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Date: 2007/12/31 00:12:52, Link
Author: 1of63
Where do atheists get their morals from

I got mine off the shelf at Walmart.  They were on a special - two for five dollars.

Where did they come from - apart from China?  

We're social animals, maybe because our chances of survival are better in a group than on our own.  Morals are about regulating the way people behave towards one another in society so that it all hangs together.  

Wouldn't be much point in belonging to some social group if you stood as much chance of being killed by your own kind as you would by all those predators lurking outside, would there?

And if you look under the cultural overlays, as human beings we all have pretty much the same interests: water, food, shelter, security for ourselves and our family, a steady supply of Star Trek/Gate/Wars on an HD channel.  Okay, maybe not the last one but we should still expect to see some basics in common between cultures.  And, as others have pointed out, not killing each other willy-nilly being a good idea is a pretty universal rule.

If you want to claim the Bible is anything better, you're going to have to prove the existence of God because without Him/Her/It what's in the Scriptures is just another set of man-made morals.

Date: 2007/12/31 08:07:51, Link
Author: 1of63
Christ = "new covenant" - ultimate sacrifice which replaces OT sacrificial system.  OT law codes a thing of the past.

Christ provides two commands:

1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart.
2. Love your neighbor as yourself.
New Testament also covers sins of perversions against the body.  

That's nice.

Bit of a problem for the concept of a perfect God, though.  Perfect beings don't make mistakes and change minds - by definition.

Nothing wrong with a slightly imperfect God, of course, but it does mean we can ask: "what makes his morals any better than mine?"

Date: 2008/01/01 09:06:23, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Dec. 31 2007,22:24)
Quote (Lou FCD @ Dec. 31 2007,22:11)
I have a feeling the good professor is going to be fun.

ETA:  Has anyone coined "Tardutainment" yet?

Dibs on "errortainment."

ETA:  Has anyone coined "Tardutainment" yet?

Dibs on "errortainment."

Ditto on "entertardment".

Date: 2008/01/02 01:42:30, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Ftk @ Jan. 02 2008,00:25)
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Stop right here. Your "29 lame" links to Theobald's 29 evidences of common descent, with the implication (correct me if I'm wrong) that Theobald's points have been refuted. Have they? If so, please provide a link.


Also read this book.


Your "here" answered here

Date: 2008/01/08 23:32:57, Link
Author: 1of63
If ID takes off in Florida, could give a whole new meaning to CSI: Miami.  Can't you just see the Complex Sweater Idiot snapping off the cool shades and talking sideways at people?

Date: 2008/01/12 07:14:06, Link
Author: 1of63
Gil Dodgen
One sad aspect of the Darwinian propaganda machine is that, once it is exposed to the general public for what it is (materialistic philosophy pretending to be science, and even in opposition to the evidence of modern scientific discoveries about the severe limits of the Darwinian mechanism that is presumed to explain everything in biology), the public may lose trust in legitimate science.

Ain't never going to happen.  Evolutionary biology leads to Tiktaalik.  ID leads to the Debacle at Dover.  Guess which the public is going to trust and guess which is a bust.

I like the science in which I work: aerospace research and development. If it flies, the science is good. If it crashes, the science is bad. Storytelling doesn’t cut it for real scientists. Honest scientists follow the evidence — and abandon cherished, long-held convictions — no matter how painful that might be.

Gil, if your work in the aerospace industry is as divorced from reality as your understanding of evolution, ain't no way I'm getting on an aircraft you've had a hand in designing.

Date: 2008/01/12 19:18:30, Link
Author: 1of63
Just in case this doesn't get past Ftk's moderation
News flash...I never said I had an answer...I don’t.

You don't?  Not even in the Bible?  I'm shocked. You aren't turning agnostic, are you?
And, it’s true that I don’t give much credence to fossil analysis in regard to common descent.

News flash!  You disbelief counts for zilch.  Believe the Sun goes around the Earth if you want to - a lot of people used to - but it ain't going to make a blind bit of difference to the structure of the Solar System.
The bottom line is that we simply have no empirical evidence to support the claim that common descent is a “fact”. It’s an idea, a hypothesis, but not a “fact”.

Theory.  It's a theory.  A widely-accepted theory.  A theory that is widely accepted by those best qualified to judge - professional biologists.  A theory that is widely accepted by the biological community because a compelling amount of evidence has been gathered which supports it - a hell of a lot more evidence than for ID.
Since ID is based on actual experiments and studies of real world complexity in biological systems and has produced real world positive results...

[boggles] You're joking!  "Actual experiments"?  "Studies"?  Such as?
...such as the fact that there is no junk DNA,...

Yeah, right!  Show me the ID "studies" or "actual experiments" that "prove" junk DNA don't exist or even predict it don't exist.
I believe it has every right to be considered right along with common descent and macroevolution. They are all three inferences based upon data.

News flash!  Theories don't have human rights and ID ain't even a theory.

ID got all it was entitled to from the scientific community - a hearing.  It couldn't cut the mustard.  It got patted on the head and told to run along and come back when it had done some science and got some evidence.  Oh, and a proper theory would be nice, too.  All we've heard since then is a lot of whining about how unfairly it got treated.

Date: 2008/01/13 14:28:20, Link
Author: 1of63
2:  The NAS handbook is very useful.  We finally have incontrovertible proof that the Darwinists have two definitions of fact.  The first definition above I will call “hammer dropping fact.”  When I drop a hammer, it falls.  That’s a fact.  The second definition I will call “maybe not a fact fact.”

Is this the best you can do?  

Quibbling over the definitions of 'fact' in an NAS pamphlet?  

You really think that is going to shake the whole edifice of evolutionary biology to its core and bring it crashing down?  You hoping to do a whole Joshua and the walls of Jericho thing?

I don't think so.

First off, where's the problem?  To quote Steven J Gould, "...'fact' does not mean "absolute certainty." Whether an observation or a theory counts as a fact is decided only by whether they have been confirmed, to quote Gould again, "to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent."   By that definition Ptolemaic astronomy was a fact.  It was a fact that it described and predicted the motions of the planets with a reasonable degree of accuracy.  Doesn't mean it was The Truth, it just meant that it worked.  And that's what science really wants.
Here’s the bottom line:  Much of the Darwinistas’ rhetoric depends upon an equivocation between “hammer dropping facts” and “maybe not a fact facts.”

No, Bazza, this is you conflating 'fact' and 'truth'.

Ptolemaic astronomy was superceded by the work of Copernicus and Galileo because it explained the same thing to the same "pathetic level of detail" - and then some.  It won out because it did more and did it better.  The same for Newtonian mechanics and relativity; Einstein's explanation went to the same "pathetic level of detail" - and then some.

So here's the bottom line:  you want to replace the theory of evolution with Intelligent Design, you're going to have to put an actual theory behind the label.  It has to explain what evolution explains to the same "pathetic level of detail" - and then some.  A rag-tag bunch of number-crunchers, engineers, computer geeks, shysters and self-proclaimed, self-important, self-made millionaires all standing around, wide-eyed, and gasping that 'it looks so complicated that it just has to be designed' don't cut it.  Do the research, do the fieldwork, do the math, write it up and put it out there for others to trash - if they can.  Stop whining about "Darwinistas". Either piss or get off the pot.

Date: 2008/01/13 18:24:11, Link
Author: 1of63
I see Bazza's discovered Monty Python and The Holy Grail .  It's a good movie but he needs to look to The Life of Brian for a passage that highlights the intellectual rigor, penetrating insight and dynamic creativity that has made ID such a powerful force in science:
BORING PROPHET: ...Obadiah, his servants. There shall, in that time, be rumours of things going astray, erm, and there shall be a great confusion as to where things really are, and nobody will really know where lieth those little things wi-- with the sort of raffia work base that has an attachment. At this time, a friend shall lose his friend's hammer and the young shall not know where lieth the things possessed by their fathers that their fathers put there only just the night before, about eight o'clock. Yea, it is written in the book of Cyril that, in that time, shall the third one...

Date: 2008/01/20 18:50:50, Link
Author: 1of63
Jeez, Denyse, you're brilliant!  Your talent for making ID look IDiotic is so awesome you just have to be a sockpuppet.  I mean, just look at these:
1. No good theory will be found for a random origin of the universe, either by the Large Hadron Collider or anything else. The universe will consistently behave more like a great idea than a great machine.

Positive prediction: An end to unfalsifiable ideas about zillions of flopped universes and a focus on how we can best explore our own universe, as per The Privileged Planet.

This is great!  Not only does ID re-write biology it does the same for high-energy particle physics and cosmology too.

That claim about Dembski being the "Issac Newton of information theory" was way too modest.  He's a latter-day Leonardo Da Vinci of Life, the Universe and Everything.  Who else could have cut through all the scientific crap and seen the principle that underlies everything:  'Hey, it all looks way too complex too be accidental.  It has to be designed.'

It nicely sidesteps why a Designer couldn't have designed as many universes as He/She/It felt like, as well, but there's that handily blasphemous "pathetic level of detail" rearing its ugly head again.

The non-sequitur prediction is way cool.
2. No good theory will be found for a random origin of life, though there will be plenty of huffing and puffing in favour of bad ideas. All theories that exclude purpose and design fail because they leave out the key driver - the purpose that life should come into existence.

Positive prediction: We will learn more about the real nature of our universe and our place in it, and how best we can explore it when we accept the fact that it didn't "just happen."

Oh, ya gotta admire that one, slipping the circular argument in just like a real IDiot.

And the prediction is a really neat switch from the origin of life to the origin of the Universe.
3. Complete series of transitional fossils will not usually be found because most proposed series have never existed. Eventually, researchers will give up on ideologically driven nonsense and address the history that IS there. They will focus on discovering the mechanisms that drive sudden bursts of creativity.

Positive prediction: Discovering the true mechanisms of bursts of natural creativity may be of immense value to us, especially if we need to undo some significant harm to our environment.

Fossils is good because however many they find it'll never be enough and everyone knows that.

As for the environment, you just opened the way to green ID:  William Demsbki, the Al Gore of Intelligent Design!
4. The environment will prove far more resilient than eco-doomsayers believe. People forget that the Permian extinction wiped out 90% of the marine life forms on this planet. Life seems to want to exist on this planet, even at the South Pole (cf March of the Penguins). Note: I have no time for environment destruction, and personally gave up keeping a car, as the simplest and most economical way to reduce my environment footprint. But I am NOT waiting for enviro-apocalypse!! - I don't believe it will happen. There will be changes. That's all. Not the end of the world or anything like it.

Ranting about the environment even though it doesn't follow from anything in ID is good. Capping it with no Positive Prediction so it makes it look like the IDiots can't even count is better.
5. No account of human evolution will show a long slow emergence from unconsciousness to semi-consciousness to consciousness, let alone that consciousness is merely the random firing of neurons in the brain. However consciousness got started, it appeared rather suddenly and it permanently separates humans from our genetic kin, however you want to do the gene numbers and however much time researchers spend coaxing monkeys to stop relieving themselves on the keyboard and type something meaningful.

Positive prediction: We will focus on what consciousness can do, especially in treatment of mental disorders. Yes, a drugged up zombie is better than a suicide, but only because the zombie isn't technically dead. Why stop there?

Classic IDiocy here - denial, dissing science and a lot of  does not follow from what went before.
6. Claims that the human brain is full of "anachronistic junk" will be falsified, just as century old claims that there are hundreds of vestigial organs in the human body were falsified. The human body will be recognized as suitable for the purposes for which we exist. (Not in all cases perfect, to be sure, but in general suitable.)

Positive prediction: We will discover the functions of many brain areas whose functions we did not know before.

Well, DU-UH!  

Nothing like stating the obvious as a newly-minted prediction to make the claimant look like a real IDiot.

7. No useful theory of consciousness will demonstrate that consciousness is merely the outcome of the random firing of neurons in the brain. All useful theories will accept that the mind and the brain exist in a relationship. Research will focus on delineating the relationship more clearly. That will greatly benefit medical research, especially research on difficult mental disorders such as phobias, depression, etc.

Positive prediction: We can have a better grasp of what consciousness does and how it relates us to our environment.

