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Date: 2007/03/28 10:31:41, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Well, now that FtK has joined up here, I can come out of the closet! I'm Dave (really). I had an account here as Albatrossity, but somehow that account disappeared, so when I tried to post yesterday, I was told that the username was not on the list of registered users... Richard was kind enough to forward my tale of woe to stevestory, and he forwarded it to Wesley, but as of today I still could not log in with that username.

So I did what appears to be a common thing (judging from the list of members, at least); I created a second account as Albatrossity2.

Background info and website

I am a biology professor at KSU in Manhattan KS, my research interests are broad (ranging from lipid metabolism to stable isotope studies in grassland birds), and I also am charged with coordinating our large intro bio course every fall semester. Given my location in KS, the ID controversy has occupied a fair amount of my time and interest in the last few years, and I have participated in several local events sponsored by Sigma Xi and our local Center for the Understanding of Origins (a multidisciplinary group of scientists and scholars in Biology, Physics, Entomology, Geology, Philosophy and English) dedicated to increasing understanding of science and how it works.

Thanks for the kind words, and I thank you also for the insights and understandings that all of your posts have given to me!

Date: 2007/03/29 09:55:56, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Actually, I was out with my Field Ornithology class, sitting in a blind on Konza Prairie, and watching the display antics of Greater Prairie Chickens in a thunderstorm (this class could hire themselves out as rainmakers...).

Of course, while watching those male birds prance and boom and chuckle and squawk and flail at their pals, all for naught since no female birds showed up at the lek today, we all wondered how the intelligent designer came up with the Greater Prairie Chicken design. Somebody has a sense of humor, for sure!

Or maybe they are all homos...

Date: 2007/03/29 15:14:25, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
More evidence of ID (or just more bird stuff for Arden) - GrrlScientist has posted one of my photos (LeConte's Sparrow) as well as a link to a photo essay about Grasshopper Sparrows. Both of these species are truly Reasonable Kansans.


Date: 2007/03/29 20:54:10, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Blipey et al.

I guess we all will have to cry in our beers. FtK has not posted one of my comments (and I have sent her three of them) since I called her out on her lack of understanding of science and the scientific method (in a rather looooong post). Here is the link

I can only speculate as to the reasons for that lack of comment throughput.

Perhaps she is still thinking about that post, and coming to the conclusion that she really doesn't know squat about science, but she does know what she likes (or dislikes, actually). Maybe she is going through a metamorphosis, and will emerge from the chrysalis as a changed and rational being, who finally sees ID as a pseudoscientific disguise of creationism.

Perhaps she is still so upset about hearing Humes' lecture that she is incapable of moderating blog comments for a few days.

Perhaps (and this is most likely) she is peeved at me for joining up here and showing my true colors as "one of them".

At any rate, I am truly saddened by this turn of events. One way to look at it was that her ID blog had its own "pet scientist", who assidously read her posts and commented as necessary. What other ID blog can claim that? Hopefully, she will eventually see the error of her ways and allow me to comment freely again, in the search for the truth that seems to be the Holy Grail of that blogging enterprise.

Or not.

Date: 2007/04/01 17:41:10, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Well, I have joined you all in the list of folks who ridicule FtK and thus will have their comments banned at her blog. So much for the "slightly neurotic obsession for finding truth" that she claims to have. Truthiness, perhaps. Without real commenters, that blog will degenerate into a conversation between Larry Fafarman and her, which is a black hole of vacuity if e'er there was one!

I have a backlog of at least three comments that I sent before my fall from grace, so I will dig those up and post them here when I get the time, since this post is for crossposting items that never get to her comment board. But frankly, I'm not sure if it is worth it, since all it does is attract attention to a fairly standard parroting of creationist canards, gushing over the latest DI press releases, and the occasional right-wing rant. Do we really want to attract more attention to that?

Frankly, almost every item she posts could be answered the same way. All you have to do is ask "What is the evidence for that assertion?" (or perhaps, "On what planet did the evidence for that assertion originate?"). Then she will ignore that question and proceed to the next post. Not a lot of room for real intellectual interchange, alas.

Date: 2007/04/02 10:46:24, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Louis, et al.

If you are an ACS member (and maybe if you are not), that issue can be seen online at this URL

Date: 2007/04/02 11:07:07, Link
Author: Albatrossity2

wherein DT gets all sciency with his physician (single experiment, no controls = proof positive), appears to believe that hyperproteinemia is a good thing, and endorses a dietary product that has "some enzymes" which he apparently believes will survive digestion in the stomach and get to the right place to "accelerate fat burning". Lots of good stuff here.

Date: 2007/04/02 12:12:31, Link
Author: Albatrossity2

Cart before horse.

When my comments were going through on your blog, I didn't post here. When they stopped going through, this seemed like an appropriate place to comment.

Oh, and BTW, it is not "ridicule" to point out truths such as your tendency to ignore questions and move to the next post, your tendency to link uncritically to anything posted by Luskin or Egnor, and your recycling of creationist deceptions. Ridicule is usually fact-free and malicious. In other words, it is what DaveScot does. But I'm sure he is "sincere", so that makes it all better.

Date: 2007/04/02 13:50:28, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ April 02 2007,12:59)
That's incorrect.  You didn't start posting here when I decided to put your comments on hold.  Your first post appeared some time ago, and I overlooked that one.  Your second post came when I signed up here.


I'd imagine it was an ego thing.  You saw that they were congratulating the "Dave" who was discussing various issues with me, and you decided to let them know it was you.  That way you could receive your accolades in person.

That's incorrect.  You didn't start posting here when I decided to put your comments on hold.  Your first post appeared some time ago, and I overlooked that one.  Your second post came when I signed up here.


I'd imagine it was an ego thing.  You saw that they were congratulating the "Dave" who was discussing various issues with me, and you decided to let them know it was you.  That way you could receive your accolades in person.

Wrong again. My first post addressing you directly, which is what I thought we were talking about, came after you blocked my comments. Revisionist history only works if the folks who were involved have died, and rarely works on the internet, where everything is archived for everyone to see. It is harder to pin down, however, when my comments don't appear on your blog, because then nobody knows when I submitted them!

And yes, I admit I was pleased that all of my efforts to bring a note of reason to the ReasonableKansans blog were noticed here. That is not the same thing as signing up just to collect my "accolades", however. I came out of the closet because I despise anonymity, and because I was actually hoping that you had seen the light and would be willing to discuss things here in an open forum. Hope springs eternal...

Date: 2007/04/02 14:32:58, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ April 02 2007,14:15)
Dave wrote:
“My first post addressing you directly, which is what I thought we were talking about, came after you blocked my comments.”

This is the first sentence in your second post here:

“Well, now that FtK has joined up here, I can come out of the closet!”


I actually enjoyed our conversations and I had thought you were sincere.  I was mistaken.

What part of "addressing you directly" is unclear to you?  Was that post addressing you directly (i.e. commenting on things you said on your blog)?  Or was it addressed to Richard and J-Dog and others? Since I was the one writing it, I'll have to vote for door #2 and conclude that I was not, at least in my own mind, addressing you directly.

But we digress, per usual, by focusing on nit-picky he-said/she-said sideshows.

You can bet that I am sincere; I sincerely desire a better understanding of the issues, both for me and for you. I don't know how insincerity can be the accusation when I post public messages on blogs that I know you read. How sneaky is that?

Date: 2007/04/02 16:54:40, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ April 02 2007,14:59)
That’s an interesting observation, Stephen.  But, I’ve sat in on many lectures, classes, and debates regarding these topics, and I’ve also read many peer-reviewed papers,


In actuality, there is little science discussed here at all.  The object of most of these threads seems to be merely to ridicule others...


I won't call it BS yet, but I have to admit that I am skeptical about the claim that you have read peer-reviewed papers. That skepticism is based on two independent lines of evidence.

1) In my all-too-brief time commenting on your blog, I quickly discovered that your attendance at lectures, reading of books, and forays into blogs had not resulted in any obvious understanding of evolution, much less science in general. You showed, and I commented about it here

that you actually don't know the difference between an observation and a hypothesis. So what, exactly, did you get from any peer-reviewed article you read?

2) It is my experience that science majors have lots of trouble with peer-reviewed primary literature. It is my experience that graduate students in biology have lots of difficulties in navigating a primary literature paper. It is my experience that reading the peer-reviewed literature is a skill that can be learned, but it takes time, and it takes effort. Where and when did you put in that sort of time and effort?

So yeah, I'd be real interested in hearing about any peer-reviewed articles in biology that you might have encountered, and extremely interested to hear about what you learned from those.

Take your time, I know you have lots of other questions to answer. But also remember that I am not the only one asking this question; argystokes would also like to know about this as well!

Date: 2007/04/03 07:16:45, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ April 02 2007,18:03)
Dave wrote:
"that you actually don't know the difference between an observation and a hypothesis. "

Yes Dave, you caught me in an error.  


I'm sure it is comforting to believe that everyone who disagrees with you simply "doesn't understand how science works", but I have a hard time believing that to be true.

If that was the only "error", I wouldn't have made the conclusion that your scientific understanding was negligible. The comments where I discussed that particular error contain multiple observations, all consistent with the hypothesis that your scientific understanding is negligible.

In addition, on two previous comment threads at your blog, I posed some problems to see if you knew anything about how evolution works, and also to see if you had any critical thinking skills. One of those problems is an example that I have used in my freshman biology class. Neither you nor DaveScot, who dropped into that particular comment thread, came close to giving me a useful answer.To his credit, after some snarling ad hominem putdowns, Dave did google an appropriate scientific paper and paste some comments from it (without thinking about the content, unfortunately)

So I actually have lots of observations to support that conclusion. In addition, I don't believe that everyone who disagrees with me is ignorant about science; that is putting words in my mouth again. I give folks the benefit of the doubt; they have to prove their ignorance. And I will change my mind about you, if you ever give me any evidence otherwise.

Date: 2007/04/03 13:19:03, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Louis writes:
Quote (Louis @ April 03 2007,10:13)
You're right. I was being unfair. Sorry FTK. Have you got any scientific questions for any of us?

But if you already have all the answers , why would you have any questions?

Date: 2007/04/04 08:40:53, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
I suspect that Lenny et al. have given FtK plenty of ammunition so that she can now focus on how "offensive" we all are, and thus continue to ignore any and all substantive discussion of science. Even on her own blog it was hard to keep her on track; as is typical of the ID/creationists she would focus on some small detail, comment on that extensively , and repeatedly ignore the bigger questions about the science and/or her lack of understanding about reality. Sometimes she would even start two or three new threads with a new blog post, apparently in the vain hope that I would forget about the old outstanding questions that she was ignoring. With all of the comments here about body shapes and sizes, even if she shows up here again, there is no chance that she will even mention science.

But all of this attention has had some good effects; she is apparently so busy reading here and commenting elsewhere that she is ignoring her own blog. Nothing "new" has appeared there in a couple of days. Or maybe Luskin and Egnor haven't posted on ENV (gotta love that acronym!) for a couple of days...

Date: 2007/04/04 17:50:58, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
I agree with Tracy Hamilton - the number of premeds in any biology dept (including mine) can bring down the averages. And just look at the numbers; the number of biology majors in this sample is 5-6 times the number of any other major.

And why are we looking at MCAT scores? If Egnor is any indicator, MDs are not very intelligent. This sample population surely contains lots of students who might be as motivated by a high-paying career as they are by the thirst for knowledge... Any data on GRE scores?

Date: 2007/04/05 11:15:05, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (JohnW @ April 04 2007,17:59)
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ April 04 2007,17:50)
If Egnor is any indicator, MDs are not very intelligent.

Now that's below the belt.

Given your sample size (1), I'm not convinced you can make this inference.  Whatever the profession, a handful of eejits always manage to slip through the net.  I work with a lot of MDs.  They seem pretty smart to me.

Yeah, that was below the belt. Doctors can be pretty smart; my postdoc advisor was an M.D., and he was one of the smartest guys I ever met.

In thinking more about those data, it helps to remember that these are scores from the MCAT. Everybody who takes that test is, by definition, a pre-med, even if their major is biology, or engineering, or even English. And as we all know, even if most doctors are intelligent, lots of pre-meds are not. I have taught thousands of undergrads in my 26 years as a biology professor, and I have run across lots of pre-meds who I hope never get into medical school. If they do, I hope that neither I nor any member of my family ever have to be a patient in their care.

Second thing to remember is that this sort of standardized test is good for some evaluations, and not good for others. In general, from my experience, engineers (and engineering majors) tend to be very good at standardized tests (probably for lots of reasons). But standardized tests are not necessarily good for predicting success in more open disciplines, like chemistry or biology. I chaired our graduate admissions committee for many years, and I can guarantee that there is little correlation between an applicant's GRE scores and their eventual success as a biological scientist. Like the MCAT, the GRE doesn't measure some critical parameters, like the ability to put in long hours at the lab bench without going postal. Honestly, we lose more grad students because of the fact that they are unable to handle the frustration of doing basic research, repeating experiments, having experiments come out badly because of equipment or reagent problems, getting infections in their cell cultures, or overlooking some critical control. No test will measure your ability to handle that!

And no test can truly test critical thinking at the level needed for scientific research. That requires gleaning facts and methods from dozens of papers, synthesizing them into a useful experiment, and then thinking about the results (which may not be exactly the results you hoped for) in a way that generates new knowledge. Then you get to repeat it. That's tough sledding. And generally not required for MDs, unless they go into clinical or other research.

So no, I'd say that biologists are not "wimps", but I'd broaden that to say that any research scientist (chemistry, physics, geology, math etc.) probably deserves a lot of respect. Folks like FtK or DaveScot, who think that simply because they have biological functions like coughing or farting or seeing or reproducing that they understand biology at some deep level, are simply uninformed.

Date: 2007/04/05 12:08:33, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ April 05 2007,11:37)
I've always been convinced that since everyone talks and has a language, that means that certain kinds of untrained armchair scholars are much more comfortable assuming that they're as qualifed as anyone else in the world to make Grand Statements About How Language Works.

And of course, one excellent example of this would be the aforementioned DaveScot's "Portuguese moment" on another thread in this forum...

Date: 2007/04/05 15:19:39, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (slpage @ April 05 2007,14:59)
I couldn't help but notive FTK's idiotic little quip.  Maybe she should check this out..

Not that she will, of course - she gets her info from the Disco liars for Christ.

Actually, she did check in there and made one of her standard inane arguments (evolution and atheism go hand in hand) in comment 123.

One of the unanswered questions that I asked her re this correlation was "So what?" Are atheists somehow lesser human beings than theists?  And are all theists created equal; how would she feel about an evolution-denier who worshiped Odin, or Shiva? Or the Rev. Moon???

Inquiring minds still want to know!

Date: 2007/04/05 16:58:16, Link
Author: Albatrossity2

Well said, even if lengthy.

One important addition, and a comment. You wrote

In a debate or discussion at a university one might not respect the ideas of one's opponent, but one respects the opponent to the best of one's ability to do so. That respect entails a certain degree of responsibility: one has to deal with their arguments as they are stated (not perhaps as one THINKS they are stated) and one must be scrupulously honest in the presentation of one's own arguments.

To this I would add that part of that responsibility would be to admit when you are wrong, and don't perceive it as a character flaw if you, or someone else, changes their mind in response to an argument.

The comment would be that it is difficult to maintain respect for opponents who consistently put words in your mouth (argue against things that they wish you had said, or those who fail, after repeated proddings, to address an important point. In any debate, whether at the university-level or with your mother, those things will rapidly erode respect and lead to incivility. That may be why these threads head down that road so often; the opponents fail to follow the Golden Rules that you have outlined.

Thanks for starting this thread.

Date: 2007/04/06 12:02:42, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Parody Inference (PI) - because it has mathiness and because pi is an irrational number

Date: 2007/04/06 13:50:38, Link
Author: Albatrossity2

Keep up the good work. A few more comments here and you will be become "one of them", forcing you to ban yourself from your own blog.

Date: 2007/04/06 14:13:14, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ April 06 2007,14:02)
I will fight this urge to go where no true conservative Christian has gone before.

Wrong, again

Date: 2007/04/07 07:56:39, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ April 07 2007,05:28)
FtK's reply is straight-up emotion with no veneer of pseudo-intellectualism, an honest confession of stance without the pretense of rationalization or justification. And for that I think I should salute her.

Yes, occasionally FtK can break out of hypocrisy mode and tell us exactly what she really thinks (e.g. equating "Darwinists" with jerks, and then telling me that she really meant that I was a jerk).

I agree with Wes; this short but sweet critique is honest, and so much more readable than the standard blather about ID, IC, EFs, and all of that other stuff that allows them to talk about God without mentioning him by name.

Date: 2007/04/07 11:14:15, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ April 07 2007,10:04)
For some insane reason, some of you actually think I'm going to dive in and discuss science with you when I made it extremely clear from the start that I have no intention of doing so.  

I've been there, done that in other forums for years and I've had my fill.  There is not a one of you in these forums who has an inkling of respect for anyone who does not agree with your position in this debate (and many of you seem completely blind to the truth).

Indeed, she has no intention of ever again discussing science with anyone, anywhere. Because if she did try, it would immediately become apparent why she specializes in "smarm and ooze", rather than science...

And you gotta love the projection that is so obvious in that second paragraph!

Date: 2007/04/07 12:36:29, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
On her own blog, FtK discusses science with Jeremy, in her own inimitable style, after first blasting faculty members at SMU for refusing to debate IDiots at the recent revival held on their campus.

Since her devotion to open debate mysteriously does not extend to her own blog, I'll post my comment here, since I suspect it will never appear there.

FtK wrote: I am able to completely separate the science from the religion implications, and I do not believe that something should be rejected as science solely due to the fact that it has religious implications.

Not solely. It is also rejected as science because it leads to no testable predictions. Which is exactly why scientists, of all religious persuasions, reject ID. Its religious implications are why it cannot be taught in public schools, but its lack of that critical attribute (leads to testable predictions) is why it is rejected as science.

Date: 2007/04/07 16:06:04, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ April 07 2007,15:28)

Which part of evolutionary theory do you have problems with? Common descent? The mechanisms? Both? And why do you have problems with them?

In order to save FtK the trouble, and to help make sure that the holiday ham doesn't get burned, I can point you to some of the answers at her blog and elsewhere.

About halfway down the comment thread here, you can read her response to a similar question, where I asked her if she believed in microevolution, in common descent, or in macroevolution.

At 4:11 PM, aka...Forthekids said…

"1) microevolution (I assume that is Yes)"

Yes. I think the mechanisms of evolution are quite capable of making very significant changes in living organisms. But, evolution from one species to the next is highly questionable and not supported with near enough evidence, IMO. When it comes to the evolution of new body parts and vital organs, I am highly skeptical of what evolution is capable of.

"2) common descent (I assume that is also Yes, but am less sure about this one)"

That depends on your definition. Obviously I am a descendant of my grandparents, but I highly doubt whether every living creature evolved from that first living organism that initially dropped from the abyss.

"3) macroevolution (I assume that is !!!NO!!!)"

If you don't think I support macroev, what made you think I accept common descent? But, no, I don't think the empirical evidence comes even close to providing us with enough information to confirm macroev.

"For any of these three that you don't accept, is it because

a) you have specific scientific evidence to the contrary,

b) because you think that there is insufficient scientific evidence in favor,

c) because you think that this "idea is completely worthless to science",

d) or ???,

e) or some combination of the above?"

B & C for sure, and A if you consider how in the bloody #### the process got started. But, of course that goes much further than what evolution can answer. Yet, it's funny that we even consider the evolution of stars, planets, and everything else.

So, we are pretty much told that the entire universe evolved in some manner from virtually nothing. And, yes, I realize that the mechanisms of evolution that we have been discussing only apply to life on earth.

Anyway, I think there are plenty of arguments that provide scientific evidence to the contrary when we consider the whole scope of the evolutionary paradigm, but I'm not interested in getting started on that one because I've gone that route too many times in the past,and I've found that it is pointless to discuss these issues with a die hard evolutionist.

I have no desire to try to change you opinion so there is no point in wasting my time with it all again.

"I promise I won't ask again; this is just part of my ongoing struggle to find common ground by agreeing on a definition of terms."

Ask away, I'm pretty much an open book. But, if you repeat questions to often, I'm falling back on links. It gets maddening after a while.

She is pretty much clueless about the mechanisms, but certainly believes that the entire process is random.

As to WHY she has problems with them, you will get one answer from her, as noted above (there is no evidence that macroevolution ever happened, and plenty of evidence against it) and one answer from me (she has been told, and apparently believes, that accepting scientific reality in favor of the explanation from Genesis will turn her into an atheist).

And do read further down that comment thread to note that my last (unanswered) comment asks her for the "scientific evidence to the contrary" that she refers to above...

Hope this helps!

Date: 2007/04/08 08:41:34, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ April 07 2007,19:40)
"(she has been told, and apparently believes, that accepting scientific reality in favor of the explanation from Genesis will turn her into an atheist)."

... is absolutely and positively false.  I do not believe this in any way, shape or form.  In fact, this is so not me that I am suppressing the urge to scream.  

First of all, "scientific reality" is seriously out of place in a discussion about scientific inferences, IMHO.  And, second, I absolutely *do not* believe that dismissing a certain interpretation of the book of Genesis "turn[s] a person into an atheist”.  Nor do I think that adhering to other religions make a person an atheist.  I simply do not believe that other religions provide as much evidence for their claims as Christianity does.


I don't have a problem with "evolution".  I understand the mechanisms, and I readily accept the empirical evidence that supports the theory.
(emphasis added)
There are none so blind as those who will not see.

FtK, there are many examples on your blog where you talk about lectures you have attended, and books you have read, where you barely disguise your disdain for evolution. That disdain is NOT based on your scientific understanding of the topic. You have proven, over and over, that all of those hours listening and reading have not resulted in any intellectual understanding of evolution, or even science. Your disdain is clearly based on your fear that evolution poses a threat to your religious worldview. That's OK; you are entitled to that opinion. But it would really be helpful if you could just admit it.

I will await, eagerly, the "evidence" for the claims of Christianity. I cannot imagine that they are more convincing than the millions of observations, inferences, predictions, and revisions that underlie evolutionary theory, but I await enlightenment on that topic.

Date: 2007/04/08 11:00:32, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ April 08 2007,09:46)
At least FTK has the honesty (which Dembski et al don't) to admit that ID is Christian apologetics -- nothing more, nothing less, nothing else.  No evasions from her about "space aliens" and "maybe the designer isn't god" and such.

Well, ummm, maybe so, or maybe not.

Check the comments here, where Jeremy (in a most excellent and cogent series of arguments) points out the deceitfulness of the DI in regard to disguising apologetics as science, and FtK promises to discuss that later.

Date: 2007/04/08 16:37:15, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Sorry to burst that bubble, Lenny. I'm sure you'll find some way to work through your grief...

Additional insights into Nellie's worldview can be gleaned from this long blog post from last November

which includes this historical revelation

No, actually what made me reconsider both science and religion was scientific evidence that I was never allowed to consider in school. If you remember, I stated that the initial spark that started this journey for me was my kids and their dinosaur years and friends offering me tapes and books with alternative scientific theories that are not allowed in the public schools.


When I was presented with alternative theories, it was like opening up the door to ideas that made more sense and in turn I started considering biblical truth more closely. At that point, I found both science and theology so compelling that I couldn’t stop exploring both at length. It wasn’t until quite some time later that I discovered that the scientific community is composed of primarily scientists who hold atheistic beliefs and that there are actually scientific establishments that have been raised up primarily to stop any scientific thought unless it conforms with the mainstream “scientific community“.

But don't let that excerpt stop you from reading the whole post; it has lots of other scientific insights as well...

Date: 2007/04/09 07:14:47, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ April 08 2007,22:42)
"Tom", I noticed that you are a new member.  You wouldn't happen to be an old friend of mine from KCFS who is posting under a new and improved name, would you??

Notice how substantive questions are ignored, and personal gossip is initiated...

Re Walt Brown, yes, it is quite clear that FtK finds his stuff "interesting"; she relies on his "expertise" quite a bit. See the comment thread here, where she quotes Brown's claptrap verbatim (Richard, you will find the original topic quite interesting, but it quickly veers away).
For example. all species appear fully developed, not partially developed. They show design. There are no examples of half-developed feathers, eyes, skin, tubes (arteries, veins, intestines, etc.), or any of thousands of other vital organs. Tubes that are not 100% complete are a liability; so are partially developed organs and some body parts. For example, if a leg of a reptile were to evolve into a wing of a bird, it would become a bad leg long before it became a good wing.

Clearly Brown has not learned enough biology to know about incomplete digestive systems, or even nephrons... And FtK accepts this completely bogus stuff as part of the "massive evidence against evolution" that she often talks about but never gives a citation. So here it is.

Date: 2007/04/09 08:42:08, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
FtK has posted her "review" of Humes's lecture here. In actuality, it is a standard re-casting of debunked creationist arguments, untruths, and other interesting items that have little to do with Humes's main topic, the Dover trial. I have posted a comment (below) that will, of course, not appear there. So you read it here first.
Interesting choice of "scientific" bugaboos to rail against. As I'm sure you know, Dembski's accusations against Eric Pianka (that he "believes in the necessity of killing off 90% of the world's population in order to save the environment") is simply not true. Untruth is not a good footing on which to start any article.

And then you start to quote debunked and misleading creation "scientists", as if again to show that your understanding of basic biology and even more basic science is quite meager.

There are a lot more errors and misleading statements in that post that I'd be happy to address. But since your devotion to open debate seems not be be extended to me, I'll wait and see if you post this comment first.

Date: 2007/04/09 09:54:47, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ April 09 2007,09:16)
Quote (Richardthughes @ April 09 2007,01:48)
Oh noes for the kids! It's going to be hard to flirt with you if you link to conservapia.. (see the eugenics link). This is just pure faith driven revisionism, and you should know better.

Nothin’ wrong with something against conservatives, Hon?  

I’ve gotta say that I’m certainly glad I’m a conservative due to the fact that we conservative protestant women are a much more satisfied group overall...

From the article:
“The women most likely to achieve orgasm each and every time (32%) are, believe it or not, conservative Protestants. But Catholics edge out mainline Protestants in frequency of intercourse. Says Father Andrew Greeley, the sociologist-priest and writer of racy romances: ''I think the church will be surprised at how often Catholics have sex and how much they enjoy it.''

As a protestant woman, I can attest to the validity of that claim, though I have to wonder if our ability to abandon all inhibitions in the sack is due to the fact that conservative men bring out the best in us (if you know what I mean).  

Read it and weep, boys...

Richard, care to cross over to the wild side?;)

Yep, there is a lot of science in that post. You have to hand it to FtK; opening up a discussion of sexual sociology is bound to get this group off track immediately! And defending conservative wanker sites like conservapedia is even more red-herring-esque.

BTW, Richard, you should read the last paragraph in this review of the book cited by FtK before you go too far over to the wild side...

At any rate, as Louis noted, there are some unanswered comments and questions here. I honestly have no hope of getting more discussion about the "massive evidence against evolution", Wes's article, or even Humes's book, but if you all want to wander back there, I wouldn't mind.

Date: 2007/04/09 12:01:35, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
I don't doubt that they will find some willing IDiot to run UD; all of the candidates mentioned so far would be up to that task...

The real question is "What Will Dembski Do?", or WWDD, for short.

I think he probably is in line to be the next Attorney General once Gonzales hits the road. Lord knows they could use some intelligent designers in Shrub's administration.

Date: 2007/04/09 13:32:40, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ April 09 2007,12:57)
Every time I've ever seen a person refuse to answer whether they think the Earth is 6,000 years old or whether Noah's Flood actually happened, it has ALWAYS meant that the person indeed does believe those things, but they're embarrassed to admit it. Only YEC believers refuse to answer those questions.

So, we can take that as a 'yes'.

Yep, that's certainly a yes.

See this interesting discussion wherein FtK recommends this highly scientific book by YEC Duane Gish et al.

I particularly liked this no-hold-barred review, entitled "you mean I can't give it NO stars?" from the Amazon website.

I cannot believe in this day and age someone can write crap like this and get any of you morons to believe it. I would argue, but there is no evidence to argue with. Excuse me, I've got to go get myself a pet dinosaur from a cave in Africa, since they are still alive and all. Boy, I hope it breathes fire!! Yeah, what an argument, Creationists really put Evolutionists in their place. I just can't believe parents buy this rubbish for their kids. Do you realize that with no evidence to back any of this up, he is just a hack who is basically making a story up to try and sell books? He probably doesn't even believe this crap himself (at least I hope not)!
How can I put this most simply: EVOLUTION IS FACT. IT NEVER TRIES TO ARGUE AGAINST A GOD. IT JUST STATES THAT WE WERE NOT CREATED DIRECTLY BY GOD. And there is evidence right in front of all people to see!! We use evolution directly for our benefit!! We breed dogs, horses, and other animals for specific purposes that we determine!! Mules did not exist in nature before we made them! We have only been consciously evolving creatures for less than a few thousand years, so put on those thinking caps and think what nature could do in several billion. Does it ruin the egos of the general population to think that God did not specifically design us?!?! WHY? And what makes us so special? In my lifetime, all I have seen us do is fight wars over religious, moral, and other reasons. I would think someone who designed us in His image would not make such a flawed, worthless creature. I know most people are going to read this and continue to think in the incredibly flawed way that would cause them to rate this book positively. I just hope one person can look at this objectively and tell what a load of crap it is. THAT'S ALL!!

Date: 2007/04/09 13:56:27, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ April 09 2007,13:31)

F'instance, Dave said something simliar at one point but when he couldn't convince me of macroev., he simply concluded that I'm being disrepectful of his knowledge and have nothing other than a religious agenda.  He questioned my honestly and thinks I have no interest in the scientific issues, but am merely interested in shoving my religion down students throats.

Wrong, again.

In that comment thread, FtK stated: "Macroevolution, on the other hand, is a concept that I don't find to be that important to science."

I posed a question and asked her how it would be approached from an ID standpoint, and how it could be approached from an evolutionary standpoint. This question was batted around for a bit by FtK and ace logician Larry Farfaman, but nobody really got the answer. When I pointed out that the answer, a real life example, showed how understanding of common descent led to the availability of a potent anticancer drug (Taxol), she (and Larry) dissembled a bit but never really had cogent arguments against that example.

And I did question her "honestly" (sic), but didn't say anything about her "honesty".

Nowhere in that thread did I say that she was being "disrespectful" of my knowledge. I did say that she seemed to be missing the point, and I'll stand by that statement even now.

Nowhere did I say that I thought she was "interested in shoving (her) religion down student's throats". I did say that folks like her were interested in teaching ID in science classes; perhaps her confusion about God and the designer made her think I said something else.

And in my ultimate comment on that thread, I pointed out that her criteria for how science should proceed (follow the evidence, no matter where it leads), meant that ID was useless. Without a mechanism more specific than some unknown designer acting in some unknown manner at some unknown time, you can't make predictions, and predictions are HOW you follow the evidence in any scientific endeavor. So far she hasn't come back to that topic either.

What's next?

Date: 2007/04/09 17:26:32, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ April 09 2007,17:02)
And, for me, it seems like an interest in science automatically leads to the question of the origin of life.  But, I suppose I’m just an odd duck.  The bottom line for me is that I ~can’t~ conceive of the universe evolving from nothing whatsoever.  That is an extremely irrational, illogical conclusion, IMHO.  So, that leads to the next obvious there any evidence at all that supports the notion of a supernatural or natural designer, and can we learn anything about that source of our existence from science, history, archeology, or other areas of study.  So, that’s were I’ve been for the past 6+ years - addicted to finding the answers to these questions.

And what evidence has shown up that "supports the notion of a supernatural or natural designer"? We're still waiting... Take your time.

Science is, if nothing else, dependent on what we can do. We all have questions about origins, We just don't have any currently identified scientific way to answer the questions. There are no consensus answers to questions about the origin of the universe or the origin of life. If it is so unsatisfying to you that the current answer is "We don't know", there is not much to say except that you should be thankful you didn't live a few centuries earlier, when a lot more questions (e.g., What causes diseases?) should have been answered like that. Unfortunately, in earlier centuries a lot of them were still answered the same way you are answering the origins questions today, with a superstitious just-so story for which there is no evidence...

Date: 2007/04/09 21:05:24, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (stevestory @ April 09 2007,18:15)
FtK, if we showed up at your door, out of the blue, with a freshman biology test, what do you think you'd score?

That is exactly how I feel. In the days of google, it is hard to test anyone's knowledge in these forums. But a short essay test, given away from the computer, would do wonders toward dispelling the legend-in-her-own-mind myth that FtK has even a minimal understanding of biology, evolution, and science.

Based on the two times I quizzed her and DT, using thought problems with no history on the creo/ID websites, she would fail a freshman biology test on evolution. But that's OK, because, as she tells us repeatedly, she really isn't here to talk about science.

Date: 2007/04/10 07:29:59, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ April 09 2007,21:36)
For the sake of argument, Dave, let's assume that I know absolutely nothing about *anything*.  How's that work for you?  

Now, you teach me.  You start wherever you need to in order for me to understand why macroevolution is a ~fact~.  You can act as though you're talking to a 1st grader if that makes you happy, but teach me something instead of endlessly telling everyone that I'm a half baked moron.  

I await for my first biology lesson..


Well. actually, that was what I was trying to do on your blog before you cut me off.

I have never assumed that you know nothing. I think all of us know something, and are ignorant about other things; I've left comments on your blog about all the things that I don't know anything about.

I now understand that you accept lots of things that are wrong. If your readings in biology recently have been restricted to the writings of Walt Brown and Duane Gish, you have a head full of things that are wrong. I have learned, to my dismay over the years, that unlearning things is actually harder than learning things. And that is actually backed up by modern neuroscience (e.g. Zull's The Art of Changing the Brain).

Nevertheless, I'll tell you what I can do to help you get up to speed here. If your basic biology background needs upgrading, I can send you, free of charge, an intro college-level textbook. Since I coordinate our intro course every fall, I get lots of free books from publishers who want me to adopt those books. The pricetag to the student ranges from $85-120 (I know, it's a ripoff). But rather than have them languish on my shelves, I'd be happy to donate one to this cause. Let me know an address where I can send it, and we can start from there.

Oh, BTW, my comments on your blog are not meant 'to find ammunition to state endlessly that (you) "know nothing about science"'. I'd really rather not state that endlessly; I'd really rather discuss science. When can we start?

Date: 2007/04/10 10:39:42, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Well, Blipey's comment got through on the Humes review post on FtK's blog. Ignore the first comment from Farfarman, who still hasn't read all of Monkey Girl and seems rather proud of that.

In a long post, Blipey asked some serious questions, in a respectful manner, and got this in return...
Forthekids said...

   Well, thanks for your point of view, Blipey.

   Question: After reading my review, did you find anything misleading about Humes lecture? Anything at all?

   Just curious.

Like wow, man...

Date: 2007/04/10 11:13:46, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (demallien @ April 10 2007,10:43)
Furthermore, people routinely misunderstand each other even during simple communications on the internet.  Take our little exchange on the meaning of the term "ad-hominem".  In my PS, I mentionned that you should feel free to substitute "personal insult" for "ad-hominem insult" if you felt that the "latin is a bit too much".  For me, writing the phrase, I was having a little dig at myself, indicating my awareness of the fact that the use of the latin adjective was a bit pretentious, a bit over the top, a bit exaggerated, a bit too much.  You chose to interpret my comment rather as a sledge on your ability to understand latin.  If two people, discussing a side issue of no importance can't clearly communicate, how on earth do you think it's possible to clearly identify the honesty or otherwise of someone's words when discussing something of substance?

PS: Regardless of your post, "ad-hominem" is still an adjective, both in latin and when used in english, particularly if used in a phrase such as "ad-hominem fallacy", "ad-hominem argument" or indeed "ad-hominem insult".  The fact that we sometimes abuse this when debating and use it as a noun in no way invalidates its (correct) use as an adjective...

How, indeed, can one tell if an opponent in an argument is communicating honestly?  One good way is to see if they actually pause and look for supporting or contrary evidence, rather than continuing full-steam-ahead as if the challenge to their argument was inconsequential.

Is ad hominem an adjective?  Does it contain a hyphen? Is Demallien correct about these "side issues"?

Let's go to the mother lode, the Oxford English Dictionary. Here's what she says.
ad hominem (phr.): A phrase applied to an argument or appeal founded on the preferences or principles of a particular person rather than on abstract truth or logical cogency.

It seems to be a phrase (not an adjective), and it seems to be hyphen-free. It most assuredly is not an adjective "in latin", it is a phrase there as well.

I'd say, based on the evidence, that Louis is correct about this one. Maybe Demallien can read my first comment on this thread and admit the error. That would be the honest thing to do.

Date: 2007/04/10 15:43:42, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
FtK has responded to Blipey, and even allowed Zach to post on her blog re the review of Humes's lecture. I just sent her a comment, and since I have no delusions that it will appear there, I will copy it here.
FtK wrote: I think that there comes a point when discussing certain scientific issues that you run right smack dab into religious and philosophical questions, and we just have to deal with them. When you hit that point where they merge, everyone needs to take a deep breath and allow for it to happen. Discuss and allow consideration of a variety of ideas. To cling tightly to one theory because it eliminates any chance of considering a bigger picture that may lead closer to reality, is putting a limit on what we can learn. Personally, I have no problem teaching every aspect of evolution as long as we are allowed to thoroughly question the theory and not allow it to lead to a dead end where we no longer search for answers but just assume that we have the “facts“.

Actually, we run smack dab into religious and philosophical implications rather than questions. And it is at that point that we need to ask ourselves if we are discarding scientific interpretations due to scientific disagreements, or if we are discarding them because of their religious and philosophical implications. You are on record as believing that we should "follow the evidence"; it is difficult to follow it if the religious or philosophical implications stand in the path.

And it is profoundly ironic when you write To cling tightly to one theory because it eliminates any chance of considering a bigger picture that may lead closer to reality, is putting a limit on what we can learn. Personally, I have no problem teaching every aspect of evolution as long as we are allowed to thoroughly question the theory and not allow it to lead to a dead end where we no longer search for answers but just assume that we have the “facts“.

Scientific theories, because they generate questions and testable hypotheses, rarely lead to dead ends. Even the dead ones, like Lamarckianism, led to something else once the tests and experiments disproved the theory. Science never assumes that we have all the facts; it is always looking to fill in the gaps and find a bigger picture. ID, on the other hand, is the archetypal dead end. Without a mechanism, it cannot  generate predictions; without predictions, it goes nowhere. It is already a big picture; there are no gaps. And it does, almost by definition, assume that we have all the facts that we need. By your standards, we shouldn't include ID in a science curriculum.

Date: 2007/04/11 11:03:09, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Kristine @ April 11 2007,10:22)
Not according to this paper that I read by Dembski.

I think I’m the only one here who read this and I found it (among other things) really instructive in terms of the aims of someone like Dembski, aside from the short-term goals indicated by the nefarious Wedge.

Crikey, Kristine!  That paper you linked to was an incredibly compelling reminder about why I gave up reading theology years ago. Only a few pages in, we find this incomprehensible paragraph, focusing on things (e.g. angels, the Fall) which can never be proven to exist. Why would anyone waste time on "thinking" about stuff like this?
Mainstream Christian theology used to explain the origin of evil as follows: Evil is the result of a will that has turned against God. Just why a will should turn against God, however, is a profound mystery (2 Thessalonians 2:7 refers to “the mystery of iniquity”). Since everything is created by God, a will that turns against God is also created by God. But a good God presumably created a good will. How, then, could a good will turn against God? I’m not sure that any final answer can be given to this question. Invoking freedom of the will is little help here. To be sure, freedom of the will contains within it the logical possibility of a will turning against God. But why should a good will created by a good God exercise its freedom in that way (for instance, Christian theology teaches that there are good angels whose wills never turned against God)?

Got that? There will be a quiz tomorrow.

One of our local Baptist ministers has a website where he posts his turgid musings on similar topics. Since I got into a letters-to-the-editor exchange with him a while back on the topic of science and evolution, I peek at his ponderings every so often (I think I am probably the only person ever to visit this site). Here is one of today's musings, evaluting the "reasoning" for the doctrine that God is immutable.
Let us think of the doctrine of creation in light of immutability. In one sense God has already created and so that could never change in terms of fact. But if God changed, would the laws of “nature” be changed as well? Would God change His mind about gravity? What if He decided to move the sun closer or farther away from the earth? What if He decided that He liked a faster rotation of the earth? We also know that God upholds the world by the word of His power. What would happen if He decided not to do that? When we look at the teachings of Scripture regarding the Trinity and of creation, both depend on the attribute of immutability. Every day when we get up, we depend on God’s immutability whether we recognize that or not. When we walk outside and the sun is shining, we can only walk and the sun can only shine because God has not changed.

Like Dembski, he can just crank this stuff out endlessly. I wouldn't recommend a visit to his site unless you have a serious problem with insomnia.

Date: 2007/04/11 11:21:25, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (demallien @ April 11 2007,10:50)
Also just where did I say "conclusively"? Bad Demallien!
Err, where did I say that you said "conclusively"? Bad Louis!


It's really important that you answer this Louis.  If you can't conclusively tell that someone is being dishonest, then your whole position falls down around you.

I've really never seen a more ridiculous example of contradicting oneself in the same short comment. It usually is best to wait a couple of posts or two; people might not notice it then...

Date: 2007/04/11 11:47:15, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (demallien @ April 11 2007,11:32)

Help me out here.  Where's the contradiction? Judging by where you snip, you seem to think that I have claimed that Louis said "conclusively".  And yet, no.  Never said any such thing...

I imagine that, considering your earlier post, you'll be publicly admitting your error in this discussion shortly?

By repeatedly demanding that Louis demonstrate something "conclusively" or CONCLUSIVELY or CONCLUSIVELY you are putting words in his mouth. That is a de facto claim about what he said, and he never said anything of the sort.

Back at ya, and awaiting your admission of error. But based on your weaseling about the lack of difference between an adjective and an adjectival phrase, the sudden omission of the hyphen in your alleged adjective, and your failure to acknowledge your error about Latin grammar, I'll not be holding my breath for that.

Date: 2007/04/11 14:04:09, Link
Author: Albatrossity2

Two quick points before I head to class (coincidentally a class for our new graduate students that teaches them about effective communication in the classroom, in a grant proposal, in a scientific presentation, etc.).

1) I am with you 100% on the "framing" arguments. The sound-bite approach is a race to the bottom. I don't want to win that race.

2) Non-scientists (I presume Demallien is one) have problems with two aspects of science that we take for granted. One is the notion that multiple lines of evidence, supporting a conclusion, is powerful support. Again in line with the sound-bite approach to life and science, many non-scientists think that if one line of evidence (out of dozens) is weakened, the entire framework must collapse. The second is that scientific ideas are forged in a crucible of criticism, and that ideas are considerably more important than persons. When someone questions your approach in a grant proposal, or questions your conclusion in a manuscript, they are not attacking you personally. And if you want to make progress, you need to listen to the ideas and not pretend that it is a personal attack.  Surely there are exceptions to this, as we all know. But in general, it works. It is a hard thing for non-scientists, particularly those whose ideas are weaker than their personalities, to fathom.

Date: 2007/04/11 17:07:31, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (demallien @ April 11 2007,14:37)
So wait, if I understand you correctly, if I ask you for example "Albatrossity, what time is it?" then according to you I'm making a defacto claim that you have stated the time.  Maybe in Bizarro World!

My mind can not even begin to grasp how you can twist logic to arrive at that conclusion.

Nope, you deleted a step. Let's go through this again, slowly.

Louis said something; in your flawed analogy it would be akin to "I think it is 4 PM." This is the step that you deleted; in order to claim that someone is putting words into someone else's mouth, there have to be some words uttered by that person first. That is most assuredly NOT the same thing as asking a question. He made a statement first.

You then construed that to mean something analogous to this statement:"You said that you could tell me that it is 5 PM!"

I concluded, and I am not alone in this conclusion, that you put words into his mouth. He never said 5 PM, you did. You are making a de facto claim that he said something, but he never did.

Hope this helps. Now can we get back to the real thread?

Date: 2007/04/12 19:20:00, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
FtK wrote:
Now, according to the Bible, that crazy make believe dude in the sky has made up all these horrible rules to live by.

Interesting. Can you point to the passage in the Bible where the crazy make believe dude in the sky rules specifically against premarital sex? Or defines marriage?

Or is it possible that these rules were made up by the folks who wrote the Bible, ignoring the rules made up by other sky-dudes for other cultures?

Alternatively, if you'd rather not justify this statement, you could answer the questions Zach and I left for you yesterday on your blog.

thanks in advance

Date: 2007/04/13 08:40:42, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ April 12 2007,22:41)
Interesting. Can you point to the passage in the Bible where the crazy make believe dude in the sky rules specifically against premarital sex? Or defines marriage?

Interestingly enough, I've never found any specific verses about premarital sex, that's why I engaged in lot of it.  JUST KIDDING!

But seriously, right from the very beginning the big guy points out the relationship between man and women.   We also have a big 'ol commandment about not commiting adultry, along with other guidelines for sexual conduct in the law.  

There are stories galore giving examples of the crap that follows when biblical patriarchs blew it and were constantly getting a little on the side.  Monogomy is the ticket to a happy healthy sex life, IMHO. :)  

Premarital sex - don't know what to tell ya.  But, I do know that one man/one woman for life seems to be the best option when considering all the pros and cons.

But, then what do I know...I'm actually guillible enough to believe in God <gasp!>.

Alternatively, if you'd rather not justify this statement, you could answer the questions Zach and I left for you yesterday on your blog.

Patience--I just posted my response to Jeremy.  You're next.

It would have been quicker to answer my questions by just saying "No, there aren't any specific rules against premarital sex, and no definitions." The commandment against "adultry" is an interesting interpretation, since the traditional definition of adultery is "the voluntary sexual intercourse of a married person with one of the opposite sex" (Oxford English Dictionary). That would not include premarital sex between unmarried folks.

Of course theologians have been known to stretch definitions. A marriage of a Christian to a Jew was called "interpretative adultery", even within the bonds of matrimony. The fact that you interpret stuff as being consistent with how you think about it is not really on the same level of specificity. And that doesn't even begin to address the question of why folks who don't believe in your particular sky-dude should have to go along with your interpretations.

