any form. If we clap out hands over our ears and go 'lalalala not listening to yooooou lalalala' eventually you plebs will go away.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

I *heart* the Lords

They are unelected, unaccountable and a bastion of inherited privilege and cronyism. But, by all that's sacred, they are all that lies between us and NuLabour's 1984 vision of society, and they are very very good at dismantling the crap:

'Although the government seeks to pretend otherwise, our ID card project is uniquely vast, complex and intrusive. It risks outscandalising the Eurofighter, the Millennium Dome, the Scottish parliament, the driving licence and NHS computer projects and a host of other less daunting cock-ups.'

Hat tip to Europhobia.

The trial

Nick Griffin, execrable leader of the thoroughly contemptible BNP, is up in court on race hate charge. This is interesting, for a number of reasons, but a few are:

- if his comments are aimed at a religious group, surely they are not racist, per se?

- if his comments are true, is that a defence?

The comments that have led to his arrest relate, in part, to accusations of rape in Bradford. Allowing for this report, these accusations may be true. If they are true, then surely he is exercising a right to free speech? Does it matter if the comments in question are true, under the race hate laws?

Monday, January 16, 2006

The Ruth Kelly Affair.

Sex offenders in schools and the Ruth Kelly Affair. Discuss.

The Moai:
The question is, what do you define by a sex offender.

Now, if one is caught, say, accessing a website, as the law stands one can accept a caution rather than go to court - you become a sex offender by basically accepting the accusation, without any due process beyond that.

However, if one does decide to go to court, one could be acquitted by a jury. Therefore, on one hand you could have people who are basically innocuous accepting guilt, while on the other hand someone who could well be a genuine threat taking the chances in front of a jury and possibly getting acquitted. Person A is on the so-called List 99, Person B is not. Food for thought, I think.

Another interesting angle to this is that apparently certain offenders were allowed to work with certain types of children depending on their particular predilection eg. someone who has been accused of interfering with boys is only allowed to work with girls, offenders with the young are only allowed to teach sixth formers etc. This debate is very multi-dimensional, which is unfortunate as the redtops just want to turn it into 'BLAIR GIRL LETS EVIL PERVOS INTO SCHOOLS.'

The Nameless Tory:
I agree with most of what you say. I think there is a world of difference between someone who has viewed indecent images on the internet and someone like Robert Black or Ian Huntley. There is a world of difference between going onto the wrong website and raping a child. Also, accessing a site does not mean that you were aroused or gained sexual gratification from that site. Someone who has viewed child pornography is not immediately going to go out and molest a child, just as viewing hardcore pornography does not make someone go out and rape an adult. There needs to be an assessment of how likely that person is to harm a child. If there is a risk, then of course they should be on List 99. But if there isn’t, then the law is draconian and unfair.

Also you can be a sex offender and have committed a crime that does not link with kids in anyway. Someone who drunkenly raped a woman, served the time for it and is now fully rehabilitated is surely no danger to children. Our justice system is based on the concept of rehabilitation
(Is it? Well, it should be, but I question whether it is, as it is so frgamented. TM). List 99 denies that rehabilitation.

You’re absolutely right – the problem lies with the knee jerk reaction of the media. Check out the headline of today’s Daily Mail for a good example. Crimes against children are horrific, and we have to protect kids in schools. But the danger posed by these offenders who have slipped through the net is nowhere near as great as you would think from the media coverage. A child is far more likely to be killed walking to school by a car than by a teacher. And an interesting stat illustrating the priority given to maintaining the safety of kids is that with a standard murder, there is a 1 in 10 chance that it will be solved. With the murder of a child, that rises to 9 in 10.

The news

It appears that my major function in life is to allow the Nameless Tory to vent his mad rambles on the blogosphere. Before the nurse sedated him, he sent me this:

Lib Dem Leadership candidates back Kennedy for Leader

The four candidates vying for the leadership of the Liberal Democrats have apparently panicked at the fact that their party is no longer regarded as the “nice party” and have reacted by backing Charles Kennedy for leader.