Nice touch of rambling IDiocy, this one.  Do the consciousness thing a second time with same prediction in different words like no one will notice - or that the number of predictions is down to seven.
8. No useful theory of free will (human volition) will demonstrate that it does not really exist. Free will (which includes using the mind to help heal bodily injuries) will become an important tool of medicine, especially for helping aging people toward a better quality of life. For example, the fact that a drug only need perform 5% better than a placebo to be licensed for use will encourage the development of mind-based treatments for people who would otherwise be forced to take antagonistic drugs.

Positive prediction: Better health care for people with complex illnesses

Way to go, Denyse!  Keep making with the loony claims and soon the only reaction will be: 'Move along, there.  Nothing to see here that follows from ID.  Just keep moving.'
9. No useful theory of human psychology will be founded on claims about what happened in the caves of our ancestors (= evolutionary psychology). That is because there are no genes that simply "cause" behaviour in a clinically normal human being. The mind is real and humans create their social environment by mental effort. Information is passed on from mind to mind, not through genes or physiology.

Positive prediction: For example, if one culture decrees that "God says you SHOULD beat your wife" and another culture says that "God says you SHOULDN'T beat your wife", the observed instance of wife-beating will be lower in the second culture than in the first. Human nature may be the same everywhere, but human behaviour is predicted by culture. So culture matters
This is perfect.  Right in the last prediction - which, again, doesn't follow from ID, or much else come to that - bring on the one thing IDiots always deny, God.

Actually, the God thing makes me think Denyse could be sort of Roman - as in The Life Of Brian:

"Alright, apart from claiming it revolutionises particle physics, cosmology, genetics, psychology, pharmacology, medicine, anthropology, ethology, ecology, paleontology, consciousness and morality, what has Denyse ever done to discredit ID?"

Date: 2008/01/31 19:11:22, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (SpeedDemon @ Jan. 31 2008,18:40)
What's to stop the good Dr. Dr. from claiming they're all designed?


What's to stop the good Dr. Dr. from claiming they're all designed?

The chance that one of them is a random sequence of letters which would show the Explanatory Sphincter is a bunch of crap?

Date: 2008/02/02 16:15:43, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Ftk @ Feb. 02 2008,09:55)
Honestly, when I read Harris's book, I giggled throughout.  

Sorry, dude, must have a different sense of humor.  I'm reading Harris's book right now but if he's trying to be a comedian he'd better stick with his day job.

The Bible now, that's a real hoot!

That bit about stoning rebellious children and the other one where God sends a couple of bears to kill those kids who are taking the piss out of one of the prophets?  Well, anyone who's had to put up with rowdy teenage parties is going to be punching the air and hollering "Yayy!  Way to go, God!"

I love the "Gotcha!" moment right at the beginning where God tells Adam he'll die the day he eats the fruit. Then, when He catches Adam and Eve Red Delicious-handed, He says "Just kidding!" and kicks them out of Eden on their asses to live another 900 years or so.  That God, what a guy!  You just never know when he's joshuaing around.

What really creased me, though, was when He arranged that boat trip for Noah, his family and other animals.  Takes the other few billion men, women and children on Earth at the time and drowns 'em right out to make way for the world's first ocean cruise line. Now that's what I call taking care of your own - and having  a laugh while doing it!

Date: 2008/02/03 17:27:34, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Ftk @ Feb. 03 2008,16:39)
If Dawkins is going to assert that bringing up children in religious faith is equivalent to child abuse, one should throw his assertions back in his face and ask that he consider his own child’s upbringing and leave my kids out of the equation.  Personally, I’d prefer my children being brought up in a loving family who honor the sanctimony of marriage, and put their children first rather than leave them to go off and marry another women.  I also believe that it is my right to raise my children in response to biblical morality.  It is my right to raise them in the way in which I believe they will best serve God and respond to their fellow man.

This really is so much crap.

No one's telling you how to bring up your kids.  I'm sure they'll be raised in a loving home to take their moral responsibilities seriously.  But where the hell do you get off implying that only Christians can do this?   Oh, sure, you didn't say it out right but that's what you meant.  Do we really need to get out the list of these fine, upstanding Christians who've been caught with their pants down - in public washrooms and elsewhere - or with their hands in the till or much worse?

You want students to hear about the weaknesses as well as the strengths of the theory of evolution?  You want them to hear about ID so they can make up their own minds?  Fine.  So you'll be teaching your kids about all the weaknesses in Christian theology,  the inconsistencies and outright contradictions in the Bible, so they can make their own minds up about whether they believe it or not, will you?

If you do, good for you.  If not, you'll be  confirmed as just another sanctimonious prig who makes a big public deal about being Christian and exudes this nose-in-the-air effluvium of moral superiority.

And if it's a choice between Vox Day's brand of Christianity and Dawkins' atheism then I'll give you one guess which I'm going to choose.

Date: 2008/02/09 07:27:05, Link
Author: 1of63
[quote=Kristine,Feb. 08 2008,16:21][quote=Annyday,Feb. 08 2008,14:46]
That said, there is the type of woman who overcompensates and is too aggressive, and thatt comes out in Hellary’s voice. “I do not have good relations” with that type, and I don’t want to spend the next 4 or 8 years listening to her (please no). Yes, some women who sport “Hillary” stickers conform to a certain stereotype and I confess I snicker about it. But she’s irritating for the same reason that it’s irritating in a man – loud, searing voice that reminds me of a table saw. (Rev. Barky mutes the radio when she comes on and does a good imitation of her.)

Hillary's the closest thing this country's got to Margaret Thatcher and, if you ask me, the Washington fat-cats could use a good dose of 'hand-bagging'.

Date: 2008/02/09 14:59:12, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Feb. 09 2008,10:49)
Dear lord you can't actually WANT a Thatcher can you? She pushed the UK to the brink of utter collapse!

You're kidding!  Only the best PM since Churchill!  Took down the Argies, put the unions in their place, handbagged the EEC into coughing up a rebate, stood up against European federalism and on the eve of Gulf I told Bush I that it was no time to get "wobbly".  Hillary should have so much backbone.

Date: 2008/02/10 17:07:26, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Lou FCD @ Feb. 10 2008,12:33)
If y'all wouldn't mind, I think we need to continue the discussion of Maggie Ironbloomers on the Wall.

Smile when you say that, pilgrim.

Still, the Wall is cool, so.... <whhoooooosssshh>

Date: 2008/02/10 19:16:21, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Lou FCD @ Feb. 10 2008,18:18)
Love her or hate her, you have to say the woman had bloomers of iron and balls of steel.

No offense intended.

Just kidding.  None taken.

And you're right, she did.  You got the impression she wasn't going to appease or pander to powerful interest groups.  How many of today's crop can you say that about.

Date: 2008/02/10 23:46:32, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Ftk @ Feb. 10 2008,22:23)
Have you ever stepped foot in a healthy church environment?  Good grief, if you came to my church and left with the impression that what is going on there is "unfortunate for humanity", you'd have to be a complete loon.

Thought experiment:  your church runs the government.  What would be its policies towards people who are atheist or gay or both?  Would they be citizens?  Would they have the vote?  Would they be eligible to run for public office?

As a kid, I was in what seemed to be a "health church environment".  Ordinary, decent people trying to live by Christ's teachings.  Wouldn't have touched televangelists with a bargepole.  Would've seen the right-wing fundies as little better than incipient Taliban or Nazis.  Would've thought the Phelps bunch were quite mad - or maybe tools of Satan.

But I don't remember, if I ever knew, where they stood on things like atheism or homosexuality, so:

Theology: where does your church stand on the morality of The Flood, for example?  Millions, perhaps billions, drowned because a God who, by definition, can't make mistakes, decides He's made one.  

And even if you assume all the adults had sinned and deserved to die, the same can't be said of all the kids that would have died.

And you're supposed to be "For the kids".

Sure, PZ and the other leading atheists would like to see religious belief erased from human culture.  Doesn't mean they'd wipe out the entire human race bar a handful of atheists to do it.  But the God you worship - what is it with 'worship', anyway - claims to have done just that and was right to do it.

You see the problem?

Date: 2008/02/11 00:27:04, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Mister DNA @ Feb. 10 2008,22:39)
My thoughts on Margaret Thatcher...

For all their faults, the Reagan/Thatcher era inspired some kickass punk rock.

Okay, so nobody's perfect.

Date: 2008/02/12 06:21:02, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Louis @ Feb. 12 2008,02:51)
Okay, okay, final word on La Thatch:

She was a genius, the best thing that happened to the UK by miles. We need to clone her so she can rule this nation forever. She was a true leader.

Hear, hear!  Well said, that man!

Ian must be one of them unreconstructed soshulists like Red Ken and Red Robbo, still pinin' for beer and sandwiches in smoke-filled back rooms with Harold Wilson.

Date: 2008/02/13 00:32:53, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Louis @ Feb. 12 2008,07:13)
My Dad had an excellent way of handling my Grandad (his father in law) when he was being annoying, he'd just pour him a beer, say "Margaret Thatcher", and let the old boy rant for an hour or two. Worked every time apparently.

Daily Mail did much the same for me.

Date: 2008/02/13 00:45:14, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Louis @ Feb. 12 2008,07:13)
P.S. I iz also an socialist, well, sort of. I prefer champagne to actual socialism, but I despise champagne socialism. Go figure. Political labels are annoying to me, not one political group seems to represent my interests...although i'm happy to confess that this may be because of my relative ignorance of matters political. Sfaest thing I can say is I'm a liberal, but not the wishy washy kind. I'm a militant, rationalist liberal, and you better like it or we'll have a really long discussion about it, taking into account several factors and a large body of evidence. ;-)

I like to think of myself as a Millian liberal because ol' John Stuart pretty much nails it in On Liberty.  Political labels are a bunch of crap, though, I agree. It's like the soft fascists who call themselves conservative here in the States tagging anyone even slightly to the left of them as 'liberal' - meaning they are a few rungs down the ladder of despicableness from pedophiles or even atheists.

Date: 2008/02/17 14:01:58, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Annyday @ Feb. 16 2008,23:12)
Some scientists write these experiences off by saying that NDEs are just hallucinations from a brain under tremendous stress from injury and trauma. But what they are helpless to explain is how these people who experiences a NDE can re-call and describe in vivid details what they saw and heard while laying dead in the hospital. They shock the doctors with exact details of what the monitoring machines displayed while connected to their body! Many people who have had NDEs are able to accurately describe what family members were wearing and talking about even though they were not allowed in the room where the body was being given electrical shock to try and restart the heart and breathing.

First, this has the whiff of a weird rumor. Second, clinically-dead patients with functioning senses would not be that strange. FtK seems to overweigh the meaning of "clinically dead". Obviously they're still intact to one or another degree, seeing as they are later considered no-longer-dead.

I was into this for a while on a newsgroup about lucid dreaming (LDs), out-of-body experiences (OOBs) and near-death experiences (NDEs).  Even got to meet one of the researchers in the field.

First thing is, they are NEAR-death experiences.  People who are "clinically-dead" are not really dead because death, by definition, is something you don't recover from.

Second, there are a few cases where people claim to have seen what was going on around them in operating rooms and the like. They're all anecdotal as far as I remember.  No one's ever been able to match an NDE report of an operation to a videotape of the event.

The best-known case is probably a woman called Pam Reynolds.  You can find her story on the 'Net.   She had an op where they lowered her body temperature drastically and drained the blood from her brain so it was completely flatlined.  Afterwards, she told a story of what she saw and heard in the operating-room while her brain was supposed to be non-functional.

The problem is that believers assume that these experiences happen while the brain is flatlined.  But there are periods before the op when the patient is being put under and prepped and afterwards when they are coming out of it when these experiences could easily have happened.  That's the more likely explanation.

The fact is we have no evidence that consciousness can exist apart from the physical brain and these stories just don't cut it.

Date: 2008/02/20 18:58:39, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Kristine @ Feb. 20 2008,18:47)
Quote (J-Dog @ Feb. 20 2008,14:47)
For all you Aussies, Oz's, Brits and Welsh...and everyone that spells color colour...

From the Science Blog - We Want Our Language Back

Pardonnez-moi, but aren't those spelling conventions due largely to the French...?:)

That is a really leau bleau!