I do find it interesting that you can respond quickly and in your own words to these theological questions, but will delay several days on questions of science. You probably posted a dozen or so comments here at AtBC in the last day or so, but none were substantive discussions of science or biology. My comment on your blog only asks if you agree or disagree with 6 statements, so that I can figure out if we are able to proceed from common assumptions. How long does it take to say "agree" or "disagree" to 6 statements?  Do you have to consult with Walt Brown or Duane Gish before answering questions about what you think or what you know re biology and science? If so, doesn't that tell you something?

Date: 2007/04/13 09:48:02, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ April 13 2007,09:17)
That would not include premarital sex between unmarried folks.

I never said it did.  I said I haven't found any verses giving specific instructions about premaritial sex.  Why do you always mess with my words?

Actually, that is why I take my time responding to you on my blog.  I have to read through my response several times before posting to be sure I'm articulate enough for you to get the message and not read something else into it.

It's easy to post here because I have no intention of putting much thought into anything. It's not worth the time, because regardless of what I say, it's going to get twisted anyway.  LOL. :p

Wow, that was quick ;)

Re your lack of biblical support for admonitions against premarital sex, you're right. I'm wrong. I did not acknowledge the fact that you never said anything about such verses. Mea culpa; I'll make an effort to read more closely in the future.

But in regard to my current wait for your reply to my last substantive comment on your blog, I'm pretty sure I could read and comprehend "agree" or "disagree". I don't think I would "twist" those words.

And I also note that you did not confirm or deny my supposition that you seek outside help from creationist sources before replying to science/biology-oriented comments on your blog. That makes me even more certain that I am right about that.

Date: 2007/04/13 10:45:42, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ April 13 2007,09:57)
I have talked to various authors who have written books on creation, ID and evolution in the past.  But, I have NEVER contacted them about anything we've discussed.  You're questions aren't that difficult to answer, dave. ;)

No, they aren't difficult to answer. I didn't say that they were; in fact, I think I've said exactly the opposite

Date: 2007/04/13 11:00:06, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ April 13 2007,10:48)
The anonymous commenter sent me two more cryptic comments.  It must have some secret meaning!
.....At the gate at midnight...

....Friday the 13th.....

So, we have "the wolf howls when the moon is full at the gate at midnight Friday the 13th!"

Today is Friday the 13th!!!  What could this mean? And, does it have anything to do with the Design conference at SMU???  So mysterious...

My hypothesis is that these are in response to DaveScot's (the former Marine and auto-dipwad millionaire) paranoid list of non-negotiable parameters for his upcoming meeting with Blipey (the evilutionist actor). I hope Blipey has all his shots; if he bites one of Dave's dogs, there will certainly be #### to pay.. And I hope he is wearing his St. Darwin medal at all times  :)

Date: 2007/04/13 13:47:36, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
FtK wrote, re Old Testament rules and regulations that seem a tad harsh today...
Here is the clincher in regard to the laws. Many of the laws and the sacrificial offerings were dispelled after the death of Christ.

I'll leave the rest of that lengthy and fascinating post to someone else, and just focus on the statement above.

Let's accept that at face value, just for the sake of argument. Is there some place where we can find a list of the OT stuff that no longer applies? Is homosexuality on the list? Is the list different for Catholics and Protestants? Is the list different for different brands of Protestants (some of whom accept homosexuality as a biological fact, rather than treating it as an OT-variety sin)? Who decides?

Date: 2007/04/13 14:36:04, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ April 13 2007,14:13)
Maybe you should have gone ahead and read the rest of it.

I presume this is supposed to be a response to my post.
Well, this time I did "read the rest of it". But I didn't find a list. Therefore I requested a list, or some linkage to such a list. I don't think I got that anywhere in your response; I did get a bunch of vague handwaving about a new covenant. Who came up with this covenant, did they generate a list, and when did this occur? Has it changed since it was first devised? When?
Remember, I'm a scientist, and I prefer explicit answers rather than vagueness. If such a list doesn't exist, or if it might vary with time, or creed, or ???, then you'll have to forgive me if I don't seem too impressed with what seems to be another version of "what the Iron Age pundits mean to me, personally."
Care to try again?

Date: 2007/04/13 14:52:02, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ April 13 2007,14:30)
Have you ever considered that we aren't "darwinists" because there's no such thing (oh I know the term gets bandied about by everyone but it has annoyingly false dogmatic connotations) and that we aren't spoiling for a fight?

Yeah, I know you hate the term, but likewise, I hate being called a creationist, an IDist, an IDiot, and the million other labels that have been applied to me (including the Wicked Witch of the West (RSR) and "vile hag" (gotta love Skatje Myers)).

Anyway, I don't know what to call you because evolutionist is not accurate (I'm an evolutionist).  It is the philosophical position that everything evolved from that first molecule that renders the problem.  Hence you are considered Darwinists.  Sorry.

As far as you "spoiling for a fight", it seems that from what I've read in this forum you guys are rather delighted with the thought, and you throw out fighting words and ridicule at the drop of a hat.  So, yeah, I think some of you enjoy the "fight".

If you were really interested in understanding the position of ID advocates, more of you would be working with them rather then working against them as hard as possible while doing everything in your power to misrepresent much of what they are doing.

Boy, there is a lot of stuff in that comment that needs to be unpacked.

FtK - Do you understand the difference between a personal insult (vile hag) and a pejorative term which implies that you learned all the biology you need to know from creationist websites?
Do you understand that terms have specific meanings in science, and that misuse of those terms not only impedes communication, but implies ignorance of the topic under discussion?
Do you understand that repeated misuse of terms, particularly if others have made multiple attempts to correct that misuse, marks you as not only ignorant but unwilling to engage in productive communication?
Do you understand that your perception of others "spoiling for a fight" might have a lot to do with your misuse of that (and other) terms, which automatically marks you as ignorant and unwilling to engage in productive communication?
And finally, do you understand that your self-description as being an evolutionist, while denying the fact of common descent and the evidence for macroevolution, does nothing to dispel either of those perceptions?

Words have meanings. Communication depends on understanding and accepting those meanings. Honest communication depends on not changing those meanings to suit ourselves.

Date: 2007/04/13 15:53:23, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ April 13 2007,15:32)
Dave - got it.  FTK = ignorant.  You've made that point many times in the past.  Does repeating yourself get tiring?

Wrong, again.

FtK = ignorant about science (you might be quite intelligent about other stuff, I have no idea)

Additionally, as has been pointed out by me and lots of others, questioning your ideas and understanding of science is not personal. That's how science works (ideally). Let's talk about the ideas, and see if we can get past the personal stuff.

And yes, it does get tiring to keep saying that (and lots of other things). You could help me out by giving me a glimmer of hope that you understand it.

Date: 2007/04/13 17:23:20, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ April 13 2007,16:30)
Oh, I understand, Dave.  I simply disagree. ;)

Before I reply in any detail, I guess I need to know with which of the (five or so) questions I posed, do you "simply disagree"? It might be interesting to see how you finesse your thinking that it is OK to appear ignorant by repeating a gratuitously insulting term, but not OK to be called ignorant when you do that...
Quote (Ftk @ April 13 2007,16:30)
Honestly, I do understand the concerns that many of you have.   But, I still think that ID falls under the category of science, and I don't believe that it is a threat to scientific advancement whatsoever.   The fear and hesitation to accept ID centers around the philosophical and religious implications.

It might not be a "threat to scientific advancement", but it will never be a contributor, either. And it is a threat to education, because it promotes unscientific and muddled thinking, conflates science with religion and philosophy, and wastes time.

Again, as just about everyone else on this thread has pointed out, ID will be seriously considered as science when ID predictions are tested, and the results published in peer-reviewed journals as well as presented (and criticized) at regular scientific meetings. The reluctance of mainstream scientists to short-circuit that pathway is something that you certainly do need to understand. You can keep saying that you you "think" it is science, but that is not going to be enough. Ever.

Date: 2007/04/14 15:14:13, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (phonon @ April 14 2007,14:17)
Conclusion? Obviously this is a brilliant piece of design

The conclusion is obvious. No science necessary.
End of story.

Oh, but it's not the end of the story. Some nimrod named rrf chimes in with this
Did the authors calculate CSI? If not that would be a great project for some of the scientists here.

It certainly would be a great project; are there any scientists over there? We'll be waiting...

Date: 2007/04/16 11:41:55, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Richardthughes @ April 16 2007,11:15)
Phonon, DaveTard didn't get the memo.

Since DT seems even more clueless than usual, and the banninator was operated by WAD hisself, it seems reasonable to conclude that WAD reads this site, discovered phonon's clever ruse, and took action immediately.
After all, he really doesn't have much else to do these days.

Date: 2007/04/16 12:11:32, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (k.e @ April 16 2007,12:03)

To be charitable ......maybe he's secretly basking in Kristines Shimmer....then maybe not.

That must be it. He probably is more worried about the shimmy than the "hip" avatar of Newton/Dembski that phonon uses on this site...

Date: 2007/04/16 20:56:19, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Well, I outed myself fairly recently here, so there is no need to give the biographical stuff again.

As for why I am here, it's because I learn a lot, and I need to know a lot as a professor of biology at a university in Kansas. I get lots of students with lots of backgrounds, and some of them are just plain confused by the stuff that they have "learned" in school (and Sunday school). The folks on this forum, especially Zach, phonon, Reciprocating Bill, Kristine, Arden, k.e., Richard, and all of the other usual suspects, have some good insights into the workings of the creationist mind, and I have benefitted greatly from listening in here!

Date: 2007/04/17 08:48:36, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Over at FtK's blog, DaveScot almost accepts an evolutionary explanation:
Taking it off has never been my problem. Keeping it off is the problem. I read it's genetic in many cases (particularly those of northern european descent) and only gets worse as you get older. Your body is "programmed" to store an increasing amount of body fat as you age. For longevity in hunter/gatherer times this was a good strategy for as your ability to hunt/gather decreased with age and injuries that keep you out of the hunt become more frequent and recovery times longer you had more stored fat to get you through those rough spots.

but then remembers who he is talking to
You need to eat a well balanced diet and count calories. That works every time as long as you make your calorie goals and for many people is neither unnatural or unhealthy. It's just the way we are designed.

Clearly we were designed for different times. Since that design doesn't seem so intelligent in these times, it must be a sign of the impending Apocalypse!

Date: 2007/04/18 11:27:56, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Curiously, the godless secular humanists in the creative writing program tried to help this guy, even though they didn't seem to be able to get through to him or the university administrators. Even more curiously, he seemed to be a member of a conservative Christian religion, and there is no evidence that anyone in his church tried to intervene...

I wonder how the DI will spin that.

Date: 2007/04/18 11:53:24, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ April 18 2007,11:28)
Even more curiously, he seemed to be a member of a conservative Christian religion,

What's your link for that?

I heard it on NPR this morning, when they were talking about his family back in Centreville, VA. Of course, since NPR is a bastion of secular humanists as well, we certainly can't trust it.

Date: 2007/04/18 19:50:03, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Yeah, when one of these bats snags an albatross, I'll be impressed ;)

Date: 2007/04/19 13:21:43, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (blipey @ April 19 2007,11:13)
I wont use him to club Christians with, it's not fair nor right.

I absolutely agree.  But I will use DaveTard's comments about him to club DaveTard with.  That is both right and funny.

He might not say much from now on; so far he has resisted this bait.
DaveScot wrote: I'm willing to bet long odds he wasn't a member of any mainstream Christian church, that's for sure. Islam wouldn't be surprising as mass murder of anonymous strangers including women and children in innocent public settings to make a political point seems to be de rigueur for them.

Let's clarify a couple of things. I might be willing to take that bet.

What are the "mainstream" Christian churches?


What's the bet? A bottle of single malt scotch?

Date: 2007/04/20 08:27:56, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Wow, I need to start trying to stay up later so that I can participate in these "discussions".  That's a lot of traffic at a time when those of us in the Central Time Zone are heading off to sleep. Of course, it is just the middle of the day for k.e.

I think carlsonjok pretty well nailed it. If you are here for the entertainment, that's what you'll get. If you are here for any serious consideration of science, forget about it. It's not gonna happen.

Date: 2007/04/20 13:26:21, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
In a comment thread on FtK's blog (in which FtK still needs to answer some questions from blipey and myself), Larry Farfaraway writes one of the classics of IDiot projection.
If nothing else, I have found ID to be highly educational. Before ID, I had no idea of the great complexity and organization of microscopic and chemical biological systems -- e.g., the bacterial flagellum and the blood-clotting cascade. Darwinists are unscholarly and anti-intellectual because they want to prevent people from learning about these things.

This was emitted by a guy who writes book reviews without reading the entire book, and then brags about it. I'm pretty sure that the evil "Darwinists" are not responsible for Larry's lack of education on things biological; it seems more likely to be his very own synapses (or lack thereof).

Date: 2007/04/21 18:43:12, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Apparently I hit a nerve, causing FtK to close the comments on this thread, and accuse me of "causing more hatred."

I respectfully disagree with that accusation. Read it for yourself and see.

Date: 2007/04/21 19:17:49, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ April 21 2007,18:52)
I stated that "You've all had a chance to get your digs in now".  That was refering to ~everyone~ who commented on that thread, including me.

Well, thanks. I guess I needed the reminder, even though I can't begin to count how many things you've had to be reminded of in the past. But let's explore this a bit further, and accept that it's not about me at all.

Since my last post was aimed at DaveScot, were you imagining that he might comment with something hateful, and you would have to choose between blocking that comment OR living with his invective?

That would be a nasty dilemma, I agree. So it was a clever move to block all further comments. Bravo!

Date: 2007/04/23 10:17:06, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
In case you hadn't noticed, FtK posted this blog message yesterday.
Worth the read
Walt Brown has worked for 20+ years exploring a YE interpretation of scientific data, and over the years, has offered some fascinating theories. What I like most about his work is that it is very comprehensive. He has an eye for being able to see the big picture.

He has added a section to his website on the Grand Canyon. He has made many trips to the Grand Canyon over the years to conduct field work, and recently led a group in exploring his conclusions. Interesting read.

He also provides his take on global warming.

I sent her a comment, but it seems not to have made it through "moderation". Perhaps she is still irritated by my musings about DaveScot's bet on the religious background of the VT killer. Or whatever. But since she has posted a new blog post or two, and several comments have come through moderation in the interim, I'm assuming that my comment will never see the light of day over there. So I'm posting it here.

Why, exactly, is this "worth the read?" Where, exactly, have any of Walt Brown's theories about "hydroplates" been published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature? If it is not peer-reviewed, why do you believe it, unless you have a lot of background in geology?

Most importantly, do you believe that the earth is less than 10,000 years old, and the Noachian flood was responsible for the Grand Canyon? Please tell me if you do, and I will immediately cease reading this blog and pestering you with scientific questions. And you might feel better about yourself, having finally shed that ill-fitting disguise of "it's all about the science and the search for truth" in favor of those comfortable creationist robes.

Date: 2007/04/23 11:03:49, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ April 23 2007,10:39)
For a KSU professor, you sure act more like a preschooler, Dave.

Ya gonna come over here and nark ~every~ time I reject one of your comments?  Go for it, but that might keep you pretty busy.  

The only people who read this forum are die hard ID bashers.  What do I care if you come over here and tattle.

BTW, I'm open minded to various interpretations of the age of the earth, and I've mentioned that in that past.  If that keeps you from visiting my blog, so what?  Buzz off then.

Have a great day.

I am not sure what "nark" means to you, but I am pretty sure that most meanings have little or nothing to do with pre-schoolers.

But to set your mind at ease, no, I'm not going to post any more rejected comments. In fact, you rejected another one yesterday, and I didn't bother to bring it up here, since I think this one is more important.

In this case, by avoiding the question on your own blog, and asserting here that you are "open-minded" with regard to the age of the earth, you make the conclusion unavoidable that I should not even bother to read, much less comment on your blog. The evidence for the age of the earth is overwhelmingly against the creationist notion that it might be less than 10,000 years. The fact that you even pretend that "science" supports you in this argument implies that scientific evidence will never play a role in convincing you about anything. Reality will not ever be allowed to trump faith, either in your head or on your blog. That is sad. Reality is all that I, or any scientist, can bring to the table.

So please go back to your trademark smarm and ooze, preaching to your choir, rooting for DaveScot in his battles against evilutionists, cheesy-poofs, and blipey, and don't worry that this particular scientist will ever darken your comments again.

Date: 2007/04/23 13:22:46, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
I dunno about you, Rich, but I was much cuter than either of those guys when I was a baby.

Date: 2007/04/24 08:57:56, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ April 24 2007,08:45)
I've been in these forums enough to know the style in which you people debate.  It's called twist, spin, misrepresent, and name call.  


You're certainly not going to change opinions in this debate if you can't play fair.

Remarkable.  As if anyone here had a chance of doing anything that would change her opinions. I just looked back at some of those KCFS threads, and it is clear that FtK's position hasn't changed a bit. You could drag those 2-yr old posts over here and nobody would know the difference.

Just for the record, FtK, what would it take to change your opinion from creationist BS to a state of accepting reality and then figuring out how to accomodate it to your religion?

Feel free to ignore this question like you have ignored Steve's...

Date: 2007/04/24 10:28:37, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ April 24 2007,07:47)

The 4.5 billion year age of the earth doesn't bother me, so I'm not sure why you keep bringing it up, Arden.  But, I keep an open mind about these issues, and seriously consider ~all~ the arguments from both sides of the debate.

So sue me for not refusing to join in the dogma.

From Meert's blog, a post about a geologist attending a conference where creationists discuss the age of the earth.
I asked why no recognized experts on radiometric dating were invited to participate in the conference, given that none of the speakers had any training or experience in experimental geochronology. He was candid enough to admit that they would have liked to included one on the team, but there are no young-earth geochronologists in the world. He also agreed that the mechanism for accelerating radioactivity by nearly a billion-fold during a single year (the flood year) was a major problem for the
group that in the end will probably only be resolved by invoking a “cosmic-scale event” or miracle. He further conceded that at this point they have no physical evidence for this miracle. Apparently, dissipation of the heat produced during the event is, in the end, going to require yet an additional miracle.

Perhaps FtK can show up at the next conference and set that poor dogmatic geologist straight. He needs to keep an "open mind" about miracles...

Date: 2007/04/24 10:51:22, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ April 24 2007,10:39)
LOL, I've set Meert straight on more than one occasion.  I'll have to see if I can dig up some of our old conversations about his "offer" to debate Brown.  What a crock.

LOL indeed.

Nobody gives a rodent's rectum about any history that you or Meert have with Walt Brown. You don't need to dig up old conversations. How about just addressing the issue in this conversation that no experimental geochronologist accepts a YEC timeline?  How about addressing the issue in this conversation that accepting a YEC timeline will require supernatural events? It may be adequate in your mind to dismiss this conversation with "What a crock". But it won't really work anywhere else.

thanks in advance

Date: 2007/04/24 14:35:56, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Kristine @ April 24 2007,14:24)
Ha! Ha! Ha! Thus, the good ASA cannot create evil! It is attacking evil! Those darn YECs have a will that turned against the ASA. Now, you may ask how the ASA could have members with a rebellious will to turn against the ASA. It's a profound mystery. But the point is, the evil resulting from the YEC rebellion is certainly not the ASA's fault! The YECs have sinned!

Oww!  I will need to smack myself with a bioinformatics textbook for a couple of hours before I can understand stuff at that level of thinking! I know there was a reason that they called it Theo-idiocy...

Date: 2007/04/24 15:23:32, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Jasper @ April 24 2007,15:01)
If one generously defines "Darwinist" as "anyone who disagrees with FtK," there were a total of 38 different "Darwinists" that posted to that thread:

Well, since she is on record with a definition that Darwinist=jerk, we'd probably have to add at least one name to the list, e.g.

   Salvador Cordova

The best comment on that whole thread comes from about the middle (page 35). Jack Krebs wrote      
What we are experiencing here is a long, drawn-out form of the Gish Gallop: no matter what responses are made to all the unsubstantiated and incorrect assertions that are made in one cut-and-paste from Brown, instead of a discussion all we get is another cut-and-paste with more unsubstantiated and incorrect assertions.

What I don't understand is why ftk doesn't see that in the eyes of virtually everyone here, this looks foolish. Her persistence, while it may look admirable to her, merely comes across to me as a symptom of denial - a persistent reluctance to see that this tactic is impressing no one.

What's next?

Date: 2007/04/24 15:57:06, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Richardthughes @ April 24 2007,15:44)
Well, I’m pretty close to your 8 year old, and it seems to me that the TEer loudly proclaims his belief in God and demands that God leave no fingerprints in the cosmos, whereas the IDer makes no claims about God (when he’s wearing his ID hat) but is open to detecting design in nature.

emphasis mine.

ID hat pictured below

Date: 2007/04/24 19:29:39, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (J-Dog @ April 24 2007,19:26)
I don't recognize the pictured ID scientist.... must be a new DI Fellow.  Could this be Dr. Michael Egnor?

Or, could it be one of the most excellent "regulars" at UD?  Could it be TroutMac?  

Come on down, and let's play Name That ID Proponent!

Well, the image comes from a "raptureready" site, so I suspect it is Cordova...

Date: 2007/04/25 11:50:30, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
I can't help myself. Even though I had a religious upbringing, and thus should be well-behaved and polite, I must comment on one of the FtK quotes in slpage's most excellent rant.
It doesn't matter what I say, as I am a (gasp) Creationist, and as such am declared a pirahna to all scientific thought.

Actually, she's a bit more like a carp. Not enough teeth to be a piranha...

Date: 2007/04/25 13:03:54, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
DS clarifies things for the masses:
If an ID proponent says something like “this pattern couldn’t have formed accidently because the earth is only 6,000 years old and that’s not long enough for chance & necessity to form the pattern” then you would have a point but only against that individual and not ID. ID doesn’t speak to the age of the earth so that individual is pulling that number of years from some other source.

Gee, I wonder what that "source" might be...

Date: 2007/04/26 18:53:57, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (phonon @ April 26 2007,17:55)
totally OT but check it out. i wouldn't miss this for the world.

ABC to Air LIVE Atheist Debate with Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort


Thanks for finding that link (I don't want to know how you stumbled across it, I just finished dinner). There is some world-class illogic in that article. Two of my particular favorites are
Atheism has become very popular in universities--where it's taught that we evolved from animals and that there are no moral absolutes. So we shouldn't be surprised when there are school shootings.

"But," Comfort continued, "there is something more sinister here than a few people not believing in God. Why would so many be so bitter against Christianity in particular? Why aren't they making videos that blaspheme Buddha or Mohammed or Ghandi?

Last time I checked, neither Buddha, Mohammed or Ghandi (sic) are considered to be deities? Isn't blasphemy restricted to deities? These people definitely need to get out more (as if we didn't know that already).

Date: 2007/04/30 11:21:36, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Richardthughes @ April 29 2007,19:45)
Davetard, that ID Peer reviewed journal - "WND" and FTK.


Wow. FTK links to a load of tripe, and DaveScot pats her on the back, then links to her blog from UD. Perhaps it will bump up the traffic there. Or not. But this unholy conjunction of WhirledNutDaily, DaveScot, and FTK is surely a sign of the impending Apocalypse!

Date: 2007/04/30 18:04:06, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Dr.GH @ April 30 2007,17:50)

Holy murder!

I rarely ever click on the links to UD, or OE you folks provide.  I am merely greatful that you take the work that I would rather avoid.  

But, in the example of Borne's hate rant I felt I should share the mind pollution as if it would somehow be deluted.

We must stop these pigs.  (My appologies to all non-human pigs).

Yeah, it is good to start with small doses. A thread with WND, DaveScot AND FtK is simply too much for the rational mind to bear.

I particularly liked this paragraph from the comment by someone named "bork"; perhaps he/she is the sorry offspring of an unholy union between FtK and JAD.
I don’t know if there is anything beyond what I see, but too simply dismiss it is preposterous. The idea that the universe is wholly rational cannot be supported by a materialist, nor does the apparent guiding force in evolution seem to dictate a paradigm of survival of the fittest. It seems to give credance that fittest is already defined. The more I think of convergant evolution, the more it seems like it actually supports a designer point of view.

They really need a spell-check program for the commenters at UD. Serious tard demands serious tools.

Date: 2007/05/01 15:32:20, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Excellent! Right on the front page of the website they link to a story in WhirledNutDaily, an expose "where two 70 year old grandmas get put into jail for sharing their faith on a public sidewalk in America!

I predict that FtK will link to this site, or use some of their text, within the week...

Date: 2007/05/01 15:48:17, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Thank FSM I have another appointment this afternoon or I would probably get sucked into reading more on this site...

Is there some rule which says that creationists don't have to learn spelling or grammar? On the "KentHovind" section of this site, we learn:
Being able to bare good fruit is God's sign of approval. Can a ministry bare fruit that is not approved by God? You might ask: But what about all the stuff that a person does? If God were to judge all ministries by the individual that runs it, how many would stand? And if you started one, and allowed God to judge it the way you judge others, how far would you get? Sin of opinionation.

I thought I'd heard of every sin, but I gotta admit, the "sin of opinionation" is a a new one for me.

I suppose this means that after the Rapture, there won't be any more blogs...

Date: 2007/05/01 20:18:00, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
DS and FtK reinforce each other's scientifically-based opinions about global warming, after Dave notes that April was unseasonably cool in his part of the galaxy.

He needs to get out more, perhaps head to (gasp) France, or England, where ScienceDaily reports that April was the warmest on record in northern Europe, based on weather records dating back 350 years...

Of course, gathering actual data beyond the end of his nose would be completely out of character for DS, and FtK probably is still wondering how to spell "piranha", so her research efforts are being employed elsewhere.

Date: 2007/05/02 07:33:04, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ May 02 2007,06:57)
Dr Dumbski thinks that the latest news about the wiring of eyes supports ID.
Perhaps we need is some congressional research funds earmarked to tackle all these instance of “bad design” and show that they actually constitute great design

Yes indeed, but with English like "Perhaps we need is some congressional research funds" maybe funds for remedial classes in writting and wrotting would be more useful?

Why would he need to worry about that when his acolytes do it for him?  In that comment thread, some dittohead named Michaels7 writes:  
And this bears repeating by Dr. Dembski…
“Perhaps we need ()some congressional research funds earmarked to tackle all these instance of “bad design” and show that they actually constitute great design — things to inspire engineers to build better devices!”


Date: 2007/05/02 10:21:01, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (slpage @ May 02 2007,10:09)
Gishlick makes many of the same arguments I have made elsewhere regarding the Baraminology activity. For one, giving primacy to the "Scriptural criterion" seems to be a bit closed-minded and limiting on the 'objectivity' of the turht-seeking creation scientists...

And just to show that the nuts don't fall too far from the tree, we can read this in the comments on Dr. Dr. Dembski's UD post about how a recent paper on the anatomy of the retina is consistent with ID. Someone named nullusalas opines:
I think the greater point is, whether or not you can ‘prove’ ID in the lab (I’m skeptical about it philosophically, but I don’t have the expertise to evaluate ID’s technical arguments), this does show that you can walk into a lab with a philosophical presupposition of ID and achieve quite some interesting results.

Of course, this works best when you just "walk into a lab", and then presumably walk out without doing any actual experiments...

Date: 2007/05/02 18:57:39, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
In a comment thread filled with DaveScot's explanations about his height, the location of his truck and property, and descriptions of his neighbors, FtK encourages Dave to beat up Blipey and also looks on approvingly while her kids play god.
We get a lot of Herons here too. Last spring a pair of Mallards had some eggs on a small island the kids fish off of. We kept an eye on them and made sure the pair were well fed, but in the end a freaking heron had the eggs for lunch. Hubby was seriously pissed. Now, when the kids see herons on the pond, they go for their guns.

I hope that her kids don't tell anybody about heronicide when they pick up their prizes for the duck stamp contest this month. And someday I hope that they learn about the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which was amended in 1998 to allow the fine for a misdemeanor violation of that act to range up to $15,000. And yes, if you want to know, Great Blue Herons are protected under that law, as well as various Kansas statutes.

Of course, when the bible tells you that you have dominion over the earth, you really don't have to pay attention to those cheeky laws that restrict what you can do to the planet. When the Rapture comes, you get to leave this planet for the heathens to live on!

Date: 2007/05/03 06:26:19, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ May 02 2007,22:10)
You are such a dope, Dave.  My kids go after the Herons with a bee bee gun at very long range.  I assure you they are not going to ~kill~ a Heron.  Personally, I love watching them on the pond.  But, as I said in my comment to Dave, one of them ate the baby chicks that had ~just~ hatched, so it was *very* disappointing.  We had been taking care of that pair of Mallards for quite some time.

My husband and kids are members of Ducks Unlimited so they know all the rules *quite* well, thank you.  And, they've also been through hunter's saftey.  My husband is a stickler about the rules.

Thanks for the kind words about my intelligence.

It's good to hear that your kids know the rules. Now they should follow them.

Taking potshots at any protected bird with any kind of gun is still illegal. The language of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act prohibits attempts to "pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill, attempt to take, capture or kill,..." protected species. Herons are MORE protected than mallards; there is no season on herons. Unfortunately there is no organization called "Herons Unlimited". BB guns can kill, and they can certainly maim.

So please pass this along to your husband as well. He may know the "rules" about hunting ducks in season, but it is fairly obvious he, you, and your kids are ignorant about a federal law that has been on the books since the early 20th century.

I also find it odd that you feel that you and your family had been "taking care" of the mallards by providing them with a pond, and some food, but don't feel the same about the herons. What's the difference? Cuteness?  Is that a parameter that should be applied to make decisions about which creatures should be harrassed, and which should be protected?

Date: 2007/05/03 15:00:14, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Crikey, I have to teach class and go to boring meetings all morning, and then I come back to a couple of pages of very interesting stuff here! It was worth it; my field ornithology class got to see 68 species of birds in the foggy weather here today. And we didn't even have BB guns  ;)

For the record, I'm with Louis on this one. If someone wants to remain anonymous, that should be respected.

But doesn't it strike anyone else as odd that FtK's first response to having that picture posted was to try to post some more pictures?

Date: 2007/05/03 15:05:02, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (stevestory @ May 02 2007,19:38)
Wonder why Davetard's not wearing a wedding ring. Didn't he say he was married?

Remember that the photos were taken at his "house in the city". Maybe he doesn't wear his ring when he comes into town and stays there...

Date: 2007/05/04 11:03:27, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ May 04 2007,10:43)
Just about anything I write here is in jest.  I tend to write with sarcasm and I like to joke around.

So can we conclude that this (joking around) extends to the stuff you write or quote on your blog? Please let us know, because quoting stuff from World Net Daily or Walt Brown sure seems like a joke to me...

Date: 2007/05/04 11:49:42, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Actually, I'm surprised it was only three. Consider the audience that they are courting - Republican primary voters. At least here in Kansas, that group includes mostly right-wing authoritarians and affiliated wingnuts.

Date: 2007/05/04 14:21:07, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Kristine @ May 04 2007,14:05)
"It's just so obvious that things are designed!"

This brought to mind yesterday's Word of the Day, which resonated with me because it so accurately describes IDCists.
verbigeration (vuhr-bij-uh-RAY-shun) noun

  Obsessive repetition of meaningless words and phrases.

[From Latin verbigerare (to talk, chat), from verbum (word) + gerere (to carry on).]

The sentence quoted by Kristine is a great example. My personal favorites are "I accept microevolution, but there is no evidence for macroevolution", and "argument from personal credulity", a Behe original that is a staple for FtK.

Any other candidates for your favorite IDC verbigeration?

Date: 2007/05/07 11:54:23, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
More projection from DT
Ignoring contrary evidence is common with pundits of both manmade global warming and chance & necessity evolution. Also common is the driving forces behind both; politics, ideology, and a quest for power by a self-annointed (sic) progressive elite.

That's right!  Those evil scientists want all the power! And they are willing to ignore contrary evidence in order to seize it...

Date: 2007/05/07 13:19:56, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (J-Dog @ May 07 2007,12:36)
That's a great link!  I recommend reading the Ty Harris post - He lists @ 100 terms describing ID and ID Creos!  

Maybe he is a troll, and found a great way to sneak them onto Dembski's Very Own Blog!  This could even rival the Jeannie Bell Scam from last summer!

I dunno about his trollitude, but I particularly liked his comment
A few things I learned;

1. Naturalistic advocates have no explanation at all how we got from a pile of rocks to an information processor CAPABLE of adaptation and evolution. They consider it a “seperate matter” to be glossed-over.

I gotta wonder how you can say that with a straight face, when you are on a blog promoting intelligent design, and the party line is that the nature, timing, and mechanisms of the "designer" are a "separate matter" as well...

Date: 2007/05/08 09:35:23, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ May 07 2007,20:33)
I seriously don't know how you guys can praise Pat.  He is such a scare monger.

All his talk about fundies taking over the government is absolutely ridiculous.  I live in the freaking bible belt, and I don't know of ANYONE who comes even remotely close to being like the crazy fundies he constantly alludes to.

I also live in the "freaking bible belt", about an hour west of FtK's pond 'n prairie paradise, and I DO know people like this.

More to the point, who wrote the Wedge Document? As oldmaninthesky points out, that thing is filled with theocratic ambitions. If Dembski doesn't believe in the ideals espoused there, as FtK asserts (without evidence, per usual), where can we read that he has denounced them? And if he doesn't believe in those notions, but still takes a check from an organization devoted to them, what does that say about his character? Can you spell hypocrite???

As for this assertion        
His post made mention that we home school our kids and don't let them learn about science, etc.

as I pointed out in a comment on RSR, science is being short-shrifted in public schools, due to the bizarre ramifications of No Child Left Behind. Bush et. al are making it more likely that American schoolkids are ignorant about science. That may not be what they specifically planned to do (I'm not sure they are that clever), but it is certainly happening.

So, For The Kids, do you think that NCLB, with the concomitant de-emphasis on science in the public school curriculum, is good For Kids?

Date: 2007/05/08 11:30:35, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ May 08 2007,11:00)
While I think NCLB is going to fail our children in the long run, I certainly don't think that it was set up to oust science from the curriculum.  I mean, come on Dave, scientific literacy is at an all time high.  You cannot truly believe that anyone wants to purposely “short-shrift” science in the public schools.  

My kids seems to be getting a good science education.  My 6th grader spends more time on it than my 4th grader, but that probably makes sense.

IMO, reading, science and math are the most important classes for our kids, and I tell mine that all the time.

FtK - Did you notice that the study you cited, and the graph you posted, show data up to 1999? Do the math; that was 8 years ago, and under a different president...

And did you notice the percentage of Americans deemed scientifically literate by the weak criteria used in this survey? Do you think that 17% is a good score?

And did you read this sentence in that aged report: "it is a level that may be too low for the requirements of a strong democratic society in a new century of accelerating scientific and technological development."

Finally, did you read Mooney's book "The Republican War on Science"? If you had read that, you might understand more clearly that the current Administration certainly does not respect science, or scientists. It is not too hard to believe that such Administrations would function more smoothly in a society where the public doesn't understand the difference between good science and bad science (i.e. the difference between evolutionary theory and IDC).

I'm glad that your kids seem to be getting a good science education. But that in itself is an unscientific statement. Anecdotes are not data. As has been pointed out here and elsewhere, by myself and many others, you yourself don't understand science, or how it works. You are a pretty standard representative for the 83% of the country who take advantage of the fruits of science, but really have no clue about how it works best.

Re reconstructionists, you wrote  
you mentioned you know some "reconstructionists".  Do they tell you that they believe there should be a Christian "theocracy"?  What are they like in general?  Do they hide the world from their children or what?  Seriously, I'd like to know what these people are like, because I honestly don't know any.

Unlike you, I don't like to generalize about individuals. Some of them live in Kansas, some in Idaho, some in Utah, some in Texas. As you may have heard, the official platform of the Texas Republican Party now has a plank "to dispel the myth of the separation of church and state". That smacks of theocracy to me. Do you know people who would agree with that platform plank?

Date: 2007/05/08 13:09:25, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ May 08 2007,12:48)
So, Dave, what you're saying is that science has taken a nose dive since the Clinton era.  Do you have evidence to back that up?  I didn't know the man was terribly interested in science other than studying the human anatomy of his interns.

No. If you would back up and read what I wrote; rather than what you wish I had written, you would understand that I am saying that I think a 17% scientific literacy rate is frankly not good enough. And I'm not going to take that red herring bait about Clinton and interns. I'm going to ask if you think that is good enough, and, if so, why. Feel free to ignore this question again.

As for more recent statistics, I have seen none. Perhaps others on this board can cite something since 1999. I did find this 2007 article where a professor is quoted as saying that the scientific literacy rate is 16%, but there is no citation of a primary source.

Personally, my family has taken a new interest in science due to this debate.  Not because we are out to stop science due to the fact that ~some~ scientists believe that the natural world is all there is.  No, it's because we find the issues in this debate extremely interesting, and I find that ID proponents have a different way of presenting science that leads to excitement in learning more about our universe.

Yeah, it is easier to be exciting when you can just make shit up. I agree.

Evolutionists act as if the world is just a chance event.  That doesn't seem terribly interesting or exciting, IMO.  Their personally credulity seems to keep them from expressing the grandeur and complexity of nature.

Yawn. The verbigeration continues with "personal credulity". In actuality, since I have made my career in biology, I probably am a tad more excited about the complexity and grandeur of nature than you are. Mostly because I have learned about a lot more of the details, and know a lot more examples of incredible structures, exquisite adaptations, co-evolved relationships, etc. But that is also irrelevant.

Evolutionists are BORING because they won’t don’t write or teach with the intensity that those who accept design do.  If they did, they’d give credence to design, and WE CAN’T HAVE THAT!!

So if we accept design, we automatically become unboring? Do you have any evidence to back that up?  Or is this yet another example of making shit up?

Date: 2007/05/08 13:54:17, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ May 08 2007,13:33)
Do you think that 17% is a good score?

Of course not.  But, do you think religion is what is holding the country back from doing better in science?

No. I didn't say that. And, again unlike you, I don't necessarily believe that there is only one culprit.

Religion (and religiosity) is one culprit. In most cases it is best not to think too deeply about one's religion (Why did god snuff out his son at the age of 33? Does that make any sense to anyone who did not grow up with that notion implanted in their early consciousness?). So religious institutions, by and large, can discourage thinking, questioning, and other attributes that are important to science. Think about the Dark Ages before you dismiss this argument.

But the answer is bigger than that. It is a general anti-intellectualism that pervades this country today. And the IDC movement exemplifies that anti-intellectualism.

Peer-reviewed articles?  Who needs 'em? We have books and websites!

Scientific research?  Who needs it? We have ID conferences in Dallas and Nashville where nobody talks about scientific research at all, even though we have some secret labs too!

Scientific expertise?  Who needs it? We have folks with common sense, inferences, and opinions that are just as good as those of any trained and experienced expert! We have lawyers like Casey Luskin and troglodytes like DaveScot!

This country, following the leadership of the most anti-intellectual president since Warren Harding, finds science to be boring, useless, and even pesky when it gets in the way of making bidness more profitable. Until we figure out a way to leave this medieval mindset behind us, we will remain at a 16-17% scientific literacy rate.

Date: 2007/05/08 14:40:58, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ May 08 2007,14:18)
What the hell is "religiosity".  Sheesh, I didn't even make it past that first sentence.  Is that kinda like "Albatrossity".

I guess your googling skills took a day off.

From the OED, religiosity = A. Religiousness, religious feeling or sentiment,  B. Affected or excessive religiousness.

Now perhaps you can make it to the second, or even third sentence. Considering that the basic point of that message is that this nation is beset by anti-intellectualism, the irony of your response is priceless...

Date: 2007/05/08 19:00:52, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
DT has an update on the wonder drug DCA. Here we can learn, among other insights, about some of the side-effects of DCA.

Reversible peripheral neuropathy (tingling in the extremities that goes away after ceasing DCA) is reported by a few people taking higher dosages (25mg/kg) after several weeks. Managing blood pH so it stays neutral to alkaline seems to be a key for both making DCA more effectacious against cancer and eliminating the reversable neuropathy. DCA is an acid and tends to lower blood pH. The myelin sheath around nerves is compromised by the high acid level. Managing diet by eating high alkaline foods or supplementation with things like milk of magnesia and monitoring blood pH through inexpensive home testing of urine and saliva seems to be working.

But if you go to the literature (cited on the same site that DT extols), you find a slightly different story. Most alarming is that all of the patients in a clinical trial of DCA who were given a dose of 25 mg/day had to be taken off the drug due to neurological symptoms. You find that the alleged effect of DCA on myelin is only seen in vitro at doses of 1-20 mM (which would be difficult to achieve in a live human). You note that the studies involving effects of DCA in vitro also involved adjusting the pH of the medium so that it was not acidic. You wonder how much DCA would have to be ingested to change your blood pH; it seems likely that the dose would be lethal.

You wonder why folks bother to consult those educated physicians, when they can find excellent medical help online from an ex-Marine whose alleged high IQ doesn't seem to kick in when it comes to basic chemistry or biology...

Date: 2007/05/08 20:20:01, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ May 08 2007,20:07)
He proved himself wrong - UNDER OATH.

If that is true, why have I seen articles written since the trial trying to disprove the IC of molecular machines?

1) IC (if it could be demonstrated) is evidence against evolution. Such evidence (if it was available) is not automatically evidence FOR IDC.

2) Science is not usually adjudicated in courts of law. It is decided in peer-reviewed articles. That process continues, regardless of the findings of a judge. Why hasn't Behe published a peer-reviewed paper on IC since the Dover Trial. In fact, why hasn't he published a peer-reviewed article on IC since that last interglacial period?

Oh yeah. That's because IDC isn't science.

What's next?

Date: 2007/05/09 07:09:27, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ May 08 2007,21:40)
When people have a hard time convincing me of their "facts", they no longer care whether I'm still questioning or not.  They turn on me immediately because I don't agree with their "science".  


He was nice to me for all of 10 minutes.  Then he discovered that he wasn't able to convince me....became a whole different person.  I'm still pissed about that.

Actually, the record will show that I was "nice" for several weeks.

And I have to differ on the comment about my motivations. I had only the faintest hope that I (or anyone) could convince FtK of anything; I have plenty of experience with right-wing authoritarians. And I also was pretty sure that she was ignorant about science and how it works, but my conversations with her on her blog certainly reinforced that assumption. That's OK too; I have plenty of experience with folks who are ignorant about science. I don't assume that they are bad people, or that they are stupid. Ignorance can be cured; stupid is forever. I merely hoped for a dialogue, and an opportunity to help her learn about the science that she routinely excoriated on her blog. If that led to her changing her mind about the pseudoscience of ID, that would be a bonus.

What turned me off (and still does) was when I found out that she doesn't listen at all to things that challenge her assumptions, rejecting any factual information that jars her world view. If she believes that common descent is a worthless concept and has generated no scientific progress, and you show her an example where common descent was critical in the development of a potent chemotherapeutic drug, she will come back in a week or so saying that common descent is worthless etc. Acting as if your efforts and attempts at dialogue never even existed.

After multiple experiences like that, you just get tired of it. Dialogue works; monologues get tiring. So I'm sorry if you are pissed, FTK; I guess I can't be nice if I get tired.

That said, I am encouraged by the fact that yesterday she gave the UDers something to chew on re the separation of church and state. Unfortunately, from the early responses, they are going to engage in their own monologues, per usual.

Date: 2007/05/09 08:14:04, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ May 09 2007,07:39)

Most of your post is BS, and I don't have time to elaborate because I'm going to be busy trying to work and post at UD at the same time.

But, there is this again:

I have plenty of experience with right-wing authoritarians.

This is the second time you've alluded to your "experience" with "authoritarians".  What are they like?  Seriously.  Do they tell you they want to establish a theocracy or what exactly?  What makes them "athoritarians"?


Generally it is not useful to label somebody's comments as BS and then refuse to deal with the specifics by claiming to be "too busy". That strategy is called dodging.

Generally it is not useful to veer off into minor topics (e.g., right-wing authoritarianism) based on a small part of a previous message, or to twist it to include a topic (theocracy) not mentioned in the previous message. That strategy is called a red herring.

But we're used to both of those, not just from you but from many others. Have fun at UD, and ask DaveScot how many comments he has moderated out of existence on that thread...

If you are truly interested in right-wing authoritarians, take a look in the mirror, or at DaveScot's pictures, or at this wikipedia link.

Date: 2007/05/09 09:07:23, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ May 09 2007,08:48)

And, if you believe there is a higher power, why would design not be something you are interested in?  Perhaps science will eventually discover even more evidence for design...isn't that something that, as a believer, one would be interested in considering rather than completely rejecting?

Too busy to tell me where and how I am full of BS, but not too busy to discuss religion.  As FtK would say on her blog: "Hmmmm... Interesting."

I think I can answer those questions about design, however. For the nth time.

"Design" is a scientific dead end unless you can investigate the designer (or, as noted many times on your blog, unless design theorists postulate a testable mechanism). If the designer is the Xtian God, acting supernaturally, there is no way to investigate the designer scientifically. So Design is useless scientifically. Discovering "more evidence for design" thus is also useless scientifically.

"Complete rejection" is the only scientifically valid behavior in this situation.

Date: 2007/05/09 09:22:48, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ May 09 2007,09:11)
"Design" is a scientific dead end unless you can investigate the designer (or, as noted many times on your blog, unless design theorists postulate a testable mechanism).


Let's turn this question around and see if critical thinking skills can be developed.

Please design a scientific experiment (including observations, testable hypothesis, doable experiment, and possible conclusions) based on the premises of ID (some "design" happened at some unknown time, by some unknown actions, at the behest of an unknown entity).

If you can do that, you will be the first ever to do so. Behe and Dembski will have to send their ID paychecks to Topeka.

Date: 2007/05/09 09:43:44, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ May 09 2007,09:28)
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ May 09 2007,09:22)
Quote (Ftk @ May 09 2007,09:07)
What evidence convinced you?

I've never heard of something errupting from nothing, let alone something that led to the complexity of, say, DNA.  Pretty simple really.

that is not evidence.

FTK needs to read this again.

Oooh, bad move, Arden.

This will now allow her to use her favorite "personal credulity" bon mot, and then avoid addressing the issue.

(edit) - Damn, she beat me to it!

Date: 2007/05/09 09:59:59, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ May 09 2007,09:49)
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ May 09 2007,09:22)
Quote (Ftk @ May 09 2007,09:11)
"Design" is a scientific dead end unless you can investigate the designer (or, as noted many times on your blog, unless design theorists postulate a testable mechanism).