In a four way conversation about the future (the term debate was banned for being too aggressive) the candidates all fell over themselves to be nice about the drink sodden Kennedy, until they all appeared to drop out of the race in favour of the slurring, sweaty Scotsman. Mark Oaten began the butt licking of Kennedy with the statement “I always thought Charles was great. He did so much for our party. And he was great to go for a beer with.” The one who no-one has heard of before continued with “I would agree with Mark there. I thing it was disgusting that some people in the party plotted against Charles. Just because he was incapable of doing his job on repeated occasions does not mean that he should be removed from his post.” Menzies Campbell, who has dubbed himself Ming in a vain attempt to appear “merciless” rather than just old, apparently took the one who no-one has heard of’s comment as a dig against him, so responded with “I backed Charles all the way, and actually got down on my hands and knees and begged him to stay.” However nothing prepared the audience of disinterested, bearded sociology teachers for the dramatic speech from Simon Hughes. Summoning up all of his piety Mr Hughes said “as you know I am a committed Christian as well as watered down socialist, and I can honestly say Mr Kennedy is the closest person I know to the Second Coming of the Messiah, and our behaviour over the past few weeks has been the equivalent of crucifying Jesus. I supported Charles to the last and would want to continue to support him in the future.”

Sensing that he had been upstaged once again the charisma less Oaten decided to try to upstage Hughes by dropping out of the race and backing Kennedy for leader. He was followed immediately by Hughes, then by a reluctant Campbell and then by the one who no-one has heard of. By the end of the friendly conversation Kennedy was the only man in the race and therefore the presumptive winner of the leadership race.

Charles Kennedy was unavailable for comment, apparently having been laid low but a “stomach bug.” However David Cameron issued the following statement whilst cycling back from lunch at the Savoy: “Crivens. Those jolly old Liberal Democrats are really going to put that terribly nice fellow Charles back in power? I never thought it would be this easy, what!”

BBC announces rafts of remakes by famous writers

In the wake of the success of the remake of Doctor Who by writer Russell T “Dafyd” Davies, the BBC have announced a number of remakes if classic sci-fi programmes by a variety of high brow TV writers.

Programmes commissioned include Jimmy McGovern’s Sapphire and Steel, Stephen Poliakoff’s Blake’s Seven, Paul Abbott’s Star Trek and Dennis Potter’s Red Dwarf. A spokesman for the station said that they were desperately excited by these new commissions “not least because they can plug the holes in the schedules currently filled by the episode of Only Fools and Horses where Del Boy fell through the bar.”

There were some criticisms by the press about the announcements, not least one commentator who pointed out that Dennis Potter would struggle to work on Red Dwarf owing to his death in 1994 from smoking too much. However the spokesman replied “Dennis is a challenging and ground breaking writer with a real determination to see the saga of the Dwarf back on our screens. We do not see him being stopped by the minor problem of his death over a decade ago.” Another reporter pointed out that the BBC did not own the rights to Sapphire and Steel or Star Trek. The spokesman responded by making the retard face and saying “dur, that’s why they will be remakes, thicko.”

In other news it was announced that the hour long, highly expose of the David Kelly affair has been pulled from tonight’s schedule. Instead the BBC will show the episode of Only Fools and Horses where Del Boy falls through the bar.

Friday, January 13, 2006

The inaugural Good Egg Awards

Brought to you by the Nameless Tory and the Moai, it's the first annual Good Egg Awards, in association with the Immigration Service (''Three grand to bugger off home and stop being our problem, no questions asked.').

We all know what a Good Egg is and it is about time that rare and luminous quality was recognised. It seems that someone can hold virtually any political beliefs, do any sort of job, be of high or low birth, and still be a good egg. Good eggedness seems to be independent of many other traits, and all we can put our fingers on is general sense of tremendously likeable, unflappable avuncularity. The Nameless Tory defines it as 'the ability to come up with a glib but charming reply to almost any question/statement and above all an easy, but genuine looking, smile'.

Boris Johnson, Tony Benn and Steven Fry are definitely good eggs. So was Ronnie Barker. I think Jonathan Humphreys may have it. I am not sure if it is necessarily a British thing; I think Clinton might be GE, as may Kelsey Grammer, and definitely Desmond Tutu and John Sentamu (new Archbishop of York, Ugandan). I think women can have it; witness Thora Hird and Dawn French. Brian Blessed appears to personify good eggedness. My just-this-minute-developed theory goes that you would happily buy a drink for a good egg, for example Steven Fry. You would pay not to spend time with a bad egg, for example George Galloway. But anyway, we all know one when we see one.

Nominations open now - please send yours in.