Date: 2008/02/20 19:04:00, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (J-Dog @ Feb. 20 2008,15:47)
For all you Aussies, Oz's, Brits and Welsh...and everyone that spells color colour...

From the Science Blog - We Want Our Language Back

"Oh, why can't the English learn to set
A good example to people whose
English is painful to your ears?
The Scotch and the Irish leave you close to tears.
There even are places where English completely
disappears. In America, they haven't used it for years!"

Date: 2008/02/23 00:35:32, Link
Author: 1of63
These are David Berlinski's idea of "embarrassing questions for science:

Has anyone provided a proof of God’s inexistence?

Has anyone provided a proof of God’s existence?

Not even close.

(Try 'burden of proof', dimwit)

Has quantum cosmology explained the emergence of the universe or why it is here?

Has religion explained the emergence of the universe or why it is here?

Not even close.

(Note: "explained" means more than just saying 'an <expletive deity deleted> did it', dummy)

Have the sciences explained why our universe seems to be fine-tuned to allow for the existence of life?

Have the religions explained why our universe seems to be fine-tuned to allow for the existence of life

Not even close.

(See previous)

Are physicists and biologists willing to believe in anything so long as it is not religious thought?

Are faith-heads willing to believe in anything so long as it does not contradict religious thought?

Close enough.

(Universe created out of nothing, talking snakes, parting of seas, water into wine, worldwide floods, raising from the dead, 72 virgins - or possibly grapes - yadda, yadda...)

Has rationalism in moral thought provided us with an understanding of what is good, what is right, and what is moral?

Is there any rationalism in religious thought and, if there is, has it provided us with an understanding of what is good, what is right, and what is moral?

Not close enough.

(Note: we're talking "rationalism" and "understanding"  here, not some god saying "Do what I tell you or you get an all-expenses-paid trip to the balmy tropical resort of Hell for all eternity".)

Has secularism in the terrible twentieth century been a force for good?

Has religion in any century been a force for good?

Not even close to being close.

(Softball.  I thought these were supposed to be embarrassing for science.)

Is there a narrow and oppressive orthodoxy of thought and opinion within the sciences?

Is there a narrow and oppressive orthodoxy of thought and opinion within the faiths?

Close enough.

(No way did he write that with a straight face)

Does anything in the sciences or in their philosophy justify the claim that religious belief is irrational?

Does anything in the faiths or in their philosophies justify the claim that religious belief is rational?

Not even ballpark.

(See talking snakes, 72 grapes, etc.)

Is scientific atheism a frivolous exercise in intellectual contempt?

Is David Berlinski a frivolous exercise in intellectual contempt?

Dead on.


Date: 2008/02/24 10:31:50, Link
Author: 1of63
It's no good.  Being of Albionic extraction, the name 'Granville' conjures up an entirely different image.  Other Brits will know what I mean
Granville: I've got the blood of poets and lovers in my veins.
Arkwright: [as Granville leaves] Yes. And at least one electrician

Date: 2008/02/25 21:18:14, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Richardthughes @ Feb. 25 2008,18:03)
Great theme tune!!!!!11111one

Good, but not one of Barry Gray's finest.  

For that, you want this

or this:

Date: 2008/02/25 22:49:31, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Richardthughes @ Feb. 25 2008,21:32)
Nah, I like space1999 the bestest because it has a bit o' Lalo Schifrin type stuff going on. The others are too 60's sounding.

Oi!  Nuffink wron wiv the 60's, mate!

Date: 2008/03/11 23:46:35, Link
Author: 1of63
I think we owe ID's horse marine a vote of thanks for making this so easy:

Quite often when confronted with the problematic nature of explaining the arrival of the first life capable of supporting descent with modification an evolutionary theorist will say the theory has no bearing on how the first life came into existence - the theory only explains what happened after that.

Is this true?

You see?  You can get it right if you try.

Well, yes and no. Evolutionary theory doesn’t explain exactly how the first life was created and doesn’t demand any particular modus operandi. However, that’s not to say it doesn’t make any assumptions at all. It assumes that the first life was a simple cell and the mechanism(s) described by the theory made a simple common ancestor (or perhaps a few simple common ancestors) into the complex and diverse spectrum of life we observe today.

...and you started off so well, too.

No, the first life is not thought to be the single cell.  They didn't just pop up out of nowhere.  That's your schtick.  There are thought to be simpler precursors.

If you want to find out if NDE really cares about how life originated just try asserting that life originated as very complex forms that were programmed to diversify in a prescribed manner.

ID's long on assertions.  Just short on data, evidence, research - anything, really - to back them up.

Try saying the original form of life on the earth was like a stem cell in that it contained the unexpressed potential in it to diversify into many different forms with chance playing little if any role in the diversification process.

...then - again - try coming up with the evidence to back it up when you're asked.

Or better yet, for some real shrieking and howling rejection, try proposing that life originated as very complex perfect forms such as described in the Garden of Eden and the story of evolution is really a story of devolution from originally perfect, diverse forms.

This is too easy.  

Dave, if they were perfect to begin with, they wouldn't have "devolved", would they?

In short not every modus operandi for the origin of life is acceptable - only those which don’t involve intelligent design in the origin of life. The problem is that if you admit intelligent design in the origin of life you open the door for it anywhere in the subsequent story of life.

The problem is that if you admit intelligent design, you've done nothing to answer the question of the origin of life.

Let's say some really smart aliens stumble across Earth a few billion years ago, whip up a batch of proto-life in the lab and seed the planet.

Great, that could explain the origins of life on Earth.

Doesn't explain where the aliens came from though, does it?

ID does dick to explain the origins of life.

As Richard Lewontin said “We can’t let a divine foot in the door”. In actuality it’s the foot of any intelligent agent, divine or not, that isn’t allowed in the door.

No, it's the foot IDiots keep putting in their mouths that isn't allowed in the door.

It’s relatively easy to pin someone like Richard Dawkins into the uncomfortable position of either exposing his non-scientific presumptions about the origin of life or admitting that life on earth was possibly intelligently designed.

Yup, Richard Dawkins looks really uncomfortable about having his "non-scientific presumptions" exposed.

No, wait, I'm wrong.  That was Behe on the stand at Dover I was thinking of...

All you have to do is get them to agree that intelligent life such as ourselves with the requisite skills in biochemistry to design a simple cell can evolve without intelligent agency. They are forced by their own beliefs to agree. Then you next ask if it’s possible that intelligent life evolved somewhere else in the universe first and that form subsequently designed the life we find on this planet. They must either agree that’s possible or explain why, scientifically, it isn’t possible. At that point they’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. In order to maintain the illusion of being an objective scientist with no ideological presuppositions they must admit that life on earth could be the result of design.

Sorry, Dave, but a bit obvious.  Which are we talking about, the origin of life itself or the origin of life on Earth?  Can't have it both ways.

Dawkins chose to maintain the illusion by admitting that design is a possibility then tried to weasel out of it by saying that the designer is almost certainly an evolved intelligence. If he doesn’t say almost certainly then again he admits to holding a non-scientific presumption.

Methinks it is the cdesign proponentists who are like a weasel.

Date: 2008/03/16 01:25:04, Link
Author: 1of63
Quoth The Artful Dodgen:
In my neighborhood in Southern California, a high school student has filed suit against a history professor who openly and consistently disparages Christianity in the classroom. Note that this teacher is “faculty adviser to the Free Thinking Atheist and Agnostic Kinship student club.”

High school teachers are professors?

Still, I s'pose if narcissistic, arrogant, jumped-up computer geeks can be experts in biology and legends in their own minds...

Question #1: Why is no discussion of scientific challenges to Darwinism permitted in high schools, when open hostility to Christianity is? Where is the ACLU when you really need them?

Ready and waiting, I'd guess.  Why don't you ask them?

As for "scientific challenges to 'Darwinism'", since "Darwinism" ain't taught in schools, ain't no need for challenges - scientific or otherwise.

As for "open hostility", what about all those biology teachers who daren't even mention evolution in science classes for fear of the reaction of oh-so-friendly so-called Christian students and parents?

Question #2: Why are atheists and materialists the only ones who qualify as “skeptics” and “free thinkers”? I used to be an atheist and materialist, but when confronted with the evidence, I became skeptical of atheism and materialism.

What's this, Gil, a little "free thinker" envy?

Hey, you can be an "atheist and materialist" again if you really try.  You could start gently with a little light agnosticism.  Start with a small dose of Huxley:

"It is wrong for a man to say he is certain of the objective truth of a proposition unless he can produce evidence which logically justifies that certainty.”

...or a mild infusion of Hume...

"A wise man, therefore, proportions his belief to the evidence"

...taken three times a day after meals.  You'll find it does wonders for your intellectual integrity.

I became a free thinker.

Not quite yet.  But you can be, Gil, you can be.

I know, that "opium of the people" is so addictive.  But you can kick the habit if you really want.  Then you'll really be free.

Date: 2008/03/21 08:05:19, Link
Author: 1of63
Crossroads was also the name of a long-running British TV soap, notable for bad scripts, bad acting, shaky sets and improbable storylines...hmm, that sounds familiar...

Date: 2008/03/22 07:57:45, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (tacitus @ Mar. 21 2008,17:15)
Quote (1of63 @ Mar. 21 2008,08:05)
Crossroads was also the name of a long-running British TV soap, notable for bad scripts, bad acting, shaky sets and improbable storylines...hmm, that sounds familiar...

Dammit.  I can't get that stupid Crossroads theme tune out of my head now (and it hasn't even been on the telly for 20 years now!).  Thanks a bunch!

Sorry about that.  But for anyone who's curious this is what we're talking about:

It was written by songwriter Tony Hatch who later perpetrated the musical atrocity of the theme to the Aussie soap Neighbours

Date: 2008/04/05 00:24:25, Link
Author: 1of63
1 phaser (not carried, battery needs replacing)

Thought about Goa'uld staff weapon but they cost an arm and a snake so decided against.  Not really suitable for concealed carry, either.

Date: 2008/04/05 11:32:46, Link
Author: 1of63
What ID experiments did anyone at Baylor conduct in those 5 years?

What ID experiments did anyone anywhere conduct in those 5 years?

What ID experiments did anyone anywhere conduct at any time?

Enquiring minds would like to know.

Oh, silly me!  Of course!  Baptists don't need experiments or enquiring minds.  They already have all the answers they need in their little black book.

No real point in looking for evidence for design if the Bible already says it was.

Date: 2008/04/15 23:03:57, Link
Author: 1of63
[quote=Peter Henderson,April 15 2008,12:38]
Every time I read about Ham bragging about this or that event and the thousands that turn up at these (I will expect several thousand in Belfast's Waterfront Hall in a few weeks time) I get depressed.

Why?  Religion of some sort has been around for thousands of years.  The need for something like it seems to be an innate desire.

Accept the fact that human nature is not going to change overnight.

Ham really does seem to have convinced a lot of people very easily that science education is not only anti-Christian but that it has some very serious flaws.

Ham preaches to the choir and he's good at it.  He says what they want to hear and he says it in a way that's both entertaining and inspiring.

But I seriously doubt he's converted many - if any - agnostics, atheists, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists etc. to his narrow brand of fundamentalist Christianity.

I'm still at a loss as to what scientists can do about the current situation. Richard Dawkins can call it child abuse if he likes (i.e. telling children about creation) but he's fighting a losing battle, certainly within church circles at least.

It's not a battle, it's a war.  And it's going to be a "nothing but blood, toil, tears and sweat" thing for a long time to come so we'd better get used to it, either that or get out our Bibles now

Date: 2008/04/15 23:24:13, Link
Author: 1of63
Okay, how long before Ftk flounces off in high dudgeon?


Swearing never to return.


Date: 2008/04/16 23:00:10, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Rubberchicken @ April 16 2008,20:20)
Quote (rhmc @ April 17 2008,05:25)

i've heard of drilling for mudbunnies but what is a marmite?

marmots, yes.  marmites?

Here you go.

Vegemite is better than marmite, it is a similar product.

Let us not forget chutney ferret or shirt lifter either.

Vegemite is better than marmite, it is a similar product.