Let's turn this question around and see if critical thinking skills can be developed.

Please design a scientific experiment (including observations, testable hypothesis, doable experiment, and possible conclusions) based on the premises of ID (some "design" happened at some unknown time, by some unknown actions, at the behest of an unknown entity).

If you can do that, you will be the first ever to do so. Behe and Dembski will have to send their ID paychecks to Topeka.

ID is an inference....Behe’s done the experiments and broken down molecular machines to the point of realization that they must work as a whole to function properly.  Could they have evolved?  I think not...but in order to convince me that they could, you need to show conclusive evidence for that assumption.  If you can’t, the ID inference remains a strong conclusion.  

News flash...ID has been considered a scientific inference since the dawn of time.  Only materalists reject it.

That is, frankly, a worse answer than I expected. Not only does it completely avoid the question (please design an experiment, etc.), it raises a pink cloud from a deceased equine.

Inference is NOT the same as conclusion. Inference is NOT the same as evidence. As noted before, since the dawn of humankind, we all infer that the sun comes up in the east and goes around the earth every 24 hours. Additional observations and experiments proved that inference to be wrong. Despite its theological underpinnings, it has been rejected not only by "materialists", but by anyone who has two synapses to rub together. Where is the EVIDENCE for the design inference?

Please design a scientific experiment (including observations, testable hypothesis, doable experiment, and possible conclusions) based on the premises of ID (some "design" happened at some unknown time, by some unknown actions, at the behest of an unknown entity).

Date: 2007/05/09 10:51:23, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ May 09 2007,10:26)
They believe design cannot be detected in nature, but they ultimately believe in a designer.  They make no sense to me ~whatsoever~.  It a bizzare leap of faith for a Christian, IMHO.

I have often wondered what WOULDN'T be a "bizarre leap of faith" for a Christian. Transubstantiation? They're OK with that. Water into wine? No problem. Virgin birth? Fine. Dead people coming back to life? Big deal.

On some level, accepting the existence of a deity whose works are beyond their comprehension seems pretty tame.

Date: 2007/05/09 13:32:14, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ May 09 2007,13:13)
 Hmmm...seems to me that in that sense, evolution is completely unfalsifiable.  In fact, I have no idea what would falsify evolution other than evidence for a young earth.

Hmmmm. Interesting. When asked how ID could be falsified, she "answers" by saying that she thinks evolution is not falsifiable.

Well, as we all know, evolution is supported by a vast array of observations, all of which are consistent with each other, and all of which are tied together in the fabric of evolutionary theory. So it would be difficult to falsify the theory. But not impossible. As she noted, if we somehow discovered that all of the dating techniques used to establish the age of the earth were invalid, and that the earth was only a few thousand years old, evolutionary theory would fall. If someone found, and others verified, a fossil kangaroo in pre-Cambrian strata, evolutionary theory would be in serious trouble. As Futuyama noted, finding fossil or other evidence for structures which cannot have developed from known structures (e.g., a winged horse), would be difficult to explain with evolutionary theory. Etc.

More to the point, since FtK and other creationists blather all the time that evolution is false, and that evolutionary scientists consistently ignore the vast amounts of "contrary evidence", this seems to be an odd position for her to take. Either it is falsifiable (and IDCers have falsified it), or it isn't. You can't have it both ways.

Now back to the question that will allow her to understand why scientists say that ID is a dead end.

Please design a scientific experiment (including observations, testable hypothesis, doable experiment, and possible conclusions) based on the premises of ID (some "design" happened at some unknown time, by some unknown actions, at the behest of an unknown entity).

If you can't answer that question, perhaps you can get a glimmer of a ghost of a notion why the vast majority of the world's biologists don't bother to work on ID questions. C'mon, FtK. Follow the evidence!

Date: 2007/05/09 14:25:47, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ May 09 2007,13:54)
Actually, their worst nightmare is you... if you DO get educated and understand why they are scamming you, and what they are doing to continue the scam.

Scamming me into what?  If they don't believe what they put forth, what is the unlying devious plan?  A forced CHRISTIAN THEOCRACY??

I think they probably would be happy if you bought more books (like those AiG dino books for your kids), videos, and perhaps a couple more copies of No Free Lunch or Darwin's Black Box for yourself.

And is "unlying devious plan" some kind of Freudian slip?

Date: 2007/05/09 16:11:20, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ May 09 2007,16:05)
(I'm sure he's not ashamed of himself.)

Of that, we can be certain.

Date: 2007/05/09 16:25:04, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (jeannot @ May 09 2007,15:57)
I'm pretty sure that AIG has a couple of "misplaced fossils". I'm also pretty sure that those artifacts have been easily explained.

Let's save her the trouble of hunting up those references to misplaced fossils. See here for Walt Brown's page on "out-of-place fossils".

I particularly liked the sentence about amber    
Experts bold enough to explain how these fossils formed say that hurricane-force winds must have snapped off trees at their trunks, causing huge amounts of resin to spill out and act like flypaper. Debris and small organisms were blown into the sticky resin which was later covered by more resin and finally buried. (Part II of this book will show that such conditions arose during the flood.)

and the amazing revelation that    

Animal behaviors, unchanged from today, are seen in three-dimensional detail. For example, ants in amber show the same social and work patterns as ants today.

You're on your own, however, if you are trying to figure out how ants get much work done when they are encased in amber, or even how all this is relevant to "out-of-place fossils". I await enlightenment...

Date: 2007/05/09 16:57:05, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Meanwhile, on planet UD, DaveScot does some creative math.  
In 1956 Congress passed a law making “In God We Trust” the U.S. national motto. It has survived all constitutional challenges for 150 years.

But on that same comment thread, FtK doggedly persists in trying to get the UD regulars to comment about Ahmanson's links to the DI. All those years of evading questions on various blogs (including hers) has apparently taught her to recognize that behavior, at least. Let's hope she gets a comment from Dr. Dr. Dembski hisself! Anybody willing to bet a bottle of single-malt scotch on that happening?

Date: 2007/05/09 19:39:12, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ May 09 2007,17:55)
Let's hope she gets a comment from Dr. Dr. Dembski hisself!

Dave, I really wish you would not have said that.  I seriously was going to ask DaveScot if he could get Dembski in there to address this issue.

Now I can't because no doubt DS does pop in here occassionally, and he'll think I was asking due to the promping here.

I'M NOT... I don't care what you guys think.  I'm simply sick to death of having to address this issue ~repeatedly~ .  I want to know how the DI guys would respond to this, and I figured I might as well try to get the answer from Dembski himself.

Now I can't -- bad Dave! :angry:

Of course DS "pops in here", probably every hour or so! But it is abundantly clear that none of what is said here has ever had the slightest effect on him...

Date: 2007/05/10 07:01:29, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ May 09 2007,21:26)
But it is abundantly clear that none of what is said here has ever had the slightest effect on him...

There you go again...there is no one more informed than myself and my sciency buddies.  Everyone must conform, or we write them off as ignorant loons.  They simply don't listen....screw 'em.

That approach isn't going to get ya anywhere, Dave.

Your ability to generalize from limited information is simply astounding. Did I say that NOBODY is more informed than me? Did I say that EVERYBODY must conform? No, I'm afraid those are your words.

My words were that there is abundant evidence that DaveScot is uninformed, and abundant evidence that he doesn't listen to folks who probably know more about the subject than he does. If you want to debate that, go ahead and try.

But quit putting words in my mouth.

Thanks for listening (maybe).

Date: 2007/05/10 14:50:02, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
FtK would rather discuss religion than anything else; it is actually something that she might know a bit about.

The evidence for that statement can be found on her blog, and on this board where there are multiple instances of her questioning other contributors about their religion, their past, their beliefs etc. This is not surprising, since in her mind, it's ALL about religion ("Darwinism" is a religion, scientists are mostly atheists, etc.).

So if we want to stick to religion, she'll stick around. If we want to stick to science, she will find ways to turn the conversation in religious directions. And she will continue to get peeved if we keep trying to focus on science and ignore her probes about our religious beliefs or lack thereof.

Not that any of this is news, of course. I just got done grading final exams, and felt the need to summarize something in a coherent manner  ;)

Date: 2007/05/10 15:35:25, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ May 10 2007,15:07)
Whenever a creationist or an IDist talks about science, you people consistently accuse them of having a religious agenda.  It always comes back to that.  

I mean, if religion is the root of the problem, perhaps we should be discussing that rather than science.

Could that possibly be because mysteriously (or miraculously) 99.99% of the people who disagree with the science of evolutionary biology do so because of its implications for their religious beliefs?

How many Buddhists are on the UD approved-commenter list?  
How many Hindus are on the UD approved-commenter list?
How many Zoroastrians are on the UD approved-commenter list?
How many atheists are on the UD approved-commenter list?

And how many born-again Christians are on the UD approved-commenter list?

Doesn't that tell you something about the disingenous nature of your disagreement with evolutionary science?  If you had been raised as a Sufi, would you find it so difficult to accept the facts of common descent and "macroevolution"?

Religion is the "root of the problem" for you, but not for us. Your doubts about the science are based on the fear of its implications for your religion. So you inevitably tend to talk about it from a religious perspective. But religion is irrelevant in science.

My doubts about the science are based on science.

If you have science-based questions, post 'em. Or post the answers to the science-based questions you have been asked. Just don't pretend that we are hiding some religious agenda like you are.

Date: 2007/05/10 17:44:48, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ May 10 2007,17:40)
And, the biggest question would be why would one reject scripture for what they believe science has established as fact when scientific views are forever changing?

Yeah, change is scary, isn't it?

It's really a lot better when you know everything, and also know that it will never change.

But then what would be the point of doing science?

Oh, yeah, that's why ID is a scientific dead end.

Carry on.

Date: 2007/05/11 08:39:54, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ May 11 2007,08:16)
ID would probably consist of a quick overview of the inference, along with issues like the anthropic principle.

That's easy.

ID inference:
Some things look designed.
I infer that they are designed.
The unknown designer acted at an unknown time, using unknown mechanisms.
The designer is God, acting 6000 years ago, using the mechanism known as the "poof-think", but we can't say that here. (wink)

Anthropic principle:
If things were different, they would be different.

In re the preposterous notion that    
In regard to OOL, there is sure more to offer when considering ID than there what there (sic) is to learn about "primordial soup"!

Please specify what should be taught in science classes in regard to ID's evidence for the origin of life. Contrast that to the chemistry education that is needed in order to understand even the Miller-Urey experiment.

Thanks in advance for ignoring these requests.

Date: 2007/05/11 09:20:21, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ May 11 2007,09:09)

Alb2 - Ever heard of IDEA clubs?  Sal's been teaching ID for years, and he covers plenty of ground.  Doesn't matter to me if it stays in that venue for a while -- in the longer run, people will insist it become part of mainstream curriculum.


Yeah, I've heard of IDEA clubs. From what I know, it sounds like they are more interested in bashing "materialists" and "Darwinists" than they are in "teaching ID". That is confirmed by what I found on the UCSD IDEA club website:  

1 To promote, as a scientific theory, the idea that life was designed by an intelligence;
2 To educate people about scientific problems with purely natural explanations for the origins and evolution of life;
3 To challenge the philosophical assumptions of Darwinism, naturalism, and materialism;
4 To facilitate discussion, debate, and dialogue concerning these issues in a warm, friendly, and open atmosphere where individuals feel free to speak their personal views.

Not much science there. And given Cordova's problems with telling the truth, I'm pretty sure that the ground he covers is littered with excrement. No thanks.

Now back to those questions in my previous post that you are ignoring.
Please specify what should be taught in science classes in regard to ID's evidence for the origin of life. Contrast that to the chemistry education that is needed in order to understand even the Miller-Urey experiment.
Lather, rinse, repeat indeed.

Date: 2007/05/11 14:01:43, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ May 11 2007,13:41)
Why are there so many useful and lifesaving items within our reach?  If the Earth were merely a huge collection of dust particules (sic) after the big bang, how did it get all these useful products?

Well, I don't know. But it could have something to do with that pesky bugaboo, common descent, and the fact that metabolic pathways and associated bits are rather highly conserved. Or with the fact that co-evolution of plants and herbivores predicts some of this. Or it could be due to (gasp) reasons that science hasn't figured out yet (Horrors! New Knowledge! Begone, Satan!).

Or it could be just another poof-think.

My money is on the first one. Louis, take it away!

Date: 2007/05/11 14:19:51, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ May 11 2007,14:10)
How about when you explain it, you...

1. Work hard at explaining in laymen's terms.
2.  ...yet, don't talk down to me.
3.  Leave out the arrogance.
4.  Don't insist that I must chime in and answer all your questions.  Just provide the info.
5.  Allude to facts as facts, and speculation as speculation.

Particularly #4, since that might reveal that she really knows very little about any sort of science. Unless, of course, it is science as written in the good book.

However, if FtK would actually deign to answer thought questions, that very process (thought) might lead to insights. As an educator, I find it is always best to let students figure out the answer for themselves rather than have me tell it to them. But in my excursions on her blog, she would have to be poked and prodded and reminded if I asked her to think about the simplest questions, even though that thinking might actually lead to a better understanding of the concept.

Date: 2007/05/11 15:11:01, Link
Author: Albatrossity2

Nice overview.  When was this written?

I also note that you mentioned one of my favorite molecules, Taxotere™ (derived from the plant metabolite known as Taxol). I discussed this chemotherapeutic drug in one of my previous interactions with FtK (when I was still being "nice" according to her standards), because it is an excellent example of how common descent was absolutely critical in the development of a medical treatment. Of course, Dr. Egnor and Barrister Luskin don't understand that, and since FtK thinks that they are excellent evolutionary science experts, she dismisses it as well.

Good work.

Date: 2007/05/11 16:37:29, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Richardthughes @ May 11 2007,16:23)
First it was SciAm, then DaveTard learns flock of Dodos is showing on Showtime...

Oww!  Every time I look at UD I wonder how these folks ever passed 9th grade English; there are at least a dozen typos and ungrammatical usages in the opening post alone.

And then some tard named Atom opines, re the question “How can you put a limit on how much change natural selection can create?”      

Easy, you just provide demonstration (sic) of exactly how much it can create and if you can’t demonstrate it is capable of creating the level of functional complexity and information we see, then we limit our belief in its powers. We’ll only aumme (sic) NS works as far as can be demonstrated, but not further.

Easy! Of course, if asked to demonstrate the capabilities of one intelligent designer, it wouldn't be quite so simple. Unless you believe in miracles..

Then another even more gullible tard (pk4_paul), who has his own lame blog (don't go there!), gives it the old "me-too".    
Makes sense Atom. Sounds very empirical too. So what is the real reason for the extrapolation that makes NS an explanation for everything??

It's clear that the lights are burning pretty dimly over there.

Date: 2007/05/11 20:11:55, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (stevestory @ May 11 2007,19:53)
The number of posts thing isn't strict. but, you know, most of the committed regulars who were interested would be invited.

I don't have 500 posts (not even close), but I do have a science degree, and I am interested.

And lots of folks think I should be committed :)

Date: 2007/05/12 18:03:10, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Richardthughes @ May 12 2007,13:41)
Quote (stevestory @ May 12 2007,11:44)
Lenny can be annoying. I have to chuckle, though, that after saying a few dozen times, "There's No Way I would ever discuss science with you guys" and trying to switch to, "Oh, I so want to discuss the science, but I can't, because someone's posting comments I don't like.", she thinks anybody's going to be fooled.

I don't know if she even knows she's doing it. Its like a mental blind spot or something.

Yeah, and the even more hypocritical aspect of it was that she got all incensed when Lenny kept asking questions about her religious views, since for some time now she has only been willing to visit this board in order to ask questions about other folks' religious views. She ignored any and all  sciency stuff to concentrate on religion, but sure bailed in a hurry when somebody wanted to talk about HER religion.

Looks like science AND religion are now verboten for "discussions" with FtK. What does that leave? Politics? Oh boy!

Date: 2007/05/12 21:46:25, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
I just posted this comment at FtK's blog; since it will likely not appear there, I'll crosspost it here.
I don't claim to have all the answers; that would be you. Didn't you claim that the reason you found scientific explanations difficult to take was because, unlike revelation, scientific answers keep changing? How can we claim to have "all the answers" if we also have different answers as new data and observations are discovered? I am pretty sure that you are the one in command of all the answers, and they never change...

And contrary to your other accusation (they certainly don't think that they might learn something in the process), I have learned quite a lot in my interactions with you, both here and elsewhere. Unfortunately, I have not learned why you reject scientific facts in favor of Bronze Age myths. I gotta admit I am still trying to figure out why you reject reality. It's still gonna be here when you finally figure it out, however!

I'm going camping for a couple of weeks now that the semester is over, and after collecting my award for outstanding undergraduate teaching at commencement this morning. So please carry on in my absence, as you have done before; I won't be in email contact for at least a couple of weeks. And that will be lovely, since I will be in the midst of a lot of life, scenery, and other aspects of creation that are missing on blogs and other electronic fora.

See you all in a couple of weeks.We won't be anyplace as exotic as the Galapagos Islands; we'll be in National Monuments, National Forests, and wilderness areas of NM and AZ. I will take lots of pictures, for sure. Carry on!

Date: 2007/05/26 18:45:37, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Well, we're back from the southwest US of A, where we saw lots of scenery and critters, and it appears that a quote from Walt Whitman is appropriate here (from "Leaves of Grass"):
I think I could turn and live with animals, they're so placid and self contain'd,
I stand and look at them long and long.

They do not sweat and whine about their condition,
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,
They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,
Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things,
Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago,
Not one is respectable or unhappy over the earth.

Amen to that!

Quote (Alan Fox @ May 26 2007,02:01)
Quote (J-Dog @ May 25 2007,10:29)
FTK - Getting Shrill, (Comment #101) and still getting it wrong...

Whilst not supporting her POV, I think FTK has a point about the "shrill" accusation. Now ID is dead and buried, I think rationalists can afford to be "magnanimous in victory".

There is a distinction to be made between those cynically leading the failed political strategy and those followers taken in by the strategy. Blipey remarked elsewhere that treating remaining ID proponents as genuinely misled is a reasonable first approach.

It appears that not much has changed in the two weeks I was gone (other than Falwell's demise and Wolfowitz's embarrassment). I agree that treating IDCers as possibly being "genuinely misled" is a grand idea, and I do it as much as possible when I encounter them in the course of teaching classes. I did that at first with FtK, hoping that she could be reached with some logic of facts or both. But she is in deep, deep denial. And incapable of thinking for herself, apparently. If she couldn't link to and parrot the folks at UD or WhirledNutDaily, she couldn't post anything except her diet updates. So she reverts to "shrill" when she is allowed to comment freely, and otherwise resorts to refusing comments that might alert the few readers of her blog to her willful ignorance.

Until she shows some evidence of thinking about facts that might puncture that willful ignorance, it makes no sense to do anything other than ridicule, or perhaps pity, folks like her.

Date: 2007/05/28 19:46:59, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (ScaryFacts @ May 28 2007,18:48)
Should you share science with the unconverted?  I would say “yes” if they actually are seeking answers.

But that's a tough diagnosis. How do you tell if they are

1) "seeking answers"
2) trying to convert you
3) unable to reject the years of Xtian indoctrination to which they have been subjected?

Some of these folks (e.g. Dembski) seem incapable of listening. Others (e.g. FtK) seem incapable of understanding, even if they could listen. Almost all of them seem quite willing to believe things that are demonstrably and obviously wrong, due to some sort of hard-wired acceptance of the bizarre statements that they have heard since childhood...

If someone is determined to believe something that is obviously bogus, it is a waste of time to try to even make conversation about it. How do you figure that out in advance, and avoid wasting the time? I have never been able to do that!

Date: 2007/05/29 09:07:07, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Richardthughes @ May 29 2007,08:57)
In other news, FtK and I are going to make out in the bus. The whole back seat is off limits, people.

No problem, man. I'll be on sedatives, so nothing, not even you and FtK making out (shudder) will disturb me...

Date: 2007/05/29 09:22:56, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Richardthughes @ May 29 2007,09:13)
She clearly needs kissing lessons. She does "the washing machine". Tongue twirls clockwise for 5 mins, then reverse cycle kicks in and it twirls anti-clockwise for 5 mins.

Actually, that sounds more like something that would require an exorcist, rather than "kissing lessons"...

Date: 2007/05/29 15:34:56, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ichthyic @ May 29 2007,14:49)
picture fix...

show please.

BTW, I'm IN the SW of US of A (Palm Springs), and I didn't see you.

without pics, I say you have no proof you were ever there.

See pics here.  We did not get all the way to Palm Springs. We camped one night on BLM land (Angel Peak Rec. area) in NM, four nights at Chaco Canyon (NM), two nights in the Gila Wilderness (NM), and one night in Cave Creek Canyon in the Chiricahuas (AZ). I saw one new bird species for my life list, a female Lucifer Hummingbird who visited the feeder once at Cave Creek Canyon. Everything is green and lush out there this year, so I'd recommend a trip sometime soon!

But if anyone is planning to go to Chaco this season, be forewarned that the campground is currently partially shut down. They usually have 49 campsites; right now they only have 29. They need to expand the septic system for the campground in order to accommodate the number of folks that can fit into 49 sites, and that expansion will not be done until late this year or early next year. Since that whole canyon is one big archaeological site, digging a hole or trench anywhere will involve lots of folks (archaeologists, etc.) beyond the usual suspects...

Date: 2007/05/29 16:43:37, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ichthyic @ May 29 2007,15:49)

great pic of the hummer (and for the peanut gallery, I don't mean a car); you can even see bits of spider web trailing from the back of its head.

what camera do you use?

btw, at one time or another, I've seen everything on your list... except the blue beetle.  Did you ever find out what species that was?

If you do make it back as far as my neck of the woods, let me take you to Joshua Tree sometime.


Thanks. The hummer with the spider web headpiece is one of my favorites too. I have no clue what the blue beetle species is named; all I know is that there were LOTS of them blundering around the west fork of the Gila River last week. I don't have an insect guide for NM, and it isn't in my Kansas guide!

I use a Canon EOS5D; most of the critter shots were made with the 100-400 mm zoom telephoto.

I like your shots of Joshua Tree, and I'll take you up on that offer the next time I am in the Mojave. That is one of my favorite parts of the country, especially in the spring. The lizard (granite spiny lizard?) is a favorite, along with the flowering ocotillo. When were these taken? Was it a green and wildflower-full spring this year?

Date: 2007/05/29 18:36:31, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ichthyic @ May 29 2007,17:07)
thanks, and most of the pics were taken after that really rainy year we had in 2004-2005, which resulted in massive vegetative growth, and the resultant explosion of related species both that spring and the rest of that year.  Haven't had that much rain around these parts for over 50 years prior.

to compare, we only got .25" this year, vs. over 13" that year.

if you make it out this way, early-mid april is typically ideal for annuals, and cacti/yucca through late may.

hummers follow the annual bloom, mostly, and have been conspicuously absent this year, not surprisingly.

Yeah, I was on sabbatical at the University of Utah in 2005, and did a fair amount of desert-tramping during that time. We were fortunate to be in Death Valley for the wildflower event of the century that year; to me, the most amazing thing was finding mushrooms in Death Valley that year. The last time I was there was in the 1970's, during another very wet year. Maybe if I promise to come back for a visit, you will get more rain!

Some pics from my sabbatical, including LOTS of bird images and petroglyphs (as well as the Death Valley Mushrooms), can be seen from a link on this page.

Date: 2007/05/29 19:49:37, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ichthyic @ May 29 2007,18:52)
I have only one question:

DEPRAVED field trip 2005

not only mentioned, but in CAPS, no less.

sorry, can't just let that one go.  

do tell.

D.E.P.R.A.V.E.D. stands for something that I can't remember (Desert Expeditionary Party etc...). But the Ehleringer lab has made a pilgrimage to Death Valley and its environs for over 25 years to census populations of a desrt shrub of the genus Encelia. Over the years the trip has evolved into the DEPRAVED expedition; I still have the 25th anniversary t-shirt that Jim made for the 2005 trip. Since I am not a plant physiologist, it was a great opportunity to see how plant physiologists collect data on populations of desert plants. For more details, see this link from the Ehleringer lab website.

Date: 2007/05/29 20:57:26, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ichthyic @ May 29 2007,20:29)
damn.  thought it might be more analogous to debauchery instead of merely an acronym.

...or is that your cover story, hmmmm?

Well, several bottles of tequila, as well as copious amounts of beer, were consumed on the trip. And we got to camp out under a full moon under Joshua trees near Harry Reid's hometown of Searchlight, Nevada. According to the Homeland Security folks, that probably qualifies as depraved...

Of course, we couldn't even get close to the depravity of RTH and FtK making out in the back of the bus!

Date: 2007/05/30 15:18:06, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
In response to a quite rational comment by someone named Carrie (re the idiotic rant against Hector Avalos on some ISU sports web site), FtK again dons her illogical and persecutional garb;

Religion departments teach only one version of belief and that again is secular humanism (without using the term). All religions are deemed equal & relatively insignificant as far an avenue in which truth can be sought. This is exactly as it should be if you are an advocate of agnostic or atheistic faith beliefs. So, our public universities can never really be free from religious bias. The separation of church and state is non-existent as there is a very dominate (sic) faith belief being relayed to our student (sic) atmosphere of non-theism or ‘a’theism. (emphasis mine)

As far as I know, university religious studies departments don't teach "belief". It apparently is beyond the imaginative powers of Xtians to comprehend that one can mention Xtianity (and other religions) without trying to convince the listener to "believe" in that religion.

And I do hope that someone will ask her how it is possible to cultivate a bias for a "faith belief" without mentioning it...

Date: 2007/05/30 20:17:26, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
A few comments up on the same thread that Rich linked to, our ol' buddy TroutMac dusts off his Sunday-best tin-foil thinking cap:      
It seems difficult, in my view, to make those 6 days into long time periods. One reason is this: Genesis 2:2 says that on the seventh day God rested. Not coincidentally, in the Mosaic Law God prescribes a day of rest… the sabbath. It seems obvious to me that this is patterned after the days of creation. If the days of Genesis are really extended periods of time, then how long, exactly, is the sabbath supposed to be?

Now, I won’t claim that this is proof of 24 hour days, but it ought to at least make you scratch your head. It’s an example of how there are clues elsewhere that can help steer our interpretation of Genesis.

Why, exactly, did God need to rest after all that poofing? Would that imply that he got tired by the 6th day, and perhaps quality control was slipping when he poofed folks like Sal and TroutMac?

Date: 2007/05/31 09:20:30, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Emanuel Goldstein @ May 31 2007,08:56)
Avolos (sic) is an atheist running a religion department...just like Mirecki did over here at KU before he screwed himself.

Whatever your point is here, I suggest you put your tinfoil hat back on and nobody will notice it.

Date: 2007/05/31 10:33:12, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Emanuel Goldstein @ May 31 2007,10:07)
The point is that is atheists have an agenda to eliminate Avalos clearly states in his book...and Mireckit (sic) stated in his e-mails.

Well, even if that is true, it only seems fair, since religion (at least in this country) is certainly dedicated to the elimination of atheism...

Keep your hat on; it might help.

Date: 2007/05/31 11:04:33, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Louis @ May 31 2007,10:52)
Ahhh that's nice. Just when people were wishing for Clouser and GoP and the like to come and play we get a new chum from across the other side of the culture wars. I wonder if this one possesses a whit of wit. Time will tell.

{picks up popcorn and beer}


Hold on to that popcorn and beer, because it will be your only source of entertainment related to Goldstein. It is a well-known troll to us in Kansas, frequenting RedStateRabble under various incarnations (Anti-Atheist, Atheist Fighter, Basement Activist, Blair, Blim, Charley, Christensen, Commentator, Emanuel Goldstein, Greg,
Heine, IANAL, Jacob, Letstalk, Lionel Mandrake, M, Nietzchean Superman, Patton, Stauffenberg, ubhawkingchawley, Wayne, Wilson, Winston, Wyatt, Yeah, to name a few).

Read those posts, and you will see that nary a whiff of wit can be found in any of 'em.

Sorry to disappoint.

Date: 2007/06/01 08:31:47, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Looks like Goldstein found a kindred spirit and new, friendly place to post (as well as a new handle, jc) at FtK's blog.    
What's up with atheists like Avalos running the religion department?

Mirecki is also an atheist, and ran the show at KU until he self destructed!

They sure wouldn't let a creationist run the Biology department.

And this guy is going to be objective in teaching religion?

Heck, in his book Fighting Words he calls for the ELIMINATION of religion...ELIMINATION not SEPARATION.

Who are they kidding?

It always amuses me when folks outside academia seem to think that department heads have a lot of power (i.e., they get to "run" the department). In actuality, most faculty members would run FROM the assignment; it's mostly a lot more work and a lot more grief in an arena where none of us have had any training or aptitude...

Date: 2007/06/01 10:29:17, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (blipey @ June 01 2007,10:22)
I must stick up for right when I see it and Ftk did something right.  In comments on this thread she responds to Weapon of Mis Information with a completely rational question.

Not only that, there seems to be purpose behind her inquiry that may belie a little curiosity.

Excellent! Let's see where this leads (in all likelihood she will never get a cogent response from the troll), but it certainly is headed in the right direction for now. Good on 'ya, FtK!

Date: 2007/06/01 12:47:23, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
More hardcore tard from the comments at UD.  
Unlike Intelligent Design, Darwinian evolution must be linear and sequential.

Apparently the new Creation Science Museum folks didn't get this memo.

Date: 2007/06/01 12:56:31, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Crikey, it gets even worse later on that comment thread. Tardminion jehu chimes in  
That is correct, Darwin’s prophecy was not related to using the back legs as a second pair of wings but having the front wings bifrucated (sic)by a more pornounced (sic) first digit. So the four winged bird doesn’t count.

Not only do scientific predictions get morphed into "prophecy", but we are forced to visualize pornounced and bifrucated digits!  Will DS bounce him for being a homo?

Date: 2007/06/01 17:20:20, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
OK, those Biola pics were just too tempting.

Date: 2007/06/02 13:50:29, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Well, FtK is back in her comfort zone again. Her latest post says, among other things    
For the absolute life of me, I cannot in my wildest imagination come to the realization that some of the theories these ardent evolutionists state as being a “fact” are indeed “factual”. I’ve considered the ToE from every freaking angle, and it is seriously lacking in many respects. And, when they tell me that “Creationism” is unscientific and proceed to explain why they feel that way, I truly believe they are the ones who are willfully blind. The work put out by Creationists and IDists (completely separate ideas) is science, and that is as plain as day. You can disagree with the interpretation of the evidence, but you can’t claim it isn’t science. Granted, there are some Creationists who state that if something doesn’t coincide with a particular interpretation of the Bible, we must dismiss it regardless of how compelling it may be. That doesn’t sound very scientific to me, but not all Creationists come at their work in this manner, and IDists certainly don’t.

FtK, you apparently need to hear some things again. And it will have to be here, since we know you read this site, and since we also know that criticism of your thinking won't see the light of day on your blog.

1) Creationism may be closer to science than ID, since creation scientists occasionally make predictions that are testable (along with lots of non-testable ones, like coconut-eating T. rex). The problem is that when they are tested, the predictions don't hold up. That means that if you want to consider creationism to be science, you have to abide by the scientific method, which holds that a prediction that is disproven by evidence is wrong. That has nothing to do with "the interpretation of the evidence". Sedimentation rates are FACTS. Radioactive decay rates are FACTS. The speed of light is a FACT. Fossils are FACTS. To interpret these facts as evidence of a young earth is simply not science. It is simply wrong. Phlogiston was considered to be a scientific concept once; we now know that it is wrong. Same with creationism. Let it go.

2) ID, as you have been told before and have never managed to successfully rebut, is NOT science because it makes no testable predictions. It is a poorly camouflaged attempt to argue against evolution and pretend that supernatural causation is a scientifically valid concept. Most of the rest of the sentient world accepts that by now. Let it go.

3) Finally, I understand that this is difficult to accept for you, since you have certainly spent many many hours reading creation science tracts and websites, attending lectures, and arguing with scientists. In your mind that constitutes considering evolution "from every freaking angle". Unfortunately, it doesn't. You are not remotely qualified to criticize evolutionary biology. You came to those things unprepared, and no amount of exposure to them will ever overcome that unpreparedness. It is like attending a lecture given in Sanskrit when you don't understand the language. You just won't get very much out of the experience, no matter how many times those words are poured into your ears.

You constantly reveal the fact that your background in science, and your ability to use logic, is inadequate. As noted before, that is not an attack on your person. Everyone has blind spots; I freely confess to mine. It would really make a difference if you could back off and admit that your understanding of basic biology is minimal. I have previously made you an offer (twice) to send you an introductory college biology textbook. You have ignored me both times. The offer still stands. If you ever want anyone with any knowledge of biology to engage you as a worthy participant in these discussions, you'd get more basic biology into your noggin. Let me know where to send the book, and get started. If you really are interested in discovering the truth, that is.

Date: 2007/06/02 15:34:52, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ June 02 2007,14:45)
You know what, Dave?  You are the *very last person on earth* who I would ever seek to learn anything from.  You are arrogant, condescending, and down right nauseating.
Yep, my real name is Dave. What's yours? And that is a lovely descent into ad hominem mode there. But do you have any real arguments?      
You can criticize my lack of education about evolutionary biology, ID or whatever until the cows home, but you don’t intimidate me ~in the least~.

Just FYI, I am not trying to "intimidate" you. I'm trying to reason with you. In my mind, at least, there is a difference. Maybe not in yours.
Know why???  Because there are creationists and IDists who blow your credentials out of the water, and they make arguments that are so compelling that regardless of how much you toot your horn, you’re going to get no where with me due to your complete lack of respect, and your call for "ridicule" and "pity" for anyone who disagrees with you about these issues.

But I haven't said anything about my "credentials". Again, I an trying to exchange ideas; those are credential-free. Let's hear your ideas, rather than these red herrings. And again, FYI, I don't ridicule or pity folks who disagree with me; please stop putting words in my mouth. Lots of folks disagree with me, and I respect most of them. I do think that anyone who consistently refuses to back up arguments with logic or fact, and who consistently moves goalposts, ignores questions, reiterates previously-rebutted arguments, and resorts to ad hominem blustering is probably a good candidate for ridicule and pity, however.  
You have not “debunked” all creationists and ID arguments, and if you think you have, I urge you to encourage your evolutionist friends to participate in a very thorough written debate with a creationist or an IDist.
Excuse me, but I thought that was what blogs were for. Except that you won't debate, won't admit all comments and arguments, and you won't bother to stay on any topic (except religion) in order to cover it thoroughly.
New information arises daily, theories are updated, and that needs to be taken into consideration.  You’re fighting a losing battle if you think that you’re going to lay ID to rest.  It ain’t happenin’, so live with it and quit being such an arrogant jerk
.  Let's say this one more time. In science, when you don't understand something, and someone points that out to you, they may not be polite about it. But the mere fact that they say it (in this case, repeatedly even) does not make them arrogant. It is not a personal attack; as noted before, everybody has gaps in their knowledge, and the proper thing to do is to admit it and correct it, if needed. If you don't want to learn, say so. But don't pretend that the other side is arrogant. I'm perfectly willing to engage you on scientific grounds, but so far, you haven't even come halfway. In the meantime you claim to know a lot about biology, geology, genetics, etc. I think an objective viewer could tell who is being arrogant here, and it ain't me.

So. can I send you that textbook?

Date: 2007/06/02 18:25:16, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
It is amusing to read DT's comments about what constitutes a book review, and who is qualified to do one. For one thing, it overlooks facts like Larry Farfaraway posting a book review of Monkey Boy while simultaneously admitting he hadn't even read the whole book.. I suspect Dave had no problem with that "review", unfortunately.

Secondly, scientists write book reviews all the time! I am a reviewer for Choice, the American Library Association's journal that tries to review all the books published every year and give librarians some clues about whether or not they should add the book to their collections. I am currently reviewing, coincidentally, Francisco Ayala's Darwin's Gift to Science and Religion. I suspect that Dave won't like my review either... But that doesn't mean that I am automatically unqualified as a reviewer!

Date: 2007/06/03 09:31:55, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Great Flying Spaghetti Monster! I turn off the computer for the evening, and two pages appear on this thread overnight, like mushrooms...

Given that I know bloody little about information theory from the point of view of the computer scientist, I will refrain from commenting on Marks and Dembski's ideas. It is a bit difficult to comment, anyway, since the papers are listed as being "in review".

But it does strike me as amusing, and even informative, that FtK appears ready to tell us what it all means, in true autodidact manner. I sincerely hope that her background and training in informatics is more extensive than her background and training in biology. I await enlightenment...

Date: 2007/06/03 18:37:38, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Rev. BigDumbChimp @ June 03 2007,17:23)

You really are something special Ftk. Willful ignorance, delusion and ego all wrapped into one package....

Well actually thats "par for the course" for creationist boobs, so not that special.

Reverend, sir, you forgot another defining characteristic - a persecution complex (boo hoo, they are picking on my spelling and that forces me not to reply to any of their evil questions!).

Here's a hint, FtK - you might get a lot less grief for your occasional spelling and grammar gaffes if you would dedicate at least one of your 240+ posts here to answering some of the questions that folks have posed for you. In the absence of real dialogue, spelling errors offer a convenient target. Nobody would probably even notice them if they were imbedded in a message with some real content...

And on another topic, I think someone (preferably someone who can post at UD) should ask Dr Dr Dembski if the much-ballyhooed Baylor lab is really the "new ID friendly research center at a major university" that he promised earlier in the year. A single research lab isn't usually a "center", if that is true, then we have a whole bunch of "centers" in my department here at KSU. I'd just like to know if the real research center at the real major university has yet to be announced!

Date: 2007/06/04 06:56:26, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
From the MCC-bashing link at UD, DS advises      
I suggest we wait for a review written by one of Behe’s peers to be published in a peer reviewed trade journal and not bother responding to unqualified hatchet jobs published on personal blogs.

He might wait a while for a review of that book to be published in a "peer-reviewed trade journal" in biochemistry; "peer-reviewed" and "trade journal" don't usually describe the same thing. For example the trade journal for the American Chemical Society is Chemical and Engineering News , and a relevant ACS peer-reviewed journal for a biochemist would be Biochemistry. I don't recall seeing a book review in either one of those...

Date: 2007/06/04 08:30:51, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (carlsonjok @ June 04 2007,06:09)
Quote (Kristine @ June 03 2007,20:52)
Add to that the fact that, according to a reporter for Esquire, the saddles on the dinosaurs at Hammie's "museum" are hornless English saddles, not really meant for riding but for dressage competitions and stakes races.

Yes, a big old roping saddle makes soooooo much more sense.

EDIT:  With further thought, I think it makes far more sense that early humans would have ridden dinosaurs in English saddles.  The western saddle is a generally utilitarian saddle developed for ranch work.  The horn, in particular, was added to aid in such work.  The cowboy had more control of a roped cow when he dallied, or looped, the rope around the horn.  Now, since in those early days, all of God's creatures were vegetarian, if follows that there was no ranching.  Therefore, there was no roping of cattle and, follow me here, no need for a horn on any saddle.  Ipso Facto, Adam probably rode in an English saddle.  QED.

But are the saddles made of leather?  Or coconut meat?

Date: 2007/06/05 09:14:15, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
I don't know how many folks on this board subscribe to Natural History magazine, but the most recent (June 2007) issue has an interesting batch of reviews by Darwin scholar Richard Milner. Lots of post-Dover books are discussed, as well as Randy Olson's Flock of Dodos film.

He cites some interesting points, including the observation by  Matthew Chapman that most kids, who are ostensibly the main focus of the protagonists in this struggle, are clueless about ID and natural selection. I don't know if that is a good sign or a bad one! But he also quotes someone named Frank Wheeler, who is described as a "practicing Christian" whom he met on a cruise to the Galápagos. Wheeler also admitted that he rarely heard evolution discussed in any Christian organization. Furthermore, Wheeler wrote "Most of us are more concerned about helping people improve their lives than in a literal interpretation of Genesis."

If true, that is a very good sign.

Date: 2007/06/05 15:03:09, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
FtK often claims on her blog and in the comments that there is no evidence that the notion of common descent has had any impact on how science is done. The implication, of course, is that whether one is an ID believer or a "Darwinist", scientific progress does not depend on understanding or utilizing common descent.

Most of us understand how absurd this position is, yet it seems to be a common and intransigent assumption among IDCers. The understanding of common descent actually makes possible all kinds of scientific advances, ranging from medical to theoretical, and these advances are reported daily, if you know what you are looking for.

Over lunch I was reading a back issue of Science (May 25, 2007), and stumbled across an interesting article by Behrens et al. (Science, Vol. 316. no. 5828, pp. 1185 - 1188) that illustrates this point yet again. The research described in that article is not exactly my area of expertise, but I think I can explain it well enough to make the point.

Dicamba is an inexpensive and potent herbicide, used to reduce broadleaf weeds in fields of crop grasses like corn and wheat. It cannot be used for other crops (e.g. soybeans, canola) because it kills those crops. One solution would be to genetically engineer resistance to dicamba into those crops.

Since dicamba is not persistent in soils, it was reasoned that some soil microorganisms are capable of degrading it. That hypothesis turned out to be true, and a three-step electron transfer pathway for converting dicamba to inert compounds was elucidated in a Pseudomonas species. The three steps involved a reductase, a ferredoxin, and an enzyme called dicamba monooxygenase, which catalyzes the reaction shown here.

Clearly it would be at least three times more difficult difficult to get genes for all three of these proteins into the right parts of a soybean plant. But due to common descent, two of the three (the reductase and the ferredoxin) were already present in the chloroplast.  So Behrens et al. inserted a chloroplast-targeting sequence (from the pea plant, another example of the usefulness of common descent) into the bacterial oxygenase gene, transfected this modified gene into tobacco and soybeans, and generated dicamba-resistant tobacco and soybean plants. Constructs without the chloroplast-targeting sequence were not capable of transferring resistance in either tobacco or soybean plants.

Obviously some components of the chloroplast electron transfer system interact well with the bacterial enzyme, if that enzyme can be targeted to the chloroplast. That means that this particular scientific advance is made possible (or at least a lot easier) by the fact of common descent; it would have been much more difficult to generate resistant plants if bacteria and plants did not have a common ancestor, but had rather been uniquely poofed into existence.

Date: 2007/06/05 17:13:59, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Wow, that ape language post is uncommonly dense!  Even better is the comment from our friend bornagain77, in which he flogs several dead horses in a single sentence.

In support of his points, he quotes somebody named Ray Bohlin (Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology). Being somewhat new to this site, I hadn't heard that name before. A quick use of the DS tool of choice, Google, led me to Dr. Bohlin's website. It turns out that he is a minister and president of "Probe Ministries" (don't even think about it, Richard) in Garland TX. Even better, he will sell you a CD described thusly
In May 2003, Dr. Ray and Sue Bohlin visited the Galapagos Islands with a different perspective, focusing on creation, intelligent design and the natural limits to biological change. This is their report... The CD features almost 300 photos with accompanying text addressing the Galapagos landforms, animals, and plants from a Christian worldview. A number of short videos are also on the CD. It is particularly good for home-schooling families and students of all ages.

There is also a website with some pics of their trip, and further descriptions of the flora and fauna of the islands from an ID/C perspective. Hopefully Christine purchased this video prior to her recent trip in order to be properly prepared for the experience!

Date: 2007/06/07 12:21:19, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ June 06 2007,00:05)
What I keep trying to get across to you is that I don’t understand why a creationist and an evolutionist couldn’t work side by side and come up with the same conclusions.  Either way...whether by common descent or special creation, we’re studying and comparing similarities between species.  Both a creationist and an evolutionist will come to the same conclusions regardless of ~how~ they believe it “evolved” to its present state.  

Let's go through this again. We're not talking about common amino acids and sugars so that we can eat plants. Per usual, Gish misses the point. We're talking about common multi-enzyme systems that perform metabolic functions.

Now think about it. Creationist scientist and evolutionary scientist want to engineer this pesticide resistance into a plant, using genes from a bacteria that can degrade the pesticide. Creationist scientist does not believe in common descent. OK so far?

Creationist scientist and evolutionary scientist can both determine empirically that there are three bacterial proteins (gene products) involved in the degradation of the pesticide. So yes, up to this point, they can come up with the same conclusion.

But here is where it diverges. Creationist scientist has no reason to think that the plant has enzymes that might substitute for some of the bacterial ones, and also no reason to think that these enzymes would fit together properly and work together. Again, please note we are not talking about amino acids, sugars and other nutrients; we are talking about the things that do the work, the enzymes. SO creationist scientist would logically conclude that he/she needed to construct transgenic plants that contained all three (3) of the bacterial genes. It might work, or it might not, because transgenic experiments that increase in complexity usually decrease in efficacy.

Evolutionist scientist knows better. Because of common descent, he/she suspects that the only missing piece in the plant is the oxygenase, since electron transfer systems in chloroplasts and mitochondria are highly conserved across genera and even kingdoms. So he/she engineers a plant that contains only the oxygenase gene. That is one gene, not three. And voila, it works BECAUSE the plant chloroplast enzymes work just fine together with the oxygenase. Note, this is not just like mixing a bag of enzymes together and hoping that they work together. Electron transfer systems and the proteins that they interact with (like the oxygenase) are tightly-organized two-dimensional membrane-bound entities.

Hope this helps you understand why knowledge of common descent makes it easier to do scientific experiments and come up with useful products or processes. Hopefully we can agree that a one-step process is better, and easier, than a two or three-step process.
And, it’s not that I feel I must reject macroev. due to my religious beliefs.  Heck, there are lots of TE’s that have the same Christian beliefs that I do, and I don’t by any means believe we must reject evolution in order to receive salvation.  The Bible doesn’t say that ANYWHERE.  I, personally, don’t see any empirical evidence that macroev. actually occurs in nature.  I only read about historical inferences and a whole lot of speculation and just so stories.

Unfortunately this doesn't agree with previous posts you have made on this board. I'd dig them up and quote them, but I have to run to a meeting in a few minutes.  But at any rate, I seem to recall your saying that you believe that Genesis MUST be true (and that would include the creation myth parts of Genesis) because otherwise there would be no Fall, no original sin, and no reason that Jesus would have to redeem you. No, that obviously doesn't mention evolution, but it certainly seems (to me, at least), that you are rejecting it because of your religious beliefs.