Good Egg (male)

Good Egg (female)

Bad Egg (male)

Bad Egg (female)

Services to Good Eggedness

Posthumous Good Egg Award (for historical figures and the like)

Suggestions please!



'Be a good chap and take the fall, old boy... we can get you a peerage and a nice safe job in the City.... after all, Ruth has her whole career ahead of her, wouldn't it be a shame to lose her? Yes....'

From The Nameless Tory:
I’d imagine Kim Howells got into work this morning and was very surprised to find that he had admitted to the mistake. Even more surprised when he found that he had made a statement about it. I can imagine him making the calls now:

"Campbell, what the hell is going on? I never made that statement!"

"Don’t f*cking sweat it son, we made the f*cking choice for you. You don’t get a f*cking choice in the b*stard statements you make. F*ck that. What, you think Prezza actually f*cking volunteered to pay that council tax? That fat c*nt? Do me a favour. Now, listen up son, you’re resigning this afternoon and offering a heartfelt apology to the nation. Don’t worry, it’s all ready written. All I need you to do is pack up your belongings in the black bin sack I left on your desk. Oh, and don’t f*ck about. Security will be with you in 5. Mess with them and you’ll end up on a hillside with a belly full of pills and a slashed wrist, know what I’m saying? Laters."

In other news, Prezza f*cks up again. DK (whose blog is one year old today, I'll raise a glass to that) raises the interesting question of why such an increasing liability is still in power...

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Another good reason to hate and fear the government

'Eighty-year-old John Catt served with the RAF in the Second World War. Last September, he was stopped by police in Brighton for wearing an "offensive" T-shirt which suggested that Bush and Blair be tried for war crimes. He was arrested under the Terrorism Act and handcuffed, with his arms held behind his back. The official record of the arrest says the "purpose" of searching him was "terrorism" and the "grounds for intervention" were "carrying plackard and T-shirt with anti-Blair info" (sic).

He is awaiting trial.'

From here.

Hat tip to the Hamster.

UPDATE: NuLabour are at it again on detention - they didn't get 90 days without trial so they are going for 60 days via the (unelected) back door. This story needs publicising so do pass it on....

Things you weren't aware of - Number One

Part One in an irregular series where interesting things you weren't aware of are showcased. With free binder.

All right-minded people know and love 2000AD. But I, for one, was unaware of the existence of Big Dave...

'By far the most controversial story of this run, though, was Big Dave, a satire of British tabloid attitudes starring "Manchester's hardest man". In Big Dave's world, the German national football team really are Nazis, single mothers really do get a fortune in state handouts, Diana, Princess of Wales and Sarah, Duchess of York are portrayed as gold-digging tarts making fools of the Royal family, and Saddam Hussein, who rides an ostrich, is in league with aliens who want to turn earthlings into "poofs".... Big Dave divided readers like nothing else the comic had ever published.' From here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Bonfire of the correctnesses

This is great. I am not surprised the managers are unsure what to do; if a Muslim officer refuses to work with a gay officer, does the manager opt to:
- Display religious insensitivity, or
- Endorse homophobia

The Copper will no doubt get a good laugh out of this.

On the illegality of suicide

Italicised text is from the Nameless Tory, plain text is mine. Comments very welcome, we are both feelign our way through this issue

Suicide must be illegal. Discuss.

Legality of suicide; well, why? The usual reason to make an act illegal is to attach penalties to it, as a deterrent. Is there any evidence that making suicide illegal is a deterrent? The likes of Diane Pretty should have the right to voluntary assisted suicide, as she could not have undertaken the task herself. We treat dogs better.

I am sure you will come back with a devastating counter-argument based on something obvious that I have missed.

There is a difference, I think, between someone who is terminally ill and going to die in terrible pain and someone who is going to take their own life owing to a disturbance of their mind/mental illness.

I support assisted suicide (as long as it is regulated) and the right of someone who is terminally ill to take their own life. That’s not to say I think it is right, but then again that’s not the point, is it? The reason why I would consider arguing (and I need to think this through a lot more myself as it is an idea that has only just occurred to me) for illegal suicide is twofold.