Crap.  Vegemite is but a feeble imitation of Marmite.

As for Fosters (or Bud or Coors) it's hard to tell whether it's cat's or gnat's...

Date: 2008/04/19 09:38:46, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (hooligans @ April 18 2008,21:08)
I never thought Casey was a liar, personally.

Luskin's a lawyer.  Ever noticed how similar 'lawyer' is to 'liar'?

Lawyers are trained to win arguments not to worry about metaphysical notions like 'truth'.

That makes it hard to judge whether they actually believe what they're saying

But, the best way to sell a lie is to convince yourself first it's the truth.  If you believe it's true then you're more likely to persuade others.

Then, if you really believe it's true, is it really a lie?

Date: 2008/04/19 09:55:25, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ April 18 2008,12:13)
(There are probably others...)

Like me.

I posted there briefly

Then the posts stopped appearing.

No warning.  No announcement.  Nothing.

Only to be expected from UD basTARDS.

Date: 2008/04/20 09:10:56, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (godsilove @ April 20 2008,07:09)
Anybody know any lightbulb jokes?

Michael Behe: None.  The lightbulb and socket are an irreduceably complex system which clearly does not work if the components are separated.  Darwinian accounts of bulbs being screwed into sockets are nothing more than "just so" stories so the whole assembly must have been intelligently-designed from scratch as complete system - Light: No Installation Required.

Date: 2008/04/20 13:18:34, Link
Author: 1of63
I hear that, following the furore about the XVIVO clip, Mathis and Miller's next project could be a searing expose of the racket behind the patent and copyright laws - tentative title "Expired:  No Royalties Required".

Date: 2008/04/21 00:00:24, Link
Author: 1of63
Don't underestimate Mr Luskin.  He probably sees this as a good career move.  

Defending the indefensible is an excellent proving ground for a lawyer.  If he handles this well, who knows where it could lead.

The Supreme Court, maybe.

Date: 2008/04/23 22:59:16, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ April 23 2008,10:35)
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ April 23 2008,01:15)
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,April 23 2008,02:07)

I used to play SIMS too but it never occurred to me to build a family of wingnuts living in an underground bomb shelter.

I love that picture of the happy Cleaver family in their bomb shelter. Aside from the insanely cool retro furniture, I like the Bob Dobbs pipe the husband has, the wife and her June Cleaver apron, as well the teenaged daughter obediently setting the table. (Isn't there supposed to be a spunky 10-YO son with a slingshot in his back pocket as well? Or was he killed in the blast?) They're all so perky despite the nuclear holocaust that's taken place just outside, killing millions of people and rendering life as they had previously known it completely impossible forever. No mention of how long they'll have to live down in that little room, with no apparent entertainment except those four magazines and whatever faint distress signal their shortwave radio can receive.

Not to mention:

-  air supply
-  filtration system
-  water supply
-  sewage treatment
-  power supply
-  fuel
-  waste disposal
-  food stores
-  medical supplies
-  a copy of Level 7 to help while away the time

Date: 2008/04/24 00:07:55, Link
Author: 1of63
Some examples of menuging - this is similar to lusking and egnorance - but with a British accent:

(1) First, I argued that materialism is presumed true before looking at the evidence.

One of a number of strawmenuge, ignores the obvious fact that materialism is presumed because there's no evidence for anything else.

(2) My second main point was that materialism does not have such an impressive track record. I noted that Christian theology, not materialism, played a substantive role in the rise of modern science, by justifying belief in laws of nature and in minds reliable enough to discover them.

Fails to support by example here: such as how the cause and treatment of diabetes were vouchsafed to us by divine revelation or how polio and smallpox were largely eradicated by the devout prayers of the faithful.

Moving closer to the central issue of the debate, I argued that there is considerable evidence against the materialist contention that the mind reduces to the brain.

This is menuging the obvious comment: show us a mind without a brain and you have a case.  

I held up and recommended ... Denyse O’ Leary’s The Spiritual Brain,...

Just a tip, but if you want to be taken seriously it's probably best not to mention the Bag Lady of the Blogosphere.

(3) My third point was to critique the slew of contemporary materialist attempts to explain away religious belief and experience. I noted that a culture of one-way skepticism encourages both a presumption that supernatural religions are false without investigating the evidence for their truth claims,... a 10000 year old Universe, Adam and Eve, the Garden of Eden, talking snakes, a perfect, truth-loving God lying to Adam, the Great Flood that wiped out the entire population of the world which must have included millions of innocent children - in other words, the whole menugerie of wild religious claims?  Surely, superior rational Christian theology will have no trouble coming up with the goods as far as evidence for the their truth is concerned.  Of course, faith is something much loftier than petty squabbles about evidence, isn't it?

Date: 2008/05/08 07:08:10, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Louis @ May 08 2008,02:43)
Toilet Mornington Crescent?


Someone has not been reading their Stovold if you think the Northern approachs and undefined laterals displayed in previous posts are legal. Duncton's Modern revised toilet rules I thought you said. Anyway, let's get things back on track....

Aldwych (toilet)!


P.S. This was just for you Arden. We know you hate MC, just because you can't understand the rules.

P.P.S. Crow de Sheryl? Oh Lou you're just making things up. Come on now, that's not how the game is played, there are rules you know. Here is an instructional video that may help explain the rules. Here, also, is an example of a masterful game. You should be able to work things out from there.

Challenge!  Aldwych is not a legitimate starting point:
There has been much debate recently as to whether or not Aldwych can be regarded as a valid destination in the game titled Mornington Crescent ... Since the station is now closed, the 1972 Anderson-Perkins rules indicate that closed stations can only be used after the previous player has performed a Johnson switchback manoeuvre (who can forget the great ending move of the 1987 championships). However, since the line is still maintained and trains are run often for filming companies, I believe the Hughes amendment to the 1997 rule on terminating lines could be applied and Aldwych used as a normal location in the game.

As a traditionalist, I would argue that the 1972 Anderson-Perkins rules still apply, thus, since no Johnson switchback manouevre can be performed before the first move, Aldwych cannot be a legitimate starting point.

Finchley Road & Frognal!

Date: 2008/05/08 12:57:10, Link
Author: 1of63
I don't remember anything about Fosters, cock.

And wasn't Arden Chatfield a stop along the old Great Western Railway?

Turnpike Lane!

Date: 2008/05/08 18:19:47, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ May 08 2008,13:31)
Quote (1of63 @ May 08 2008,10:57)
And wasn't Arden Chatfield a stop along the old Great Western Railway?

You're thinking of either Nether Poppleton, Blubberhouses, or Chipping Sodbury. One of those real dignified ye old English village names.


You go blind if you dork too much.

Date: 2008/05/08 19:46:04, Link
Author: 1of63
Dear God, if BarryA is typical of legal smarts on the ID side no wonder they lost at Dover.
Is There At Least One Self-Evident Moral Truth?

A self-evident truth is a fallacy.  It's circular.  It assumes as true what has yet to be proven.  So your self-evident truths are a non-starter right from the start.
There are certain things that, as Dr. J. Budziszewski says, ”you can’t not know.”  You can’t not know that ripping babies from their mother’s arms, throwing them in the air and catching them on a bayonet is evil.  Everyone reading this post knows this to be true without the slightest doubt or reservation.  Jack is simply and obviously wrong when he says a soldier is free to choose moral standards in which such an act is good.  There is no such freedom.

Sure there is.  If there's no "transcendent moral standard" - and, so far, you've given us zip in the way of evidence for one - then we can choose whatever moral system we like.

That doesn't mean we're going to choose just any one, though.  We're free to walk off the top of a fifty-storey building if we want to but - mostly - we don't do that.  Why not?  Well, generally, because it results in a bloody mess all over the sidewalk.  In other words, there's a pretty good reason for not walking off the top of tall buildings.  It's a rational choice.

Same goes for moral codes.  We choose them because there's good reasons.  Like preventing people from doing bad things to each other.
Anyone who says that it is not self-evident that the soldier’s act was evil is lying.  It is quite literally unthinkable to imagine a moral system in which such an act is good.

Read Armageddon by Max Hastings.  He decribes how Russian soldiers pursued a most appalling campaign of rape and other atrocities against German women as they fought their way into Germany.  And they felt entirely justified because of what the Nazis and their puppets had done during the invasion and occupation of Russia.

Suppose US forces had found al-Qaeda bases immediately after 9/11, would it have been a breach of some "transcendent moral standard" to have bombed the hell out of them?  I don't think so.
The fact that the soldier’s act was evil transcends time, place, circumstances, opinion, and every other variable one might imagine.  From this I conclude the act violated a transcendent moral standard, and from this I further conclude that a transcendent moral standard exists.

No, Barry, all you're saying is that because most people would agree that those acts are evil, there is some transcendent universal moral standard.  

Based on the beliefs of the majority of the people who've been living on one little planet for what amounts to the blink of an eye in terms of the age of the Universe.

There was a time when most people were certain the Sun went around the Earth.  Didn't make it true just because everyone believed it then, did it?

Why do we mostly agree on basic moral standards?  Because we're all human and most of us have the same interest in trying to survive for as long as we can and making the best of such time as we get.  Pretty much everything else follows from that.

As for the Bible being evidence for this mythical "transcendent moral standard", I'm not surprised you want to keep the Old Testament out of it because it shoots that claim down in flames very nicely. There's some really nasty stuff in there coming from a God that's supposed to be the source of this supposedly unimpeachable transcendent moral standard.

Date: 2008/05/09 17:56:35, Link
Author: 1of63
Why waste your time on these people?  They aren't going to listen.  They have their faith and nothing we say is going to change that.  

Which is fine so long as they don't try to foist - or force -it on the rest of us.

I would say just despise them - the liars, the propagandists, the self-righteous Pharisees, the hypocrites, at least - and leave it at that.

Date: 2008/05/11 13:50:06, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 11 2008,13:30)
He totally didn't mention the Stargate program!  What kind of self-respecting conspiracy theorist could miss that????

A Goa'uld, that's who.  I'm pretty sure all those cdesign proponentsists have "snakes" in their heads.

Date: 2008/05/13 23:30:12, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Dr.GH @ May 13 2008,18:10)
I watched it in the first showing.  There were 7 people there in all.  Two women sitting together, and the rest of us well separtated.  The two women, and one solo one occassionally laughed when Stein made fun of PZ or Dawkins.  As the film progressed, the elderly woman sitting alone became more and more vocal.  She ended up saying "Liar, Liar, Liar" every time PZ or Dawkins appeared on the screen.  Except that is when Dawkins claimed that evolutionary studies lead to atheism and that he, unlike other scientists, was honest about that fact.  Then the little old lady nearly shouted, "I knew it!"

Way to score Richard.  I think the phrase is "Own score!"

If you're talking about soccer, it's "own goal".

And do you really think anything Dawkins said - short of announcing that he had joined the Southern Baptists - would have changed what the people in that audience thought of him?

Televangelists, fundie preachers, creationists and their shills, Expelled are preaching to the converted.  Except in a tiny minority of cases, they don't change minds, they say what the punters - the believers who put money in their pockets - want to hear.

Same goes for the atheist cheerleaders with one major exception.  Up until very recently, standing up for non-belief didn't win you friends or money, so you could assume that those who did so had a lot more courage, honesty and integrity going for them than the other side.

That said, there is one very good reason why Dawkins, Hitchens, Dennett, Harris, Myers et al should be speaking out: if they don't, the only voice that will be heard in the public square is that of the pulpit-pounders.  

This is not about religion or science or philosophy, this is about PR.  Say nothing and you might as well not be there.  Speak quietly and politely and reasonably and your voice - and what you have to say - won't be heard above the racket from the religious rabble-rousers.  If you want to be heard you have to grab the audience by the ears and make them pay attention.

Who gives a toss whether Dawkins scored with the biddies in that audience?  What counts is that he was in the movie at all.  He wasn't there because he spent his life tip-toeing around the religious sensibilities of believers.  He was there because he told them bluntly that he though their beliefs were delusional because they persisted in believing in things for which science could find no evidence at all.  Being made fun of by a little toadie like Ben Stein is not a badge of shame, it's a badge of honor.