Date: 2007/06/07 18:52:12, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Sounds good. I'm currently drinking an Avery (Boulder, CO) IPA. Not too hoppy, lovely copper color, and a nice "nose".

Whilst traveling in the American Southwest recently, we found a shop in Las Cruces NM that sold the Stone IPA. I had never had it, I had only had their Arrogant Bastard Ale once while visiting in SoCal. That was excellent, so I bought a six-pack of their IPA in Las Cruces. I wish I had tasted it there; I would have brought back a case or two...

Date: 2007/06/07 21:08:43, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ June 07 2007,20:41)
I see FTK was slathering on thick, heaping slabs of teh stoopid yesterday.  This was in response to the Gonzalez-as-Joan-of-Arc picture:


Do I think that's a little over the top? No. Looks like the tables have completely turned.

Used to be the nasty religious folks would persecute the atheists. Now, we have the nasty atheists persecuting the relgious folks. IMO, Avalos' actions had a lot to do with the outcome of this decision.

In the end, you and I both know why GG was denied tenure, and I find the decision appalling.

FTK, just wondering, aren't you essentially admitting here that ID really is religion and not science?

Oh, but not to be out-stoopided, Dave "We Own That, Now, Too" weighs in with some of his typically brilliant legal analysis:

The bottom line here is that Guillermo Gonzalez did not present his views on intelligent design to his students or otherwise use Iowa State resources to promote or foster interest in intelligent design.

If there was any bias in anyone's decision to deny him tenure because of Guillermo's association with intelligent design outside of Iowa State then it becomes a first amendment issue - freedom of speech and association. Taking his ID assocation into account is no different than turning him down because he's a Democrat or Republican, for or against affirmative action, or any other kind of perfectly legal association.

At least one member of the tenure committee admitted that Guillermo's association with ID was the reason he voted no. There is therefore sufficient cause for action to seek legal redress against the university for violation of civil rights. It doesn't matter what other factors were taken into consideration or if those were sufficient in and of themselves to deny tenure. Outside associations which do not violate university policy or the law may not be considered in these decisions. A trial is in order and all the people who played any role in the tenure decision need to be subpoenaed and questioned under oath whether Guillermo's association with ID outside the university played any role in their decision. The president of the university was informed in hundreds or perhaps thousands of letters that ID played a role in this decision so he can't claim ignorance. I think an appropriate outcome of this is that if a court finds a civil rights violation that the president of the university be fired and Guillermo be given a new tenure hearing with the committee members informed in advance that consideration of Guillermo's legal outside activities cannot play any role whatsoever in the decision.

In any event Guillermo deserves his day in court to decide whether he was treated fairly or whether his civil rights were violated. It's up to him of course whether to pursue that option but I suspect he will. There are accomplished lawyers ready to take the case pro bono and many schools that aren't biased against belief in a created universe which would welcome such an accomplished young astronomer with open arms. Guillermo practically invented the area of study called "The Galactic Habitable Zone", was featured on the cover of Scientific American, co-authored an advanced astronomy textbook, and produced an almost unheard of number of highly cited peer reviewed publications. His professional conduct and performance is nothing short of outstanding when objectively measured.

He then lays the cherry atop the sundae with this classic:

What if Gonzalez was a supporter of Apartheid, a holocaust denier, a member of the Ku Klux Klan or a Dominionist?

I suspect those are less threatening to most academics than Intelligent Design and Guillermo would have been granted tenure so there would be nothing to discuss. In any case the same principle holds true. These associations are protected by the first amendment. A private university probably has more latitude in hiring/firing decisions but not a public university.

It bears repeating that universities, both public and private, have been down these tenure denial roads many times before Gonzalez. Thus all universities have extensive and explicit guidelines re expectations for pre-tenured faculty if they expect to get tenure. This is, from a university standpoint, cut-and-dried. If the ISU physics dept. faculty didn't think they had good reasons to deny tenure in this case, they wouldn't have the ammunition to do it. They did it, the president upheld it, and I suspect that Gonzalez will have a very hard time finding substantive reasons to dispute or litigate it.

Also as noted before, tenure decisions are basically an opportunity to choose colleagues who will be in your department for the rest of their academic lifetime (hopefully), and the folks in most departments take those responsibilities very seriously. I think we can trust that the physics faculty at ISU made a well-reasoned and informed decision. The second-guessing by noted anti-intellectuals like DS and FtK, who clearly don't understand (or choose to ignore) that reality about academic institutions is not too surprising. What would really be surprising would be that they admit that ignorance about how university departments operate, and let it go.

Date: 2007/06/08 11:01:36, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ June 08 2007,08:43)
Dave wrote:
Let's go through this again. We're not talking about common amino acids and sugars so that we can eat plants. Per usual, Gish misses the point. We're talking about common multi-enzyme systems that perform metabolic functions.

No, I don’t think Gish  “misses the point” because I didn’t quote him in response to your particular example.  What I’m trying to relay is that evolutionists believe that everything must have evolved through common descent due to the similarities they observe between organisms.  Creationists believe that due to how the designer formed the cosmos (with the intension that all organisms were going to live in and of the same environomental constants), there is the need for all creatures to be designed with similarities.

But all creatures DON'T live with the same "environmental constants". That may have been the notion when the bible was written, but we now know it is not true. Bacteria living in the soil experience very different environmental constants than those experienced by a chloroplast in a soybean plant, in this particular example. And going further afield, there are bacteria that live in hydrothermal vents at extreme pressures and temperatures. What would Gish et al. predict about these organisms? According to your above-referenced "environmental constants" notion, one should predict that their metabolic pathways and enzymes are very different from soil-dwelling organisms, since the environmental constants are very different. Common descent, on the other hand, would predict that they would be very similar. Guess what? The Gishite prediction fails; these bacteria have electron transfer systems that are very similar to those of soil-dwelling bacteria.

And that's the point. Creationists don't have any way to really predict anything, because all the predictions depend upon reading the mind of a supernatural being. And those mind-readings seem to change as new facts are discovered. By scientists who can make valid predictions based on common descent.

Creationists are piggy-backing on the data generated by real scientists, and then generating hand-waving arguments to pretend that they would get the same answers. What will happen when, somewhere in the cosmos, some other creature is discovered and it has a very different metabolism, perhaps a different genetic molecule, etc. How will that be accommodated by your statement: "Creationists believe that due to how the designer formed the cosmos (with the intension (sic) that all organisms were going to live in and of the same environomental (sic) constants), there is the need for all creatures to be designed with similarities."? I predict that there will then be more hand-waving. What do you predict?        

Both will end up with the same end results because both have been studying and classifying various organisms, and both understand their similarities.

No. Only one UNDERSTANDS their similarities, and can make confident predictions based on that understanding. The other knows some facts, but those facts are useless for predictions, and don't allow him to understand new and different organisms such as those found in deep-sea hydrothermal vents.            
So, yes, my religious beliefs do affect how I view some of these issues, but unlike the AiG folks, I do not believe that we must reject everything that we don’t feel fits our interpretation of Genesis.  Ya gotta follow the evidence wherever it leads, but you have to be carefully in doing so because science is continuously correcting itself.  I also am not the type of person who accepts Christianity on “faith” alone.  I believe there have to be lines of evidence to follow in which to base your religious beliefs upon rather than blindly accepting something on faith.

Well, as I have pointed out to you before, there is no way to "follow the evidence" if you are a creationist or IDer. There are no predictions to be made, therefore there is no map to follow. You can only do things that look like science, and that depend upon science, but they aren't science. In order to follow the evidence you have to have a deeper understanding of the mechanisms, beyond just hand-waving, mind-reading, and poofing.        

Dave, you have stated a few times that you have no interest in discussing religion.  You also said that when you first started posting at my blog, you promised yourself you wouldn’t get into religious issues.  In this forum you basically stated once that you weren’t well versed enough to get into religious discussions.  And, when I mentioned a book you were reading and stated that I wasn’t surprised that you were reading a book about how religion “evolved”, you admitted that that was the only interest you had in religion (how it evolved).

So, why would I take your word that the ToE is a fact beyond question when you don’t seem to know or care much about theology?  Perhaps your “indoctrination” was as persuasive as mine was.  Is it possible that YOU might perhaps be missing a piece of the puzzle?

Here is the bottom this point in time, I ~honestly~ don’t understand how the concept of common descent is of any more benefit to science than merely considering similarities between organisms, and when I consider all the other controversial issues surrounding the ToE, it just seems silly to consider the theory a “fact” rather than merely an interpretation of the data that ~may be~ correct.   As far as my religious beliefs are concerned, why reject so much of the bible as “myth” due to a scientific theory which may never be supported with enough empirical evidence to make it a "fact"?  I think I’ll wait for further evidence before I decide to reject my personal religious beliefs.

Re religion, I will remind you that you brought up that subject first; I was merely responding. I am not interested in discussing your religion or mine; I am only interested in understanding why your religion keeps you from understanding science, or accepting reality. And again you put words in my mouth. I never said that evolutionary theory was a fact. Evolution is a fact; evolutionary theory is the currently best supported explanation for that fact. Creationism and ID are other attempts to explain that fact; but they are not supported by any scientific experiments. They are supported by hand-waving, and can only be believed if you ignore lots of other facts.

If you honestly don't understand why common descent is a powerful predictive concept, and how understanding common descent makes scientific progress and products more likely, I have run out of ways to try to convince you. I think that a one-step method is better than a three-step method in this case, and I think that predicting a precursor to a potent chemotherapeutic drug like Taxol is only possible if you understand common descent. If you don't understand that, then I'll leave your further education to others on this board.

Date: 2007/06/08 12:06:04, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
I was perusing the website for the new Chick tract from the DI, "Exploring Evolution" in order to figure out if I can get a free "examination copy" to put on my shelf alongside "Of Pandas and People" and the Bob Jones Univ.-published "Biology for Christian Schools". Alas, there seems to be no way to do that. But along the way I noticed that one of the endorsements for the book was from a fellow named John Silvius, of Cedarville University. I knew a John Silvius who published some good papers in membrane biology a few years back, so this piqued my interest. A brief googling revealed that this Silvius apparently has a Ph.D. in Plant Physiology from West Virginia University, and did a two-year post-doc at U of Illinois. He is apparently a real biologist, but I could find no publications of his listed in the Web of Science (the John Silvius that I know had 10 pubs listed, including one in 2006 in Science).

Not so surprising is that Cedarville is a Baptist school which lists on its webpages these attributes:

# Unwavering commitment to the inerrancy and authority of Scripture
# Creationist approach to scientific research and study
# Required Bible minor a part of all academic programs
# Daily chapels with relevant biblical teaching and authentic praise
# Discipleship groups that provide opportunities for Bible study, mentoring, accountability, prayer, and open discussion

I wonder how they can tell if your praise is "authentic"?  More relevantly, what do you think the tenure requirements might be for this place?  The Human Resources office has this notice:

Employment at Cedarville University, regardless of position, requires full belief in the Doctrinal Statement and agreement to abide by the Community Covenant and General Work Place Standards of Conduct of the University.

with links to the Doctrinal Statement. as well as a Church Membership requirement which describes the kind of church you must attend in order to be employed there. Things like scriptural inerrancy, literal 6-day creation, and evangelism seem to be important.

Although there are no openings in physics or astronomy for Gonzalez, they do have an opening for a faculty job in Biology. Unfortunately, I don't think I am qualified...

Date: 2007/06/08 12:59:45, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ June 08 2007,12:19)
I assume you have this classic?

Yeah, that one IS a classic. It perfectly (and no doubt accidentally) captures the smug arrogance of the creationist, as well as the disdain that folks like that have for universities, professors, etc. And, best of all, the professor who gets converted seems to resemble PZ.

In their dreams...

Date: 2007/06/08 15:02:20, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
The Lord hath delivered him into mine hands.  
Quote (stevestory @ June 08 2007,14:37)
Those are the words that Thomas Huxley, Darwin's confidant and staunchest ally, purportedly murmured to a colleague as he rose to turn Bishop Samuel Wilberforce's own words to his advantage and rebut the bishop's critique of Darwin's theory at their legendary 1860 Oxford debate. They are also the first words that popped into my head as I read Michael J. Behe's The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism. In it, Behe makes a new set of explicit claims about the limits of Darwinian evolution, claims that are so poorly conceived and readily dispatched that he has unwittingly done his critics a great favor in stating them.

Brilliant!  Sean Carroll was the perfect reviewer for Behe's latest drivel. Kudos to the staff at Science for making that choice. And the Monty Python cartoon is just perfect as well.

Of course, DT will tell us that Carroll is unqualified to review books, since he has written some before...

Date: 2007/06/09 04:17:15, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Richardthughes @ June 08 2007,22:05)
Chateau D'Yquem.

'nuff said.

So you drink D'Yquem on a regular basis?

I'm definitely gonna come visit!

Date: 2007/06/09 10:44:59, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Louis @ June 09 2007,07:50)
But seriously:

Chateau D'Yquem is good if you like dessert wines, sauternes, etc  but I have to say that, whilst I love them, they're hardly a session wine or a frequent drinker. That's not a criticism, more an observation. They are after all GORGEOUS.

Now with wine, one can talk of the big reds, the clarets etc and they have their place (my favourite is Margaux, that region has some of the best terroir in France in my opinion. Ch. Palmer, Ch. Margaux. Love 'em! Ch. Margaux has been owned by the same [Greek origin!!] family for ~40 years and they IMO [and that of a few others] have produced the best red bordeaux in the Medoc for ages. Costs a bit though) one can talk of the New World (sorry boys, but I think you and the Antipodeans over oak the majority of your wines. Oaking disguises the results of poor terroir dontcherknow. That's not to say that the New World wines are all bad, far from it. But our British market is saturated with their cheap end oaked whites and shallow reds, it give is a bad impression) but you cannot beat a glass of Chateau de Chassellier eh Obediah?

Sorry, mum and dad own a restaurant, I grew up with wine, and as wine appreciation has a strong chemistry element, I sort of am kind of erm interested in it.....{trails off as wine geekery is acknowledged}


Well sure, but when the price in Kansas is $180 for a split of D'Yquem from a good (not great) vintage, I'll make an exception. Hell, I'll even cook a dessert. I like a nice vanilla flan with Sauternes, and I have an excellent (Cuban) recipe for flan.

I agree with you about the Margaux, even if it was Richard Nixon's favorite wine. They are damn pricey over here though. While I was a post doc (late 1970's) I was fortunate enough to fall into a wine-tasting group in St. Louis, and one of the members was a very wealthy M.D. He treated us all to a vertical tasting of Ch. Margaux. My tasting notes indicate that we had the 1949, 1953, 1955, 1959 and 1961. The '49 and '53 were stunning, the '55 was not as good and was starting to fade, and the '59 and '61 were eminently drinkable, but probably would get even better with a few more years in bottle. I often wonder what that tasting cost him!

Even so, I have to say that my favorite red of all time was a 1959 Richebourg, which I had in the mid 1980's sometime. I haven't been able to drink any domestic pinot noirs since...

The St. Louis M.D.  would also regularly fly to London to pick up wines at auction from the estates of deceased (probably cirrhosis) Brits. The best thing that I can recall from one of those excursions was a port. Vintage 1899. Yeah, a port from the 19th century. It had faded to a tawny color, but it still tasted fine.

But the-wine-tasting options here in Manhattan KS are not quite up to that caliber, alas. And neither is my budget..

Date: 2007/06/09 10:56:56, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Man, this is classic. Over on FtK's blog, Larry Farfromsane clarifies his feelings about book reviews
I have often been criticized for commenting about books without having read them in their entirety and sometimes not at all. However, reading entire books is very time-consuming and therefore reduces the range of opinions that one can be exposed to. Often I can get all I need to know about a book just by reading small parts of it (e.g., the introduction) and book reviews.

Given that Larry seems to have very little time for other's opinions; one has to wonder what "range of opinions" he is hoping to encounter in all that time he has freed up by not reading any books...

To her credit, FtK has an appropriate response.
Good grief.

Date: 2007/06/09 15:57:11, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ June 09 2007,14:33)
Dave, I have a couple more questions about your last post....I think it's the power of prediction that I'm not quite understanding.  

I haven't put anything together yet, but I've been thinking about it while cleaning the house.   My men are pigs, and I'm having a party next weekend, so I chased them off in order to get the pigpen cleaned up.

No problem. I've got plenty to do here, working on a revision to a paper that has been already revised twice. Fortunately we are including some new data that might make it easier for the reviewers to let us publish it this time! Not nearly as much fun as house-cleaning, or lawn-mowing, which is also on the agenda today.

Re prediction, and some of your previous comments
If both creation scientists and evolutionists throughout history have been conducting research and experimentation in regard to the similarities between organisms, why would their results look different? Both would be comparing similarities and documenting them for future use...

Yes, prior to the age of Darwin and Wallace, most scientists (at least in Europe and America) were creationists. And they made lots of discoveries, did lots of experiments, etc. Some of them (e.g. Lamarck) even developed predictive theories; others (e.g. Linneaus) developed taxonomy and classification.

And indeed, some ideas developed by creationist scientists are still around, even though they may have been modified drastically in order to accommodate new findings. Linnean taxonomy is a good example. As you may recall, Linneaus had a taxonomic category he called Vermes, which included not only the standard worms, but snakes as well. Their external morphology was enough to convince Linneaus (and his contemporaries) that these organisms were closely related. Obviously we know better now; snakes are vertebrates and are not very closely related to the invertebrate worms. But the basic Linnean taxonomy, and the nomenclature, is still workable, so that framework survived, even though it was generated by a (gasp) creationist. There is a big difference, however, between this type of science (observational) and the types of science (experimental) which benefit from the power of prediction.

That leads us to the second example, Lamarck's theory of acquired characteristics. It made some predictions, which could then be tested by experiments. If this theory was correct, one could predict that a dog which had its ears and tail docked during puppyhood would, at adulthood, give birth to puppies with shorter ears and tails. Generations of Doberman breeders have proved that this prediction is invalid. Lots of other experiments, based on predictions of Lamarck's theory, have also not been borne out by experiments. So that theory has been scrapped.

Creationists have no mechanism to use in predictive theories. Supernatural actions cannot be understood by those of us who are stuck in the natural world. So a creationist can make no scripturally-mandated choice between a world where all organisms share a common genetic material and many common metabolic pathways, or a world where bacteria, bats, and bonobos all have different genetic materials and different metabolic pathways. Despite Gish's hadn-waving, there is no a priori reason to expect one, or the other, or any of a myriad of possibilities. Yes, a creationist scientist can make some observations, and figure out that bacteria and soybeans share some metabolic enzymes, but those observations are useless in predicting what he/she will find in the metabolism of bats or bonobos.

So the observational science that creationist scientists of the past gave us is still useful. A creationist can still discover things. But a predictive, mechanistic theory like evolutionary theory makes it possible to discover things more easily, and (more importantly) to UNDERSTAND WHY they are that way. Creation scientists are limited to observations; they can never explain why things are the way they are in any coherent and consistent framework. When they do make predictions, they base them on Scripture rather than on theory. And when people test those predictions (e.g. 6000 yr-old Earth), they are not valid. If Lamarckianism was scrapped because its predictions didn't pan out, creationism should be scrapped too. It had a good long run, but now it's over.

All of this means that predictions are an important part of modern experimental science, and that older observational science, even when valid, is not the same thing. Furthermore it means that one should accept it when one's pet predictions turn out to be wrong. Scientists do that all the time; creationists can't seem to adapt, somehow.

Date: 2007/06/09 18:59:21, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ June 09 2007,17:57)
But, I can't comment much anyway because I'm NOT A SCIENTIST.  It would be nice to find a forum where Darwinists and IDists can actually converse civilly.  And, on a personal level, I think it'd be much more interesting if people from both sides got to know each other a bit more personally...makes the conversations more fun.  They may even find out that those from the "other side" aren't as idiotic, delusional, evil, and dishonest as they might think.

I'm still here.

I've been civil.

I've been trying to discuss science with you.

Ball is in your court.


Date: 2007/06/10 08:33:19, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Perhaps I should have used a phrase like living within the entire biosphere or world as a whole rather than the word “environment“.  I didn’t mean individual environments.  BTW, as far as I know, the bible didn’t relay any “notion” about environmental constants.  It’s not a science textbook.

This is known as "moving the goalposts". In science, I fear, it is important to say what you mean, and mean what you say.
I would have thought just the opposite (if you note my corrected meaning of the word environment) would seem to me that Gish would predict them to be similar because of his statement in regard to the observation that so much of nature obviously depends on other parts of nature for their livelihood.   Due to that observation, one would certainly predict massive similarities throughout much of nature.   It seems to me it’s always been obvious that we share common characteristics with other other organisms.  Linneaus started classifying these similarities before Darwin hit the scene, and I find it hard to believe that we wouldn’t be exactly where we are today unless we had rejected common design for common descent.  The notion of common descent might have possibly helped push us more urgently toward further exploration of organisms at one point in order to try to confirm the concept, but there is no reason to believe that a creationist wouldn’t be able to “do science” due to their belief that similarities are due to common design rather than common descent.

This is known as post hoc hand-waving. If you know the answer, it is always easy for a creationist to say "Well, yes. That's exactly what I would have predicted." In the two instances where I asked you questions on your blog that required you to know some logic or science, and where you didn't have the answer, and couldn't find the answer easily via the internet, you couldn't do it (but you did act as if the answer was "obvious" when I gave it to you). Neither you, nor Gish, nor Dembski, nor Behe can answer questions like that. Why not?  Because creation involves a mechanism that cannot be repeated and cannot lead to predictions.

And you seemed to have missed my point about the ability of a creationist to "do science". I fully agree that creationists contributed to the body of knowledge that we call science today. I fully agree that they can still do science that would be classified as observational science, which can still lead to an increase in that body of knowledge, if they are well trained and keep their faith out of the science. But they can do no more than that. That is because a belief in "common design" rather than common descent means that they must just observe. And ignore the facts that don't seem to fit that paradigm.
Okay, so since we assume that, due to common descent, everything evolved from that first organism, then we predict that there are similarities between all organisms.  But, an evolutionist can’t just look at something and make a prediction as to where it should be classified without thoroughly examining it.  So, what good is the concept of common descent other than to say that, “hey, there will be similarities of some sort between these organisms because we know that everything evolved from that first microbe.  So, let’s dig into this sucker and figure out how to classify it with other organisms that have the closest similarities to this creature“.

But HOW do you "dig into this sucker"? Take the bacterial example. You want to know if those bacteria that live at high temps and pressures are using similar electron-transfer systems, compared to the soil-dwelling bacteria. You don't have to grow those hydrothermal vent bacteria (which require growth conditions which not easily achievable in a lab). You can take a small sample of DNA from a deep-sea probe and use DNA primers based on sequences found in other critters (like soil bacteria, or plant chloroplasts), and examine their genes to see if similar sequences are found. That technology is based on common descent. Post facto, a creationist knows that the DNA sequence approach works, so he/she would use it too. But IF that creationist had not been exposed to the scientific facts and methods generated by those who work in the real world of common descent, he/she wouldn't know enough to do that. He/she would probably have to grow those bacteria in the lab, isolate their enzymes or do metabolic experiments, rather than just look at the genes. Trust me, that is a lot more work to get the same answer, if you ever get there.
But, Dave, there is no reason why they wouldn’t get the same answers.  As I’ve said many times, classifying these similarities which would lead to future scientific breakthroughs doesn’t depend upon believing that everything evolved from that first microbe.  It’s an interesting concept, but I just don’t comprehend why similarities must be the product of common descent.

They don't "have to be". But the evidence says that they are. And that evidence leads to predictions (like the bollixed globin genes in the icefish that Carroll told you about) that are borne out, which adds more support to the concept. That is known as "following the evidence", which is a phrase you like to use but don't seem to understand. What would be a creationist prediction for globin genes in icefish? Be honest with yourself and you would predict that they wouldn't have any, no need for 'em.  But they do. They just have been inactivated. Predictions based on your theory have to be valid. If they are not, you have to discard or revise the theory, no matter how much you are attached to it. Can a creation scientist do that?  Can you?

Date: 2007/06/10 12:03:22, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ June 10 2007,11:26)
I also am beginning to understand why college students accept this stuff as fact.  It's all written without any consideration that a lot of it is speculation.  And, it only covers topics ever so slightly.  I find myself asking why, why, why and how do they come to that conclusion?  I wouldn't have asked those questions as a college student because I was more interested in getting through the hour of class, getting a decent grade, and getting back to the bar & my social life ASAP.

Honestly, if you can find ANYTHING in a college-level intro textbook that is "speculation", and not clearly labeled as speculation, then you get a gold star. Saying it is true doesn't make it true. And if you want to read speculation, I have a copy of "Pandas", as well as a copy of the Bob Jones University textbooks "Biology for Christian Schools". Please give us an example of any unwarranted speculation in Campbell, Reese and Simon, and I'll easily match you one-for-one from Pandas or the other books. Thanks.

Furthermore, given that there are literally hundreds of scientific papers backing up every single sentence in an intro-level college biology texttbook, how, exactly, do you expect the authors to give all the evidence for the things that you label "speculation"? In what other college-level intro textbooks do the authors provide all of the evidence for their sentences?

Finally, intro-level college biology textbooks must cover a lot of material, and there is really no way to cover any topic in any detail. That's why it's an introductory book, BTW. If you want the detail, you take other classes with other more specialized textbooks. Then you take other classes which use (and critique) the primary literature on which this is all based. Then you will understand the sheer silliness of your criticisms of this introductory level textbook. It has nothing to do with the bar and social life expectations of college freshmen; it has a lot to do with the reality of science, and how it is done, and how it is taught.

Date: 2007/06/10 18:24:47, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ June 10 2007,17:58)
If birds evolved from dinosaurs, we'd expect to find feathered dinos -- and we do.

Do we?

Yawn. Do you understand the article? Do you subscribe to the Proceedings of the Royal Society B or did you get an advance copy from Louis? Do you really understand its implications? And, did you read this part of the press release?
The birds-from-dinos theory is based on the idea that small, specialised theropod dinosaurs -- theropods are carnivorous, bipedal dinos with three-toed feet -- gained an advantage by developing plant-eating habits, growing feathers to keep warm and taking to the trees for safety.

From there, it was a relatively small step to developing gliding skills and then the ability to fly.

Lingham-Soliar's team do not take issue with the theory itself.

What's next?

Date: 2007/06/10 18:29:39, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (carlsonjok @ June 10 2007,18:08)
Also FWIW, I was green with envy at the vertical tasting Albatrossity did.  I am probably not enough of an oneophile to truly appreciate such an opportunity, but I sure wouldn't turn it down either.  I really need some rich friends like that.  Unfortunately, most of our friends are broke-ass horse people who like wine from a box and think Michelob is a high-end beer.

Well, all I have from that tasting is memories, a slightly hardened liver, and the realization that it costs a lot more to drink great wines than I have in my savings account...

Right now, however, I am drinking a quite quaffable Chardonnay (Cambria 2004, Katherine's Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley) and preparing to grill some chicken. Things could definitely be worse than that!

Date: 2007/06/10 20:05:40, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (carlsonjok @ June 10 2007,19:33)
Never been a big Chardonnay fan.  I don't like what oak aging does to a white. If that makes me a pirahna in wine circles, so be it. I tend more to Rieslings, Gewurtztraminers, and Liebfraumilchs.  FWIW, Wine Spectator raved about the 2005 German Rieslings.  They are reasonably priced, too.

I certainly agree, and I avoid over-oaked chardonnays for that reason. This one (Cambria) is not overly oaked. And there are several others that you might try. The Saintsbury (only the Carneros Creek vineyard bottling) is a good example; not a lot of oak, but a hell of a lot of fruit in that one. And there are others; unfortunately the Chardonnay, a good dinner, and a weekend lethargy make it difficult for me to recall them at this very moment  :)

Stay away from the Toasted Head vintages, for sure! Those barrels with toasted heads are gonna give you a fair amount of oak, and if you dislike oakiness, you will find them appalling...

Date: 2007/06/10 20:23:20, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ June 10 2007,19:22)
You say if a creationist were not exposed to the "real world of common descent" he would never figure this out.  How in the heck do you know that?  At Darwin’s time, they wouldn’t be able to figure this out either.  Isn’t it due to research on similarities between organisms that led to this type of advanced technology and information?  Couldn’t common design push one to research these issues as well?  

I don't "know" that. Those sort of "what if" questions" are mere speculation (a topic with which we are all familiar).

But Wesley makes a good point on the other thread devoted to you (don't you feel special, fighting a two-front war here?).    
All possible configurations of reality are compatible with the conjecture that a capricious, omnipotent entity wanted it that way.

There is no predicting where we would be if we still relied on creationist predictions, because they could be all over the board. To paraphrase Rummy, you go to war with the science you got, not the science you want.
What would be a creationist prediction for globin genes in icefish? Be honest with yourself and you would predict that they wouldn't have any, no need for 'em.  

But, aren’t we talking about microevolution here?  I don’t think it would be impossible to predict this type of example because we know that evolution is an empirically sound fact at the micro level.

Answer the question. please. What would be your creation-based prediction, or Gish's prediction, about globin genes in icefish after the discovery that they don't have red blood cells or hemoglobin? How is the subsequent observation that they have inactivated globin genes compatible with that prediction?

Date: 2007/06/11 07:02:32, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ June 10 2007,21:11)
But Wesley makes a good point on the other thread devoted to you (don't you feel special, fighting a two-front war here?).

No, I'm having severe dejavu - kcfs all over again.  Scenario goes like this...back and forth, back and forth, until I'm finally told that I have to go back to school and major in two or three areas of science in order to understand anything further.

If I choose not to take that route, I must trust that the scientific community is 100% correct about these issues and that although, as you said, much of it is speculation, it simply cannot be dismissed because “"micro-yes, macro-no" is like saying that the sun comes up but doesn't go down.”  If I cannot understand that particular “fact”, then I can never, ever, ever understand or “do science”.  

Yes, unless you want to get a degree in everything, you have to trust that those who did get a degree in something are trying to do things the right way. Personally, I don't plan on getting a degree in computer science, and am quite comfortable with the notion that my computer and software will work the next time I boot up.
Oh, and I must agree that creationists can't "do science" because they reject this speculation as being fact...even though it's speculation.

Nope. Read those posts again. Creationists did science, and can still do science. The problem is that their explanation for the diversity of life on this planet has been proven wrong, and speculation is the only remaining tool in their tool box.

You have the answer right in front of you. The icefish question. Answer it honestly and you'll have a glimmer as to why creation is a useless paradigm in science. If all you had was the observation that the icefish has no red blood cells and no hemoglobin, what would a creationist predict about the globin genes in that fish? And, more importantly, what would be the mechanistic basis for that prediction? Certainly if you know that the icefish's globin genes are present but inactivated, you can try to make some hand-waving speculative rationalization about how they were designed that way. But evolutionary theory predicts the right answer, and has a mechanism to explain it - descent from some ancestor (macroevolution, horrors!;) that had good globin genes, mutations that inactivate them, and selection in an extreme environment. See the difference? One paradigm can't predict but can allow for observations, the other paradigm both predicts and allows for observations, and also allows a deeper understanding of the biology of the critter.

Henri Poincare wrote: "Science is facts; just as houses are made of stones, so is science made of facts; but a pile of stones is not a house and a collection of facts is not necessarily science."

Hope this helps.

Date: 2007/06/11 07:15:55, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
There being no other relevant place to post this note, I'll drop it off here. Tomorrow (Tu June 12) Elizabeth and I are heading to Spartansburg SC for a few days. She is attending and presenting a paper at the ASLE (Assocation for the Study of Literature and the Environment) conference, and I am tagging along to take some hikes, see some birds, and soak in some talks on literature and the environment. My brother and sister-in-law, who live in Carrboro NC, are coming down for a day, so we will be able to get together with them. But if any AtBCers are in the area, or are planning to attend this meeting, drop me a note and perhaps we can get together for a beer. Sorry, I won't be able to pay for a bottle of D'Yquem...

Date: 2007/06/11 07:41:29, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (skeptic @ June 11 2007,07:28)
I truely believe more than anything that the animosity on the religious side comes from the manner in which science has been presented to them, namely with arrogance, condesention and hostility.  Given a different presentation style and the result is completely different but then most on this side view religious people with contempt and arrogance.  Don't get me wrong, this doesn't exonerate the religious community but the burden of teaching lies with science.

Sorry, but that is ridiculous. As has been pointed out before, there are literally dozens of scientific theories, all doubtlessly taught with the same level of "arrogance, condescention (sic) and hostility", which somehow don't get these folks excited. Why is that? Is it possible that they don't even think about science at all until some preacher fills their head with falsehoods about it? If so, how, exactly, is that the fault of anyone else but the preachers, and the unthinking masses who accept those lies?

Date: 2007/06/11 08:50:47, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ June 11 2007,07:49)

You might want to remember that those coming out to bat for your side have more at stake in this particular area of science as well.  So, they DO approach this particular topic differently than other areas of science as well.

Let's see...for starters, there have been a whole batch of "new atheist" books popping up everywhere.  It's not just the "preachers fill[ing] heads with falsehoods".  Dawkins/Hitchens/Harris/Dennet et. al. are every bit as deceiving as you may think preachers are.
A lot of projection in those few sentences. Let's go back to the main point of my message.

Science teachers teach evolutionary theory, but they also teach germ theory, cell theory, atomic theory, plate-tectonic theory, and a slew of other theories. Unless proven otherwise, I think we have to assume that all of these are taught in the same way. Why is it that only one of these is controversial?  Is it because of the arrogant condescending, and hostile teaching methods, as skeptic would have us believe? If so, can you, or he, please explain why germ theory etc. (and science, in general) are off the radar for 99% of the public?

If you can't explain that on the basis of the teaching methods, we need to look for another hypothesis. Mine would be that evolution is seen by some as a threat to their religious beliefs, and therefore gets mentioned in pulpits and Chick tracts and lots of places. In the course of those discussions it is necessary to lie about evolution and its implications. I won't take your bait about Dawkins et al.; the point is that lying is bad, and pointing to another liar does not exonerate any liars.

Scientists have no use for lies, or liars. Lies in science get ferreted out by other scientists, and liars get shunned. So these lies by religious folks are not tolerated, and yes, some scientists might even get "hostile". But that hostility is caused by the lies on the other side; it is not, as skeptic claims, causal in the generation of the original resistance to the facts of evolution and the explanatory power of evolutionary theory.
You also need to look at yourself and realize that when you completely reject all conversations about religion as foolish and unimportant in this debate, you are destroying your own case in this respect.

All I have said is that I won't discuss religion in the same forum as science. I know a bit about science; I don't know enough about religion to be useful in any discussion. I only know that if my religion required me to ignore reality, I would find another religion, since reality will always be there, and there seem to be plenty of essentially indistinguishable religions to choose from.

Date: 2007/06/11 09:17:57, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (stevestory @ June 11 2007,09:11)
Quote (Ftk @ June 11 2007,09:55)
Why then do you suppose it's not being taught in philosophy classes yet?

Apparently you've never had a philosophy of science class.

Well, if she did, it was probably taught by an atheist...

I see that we have allowed skeptic to get us off track and into a discussion of religion (aka ID). Let's try to reroute this train wreck.

FtK - What predictions about globin genes in icefish could a creationist make, and what is the basis for those predictions, based on the observations that icefish have no red blood cells and no hemoglobin?

thanks in advance

Date: 2007/06/11 09:23:01, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (stevestory @ June 11 2007,07:20)
When you come up to visit them here in Carrboro, let me know.

Will do; we get back there every couple of years or so. I'm sure you can suggest some good places for libations there!

Date: 2007/06/11 09:48:44, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (stevestory @ June 11 2007,09:28)
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ June 11 2007,10:23)
Quote (stevestory @ June 11 2007,07:20)
When you come up to visit them here in Carrboro, let me know.

Will do; we get back there every couple of years or so. I'm sure you can suggest some good places for libations there!

We'll go to Hell.

(Don't look shocked, creationists)

I dunno about that He11 place. Not only is it blasphemous, it seems possible that it is run by atheistic communists. Note this cocktail description from their website  
BAY OF PIGS: Stoli & Bacardi. Viva la revolucion!

Pinkos! Egad!

Date: 2007/06/11 09:53:46, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ June 11 2007,09:49)
Since you don’t “know enough about religion to be useful in any discussion”, then you’ll really never know whether it may be that your views on science are causing YOU to ignore reality.  And, if you really believe that there are plenty of essentially “indistinguishable religions” out there, and if any religion will do, then, in essence, you are satisfied (without doing the research) that your belief that there is no real truth to be found in religion is correct.  So, personally, I think your lack of education on the topic of theology may have helped form your opinions about the “reality” of your own scientific views.

Yawn again. You're not going to convince me that my thoughts about my religion (which you mistakenly assume to be uneducated) have any bearing on scientific facts. Unfortunately, it seems that your thoughts about religion are confusing you about scientific facts. I'm pretty sure that is not my problem.

What predictions about globin genes in icefish could a creationist make, and what is the basis for those predictions, based on the observations that icefish have no red blood cells and no hemoglobin?

Thanks in advance.

Date: 2007/06/11 09:59:42, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ June 11 2007,09:49)
The point is that BOTH sides believe the other to be devious liars so it’s kind of ridiculous for you to make a statement like evolution is “seen by some as a threat to their religious beliefs”.

It is certainly true that both sides think the other side is lying, and I have said nothing to the contrary.

The difference is that one side can PROVE that the other is lying (How old is the earth, again?), while the other cannot prove anything, but relies on faith and an ancient reference book.

And here's that question that keeps slipping by your radar screen again.

What predictions about globin genes in icefish could a creationist make, and what is the basis for those predictions, based on the observations that icefish have no red blood cells and no hemoglobin?

Date: 2007/06/11 10:15:27, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ June 11 2007,10:10)
No, Dave, one side cannot PROVE anything...again, you are confused about "how science works".

Sure, semantically it is true that science never can prove anything. But it sure can disprove things. Like the notion that the earth is 10,000 years old.

Furthermore, scientific "proof" is not the only thing on the table. If a preacher says that evolutionary theory says that the process of evolution is random, that is a lie. And it can be proven.

Date: 2007/06/11 13:28:06, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ June 11 2007,12:51)
By Dave's own admission, he is not well versed on the subject of religion nor does he have much interest.  But, he has deemed religion as the cause of the unrest in this debate. Seems one would want to investigate more into the reasons why religious folks believe the things they do and whether it may actually be possible to find truth through religious teachings rather than reject the notion entirely and fight those whose beliefs are as strong as his own in regard to how a person can find "truth".

Enough, already. One doesn't need to know a lot about all religions in order to conclude that members of ONE religion (which happens to be the pervasive religion in the country where I was born and live) seem to find their religious beliefs to be incompatible with scientific findings. Furthermore, it is disingenous in the extreme to suggest that we need to "investigate" why this conflict arises. We all know the causes: willful ignorance about science and a tradition of literal belief in Genesis. Finally, it is irrelevant to suggest that this investigation might reveal more about "whether it may actually be possible to find truth through religious teachings" when we are talking about science.

Here's a science question which has been hanging for a while, and which I will keep asking until you tell me you can't or won't answer it.

What predictions about globin genes in icefish could a creationist make, and what is the basis for those predictions, based on the observations that icefish have no red blood cells and no hemoglobin?

Date: 2007/06/11 20:15:30, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Sharks are pretty cool, but sadly missing (for at least the past 60 million years or so) from my part of the galaxy. But I did have the pleasure of graduating from the same Biology department as Leonard Compagno, who went on to become a famous shark biologist. I think he is now at some shark research institute in South Africa. He probably still has the dubious record of being the graduate student who took longest to get his doctoral degree in Stanford Biology (starting in the mid 1960's sometime and finishing in 1979), due in no small measure to the difficulty of the dissertation topic. That would be shark demographics, tag and release and wait for the data to come in... I wish I had been around to hear his dissertation defense, but I was already at a post-doc and never had the chance.

Shark fear is an interesting and perhaps primal fear, if my youngest daughter is any indication. When she was about 2 years old, I attended a Biophysical Society meeting in Baltimore. We had a chance to visit the then-new Baltimore Aquarium, which has a large circular tank with sharks and a spiral ramp down the middle of the tank. So the sharks basically circle you in the tank as you walk along. My daughter was excited about most of the interesting fish that swam by, but would recoil and cling to me every time a big shark came by. I always wondered if anyone knew any more about this sort of reaction.  When (at what age) does it kick in?  Is it universal?  Who knows?

Date: 2007/06/11 20:46:04, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
OK, here is a classic from FtK's blog, where Larry Pharmaceutical attempts to justify his habit of reading only some parts of a book before writing and posting book reviews.  
Of course, we can't all depend on book reviews because some people have to write the reviews. I feel that we should all do our part in helping to write the reviews and that is one of the reasons why I read about one-third of "Monkey Girl" before writing an review of the book.

Thanks, Larry, for "doing your part" to contribute to the piles of ignorance out there. I think I am inspired to read about a third of some book, say "Gravity's Rainbow", and post my review on Amazon.

Oh, and if you're still there, FtK - What predictions about globin genes in icefish could a creationist make, and what is the basis for those predictions, based on the observations that icefish have no red blood cells and no hemoglobin?

Date: 2007/06/11 21:08:01, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (skeptic @ June 11 2007,20:57)
Can you or did you just pick this up on some talking points somewhere?

Even better, if you do know, why don't you teach her.  That would be the most reasonable thing to do and it sure would be more constructive than this current waste of time.

No, I don't think you will find this on some "talking points" crib sheet anywhere. That might be your standard MO, but not mine. But you are welcome to try to find those talking points, using the google. Might keep you out of trouble for a while...

FYI, the idea behind asking specific questions that require thought on the part of the respondent is to ensure that the respondent actually does some thinking, rather than googling or, worse yet, asking a guru like Walt Brown if there might be a reasonable answer. If she can't come up with an answer that she is willing to post, at least one can hope that she thinks about the question enough to understand that she has painted herself into a corner by claiming that "creationists can do science as well as evolutionists".

That is called teaching critical thinking. That's what I try to do. I assure you that it is not a waste of time, unless you consider thinking to be a waste of time. Do you? If so, I urge you to think about the question, and post your thoughtful and well-reasoned response.

thanks in advance

Date: 2007/06/12 06:00:42, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (skeptic @ June 12 2007,01:31)
without a firm basis she can read much of that biology text and not be able to apply it to anything useful.  In a sense, she doesn't know what she doesn't know.  I'm not sure what text she has but I just looked at Mader and compared that to the discussion of globins in Voet & Voet and there really is no comparison, ~50 pages compared to 8.  Not to mention the genetics to deal with the lack of hemoglobin.

I'm just trying to suggest something more constructive than the current course.  You guys have already assumed that she is a lost cause, correct me if I'm wrong, and are treating her as such.  I'm just pointing out an alternative.  The worst that can happen is she rejects your attempts and you've wasted time trying to teach rather than what's occuring now.  I'd say good trade off.

Your assumptions are incorrect. I have not assumed that she is a "lost cause". I have taken her at her word that she truly doesn't understand why creation scientists and evolutionary scientists can't proceed to do science equally successfully. I have tried to use an example that she is familiar with (she attended a lecture by Sean Carroll here at KSU) in order to help her understand. I don't think she needs to know much biology to answer the question. She only needs to understand that the lack of mechanistic detail in creationism (or ID) makes it impossible to predict anything in this example, or any of thousands of other examples.

Alternatively, as I said before, she can tell me that she won't or can't answer it, and I'll quit pestering her (and you, apparently) about it. That would also be a great step toward understanding; a lack of certainty is something that scientists have, and creationists lack.

hope this helps

Date: 2007/06/12 20:19:24, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (skeptic @ June 12 2007,09:13)
Also, Alba, just to clarify, when you mean creationist scientist are you indicating a YECer or an IDer?  And the same on the evolutionary scientist side (just to be fair) are you thinking of an atheist or a religious evolutionary scientist?

I've been traveling all day, but it looks like I didn't miss much.

Frankly it doesn't matter to me if this question is answered from a YEC perspective or ID perspective. From my perspective (and this seems to hold up in court, at least in PA), there is no difference between those at the level of providing a mechanism. So if FtK (or anyone) can come up with an answer that is cogent and internally consistent with either a YEC or ID philosophy, I'd love to hear it. Either way, it would be a first!

As to the second part of your requested clarification ("are you thinking of an atheist or a religious evolutionary scientist?", that really deserves no comment. So I will bite my tongue (or keyboard) and sign off now.

Date: 2007/06/13 08:38:28, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Here's the question. What predictions about globin genes in icefish could a creationist make, and what is the basis for those predictions, based on the observations that icefish have no red blood cells and no hemoglobin?
I’m not sure that the icefish is the best example for basing your assumption that it is a necessity to adopt the Darwinian mindset in order to make predictions.  It seems to me that we are discussing microevolution or adaptation of a particular species of fish to it’s environment.

Note that I am not asking you to adopt the "Darwinian mindset" to answer this question. Note that I am asking you, as the resident IDCer on this thread, to tell me how you would answer it from the IDC perspective. Note (as will be explained in detail below) that even though microevoutionary changes are involved, this is actually an example of speciation (aka macroevolution)    
Now, I’d have to be honest and say that I believe an evolutionist and a creationist would predict the same thing...due to the fact that we know that adaptation of creatures to their changing environment is supported with empirical evidence.  This had been observed before Darwin’s time.

Since virtually all other vertebrates (and especially other Antarctic fish) have red blood cells, it would seem quite probable that whatever ancestoral fish the icefish adapted from had originally had the gene which accounts for red blood cells.  I’m not sure why a Creationist would not be able to predict this.You have to try to remember that Creationists do not disregard the mechanisms of evolution in the least.

But regardless of their prediction, both the creationist and the evolutionist would have to confirm their assumption with evidence taken from the fish.  They might be right, they might be wrong.  I’m not sure that evolutionary predictions are ALWAYS correct in regard to what they believe they will find due to the Darwinian mindset.

You wrote:
And, more importantly, what would be the mechanistic basis for that prediction?

Well, duh, the mechanisms would be those of evolution.  Got no beef with creationist does.