Firstly, people who take their own lives are probably disturbed on some level or at least suffering from some sort of mental impairment. Therefore they perhaps do not have the ability to make such a fundamental choice as to whether to die or not. Now I'm not saying everyone who is suicidal is mental, but the desire to die indicates that the balance of the mind has been disturbed. The legislation could require those who are suicidal to be hospitalised whilst their rationality is assessed. Whether you would keep them in custody or release them when they were declared to be sane (and the legal definition of sanity is a whole different can of worms) is open to debate, especially if they claimed suicide was still their intention.

I don't think the threat of forced hospitalisation would act as a deterrent; after all, your intention, if you are serious about suicide, is death. Imprisonment is irrelevant. What I was more thinking about in terms of a deterrence is to try to stop the cry for help scenarios – people who attempt suicide but have no intention of dying. This is a drain on the resources of the NHS, and a fundamentally selfish thing to do. A lot of the cry for help cases are actually a cry for attention. Just as there is a charge of wasting police time surely there could be a charge of wasting hospital time? Problematic and difficult to enforce, I know, but worth considering.

Is there a criminal offence of wasting hospital resources? If so, Munchausen's Syndrome is legally actionable....

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Friendship between Women:

A woman didn't come home one night. The next day she told her husband that she had slept over at a girlfriend's house. The man called his wife's 10 best friends. None of them knew anything about it.

Friendship between Men:

A man didn't come home one night. The next day he told his wife that he had slept over at a friend's house. The woman called her husband's 10 best friends. Eight of them confirmed that he had slept over, and two claimed that he was still there.

Shamefully ripped direct from the Scrum V chatboard.

If anyone can recommend a good hotel in Rome near the Stadio Flaminio I'd be most grateful.

A long debate post on suicide between myself and the Nameless Tory to follow.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Weirdly pinging

The Pedant-General has pinged me with the 'five weird things' meme, bless 'im. I fear I am rather boring in comparison with some people, but, here goes:

- I can speak backwards, fluently, and have been able to since I was five.
- I once appeared on Chinese TV, in a documentary about American universities. I was passing myself off as a student at Yale at the time, staying on a friend's floor there till I could get a flight home, and I happened to be enjoying a coffee that morning when the cameramen appeared. I didn't want to own up so I let them film me reading a paper and looking studenty.
- I chose my own middle name.
- I was the guitarist in The Purple Headed Warriors. The name was *not* my idea.
- I appear far younger than I actually am, which actually causes me problems at work. I am hoping someone markets a sort of reverse 'Just For Men' that adds grey to your hair, because I am tired of being mistaken for a student.

I have noticed that this blog gets far more hits (and, indeed, comments) when I write about rubbish as opposed to when I try to write about something clever. This may well influence editorial poicy here at the Lighthouse. Well, if I want to be a hit-whore anyway.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Less-than-Gorgeous George

I thought a mate of mine was joking when he said Geoge Galloway was in Celebrity Big Brother. Then I overheard someone at lunch mention it.

So I checked.

I cannot believe it.

HOW desperate for publicity is this man? He is a PAID representative in Parliament and he is going on BB!

Blair must be furious. GG has cameras on him 24 hours a day, to which he can say whatever he wants, to an audience who are usually politically apathetic. It's so brazen it's ingenious.

Bez won last year. I am rooting for Maggot from GLC.

Stalin, ill, and stuff

Last night on BBC4 there was a documentary about Stalin; a very learned chap called Jonathan Meades travelled around the USSR looking at his legacy, in terms of things like architecture and art. Two things I was not aware of; how stunning Moscow underground is - it's like an opera house down there - and that the Soviets under Stalin actually developed a crude form of weather control in the form of cloud seeding, that Uncle Joe used to prevent rain on parade days. I wonder if anyone is still working on this. What price the opposite effect in sub-Saharan Africa?

Also, Downfall was on again. Everyone needs to see this powerful, disturbing, amazing film. This is how history should be taught.

In other news, I am ill. Well, 'man-ill' anyway. Any women reading will know what this means...a concept a female friend of mine introduced me to. As in, you bumble around clutching a hanky and declaring that you are dying, but you refuse to go to a doctor or take a day off, thereby allowing further martyrdom.

The only thing that got me to work today was the Revolting Cock's brilliantly sleazy version of Do Ya Think I'm Sexy, which is joining the Moai's List of Cover Versions That Are Better Than The Original. Other members of this select group include Nothing Compares To You, All Along The Watchtower, Megadeth's version of Anarchy In The UK, The Clash's I Fought The Law, Bobby Womack's California Dreaming, and Gary Jules' sublime Mad World. Other nominations appreciated.