Date: 2008/05/14 22:58:33, Link
Author: 1of63
[quote=Dr.GH,May 14 2008,01:51][/quote]
I think first of all that it is incompetent to assert that science can provide evidence that gods don't exist.

I agree, but how many scientists can you think of that actually claim that?  Most that I'm aware of simply argue that science has found no evidence of a god nor any need to propose one to explain what they see.  The furthest I've seen some go is to argue that God is so highly improbable as to be next to impossible

Further, Dawkin's assertion that he is more honest than other scientists is both insulting and wrong.
If that's what he actually said then I'd say 'yes' and 'yes', I agree with you.

Finally, there are many, many thousands of scientists who are active in some faith or other, which makes Dawkins simply wrong.

Sure, there are lots of scientists who follow one sort of religion or another.  Question is, how do they reconcile their faith with their research?  

How does a YEC geologist square a belief in a 10,000 year old Earth with science which says it's around 4.5 billion years old?  Does he compartmentalize?  Does he go to the lab in Science Mode during the week and then switch to Faith Mode on Sunday when he shouts 'Hallelujah!' with the rest of the holy-rollers?

Does it matter, of course?  I'd say if he continues to produce good science then, no, it doesn't matter at all.

Is he being honest, though, as honest as Dawkins?  No, he's not.

Okay, that's an extreme example.  The likes of Kenneth Miller, Francis Collins  and Conway Morris are a bit more sophisticated than that.  But it seems to me that even they have to cobble together some version of Christianity that can be fitted around the science and they can get away with it because there are still plenty of gaps to fit their God into.

If you don't care about what anyone thinks, why bother to reply to creationist bullshit in the first place?  As you have said, "Who gives a toss whether Dawkins scored with the biddies in that audience?"  

Why do you bother?

1)  To be heard.  Can't let all the other loudmouths think they've got away with their crap unchallenged.  Can't let any audience think there's no other views out there.

2)  It's good fun, like a kind of team sport.  We cheer our heroes when they score with a good argument and jeer at the hopeless fumbles of the hapless boobs on the other side.

Date: 2008/05/14 23:34:18, Link
Author: 1of63
[quote=dheddle,May 14 2008,05:24][/quote]
But Dawkins, looking for bigger fish, ventures elsewhere, into the metaphysical or the theological, and attacks the very  notion of God. Again he is not unique nor is he breaking down barriers. There have been intellectual atheists for generations. What he is, in this case, is not very skilled at what he attempts, but that (for this post) is irrelevant. Dawkins is ready to throw believing scientists under the bus, and to cast aspersions on the honesty of scientists who may agree with him on points a-c above, but who find it of no interest to challenge believers, in any more than a cocktail party sense, on the unscientific question of God’s existence. That seems to be the source of his enormous following.

You can define your God away into some entirely separate supernatural realm far beyond our reach and, yes, the question of the existence of such a deity is unscientific.  

But if some God set up this Universe and has been tinkering with it ever since then that's something science can look at, at least in principle.  If It just lit the blue touch paper 13-14 billion years ago and has been stood well back ever since then finding evidence is going to be a bit more problematical but, again, it's still something science can take a look at.  

It all depends on your God.

Date: 2008/05/18 08:32:15, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Richardthughes @ May 15 2008,10:42)
[Graffiti moved to Bathroom Wall. -Admin]<br/><br/>You need fuel to accelerate which requires more mass to store it which requires more fuel to accelerate it which requires more mass to store it ...

TV and movie SF seem seem always to vastly underestimate the amount of energy needed to move big things over big distances.  

IIRC, in The Physics of Star Trek Lawrence Krauss calculated that to accelerate the Enterprise D to 0.5C and then bring it to a stop again using the impulse engines (which use nuclear fusion) would take a tank of hydrogen around 5000 times the mass of the ship itself.

I had visions of Picard pulling into a space gas station, "Fill her up and clean the windshield, please", although I suppose, in that case, he probably wouldn't so much pull in to the gas station to fill up as tow it away with him

Date: 2008/06/13 21:55:34, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Texas Teach @ June 13 2008,20:09)
What I don't get is how FTK can reconcile the fact that ~99% of scientists think common descent is science with her opinion that it isn't.  I understand that she thinks all of the Church Burnin' Ebola Boys are deluded, evil atheists (on a daily basis no less).  But how can she think she's got a better handle on whether something is science than nearly every scientist in the world?

You're wasting your time with scientific arguments.

Pearls before swine.

You're dealing with the same basic mechanism that's behind the Doomsday cultists.  A belief system that tells them they're special.  Chosen people.  Following a great purpose.  Part of a grander scheme of things.

No way they're ever going to give that up.  Not for all your science.  Certainly not for evolution.  Not when all that's being offered as an alternative is being minute pieces of flotsam adrift in a sea of meaninglessness.

Date: 2008/06/14 22:55:12, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Doc Bill @ June 14 2008,22:12)
Hey, FtK, did you know that Google has a calculator?  Yep, it's the one I used because I couldn't find my HP-10.

Just for grins, here's a nice weekend science project for you that you can do right on your computer with the Google calculator.

Calculate the volume of water it would take to cover the Earth to a depth to submerge Mount Ararat (15,000 ft) and Mount Everest (30,000 ft).  

And when you've finished doing the math, do the morality.

Christian scholar Henry Morris ran various calculations of the world's population at the time of the Flood and came up with figures between two and seventeen billions.  I leave it to you to work out how many of them must have been innocent children like yours.

So why the Flood?

Apparently, your God decided that all of them, including the children, were irredeemably wicked and the only solution was to drown them.  Never mind that we're talking about an all-powerful deity here who created them in the first place and who could have brought them all back to the straight and narrow with a snap of its fingers.  No, it decided to wipe them out - all of them, man, woman and child - except for the riders of the last ark.

There's a word for that and it's not grace or charity or love or compassion or forgiveness.

It's genocide.

You worship a god who, by the testimony of your own holy text, is a mass murderer on a scale that vastly exceeds the worst human tyrant.

And people like you have the confounded nerve to talk about the immorality of the theory of evolution.

Try cleaning your own house first before tut-tutting about the state of others.

Date: 2008/06/22 14:29:05, Link
Author: 1of63
Maybe we should ask for the bill to be extended so that schools can "teach the controversy" and critically examine the strengths and weaknesses of othe subjects as well - like, say, religions.

I wonder what Governor Jindal and the citizens of the fair state of Louisiana would say to that.

Assuming the reply is repeatable in polite company, of course.

Date: 2008/07/11 22:37:01, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Ftk @ July 11 2008,21:22)  I just read some more of them.  He's posted endless emails from Catholics.  Honestly, the whole episode makes me feel like crying...for both sides really.

Really?  I think it's great,  all these humble, compassionate, caring Christians turning the other cheek to Myers' needling, showing how superior their God-given morals make them.

Like hell!

They fornicate, lie, cheat, steal, use violence and kill just like the rest of humanity.  The only difference is they think that bullshitting about a belief in God somehow makes it okay.

And all it takes is a cracker to flush them out of the woodwork.

Date: 2008/07/28 22:45:45, Link
Author: 1of63
[quote=lcd,July 28 2008,20:00][/quote]
Well, my God does not need any defending.

Well, no, if God exists he needs defending like a T Rex needed a bodyguard.
What is at issue is telling kids, mine especially, tales that are "just so".

You mean like talking snakes, sticks that turn into snakes, people turned into pillars of salt, worldwide floods, Arks that must have been like the TARDIS - bigger on the inside than the outside - in order to carry all those animals...  
Like what I've seen, Evolution needs to be believed.  That is not science.

There's a difference between believing something because there's evidence and believing something when there isn't.  One is rational, the other is faith.
I know that I'm going to get hung out to dry, but I think it takes more to believe that things combined just so than to say, and I'll say it again, God did it.

Say it all you like, believe it all you like.  If it makes you happy, that's fine.  Doesn't make it true, though.

Date: 2008/08/23 21:31:41, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Physicalist @ Aug. 23 2008,21:04)
Well, that avatar thing is kinda big.

You want big avatars?  Now this is a big avatar!

Not as big as the cartoon-science bacterial flagellum on the masthead of Uncommon Descent, of course.

Which is the perfect symbol for Intelligent Design, seeing as how it's a Jack Chick cartoon version of a scientific theory.

Or is that 'a jack-shit cartoon version of a scientific theory"?

Date: 2008/09/03 14:24:20, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (jeffox @ Aug. 08 2008,23:03)

I didn't get to the IWM in London.  I understand the guns are off of the U.S.S. Texas.  I did get to see H.M.S. Belfast up at Thames Pool.  Very nice, imo.

USS Texas!  Do me a favour!  They're British 15 in. naval guns, one from the WWI Revenge-class battleship HMS Ramillies, the other from the Revenge-class battleship HMS Resolution, later from the monitor HMS Roberts

Hands up all those who know what a monitor is - apart from being the thing you look at when you're typing your reply to this.

Date: 2008/09/03 14:33:53, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (jeffox @ Aug. 09 2008,14:16)
My dream vehicle is U.S.-made.  I wonder if you Brits have anything to compare?  :)  Anyways:

Lessee, a coupla extra gas tanks, livewell, two Minnkotas, (one fore, one aft) heavy-duty anchor, rod-holders, recess for keg, and built-in cooler and I'd be all set to catch some really big northerns!!  or walleyes.  



I'll see you one DUKW and raise you one Alvis Stalwart:

Date: 2008/09/03 21:38:03, Link
Author: 1of63
I might do you a favor, but there's no fucking way I'm going to do you a favour.  :angry:

Wouldn't want one from a septic, anyway!  :angry:

This bad boy, right?

That's one but I actually meant this bad boy

Date: 2008/09/07 19:24:52, Link
Author: 1of63
Quoth Dense &Dreary
As a traditional Christian...

...I have only a nodding acquaintance with the traditional Christian virtues of charity, humility and compassion.

The traditional Pharisaical vices of hypocrisy, censoriousness and self-righteousness are another matter, however.

Date: 2008/09/13 19:33:10, Link
Author: 1of63
Formidable intellects at UD seem to be about as detectable as "fantomarks".

Date: 2008/09/15 17:30:33, Link
Author: 1of63
Ye gods!  I have to stop coming here!  I agree with Ftk about abortion!  Brrrrrrrrr!!!

Date: 2008/10/02 10:17:36, Link
Author: 1of63
[quote=Erasmus, FCD,Oct. 01 2008,21:30][/quote]
FtK can you think of any particular reason why Notropis minnows or Etheostoma darters both contain hundreds of species yet are found only in North America?

so many species, why didn't the Common Designer stick a few in New Zealand or Madagascar or Libya?


On the other hand, a tri-omni (omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent) deity (TOD) can do anything it wants by definition, can't it?  If it wants to try its hand at coming up with as many variations as it can think of, what's to stop it?

Of course, as has been pointed out so many times before, answering 'Goddidit' to scientific questions is a bit like buffers in front of a train:  it tends to bring everything to a screeching stop.  No good asking someone like Ftk why, either.  They just raise the old inscrutability shield and nothing gets past that.

In fact, Ftk and her ilk would rather the 'why' question would quietly go away because the ultimate 'why' is 'why anything at all?  

Thing is, for Christianity to have the authority it claims, their TOD has to be "entire and whole and perfect", the First Cause that needs no cause, the necessary TOD that is not dependent on - and has no need of - anything outside of itself, that is not - as the philosophers say -  'contingent'  Anything less and it's just another of those pesky, powerful aliens pretending to be a god that the Stargate crew are constantly tussling with.

So why would such a TOD create anything outside of itself?  Answer: it wouldn't.  It has no need of anything else.  It is sufficient unto itself.  

A TOD that creates a whole universe filled with little creatures just dying to worship something - a bit like the little people in 'J's locker in Men In Black - because it's feeling a bit bored or lonely does not fit the bill.

Not that inconsistency or contradiction has ever stopped a True Believer, though.

Date: 2008/11/21 23:13:42, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Nov. 21 2008,19:38)
Life is not "nature".  Life exists in nature and is made of natural components, but there is no natural reason for the organization of life.