Three quick points. One is that you didn't answer the question yet, despite all the electrons you used quoting yourself. Saying that "I'm not sure why a creationist would not be able to predict this" is NOT answering the question. I'm pretty sure that a creationist can predict anything. I am asking you what predictions you could make with merely those observations and your IDC perspective. Secondly, we are talking about speciation (aka macroevolution), unless you are holding the bizarre opinion that a fish with new genes (anti-freeze), inactivated genes (globin), modified genes (tubulin) and significant physiological and morphological differences (no red blood cells) is the same species as some ancestral species (presumably present on the ark). Before I address this further, I need to know if this is your definition of a species, because if it is, we need to get that straightened out before we can continue.

Finally, in case you don't recognize your position here, this is the position of a theistic evolutionist, not a creationist. And I think you are on record as saying something like "I don't understand theistic evolutionists." So, in other words, you don't understand yourself. Perhaps now you can see why the rest of us hold our heads when you post questions and comments; we don't understand you either.  
Design doesn’t have to provide a mechanism in this particular example because what we know about adaptation of organisms to their environments is enough to make a prediction.  I believe you’re correct in saying that design does not have a mechanism, but it is an entirely different subject matter than what you are trying to compare it with here.  It doesn’t negate evolution, it only questions how far evolution is able to account for everything we observe in nature.

Right, that is pure Dembski (don't have to match your pathetic level of detail, etc.) But, more importantly, the cognitive dissonance in this paragraph is amazing. First of all, this is an example of speciation, not merely adaptation (see above). Secondly, evolution has a mechanism to account for the phenomenon we are discussing here (which is NOT "everything in nature", that's moving the goalposts). ID does not explain it, creationism does not explain it. Is there some good reason to prefer blindness over sightedness? That is what you seem to be saying here. No, ID doesn't "have to provide a mechanism" if it wants to stay in the backwaters of ignorance. However, it will have to provide a mechanism if it wants to be considered to be better than our current best explanation, which provides a mechanism and thus predictive powers.  
There is no reason that scientists should not be allowed to question the extent to which evolution can explain everything we observe in nature unless they are able to provide a new mechanism to replace evolutionary mechanisms.  We already know evolution is supported with empirical evidence, so that‘s a senseless demand.

No, you are moving the goalposts again. I merely asked you to explain one set of observations, not "everything in nature". We're starting out small here. If you can't explain it using your pet perspective, and I can, maybe we can move on to additional observations. But you haven't answered the question.  Evolutionary theory predicts the right answer, and has a mechanism to explain it - descent from some ancestor (macroevolution, horrors!) that had good globin genes, mutations that inactivate them, and selection in an extreme environment. See the difference? One paradigm can't predict but can allow for observations, the other paradigm both predicts and allows for observations, and also allows a deeper understanding of the biology of the critter. Rational folks usually prefer items with more features. Why (rhetorical question here) do you prefer a crippled one?

So I'd like to post the question again, and see if you can stick to it. But first you might try to explain to me two things. One is why you think that the icefish is merely an example of adaptation and not speciation (that's a biology question). The other is more of a logic question - what is the difference between the postion that you advocate above and theistic evolution?

thanks in advance.

Date: 2007/06/13 08:52:18, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ June 10 2007,11:26)
I also am beginning to understand why college students accept this stuff as fact.  It's all written without any consideration that a lot of it is speculation.

I feel obligated to remind FtK that I, and several other folks, have asked her to provide an example of unwarranted speculation (i.e. speculation that is not labeled as such) in that textbook. I don't think this is an unreasonable request, but so far she has ignored it. So I am asking again. Please back up this statement with some evidence, or retract it.

thanks in advance

Date: 2007/06/14 16:26:38, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ichthyic @ June 14 2007,16:08)
how on earth is it that you can be that observant of something as trivial as birthday (no offense, Argy), and so completely oblivious to everything else?

Because it is easier to keep track of birthdays than to remember what ridiculous thing you might have written in the past...

And yes, Happy Birthday, Argy!

Date: 2007/06/15 10:56:01, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (blipey @ June 15 2007,10:42)
Have you googled enough bullshit to make sense of your "I believe transitionals exist but they aren't really transitionals" stance?  Seriously, this might be one of the stupidest things you've ever said.

That's a contest that we don't even want to get into...

She has a couple of other threads to pick up as well. But from her recent message, it appears that we will have to wait until next week for her to post about why her explanation of the evolution of the Antarctic icefish is different from that of a theistic evolutionist (whom she abhors), and what specific examples of "speculation" she can point to in her new biology textbook. Unfortunately I won't be around next week to listen to those explanations, since I will be camping in northern Wyoming by that time. But it is possible that I won't miss anything; I'd actually predict that she will ignore those hanging questions in the other two threads devoted to her verbal grapplings with logic and reality.

But I'd love to be wrong about that prediction!

Date: 2007/06/15 15:50:07, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
I brought along "The Republican War on Science" for reading on the plane, since I had never gotten around to reading it when it first was published. It does get you some interesting looks from your fellow passengers.

While I was slumming at this literary conference this week, I naturally had to peruse the books being sold, and I even purchased oe. I bought "Postcards from Ed", a collection of letters and other writings by Ed Abbey. The conference price was $16, well off the $24.95 list price. I'm looking forward to reading it.

And I just finished and submitted my review of Francisco Ayala's "Darwin's Gift to Science and Religion" for the American Library Association's review journal (Choice).

Date: 2007/06/15 16:51:47, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
[quote=Dr.GH,June 15 2007,16:13][/quote]
Quote (Dr.GH @ June 15 2007,16:13)
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ June 15 2007,15:50)
And I just finished and submitted my review of Francisco Ayala's "Darwin's Gift to Science and Religion" for the American Library Association's review journal (Choice).

How was it?  I just picked up a copy at a talk Ayala gave.

I sent you my review by PM, since I don't think the ALA would take kindly to me posting it here on a website where they can't charge subscribers. And it is a short review; they limit you to 190 words...

In brief, it is sort of a schizophrenic book. As you know, he was training to be a Catholic priest before he went to grad school and got his PhD with Dobzhansky. That could explain the schizophrenic aspects, I guess. The description of basic evolutionary biology is quite good, and is worth reading if you don't have those facts properly straight in your head (are you reading this, FtK?). And he has an interesting notion that I have not heard before, that evolutionary theory solves the theodicy problem. You have to buy theistic evolution for this argument to be acceptable. And that is my real problem with the book. He sells it as a way to reconcile religion with science. And it might be that. But only in a narrower scope than he acknowledges, since he is only interested in talking about one religion, christianity. Granted, that is the religion whose adherents seem most recalcitrant on this subject, but I think it is a bit presumptuous to think that this is the only religion worth considering. So in the end it is an apologetic, similar to Miller and Collins. Shorter, and with a very succinct and readable biology section, but nevertheless a christian-targeted apologetic.

Date: 2007/06/17 07:27:55, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
I think I might have to order this and read it this summer...

Date: 2007/06/17 09:50:18, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (ck1 @ June 17 2007,09:21)
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ June 16 2007,21:19)
For me that came far later on the science in total - the Gulo/Genetic Plagiarism article did it

I know I should know the answer to this question, but what article? Have a link?

Here it is:

Yeah, FtK should read that article. If she got all the way through it (which is an assumption I am not willing to make), and if she understood the biology of it (an assumption for which we have abundant contrary evidence), she might have a better idea why her hand-waving rationalizations and Gish-quoting re the icefish globin genes are pooh-poohed here.

It is hard to argue for special creation when confronted with the evidence outlined in that article. How about it, FtK?  Once you get past those other pesky questions about icefish etc., can you read this linked article and tell us your thoughts?

Date: 2007/06/17 10:33:36, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Most of the comments on Dr Dr Dembski's article re his alliance with these pleasurians seem to be even more off-topic and incoherent than usual. But Larry Pharmacopia comes through with a comment that implies, per usual, he hasn't managed to read even a few sentences from that linked site.  
“ICON-RIDS” — that’s a catchy acronym! Reminds me of my old organization that opposed the grossly unconstitutional $300 California “smog impact fee” on out-of-state vehicles — CAUSTIC (Committee Against Unconstitutional Smog Taxes In California).

ICON-RIDS sounds like a good organization — I have long believed that the Darwinists have been misusing the Constitution’s establishment clause to suppress scientific ideas that they disagree with.

As someone once said, "Tell me of the company you keep, and I will tell you what you are."

Date: 2007/06/17 14:42:27, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Please turn down the gain on your irony meters before reading any further here.


Over at UD, none other than DaveScot, scientist extraordinaire and logician-to-the gods (aka homozygous pile of garbage), writes, re Michael Ruse's critique of Behe's latest effort  
This isn’t a scientific argument. Michael is invoking his idea of what a good God should be doing and using that to support a scientific fantasy...

OK, you can turn the irony meters back up to 11 again now.

Date: 2007/06/19 15:17:46, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ June 19 2007,12:05)
WHAT! FTK asked Albatrossity to father her child? ? ? ?  :O

Richard's gonna be pissed.

Fortunately I found a spot with wireless access in Lovell (Wyoming) so that I can address this baseless accusation. It is absolutely untrue; unlike Richard, I have no "designs" re FtK.

I already have chicks of my own.

After today I will be e-incommunicado for several days, camping in the Bighorns (probably yet another source of envy for Richard...). I trust that you all can handle it if FtK does return to address the outstanding questions on this and the other threads.

Date: 2007/06/19 15:53:22, Link
Author: Albatrossity2

Thanks for the "quick religious history"; that is indeed a long strange trip (and still ongoing).

Unfortunately I predict that if FtK finishes cleaning up after her weekend party, she will join this thread (ignoring unaddressed questions for her on other threads), and question you about your current religious beliefs or lack thereof. She may also feel obligated to point out that your fall from the clutches of religion started when you went to a university, which, as we all know, are populated solely by evangelical atheists. Just a prediction; but I'm betting that she can't stay away from the temptation of being able to post pointlessly about religion and ignore scientific discussions yet one more time.

If she does that, please feel free to point her to that talkorigins molgen article again, and see if she can ascertain how devastating that evidence is for those who advocate creation or intelligent design!

Thanks again.

Date: 2007/06/24 20:50:37, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Wow, I just got back from camping in Wyoming (pictures to be uploaded later), where we saw lots of neat critters, including moose. I found myself wondering how Noah handled (and fed!) those quys on the Ark.

Anyhoo, it looks like this thread has exploded in recent days; sorry I missed so much. I did note that FtK has completely ignored my questions from a few days ago, so I'll repost them here.

What is the difference between what you say in this comment, and what a theistic evolutionist would say? Since you are on record as saying that you don't understand theistic evolutionists; this is a key question. It doesn't require any research; I'm asking you to explain your position and compare it to a position which you have railed against in the past. And if you get time, please let us know some examples of unwarranted "speculation" that you found in that college-level intro biology book. Evidence for your claim has been requested several times by myself and others

But after you answer that one, I'd like to raise another point, relative to this statement.
Quote (Ftk @ June 24 2007,19:27)
I consider myself to be open minded just as you consider yourself to be.  So, let's just leave it that, shall we?

At the risk of derailing this thread (again) into a discussion of religion, I think a couple of things need to be pointed out. Please uderstand, FtK, I am NOT asking you to discuss religion; I AM asking you to reflect on why nobody here (except yourself) considers you to be "open-minded".

Please contrast how you approach issues of religion and science. In your religious views, you apparently believe, based on what you have heard from authority figures (unless, of course, you are fluent in Aramaic, Hebrew, Geek and other languages not including Portuguese) several totally illogical and unsupported things. Those would include the notion of a creator God who made humans and then got very irritated when they disobeyed his commands. To show his irritation, He did many harsh things not only to the sinners but to all of their descendants. But to prove His benevolence, He decided to send himself (aka his son) to tortured and killed in order for him to be able to forgive the descendants (who were not guilty of the original crime). Back off a bit from that stuff and ask yourself

1) Is that logical?
2) What is the factual and verifiable evidence for that story?

And you would find, that the answers are

1) Not at all.
2) None.

Yet you accept it.

Contrast that to your attitude about science. You refuse to accept the positions of authority figures, despite the reality that their positions are backed by both logic and factual, verifiable evidence. You claim knowledge of scientific facts in order to justify your skepticism, when in reality your knowledge of those facts is quite superficial. Your skepticism toward science is completely at odds with your uncritical acceptance of an ilogical and unverifiable story.

Is this double standard evidence for "open-mindedness"? How can you apply two entirely different approaches to these areas, and retain any credibility when you claim to be open-minded???

All we are asking for is consistency. If you want to be skeptical, be skeptical in all arenas. If you want to accept the pronouncements of authority figures, please do so in all arenas. You can't have it both ways, depending on how you feel about the topic..

NB - Please don't use this as a jumping off point to discuss your religious beliefs. As noted above, that is not the point. The point is intellectual consistency. But if you do decide to wade into this swamp again, please answer my questions about your explanation of icefish evolution, and give us some examples of "speculation" from Campbell et al. first.


Date: 2007/06/25 08:28:46, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Re mooses on the Ark            
Quote (Ftk @ June 25 2007,00:45)
I don’t think it’s as miraculous an event as one might think, but hell will freeze over before I discuss that one further.  I’ll tell ya one would be one heck of a lot easier to come up with an explanation for the Noah scenario that to believe that a freakin’ blob is responsible for everything we observe in nature today.

Yeah, I'd like to hear that too. Don't forget to include saltwater critters like blue whales, etc.
What is the difference between what you say in this comment, and what a theistic evolutionist would say?
You must have linked to the wrong comment...I don’t see anything in that post that has anything to do with what a TE might say.

Then you need to read your own writings more carefully. As I pointed out here, icefish must have evolved from an ancestor with good globin genes (as well as lots of other genes that are different from the current genes in the icefish). That is what you call "macroevolution" (aka speciation in this instance). As I recall, you are on record as saying that you can accept "microevolution" but not macroevolution. TEs have no problem with macroevolution. Please explain this confusion. Thanks.            
And if you get time, please let us know some examples of unwarranted "speculation" that you found in that college-level intro biology book.
I wouldn’t even know where to begin.  On second thought, I’ve mentioned one of them on this thread already.  The picture series of a little microbe evolving on it’s own...get real.

Sorry I missed that post; can you provide a link? And I'm also sorry to point out that even if it is true, one example is not really enough, based on statements like  "a lot of it is speculation", and "I wouldn't even know where to begin". There must be lots more than just one...
Contrast that to your attitude about science. You refuse to accept the positions of authority figures, despite the reality that their positions are backed by both logic and factual, verifiable evidence.      
Dave, there is no “logical, factual, and verifiable evidence” for the blob story.

And nobody said that there is. If you haven't learned by now, biogenensis is not part of evolutionary theory. Nobody is trying to tell you that science understands biogenesis. Let's stick to science like macroevolution and common descent. These are backed up by evidence, supported by almost all authorities in the field, and denied by you.
Is this double standard evidence for "open-mindedness"? How can you apply two entirely different approaches to these areas, and retain any credibility when you claim to be open-minded???  

I guess I could ask you the same thing.

Unlike you, I can (and will) answer it. I approach everything the same way. If there is evidence and logic behind it, I can accept it. If there is no evidence or if it defies logic, I can't. If new evidence comes up, I can change my mind. So now it's your turn to answer the question. How can you claim to be open-minded when you acccept one viewpoint blindly and profess deep (but ignorant) skepticism about another viewpoint?
All we are asking for is consistency. If you want to be skeptical, be skeptical in all arenas.        

Back atcha again.  You’re certainly skeptical about religious beliefs while admitting you don’t have much background on the topic.  Yet, you unquestioningly accept that all aspects of the ToE are supported by logical, factual, and verifiable evidence.

Baloney on both counts. I have plenty of "religious background". I did say once that I don't know a lot about other religions; that is a very different thing. Words have meanings, and I use them carefully. I do contend that my religious background is irrelevant in my work as a scientist. Irrelevant is not the same as non-existent. Words matter. Secondly (unlike you), I don't accept anything "unquestioningly". I could give you lots of examples of things that I thought were true when I was a graduate student and which are now known to be wrong based on new evidence. I don't still believe things that I know are wrong. And I include aspects of evolutionary theory in that one. The problem (for you) is that basic evolutionary theory has only been strengthened by new evidence, not weakened. If you have new evidence that weakens it, please share that with us here.

Then go find that mirror.

Date: 2007/06/25 14:39:36, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
That's a great site!  I particularly like the subtle message encoded by the first letters of each paragraph. Do you think that the EF can explain that?

Date: 2007/06/25 16:41:53, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (VMartin @ June 25 2007,16:02)

I have never heard about red owls with white dots.

Here's one (rufous morph of the Eastern Screech-owl, Otus asio), photographed from the back steps of the Biology building at Kansas State University in 2006.

What's next?

Date: 2007/06/25 21:16:56, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ichthyic @ June 25 2007,20:37)
Quote (csadams @ June 25 2007,20:32)

Arden Chatfield's opening post:    
Now, I've asked FTK more times than I can remember now just what ferkakte peer-reviewed papers she's read and I've been ignored every time. Not even an "oh shut up Arden", or an "I don't have to tell you anything!" or even an "I already told you!" Deafening silence.

So, I figured if this question gets its own thread, with no other distracting questions, it SHOULD be easier to get an answer.

So, FTK? Please to give us list now?

Did this ever happen?

Was Albatrossity2's question ever addressed by FtK?      
Honestly, if you can find ANYTHING in a college-level intro textbook that is "speculation", and not clearly labeled as speculation, then you get a gold star. Saying it is true doesn't make it true.


No on the first.

kinda on the second.

evidently she found a picture in the text summarizing the idea of common descent she found objectionable out of pure incredulity on her part.

It doesn't really answer the question posed by Alby, but technically it's at least a "response".

Arden's request was never positively responded to.

Did she really ever address it directly? I've been looking on this thread (and others) for that alleged response, but all I found was this oblique reference. If there is another place where she listed some real examples of unwarranted speculation in that book (especially if it includes a figure number or page number), I'd appreciate the pointer. Particularly since I happen to have a copy of the same textbook that I sent her, and I'd like to see it for myself...

Date: 2007/06/25 21:29:33, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ichthyic @ June 25 2007,21:22)
nope. that oblique reference is what I was referring to, where she expounds on her incredulity when faced with a pictoral representation of common descent.

It sure sounded a lot like a projection of the "goo to you" scream of the terminal creationist to me.

Thanks for the quick response. Unfortunately, that comment didn't really address my request for some examples of unwarranted "speculation" in the textbook; I can't find any figure in the book that depicts the process as she describes it... So, FtK, if you are still with us, please let me know the figure or page number where you found this offensive image.

Thanks in advance

Date: 2007/06/26 06:54:49, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ June 26 2007,06:26)
The Coyne review is one very long mishmash of ad hominem, argument from authority, misunderstanding, and question begging. The ad hominem (questioning my motives, gratuitously citing folks who disagree with me without saying why that’s pertinent to my argument, and so on) I will not reply to. The argument from authority is the most incomprehensible part of his essay. Alluding to my participation in the Dover, Pennsylvania court case of 2005, early in the review Coyne writes “More damaging than the scientific criticisms of Behe's work was the review that he got in 2005 from Judge John E. Jones III.”

Wow, more damaging than scientific criticisms?! Leave aside the fact that the parts of the opinion Coyne finds so congenial (which are standard Darwinian criticisms of intelligent design) were actually written by the plaintiffs’ lawyers and simply copied by the judge into his opinion. (Whenever the opinion discusses the testimony of any expert witness — for either side, whether scientists, philosophers, or theologians — the judge copied the lawyers’ writing. Although such copying is apparently tolerated in legal circles, it leaves wide open the question of whether the judge even comprehended the abstruse academic issues discussed in his courtroom.) Frankly, it’s astounding that a prominent academic evolutionary biologist like Coyne hides behind the judicial skirts of the former head of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. If Coyne himself can’t explain how Darwinism can cope with the challenges The Edge of Evolution cites, how could a non-scientist judge?

No ad hominem arguments in Behe's rebuttal, no sir... No projection, either.

Date: 2007/06/26 08:28:03, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (snoeman @ June 26 2007,07:52)
Indeed.  It was the part you highlighted in bold that caused the circuit breaker on my irony meter to trip.

Well, that is a good bit. But even more hilarious is this statement "If Coyne himself can’t explain how Darwinism can cope with the challenges The Edge of Evolution cites, how could a non-scientist judge?"

IIRC, it was Behe, and not Coyne, who had an opportunity to explain the problems with "Darwinism" to the judge. And failed spectacularly.

Date: 2007/06/26 17:05:26, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (jeannot @ June 26 2007,16:02)
It seems that the paper quoted by Martin is almost the only one dealing the the evolution of toxicity in mushrooms. Unfortunately, Am. Nat. is one of the few journals (of ecology) I can't access.
However, I have the list of their cited references, and none of them deals with the genetics of coloration in mushroom, nor their selective role. They also clearly state in the abstract that the topic has received little attention. So I suppose most of the work remains to be done.

I was able to download a PDF version of the paper that JAD's sockpuppet mentioned in the other thread. Send me a PM if you want a copy.

Date: 2007/06/26 19:39:56, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Well, I nominated these before on a Pharyngula thread, but I'll do it again here. Since I am probably somewhat older than most of the folks here, my tastes run to older, really bad 50's sci-fi flicks. Most of them involve scientists who are generally clueless, and many of them reflect the 1950's commie-fear mentality. I guess you had to be there...

Robot Monster (aka Ro-Man). It's not even bad; it's execrable. If DT made a movie at the age of three-and-a half, it would be more intelligent than this one.

Creeping Terror - not technically a 50's movie, since it was made in the 60's. But as the linked review notes, this movie (and Robot Monster!) challenge Plan 9 as the worst sci-fi movie of all time. Stiff competition!

and finally, Fiend Without a Face - a classic commie-fear flick. The locale is the DEW line, and it features the military types, the brilliant scientist, and the clueless chick. A true champion of its genre.

Date: 2007/06/27 08:51:34, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Rev. BigDumbChimp @ June 27 2007,07:01)
Paging FtK. Paging FtK.

Optimistically, I am hoping that she is reflecting on the fact that she inadvertently adopted the point of view of a theistic evolutionist, and this did not result in her growing horns and a tail. This unexpected outcome would certainly be cause for spending some time in introspection.

That is surely at least as likely as the notion that she is spending time reading the peer-reviewed literature

Date: 2007/06/27 12:07:50, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (blipey @ June 27 2007,11:24)
SFtk isn't around because she's trying to find he most ridiculously unsupported and inane thing she could possibly say this week.

Oh, she found it.

Yeah, I saw that blog post earlier today. I love this sentence  
Atheism intrigues me to no end. It is the single most illogical conclusion about life that one can every succumb to, IMHO.

I guess we all just don't understand how logical it is to believe in a deity whom you can't detect, who instructed ancient followers to build an ark that could contain dinosaurs, whales and great white sharks, and who apparently decided that the best solution for the humans who disobeyed him would be to have them torture and kill his incarnate son. That all seems eminently logical to me...

Date: 2007/06/27 12:13:11, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ June 27 2007,12:06)
I wonder how DS will weave this into his GWDenial complex. Will his sycophants want to hear it from him just now I wonder?

Maybe this weather pattern explains why he has been so lax in his attention to the banninator button at UD - DS must be busy building an Ark. Thank FSM for recent extinctions; there would be a lot fewer animal species to cram into that thing these days.

Date: 2007/06/27 12:35:00, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ June 27 2007,12:32)
Quote (J-Dog @ June 27 2007,12:31)
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ June 27 2007,12:25)
That's interesting....Your comment has made it through, yet mine was even more polite, and yet it's yet to appear.

Women love cavemen.  What can I say dude.

Well, maybe it was a bit daring, I mean, I asked her a direct question!

My hypothesis is that Ian sounds too British and Dawkinsish; she doesn't want to engage in a civil conversation with someone like that. Now a caveman - that she can deal with!

Date: 2007/06/27 13:23:22, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ichthyic @ June 27 2007,13:04)
Alby's gonna like this one, I think.

Yeah, that would be a cool bird to add to your life-list. Maybe I oughta change my nom de guerre here to DirePenguin!

Date: 2007/06/27 14:37:31, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (VMartin @ June 27 2007,13:51)
I don't know why +++++ +++++++  sends his nonsense here like an automata. But I underestand him on the other side. Darwinists like him do not like the issue - that is also reason why there are so few researches on the colorarton of fruiting bodies of mushrooms. Because the results obviously do not support natural selection as the source of their coloration. And it is what darwinists hate -see +++++ Ichthyic who want to ban me because mentioning it. He would like to obscure problem with "signaling" babble even though I am discussing here COLORATION OF FRUITING BODIES OF MUSHROOMS only. Capito?

Another hypothesis about why nobody has done much research on the evolution of coloration and its relationship to toxicity in mushrooms might be that there is not a lot of funding for projects like that these days. I think you could find evidence for that hypothesis. Your conspiracy theory about "darwinists" is, per usual, evidence-free.

Did you read the paper you cited?  Do you understand that color cues might not be related to toxicity, but that odor and taste cues could be? Do you understand how that relates to natural selection?

Oh, and you might also want to address that other question that you have left hanging - the one about common descent.


Date: 2007/06/27 16:01:06, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Good luck, Ian.

I'll even promise to stay out of this, since it is clear that she already knows "know where the conversation is going to end up". And so do I. It will end up with her ignoring civil questions until somebody gets uncivil.

If you ever do decide to answer those two questions I posed on various other threads (the ones about how your position re icefish is similar to that of a TE, and where in Campbell et. al you have found unwarranted "speculations"), you know where to find me.

Carry on.

Date: 2007/06/28 06:42:50, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ June 27 2007,21:59)
Hey Cheryl,

Almost missed your delurk.   There must be a whole peanut gallery of kcfsers out there enjoying watching ftk getting smacked around a little....just like the good 'ol days, huh?  

The only thing I mentioned to Dave was the cute little illustration of the microbe popping out of nowhere and evolving all by it's own little self.  

If you want an itemized list, it might be a while.  This site is typical of every other evo site out there.  Answer one question, 20 new ones are thrown back at you.  If I have time to answer one of those, the other 19 cry foul.  If I answer the other 19, 50 additional new questions pop up.  Sigh...

Hey, you wouldn't happen to know who might have posted my picture here a while back, would you?  I can't imagine you doing something like that...

FtK - In case you hadn't noticed, your entire post is a waste of space. That little microbe is not the only thing that seems to be "information-free".

As for the notion that there are too many questions for you here, that perception is, as others pointed out, due to the fact that most of the questions get repeated a dozen times or so when you never answer them. I am also tempted to point out that science (and any search for truth) moves by asking, and answering questions. Except for those who already have all the answers...

I dunno who said it, but this aphorism seems quite apt: God is the answer when you don't ask enough questions.


Date: 2007/06/28 07:18:02, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ June 28 2007,07:12)
FtK - In case you hadn't noticed, your entire post is a waste of space.

Oh, the irony of that statement.

I honestly don't think you know what that word (irony) means.

Now try to answer the questions from several previous comments, and see if you can add some content to your snark.

What is the difference between your explanation of the genesis of icefish globin genes and an explanation that would be given by a theistic evolutionist?

Please provide examples of unwarranted speculation that you have found in the Campbell textbook, with page or figure numbers for each example.

Thanks in advance for not answering.

Date: 2007/06/28 07:20:26, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ June 28 2007,07:12)
Btw, Dave, for a guy who doesn't want to bring up religion, you sure do get you jabs in about God alot.  I'm guessing you're into talk about religion as long as it's content free.  Again, the irony.

Re your edited addition - I don't want to give away trade secrets, but a long series of observations would suggest that making comments about god or religion is just about the only way to get you to respond here.

Now please answer the questions. It really isn't that painful

Date: 2007/06/28 08:47:40, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ June 28 2007,07:34)
What is the difference between your explanation of the genesis of icefish globin genes and an explanation that would be given by a theistic evolutionist?

That would depend on how far you go back in the evolutionary story.  A TE would tell you that there is absolutely no indication that a Designer is necessary for the process....they merely believe in that ultimate designer on *faith*.  There is no difference between a TE and an atheist except a feeling of *faith* that there is a divine creator.  

I, OTOH, do not see any empirical evidence for common descent.  Everything that has been offered is speculation and historical inference.  So, I do not hold to the belief that there is no evidence for design.  

Waffling. Goal-post moving. Note that we are not discussing the difference between a TE and an atheist. We are discussing the difference between a TE and you.

Here's what you originally said..            
Since virtually all other vertebrates (and especially other Antarctic fish) have red blood cells, it would seem quite probable that whatever ancestoral (sic) fish the icefish adapted from had originally had the gene which accounts for red blood cells.

This sentence clearly accepts common descent. Theistic evolutionists accept common descent.

And when I asked about mechanisms for this speciation event, you wrote          
Well, duh, the mechanisms would be those of evolution.

This sentence clearly accepts the mechanisms of evolution, AND the context is not microevolution, but speciation. Theistic evolutionists accept this mechanism.
Next question will be:  What is that evidence?  And, I will pass on that question because ID advocates have been giving ample evidence that the comos did not arise on there own from absolutely nothing.  That is illogical.  I've also already stated that science is not the only means we have to conclude that there is a divine cause of our existence.  

This is classic. You MUST (not will) pass on the question because ID advocates have NOT provided any evidence (only inference)  for anything other than their own mendacity.

Re my weeks-old request for proof, with page numbers, of your claim that there is lots of unwarranted speculation in the Campbell intro biology text, you wrote:            
Now?  Good grief, I'm on my way to work.  Dave, the book states verbatim we arose through common descent from a minimicrobe, and bases everything in the book on the creation story of evolution.  The whole book is based on speculation big guy...plain and simple.

Baloney. Besides the fact that I (and several others) originally asked this question weeks ago, there is, as you say, a "mountain of evidence" for the idea that we arose by common descent from microscopic life forms. Statements supported by evidence are not unwarranted speculation. In the icefish example (a small foothill in that mountain range) you seemed to accept the basis for that evidence. It is, indeed, very hard to overlook those mountains once you open your eyes. On the contrary, there is NOT A SHRED of evidence (only inference) for your creation story.

So, to summarize, you have not provided any rebuttal to my conclusion that your view of the genesis of globin genes in icefish puts you in the same category as Miller and other theistic evolutionists. You have not provided any examples (and certainly no page numbers) for your claim that an intro biology book contains speculation.

Wanna try again, this time with some real facts or logic?

Date: 2007/06/28 09:30:11, Link
Author: Albatrossity2

Thanks for that link; it is classic. DS sez (back in 2005)
Everyone dies. Get used to it. The Holocaust was a man-made purposeful attempt to slaughter a group of many millions of people based upon a perceived inferiority. AIDs is a terminal disease brought on by a naturally occuring virus. Moreover it’s an an almost wholly avoidable disease if one makes a reasonable effort to curb hedonistic desires.

In other words, in 2005 he thought AIDS was caused by a virus. Today he doesn't think so.

Who says that creobots never change their minds?

Date: 2007/06/28 11:29:47, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (VMartin @ June 28 2007,11:10)

Uh - don't look now, but you just agreed with a probable cause of that natural selection.

I don't see the point. I have never agreed that Natural selection is the cause of mushroom's coloration. If I agreed that toxicity of mushrooms is probably detected by wild animal by smell it would not necessary mean that I agree with NS as source of it either. It's only your logic you know.

Toxicity of mushrooms is another puzzle. I have mentioned Lethal webcaps. Digestion of this mushroom will destroy your liver - but sometimes first nuissances are detected only after 3 weeks. Anyway the poison will kill the animal that had eaten the mushroom. Obviously such type of poison was not created and maintained by Natural selection. It has no sense - no animal would be able to make relation between mushroom eating and its nuissance after so many days.

I have mentioned already Amanita muscaria as very delicious mushroom, Amanita phalloides  as most poisonous one and strangely enough - Amanita muscaria with its toxic effects. Due to its toxic effects the muhroom is sought for by some species (deers) and the others (didelphis) are avoiding it. So to find any darwinistic explanation of such diverse "survival strategy" in the same Genera is very difficult. To find out darwinistic explanation of toxicity of Amanita muscaria is impossible.

That's the reason why this thread is dying. Neodarwinists after first research - at least the intelligent among them - see that my point is correct. Natural and sexual selection as the cause of mushroom's coloration is wrong and misleading explanation (and of toxicity as well).


Let's back up and look at the bigger picture.

1) You cited some research by some real biologists pointing out that toxicity and color are not necessarily related in fungi.  These scientists pointed out this lack of relationship. You have not done any real scientific work here at all, but you are relying on actual scientists to look at actual data and get it published. Why don't you do some actual work, generate your own hypothesis about why some mushrooms are colored, test it, and get it published?  That would be a real contribution.

2) Pointing out how neo-Darwinian mechanisms fail to explain a phenomenon leads you into two corners. In the first place, it does not mean that your explanation is correct or even likely, unless you test that explanation and find evidence that is consistent with it. When hypothesis A fails it does not automatically provide support for hypothesis B. The second problem, if you are arguing that mushrooms were created this way, is that this is a god-of-the-gaps argument. If real scientists can do real experiments and find a natural explanation for the fact that some fungi have colorful fruiting bodies, your god just got a little smaller.

3) Science, unlike religion, does not claim to explain everything. There are lots of places where a real scientist, unlike a creationist, will say "I don't know". Such a statement, and such a situation, does not automatically cause the collapse of a theory which is abundantly supported by lots of other evidence. It also, as pointed out above, does not automatically provide support for alternative explanations; you need to do experiments and generate positive evidence for your explanation before anyone will give it more consideration. And even in that best-case scenario, you still have to generate a BETTER explanation for all of the other facts and evidence that support the rival explanation. There is a lot of evidence for common descent and evolution. Pointing out a single instance where scientists say "I don't know" is not enough to overthrow an explanation which is consistent with millions of other observations.

So why don't you give us your explanation of this observation, generate a testable hypothesis, and get busy testing it?

Or if that sounds like too much work, why don't you answer the other question - Do you agree with Davison on common descent?

Thanks in advance for ignoring that question yet one more time.

Date: 2007/06/28 12:37:56, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (VMartin @ June 28 2007,11:54)
Internal organs of animals are not colored.


Please cut out your kidneys or your liver and send me a scan or a photograph. I'm pretty sure that they have some color, and I'm pretty sure that there are valid, tested neo-Darwinian hypotheses that explain those colors.
Quote (VMartin @ June 28 2007,12:13)

You are like a Newtonian insisting that all forces could be reduced to gravity. Of course gravity exists. My point is that there probably also is electro-magnetism you know. It doesn't mean that not knowing math behind electro-magnetism means we should dismiss it and hold on gravity even if it explain nothing.

Well, no, that's a pretty bad analogy. I am merely pointing out that one hypothesis for colors in mushrooms (to warn animals that the fruiting bodies are toxic) has been shown to be incorrect. Perhaps you knew this already, but it may be worth pointing out that scientists generate lots of hypotheses that turn out to be incorrect. One invalid hypothesis is no big deal. Get over it.

Secondly, as I asked in my previous message, if you have an alternative testable hypothesis, I'd like to hear it. If you don't have one, or if it isn't testable, then you can keep that to yourself. But your silence on this matter is troubling. So let's try again.

Why don't you give us your explanation of this observation, generate a testable hypothesis, and get busy testing it?

Or if that sounds like too much work, why don't you answer the other question - Do you agree with Davison on common descent?

Thanks in advance for ignoring those questions one more time.

Date: 2007/06/28 12:54:35, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
That thread is the mother-lode of elemental tard.  Besides the stupidity evidenced in DT's comment about radiation (I had cancer in 1983, cured by surgery and radiation, and I think that since I am alive, this is indeed "better"), he also opined  
I’m not aware of any mutations caused in that manner that would benefit the plant in the wild - the benefits are only for humans when the plant is under cultivation.

Plant breeders routinely seek mutations that confer increased resistance to fungi, bacteria, viruses etc. that certainly would be beneficial to a plant in the wild. Mutations that increase the yield of seeds (e.g. in wheat) would certainly benefit those plants in the wild. The key phrase, of course, is that he is "not aware".

Perhaps I should have sent a biology book to Texas as well...

Date: 2007/06/28 13:12:27, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ June 28 2007,13:03)
I guess I proved my point (again).  I answer one of Dave's questions and approx. 12 more popped up.  Let's see...where to begin?

No, you didn't answer them, as I politely pointed out. Let's keep that part straight, at least. Revisionist history won't work here; there is a written record.

And unless I am mistaken, at least some of the "new" questions you are upset about are the same old questions which you didn't answer. Read the post by Louis to see this for yourself.

Honestly, if you ever did answer a question here, we'd all be so stunned you could probably take a week off, at least.

Date: 2007/06/28 13:48:13, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ June 28 2007,13:37)
Quote (stevestory @ June 28 2007,13:20)
Quote (Paul Flocken @ June 28 2007,13:45)
I am personally familiar enough with fundatics (my sister married into a family of them)

I've had relationships with a wide array of women. Rich, poor, smart, dumb, beautiful, ugly.* The only deal breaker is, No Fundies. Fortunately, I've spent the last 8 years of my life in college towns (Raleigh, Durham, and now Chapel Hill) so that's not a problem.

* (friend of mine used to say, "big, small, short or tall, I Love Em All)  :p

ie. Steve's post:  Holy crap...dude, you are missing out.

The rest of you are full of BS.  I've answered questions, and I've given you a whole freakin' book to consider.  Ians been asking questions about it, and I haven't seen answers to all his questions.  The ones you do answer, you just cut and paste.  Can I cut and paste?  Would that be okay?  Seems whenever I cut and paste, I'm called on that too.

You want me to spend hours researching and giving you *my opinion* on these issues.  So, you'll have to wait until I have time.  

Blipey...bite me.  You're nuts, you know that?  You've left so many posts on my blog, I'm starting to worry about you.  Seriously.  Do actors have that much spare time on their hands??


As I predicted on Ian's recently-initiated thread for the Walt Brown Discussion  
I'll even promise to stay out of this, since it is clear that she already knows "know where the conversation is going to end up". And so do I. It will end up with her ignoring civil questions until somebody gets uncivil.

I just wouldn't have predicted it would happen so quickly!

Date: 2007/06/28 15:58:31, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ June 28 2007,15:50)
 Two answers, V:

1) I agree
2) I disagree

Why can't you answer that? What are you so terrified of?

Trust me, we all know your "Wesley will ban me" line is a lie.

Not exactly - Personally I am hoping that it is not a lie.

But I always have unrequited hopes when it comes to whether or not creationists are lying...

Date: 2007/06/28 19:17:44, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
On the thread where Hermagoras is dumped for obscure, irrelevant, or nonexistent references, jerry opines re "darwinists"  
Is it just a parlor game to see who is the most clever? Do they really think we are that stupid? Or is a deeper feeling that what the person is opposing is so wrong that it will excuse anything that they do in the cause to rid the world or what they consider dangerous.

I guess I'll go with door #2, at least until further evidence comes in.

Date: 2007/06/28 20:44:14, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Hermagoras @ June 28 2007,20:21)
Momentarily serious: count me as one who does not think ID folks are necessarily stupid, liars, or insane.  I think that their viewpoint coheres pretty well for them, and that, like old-style creationists, they make the world conform to fit their viewpoint.  They're wrong, of course, and may change.  But as Barbara Herrnstein Smith puts it somewhere, "in the conflict between belief and evidence, belief is no pushover."

Well, actually, despite my snarky comment, I don't think that they are necessarily stupid either. Many of them are ignorant (and ignorance, unlike stupidity, can be cured). Lots of them have never had a chance to hear anything other than creo propaganda, and if you give them a chance, they will surprise you with their intellectual abilities. Maybe that comes from the intellectual effort it takes to block out contrary evidence all the time.

But the leaders of this pack are indeed dissemblers; Dembski and Behe and Johnson et al. are smart enough, and have heard enough counter-arguments, to know better. And lots of the commenters at UD are, unfortunately, just plain stupid. When they ban anyone who dares disagree with the propaganda (myself included), they automatically drop the mean IQ of the commenter pool. It's a pity, but since is is done ruthlessly and purposefully, I have to conclude that the folks who run the show are corrupt, and not ignorant or insane.

Date: 2007/06/29 07:17:41, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ June 28 2007,21:31)
Crap, now Dave is going to go off the deep end because I've answered a few questions here without pulling out his biology textbook and making an itemized list of speculative information contained within it.  

I'm going to be in big trouble for that... :(

Nope. As promised, I will stay out of arguments on this thread. I really will. [bites keyboard]

Date: 2007/06/29 08:52:58, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Just to make sure that everyone understands the implications of this alleged answer to my question about the icefish.
Microev. = supported by empirical science....common descent = loony speculation.

Ftk = microev....  TE's = loony speculation.

fish are fish...microev.

fish can adapt...microev.

fish evolves into a one legged jackrabbit...looney speculation.  

[please, oh please be aware that the last line in this post was sarcasm.  Yes, I realize that fish and rabbits are not on the same branch of the evo tree...they are merely long, long lost cousins.]

Note that she apparently believes that fish = fish, and that the other Antarctic fish are all the same, just with different "adaptations". In her perspective, speciation is just microevolution. She is a closet baraminologist, and probably believes in front-loading as well.

Note further that she apparently will only accept macroevolution if one "kind" of animal changes into another kind, preferably right in front of her very eyes and certainly in her lifetime. Speciation is not good enough. Based on the other parts of her comment, I don't believe for a minute that she is being sarcastic with that last statement. She thinks that proof of evolution requires direct observation of drastic changes in organisms.

Clearly, by setting up an impossible proof, she will never be convinced by lesser evidence. She requires a miracle, which is a common enough occurrence in the science book she prefers.

Date: 2007/06/29 11:05:37, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Hermagoras @ June 29 2007,10:52)
Meanwhile, my head explodes.  
I was trying to make a pretty simple point, which Gil demonstrates elegantly when he writes "these facts certainly do speak for themselves, and they say" --- STOP RIGHT THERE!  Read that again.  

The facts speak for themelves / and they say

The point should be apparent, right.  Right?

It's pretty clear that these folks hardly ever read what they write. Hell, most of them can't even remember what they write once it is a few hours cold; it is a trivial exercise to find places where Gil, or DT, or any of them write something that directly contradicts a previous blurting of theirs.

Admittedly, it is hard to remember stuff that you have just pulled out of your ass.

Date: 2007/06/29 13:02:47, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (carlsonjok @ June 29 2007,12:54)


FtK - "There is no proof of common descent - only wishful thinking."
Albatrossity  - "Okay, then what about this specific case?"
FtK  - "I addressed that 3 years ago at the KCFS forum.  Go look it up"
Albatrossity  - "Why should I do your work for you?  Tell me now in your own words?"
Oldman - "While you are here, show me the proof of design?"
FtK - "No time now, I have to go to work/go to a ball game/fix dinner/Read Icons of Evolution again"


FtK - "There is no proof of common descent - only wishful thinking."
Albatrossity and Oldman (in unison) - "What about our questions?"
Arden - "Yeah. What about their questions?"
FtK - "You athiest meanies!  I'm out of here!"
Lenny - "Bye. Don't forget to take your big bucket of martyrdom with you."


Blipey - "She ran away again."
Lenny- {Shrug}
FtK - "I'm not afraid of any of you. I'll answer your questions this weekend."
FtK - {swoon}
Albatrossity - What about my common descent question"


Have I missed anything?

No, that pretty well sums it up.  But now I have to explain to the office staff why I am giggling so hard.  Thanks a lot...

Date: 2007/06/29 14:26:52, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
It appears that nobody at UD has conceded anything on their misguided defense of the recently-sentenced Holocaust-denier in Germany. The latest comment on that thread, by someone named Mung (shouldn't that word begin with a "D"?) asks for EVIDENCE to support the assertions previously posted by geraldharbison and the RevBigDumbChimp. I guess he can't read German...

Then he writes (please turn down the gain on your irony meters before reading the next sentence)
Frankly, I don’t believe any of you “deniers” because you fail to supply the evidence which would substantiate your questionable claims.

Date: 2007/06/29 15:16:51, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ June 29 2007,14:43)
And very interesting point there Hermagoras about if Dr Dr Dr Dembski has ever conceded anything substantive?

I have to wonder is it possible to even concede anything at all when trapped in that mindset? I mean, one thing goes for reason X, it's likely that reason X will also do for everything else too (wny not?) and the whole house of tards fall.

When you have the delete/ban button at your disposal, why even bother going to the trouble of reading your critics?

A little bit of politics now, but being surrounded by yes-men must sort of be like what GWB has been feeling. At some point reality intrudes however, and I understand that to have been this week. When will reality intrude for Dr Dr Dr Dembski I wonder?

Good point. And the longer you insulate yourself from reality, the harder you will fall when that insulation deflates.

I've been thinking about this in the context of FtK. Clearly she believes what she says. Clearly she has put a lot of time and psychic energy into justifying those beliefs. I am not saying that this was time well spent, nor am I saying that she justified them with logic or evidence, but she has spent an inordinate amount of time propping them up. Just like Dembski. And lots of folks spent a fair amount of time and energy trying to get her to turn just one small corner, admit just one small uncertainty, or see just one small piece of evidence for the current explanation of the diversity of life on the planet. All for naught. But in hindsight, it should have been obvious that we were tilting at a windmill.

What are the prospects that anyone like that will ever see the light? If you have spent that much time and energy propping up a belief system, and if your surroundings (church, family, friends, sycophantic blog commenters) help you maintain that belief system, will you ever turn that corner? Maybe, but it gets less likely with every mole of ATP expended in defense of your belief system.

It might be almost impossible for someone like that to abandon a comfy, well-defended niche for anything like a scientific outlook. Certainty will have to be replaced with uncertainty. Ignorance will have to be replaced with knowledge. Friends and family and church members might still accept you, but "shunning" is still a viable strategy in many communities like that. It would take a very strong person to willingly start down that road, and an even stronger one to finish it. I don't think many folks could do it from the position that she has staked out for herself. Sadly, our efforts here may only have contributed to a further hardening of the defenses. If she ever does break out and "find science", it will be at a tremendous emotional cost. That is frankly very sad, either way.

As for DrD, he's made enough money from the scam that you can't really feel sorry for him.

Date: 2007/06/29 15:57:28, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
I dunno - that could be a more nuanced insult that you imagined.  I did some online research, as per your request.