UPDATE: courtesy of the Devil's Kitchen, I hereby add Soft Cell's Tainted Love. Which I didn't even know was a cover. I bow down to DK's superior musical nerdiness.

We have established a Good Cover can exist. The question is now, are there any good film remakes? To use a Yankism to describe a Yank atrocity, the new Matt Damon-fronted Italian Job sucked. Same for Stallone's Get Carter.

On Charlie K - yes, he lied previously. But personally, I think it is bloody brave to air your alcohol problem in public and throw down the leadership gauntlet. I feel for the guy. It is such a taboo, when it is so common. George Best wasn't vilified, in fact he was virtually beatified on deat, so why should Charles be? He remains, in electoral terms, the most successful third party leader since the war.

Alcoholism is an utter blight. A very perceptive mate of mine once noted that it must the hardest addiction to live with as alcohol is everywhere - you can't walk down a street without passing a pub or an offy, and no-one is going to arrest you for having a bottle of whisky on you.

UPDATE: Wyndham, I must take issue with your criticism of digital TV. It's great. You can watch 24 hour a day Friends & Hollyoaks on E4, Little Britain repeats on BBC3, endless police chase shows on Men & Motors ('Australia's WILDEST Police Chases - Xmas Special!!!!'), and indulge yourself with hedge trimmers and costume jewellery on QVC. It's great.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Darwinism vs Intelligent Design

....when I was talking with a mate last night the subject of ID v Darwinism came up. As a science teacher, she is obviously against ID as it is belief and not science. But she mentioned that Darwinism also requires leaps of faith as the actual links, say between a fish in the water and then a breathing fish, are next to impossible to prove and therefore if the ID people were to use their brains rather than their blind faith they could very easily pick holes in it. Does this fit in with your knowledge of the facts and the debate?

Disclaimer; I did my degree under Richard Dawkins, Robert Scotland and Tom Kemp, so I am heavily steeped in cladistic, palaeontological Darwinism.

Darwinism remains the best and only verifiable explanation of why things are the way they are. Without it, nothing makes sense. Why would a God who created all species uniquely do it with such similar physiologies? If I do not share an ancestpr with chimps, why do I share 98% opf my functional AND non-functional DNA with them? If I am the creation of a perfect God, why is my back (and feet for that matter) so badly designed for bipedalism? Darwinism explains so much, so powerfully. ID just creates more and more and more questions.

Darwinism makes very few assumptions. All it requires is a self replicating system (tick) which makes the odd error (tick, see first law of thermodynamics) which competes with other systems for limited resources (tick), and a long enough time to act (tick - 3.8 billion years is the current best guess. Each revision of that date has pushed it back.)

ID requires the assumption of an omnipotent creator. I leave you to weigh that one up.

Big leaps (and coming on to land is a good example) do require a little thought. Evidence for how such things functionally happened generally depends on fossils and fossilisation is a very very rare event (the chemistry to turn a biomaterial into stone is non-trivial). However, in the case of terrestrialisation, we do have some lovely fossils: ichthyostegids like Acanthostega and Ichtyostega, all with fin-like protolimbs and modified gills which can breathe air (providing they are kept damp, just like our lungs, really.) We will never have a complete fossil record. Just because we lack a few pieces of the puzzle is no excuse to throw the whole puzzle away.

Every time God-botherers point out a hole in the fossil record, it generally gets filled by professionals who know where to look. Archaeopteryx, for example. Debate is ongoing as the nature and speed of major biological change - Goulds punctuated equilibria vs Dawkins' gradualism - but that is the point, we debate and we modifgy and we refine our theories. I would love to see an ID proponent try explain the evolution of antibiotic resistant Staphylococcus. God hates penicillin, maybe?

ID believers are welcome to continue trying to shoehorn the evidence into their presumptions of a God. That is their fundamental problem - each time more evidence comes to light they have to somehow shoehorn it into their assumptions, instead of letting the evidence change the theory around it (as DNA evidence is constantly changing our assumptions about what is related to what and when it all diverged). I know of no killer piece of evidence that knocks old Charlie off his perch.

Meanwhile, he rest of us will continue to marvel at nature in all its incredible diversity and astonishing unity, as it is.

I could go on as crushing ID is just far too much fun.