Crystals.  Snowflakes.  They're organized.   And that organization arises out of the properties or 'nature' of the materials they're made from.  So it's natural.  Living things are just a lot more organized.  But they're still natural, still arise out of the properties of the stuff they're made from.

This arguing by assertion is dead easy, isn't it?

Here's one for you to try: why did God create anything?  God - the Christian one which is the one we're talking about - is a necessary being in the philosophical sense.  To be the First Cause, it has to be.  It's not contingent, not dependent on anything outside of itself, has no need for anything outside of itself.  Before it created the Universe there was nothing outside of itself.  So why create the Universe, why create us?  What's the point?   Can't be because it needs us because it's entirely self-sufficient by definition.

As for being made in God's image, I'm not at all happy about the idea of being made in the image of the OT version.  I mean, right at the beginning, it creates Adam and, being omniscient, knows exactly how he's going to behave.  It knows full well the poor sap is going to take a bite out of the apple given half a chance.  Yet it still punishes him - and the rest of us - for a design flaw that was God's fault in the first place.  That's after it lied to him, of course.  Told him he'd die on the day he ate the fruit but instead booted him and Eve out of the garden and let him live for another 900 years or so.

You may think naturalistic science is a mess but, believe me, what you're shovelling as an alternative is a lot messier.

Date: 2008/11/24 15:09:40, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Jkrebs @ Nov. 24 2008,11:54)
Barry tries to be funny, I guess, or sarcastic, or something:


How about:

“Some readers might be tempted to infer from the data we have presented that an intelligent agent somehow played a role in [insert as appropriate "bringing about the irreducibly complex system described herein” or “creating the highly complex and specified information investigated herein”]. The authors hereby certify that creating this temptation was not their purpose in writing the [article, book, etc.]. Any such temptation is a wholly unintended side effect of the work, and it is devoutly to be wished that all who read it will be sensible enough to resist the siren’s song of nasty unscientific “design-ism.” We do not subscribe to “design-ist” views and consider all who do to be ignorant rubes.

“The authors further wish to assure their employers (and any future prospective employers) and government agencies/private foundations considering making grants to fund our research, that we have strived mightily to hew as closely as possible to the materialist orthodoxy which is at the core of the received wisdom we venerate so much. If we expressed an original or independent thought, we apologize profusely and assure one and all that it will not happen again. We are content in our serfdom. Indeed, each of us has erected a shrine to materialism in our home, where daily we prostrate ourselves before a framed 8X10 glossy photograph of the smiling visage of our great Overlord, Master, and Munificent Benefactor Richard Dawkins, and fortnightly we light a candle to venerate the memory of St. Charles.”

You're too mild.  The word 'Pharisee' was made for such.

Date: 2008/11/24 19:08:52, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (bfish @ Nov. 24 2008,17:32)

Any idea who Baylor Bear is? New poster? Marks? Dembski?

I kind of like the cartoon. It looks like one they would try to caption for one of Trader Joe's Fearless Flyers (should you be so lucky as to live near a TJs). I even like the first line of the caption, in a non-sequitur kind of way. And the last line is hysterically funny in showing that the three girls have absolutely no understanding whatsoever of the Theory of Evolution. I assume that's why it got posted at UD, right? So everyone can have a laugh at those poor, ignorant, murderous girls.

(Sorry I don't know how to show the actual image here).

At least evolutionists don't send bears to maul children who jeer at them.

Unlike a certain deity I could name.

It's probably the same one Baylor Bear worships.

Date: 2008/11/24 20:07:57, Link
Author: 1of63
The evidence for design is the design itself.

There is no design without a designer.  IDeologues notwithstanding, if you claim design you must demonstrate a designer.  So far, you haven't.
If you say there's no evidence, you must be able to show that life could have organized all of its systems on its own.

You are claiming design.  If you want to persuade me or anyone else that's true, you need to provide some evidence to back it up.  That's how it's done.

My position is that if there is no designer then life must have emerged all by itself.  Demonstrate a designer or my position stands be default.
You can't even show me one system for which that has been demonstrated to be true.

We don't have to.  Without evidence, abiogenesis makes the cut by Occam's Razor by having one less entity.
Please stop considering yourself open-minded.

Open-minded means being willing to consider all possibilities, not believing them.

Date: 2008/12/07 07:05:01, Link
Author: 1of63
Dammit, Brits, we’ve bailed you out of two World Wars. Don’t force us to do it again.

You knowledge of history is about as good as your knowledge of biology.  The Canucks were good scrappers but it was the Yanks what bailed us out.

My Dad was one of the very few survivors of his Canadian air force unit.

So was my dad - a survivor of the war in REME  (Royal Engineers Minus Educayshun).  That's why we're both here in case you hadn't noticed. (I wonder if your mate Clive would pass this comment.  Nah, probably not)

It is overwhelmingly obvious that Darwinism and its attendant =isms are a bunch of crap.

Quite right, Denyse, old darling.  That's why it's only Paleyist throwbacks who get all hot under the collar about "Darwinism".  The rest of the world - even in Canuckland - talk about biology and evolution.

Hey, I’m a Canuck (really, honestly) ...

I know, and, believe me, the rest of Canada has our sympathy

Maybe this is the day when you need us and all you get is awful silence.

..and very Christian that would be, too!

Traditional Canadians are fighting back against the most worthless and disgusting mob you have ever imagined, who only want to plunder us and have no concern whether Canada even survives as a country.

Here's a suggestion:  Sarah Palin's husband hates the US so much he wants Alaska to split away.  Why not hook up with them?  You and her would get along like a house on fire.  She could certainly help you with your writing.

But we ARE fighting back. And GOD is watching. So all, look out.

Why?  If he's there. all your God ever seems to do is watch.  He watches genocides, holocausts, massacres, pogroms, slavery, famines, epidemics, etc.  On that record, he's not going to be arsed to do anything about a minor squabble about biology.

Date: 2008/12/07 16:09:38, Link
Author: 1of63
So these folks at this other site record our conversations for the sole purpose of retaining a possibly deleted comment? I read their thread, and that may be partially true, but, they also make their own comments on the post, and use our various comments for their strange humor. They look like a whole group of condescending people. It seems to me as if they’re a group of people that obviously cannot say the sorts of remarks that they want on this site, so they’ve made their own site for that purpose. They even circulated my question as to why they record our conversations, as I’m sure they will circulate this conversation too. To which, by the way, no one had a valid response.

Come off it, Clive, you know full well why deleted comments are copied here: so's people can see what was written and judge for themselves whether it was worth banning.  Mostly, it wasn't.

A few years back I tried posting to UD under an alias.  I restricted myself largely to asking questions but it was still pretty obvious where my sympathies lay.  Soon my comments stopped appearing.  There was no formal announcement of a ban.  I just went silent.

Now, as far as I'm concerned, people can do what they like with their own blogs.  If they want to screen out riff-raff, rowdies or anyone who doesn't agree with them, that's fine.

But don't whine about trying to have an open debate when that's clearly what you don't want.

I don’t mind arguments Mark, I really don’t. But I won’t tolerate certain things that are inappropriate. My moderation policy regarding inappropriateness will be like one determining what is obscene, I will know it when I see it. That’s the best general outline I can give you.

Like I said, screen out what you like - or, rather, what you don't like - but don't complain about people who take freedom of expression a lot more seriously than you do.

And if you want to avoid accusations of hypocrisy then the censorship should really start being more even-handed.  I've read a lot of the censored comments posted here.  None of them were worth banning in my book.  They were certainly milder than some of the comments from UD regulars that are quite deliberately, blatantly and gratuitously offensive to anyone "Darwinist".  Are you reading this, Denyse, Dave, Dembski, Barry?

I think most people here would like to debate the issues with your side and they could do it while keeping a civil tongue in their head.  I would.  But not on UD. Come to an open forum where neither side has a finger on the ban button and we can talk.  That's if you're really up for an open, honest debate like you say are.  Of course, if all you want to hear are the soothing sounds of the sycophants choir then stay right where you are.

Date: 2008/12/10 18:33:50, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Kristine @ Dec. 10 2008,17:10)
In the k.e. secret santasy department:

A man who looks rather like William Dembski in a Santa outfit ;) was clawed by a cat in a store, and now he may need rabies shots. Good thing that he was, judging from his interview afterward, drunk at the time.

Speaking of which, it's time for our annual War on UD's Christmas. What should we do this year? :)

Tell them Santa Claus doesn't really exist?

Date: 2008/12/11 20:05:47, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Dec. 11 2008,18:41)
Quote (Richard Simons @ Dec. 10 2008,19:23)
You need to convince me that an imaginary being is capable of producing anything.

The phrasing of your question proves your bias.

How do you know God's imaginary?  Because you haven't seen him?  Billions of people believe he's not imaginary - are they all wrong while you are right?

Oh, please!  Billions of people believed the Sun went around the Earth - some still do.  It isn't true now, it wasn't true then and billions of people believing it didn't make it true.

The Universe is the way it is, not the way we want it to be.

Date: 2008/12/21 16:12:38, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (keiths @ Dec. 21 2008,13:17)
Clive's pure soul becomes corrupted by the power of bannination:

Clive Hayden


1:17 pm

rib said,

“I didn’t ask for an apology. I asked for a single standard to be applied to ID supporters and critics alike at UD.”

I am applying that standard, and we may need to get something straight first, the standard is not whether one asks for an apology, it is whether someone is decent enough to give it. You aren’t. I am. That’s a double standard, even by your estimation, and I won’t allow it. Either you realize that you don’t have autonomy to treat UD folks however vile and disrespectfully you want on that other site and expect for us to grant you privileges on this site–That’s a double standard too–or you will no longer post here. I don’t need any suggestions from you. Either you apologize for your insults, or you will be gone. Understand?


Clive Hayden


1:58 pm
“rib” is no longer with us. we should refer to him in the future as “r.i.p.” instead   :)

Odd thing is, he didn't even wait for my apology.  :p

Nothing odd about it.  

Continually accusing "Darwinists" of being scientific fraudsters, amoral, all in the service of a vast conspiracy to corrupt and demoralize the nation's children and bring down Western civilization started by a racist "Brit toff" in the 19th century is polite and objective commentary.

Calling one of the saintly Paleyists of UD "smarmy" - on another blog - is not.  

It's obvious isn't it.

You did a good job on UD but you must have known it would end this way.

Date: 2008/12/21 16:38:03, Link
Author: 1of63
And on UD we also have Granular Sewage quoting modern-day Renaissance man David Berlinski.  

The hired pen of ID demolishes contemporary physics and cosmology with a few well-chosen superficialities.  Unfortunately, it is marred by a metaphysical speculation concerning a mythical "social pact" forged by Isaac Newton with the rest of society.  

Nice strawman.  Shame about the truth,

Date: 2008/12/25 07:14:41, Link
Author: 1of63
Indeed, intelligent design is just the Logorrhea theology of John’s Gospel restated by the idiots of information theory

Date: 2009/01/01 19:52:41, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Dr.GH @ Jan. 01 2009,18:18)
Quote (Henry J @ Jan. 01 2009,14:18)
The peppered moth story was based on photos of dead moths that were glued to the tree, the deception was that they were portrayed as living moths.

One might even say that by making these claims about peppered moths, they've a salted science.

I should have something pithy - but I got nothing.

How about the peppered moth calumny is as big a pile of horseshit as Behe's nonsense about the mousetrap - sort of a Behe-moth of a lie?

[Exeunt pursued by various missiles and jibes]

Date: 2009/01/04 07:04:35, Link
Author: 1of63
I've been trying to follow KF's ramblings as well but they're damned near post-modern in their obfuscatory impenetrability.

As far as I can tell it all boils down to the usual God-of-the-gaps whine: "evo-mat" hasn't yet provided a complete and detailed account of how the immaterial mind arises from the activity of the physical brain so it must be wrong and Plantinga is right.

He also doesn't seem to realize that the lack of answers to his arguments at UD is because his opponents have been banned not baffled.

Date: 2009/01/04 13:56:56, Link
Author: 1of63
I want to present an entirely new view of the universe.  One that is compatible with Newton's, Einstein's, Schrödinger's, Dirac's and Maxwell's Laws, Theories and Equations.  It is based upon subspace particles, spinning singularities that are infinite on the insides and small on the outsides.