From the OED  
minion - 1. a. Originally: a (usually male) favourite of a sovereign, prince, or other powerful person; a person who is dependent on a patron's favour; a hanger-on. In later use (without the connotation ‘favoured’): a follower or underling, esp. one who is servile or unimportant; a servant, officer, subordinate, assistant; a henchman.
 In early use sometimes with contemptuous suggestion of homosexual relations

The second definition isn't much better.  
b. A male or female lover. Also (freq. derogatory): a man or woman kept for sexual favours; a mistress or paramour. Obs.

Some of the others are quite interesting.  
A kind of small culverin or cannon. More fully minion gun, piece. Now hist.
A kind of small lettuce. More fully minion lettuce. Obs.

Great word!

yr devoted lettuce

Date: 2007/06/30 09:00:10, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Oh my! We'll just let the facts speak for themselves.

Slimy Sal
Dawkins and Maynard-Smith were defeated in debate by Berlinski, PhD and Wilder-Smith, PhD PhD PhD about 20 years ago. (That’s right, Wilder-Smith has 3 PhD in science, including one from Oxford).

The intellectual firepower Dawkins faced was too much for him. Dawkins has never debated the science live ever since. Think upon it, if he were succesful at debate (as his supporters say) then the best thing he could do is to keep debating.

I have an audio tape of the debate, but haven’t listened to it yet.

Date: 2007/06/30 09:11:23, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ June 30 2007,09:04)
I told Elsberry privately that I'm done here, but evidently he's not going to relay that to his "minions".

Well, perhaps he was just being protective of your privacy; didn't we have a conversation once about posting the contents of private emails without the permission of the sender? And isn't it nice to be able to post here and explain yourself in your own words without having a moderator intervene? :p

Date: 2007/06/30 10:31:28, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Hermagoras @ June 30 2007,10:23)
Question: is scordova really this incapable of understanding tone in writing?

I'm betting that is a rhetorical question...

Date: 2007/06/30 15:46:37, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ June 30 2007,15:42)
Actually, when it comes to discussion with creationists, perhaps THIS stanza is most appropriate:

Now I understand the problem - nowhere in those verses does it mention that you can understand pirahna!

Date: 2007/06/30 16:40:00, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ June 30 2007,16:08)
Quote (stevestory @ June 30 2007,16:06)
Today's terrorist attack in the UK fits in with my earlier link to Profile of the Terrorist as an Idiot.

This guy provides further support to that theory.

That dipshit is also the reason we all have to take our shoes off when we go thru airport security now. Thanks a fucking LOT.  :angry:

Hey, just be thankful he didn't have explosives in his codpiece.

Or his rectum.

You'd be taking off a lot more than your shoes at the airport...

Date: 2007/06/30 18:03:49, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ June 30 2007,09:29)
PJ: What is the most powerful demonstration in your opinion that the Darwinian mechanism of natural selection has this great creative power?

KM: Well, I would give you -- you asked me for the most powerful one, and I will give you two. The first one that I will give you are the repeated observations of random mutation and natural selection as you like to call them in your own terms, producing new species. And I can give you several examples of new species that have emerged within human observation. The best example that I can give you is the butterfly, the genus of butterfly known as Hedylepta. Hedylepta is a genus of butterfly that feeds on various plants, it's endemic to the Hawaiian Islands, which means it's only found there. And there turn out to be two species of Hedylepta with mouthparts that only allow them -- only allow them to feed on bananas. Now why is that significant? It is significant because bananas are not native to the Hawaiian Islands. They were introduced about 1000 years ago by the Polynesians, we know this from the written records of the Hawaiian kingdom. And what that means is, that by mutation and natural selection, these two species have emerged on the Hawaiian Islands within the last 1000 years. And I think that's a very good case in point.

I had never heard of this Hedylepta example before, so this piqued my interest. I figured I could use it in class, or elsewhere, so I wanted to know a bit more about it. A bit of further research revealed that it is a genus of moth (not butterfly), so if you want to use that example, you might want to know that (and perhaps pass it on to Ken Miller).

The original citation was in Evolution, 1960, E.C. Zimmerman, Vol. 14, No. 1, pp. 137-138.  And there are more than two species that feed on banana    
six species feed on grasses; five on banana; four on sedges; three on lilies; two on palms; one on Joinvillea (Flagellariaceae) ; one on legumes; one unknown, but grass is the presumed host.
The working hypothesis is that caterpillars of the ancestral species (H. blackburnii) fed on a native palm (Pritchardia), and rapidly adapted to the bananas brought to the island by the Polynesians 1000 years ago.

Unfortunately it may be difficult to test this hypothesis with modern DNA techniques. Zimmerman notes (in 1960!)    
Such problems as these in the great "insular laboratory" of Hawaii deserve further study. Unhappily, however, the time when such research could best have been made has passed. The pressure of foreign parasites on these moths has been extreme, and where once Hedylepta were common in the mountains, few or none can be found today. I know of only three endemic parasites of Hedylepta in Hawaii, and they exerted only light pressure. Now, however, at least eight foreign parasitic wasps and three foreign parasitic flies, mostly introduced purposely by agriculturists, have placed extraordinary and devasting pressure on the eggs, larvae and pupae of Hedylepta. Parasitism commonly exceeds 90%, and all eggs, larvae and pupae in some Hedylepta colonies evidently may be destroyed by these foreign parasites, and we know almost nothing about the introduced insect diseases that attack the immature stages. Most species of Hawaiian Hedylepta are now scarce or rare insects, and a number of species have not been seen for many years and may now be extinct together with untold numbers of other Hawaiian animals and plants.

Date: 2007/06/30 20:01:23, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Re O'Bleary's thread on intercessory prayer at UD, the natural question (per usual) would be:

WTF does this have to do with ID?

Date: 2007/07/01 17:06:05, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Rev. BigDumbChimp @ July 01 2007,15:48)
ummmm. Tardaliscious.You could slice that tard and serve it on stale bread with some limburger for a real shitsandwhich.

Yeah, I particularly liked how Mr. BornUnderaBadSign starts out on topic (prayer), but then rapidly degenerates into an extraordinarily projection-laden philippic about the predictive powers of theism and materialism.

That, and his repeated use of the term "extremely unique", make this a fine dose of Sunday Tard.

Date: 2007/07/02 09:59:52, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
For my money, "proof" doesn't get any more convincing than this.

Date: 2007/07/02 14:27:49, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (stephenWells @ July 02 2007,13:34)
Supposedly they were descended from a princess who had been seduced by Zeus, in the form of an ant. I can't even imagine how that is supposed to work.

Well, not exactly. See this site for a better explanation of the mythology than that given on Wikipedia. In brief, Zeus kidnapped the princess (Aegina) and, in the form of an eagle, whisked her off somewhere and got her pregnant. The fruit of this union was Aecus, who became king of the island Aegina. Hera, annoyed at the philanderings of her husband, killed off all the inhabitants of that island named after her husband's lover. Aecus (being now a king devoid of minions) implored Zeus to repopulate the island after seeing a colony of hard-working ants, and Zeus obliged by changing the ants into hard-working, hard-fighting people. Aecus was also the grandfather of Achilles, and the Myrmidons were the troops that he brought to the siege of Troy.

This association is also retained today in the names of many genera of ants, e.g. Myrmecia, Myrmica.

Date: 2007/07/02 19:39:51, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Hermagoras @ July 02 2007,19:10)
the IDURC is proud to name Mr. Casey Luskin, a graduate of the University of California at San Diego, an honorary recipient of the Casey Luskin Graduate Award.

Wha?  ???

That is amusing. Where did you find that pearl?  I checked on the "What's New" page of the IDURC website, but the newest thing there was dated Jan 2006.

Hmmm, that would be just after the Dover decision, IIRC. No news is good news, I suppose...

Date: 2007/07/02 19:44:22, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ July 02 2007,17:56)
Hey Martin, ever wonder why everyone thinks you're nutty?

Ever wonder why everyone thinks JAD is nutty?

Think maybe one has something to do with the other?

News Flash.

Posting multiple comments in a row in his own inimitable style (I love it so!), JAD has taken over this thread at ISCID, accusing Wes of impersonating VMartin, among other hallucinations.

Date: 2007/07/03 07:29:56, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Doc Bill @ July 03 2007,07:16)
I dropped this comment on UD last night.  This morning it has evaporated:

Chemistry and math?

Hannah Maxson, Cornell.

Prez of the ID Club.

Good choice.

I thought it was a good guess since they were being so secretive.  Ohhhh, don't want to ruin the student's career having accepted a whole $100 from the Disco Institute.

At least Hannah could use the coin to buy a real science book.

But Hannah has already been outed; there is no reason to keep her identity secret.

Unless, of course, they just can't help themselves. After all, they kept the identity of the designer secret for a while too...

Date: 2007/07/03 09:11:08, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Kristine @ July 03 2007,09:03)
A woman? No wonder they're playing it so close to their chests. Lots of luck being female and all, Hannah. Good thing they don't teach any hard science at SBTS, because you have no future there.

Yeah, you will note that jehu, true to his "kind", automatically assumes that the winner is a male.

I wonder if O'Dreary or FtK will chastise him with a comment or two.

Ermm, probably not.

Date: 2007/07/03 19:26:37, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (blipey @ July 03 2007,18:25)

Now, I'm not really condoning the use of the handicapped in your digs at Ham, but I don't really think the demeaning of the handicapped is what's going on here.

Ftk, in her OP continues to say things like "atheist morality".  She's completely daft.

I think the handicapped would have to include Ham, at least if the definition is made to include the morally handicapped.

I particularly loved this sentence in her OP  
Apparently telling lie after lie doesn't seem of concern to these jerks at all.

Unfortunately, she does not yet recognize that as an accurate description of Ham and his museum.

Date: 2007/07/04 06:51:41, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (blipey @ July 03 2007,20:46)
I particularly loved this sentence in her OP  

Apparently telling lie after lie doesn't seem of concern to these jerks at all.

I made a futile comment at her blog about just that sentence.

"Futile comment" is redundant when you are discussing FtK's blog.

Date: 2007/07/04 12:38:03, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Classic Ftk re Behe!  
He's searching for the truth rather than locking into a dead end theory.

Wonder what a dead end looks like?

Date: 2007/07/04 15:37:56, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Jasonthegreek is clearly FtK's twin (JtG?). Note the lack of actual arguments, facts, or rebuttals, and the abundance of atheist-bashing and putting words into other people's mouths.
Umm, why is Coyne responding via an atheist site that says it’s supporting ‘faith vs reason’? It has sectionson rebutting religious apologetics.

The conclusion I think most people would come away with is- Darwinism=atheism.

Is Coyne on record as saying that science= atheism and that it proves there is no God? If not, why is he using this site to put out his attacks?

Is this maybe the reason that the NCSE constantly tries to tell religious people that Darwinism is no challenge to their religious views? When you constantly bring a subject up, one soon wonders if you’re only bringing it up to falsely comfort others that you’re not out to get them, or that their ideas aren’t hostile to you in any manner.

Date: 2007/07/04 16:30:08, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Too bad FtK bailed before she understood the question about the icefish, or read the paper about the genetics of why primates can't make vitamin C. Both of those could be included as part of the evidence for this statement in the first chapter of Behe's latest blitherings  
In brief, the evidence for common descent seems compelling. The results of modern DNA sequencing experiments, undreamed of by nineteenth-century scientists like Charles Darwin, show that some distantly related organisms share apparently arbitrary features of their genes that seem to have no explanation other than that they were inherited from a distant common ancestor.

Since she claims to be reading Behe's book, she presumably should have encountered that section already. And yet her opinion, as always devoid of factual buttressing and unperturbed by logic, remains the same.
I still believe common descent to be the materialist's mythical creation story.

I guess this means the Behe is one of those evil "materialists". Who knew?

Date: 2007/07/05 08:43:03, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (blipey @ July 05 2007,08:28)
Ftk attracts more friends.  She has yet to answer my questions concerning her friends.  I've asked her repeatedly about what she thinks of having friends like Larry F, crandaddy, AFDave, jc, et al.  Strange how she avoids this.

Now she's got a new mental giant posting at her blog.  I introduce Frank:

There is nothing inconsistent with their ridiculing mentally challenged people and the atheist philosphy...pretending to be "science"...that they are promoting.

That Frank seems to be a wonderful addition to the menagerie over there. Follow the link to his blog (the cleverly named "Atheism Sucks), or to his blogger profile, where you find that, despite his overt Christianism, his favorite movies include the don't-turn-the-other-cheek genre (Rambo, Scarface, Dirty Harry, Pulp Fiction, etc.).

I wonder if FtK will invite him out to the ranch to be a mentor to her young boys, or perhaps they can teach him the finer points of heron harassment.

Date: 2007/07/05 09:24:13, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ July 05 2007,09:03)
Quote (stevestory @ July 05 2007,09:00)
Arden, these comments were on that thread about Wes's investigation. I moved them here so a tumor wouldn't form around VMartin's comments.

Ah. Never mind then.

Good metaphor, BTW.

A tumor implies that these trolls have a permanent effect. I think it's more like a localized inflammatory response; the bacteria infiltrate, then you get lots of fever and pus for a while, but everything calms down and gets back to normal eventually.

Date: 2007/07/05 10:48:08, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (J-Dog @ July 05 2007,10:28)
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ July 05 2007,09:06)
See here. The whole page is sort of a who's-who of creationist internet trolls.

Did everyone catch the last name on PZ's list?  Bothering his teen-age daughter?

Yeah, that's a bit ironic given her moniker. And given the compassion shown in her blog entry about Al Gore's son getting busted for speeding and drug possession, I sincerely hope that she never has to experience anything less than perfection from her own offspring.

Date: 2007/07/05 13:06:23, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (stevestory @ July 05 2007,10:57)
Can't you see FtK sitting around the house, hysterically overreacting to everything, until finally her daughter looks at her husband, and her husband says "Hey, honey, I wonder what those wicked evolutionists are up to?" And she runs off to the computer room and spends the next 5 hours there while her family gets a much-needed break.

As others have commented, that scenario is hilarious. Thanks for that mental image!

But I have a dialogue edit for your movie. I think that it is more likely for the hubby to say "Hey, honey, I wonder what those wicked atheists are up to?" The more I think about it (and I try to avoid thinking about it too much), it becomes clearer that her beef is not with evolutionary biology. Like most of her ilk, she doesn't know enough about that to worry her head about it. But she is very interested in religion, and is convinced that evolution=atheism. Atheism must be destroyed in order to validate her perverse world-view, and if it could be vanquished, ID would rule science as the right hand of God.

I once asked her, after one of her off-hand derogatory comments re atheists, exactly what was wrong with being an atheist. Per usual, I did not get an answer. I suspect that she is afraid to admit that if she had her druthers, atheists would probably either be deported to France or sent to the gulag in Guantanamo...

I'm thinking I would choose France, perhaps Bordeaux or Burgundy :)

Date: 2007/07/05 15:13:02, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (deejay @ July 05 2007,14:39)
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ July 04 2007,16:30)
Too bad FtK bailed before she understood the question about the icefish, or read the paper about the genetics of why primates can't make vitamin C.

How close, in your opinion, was Ftk to achieving a rudimentary understanding of these issues?

A couple of light-years.

I never saw any evidence that she listened to facts; she would always go into any conversation with her ears closed to facts. Patiently explaining those facts would only get you, at best, a statement like "Well, I still don't see how a microbe could become a man" or "I still don't think that understanding common descent makes any difference in scientific research". And even those were rare; her typical response would be to focus on some mention of religion, or some perceived insult, or some personal comment and try to hijack the discussion in that direction. Her opinions are immutable, and will pop back up again no matter how many facts were rallied against them.

But as noted before, her basic disagreement was not with the science, and thus, it makes sense that she really didn't care about or want to know about the science. Her basic problem is with "atheists". And no amount of explanation about icefish or vitamin C will ever challenge that opinion.

Date: 2007/07/05 15:35:51, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (deejay @ July 05 2007,15:25)
That's pretty much what I saw from her as well during the limited amount of time I've been exposed to her.  I admire the patience you showed with her.

Thanks. But if you admire patience, you would appreciate the commenter named jeremy at her blog. That guy is a saint!

I didn't deal with her at kcfs or anywhere else before she showed up here.  I understand that there might be plenty of people in Kansas who are sympathetic to her views, but did she ever hold any sway over any of them?  Wasn't it clear to anyone listening that she really wasn't even working at a high school level of scientific understanding?  It does seem like now she's only got the usual roll-call of nutters on her side at her blog, but was this different in the past?

Beats me. I ran into her first at RedStateRabble, where it was clear that she not only didn't understand science, she didn't understand simple words like "random". That was earlier this year. So I followed her over to her blog to see if that could be cleared up. Even though I live in Kansas, I wasn't hip enough to participate in the KCFS forum when she asked them all to read Walt Brown's book. Too bad; those transcripts make it sound like it was a lot of fun. Maybe some of the other veterans of those days can give a better answer to your questions.

Date: 2007/07/05 17:04:42, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
I was just sent another book to review for Choice, the review journal for the American Library Association. It is from Oxford University Press (2007), and is entitled Evolution and Religious Creation Myths: How Scientists Respond, by Paul F. Lurquin and Linda Stone (professors of Genetics and Anthropology, respectively, at Washington State University). I haven't started it yet, but two of the jacket blurbs are are from two of my scientific heroes, Paul Gross and and Luigi Cavalli-Sforza, so I suspect it is well done.

I promise not to let you influence my review, but I'd be interested if anyone out there in AtBC-land has read it and/or has any thoughts about it.

Date: 2007/07/06 06:38:26, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (djmullen @ July 06 2007,00:11)
Waaaaay off topic:

Wes, can you go to John Dvorak's blog at

and tell us what kind of bird is taking down what looks like an adult deer?

And also, how to stay the hell out of it's way!  Is there a repellant for those critters?

If it's scrolled off the bottom of Dvorak's blog, the original is at:

Looks like a Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) to me.

Date: 2007/07/06 08:30:04, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (steve_h @ July 05 2007,18:33)
no he's F*king not!

Language!, oldmanintheskydidntdoit. Shame on you! Sal is desperate to settle this issue, but I don't see how he could possibly do it even if just one person, anywhere, is questioning his willingness or ability to do so. Just go buy Demsbki's next book and his last one and the one before that, and all will become clear.

Darwin had Huxley. Dembski has Sal.


Date: 2007/07/06 11:12:55, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Some of the articles on that SALVO site are pretty frightening. This one, by some theology major at Loyola/Chicago, has the heading "True tales of students caught in the academic crossfire".

What's her beef? Gasp, a guest lecturer in her 300-level Bioethics class was a "1989 doctoral graduate of Loyola, [and] a founding member of the abortion provider Jane, Inc., which “served” women seeking abortions during the decade prior to 1973." Seems like you'd want to have lots of viewpoints expressed in a Bioethics class, and inviting guest lecturers might be a good way to introduce a diversity of opinions. But no, this theology student, true to her kind, writes  
Ethics ought to be taught by those who are truly ethical, and I want my teachers to actually teach instead of just facilitating discussion; that is why I pay $30,000 a year to attend a private university!

Translation - Just tell me the ethics, don't make me think about it, and please don't make me discuss it with any of those other folks in the class!

Date: 2007/07/06 13:34:23, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Kristine @ July 06 2007,12:22)

I’m actually sympathetic to a lot of criticism of women’s studies and the utter pablum that passes for “feminist theory” these days. But these folks at Salvo just rattle on abstractly – if that young lady has a story to tell, she should tell her story. Be specific and concrete, and have a, ahem, point.

Well, me too. I work at a university, and there is plenty of muddled thinking masquerading as feminist "theory" these days.

But when I read a headline about "caught in the academic crossfire", I expect more than "they made me sit through a lecture by someone who I might not agree with." Crikey, if you don't want to hear a diversity of perspectives, don't go to a university. Go to Billy Bob's Bible and Welding Tech.

And if someone writes    
Walk into a Women’s Studies department (or any academic department, for that matter), and you will find all manner of competing feminist theories.

I expect them to back it up. I have a hard time believing that there are a lot of competing feminist theories in math, biology, physics, engineering, agronomy, or just about any discipline outside of Women's Studies. And since she is a theology major, how does she handle all those competing theories?

Date: 2007/07/06 15:12:21, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
More atheist-bashing. My son turned me on to this site, which is so bizarre that at first I thought it was a parody. But I think not; they have a whole campaign dedicated to removing the Landover Baptist Church site (a true parody) from the internet tubes. There is a lot of material here, including this sage advice  
If you find an Atheist in your neighborhood,

You may be moved to try and witness to
these poor lost souls yourself, however

Atheists are often very grumpy and bitter and will lash out at children or they may even try to trick you into neglecting God's Word.

Very advanced witnessing techniques are needed for these grouches. Let the adults handle them.

as well as some pictures submitted by their young readers. My son actually submitted one as a joke, and they put it up. I won't tell you which one it is, since I don't want to blow his cover. But here is an example of the other images there.

Date: 2007/07/06 16:00:18, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ July 06 2007,15:39)
Oh man, I can't link it, but the picture by Earl (12) is one of the funniest things I've seen all day.

Yeah, I'd be kinda worried about Earl. That image is .png format, which is not supported on this board. You'll have to visit it yourself, at the bottom of this page.

Date: 2007/07/06 16:35:47, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ July 06 2007,16:27)
Shame it's a parody site really.

Well, they fooled me!  Thanks for clearing that up, Ian, and thanks, Wes, for enhancing AtBC's image display capabilities so that everyone can see this fine art work

Date: 2007/07/06 17:08:51, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (PennyBright @ July 06 2007,16:36)
I call parody.   Triclavianism?   The role of Baby Jesus in the Trinity?  Hopsiah the Kanga-Jew?  Crypto-baraminology?   Secular consumerism?

Not to mention the MArch 28, '02 entry on the progress page of the Landover Baptist shut down section.

Edit:  hrmph.  Here I spend all this time meticulously combing through the site to make a judgement about it, and y'all just go and look it up.   :P

Yeah, but really, what is the difference between baraminology and crypto-baraminology?

And if you look through it you also find links to genuine wacko sites, like this one, and the Free Hovind site which seems to have a rotating quote box for quotes from atheists like Pat Hayes and our own Arden Chatfield.

Date: 2007/07/06 19:08:37, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Exuding the warmth and charm for which she is justly famous, FtK sent me a message wondering how I could have been fooled by a parody site on the web. My ethical principles (where could those have come from?) forbid me from reproducing her missive in its entirety, but I can share my response.
Thanks for the kind words. At least I can publicly admit when I am fooled by a site on the internet. Some day, when that happens to you, we can perhaps talk productively again.

Date: 2007/07/07 12:31:50, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Over at UD, crabapple makes me happy that I upgraded my irony meter to the industrial-strength version when he writes (re PvM's critique of Crowther)
Neither Pim nor any other ID critic I have encountered has ever given an adequate explanation of just what evidence for a designer would look like, or if they have, I have yet to see it.

I had to read that several times, and since my skills at detecting parody websites are suspect, it is possible that I linked to some alternate-universe UD site. But I guess it was my impression that the IDiots were supposed to be providing us with "an adequate explanation of just what evidence for a designer would look like." What am I missing here???

Date: 2007/07/07 17:53:38, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ July 07 2007,17:35)
quoting a comment at OW  
Because IDers are being peer reviewed (more and more now), evolutionists are now claiming that peer-review doesn't matter.

Somebody should explain that latest line to this nimrod.      
One Darwinist on this blog notes that Behe has published relatively few research papers since his book Darwin's Black Box: and concludes that his research has been inferior to that of his critic Sean Caroll, who has published more of them, in the same period.

But it's well-known that most biologists are still Darwinists: and that Behe is now a pariah in that set. With those guys editing the journals, it's remakable that Behe has managed to publish anything at all.

--edited per oldman's comment---

Date: 2007/07/07 20:43:02, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
This is amusing.

As previously noted, I am reviewing a book entitled Evolution and Religious Creation Myths. I browsed over to the Amazon listing for this book, and found that it had been reviewed on June 12 by someone named "Booklady". She panned it.

The only problem with that is that the authors, in a response to this review, point out that the book was not available at that time; they hadn't even received their examination copies by that date... This review was written by someone who never read the book, only the title!

Given that the location for "booklady" is somewhere in California, I gotta wonder if this is yet another example of Larry Farfarman's fabulous abilities to review books without even reading them!

Date: 2007/07/09 09:22:27, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ July 09 2007,07:51)
Here's a thought for you FTK - if you talk to people outside of your little groupthink world you might learn something. Many people on different sides of an issue in fact are great friends - you don't think that reasonable people will refuse to know somebody because of a belief they hold? I guess I forgot there, you are not "reasonable people" are you FTK?

Fascinating. Yes, I'm sure that Jim Ryun is more like the kind of folks that FtK likes to pal around with. Unfortunately for her, his long-term role as furniture in the US Capitol was ended by Nancy Boyda, who might, if given a chance by the FtKs of the world, accomplish something in Washington.

Meanwhile, on another comment thread over there, she seems to be avoiding Jeremy's questioning of exactly what she meant by this cryptic statement.    
Evolution as a theory is not a dead end. Darwinism is. There's a difference.

She has posted two comments (and undoubtedly "moderated" many more) since he asked that question. So far, no response. But inquiring minds still want to know!

Date: 2007/07/09 10:44:53, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Bing @ July 09 2007,10:27)
I just read that thread and noticed that one of her comments from a Jim Sherwood points out that Behe is a pariah.  Now, I don't think it's proper to use the correct term when FtK herself coined the spoonerism "...a pirahna to all scientific thought" on her own blog so I posted a comment correcting him.  Any bets on whether she'll allow it through?

Not bloody likely, in my opinion. But perhaps she will post it as an example of her complaint that she is being "stalked and made fun of by the self anointed "intellectual" elite in this never ending debate."

There must be a Broadway show tune here somewhere:

You like pirahna and I like pariah,
You like creation and I like mutation;
Pirahna, pariah, creation, mutation!
Let's call the whole thing off!

Date: 2007/07/09 11:38:16, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (JohnW @ July 09 2007,11:26)

Possible, but built on pretty slender evidence.  This sort of thing happens all the time on Amazon.  Just look at the reviews of books by anyone controversial (Dawkins, Moore, Coulter, etc.) and it's pretty clear that few "reviewers", on either side, have read what they're critiquing.  They can't all be Larry.

I agree that the evidence is slim, and I certainly agree that all of the bogus reviewers on Amazon can't all be Larry. There are plenty of other Larrys in this country. As Gordon Tompkins once said - "Somewhere there must be a hell of a lot of horses' front ends."

Date: 2007/07/09 11:56:46, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Bing @ July 09 2007,11:49)
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ July 09 2007,10:44)
There must be a Broadway show tune here somewhere

That you know what a Broadway show tune is, let alone writing alternate lyrics to the tune of a very famous song penned by the Gershwins, (and performed by Fred Astaire) gives DaveTard the biggest opportunity to call you a homo in all-caps bold.

Actually, I routinely mock Broadway show tunes, particularly in the company of my son, who can seemingly quote/sing almost all of them (as well as every Python skit ever written, every line from The Princess Bride etc.). But this version just jumped into my head from somewhere (definitive proof that information is not material), and I had to share it. Sorry; I'll now return to my petulant self.

Date: 2007/07/09 12:46:48, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Any cosmologists on this board? Over at UD someone named sinclairjd, who gives as his home page URL the "Reasons to Believe" website of Hugh Ross et al., writes:  
The direction of quantum cosmology is to deconstruct the notion of time, causation, or both. Hence these cosmologists deny the basic concept of evolution (things change with respect to time as described by reliable laws of physics). Given that biological macroevolution is a special case of capital-E Evolution, these cosmologists are essentially (but unknowingly) denying Darwinism.

I suggest pitting the cosmologists against the biologists. If the cosmologists blink (and they will), they will vindicate the cosmological argument (Kalam version).

Date: 2007/07/09 16:06:44, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ July 09 2007,15:27)
it's amazing the amount of unknowing support of ID out there. Maybe one day they will also get some knowing support!
DNA researcher Andras Pellionisz has found unwitting friends in the ID community.

They keep using that word. I do not think it means what they think it means. Perhaps Sal meant witless fiends?

Date: 2007/07/09 18:49:17, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
I.m confused too. In this thread she accuses you of forging a comment in Rich's name, and yet it is in this other thread where you posted a comment anonymously and then took credit for it here.

what am I missing????

Date: 2007/07/10 08:10:51, Link
Author: Albatrossity2

Thanks for the clarification.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, FtK and Larry are engaged in a conversation about sitemeters and technorati and other blogger jargon, and she continues to ignore jeremy's simple request to clarify this statement she made.
Evolution as a theory is not a dead end. Darwinism is. There's a difference.

I suspect she hopes that he will forget about it and she can post enough "new" stuff that it will slide off the page.

Date: 2007/07/10 10:17:23, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Richardthughes @ July 10 2007,10:09)
restore Christianity as a credible
world view?

There's a tacit admission in there somewhere...

More like unwitting...

Date: 2007/07/10 10:58:38, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ July 10 2007,09:56)
Given FTK's Deep Concern about the moral standards of Al Gore's son, is it safe to assume she's denounced Republican Senator and Devout Christian David Vitter?

And gee, whaddayaknow, Vitter has been one of DC's noisiest opponents of gay marriage. Who woulda thunk it?

He must have been a secret atheist. Yes, that's it.

Yeah. Probably an atheist. And a Rhodes Scholar, just like Clinton. Can't trust that so-called intellectual elite, y'know.

I loved the comment on the NY Times blog re this revelation. From an interview in 2000 with Sen. Vitter's wife  
She was asked: If her husband were as unfaithful as Livingston or former President Bill Clinton, would she be as forgiving as Hillary Rodham Clinton?:

   “I’m a lot more like Lorena Bobbitt than Hillary,” Wendy Vitter told Newhouse News. “If he does something like that, I’m walking away with one thing, and it’s not alimony, trust me.”

Date: 2007/07/10 11:36:27, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Amen to all that, and I'll add OldMan

Date: 2007/07/10 13:26:26, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (lkeithlu @ July 10 2007,13:18)
Finally, a response to ICR:

Owww. This is choice.  
The ICR might do well to stop running their organization like a church, and more like a scientific enterprise.

Date: 2007/07/10 15:57:18, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Richardthughes @ July 10 2007,15:11)
I'm starting a thread so as not to derail the UD thread.

Sal is responded. Can't see any math, though..

So far all I've learned is that Sal can't spell plagiarism.

And yet somehow I thought it was his middle name...

Date: 2007/07/10 16:03:39, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Serious disconnection alert.

On this comment thread at FtK's site, some tard named Jason discusses his hypothesis re FtK's question "Are all ScienceBloggers atheists?"  
With frothing, hate-mongering anti-Christian atheist PZ Myers leading the pack, it's extremely unlikely that any of the rest are Christians.

Then, in the very next comment, he accuses J-Dog thusly (my emphasis)  
Care to broad brush a little more. Some Catholics reject evolution. Some Protestants accept it.

This is, I submit, a cut below your average tard.

Date: 2007/07/10 16:39:14, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ July 10 2007,16:35)

Which one is Casey? I recognize Sal at the far right (natch), and Dembski on the far left, but I don't recognize Casey...

Date: 2007/07/10 20:19:17, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
You can get a glimpse into the future here; it is a collection of syllabi for upcoming Dembski offerings, some of which are at the MS and doctoral level.

And this one's for Lenny. In the spring of 2008 WAD will offer  
The Coherence of Intelligent Design
William A. Dembski
[doctoral seminar; spring 2008]
Seminar Description:
This seminar attempts to make sense of intelligent design in light of the Christian Faith.

Date: 2007/07/11 07:14:27, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Hermagoras @ July 10 2007,22:04)
scordova appeasing the young-earthers:
I personally think the YEC hypothesis is promising, but we’re light years away from a serious scientific, empirically defensible theory. (emphasis added)

Light years?  Oh no you Di'n't!

Yeah, that is hilarious (and unwitting, no doubt). Here is another example of Sal ignoring the log in his own eye.  
If these organizations really believe in the truth of YEC and the evidence is abundant for it, they would do well to find that evidence. It is scarce.

Kinda like all that evidence for ID, being gathered in those top-secret labs so that it can't be published due to the conspiracy of atheist journal editors and reviewers.

Date: 2007/07/11 09:59:29, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ July 11 2007,09:34)
I've seen that before.

Isn't that basically the line FTK takes, with her 'all facts are equally valid' stance?

It certainly sounds familiar...

I have been wondering why FtK hasn't yet weighed in on that ICR/big tent flapdoodle over at UD. Or why she doesn't link to it on her blog. Somehow I would think that this topic would be very close to her interests. Whatever those are.

I guess she's too busy bitching about Lenny and how his AtBC transgressions are worse than hers.

Date: 2007/07/11 10:15:00, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Richardthughes @ July 11 2007,09:42)
Sadly, FtK isn't promoting all my posts again.  :(

Maybe she thinks you're Blipey :p

Date: 2007/07/11 11:17:03, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Louis @ July 11 2007,10:51)
Sorry sorry. I've had to organise a party for each one of my 100 year old grandparents this weekend. Each party involves separate administration and invites for 10000 people.

Couple that to the fact that I have solved world poverty and peace this week by using the EF and CSI (Miami, not NY) and metaphorically sucked off at least 90% of the DI staff and the combined ministries of AIG, CRI, CSM and ICR (none of which have anything to do with ID, which is science DAMMIT. I'm open minded) AND proved that atheists damage society and fuck babies, and you have a busy week. Vote Hitler!


P.S. Too much?

I dunno.  I think it might have sounded better in the original German.

Date: 2007/07/11 16:00:42, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Hermagoras @ July 11 2007,15:35)
WTF?  JAM has reduced Sal to complete grammatical incoherence in his first sentence.  Meanwhile, "Darwinism" is apparently a species.

One could conclude from these responses to JAM, and with corroborative evidence from the EF thread on the SciPhiShow, that Sal is not a Methodist, and that he has been drinking some potent Kool-Aid before posting anything. Incoherence seems to be the norm for him lately.

This seems to have also been (unwittingly, per usual) recognized by commenter jb  
That said, Salvador, I see that you have to carefully watch your step to prevent stepping into a pile of doo-doo when you state your opinion on these matters. On the one hand it is healthy and necessary to put these differences on the table and discuss them; on the other hand, you have the potential of angering and alienating many potential allies within the YEC sphere. It’s a fine line you have to walk, and I’m praying that God will give you wisdom.

I think a lot of us have been praying that God (or the FSM) will give Sal some wisdom.

Date: 2007/07/11 18:39:27, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ July 11 2007,18:28)
Quote (Hermagoras @ July 11 2007,18:03)

JAM is no longer with us.

No good, Dave. Ban all you want, you're still ugly and still a tard who everyone laughs at.

All we need now to round out the experience is for some UDer to pop up and say how tolerant of dissent the ID community is.

Thanks, JAM, whoever you are. It was a valiant effort, and one can only hope that there are some lurkers left at UD who have a couple of functional synapses left. One would hope that eventually all of the banning, including the banning of quite reasonable, informed and non-inflammatory folks like JAM, Hermagoras and a host of others, would open the eyes of the UD faithful to the reality that they live in an intellectual vacuum of their own making.

But I guess if you live by the tard, you will die by the tard. Boy, it must suck to be jehu.

Date: 2007/07/11 19:49:12, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Hermagoras @ July 11 2007,19:42)
The one-comment double-ban is a tricky and dangerous maneuver, best attempted only by highly trained experts.  By attempting to "convert" a single ban to a double, DaveTard failed to "stick the landing" and will be out of commission for several days with a pulled groin.

Man, it's gotta be hard to keep your head up your ass when you have a pulled groin. Dave really took one for the team here.

Date: 2007/07/11 22:12:31, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Meanwhile, the juggernaut moves on.

In his latest post, Sal claims victory on Behe's behalf, but fails to note that Behe's flailings on Amazon can't be challenged, since the comments are disabled there.

Heckuva job, Mikey. By now he's probably passed enough wordage that he could have written a grant proposal and a couple of papers.

Date: 2007/07/12 07:00:11, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Over at UD, DT explains to the sheep still left in the fold his rationale for removing JAM from their midst
I copied Behe’s response on the origin of 1/10^20 chance of CQR resistance to JAM yesterday. JAM didn’t even acknowledge the correction which is one of the reasons he got axed. Another reason was he was trying to critique Behe’s book without having bothered to read it. On top of that he was getting increasingly frustrated, mean spirited, and verbose.

And we all know that nobody else at UD is ever frustrated, mean spirited, or verbose.

Then bornagain77 chimes in. extolling the scientific method as practiced by Behe
I especially liked where Behe remarks that he assumes nothing.i.e..The 10^20 he quotes is a fact, a data point of science. His critics are toast because he practices science exactly as it is meant to be practiced.That is, Assume nothing and let the evidence lead you.

Date: 2007/07/12 10:41:42, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
I don't know if this deserves its own thread or not, but you can all head over to Young Cosmos, Sal's blog (thanks to FtK for the initial link) and decide for yourself. Or maybe it's old news; I haven't been here long enough to know if it has already been discussed.

I gotta admit I was amused by Sal's notions about the best way to promote his own particular brand of woo.    
Soooooo, where was I headed with this. I think, rather than a $27,000,000 museum, a major motion picture of Noah’s ark with hydroplate theory is in order. Most of the flood movies were kind of bland. But man, a story with Nephilim, Dinosoars, an exploding Earth would be pretty exciting. We can kind of do it with the model of Princiess Bride, where we are taken to the modern day, and we look back as each piece of evidence is studied. I was thinking of tying it to the story of Astronaut Jim Irwin as he examines each piece of evidence and meets with the creation scientists. Then we’re taken back to flashbacks in the Genesis account.

I think the idea of infusing it into popular culture will be a more effective use of money. I could of course be wrong.

Lots of other (unwittingly) good stuff there too, of course.

Date: 2007/07/12 13:00:57, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Hermagoras @ July 12 2007,11:38)
Wow.  I didn't know Sal was a young-universe kind of person.  I noticed his post on Mantle Plumes and was truly flabbergasted.  
The demise of the mantle plume hypothesis will improve the chances of various YEC geologies, particularly Walter Brown’s hydroplate theory. If lava flow and plate techtonics can be refuted, then there is room for YEC geology to succeed. Hydroplate theory ties current volcanic activity and lava flow to the mechanisms that caused the great flood. Plate techtonics have a passing relation to mantle plume theory, and thus the demise of plumes furthers the chances of Brown’s hydroplate theory prevailing over old Earth, plate techtonics.

It would be good if Sal could start by spelling tectonics correctly.
(Unrelated plug: my sister is kind of an expert on the actual science on this issue.)

Re Sal's YEC credentials, on that mantle plume post you linked to, there is this appendix.    

1. This is something I was perparing (sic) to post at Uncommon Descent some months back, but decided would have been too provacative (sic) since it argues for special creation. Bill Dembski, Denyse O’Leary, DaveScot, Patrick, and about half of the UD authors and admins accept Old Earth. Out of respect for them, I post this essay here. DaveScot was focused on issues related to exterior Global Warming, I’m focused on interior Global Warming (or cooling depending on how one looks at the issue).

That part you quoted is maddening (and typical). Rather than go out and gather evidence in favor of the hypothesis (in this case, ol' Walt's hydroplate theory), the creos just sit and wait for other theories to be toppled, and then crow that this now proves their notions. As if...

And I hope you caught this revelatory comment by Sal  
I was in touch with Dr. Brown today. He has indeed done calculations, but he does not feel his work is in a state that it could be published (no shit! - ed). However, he sent me some clips of the Marsh paper which has made it through peer-review. That would be a good starting point against plume theory.

I told Dr. Brown I tought (sic) the plume issue would be a good field of further exploration in more minute detail.

I would further add it would be a very legitmate (sic) topic for a peer-reviewed paper in current day journals (provided it doesn’t get shot down out of prejudice). If not, it would be good material for the journal we’ve been talking about informally.

Scince (sic) I expect there will be other topics of extreme interest that I’d want Dr. Brown’s participation on, I suggested that Walt not waste too much time on the plume project. Besides, given the current plume war, there could well be other minds weighing in on this soon. I think it is something we can keep an eye on in the meantime.

I look forward to the day he and I can collaborate on a project.

I'm sure we all look forward to it even more than Sal does!

Date: 2007/07/12 14:16:51, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (JAM @ July 12 2007,14:10)
Speaking of rhetoric, what did you folks think of my rhetorical tactic in the form of taunting Jehu with that animal-rights lie of omission about polio research, telling him that it is brazenly dishonest, and challenging him to find the flaw?

Of course, I realize that nothing will work to convince Jehu, but what about for those who might be a few miles closer to the cusp of reason?

Let me add my voice to the welcoming! Excellent work over there at the tard mines.

Re the rhetorical flourish of asking jehu to think for himself and find a flaw in logic (or, god forbid, experimental design), it is unfortunately usually wasted on such folk. If they don't have a canned answer or a good google touch, that usually leaves 'em floundering.

But if the rest of the flock over there can put their neurons together and use those synapses, it might help. And it's always fun, regardless!

Date: 2007/07/12 15:28:55, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (JohnW @ July 12 2007,15:08)
Quote (JAM @ July 12 2007,14:58)
Yeah, but did it change his mind (whether he admitted it or not) or anyone else's?

Guess I'll have to break the news
That I got no mind to lose

- Ramones

We need to get Behe to calculate the probability of this one - As I was reading JohnW's post, the random shuffling of iTunes started up Cretin Family (from the Ramone's Adios Amigos album). Gotta love this line "I'm never wrong don't tell me what to do".

Next tune (playing now) is  the Sex Pistols' God Save the Queen. That must be for Louis... "No future, no future, no future for you."

Date: 2007/07/12 18:41:07, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ July 12 2007,18:21)
Hurrah, I'm now a meanie according to FtK.

Now, this news came in an e-mail, but frankly, it's of no consequence, and I really don't care now.

Congratulations, Ian!  Perhaps we should also have a lapel pin that says "I'm with the Meanies"!

For the record, I am both a jerk and a meanie in the baraminological pantheon of FtK. So you still have something to aspire to...

Date: 2007/07/13 10:13:15, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Ian and I may be taking orders for an official FtK seal of approval lapel pin for Official FTK Meanie™ members. It will definitely complement the "I'm with the banned" bumper stickers. Here is a possible image for the pin.

Date: 2007/07/13 15:00:17, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (stevestory @ July 13 2007,14:40)

read that page and tell me you aren't irritated at how deceptive they're being.

Yeah, and part of the deception is that even though they say this book is for (among others)    
College-level biology instructors who teach freshman or honors General Biology courses or stand-alone courses on evolution. Explore Evolution is an excellent college-level supplementary textbook providing much more information about the evidence for and against contemporary Darwin’s theory than standard textbooks are able to offer.

they don't seem to have any option for getting an examination copy. Since I do fit their description above, I'd like to see the book. And I sure don't want to pay for it.

Of course, Of Pandas and People had the same policy; I had to pay to get a copy of that one too. I guess it was worth it; I did manage to get a six-pack of home-brew by winning a bet about one of the illustrations in that book!

Date: 2007/07/13 16:19:29, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (blipey @ July 13 2007,16:07)

We need to give some sort of award to Ftk.  That thread is the neatest example of pooh-poohing an extremely well-reasoned argument with a lump of shit that I have ever seen.

It's amazing; she has no hesitation at all in arguing with people who know a lot more than she does (and have the credentials to back that up). It was amusing when the topic is science, where her lack of knowledge was on display all the time. It is fascinating when the topic is biblical scholarship, and she still thinks she can go after a guy like Avalos. She is clearly a world expert in anything and everything, at least in her own mind. Except that, as you point out, in the end she always has to resort to non-arguments (I don't see how all of that evidence and logic should be expected to convince ME!) and snide personal comments.

I'm kinda hoping that she gets interested in law so that she and Larry F can get into arguments about that...

Date: 2007/07/14 07:30:18, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (J-Dog @ July 13 2007,21:55)
4:00 - Home again.  Feed the cat to the dog, clean the lint out of the Explanatory Filter - again!  Eat some Frisky's Kibble & Bits again - MMMM Good!

That one killed me!

After all these years, the Explanatory Filter probably has enough lint that he could probably use to to design another cat every day or so.

Good work!

Date: 2007/07/14 14:37:14, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (lkeithlu @ July 14 2007,13:48)
Does this make sense?

"PT: Just wondering. Have you ever been skeptical of skepticism? Doing so is required to be consistent in your philosophy in the Gödel sense. Otherwise your “method” is self refuting.

I’m up to being a skeptic of skeptical viewpoints about skepticism of skeptics and am working hard on the next meta level. It isn’t easy my friend, but it can be done. Baby steps, PT. The secret is baby steps. I know it’s rough - but we can do it! We can be skeptical of all things!"

I just came in from working outside in the sun. Can't tell if I am addled or that really is as stupid as it sounds...

I read that earlier today and it didn't make sense. It still doesn't, and I have been inside keeping cool (and working on a manuscript) all day long.

When WAD goes into his Galapagos Finch mode, there is no limit to the inanity.

Date: 2007/07/14 16:24:49, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Patrick wants a simpler answer.    
I think someone needs to summarize the argument and conclusions in this thread and post it as a front page thread.

That's actually pretty simple.

Sal posted a pile of dishonest crap.

JAM demolished that pile, and proceeded to bulldoze several other piles excreted by jehu, PaV et al.

Larry F, by now immune to the stench, wandered by and bitched about Judge Jones.

DT aroused himself from a diet-induced coma and banned JAM, and, for good measure, banned Patrick Caldon as well.

Sal kissed DT's behind for saving him from even more lying for Jebus.

The rest of the tardsters kept putting exponents up their noses for a while, talked about science as if they actually read peer-reviewed primary literature, and then congratulated themselves on fighting the good fight.

Now they feel so good about it that they think it should be repeated in a new post, unsullied by the likes of JAM and Patrick Caldon.

Date: 2007/07/14 16:50:14, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (BWE @ July 14 2007,16:17)
Curious, Has anyone else sprung for "The Omnivore's Dilemma"?

Yeah, I read it and liked it a lot. Botany of Desire was better, IMHO, but both of them were excellent reading!

Date: 2007/07/14 17:50:38, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (stevestory @ July 14 2007,17:13)
tonight: catfish fried in a beer batter with a tsp of Szeged fish rub mixed in, and some Michelob Ultra.