Bigger on the inside than the outside?  Sounds like someone has been taking Dr Who's TARDIS altogether too seriously.  Perhaps we could call these tiny, spinning subspace singularities 'TARDons'?

Date: 2009/01/10 06:01:11, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Louis @ Jan. 10 2009,03:50)
Oh, and I disagree with Prof Dyson in his first paragraph. the OOL is a chemical mystery, not a biological one.* Got make a shout out for the team!

   Bleeding Darwinists!  They've bled us white, the bastards. They've taken everything we had, and not just from us, from our fathers, and from our fathers' fathers.
   And from our fathers' fathers' fathers.
   And from our fathers' fathers' fathers' fathers.
   Yeah. All right, Dave. Don't labour the point. And what have they ever given us in return?!

Date: 2009/01/18 13:40:36, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Ptaylor @ Jan. 18 2009,13:26)
(Trying to get thread back on-topic,) in his latest post Dave has invented a new word:      
<snip> Well, I for one would like to know exactly what flaws in Origin of Species Fuller thinks are acknowledged. Furthermore, I know plenty of Christians who believe much of the bible is methaphoric. <snip>

Anyone know what to make of that?

The high you get from meth?

Could account for things like talking snakes or sticks that turn into them.

Date: 2009/01/20 05:13:24, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Jan. 19 2009,22:37)

I mean, how can anyone seriously describe Wells as a "high genius"?

I've been around Wells from time to time, and I've never seen him take drugs.

What about you?  After being around him.  Not even an aspirin?

Date: 2009/02/21 09:59:17, Link
Author: 1of63

Are you saying the whole ID case went TITS-up at this shindig or no?

Date: 2009/03/02 18:52:35, Link
Author: 1of63
Personally,  I just don't see this fascination with Georgia.

Date: 2009/03/03 17:23:20, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Dr.GH @ Mar. 03 2009,03:33)
Quote (huwp @ Mar. 03 2009,01:16)
Quote (Quack @ Mar. 03 2009,02:50)
I get the gist although I have nothing to contribute. But why doesn't Dembski weigh in here? (Substitute your response here.)

Is it because he's frit?

Edited because I just noticed that Louis has just used an "ooh ooh" line elsewhere.  Dammit!


Is that like "jackass?"

I think he cannot weigh in because he is a light-weight.

(See? That is keeping with the theme. Words like "frit" confuse people like me).

Ah, sweet memories of Maggie!

For the Cousins, Maggie refers to the finest Prime Minister to grace No. 10 since Churchill.  She used the word in the House of Commons back in '83:

From Wookiepodia or some such:
The right hon. Gentleman is afraid of an election is he? Oh, if I were going to cut and run I'd have gone after the Falklands. Afraid? Frightened? Frit? Couldn't take it? Couldn't stand it? Right now inflation is lower than it has been for thirteen years, a record the right hon. Gentleman couldn't begin to touch!

   * Prime Minister's Question Time, House of Commons (19 April, 1983). The use of 'frit', an unusual Lincolnshire dialect abbreviation of 'frightened' which Mrs Thatcher evidently recalled from childhood, was missed by MPs in a noisy chamber but heard very distinctly on the audio feed from the chamber.

Date: 2009/03/06 22:09:34, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Zachriel @ Mar. 06 2009,21:06)
pharmgirl: We will likely never have observational data of evolution working at the genetic level over geological time.

And we'll never know what stars are made of because of their vast distances and unapproachable heat.

Meanwhile, analysis of soft tissues in T. Rex shows the presence of protein sequences that are more closely related to chickens than mastodons.


So that answers one of the big questions in palaeontology.

What did T Rex taste like?


Date: 2009/03/06 22:58:44, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Zachriel @ Mar. 06 2009,21:06)
pharmgirl: We will likely never have observational data of evolution working at the genetic level over geological time.

And we'll never know what stars are made of because of their vast distances and unapproachable heat.

Meanwhile, analysis of soft tissues in T. Rex shows the presence of protein sequences that are more closely related to chickens than mastodons.




Except you just know it's gonna take a lot more than a few scraps of dino tissue to satisfy the Tardists.

That needs a whole UDder approach.

Like going back in time to collect dino DNA samples every hundred years or so to build up a map of genetic pathways.


With Dembski as Dr Dr WooHoo.

If the sweater fits...

Date: 2009/03/14 00:01:13, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (AmandaHuginKiss @ Mar. 13 2009,21:08)

Well said. It might be worth pointing out that the Government in it paternalistic way was trying to do what it thought was good (although still horribly culturally racist as they wanted to integrate the children into "normal white" society).
A lot of the places that the Kooris were sent were intentionally cruel and inhumane and Church run. I think Ireland had a similar experiences with places where pregnant singles girls were sent.

Same as what happened to the Indians in North America.

Not all that different to what the Borg did to other civilizations in Star Trek really.

Without all the cool metallic implants, of course.

Date: 2009/03/14 00:15:43, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Bob O'H @ Mar. 13 2009,13:09)
Well, my comment never appeared, so the banned are still banned.

Persistence is Futile.  You will be banninated!

Date: 2009/03/15 11:44:39, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Lou FCD @ Mar. 15 2009,10:50)
Quote (carlsonjok @ Mar. 15 2009,10:41)
I heart Allen MacNeill.

Predictably, mullerpr completely ignores MacNeill's bitch slap and carries on in a daze.


Your blind faith in the scientific peer review system is admirable. The point remains that there is hardly any review system that can rectify the effect of a faulty ideology like naturalism. This Britannica entry is a case in point and since the ideology has not change we are today looking at fantasies about birds and wales...

It's true.  I used to have fantasies about Welsh birds.

Ahhh, Ruth Madoc...

Date: 2009/03/15 11:52:09, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Lou FCD @ Mar. 15 2009,09:06)
Quote (Kristine @ Mar. 14 2009,21:14)
How about Yeats?

Turning and turning in the widening gyre

...or Carroll
Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Date: 2009/03/15 15:38:41, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Richardthughes @ Mar. 15 2009,15:17)
Looks like it DID get deleted.

Just as well I captured the whole thread before I did a screen refresh, then, isn't it?

I think the aliens thread got flushed down the loo for the same reason, though.  

Last few posts were joking around about aliens coming to Earth.  Nothing really about ID at all.  

'Course, the last post mentioned time travel and the TARDIS.  Maybe that did it.

Date: 2009/03/15 15:49:39, Link
Author: 1of63
Damn!  These threads are being  zapped quicker'n red shirts on a Star Trek away team.

And DaveScot banned?  My blogiverse is tottering!

The new open, tolerant moderation policy didn't last long, did it?

Date: 2009/03/15 16:28:15, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Hermagoras @ Mar. 15 2009,16:08)
Quote (J-Dog @ Mar. 15 2009,16:05)
Quote (Bob O'H @ Mar. 15 2009,16:04)
Quote (Hermagoras @ Mar. 15 2009,15:39)
 Barry added the banning of DaveScot at the same time he deleted the comments.  

DaveScot getting banned at UD: surely, a sign of the End Times?

One day our children will ask us where we were when we heard that DaveScot had been banned.  Truly a historic day.

Beware the Ides of March...

Et tu, BarryA?

"Infamy!  Infamy!  They've all got it in for me!"

Date: 2009/03/15 17:20:05, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (lcd @ Mar. 15 2009,17:11)
Howdy all,

I would like to report that I too have had my posts deleted.  


Just wanted to complain to someone.

Welcome to the Village Of The Banned.

Is this all beginning to resemble a Stalinist purge or what?

Date: 2009/03/20 18:56:53, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (dheddle @ Mar. 20 2009,15:38)
Which one of you is AmerikanInKananaskis? Nobody is that stupid in real life. Nobody. Not even F1 fans.

What's wrong with Formula 1?

Date: 2009/04/08 12:32:04, Link
Author: 1of63
Just thought I'd mention a possible or impending bannination of Seversky over on UD.

It's not a formal ban - not yet at least - but posts are being held in moderation until they disappear upthread.  Or they just disappear.

The last one was at 173 on the Shermer thread.  I think it was quite mild compared with what the likes of Joe put out.
vjtorley @ 166  

   As regards the reliability of scientific reasoning: you cite the commonality of our empirical experience, and our ability to test our theories as a warrant for science. But what I’m more worried about is: how do we know that we’re even asking the right questions in the first place? How do we know that our science is not full of huge, gaping logical flaws that we’ve never noticed? That’s what I mean when I say that an atheist has no good reason to simply assume the reliability of our speculative reasoning. For there are 101 ways in which it could go off the rails in matters speculative - and we’d never know.

I would be wary about using the word “never”.

The problem we face as a species in trying to understand the world we see around us is that, if we cannot rely on divine revelation to meet all our epistemological needs, we are going to have to try and work it out for ourselves.

Plainly, the existing religious texts cannot help. The Bible, for example, does not include something equivalent to a diagnostic and therapeutic manual for the identification and treatment of all the illnesses to which the human body is prone. The Koran does not contain the blueprints and operating principles of combustion engines or cell phones. The Bhagavad Gita does not explain how to build and program computers.

All this hard-won knowledge - and much more - we have had to gather for ourselves. Agreed, it is a far from perfect process. There have been many false starts, fruitless detours and dead-ends along the way. But the fact is we have made progress, it is something we have done for ourselves and that - admittedly limited - success is a good enough reason for us to continue what we are doing until we find it no longer works.

I think, however, you raise pertinent questions when you ask how do we know that our science is not full of gaping holes, how do we know that we are asking the right questions in the first place? The simple answer is that we do not. But we have to start somewhere - it doesn’t really matter where - study what we see, concoct some sort of an explanation, test it and take it from there, where we take it being dependent on the results.

The ongoing discussion about the cosmological argument is a case in point. We observe a world which is apparently the product of long chains of cause and effect which stretch back into the mists of time. An infinite causal chain, however, is felt to be unacceptable for reasons already given. It is argued that the only conceivable alternative is an uncaused First Cause, even though that also has problems. Given that the two candidate answers are equally unsatisfactory, albeit for different reasons, could the solution be, as you have suggested, that we are asking the wrong questions?

Certainly the evidence we have gathered so far points towards our Universe having some sort of beginning but, as Nakashima has pointed out, if we think circular rather than linear we can have a causal chain which has no beginning. While it may not be the correct solution it does, at least, represent an attempt to get round the present impasse by ‘thinking outside the box’.

As an agnostic atheist my view is that it is perfectly acceptable to say that we simply don’t know. I find the concept of an infinite causal chain unsatisfactory although I do not see a Universe that was designed to satisfy my personal needs. An uncaused First Cause is equally unsatisfactory because it sounds too much like special pleading and an attempt to cut off all further debate by fiat.

Personally, I was prepared to give Clive and Barry the benefit of the doubt what with that ringing Churchillian declaration of 'we can take it' from BArrington.  Now,I think they're full of it

Date: 2009/04/09 19:29:49, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Maya @ April 09 2009,15:18)
More green skin.  What is it with you Trekkies?

It's because we care.  After all..
It's not easy being green
It seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things
And people tend to pass you over
'Cause you're not standing out
Like flashy sparkles in the water
Or stars in the sky

But green's the color of spring
And green can be cool and friendly-like
And green can be big like a mountain
Or important like a river
Or tall like a tree

When green is all there is to be
It could make you wonder why
But why wonder why wonder
I am green, and it'll do fine
It's beautiful, and I think it's what I want to be

Okay so maybe it's not Great Poetry like wot we've had before but...
Statler: This is a very moving moment.
Waldorf: Yeah. I wish they'd move it to Pittsburgh.

Well, it makes a change from obsessing over Mustelinae

Date: 2009/04/18 14:28:14, Link
Author: 1of63
Paul Davies's essay raises two questions for me.

First, I can understand how, if time began with the Big Bang, nothing happened before.  Things only "happen" in a temporal context.  
But wouldn't that also be true for the quantum domain where sub-atomic particles pop in and out of existence spontaneously? That popping in and out of existence is a temporal event.  