While hoping that an approaching thunder- and hailstorm doesn't hit Manhattan, I thought I'd try this chicken mole recipe. Served with this IPA (which is delicious, BTW). I'll report back on the chicken/mole recipe after all the critics have weighed in...

Date: 2007/07/14 18:25:24, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (stevestory @ July 14 2007,17:58)
chicken mole is pretty bangin'.

We'll certainly find out!

And, praise FSM, the thunderstorm slid off to the east and missed us. It is a very interesting sky at the moment, however.

Date: 2007/07/16 07:09:22, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Judging from Wes' discussion so far, it appears that many of the problems with this book, as was the case for Pandas, are omissions. Not exactly lies, but certainly not the whole truth as we know it today. That is a serious problem for any textbook, but it is unforgivable in a textbook that claims to explain things "in more detail" than a regular intro textbook.

And it also makes it harder for students and teachers to discover the problems. Nice work, Mr. Nelson.

Date: 2007/07/16 09:23:45, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (carlsonjok @ July 14 2007,18:50)
That is an odd recipe.  Raisins?  I've never seen that before.  And no peppers?  Strange.  Our favorite mole recipe is actually on the  South Beach Diet.  I've tried it with the jarred mole that you can find at Hispanic groceries, but the South Beach is better.

Yeah, I added a serrano pepper to the mix since I was also perplexed by the lack of heat potential in this dish. I'm not looking for the fire-breathing diet that Louis and Steve et al. seem to favor, but Mexican food should have some pepper ingredients!

I can report that it was pretty good, and, like all moles, even better the second day as leftovers. It wasn't the best mole I ever had, but it was far from the worst. Sometime I'll try that South Beach recipe as well, and see how it compares.

Date: 2007/07/16 09:26:45, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ July 16 2007,07:15)
Quote (BWE @ July 16 2007,00:54)
This Lenny guy simply won't shut up.

A reminder for you, Paul:

Any time you're ready . . . . . .

(sound of crickets chirping)


While you're awaiting a response, take a peek here for some additional help with this problem.

Date: 2007/07/16 10:10:35, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
In the comments at FtK's blog, DaveScot clearly is hoping that the shrinking big tent will still include the Catholic Church. More amusingly, he uses a quote from wikipedia, containing this sentence:  
Through the activity of natural causes, God causes to arise those conditions required for the emergence and support of living organisms, and, furthermore, for their reproduction and differentiation.
Although this sounds suspiciously like theistic evolutionism to me, Dave sez that it
essentially says god planned and created the universe and rejects the darwinian myth of random, unplanned, unguided evolution

Date: 2007/07/16 10:29:38, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Please forgive the double post, but this needs to be shared.

In a long and revealing rant at the end of a comment thread, FtK

1) again evades jeremy's question about her view of the difference between "darwinism" and the theory of evolution. She claims to have answered it "several times in the past", and even links to a purported answer, but a close reading of that link reveals nothing of the sort.

2) reveals the true source of her irritation
You know what really disappoints me about theistic evolutionists, Jeremy? You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least.

and 3) takes on Avalos for suggesting that the Bible is not relevant in today's world (or today's school curricula). She concludes  
Our founding father's would turn over in their graves if they knew where we have gone with the separation of church and state. During their time, the Bible was an important part of student curriculum, now it's virtually banned, and it's considered by some to have a negative impact on society in general.

Yep, it's all about the science.

Read the whole thing; these excerpts really don't give you the fulminating flavor of this philippic...

Date: 2007/07/16 16:24:24, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Here's an interesting one. In the same pages that discuss the "artifact hypothesis", we find this statement    
This point has been further emphasized by a recent Precambrian fossil find near Chengjiang, China. Scientists there recently discovered incredibly preserved microscopic fossils of sponge
embryos. (Sponges are obviously soft-bodied. Their embryos are small and soft-bodied, too—other than their tiny spicules.) Paul Chien, a marine paleobiologist at the University of San Francisco argues that this discovery poses a grave difficulty for the artifact hypothesis.

So I look up Paul Chien. The USF webpage lists his research interests thusly  
Prof. Chien is interested in the physiology and ecology of inter-tidal organisms. His research has involved the transport of amino acids and metal ions across cell membranes and the detoxification mechanisms of metal ions.

He is a senior fellow of the Discovery Institute, which blurbs him  
Paul Chien is a Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of San Francisco and he was elected Chairman of his department twice. He received his Ph.D. in Biology from the University of California at Irvine's Department of Developmental & Cell Biology. He has held such positions as Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Environmental Engineering at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena (CIT); Instructor of Biology at The Chinese University of Hong Kong; and a consultant to both the Kerckhoff Marine Laboratory of the CIT, and the Scanning Electron Microscopy & Micro X-ray Analyst in the Biology Department of Santa Clara University, California. Dr. Chien's work has been published in over fifty technical journals and he has spoken internationally, and on numerous occasions, from Brazil to mainland China-where he has also been involved in cooperative research programs. Dr. Chien edited and translated Phillip Johnson's book Darwin on Trial into Chinese as well as Jonathan Wells' Icons of Evolution.

A search of Web of Science revealed that he is the author of 15 peer-reviewed articles, but none in the area of "marine paleobiology". The most recent one is dated 1998, and is not biology at all; the title is "Relocation of civilization centers in ancient China: Environmental factors". The most recent biology-related article is from 1995; all of the articles seem to be focused on heavy metal toxicity and antidotes in marine critters, particularly worms (e.g.  UPTAKE, BINDING AND CLEARANCE OF DIVALENT CADMIUM IN GLYCERA-DIBRANCHIATA (ANNELIDA-POLYCHAETA);
Author(s): RICE MA, CHIEN PK; Source: MARINE BIOLOGY 53 (1): 33-39 1979)

So I guess my question to Paul Nelson would be "By what criteria is Paul K. Chien listed as a marine paleobiologist?" He looks like a run-of-the-mill toxicologist to me, and not a very productive one at that. Those articles in "over fifty technical journals" somehow never made it into the Web of Science...

Date: 2007/07/16 17:25:57, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ July 16 2007,17:19)
Why are you eating subterranean rodents . . . . ?

Gopher, Everett?

Date: 2007/07/16 19:04:06, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Kristine, et al.

Thanks for putting this on the table. I can see where you are coming from, but I have to respectfully disagree with some of it. My response would be

1) What Louis said. Respect is a two-way street. Despite numerous chances to demonstrate that she respected alternative points of view, she never really did that. And acting nice, or talking sweet, is NOT the same thing as showing respect. See also #2 below.

2) Honesty is essential in these discussions, and it is particularly important (nay, essential) if you are talking about science to a scientist. FtK says that she is looking for the "truth", and acts as if her search for truth includes a scientific seeking. But it is most assuredly not true. Her truths are pre-ordained, and fixed, and she admits in her most recent rant that she doesn't think that her mind will ever be changed. If she had admitted from the start that she was really focused on atheism, and equated atheism with mainstream science, AND that she apparently feels that atheists are less than honorable/respectable/human, she would get respect for her honesty (at least from me). She is not honest about her motives, and that dishonesty is a sure route to getting disrespect from anyone in the scientific community.

3) She may not have gotten as crude as Louis, but her flirting comments re RTH don't really help her case vis-a-vis feeling creeped out by sexual comments or innuendo. Frankly, those comments by her creeped me out. 'Nuff said about two way streets, above.

I am, for the most part, a nice guy. I have been, for the most part, nice and polite in these conversations. But I am a scientist, and the one thing that throws me over the edge is a liar. That automatically translates to "pariah" in my book. Sorry, I'll try to work on that.

Date: 2007/07/16 20:00:13, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Kristine @ July 16 2007,19:51)
And I do think I've got my finger on a guy thing here, 'cause I think you're hard on her in a weird way, not in a way that you're hard on the UDudes. Oh, come on - I'm honest enough to admit that I'm jealous that you seem to like her despite yourselves - not that you like what she says - but a lot of energy is going into her. She may see it as hostile and some of it is, but I think some of it is also crushy stuff, meanie-wink-winkies, let's dunk her "pig-ignorant-tales" in the inkwell. I'm looking at you, here, Lenny. :)

With all due respect, Kristine, and speaking only for myself, I don't think so.

With me, it's all about the honesty, as noted before. So if I see someone being deliberately evasive, or deleting comments that point out errors in their POV, or saying that they have answered questions when it is flamingly obvious that they have not answered them, I will respond the same. In fact, I think I have been nicer to FtK than I am to Vmartin or Sal or DaveScot. But all of them are dissemblers in their own way, and all of them yank my chain in the same way.

Date: 2007/07/17 06:52:31, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (carlsonjok @ July 16 2007,20:40)
But, as long as I am speaking, let me weigh in.  I thought ya'll were way too hard on her, even as I knew she wouldn't ever come around.  The reaction was far in excess of her importance to the larger fight.  All she ever wanted here was the last word.  But no one would let her have it (and, in some respects, still won't), so she ended up painting herself into a corner she couldn't get out of.

So, now FtK has retreated to an intellectual ghetto of her own creation. It is time to let her be. I don't see the need to comment obsessively about every last goings-on at her blog.

Yeah, I can agree with that. Her importance is artificially inflated in my perspective because we both live in Kansas, and it was folks like her who voted in the stupids who then proceeded to make this state an international laughingstock. You would not believe the number of times I have heard scientific colleagues snicker when they find out I am from Kansas.

But if I back up a bit, I see the point that there are more important things to do. So I won't bother to read her blog and raise my blood pressure, nor will I comment on her here anymore. I think Paul Nelson might get a bit more attention, though.

Date: 2007/07/17 07:17:03, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
PaV takes a poll over at the UD thread where Dr. Dr. D. whines about the sales of books by atheists.
How many here think that this barage (sic) of books is a sign that the evolutionists are afraid that ID is making converts of atheists?

Any converts here? Anybody? Anybody?

OK, I guess not.

Date: 2007/07/17 07:56:46, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Paul Nelson @ July 17 2007,05:23)

Do you have a copy of EE?  The passage in question refers not to any claim about linear increase in size, but to the practice of depicting fossil taxa on the same scale (in illustrations), without informing the reader that the actual specimens vary considerably in size.

Hi, Paul

It's good to see you here and responding to questions.

When you get a free moment, please see my previous comment and let me know what credentials (i.e. peer-reviewed publications, advanced graduate training, etc.) allow you to claim that Paul K. Chien is a "marine paleobiologist".

Thanks in advance.

Date: 2007/07/17 11:45:03, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (JAM @ July 17 2007,11:34)
Quote (Robert O'Brien @ May 13 2007,14:47)
Refusing to grant tenure to Guillermo Gonzalez is clearly ideologically/politically motivated. He has at least 55 publications in his field according to ISI Web of Knowledge, which is more than his most vociferous critics have accomplished.

But how many of those were from his time at Iowa State? A lot of pubs before the first independent position and very few after taking that position is damning.

And how much did he bring in in grants? More to the point, how much indirect?

Well, now you're talking over the heads of the whiners, discussing indirect costs. Maybe we should ask Dr. Dr. D. how much IDC he gets with his funding from the DI, just to see if he understands the concept.

Oops, I forgot. We can't do that. We're with the banned.

Date: 2007/07/17 15:06:23, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Kristine @ July 17 2007,14:59)
Fee Fie Foe Fummy! I smell O’Leary ain’t above getting slummy!

"Slummy" doesn't quite cover it. I loved this comment from Ms. Dense at the thread that Kristine linked to  
The first guy up to the plate is actually the one I mentioned first - Dilbert’s old pal, P.Z. Myers, the closest thing Darwinism has evolved to a teddy bear. Whaddayathink, guys?

Ad hominems? Coarse language? I bet Dave Scot’s wrist gets better with practice …

What is he doing with that wrist, exactly?

Date: 2007/07/17 17:13:07, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
I see that Paul is logged in right now.  I sure hope he will answer my question!

Date: 2007/07/17 17:47:05, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Paul Nelson @ July 17 2007,17:32)
(from Seattle)


I missed that description of P.K. Chien when reviewing the galleys, but will check with the author who drafted the section (it wasn't me).  "Marine biologist" or "biologist" would be a better term.

Sorry you won't be wagering, Steve.

Well, actually, "toxicologist" would be an even more accurate description. Of the 10 biologically-relevant papers attributed to him on Web of Science, the most recent one being 1995, one is on yeast, three are on non-marine worms, one is on human erythrocytes,  and 5 are on various marine or saltmarsh organisms. ALMOST ALL of them deal with heavy metal toxicity. His qualifications to comment on a fossil and its relevance to the bogus "artifact hypothesis" seem to me to be non-existent. Finally, his publication record would suggest that he might not even be up to speed in toxicology...

I'm sure that this will be changed in the next printing, but that section should read "toxicologist" rather than marine paleobiologist. Of course, that wouldn't be as impressive in the context of that paragraph.


Date: 2007/07/18 10:56:00, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Paul Nelson @ July 18 2007,07:37)
Funny thing about the reptile-mammal illustration comparison, which Afarensis and other find puzzling and irrelevant.  Several people who did not know that the fossils were being scaled (without their knowledge), to make the morphological transition appear smoother, have told me they regard this practice as objectionable.

Why weren't we shown just how different in size these groups were? they ask.

Because it is irelevant to the point being made? Recall that Afarensis wrote:
Traits characterizing the reptile/mammal transition are not based on similarity in size. Rather the reptile mammal transition is based on things like the evolution of the secondary palate, evolution of the mammalian ear from the reptilian jaw, evolution of the incisors, canines and check teeth -along with specific patterns of occlusion- , evolution of a bony skull from a skull mainly formed by cartilage, changes in the pectoral and pelvic girdles towards more upright posture, etc.

In other words, size is irrelevant for the point being made.

It may be true that some folks find this "objectionable" (although I would be curious to know who they are and where they stand on evolutionary theory). Frankly, it seems odd to point to this as any sort of objection to the theory of evolution. But give the DI's track record on the figures for Haeckel's embryos, I guess I shouldn't be surprised that there is a priority given to presentation rather than to factual reality.

Date: 2007/07/18 16:02:11, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Wow, another good rant from FtK.

With no unmoderated comments to show her the myriad ways that she screws up history, logic, philosophy, and, most of all, science.

This is probably no revelation to many of you, but I had an insight while reading that (or else it was an hallucination generated by the cold medicine I'm taking). She goes on and on, and even puts it in her blog description, that she is looking for truth. But she is actually looking for certainty. Those are not the same thing to most of us, but they are synonymous in her circles.

Science can't give her certainty. Religion does.

Date: 2007/07/19 07:07:44, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Re Dr. Dr. D's business/management seminar, this presentation
“History and Prospects of the Intelligent Design Movement”
Dr. Ide Trotter, Trotter Capital Management

might almost be worth the price of admission. It should rank right up there with a presentation entitled "History and Prospects of Enron".

Date: 2007/07/19 09:01:48, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Faylen @ July 19 2007,08:28)
From the Wiki, it seems to me that Neo-Darwinism describes the basic mechanism that Darwin described, plus the information scientists have discovered about genetics.  Am I right?  It doesn't sound like a word that should be uttered with a scowl or a sneer, and it's still not some kind of moral ideology.  But if it is referring to a current scientific knowledge, howcum they still use "Darwinist" by itself?

Because they like to argue that "darwinism" is just a religion, and that "-ism" brings it closer to words like Protestantism or Catholicism or Zoroastrianism or Paganism. And as we know, "darwinism" is a synonym for the dreaded Atheism.

Note that they don't refer to gravitational theory as Einsteinism, or Cell Theory as  Schleiden-Schwannism, simply because those scientific theories don't threaten their religious superstitions. The "-ism" suffix is specially created for the purpose of confusing science and religion.

Date: 2007/07/19 10:51:25, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (JohnW @ July 19 2007,10:47)
Let's review our favourite DI document:

Five Year Goals

  * To see intelligent design theory as an accepted alternative in the sciences and scientific research being done from the perspective of design theory.
  * To see the beginning of the influence of design theory in spheres other than natural science.
  * To see major new debates in education, life issues, legal and personal responsibility pushed to the front of the national agenda.

Perhaps the business seminar is an admission that they've crapped out on goal #1, and it's time to try goal #2.

Given the delusion level at UD and elsewhere, they probably think that they have achieved goal #1.

Date: 2007/07/19 11:04:34, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (JAM @ July 18 2007,00:26)
 Well, to give you an idea of the pervasiveness of administrators' concern with indirect costs, at my last institution, applying for a grant with <15% IDC required the prior approval of the president.

I suspect that the DI pays 0% overhead.

Maybe that's a way that Lehigh can get Behe to leave...

Frankly, I wish our administrators would pay more attention to those percentages. In recent years they have focused on trying to get earmarks (aka pork) for major projects, and ignored the fact that there is never any IDC funding for these porkers. Sometimes they had to use IDc generated from other projects to supplement the pork when the funding is not quite up to what they requested. In addition, when the pork runs out, we will have large buildings or new faculty members to pay for from our own funds.

And it will run out. Last November we elected a new Congressional rep, to replace the old one who never did a thing for his lesser constituents, but who had been instrumental in helping pork up this institution. The day after the election I happened to run into one of the upper admins involved in this project, and he was absolutely despondent. Note that the person who lost the election was a troglodyte, and that this admin had zero in common with the losing candidate politically, philosophically, or otherwise. Note that most sane people agree that pork is a bad idea, both from the political and scientific perspectives, and that this admin would probably have agreed that it was a bad idea before he drank this Kool-Aid. None of that mattered; he was just really worried because the trough had just dried up, and he was seriously bummed out.

Date: 2007/07/20 07:30:38, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (J-Dog @ July 19 2007,21:47)
Does he cringe?  Yes, and I think that if we could continue to remind him of his HUGE mistake on a regular basis, we could train him like one of Pavlov's dogs.  Everytime he sees a Marine Praying, or sees the magic symbol ACLU, he will cringe.

We will be able to turn "That 220 lbs of V-shaped raw coulrophobe." into 220 lbs of quivering Cheesy Poof -filled flab.

Actually, given that he can deny reality quite easily, I would guess that he doesn't cringe. I imagine that he has constructed some alternate reality in his head, and that is how he views it now. If he can edit words on a blog and bluster past the criticisms at the time, he has certainly edited his own reality by now.

Semper fib.

Date: 2007/07/20 08:28:38, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (JonF @ July 20 2007,07:58)

Luria-Delbrück experiment.

The Luria-Delbruck Fluctation test has also been used with cultured mouse cells (GENETIC ANALYSIS OF AZAGUANINE RESISTANCE IN AN ESTABLISHED MOUSE CELL LINE, MORROW J., GENETICS 65 (2): 279-& 1970). Send me a PM if you want a PDF version of this paper.

Date: 2007/07/20 11:09:28, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
On the truly hilarious Wolpert/Dawkins thread at UD, nullusalus (aka numbusnuttus) weighs in with a high-quality tardism
Maybe I’m in the minority here, but…

If ’standard NDE’ (and that’s a loaded term) is capable of giving rise to IC structures.. well, doesn’t the natural world look downright teleological and purposefully crafted in that case?

WTF does that mean?  I can't figure it out, but jehu thinks he's got it
I think your point goes along with the notion that it is impossible for meaning to arise from meaninglessness or intelligence from nonintelligence. So if we end up with meaning and intelligence, we must have started with meaning and intelligence regardless of the process that bridged the two. I agree with that argument.

Other than the fact that both of these tards are typing in English, I can't see any evidence of communication here. UD is simply becoming an echo chamber, and all of the voices are unplugged from any meaning or intelligence,

Date: 2007/07/20 12:20:49, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Bob O'H @ July 20 2007,11:44)
Ah Rich, if you want Tard, you should go here:

Some high-grade stupidity there - I barely tapped with a hammer, and the whole seam gushed out.

It includes Sal repeatedly trying to quote-mine, in the hope we'll get upset.  He also tries to derail the thread, presumably to the annoyance of the poor guy who started the post, who is, um, wait a moment...




That thread is puzzling. Does anyone else find it odd that right after Behe's book is praised for asserting that mutations don't happen often enough to explain evolution, Sal et al. are praising a PNAS paper that basically is saying that mutations are more of a driver than previously thought? Cognitive dissonance, anyone?

I know that short-term memory loss is almost a requirement for being a hardcore UDer, but this is the worst case yet.

On another note, here is a recent paper from Functional Ecology that Sal et al. should read. The same issue has an editorial that expands on this paper as well.

Title: The speed of ecological speciation

Authors:Hendry, Andrew P.; Nosil, Patrik; Rieseberg, Loren H.

FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY 21 (3): 455-464 JUN 2007

1. Adaptation can occur on ecological time-scales (contemporary evolution) and adaptive divergence can cause reproductive isolation (ecological speciation). From the intersection of these two premises follows the prediction that reproductive isolation can evolve on ecological time-scales. We explore this possibility in theory and in nature. Finding few relevant studies, we examine each in some detail.
2. Theory: Several models have demonstrated that ecological differences can drive the evolution of partial reproductive barriers in dozens to hundreds of generations. Barriers likely to evolve quickly include dispersal rate, habitat preference and selection against migrants/hybrids.
3. Plants: Adjacent populations adapting to different fertilizer treatments or to mine tailings can develop reproductive barriers within at least 100 generations. These barriers include differences in flowering time and selection against migrants/hybrids.
4. Invertebrates: Populations on native and introduced host plants can manifest reproductive barriers in dozens to hundreds of generations. These barriers include local host preference and selection against migrants/hybrids.
5. Vertebrates: Salmon adapting to divergent breeding environments can show restricted gene flow within at least 14 generations. Birds evolving different migratory routes can mate assortatively within at least 10-20 generations. Hybrid sculpins can become isolated from their ancestral species within at least 20-200 generations.
6. Ecological speciation can commence within dozens of generations. How far it goes is an important question for future research.

Date: 2007/07/20 14:03:23, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Bob O'H @ July 20 2007,13:53)
Albatrossity2, why are you expecting consistency?  They would need some level of understanding first.


I guess that the only consistency would be that both of the UD-praised items are seen as threats to "darwinism" and therefore positive proof for ID, but are in fact neither.

The only "level of understanding" needed for that is scriptural.

Date: 2007/07/20 15:55:00, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (franky172 @ July 20 2007,15:39)
Dembski is upset no one has used his EF.

That's quite the pity party Dr. Dr. D is throwing for himself over there. Complete with the usual insults and pictures to point out alleged resemblances between those who vex him and some TV character.

I liked this quote, which he used to prop up his sagging ego    
Moshe Koppel, an Israeli mathematician at Bar-Ilan University, has this to say about the same book: “Dembski lays the foundations for a research project aimed at answering one of the most fundamental scientific questions of our time: what is the maximal specified complexity that can be reasonably expected to emerge (in a given time frame) with and without various design assumptions.”

Pity that the "foundations for a research project" never quite panned out. I thought about inserting a "Pinky and the Brain" image here, but that would be lowering myself to Dembski's level.

Date: 2007/07/20 19:44:09, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (J-Dog @ July 20 2007,18:19)

First comment - By "bornagain" - Jesus Christ, this post is so obsequious that it makes me think "bornagain" is a Dembski sock puppet.  Would a Double Doctor like Dembksi do something this crazy?

ALL of the comments are bizarre. Reinforcing the hypothesis that UD is just an echo chamber, in the fourth comment acquiesce (no irony there) chimes in with a complete non sequitur. Remember, while reading this comment, that this thread is about Dr Dr D whining about how he doesn't get no respect.    
Whilst I believe chance to be an inadequate explanation for life, I feel the upper probability bound of 10^150 rests on pure speculation. Who can really say, with any empirical basis, there are only 10^80 elementary particles in the universe? For all we know the universe could be twice this size, or ten times or even infinite in size.

It's like those old Chatty Cathy dolls that my sisters had. Pull the string, and some random phrase pops out. Do you think that all of that super-secret DI research money is being used to produce dolls with strings at the back of their necks?

Date: 2007/07/21 12:04:35, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (JonF @ July 21 2007,11:48)
Quote (Paul Nelson @ July 20 2007,10:54)
Afarensis wrote:

The morphology that was transitioning was not based on size so "smoothing" the scaling to make them look similar is irrelevant.

Right.  But if size is irrelevant to the characters involved in the transitional series, and in any case is easily modified genetically, why not just depict the fossils using the same scale (so that the relative sizes of the actual specimens is clear to the reader)?

Because that hides the important data, masking it with true but irrelevant data.

There is another dynamic that is at work here, and I call it, for lack of a better word, literalism. I see it in my intro biology students all the time.

Say that there is a figure in the textbook that shows a process like photosynthesis, and the Calvin cycle reactions are to the right of the ATP-producing light-dependent reactions, and I want the students to know where the ATP comes from. There is an arrow going from left to right in this figure, showing ATP moving from the light-dependent reactions to the Calvin cycle reacions.

If I write a test question and use a revised figure from another textbook with the Calvin cycle to the left, remove the labels and arrows, and ask where the ATP comes from, a large fraction will answer that it comes from the Calvin cycle. Because that part of the pathway is now at the left, and that is the only way that they can recall it. They don't think about the concepts, they focus on the details of a picture. These students are concrete and literal thinkers to a fault. And they will bitch at me for writing a "tricky question".

I suspect (but have no data to prove it) that these students and Paul (and his acquaintances who object to scaling of figures in textbooks) are similar in lots of other ways as well.

Date: 2007/07/22 10:04:21, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Well, I sent in my review for Evolution and Religious Creation Myths: How Scientists Respond, by Paul F. Lurquin and Linda Stone. So I figured I should post something here as well.

This book is well-researched, and would be a valuable tool for "anyone who has ever needed to argue why evolution and creationism are not both valid theories that deserve equal attention", as the publisher points out. It is dense, with small type, so it packs a lot of ammo into a slim volume. It seems to be aimed at a broad audience, and therefore has sections that will be pretty superficial for some members of that audience. For example, if you know much about biology, you can skip the chapters about genetics and molecular biology. Ditto for the chapter on the Big Bang if you are reasonably well-acquainted with modern physics. It is nice to have all of these things in one volume, but it does detract from the "readability" score.

It also has a decent summary of the history of creationism and ID (which the authors call neo-creationism, a nice touch). They tackle irreducible complexity as well, and show that all of Behe's examples (immune system, flagellum, etc) are not really irreducibly complex. Unfortunately, since this book went to press before Behe's latest opus, it is already a bit dated with regard to disputing his latest sham arguments.

All in all, this is a very good resource book. It is not light reading, but I can recommend it to this crowd as a good book to lend to anyone who has serious questions about the creationism/neo-creationism v evolution "controversy". It will get them up to speed quite handily.

Date: 2007/07/23 15:46:11, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Paul Nelson @ July 23 2007,14:57)
One quick reply, about the use of quotations in scientific writing.  I agree that quoted material occurs very rarely in primary research publications.  Quotes occur frequently in science books, however: take a look, for instance, at Gould's The Structure of Evolutionary Theory, or Dawkins's The Ancestor's Tale.

I'll check back in from my hotel in Rome.


When you check in from Rome, can you tell us if the inaccurate description of Dr. Chien as a marine paleobiologist (see original  comment here) has been

1) brought to the attention of whoever proofed the galleys for that page, and

2) changed to a more accurate description (e.g. toxicologist)?

Re the notion that quotations are acceptable in EE because they "occur frequently in science books", that is a red herring. This is NOT a science book; it is allegedly a textbook. I review a lot of textbooks for college-level intro biology. I am a senior reviewer for a new edition of a major textbook revision coming out in Jan 2008. Textbooks, just like scientific publications, contain few, if any, quotations as supporting material for some point that is being made. They may contain some quotations in sidebars, or as points from which to start a discussion, but they don't use them as evidence. When you get back, take a peek at any intro-level college biology textbook (i'm sure you have a few in the office there in Seattle) and see for yourself.

So if this is NOT a textbook, you might have a logical leg to stand on. If it is a textbook, and the EE webpages seem to suggest that is the primary use, you need to get rid of those quotations pronto.

Date: 2007/07/23 17:08:39, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Joe G @ July 23 2007,16:50)
Quote (blipey @ July 23 2007,16:19)
Also Joe, since this makes no sense, perhaps you can expound:

the original argument of a paternal family tree

What do you think the argument of a paternal family tree is?

And how does this differ from what the original argument of a paternal family tree was?

Ummm a "paternal family tree" has the patriach sitting on top- alone. Then all male descendants are under him.

The next level would be his closest descendants.

In Frank's scheme the top level is the patriach and all male descedants.

What part about that don't you understand?

Time isn't cheap and I've wasted too much here already.

When you have something new please drop by my blog and let me know...

Just "Wow". This level of obtuseness is completely unprecedented in my experience. And that is a lot of experience...

Date: 2007/07/23 19:02:02, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
I dunno how many of you have seen this, but a commenter on Pharyngula today just made my day. Here is a link to a DI news release. Enjoy!

Date: 2007/07/24 11:57:48, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
On O'Dreary's post re brain surgery, commenter Sladjo points to a recent article from Lancet and points out    
It’s about a French surgeon, Lionel Feuillet (Timone hospital, Marseille, France), that discovered a very tiny brain during a CAT scan…

Of course, everybody was shocked to see how little brain is needed for a 75 IQ score…
Even if 75 is quite a low score, it didn’t prevent the 44 years old man to have an absolutely normal life…

Nor would it prevent him from posting on UD...

Date: 2007/07/25 09:28:11, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
I would submit that arguing with anyone who writes this
Do I believe the Earth is between 6-10 thousand years old?  Absolutely.  We're not crackpots

is pointless. It might be fun, but it is still pointless.

Date: 2007/07/25 11:36:23, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Bob O'H @ July 25 2007,11:27)
I was amused by how aggressive kairosfocus was in his question: I know what would happen if I had posted that.

I also wonder what are the chances he'll get an answer.

It's a sad commentary when simply asking for a definition of terms is recognized by all of us as "aggressive".

Date: 2007/07/25 13:23:32, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
The tardist formerly known as PaV, unencumbered by any ability to recognize projection, opines  
But, of course, anyone can conjecture anything in the world they want to. How do unsubstantiated conjectures prove anything.


Date: 2007/07/25 15:25:45, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Incoming Tard Alert!

Sal breathlessly reveals his latest contribution, filed under "Advanced Creation Science".  
This morning, after much searching I may have found confirming evidence of a VERY VERY bold prediction of Barry Setterfield’s light speed decay theory. Light speed decay (CDK) theory predicts that we will see celestial objects move in slow motion (time dilation) depending on an equation calculated by Dr. Stephen Cheesman. For example, the degree of time dilation predicted when we start to look at objects at say about 30,000 light years is about 59, their physical motions will appear to be slowed down by factors of 59!.

In a survey of Visual Photometric Binary stars and Visually accessible Spectroscopic Binary stars, I have found confirming evidence of this time dilation! Astronmers have acknoweldged the anomaly and tried to explain away the fact that as one looks farther out from Earth there is an increase in population of slow visual Binary Stars (Stars which orbit one another), or apparently no binary stars at all. Actually, with extreme time dilation, binary stars will look frozen, and this is actually what we are seeing in globular clusters 30,000 light years away.

I have also asserted that there are only supposed eclipsing binaries detected by micro-lensing techniques which are not binaries at all.

I would welcome review of the current work on this subject as it would confirm:

1. Intelligent Design
2. Recent Special Creation


regards to everyone, especially my brethren,

Date: 2007/07/26 15:28:47, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
In a blatant attempt to get DT to post his own silly question at UD, kdonk62 tardulates
1) Is it wrong to suggest that homosexuals are genetically flawed human beings who have lost the ability to propogate naturally and who should be destroyed via natural selection?

-Red Savina Habanero

They are definitely showing their true colors over there...

Date: 2007/07/27 08:54:22, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
New thread, same old tard. Commenter cmpilato reveals his intellectual difficulties  
I’m scratching my head and trying to decide how natural selection happened to know that a million years of effort applied toward transforming some plant into what we know of today as a wasp orchid wouldn’t be a colossal waste of time because, say, wasps disappeared or evolved into something that no longer looked … waspy. Can the Universe really be so lucky?

Y'know, if these guys could get the teleology out of their skulls, they might eventually get somewhere.

Date: 2007/07/27 13:51:06, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ July 27 2007,13:43)
I'm talking about deliberately lying about one's own religion, or denying having posted a statement to a blog just 10 minutes before, when the liar in question knows full well it's nonsense. Crazy shit that anyone can disprove, shit that probably even embarrasses FTK. Takes a special kind of mind to do that, tho Joe is clearly up to the challenge.

For a stunning example of this, remember that Joe looked at this figure provided by Zach (and even copied it into his own comment)

and then spouted this    
The "set" at the top of Zachriel's "tree" is Abdullah. If you look at the diagram closely you will see only his name.

Apparently he was hoping that none of the rest of us actually had functional eyeballs...

Date: 2007/07/27 16:56:55, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (stevestory @ July 27 2007,16:30)
Quote (heddle @ July 27 2007,17:24)
That list is simply hilarious.

It would take a while to compose the complete one. By my estimate, they've banned about 300 people in the 2 years I've been following UD. And by their own admission, they quietly delete 20% of the other comments.

Furthermore, some of us never even get to the status of having a single comment posted so that we can get banned later. In my case my original sin was apparently so heinous that DT never even let it through moderation. Sigh.

Date: 2007/07/28 08:45:49, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Perhaps a brief summary of this thread will help point out the futility of "conversing" with VMartin.

He is fond of pointing out that "darwinists" have no explanation for various things. This is a common enough tactic, and confined almost exclusively to those who prefer certainty to uncertainty. When it is pointed out to him that gaps in knowledge are expected and do not mean that a theory is in serious disarray, he ignores it and goes on to another perceived gap.

His fondness for pointing out gaps in our knowledge is exceeded only by his disdain for proposing alternative explanations. Whether this is because he has no alternative explanations, or because he knows that his preferred explanations have less-than-zero experimental support is not clear. This is because he also refuses to answer questions about his mechanistic explanations of anything.

In other words, he is a sniper, moving along and taking potshots but providing only moving targets for his adversaries. Useless in almost every respect.

Date: 2007/07/30 09:33:42, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (guthrie @ July 30 2007,09:21)
Hang on a minute- does DS have a special TARDIS for himself that allows him to go back and examine the DNA of giant wombats?  Or is the large wombat still around, and he has read a scientific paper on it?

Or, to sum it up- how does he know that it was just selection acting on natural variation?

No Tardis required, alas.

See Lou's previous summary of the explanatory acuity of bfast    
I'm guessing sitting in his computer chair, leaning hard to the left, right cheek high in the air, talking out his ass.

Although in DT's case, I'm pretty sure he leans to the right.

Date: 2007/07/30 20:03:57, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Well, my examination copy of EE arrived today. If I get some time in the next few days, I'll peruse it and see what pops up.

Date: 2007/07/31 11:45:13, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
The nano-errosionists have never offered a valid explanation for how their dumb, unguided processes are able to create things of beauty.


Date: 2007/07/31 15:05:38, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Well, my first impression after reading a couple of chapters in EE and browsing through the rest is that this, like most ID efforts, is full of omissions. Those are harder to pin down than outright falsehoods, but intellectually dishonest nonetheless.

My second impression is that, as an active practitioner of inquiry-based education in introductory biology, it seriously offends me to read the preface, where the authors pretend that this book is inquiry-based in that sense. Certainly they ask lots of questions, but these are mostly the standard arguments from ignorance. To imply that this book would teach anyone how to generate knowledge by asking questions and seeking answers is disingenuous in the extreme, particularly when one realizes that a large part of the arguments in support of evolutionary theory are mysteriously omitted from this book (see paragraph above). In order to ask useful questions, it really helps to have all the background information.

My third impression is that there is a tremendous amount of selective quoting of scientific articles that is genuinely misleading. Context is always missing. Furthermore the authors rely quite a lot on speculative wording in many of those articles, again omitting the context in which that speculation is imbedded. Some of the articles are not in scientific journals devoted to data presentation and analysis, and are even labeled as speculation, e.g. Malcolm Gordon, 1999, Biology and Philosophy 14:331-48, "The Concept of Monophyly: A Speculative Essay". They make a lot of hay from that one, as you might imagine. Since its publication it has been cited a grand total of 5 times in any abstracted journal, only three times in a science journal, and two of those three were by Malcolm himself. Yet when you read EE, you'd think that this was a high-impact paper, they quote it so often.

Besides the hard work of finding the creationist common ancestors for this book, it also strikes me that it would be a good idea to contact all of the folks quoted in this book with a copy of the quote in its context and ask them if they agree with that characterization. Or ask them if they agree with a statement like that on the Project Steve site. We could call it Project Steamed, because that is how I suspect most of them would feel if they knew that their work was being used this way.

Date: 2007/07/31 16:13:05, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Here's a good one.

On p. 137 of EE, the authors argue that the radical transformation of the lung from reptilian to avian seems improbable. Part of the argument goes like this.      
Finally, what happens to the diaphragm? The reptiles thought to be the ancestors of birds almost certainly had a diaphragm breathing system (footnote 8). According to many evolutionary biologists, changing from a diaphragm lung system to a flow-through lung would require changing and increasing the musculature of the reptile's chest. At the same time, the diaphragm would need to gradually go away. This poses a fundamental problem. Evolutionary biologist John Ruben points out that the earliest stages of this transformation would have required a hole or hernia in the reptile's diaphragm. This would have immediately compromised the entire system and led to certain death for any animal unfortunate enough to possess this non-functioning intermediate structure.

Footnote eight refers to Ruben, et al. 1997, Science 278:1267-1269 (actually 1267-1270, at least in the reprint form that I have), and quotes from the article.      
"Therapod (sic) dinosaurs, like modern crocodiles, probably possessed a bellows-like septate lung, and that lung was probably a hepatic-piston diaphragm".

That tell-tale ellipsis. What was elided? From the original paper      
These observations, combined with the occurrence among theropods of a distinct, relatively vertical, crocodilelike, highly elongate pubis (Figs. 4 and 5), as well as well-developed gastralia, provide evidence that theropod dinosaurs, like modern crocodiles, probably possessed a bellows-like septate lung and that the lung was probably ventilated, at least in part, by a hepatic-piston diaphragm that was powered by diaphragmatic muscles that extended between the pubic bones and liver.

So the authors omitted something which might have led an inquiring student to conclude that perhaps something else was involved in breathing in the intermediate stages between the reptile lung and the bird lung. Inquiry-based? Not hardly.

But is that the whole story? No, their deception goes another level down. Ruben does not say anything about possible other mechanisms for bridging this anatomical/physiological gap, even though there might be some. Ruben is basically arguing in this paper that the theropod dinosaurs are not the earliest ancestors of birds, based on the problem with defining this intermediate.      
Recently, conventional wisdom has held that birds are direct descendants of theropod dinosaurs. However, the apparently steadfast maintenance of hepatic-piston diaphragmatic lung ventilation in theropods throughout the Mesozoic poses fundamental problems for such a relationship. The earliest stages in the derivation of the avian abdominal air sac system from a diaphragm-ventilating ancestor would have necessitated selection for a diaphragmatic hernia in taxa transitional between theropods and birds. Such a debilitating condition would have immediately compromised the entire pulmonary ventilatory apparatus and seems unlikely to have been of any selective advantage."

In other words, he is not saying that this poses an insurmountable obstacle for any theory that postulates evolution of the bird lung, he is saying that this argues against the theropod-bird ancestral connection. Birds (with their unique lungs) must, by his logic, be descended from other ancestors.

Whether one agrees with that logic or not, I suspect that Ruben would be steamed at this use of his Science publication...

Date: 2007/08/01 12:01:54, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Bob O'H @ Aug. 01 2007,08:56)
Albatrossity2 - may I suggest a way of dealing with your frustration, and helping Lenny too.  You're going to become increasingly steamed up, so any time you feel like throwing it away, do so in the direction of Florida.  Then continue reading from where it lands.  Let's see if you finish the book or the delivery first.


Thanks for the suggestion. Luckily it is a short book, or I might end up in Florida eventually...

For Paul Nelson - The press release for this book says, in part      
...Explore Evolution was peer-reviewed by biology faculty at both state and private universities, teachers with experience in both AP and pre-AP life science courses, and doctoral scientists working for industry and government. The textbook has been pilot-tested in classes at both the secondary and college levels

As a reviewer for countless introductory biology textbooks that are used at both the high school and college level, and a major reviewer for a new edition of Starr's Biology: Concepts and Applications, I am interested in knowing who these reviewers and testers might be. In general these individuals and their institutions are named in the front matter of the textbook. In the book we currently use, in fact, that list takes up an entire page, in small type. So I have two simple questions.

1) Why didn't you acknowledge the reviewers and testers in the front matter of the book? I suspect that they put in a lot of work, and an acknowledgment would be appreciated.

2) Is a list of reviewers and testers available anywhere?

Thanks in advance.

Date: 2007/08/01 15:58:44, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Aug. 01 2007,15:53)

How long til Larry gets forcibly ejected from his local Barnes & Noble?

Not likely. By his own admission, Larry relies on the internet to do his "research", and probably hasn't seen the inside of a bookstore (or read a whole book) in many years.

But I gotta admit, it is an amusing mental image!

Date: 2007/08/01 16:02:11, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (VMartin @ Aug. 01 2007,15:58)

This study thus provides no support that marginal eyespot patterns can act as an effective deflection mechanism to avoid lizard or avian predation.

Wow! Somebody did some experiments and tested a hypothesis.

Contrast that to V, who refuses to even state his hypothesis.

See the difference, V?  No? Let me explain it for you.

One of these approaches leads to progress and an increase in our knowledge. The other approach (yours) leads to stupefaction.

Date: 2007/08/01 16:49:15, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (VMartin @ Aug. 01 2007,16:14)
I see. Criticising the theory of "survival advantage" of coloration leads to stupefaction. Abidance in neodarwinism even if it obviously contadicts facts leads to progress.

No. Criticism is valid. But only if it leads to alternative hypotheses that can be tested, and then to testing of those hypotheses. That is known as "constructive criticism". What you are doing is known as "bitching".

Do you have any hypothesis about coloration in fungi? I haven't heard it yet. Is it testable?  Are you planning to test it?

If the answer to those questions is no, or, even worse, if you ignore them again, we can only conclude that you are a twit. Prove that you are not a twit and give us your testable hypotheses, please.

Thanks in advance for ignoring this again.

Date: 2007/08/01 17:28:15, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Day 2. I should have left this one for Lenny, but it was easy, and I had lots of other things to do today.

As expected, Haeckel's embryos make an appearance (p. 67). As expected, these straw-critters are trotted out in the "Case For" section, so that the the authors can express outrage at these fakes, and so that the straw-critters can be ritually slaughtered in the "Reply" section. As expected, Icons of Evolution is cited, and Wells' opus is referred to in a footnote (8) to this sentence
According to some critics of the standard embryology argument, the evidence strongly suggests that biologists should re-evaluate whether all animals shared a common ancestor.

It is interesting that Wells, a singular author, is multiplied into "some critics". But I'm sure they could find other critics. They just might not be biologists. Of course, there is no mention of the silliness of their conclusion that a single debunked (by scientists, incidentally) figure can trump all of the other evidence from developmental biology. Perhaps the student is expected to take it from here in the standard "inquiry-based" model. But, as noted before, errors of omission like that don't make it easy for a student to go much further...

The expected refrain also appears
This error even crept into the Encyclopedia Brittanica, and remains in many modern high school and college biology textbooks.
They mention two textbooks in a footnote, Raven and Johnson 2002, and Futuyama's Evolutionary Biology 1999. I don't have a copy of either book, not do I have a copy of that other noted biology textbook (the EB), but I did happen to have 21 different intro biology textbooks on the shelves in my office; publication dates ranged from 1983-2007. So I did some actual research.

Two of them mentioned Haeckel and the "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny" conclusion, and showed a version of his original figure. Both of these (Guttman's Biology 1999 and McFadden and Keeton (1995) correctly noted in the text that this conclusion is not valid and that Haeckel over-interpreted his data. One other (Starr and Taggart, 4/e, 1987) mentioned only the conclusion without showing the offensive figure. This text also correctly pointed out that Haeckel's conclusion is not accepted any longer.

Let's see. Three out of 21 = 14%, hardly a majority. And none of the three tried to convince students that Haeckel was right. Not quite the problem that the book sets up, is it?

Can you make sure that this strawman is removed from the second printing, Paul?

Date: 2007/08/02 07:54:43, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Aug. 02 2007,07:22)
Quote (stevestory @ Aug. 01 2007,19:39)
No wonder Paul doesn't want to talk here.

Think he'll show up in court?

Think he'll testify that he agrees with all six of the characteristics of "creation science"?

(snicker)  (giggle)

It would be even more entertaining to get Wells on a witness stand under oath. Unfortunately, since he is mysteriously  NOT one of the authors of this textbook, that probably won't happen...

Date: 2007/08/03 06:15:21, Link
Author: Albatrossity2

That is a herculean effort, mucking through the Augean stables of UD to find those gems. Thanks.

If we're ever in the same neighborhood, and you have recovered enough to be out of therapy, remind me to buy you a beer!

Date: 2007/08/03 07:36:22, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (skeptic @ Aug. 03 2007,07:25)
...I have a serious question.  This came up in my reading this past week, what is the chemical mechanism behind dominant and recessive genes.  I know we're talking about preferential expression but what designates that?  I was guessing methylation plays a big role but I don't have the references to back that up.  Can anyone point me in the right direction?

At the risk of derailing this interesting thread, I will briefly respond.

There are MANY mechanisms behind dominance and recessiveness. I am not aware of any involving methylation, however. See here for a paper on the genetic basis for recessive mutations causing white color in flowers, which goes back to some of Mendel's original experiments.

Date: 2007/08/03 07:43:05, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Slightly OT, but here is an opportunity for Seattle-area members to hobnob with Seattle bloggers, including Patrick Bell of the Disco Institute. And you get to pretend that you are Jesus' General at the same time...

Date: 2007/08/03 10:54:36, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (J-Dog @ Aug. 03 2007,10:43)
Industry: Religion

Well, unlike some other creationists who have visited here, at least he's honest about it.

But I agree with J-Dog and Rich's dog-avatar. i think it would be a complete waste of time. Generally folks who describe themselves as "inerrantist" will spend their time talking about religion (yawn) rather than science, although in their own twisted minds, I guess they actually do think that they are talking about science.