So, if even that did not happen before the Big Bang then we don't have any kind of a theoretical precedent to explain what happened at the Big Bang, I'm assuming.

Second, this objection to an infinite Universe on the grounds that everything that can happen will already have happened.  Why should we assume that?  Why couldn't we be at that period of the Universe when things are happening rather than afterwards?

Date: 2009/04/26 09:12:48, Link
Author: 1of63
DaveScot sighting!

Evolving Thoughts

Date: 2009/04/26 09:29:31, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Jkrebs @ April 26 2009,09:13)
Nakashima is resurrected!


Barry Arrington
9:02 am

I will bow to vox populi from both sides in regard to Nakashima. Nakashima you are un-banned, but be careful to keep your comments on the non-personal level. You will be watched closely.


He should tell that "swaggering, overbearing, tin-plated, dictator with delusions of godhood" BarryArri what to do with his unbanning.

But I'm sure he's much too polite for that sort of thing.

Date: 2009/04/26 10:48:59, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Doc Bill @ April 26 2009,10:02)
The question remains, then, is Nakashkmi the captain of a garbage scowl or not fit even to be captain of a gargage scowl?

Not "scowl".  

Scow = " a large flat-bottomed boat with broad square ends used chiefly for transporting bulk material (as ore, sand, or refuse)" Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

"That sagging old rust bucket is designed like a garbage scow! Half the quadrant blogosphere knows it; that's why they're learning to speak Klingonese the theory of evolution!"

"I didn't mean to say the Enterprise Uncommon Descent should be hauling garbage, I meant to say that it should be hauled away AS garbage!"

Date: 2009/05/01 22:38:43, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (dvunkannon @ April 30 2009,17:38)
Quote (keiths @ April 30 2009,18:22)
If I claim that the Rapture will happen at 14:29 UTC, and that I will disappear from the face of the earth at that time, you can place me on a scale and measure the (non)reduction in mass that occurs at 14:29 UTC.

Has anyone volunteered to be weighed while dying?


Date: 2009/06/28 18:29:46, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (blipey @ June 03 2009,09:35)
Wow.  They seem like nice guys.  How again is Vox qualified to lecture the British electorate?

The standard British response to a lecture from Vox Day will be a gesture involving two fingers and a reference to the Biblical commandment to go forth and multiply.

Date: 2009/07/08 17:56:15, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (creeky belly @ July 07 2009,23:21)
In high school I was in a movie with Heath Ledger, 10 Things I Hate About You. It was filmed at my high school, so we got first dibs on being extras. You may remember me as "Confused Nerd #3", where I was noticeably amused at Heath's antics for 0.0015 seconds. That makes my Bacon number 3, because I was ACTING!


Ummm, many more years ago than I care to remember, I spent an evening in a pub drinking with Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones and on another occasion with the late and great Douglas Adams.  I hasten to add it wasn't just me.  There were a number of other fans present.

Is that worth any points?

Date: 2009/08/13 21:15:26, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (jswilkins @ Aug. 13 2009,20:34)
Quote (Henry J @ Aug. 14 2009,10:40)
Quote (Louis @ Aug. 13 2009,16:53)
Hem hem. While I admit that possibility exists, personally I think it's balls. It's sew tiring to watch people cobble together these puns. Perhaps Bill is right, we should drop it, tweed be the best thing to do.

Sometimes it can be like casting pearl before twine...

But let's not pick knits.

Speaking of knits reminds me of how much I loathe with every fibre of my being John Weft and the way he warps the fabric of scientific research by weaving his own pathetic yarns around a threadbare theology that has never been worsted.

Date: 2009/09/14 08:05:33, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (CeilingCat @ Sep. 14 2009,03:52)
Cornelius Hunter is turning into a real asshole.            


This guy's just another Wells.

I wouldn't believe either of them if they told me the sun rises in the east each morning.

Anything that don't check out against their religious beliefs gets tossed or trashed.

I don't care what their qualifications are.  That ain't science and they ain't scientists,

Date: 2009/09/19 05:36:06, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (J-Dog @ Sep. 17 2009,19:39)

We will all be promoted to henchmen soon - and all the good stuff will belong to us!

Great!  Bring it on!  I can hench as good as the next man

Date: 2009/09/19 05:45:43, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Dr.GH @ Sep. 19 2009,03:44)
The only true cricket is played by the Maori (they say so);

"Trobriand cricket: An ingenious response to colonialism"

If you haven't seen it, you haven't seen cricket.

The only thing the Maori play well is the manly game of Rugby, which is basically American Football without the nancy-boy armour.

The only thing the Aussies play well is their own version of football, which is basically an open brawl with a ball in there somewhere as an excuse to call it a sport.

Date: 2009/09/19 05:47:44, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Tracy P. Hamilton @ Sep. 17 2009,21:05)
Quote (Lou FCD @ Sep. 17 2009,18:13)
Is anyone at all even slightly surprised at the course of this "discussion"?


Didn't think so.

Actually I'm surprised.  I set expectations at zero, and FL limbos right under them.

Definitely sigworthy.  With your permission.

Date: 2009/09/19 05:53:09, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Lou FCD @ Sep. 17 2009,18:13)
Is anyone at all even slightly surprised at the course of this "discussion"?


I am shocked, shocked to find dissembling going on in there!

Date: 2009/09/23 05:34:10, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Lou FCD @ Sep. 22 2009,23:22)
Dear Joseph, who wrote:




7:00 pm

Cumulative selection implies a target.

Otherwise cumulative is meaningless.

Got it?


Much as I hate to agree with the little weasel, he's right.

If something is selected, it is one thing chosen from a range of others.  

In cumulative selection, a number of things are chosen in succession using the same criteria.  In other words, they are being selected with a particular purpose, goal or target in mind.

No target, no selection.

Except in nature, where there is no mind but the target is survival.

As for being a targeted search, well, of course it is. You cannot have a search unless you have something to search for just as you cannot have selection unless you have some target towards which selection is directed.

In the case of WEASEL or similar programs, the author sets the target. In the natural world, the environment in which the organism has to survive sets the target or targets.

Date: 2009/10/02 06:38:48, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (snorkild @ Oct. 02 2009,06:09)
Quote (Scienthuse @ Oct. 01 2009,22:32)
Nonporous to you Stanton--you are not a helium atom.  Helium is so small it will dissipate into the atmosphere.

From Wikipedia's entry on Helium:

"[H]elium is trapped in a similar way by non-permeable layer of rock like natural gas the greatest concentrations on the planet are found in natural gas, from which most commercial helium is derived."

Just because some helium escapes to the atmosphere doesn't mean nothing is retained in minerals.

To put it even more simply, in terms even IDiots can understand.

We are made up of atoms like everything else.  Atoms are mostly empty space

So how come my hand doesn't just slide through this keyboard?


Date: 2010/01/23 11:26:51, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (tsig @ Jan. 23 2010,05:30)
Quote (Badger3k @ Jan. 22 2010,19:20)
Quote (JohnW @ Jan. 22 2010,12:01)
Quote (AdmiralAckbar @ Jan. 22 2010,08:36)
What is the obsession of Chopra-types and fundamentalists with string theory?  God, universal consciousness, fairies and unicorns hiding out in extra dimensions?  Last refuge of those looking for them?  And the crazy irony is the blind acceptance of string theory as proven fact in the same breath where they dispute evolution.

1.  It's sciency.
2.  It's difficult to understand.
3.  Most people have heard of it, without knowing much about it other than (1) and (2).
4.  Unless there are any scientists in the congregation, it can be dropped into a stream of tard and used as evidence for just about anything you like.  You'll sound really clever.
5.  Therefore Jesus.

See also: relativity, quantum mechanics, black holes, dark matter...

edit - I know you referred to string theory first, but I've seen more quantum woo than anything else, thus my post.

Don't forget that you can use it in any situation.  Consciousness - It's Quantum.

Free Will - Quantum!

Mechanism for Design - Quantum!

Creation from Nothing - Quantum!  (ok, so this one may be true for some particles, if I understand the theory correctly - or has this been observed?)

God Communicating to people - Quantum!

Virgin Birth - Quantum!

See - the word Quantum (which koalas hate, IIRC  :p ) can spice up any hypothesis you like, and works great in soda and casseroles.  I do wonder what people think of when they hear Quantum, since it refers to really tiny things.  Calling a man "quantum dick" is like calling some "built like a gorilla."  Does this mean Quantum Gods are really, really, really tiny?  That might explain a lot  ;)

The have to be tiny to fit in the tiny gaps.

That's 'cos they're as thick as two short Plancks.

Date: 2010/03/02 19:13:56, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Mar. 02 2010,13:29)
Dinosaur-eating snake described.

Gotta wonder how they kept those guys apart on the Ark...

So THAT'S what happened to the dinosaurs!

A lot of them got ON the ARK but all that got off were a bunch of well-fed snakes.  (Duh, duh DUU-UU-UMMM!!)

Date: 2010/06/12 17:43:20, Link
Author: 1of63
Speaking as a newly-naturalized Yankee colonist I have to say do find it hard to open the eyes of the locals - brought up on a diet of Armored Rugby and rounders - to the finer points of the Beautiful Game.

Rugby itself, of course, is a sort of brawl concocted by a bunch of public school yahoos who were too inbred to be able kick a ball and run with it at the same time. "Oh, I say!  Just pick up the dashed thing!  Haw, haw, haw!"

Under the circs, a one-all draw is a result even if the keeper gifted the Yanks a goal.

Date: 2010/06/12 20:27:00, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (dhogaza @ June 12 2010,18:23)
And earlier today, speaking to a friend who was reading about the history of the game ...

Mathchick: "I never realized how much football (soccer) rules are tied up with Victorian terror of masturbation"

Dhogaza: "that's why they can't use their hands?"

So you're saying that Rugby players - armored or otherwise - are wankers but soccer players aren't?  :p

Date: 2010/06/12 20:30:36, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (dhogaza @ June 12 2010,18:22)
After watching most of the game I now know why soccer(football) fans are drunks.

Not to mention the English goalkeeper ...

Hey!  What are you complaining about?  He's the reason the Yanks have a goal.

Date: 2010/06/13 08:38:35, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Peter Henderson @ June 13 2010,07:38)
and Norn Iron did produce one of the best footballers (not saccer players) of all time:

No question.  One of the best ever and one of the few British players who was just exciting and beautiful to watch.  Gazza was another at his best.

Too many British strikers seem to find themselves in front of goal and get over-excited.  They take a wild swing at the ball and it either soars harmlessly over the bar or, if they manage to keep it low, drive it straight into the arms of the keeper.  This is unlike Continental or South American players who seem to be able to rifle in shots with pinpoint accuracy from any angle or distance with effortless ease.  The bastards!

Date: 2010/06/13 18:50:36, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (JLT @ June 13 2010,18:35)
Or worse, they could be forced to watch an American football game.

Always struck me as a good metaphor for punk-eek: bursts of rapid activity interspersed with long periods of not much happening at all.

Date: 2010/06/25 05:17:07, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (Louis @ June 24 2010,15:17)
Quote (JohnW @ June 24 2010,16:29)
Quote (J-Dog @ June 24 2010,06:04)
Louis... So, if you Brits need help against the German National Team (aka The Evil Hun Horde*) - again - just give us a call, and us Yanks will be back over there to pull your chestnuts out of the fire - again - quick as mum's the word.**

* This does NOT including JLT.  

** this suggestion totally 100% stolen from a Jon Stewart-John Oliver Daily Show Soccer Update segment.

Yeah, but you'll not show up until 2013.

And then you'll nuke the team furthest away from us and claim the whole world cup was your own work despite the fact that we bloody won it.

Correction:  Hollywood will make lots of movies showing how they won it entirely alone.

With Sylvester Stallone playing the goalie.

Oh wait, didn't he already do that?

Date: 2010/06/26 10:54:38, Link
Author: 1of63
Quote (afarensis @ June 26 2010,06:32)
One more joke at the expense of the British, then I'll quite, I promise (crosses fingers behind his back):

Don't get too cocky.  Like someone said on another blog, Brits have long memories.  The Gulf oil spill wasn't an accident, it was revenge for losing the Battle of New Orleans in the War of 1812.