Date: 2007/08/03 12:08:47, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (stevestory @ Aug. 03 2007,11:44)
31 July 2007
CHICAGO READER complains about my comparing Jerry Coyne to Herman Munster
William Dembski

This is the way the crackpot ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

Check out the hilarious link to Dr. Dr. D's current academic domicile at the end of the comment thread there. His retort to the Chicago Reader is lumped in with various other blog threads from SWBTS, including this gripping controversy    
Bret Rogers asks: What should motivate our prayer life: Air Conditioning or Perseverance of the Saints?

Date: 2007/08/03 13:05:19, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
OK, it's my turn to point this out.

Sal whines      
I have far less at stake than they do if I'm wrong. For me, a little embarassment. For them, it means everything they lived for was false.

Can these guys spell PROJECTION? Here's Bill, Denyse and Sal, relaxing at home with an example of the designer's handiwork.

Date: 2007/08/04 09:34:36, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Rob @ Aug. 04 2007,09:10)
Dembski is incensed that part of a debate was not included in the transcript, although it's in the audio file.  He emailed Dawkins and Wolpert about the omission.

Tip for Dawkins and Wolpert:  Just bring up the phrase "street theatre" and Dembski will leave you alone.

I find it interesting (and sad) that Dr. Dr. D is wasting time on this frivolity. Who really cares if Wolpert said that sometimes he wishes creationism was true? Wishing won't make it so.

It's sort of like their fixation on Darwin's alleged deathbed conversion. They are so hung up in the authority-figure paradigm that the offhand remark or anecdotal behavior of an authority figure is more important than other stuff, like, for example, reality.

And for them to complain about comments "disappearing" is the height of hypocrisy. He really should just let this go!

Date: 2007/08/04 19:46:16, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Hermagoras @ Aug. 04 2007,19:38)
Look, I don't know you.  But I'd bet dollars to donuts you've never really been trained in how dating works.  You've never dated anything yourself, and you're arguing from the literature rather than from experience.  Am I wrong?

Seriously, I'm really proud of that last paragraph.


You SHOULD be proud of that last paragraph.

But I can't imagine that Sal will ever get it.

Which, of course, makes it even more delicious!

Well done.

Date: 2007/08/05 10:12:36, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Apparently there are "supplemental materials" to go with the textbook as well. These were recently previewed at a symposium at Biola (no religious roots there, of course). Here is part of a blurb for a "pre-symposium consultation" for those who teach biology at the college level    
Examine the auxiliary materials (PowerPoint shows, teaching tips, etc.) that accompany the new Explore Evolution curriculum and consider how they might improve your classroom performance. The supplementary textbook Explore Evolution: The Arguments for and Against Neo-Darwinism does not teach about the theory of intelligent design. You may wish to introduce ID theory through other resources (both pro and con) that we will discuss in the optional early-bird session from 10:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. before our main consultation on teaching evolutionary biology begins at 1:00 p.m. Even if you think that the arguments against neo-Darwinism are inconsequential compared to the case for this majority viewpoint, you will find the supplementary textbook Explore Evolution a useful tool to spark discussion in the classroom. Regardless of your professional opinion on these matters, you will find it difficult to ignore the case both for and against neo-Darwinism that is so winsomely and accurately conveyed in Explore Evolution. If you include this new supplement alongside a standard textbook, your students will have exposure to all sides of the debate as expressed in the words of their most qualified proponents.

and here is a link to the symposium information.

Has anybody seen these supplementary materials?  I don't think that they are even mentioned in any of the stuff that came with my copy of the book.

Date: 2007/08/05 10:35:49, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Slightly OT but amusing nonetheless.

At this blog post someone who attended the aforementioned EE symposium at the Bible Institute of Los Angeles (some of the folks who put the fun in fundamentalism) gushes about meeting Jonathan Wells at that shindig. He also notes    
Probably the best piece of information I gained today was Jonathan Wells' recommendation for a high school and AP/college biology textbook. He said that although the texts still contain evolution, most of the "icons" have been removed, largely as a result of his work.
Campbell and Reese (sic), Biology (7th edition)

Ironically, these authors are two of the authors of the textbook that I sent to FtK, and which she blasted as being way too full of evolution and its assumptions!

Date: 2007/08/05 15:25:19, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
RedDot wrote:
That being said, if no naturalistic answer is possible, we may have stumbled upon a previously undisclosed miracle.

Well. that certainly is a satisfying explanation.

Carry on.

Date: 2007/08/06 07:37:10, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (dhogaza @ Aug. 06 2007,07:09)
Their real target, as with "Pandas", is elementary public schools.  

So they ARE talking to twelve-year olds.

Hmmm, actually, I think it's targetted at fundie xtians parents who homeschool their twelve-year olds.

This explains the low standard of writing quite easily, no? :)

It's hard to tell if they even HAVE a strategy. The recent Biola event seems to have been primarily targeted to Xtians and home schoolers. And as a college biology instructor, I certainly haven't heard about this book from the regular channels (publisher's reps). But they probably don't have a lot of reps, because they don't publish much except for press releases... And there was the pre-symposium "consultation" at the Biola shindig, aimed at college instructors. Finally, if they want to break into the Xtian home-schooling market, they will have to displace the two-volume tomes from Bob Jones University, which are blatantly Biblical. I don't think a lot of Xtian home-schooling parents are going to spring for an expensive, slim, and non-Biblical specialty textbook on evolution alone. Maybe I'm wrong, and i certainly am not privy to the advertising in that market, but it seems unlikely to me.

Perhaps the market is small Xtian colleges, where the BJU books are not useful, and all of the main-stream textbooks are full of that materialist stuff that needs to be rebutted. Again, i am not privy to the marketing material for that market either, but it would seem to be a niche that they can exploit.

Perhaps they don't really have a coherent marketing strategy for this thing, but that would be surprising, since marketing is definitely their strong suit.

Date: 2007/08/06 08:50:10, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (RedDot @ Aug. 06 2007,00:06)
For a hypothetical, let's use Mycoplasma genitalium the simplest, truly self-replicating organism I know of (482 genes on rougly 580,000 bp).  At the beginning of an experiment to find out if this parasite can be eradicated by a particular chemical, we need a good gene sequence, genome annotation, and hard count of the base pairs.  Understanding that there will be some minor variations, it would be a wise idea to sequence a random cross section of a given population to give us a statistical average.

We introduce the remaining population (say 1,000,000) to chemical x, and most of them die off.  Good so far.  However, 10 survive the initial exposure and begin to reproduce.  We let their numbers rise back up to the original population size.  Just to make sure that a immunity mutation had been found, we take a sample (10%) out of the general population and re-expose them to the test chemical.  If none, or few die off, we can be safe to assume we had found a population which is immune.

Running another genetic sequence and base pair count of a cross section of the resistant population, we see that the base pair count is smaller by say 40 and that one of the original 482 genes is corrupted by the removal of a section.

Information has been lost, in this case a gene has deactivated the production of something through a partial gene deletion.

Changing the last section a bit, lets say that chemical x was found to block the ability of a certain enzyme from cutting whatever protein it was originally able to cut without the presence of the chemical.  The original strain was able to cut protein z at a specific rate.  However, the new, resistant strain, while now unaffected by chemical x, can now still cut protein z, but at a substantially slower rate, and it sometimes gets the location for the cut wrong.

Information has been lost, in this case the enzyme's specificity to protein z.

These are typical results found in the lab.

As far as the probability calculations, there are several here who know them as well as I.  What I don't get is your resistance to them.  

Not enough time tonight, will have to be tomorrow.

If you just want to swap anecdotes, look into the mechanism of tumor cell resistance to aminopterin, and you'll find exactly the opposite story.

Aminopterin (a chemotherapeutic drug) binds to an enzyme called dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR). DHFR is critical in the synthesis of thymidine, a component of DNA. In some patients resistance to the drug develops due to increased concentrations of DHFR, effectively swamping out the inhibitor. These increased concentrations of the enzyme are due to massive duplication of the DHFR gene; these duplicated regions can be in small centromere-less bits of chromatin (double-minute chromosomes) or incorporated into an actual chromosome. By your simple-minded logic, this mutation is a gain in information.

In other cases of resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs, there is massive duplication of the gene for a drug efflux pump. The drugs never reach an effective intracellular concentration because they are pumped out too fast. Again, this gene duplication, by your simple logic, must be a gain in information for the cell.

I think you have to conclude, if you are honest about it, that mutations CAN indeed increase the amount of DNA in a cell, and if this is your sole definition of "information", you have to conclude that you lose this round.

What's next?

Date: 2007/08/06 10:31:14, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (RedDot @ Aug. 06 2007,10:18)
I'm having some trouble accessing a paper on this topic.  Which species was it?  F. columnare, F. psychrophilum, F. branchiophilum, F. aquatile, F. ferrugineum, F. johnsoniae, F. limicola, F. micromati, or F. psychrolimnae?

See here. If you read this site all the way to the end, you will spare yourself (and us) the parroting of previously rebutted creationist prattle.

Date: 2007/08/06 13:01:11, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Mr. Dot

Since you have now posted numerous messages after I rebutted your hypothetical Mycoplasma example with real-life data, can I presume that you are willing to admit that you were wrong in that instance? It seems you have plenty of other folks here willing to debate you on other issues, so if you want to just abandon that particularly silly argument about genomes and "information", it might be best. In fact, if you did that, you might indeed gain some respect from the folks here who have seen too many examples of uneducated creationists who don't seem to understand the limits of their knowledge.

Of course, if you still think you can pull that one out of its current wreckage, let me know. I'd be happy to give you more examples, if you are feeling particularly masochistic this afternoon. I have actually published a paper or two in this area, so i am always happy to talk about it.

Date: 2007/08/06 14:54:23, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (RedDot @ Aug. 06 2007,14:19)
Wow, you can read, copy and paste.  Still doesn't answer my question though.  The dating is based on what?

Mr. Dot

In the case of the Chauvet cave, the dating is based on C-14 analysis of charcoal found in one of the chambers. Unlike most of these caves where the only charcoal is found in pigments on the walls, thus limiting sample size, in Chauvet there were literally kilos of charcoal on the floor of one of the chambers, apparently as a preparation for use in making the cave art. There is no shortage of material, lots of replicates etc. The date is firm, at least for those of us in the reality-based community. Miracles can be a convenient escape hatch for you, per usual.

i happen to know this because I visited the Ardeche in June 2005, and my significant other actually was one of a small group who descended into the cave, which has been closed to the public since its discovery. You can read her account, published in Notre Dame magazine, here. I'll also attach an image of a chaffinch, bathing in the Ardeche River under the natural bridge/arch near there, that I photographed while the cave party was inside the cave.

Date: 2007/08/07 05:58:39, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Gunthernacus @ Aug. 06 2007,18:42)
Oops.  Well, Darwinism would be silly if we had that evidence - and boy, it would be interesting if we did - but we don't.  But, if there were, those sneaky Darwinists would just explain it away somehow - they can't deny that!

What't the best way to explain away a problem that shoots holes in your pet belief? A miracle, of course!

Date: 2007/08/07 11:47:38, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Aug. 06 2007,18:40)
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Aug. 06 2007,18:10)
Just goes to show that the damn atheist mass murderer Hitler had a soft spot for err.....God.

A drinking game for you.

Gather some friends around the computer with a bottle of your rotgut of choice.

Find an online version of "Mein Kampf" and take turns reading it aloud, one paragraph at a time.

Every time "God", "The Almighty", or "The Creator"  is mentioned, everyone drinks.

You'll be smashed within half an hour.

Do NOT alter the rules to drink every time "Darwin" or "evolution" or "natural selection" or "survival of the fittest" is mentioned.

You'll stay sober all night.

Here's some more evidence of that link between Hitler, Communism, and evolution that the wingnuts seem to find so convincing. The recently renovated Berlin Museum of Natural History (in the former East Berlin, naturally) just opened, and they have impressive fossils, busts of Linneaus, Darwin and Mayr, and a program to showcase evolution as a living research enterprise.

You sure can't ignore evidence like that; clearly Darwin was a commie or a nazi or something...

Date: 2007/08/08 11:47:15, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Note on the YoungCosmos site        
YoungCosmos has been overhauled and upgraded into 3 websites, and has also moved.

YoungCosmos is now split into 3 websites;

1. (main website, and portal to everything else)

(a place for fellowship, encouragement, and inspiration)

3. (professional level YEC science forum)

One wonders what a "professional level YEC science forum" might look like. Here's a guess.

BTW, the comments on that announcement, featuring Hermagoras and Sal, are pretty rich as well.

Date: 2007/08/09 06:10:48, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (RedDot @ Aug. 08 2007,22:19)
Three resistance mechanisms have been identified to toxic analogs of folic acid, like aminopterin.  The first involves dihydrofolate reductase, the second a decreased affinity to the aminopterin transport system for its substrate, and the third is a mutation in the structural gene for thymidylate synthase.  Each is under the control of a single gene.  Studies of pleiotropic mutations of the amiA locus have determined that the enzyme's properties of both the wild and mutated strains are identical, so the mutation does not affect the properties of DHFR.

In your particular case, if DHFR concentrations are rising, it should be able to be offset with higher concentrations of aminopterin or amethopterin (at least in a lab) since the specific activity is unchanged.

However, duplication of the DHFR gene, since DHRF is still being produced by the new region, is still not an increase in information - just the overall size of the genome.  It is possible that the extra information would wind up being cut back out of the chromosome within a generation or two.

Ball's back in your court...

'Fraid not. You have merely proven that you can google and quote irrelevant information (WTF does enzyme specific activity have to do with this discussion?) as if you understood it. Now you need to work on arguing coherently.

What is wrong with this pair of sentences you just wrote? I'll highlight the logical inconsistency in boldface, since you seem to be a bit thick.
However, duplication of the DHFR gene, since DHRF is still being produced by the new region, is still not an increase in information - just the overall size of the genome.  It is possible that the extra information would wind up being cut back out of the chromosome within a generation or two.

Apparently you agree that this mechanism is an increase in information. Or maybe not. Thanks for playing.

---edit: typo---

Date: 2007/08/09 20:45:20, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Aug. 09 2007,20:16)
I tried, I really did. She didn't want one however. She expected me to instantly go "oh WOW FtK, you've opened my eyes!!!" to any response she gave me.

You have done well, young Jedi. Given the strength of the Tard Force that pulses through that blog, it would take a miracle to make any impact over there. And miracles are only given to those who pray for the end to the Blitz, y'know.

Topeka is a long way from Wales, but if you ever do get to Kansas, let me know and I'll buy you a pint or two.

Date: 2007/08/09 21:31:37, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Aug. 09 2007,20:47)
No worries, similarly, if you're ever in Aberystwyth, or in Leicestershire, I'll be glad to show you a few decent drinking houses.

Actually, I have tentative plans to be in the UK next summer for a meeting in Aberdeen, and it is likely that we will saunter down to more southerly regions of that fair isle. As the time gets closer and the schedule more firmed up, I'll keep that in mind. All of that slagging from k.e and Louis re Wales on the other thread has me intrigued; I need to see it for myself!

OTOH, I'm not sure that you need to see Topeka. A bit west of there, in the Flint Hills where I live, it is a tad more scenic however.

Date: 2007/08/09 22:18:06, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (carlsonjok @ Aug. 09 2007,21:54)
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Aug. 09 2007,21:31)
OTOH, I'm not sure that you need to see Topeka. A bit west of there, in the Flint Hills where I live, it is a tad more scenic however.

Off-topic, but did you ever read PrairyErth by William Least Heat-Moon?  If so, did you like it?  I got a good way through it once, but he has always been a writer I have struggled with. I was thinking of trying it again.

I drove through the Flint Hills once when heading back east for the holidays.  I really liked the area. I even found Emporia, of which Least Heat-Moon had nothing nice to say, to be a charming town.

Yeah, I read it, but, like you, I stuggled to finish it. I really liked Blue Highways, his much less pretentious (and shorter) earlier work. That one had the ring of sincerity, and it was written at a desperate time in his life. I just had the feeling that PrairyErth (and River Horse, for that matter) were written because now he was a famous writer and had to write something.

If you want a good read re prairies and the Great Plains, I highly recommend Merill Gilfillan's Magpie Rising. As noted here, it was originally released in 1989 and reprinted in 2000. It is lyrical, beautiful, and worth seeking out. It is simply stunning (and a lot shorter than anything written by Least Heat-Moon).

Date: 2007/08/10 08:27:17, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Aug. 10 2007,08:14)
I added a "Pariah" group that cannot post, but can PM, and changed FtK's membership to it.


Date: 2007/08/10 09:49:27, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
On the fossil comment thread, DaveScot has what could be described as "an FtK moment".    
Do supporters of ID claim that Homo Sapiens (sic) does not share ancestry with apes?

Some do and some don’t.

Date: 2007/08/10 10:32:47, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
OMG - There has been another Paul Nelson sighting on this board just now.
19 guests, 12 Public Members and 0 Anonymous Members   [ View Complete List ]
>Albatrossity2 >VMartin >Louis >IanBrown_101 >k.e >Paul Nelson >heddle >oldmanintheskydidntdoit >Bob O'H >Shirley Knott >Raevmo >ppb

I hope he weighs in soon and lets us know the names of the reviewers for EE!

Date: 2007/08/10 14:09:21, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (VMartin @ Aug. 10 2007,14:01)
Slug from the same graden - Because there was not selective pressure on me I don't need to protect heart and kidney anymore and I got rid of the shell and  transformed complicated structre of mantle cavity. I have the shell only as a rudimentary organ, you know:


Nice pictures. But perhaps you could also ask those snails (or JAD) the real question:

When did God die?

Date: 2007/08/10 15:03:17, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (J-Dog @ Aug. 10 2007,14:52)
MMMMMM- The Miracle of The Cheesy Poofs

Funny, I don't recall that Cheesy-poof Transubstantiation was one of the original 5 Joyful Mysteries. I haven't kept up with the news; have there been other additions to the list?

Date: 2007/08/11 08:36:21, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Mr. Dot

Welcome back.

Sorry to see that you had to leave before you attended to this bit of unfinished business. But I can see that you have your hands full.

The arguments in the link above share a common thread with most of the other arguments that you are facing. You don't have a decent definition of information, and you can't argue coherently about it without a decent definition.

So let me make a helpful suggestion. FtK says that we need to be nice to you, so I'll keep trying to do that. Define information once (if you can) and stick to it. If that definition leads to a defeat of your arguments, don't change the definition. Be honest enough to accept that we all lose arguments once in a while.

After that is all over (and it might be quick), you can respond to Lenny's litany.

Date: 2007/08/11 11:33:36, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Aug. 11 2007,10:34)
The only possible conclusion I can think of is RedDot thinks that the world revolves around the US, and is JUST LOOKING AT USA TERRETORY records. Anyone know when the earliest writing found in the US is from?

Well, that's one possible conclusion. He could assume that the good ol' USA is the only place worth discussing in terms of history. But let's give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he truly is an edumacated creationist, and has been exposed to history from other countries, but prefers the "were you there?" form of rebuttal.

Re the question of earliest writing from the US, I'm afraid we don't have much to brag about. Mayan glyphs (dating back to the first century BC) might be the earliest "writing" in the Americas; perhaps Arden can enlighten us further.

But there are petroglyphs in Coso Canyon (China Lake Naval Weapons Station, Owens Valley, on the east side of the Sierras in California) that have been dated to over 13,000 years ago. A picture of one of these petroglyph panels can be found here, and more pictures, along with some historical and cultural information, are here.

Date: 2007/08/11 11:44:18, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
New thread up at UD, in the pot-kettle-black category. "Richard Dawkins is “out of date” with his genetics."

No comments there right now, but stay tuned...

Date: 2007/08/11 15:17:42, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Good one, Zach!

The comments continue with this gem, which may be sincere or may represent deep trollery.  
However, his second possibility raises an intriguing opportunity for both the ID and evolutionist/ materialist researchers to work side-by-side, each side providing checks and balances to the other. I have seen this in action, both on this site and at TT. This is definitely a situation I would advocate and support.

But then reality would kick in. Ah, one can dream, eh?

I, for one, certainly dream of working side-by-side in the undoubtedly palatial and barely-used super-double-secret labs of the DI. I'm not sure about the "checks and balances" thing. How, exactly, do I check the "goddidit" explanation?

But I am afraid that if that could happen, the "reality" that kicked in would not be viewed favorably by the IDiots over there. Reality might be, y'know, "materialistic"!

Date: 2007/08/12 07:17:27, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Posted without comment

Today's Opus.

Date: 2007/08/13 06:28:58, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
More from the Darwin doll thread - skaner74 projects a bit
There’s something very unnerving and dare I say it, very evil, about seeing a cute little doll in the image of a man whose unproven theory has been used as justification for some of the worst abominations ever seen by mankind.

I guess he prefers to look at crucifixes...

Date: 2007/08/13 08:21:13, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Over at ISCID (last comment on this thread at present)  JAD joins in the Popper-mania. I'd quote it all here, but if I just link to it, I can also warn you all to take swallow your coffee and take a deep breath before exposing yourself to this ranting.


Date: 2007/08/13 19:49:27, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Ian, et al.

I presume that you are all familiar with the Brick Testament, the one true gospel according to Legos. But, if not, here is one of my favorites, When to Stone Your Children.


Date: 2007/08/14 06:21:20, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Patrick Caldon @ Aug. 14 2007,05:30)
And to sin is to hate God.

David will no doubt correct me, but it's not a big stretch to say that being alive and being an atheist is (according to Reformed thought) an act of hatred towards God.

And this whole conversation is based on yet another example of how one has to twist logic in order to believe in all of the illogical and contradictory attributes of Heddle's God. Do Buddhists also hate God, even though they may have never had a chance to understand their current "fallen" status?  How far can one take this before it becomes too absurd for rational people to even discuss further?

It is also an excellent example of why this sort of stuff does not belong in a classroom that might be populated with students who have managed to get that far without knowing the illogic of Heddle's God.

Date: 2007/08/14 07:48:07, Link
Author: Albatrossity2

The blogging equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and shouting la la la la la!
This blog is open to invited readers only

Reasonable Kansans

Date: 2007/08/14 08:18:34, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt here. Maybe she just got tired of moderating comments. It had to be a time-consuming activity  ???

Date: 2007/08/14 10:16:11, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
This blog is open to invited readers only.

I'm sure that invitations to all of us are in the mail.  Really, I'll be checking my inbox often.

Date: 2007/08/14 11:01:14, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
LOUIS did not call you a paedophile - GOD called you a paedophile.

Excellent rejoinder. Apparently Heddle is not yet aware of the ludicrousness of his argument.

You may not know that you hate my god, but my god says that you do, and so you must hate god..

You may not know that you are a paedophile, but my god says that you are, and so you must be one.

What's the difference? Even though Heddle's god is a deity of some renown, why is he better than the FSM, or Louis' ghost-writing god?

Date: 2007/08/14 13:23:41, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (skeptic @ Aug. 14 2007,13:19)
The Mind, not the mind, define it for me please.  Explain how the function and structure of the brain gives rise to the emergence of the Mind and (just for kicks) consciousness.

Skeptic, you've got to be kidding.

Please remove your brain and let us know if you retain consciousness.

Or, if that seems a bit extreme, please outline for us the scientific evidence for a mind/brain dualism.


Date: 2007/08/15 11:49:50, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
On the pant-loading thread at UD, DaveTard asks another of his "oh, wowwww" questions.  
Why is it that chance worshipping biologists are continually surprised at what they discover but design advocates aren’t surprised at all?

Well, Dave, maybe that's because scientists are actually doing on-the-edge-of-knowledge research, while IDiots are quote-mining and begging the question.

It continually amazes me (and i know it should be old-hat by now) how IDers and creationists flog at those aspects of science which actually make it useful and fun. Like discovering something unexpected...

Date: 2007/08/15 16:37:57, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
I'm not sure about the group hug or the lipstick, but this has been a very enlightening conversation, at least for me. Two comments.

I wonder how many folks on the other side of this creo/evo debate actually think that atheists hate their god, using the standard definition of hate, not the theologically contrived one. That could explain a lot, even the classic put-down from FtK to Jeremy which is immortalized in Ian's current sig. Too bad we can't just wander over to her blog and ask her directly...

Point #2 is to thank Heddle for the insight, and especially the apology. Although it is not quite abject enough for Louis, I think we can all agree that changing one's mind in response to arguments can never happen on UD, Young Cosmos, ReasonableKansans, or any of the other echo chambers of the neo-creationism machine. Even without the group hug, I feel better about that, and feel even more pity for the poor sods who are trapped in a world where you can never afford to be wrong.

Date: 2007/08/16 08:03:02, Link
Author: Albatrossity2

Well done and quite thorough!  An excellent way to wait out a plumbing disaster.

I think you hit on something in that post that truly distinguishes science (and perhaps scientists) from the rest. Feynman articulates it quite well. "I don't have to know an answer." Sure, answers are nice, and even nicer when you discover them yourself, but if you don't have one (or many), it's still OK. Every practicing scientist understands that, but it seems to be baffling to lots of folks, who don't understand how anyone can live that way.

I honestly think that some folks absolutely cannot fathom that possibility; to them it is as alien as Neptune's rings. So they auto-generate answers like DaveScot, or pretend that some ancient text provides the answers like FtK, or imagine (like Skeptic) that some other "way of knowing" will give them all the answers. They are incapable of living with uncertainty, and I think it is hard-wired. You really will never reach them, because for them to think like you, they will have to be re-wired to understand that living and working on the edge of knowledge can be even more fun than looking up the answers in a book.

Date: 2007/08/16 10:47:12, Link
Author: Albatrossity2

But there is a big difference between the ability to make rational decisions (i.e., kick the tires/tyres rather than pray to a skydaddy when buying a car) and the ability to be comfortable with the unknown. The former is a reasonable expectation; the latter seems substantially more uncommon in the general populace. It is not at all linked to the "ability to reason", but is a psychological state similar to being afraid of snakes, or heights, or clowns. The latter is what what I was referring to as "hard-wired".

You probably encounter those who are comfortable on the edge of knowledge and peering over that edge quite often; the proportion of such folks tends to be higher among hard science types compared to the general populace.

Date: 2007/08/16 18:28:05, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (stevestory @ Aug. 16 2007,18:14)
The week's fare has been kind of boring. I'm training for a triathlon several months away and so I'm eating more sensibly. Lots of veggies and no booze during the week. To make up for these absurd strictures, I go hog wild on the weekend. I need suggestions for the weekend blowout. Anybody got any favorite dishes?

This may not be "blowout" food, but you will like it, and it generates lots of leftovers, which makes the weekday cooking a bit simpler.

From Food and Wine. I recommend substituting some bacon grease for part of the oil/butter when you saute the leeks. Quick, easy, no fancy ingredients, and truly delicious.

Pan-Roasted Chicken and Leeks

Four Season Farm co-owner Barbara Damrosch roasts the chicken on a bed of leeks to infuse them with flavor. You can leave the dark green parts on the leeks, but they'll be too tough to eat.

   * 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
   * 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
   * 10 medium leeks (3 pounds)&#151;trimmed, slit and rinsed
   * Salt and freshly ground pepper
   * One 4-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
   * 3 rosemary sprigs, halved


  1. Preheat the oven to 450?. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in 1 tablespoon of the oil in a skillet. Add the leeks; cook over moderately high heat, turning, until browned in spots, 6 minutes. Transfer to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, season with salt and pepper and roast for 10 minutes, or until beginning to soften.
  2. Wipe out the skillet. Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the chicken and rosemary to the skillet; cook over moderate heat until browned, about 10 minutes. Set the chicken on the leeks, skin side up, add the rosemary and roast for about 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the leeks are very tender. Serve hot.

wine recommendation Cabernet Franc-based reds from the Loire Valley have enough acidity to cut the richness here. Try the 2000 Charles Joguet Chinon Ch?ne Vert or the 2000 Bernard Baudry Chinon Cuv?e Domaine. (ed note - I also like a nice Zinfandel, eg Seghesio, with this dish. Beer-wise, IPAs go pretty well too)

Date: 2007/08/18 09:18:18, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Hopefully dj has finished his coffee, because the comments on that thread are equally tardful. Recall that the OP is Dense's opining about how Behe "outclasses" Dawkins scientifically. Mindful of the credo "ID has nothing to do with religion", the ever-reliable bornagain77 chimes in
I am extremely surprised that so many highly educated people, such as Dawkins supposedly is, would be so easily deceived when the recently revealed evidence is in plain sight for everyone to see. You would think that they would exercise great caution in judging the evidence before so loudly and blatantly denying the existence of Almighty God, Who has the power to save us from death.

Date: 2007/08/19 09:28:06, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Aug. 19 2007,08:43)
We believe that our purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever-and forever begins right now. We like sex, within marriage. We're not amoral hedonists, but we're not stoic moralists either. We like the vines and fig trees God gives us. We read novels, go to movies, and listen to classical music but also jazz. We prefer ice cream to cotton candy. We cover movies, yoga, artists and travel; we aren't Christians with rules against anything that's fun because God made fun, too.

I'm glad that they clarified that for us. Indeed, it now seems weirdly appropriate that an anagram for Robert J. Marks is

Bra Jerk Storm

Good clean fun, I'm sure.

Date: 2007/08/19 12:16:22, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (stevestory @ Aug. 18 2007,18:41)
I think this is temporary. The point of having a blog is so others can see what you think. As a private blog her readership is going to decline to about zero, and she'll get frustrated. It's only a matter of time before she returns.

I think Steve is right; she surely can't bear to just talk to herself, DaveTard, Larry, and RedDot, when pearls such as this new book are cast before her.

Date: 2007/08/20 06:15:38, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (stevestory @ Aug. 20 2007,02:18)
...Judge Jones elected to take over the examination of Bonsell himself, questioning him for about ten minutes.

Ah ha! He really is an activist judge, just like Larry told us!

Date: 2007/08/21 06:11:10, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Louis @ Aug. 21 2007,04:53)
Have at it lads and ladies. How am I going to cook my super chillis?


More to the point, what is the address where we can send flowers for the funeral?

Date: 2007/08/21 08:43:31, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
A link on YoungCosmos will take you to this biography of Walt Brown, which is apparently a chapter in a book about "Christian Men of Science". Some of the other chapters are devoted to Faraday, Maxwell, and that true champion of science, Henry Morris. No women, of course; maybe that is a separate book with a chapter on FtK.

Who knew that you could be a famous scientist while refusing to publish in the peer-reviewed literature?

Date: 2007/08/23 10:13:02, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Richardthughes @ Aug. 23 2007,09:47)
I'm still not convinced.. look at all the commentators..

BforB is definitely satire, but very twisted (and thus sometimes difficult to separate from the bull goose loony rantings of the religious right). The blog "owner", Mrs T.D. Gaines-Crockett is a frequent commenter and sometime poster on Jesus' General blog, which I am pretty sure is satire (and where a real Baptist would definitely fear to tread).

Check out her Sunday morning prayer there, posted Aug 19.  
Dear Lord,

Our little ones will head off to school in the morning with brand new book bags, crayons, pencils, and tablets. The lucky ones will be going to a private school where they will be taught by God-fearing, America-Loving educators who believe that a child?s mind is a terrible thing to waste.

Sadly, the children from lower-income homes will be herded off to that den of iniquity known as the Public School System. There they will be taught awful things that no innocent little child should ever hear such as how their great-great-great-great grandparents were primates, that it?s OK to be Gay, that condoms and not abstinence prevent pregnancy, and that our Commander in Chief, President George Walker Bush, is a buffoon with a personal agenda.

These poor babies will be at the mercy of Godless, pot-smoking, hippy feminists and Liberals who, under the guise of teaching, will stop at nothing to brainwash them into hating morality and learning free thinking. Please send these children one message, that an open mind is a tool of Satan.

If it is your will, Papa Lord, close these babies minds to the left-wing lunacy that they will be exposed to and let this next generation our Your children grow up to be Right-Wing Christian Fundamentalists and staunch Republicans.

In this I pray, Amen.

Mrs. T.D. Gaines-Crockett
Christian, Republican, Child Advocate

Date: 2007/08/23 12:45:04, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Apropos of nothing at all, an image that says it all.

Date: 2007/08/24 06:24:21, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Nomad @ Aug. 24 2007,03:24)
Although, come to think of it.. haggis frightens me.  I wouldn't be above calling in a little protection from the almighty on that one.

Even the Almighty is probably powerless before haggis...

This is one of the best satire sites on the web; it sounds just convincing enough that it attracts commenters (and not just from here in Brownback-land) who are absolutely convinced that they have found kindred spirits. But they haven't. The "legal statement" reads, in part  
The original posts, prayers, all materials and even the pasquinading by our mockers and antagonists found on this site and all materials within are Copyright? protected through 2007 by myself and/or the contributors. Many antogonists on the political Left would like to call it political satire so perhaps everything posted here should be understood in that context. Whatever it takes to keep their tiny brains from overloading.

BTW, a post today should be particularly amusing for Richard, Ian, and Louis...

Date: 2007/08/24 08:01:55, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Easy there, big fella. Dave opens the door a bit here.    
Asking who did the design is not a scientific question, but a philosophical and/or theological question.

Not for me. It?s a matter of not having enough data to make any reasonable inferences. Design can be reasonably inferred from the properties of the designed object. Minimal capabilities of the designer can be inferred from the properties of the designed object. If the object can be dated then a temporal inference can be made. It?s the temporal inference that stymies identifying any purported designer in regard to living things as the designed objects under consideration predate the only known instance of intelligent agency.

Perhaps he and Sal can get together with FtK and confer about that exact date, so we can make some sort of temporal inference. I suspect that they have a number already in mind...

But we all would really be interested if they could get around to inferring the "minimal capabilities of the designer from the properties of the designed object". They could start with the human spinal column...

Date: 2007/08/24 13:29:28, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
FtK sez  
I'm working on a FAQs site that I'll send repetative (sic) questioners to and to heck with the rest of their worthless banter.

All of the previous Qs are good. But you guys forgot the most FA of the FAQs - "What is your opinion about the age of the earth?"

Date: 2007/08/25 17:40:38, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Apparently uber-tard Sal has been drinking from Larry Falafelforbrains' stash of Kool-Aid.
If scientific evidence contrary to Darwinian evolution is withheld because atheists were trying to promote their world view by withholding scientific evidence, then that could be a violation of the establishment clause.

Date: 2007/08/26 14:05:06, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Richardthughes @ Aug. 26 2007,12:49)



12:34 pm
...if the Darwinists wish to suppress scientific evidence for their own villainous ends, they?ll be in violoation of the law.

We can save teaching ID and teaching the controversy for the universities and for the free market place of ideas.

May the Wedge of Truth be with you.

Does wanting to give scordova a wedgie count toward the "villanous ends" competition?

Date: 2007/08/26 18:45:59, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
We are having the kitchen renovated starting tomorrow, so we are looking at at least a month of microwave or restaurant food. So tonight it is roasted potatoes, chicken with leeks (recipe posted previously) and this ale


Date: 2007/08/26 20:00:01, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (stevestory @ Aug. 26 2007,19:06)
Dogfish Head 90 minute is pretty good.

Yeah, and at 9% alcohol, it is pretty potent too. I will be toddling off to bed soon...

Date: 2007/08/27 13:37:31, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Aug. 27 2007,13:21)
The Tard fight continues
Some negative behaviors are evidence of the soul and a need for God. None of my Christian friends are suicidal. What reproductive advantage does depression serve? Yet all humans are susceptible to it and relationship with God is the cure.

Lucky you. I hope your luck continues. I haven?t been so fortunate.

What reproductive advantage does Jehu serve I wonder?

Jehu would undoubtedly blow a gasket if he managed to read and understand Robert Sapolsky's essay on the reason that schizophrenia (which has a genetic component) persists in the human population. Sapolsky argues that schizophrenics were shamans when we still lived in caves and even today in hunter-gatherer groups, and furthermore that schizophrenics probably were the founders of some of the world's major religions and schisms (e.g. Martin Luther). It's an interesting argument, fairly speculative, but a good read. I suspect jehu wouldn't like it much...

Robert M. Sapolsky, The Trouble with Testosterone, Scribner, New York, 1997, pp. 241-288.

Date: 2007/08/28 09:09:12, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Rev. BigDumbChimp @ Aug. 28 2007,09:04)
Quote (stevestory @ Aug. 26 2007,19:06)
Dogfish Head 90 minute is pretty good.

One of my all time favorites.

If you like that try the Great Divide Brewery Hercules Double IPA.

We can't generally get the Dogfish head brews here in Kansas; those were imported on a recent trip to Coloroado.

At least one store here carries the the Great Divide Denver Pale Ale and their Titan IPA; both are delicious. Today (day 2 of the kitchen remodeling) may be a good day to try both when I get home.

Date: 2007/08/29 06:10:47, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
I predict ERV's bannation by the end of today if she posts another message.

Meanwhile, Master Tardinator PaV comes up with that old favorite, "This isn't evolution, HIV didn't turn into a peppered moth or anything."
Yes, HIV?s DNA has changed. Vpu?s DNA has changed. But the virus is still no more than a virus

Date: 2007/08/29 09:03:51, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Putting a new shine on tard, DS shows his deep knowledge of virology by asking detailed questions for ERV. Unfortunately, throughout his treatise, he uses the wrong term (lentovirus) when he actually is talking about lentiviruses.      
It seems there?s an assumption you and some others are making that lentoviruses (in the form of HIV-1 and HIV-2) found for the first time a home in humans several decades ago at most.

What on earth makes you think that primate lentoviruses haven?t been attacking humans for millions of years? For all you know the first primate lentovirus was in a human millions of years ago and then jumped to other primates and then back to humans again in recent history.

Another unsupported assumption is that the current genetic survey of primate lentoviruses is somewhere near complete enough to make broad conclusions about its genetic diversity so that when something is newly discovered the discovery is conflated with newly evolved. The survey isn?t even close to that point. A few virus particles from a few individual organisms have been sequenced while uncounted trillions of lentovirus particles in dozens of primate species remain unsequenced.

Google really let him down this time, or maybe he just didn't pay attention (Did you mean: LENTIVIRUS ?)

As DS would say      
Consider this your first and only warning

Do you think he will ban himself for this egregious error? Do you think he'll read this and edit that post? Do you think he will ban ERV if she has the temerity to correct his error?

...time to go make some popcorn...

Date: 2007/08/29 09:12:08, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (stevestory @ Aug. 29 2007,08:58)
I'm curious about people like FtK. How can they look at a movement which has been around for 20 years, spends millions of dollars, spends a lot of time on the internet, tries to recruit kids, and publishes no research, and mistake that for a scientific revolution? Can one be so ignorant of what science looks like and how it works as to mistake a religious PR campaign for scientific research?

Easy. Here are some standard FtK rationalizations.

1) Books are publications!

2) IDCers can't publish in the primary literature due to evil atheist editors and scientists at the NCSE.

3) God is on my side and you are atheists; of course I am right and all of you are wrong.

4) All of this is in some post I wrote on my blog or at KCFS or in my soon-to-be-published FAQ for you dummies.

5) Why do you have to be so mean?

Date: 2007/08/29 09:50:12, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Aug. 29 2007,09:43)

Sal pleads:
If we drive Ms. Smith away, others might think we had to resort to banning because we could not defend ourselves, or could not point out when her reading of Behe was inaccurate. This should be an easy thing to do, and no cause for getting rid of her.

More Freudian slippage from Sal on that same comment    
Besides, it was awfully nice of her to visit and show more courage than those spinless cowards at PT who have to hide behind her skirts to defend themselves.

He's right, you know. The DI has all the spin; we ain't got nothing close.

Date: 2007/08/30 06:45:43, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Triple Bannination! As predicted, using our deep understanding of CSI (Completely Stoopid IDiocy), DT sez  
art (and art2) is no longer with us

erv can also take her sarcastic mouth elsewhere

factician has also been included in the housecleaning

Date: 2007/08/30 13:24:47, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Richardthughes @ Aug. 30 2007,13:13, quoting slimy sal)
Yes. I am studying through the Whiting School of Engineering, and only got my acceptance confirmed 2 days ago.

That figures...

Date: 2007/08/30 14:11:39, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (J-Dog @ Aug. 30 2007,13:53)
Yeah!  What's up with that?!  Did he have to qualify by taking a remedial reading class first?  Shouldn't he have been expected to pass it first?

Yeah, I gotta admit that my opinion of the JHU Engineering School just dropped by about an order of magnitude...

But here is some good tardalogue. Sal waxes philosophical in his exchange with soul-mate DT.        

   You can?t reason with unreasonable people.

I am dealing with the questions for the sake of the people sitting on the sideline wanting to hear the debate, not because I believe Ms. Smith or Dr. Hunt will be convinced.

If I don?t address the questions, that might instill lingering doubts amongst the readers.

Sal, you better believe that those doubts will linger, at least until you feed your data into the nixplanatory filter and show us something useful.

But then we get the good news!      

Oh well, it?s a moot point as the semester is about to start and I?ll be scarce in a little while.

Date: 2007/08/31 09:27:41, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Aug. 31 2007,09:14)
This is ridiculous. I've understood that since high school science classes. Bornagain77 seems to think that the 'goal' of a virus -- a sign of its adaptive success -- is to kill as many people as possible. If he can't understand that the real goal of a virus is to simply reproduce and spread itself as widely as possible, and that quickly killing your host runs counter to this, then I think we have more evidence that he's 16 years old and (badly) home-schooled.
History is full of terrifying diseases that popped up, killed too many people too fast, quickly burned themselves out, and were never heard from again.

IDers in general have a problem with host/pathogen interactions and co-evolution of same.

One of my most interesting interactions on FtK's dear departed blog was an attempt to get her (and DaveTard) to think about the reason why some nosocomial pathogens are actually becoming MORE virulent, contrary to the typical pattern seen with pathogens in the wild. This was part of a discussion re Dr. Egnoramus' assertion that doctors don't need to learn about evolution, since it has no relevance to their jobs. It turns out that pathogens that live in hospitals don't have to depend on the host to spread them to new hosts, like most pathogens do. If you kill your host too fast, they won't bring you near some new hosts. In a hospital the pathogens can rely on their hosts coming to them; attenuation of virulence that is selected for under "wild" conditions is not selected for in a hospital setting.

Personally, I think doctors and other health-care professionals need to understand how selection works, and this is a good example of why. Ftk and DaveTard, naturally, were unable to think this problem through to a logical conclusion, but even after the answer was pointed out to them, they pretended that it really was not a good reason for doctors to learn about evolution.

I hope they never get sick...

Date: 2007/09/01 08:06:39, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
From the comment thread on ERV  
Forthekids  said...

   Oh, now's highly unfair to compare UD to PZ, PT or any other site that is primarily composed of atheist supporters. I mean, come on...

   PZ has a whole faith based organization going on over there

   Millions of theists go to church to get their support and guidance for the week, we don't visit places like UD for that. But, atheists hang out on line with their priestly mentors.

   To be more fair you'd have to compare PZ with, say, a Billy Graham crusade. Ya know what I'm sayin'?

   If we're just talking science minus the atheistic banter and theism bashing, then it would be a much more even match.

   And, of course, you have to consider that I've just linked in from AtBC, though I'm a UD supporter. I kinda enjoy watching those folks make fools of themselves. It's a nasty habit, I know, but there it is.

No comment needed.

Date: 2007/09/01 13:13:50, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Thanks, Rich, that Alexa site is pretty amusing. What's with all the Aussie traffic at UD? It looks like the traffic from Oz equals the traffic from the US! The population of Australia is less than 10% of the US population; are there that many loonies in Oz?

Re the "Say no to UD day" it looks like you could detect a daily drop in traffic with the data shown at the Alexa site. It might be tough to keep the secret from the tardmeister; he would undoubtedly try to bump up traffic that day!

I'll leave the details to those who know more about the intricacies of the intertubes; I'm just a concept guy, y'know.

Date: 2007/09/01 15:28:34, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
In the smarmy quotemine comment linked above, Sal brags  
I am perceived by the other side as loathsome because my rather unsporting behavior of rubbing it in.

Not exactly. It probably would not be possible to list all of the behaviors that get Sal over the top in "loathsome". But I'm pretty sure he has never won an argument, so how can we loathe him for "rubbing it in"?.

Date: 2007/09/01 20:14:18, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
That certainly seemed like a strong cup of coffee for the UD regulars. Another trusted authority figure points out that ID is nonsense, and they respond like deer in the headlights, wondering if this is a "hoax". Poor clueless gits.

But we can rest assured that they will call upon their impressive powers of denial in the near future, and carry on per usual, predicting the end of "darwinism" within the next few nanoseconds, every week, like clockwork. And Lilley will probably get death threats...

In the meantime, I say "Well done, President Lilley!" I may send a check to the Baylor Research Foundation and ask that they use it to fund graduate fellowships in Biology there.

Date: 2007/09/01 20:19:31, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Hermagoras @ Sep. 01 2007,20:14)
I'm going with Botnik = Sal for now.

Can't be Sal; there aren't enough typos.

Could be Dr. Dr. Dembski.

Date: 2007/09/02 08:01:04, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Thanks, Rich

No way can I top Bill's list of achievements here on AtBC, but I'm glad that we share a birthday so that some of his fabulosity might rub off on me! And if DT wants to test his alimentary system with fishing tackle on my birthday, I hope he uses treble hooks.

Date: 2007/09/02 11:32:26, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Richardthughes @ Sep. 02 2007,11:08)




6:02 am
Good luck, Sal and congratulations for your last ERV skirmish. What I strongly hope, both for you and for the ID community is that:

1. the reseach program you are going to pursue at JHU will be somehow related to the field of system complexity,

2. you will be able to obtain (indipendently of ID) important results about the limit of blind search strategy in engineering design,

3. you will publish about and you will obtain an academic tenure,

? and finally:

4. you will highly criticised for have published some besselleller books against NDE such as DBB oe EoE.

"congratulations for your last ERV skirmish"?
"It is a sad day when a great mind is blackmailed by the establishment into retreating"?

Are these P-A-R-O-D-Y comments?

Actually, it appears that cottage-cheese Sal probably won't be doing any research, or learning to think like a scientist. According to a comment on a thread at ERV
from someone who is apparently a physics prof at Johns Hopkins,  

I can't confirm your enrollment at JHU. For starters, I don't know your birth name. Furthermore, is a continuing education program and part-time students are not necessarily listed in the JHU directory, so your name may not even be there.

It's highly unlikely that our paths will ever cross: EPP courses in applied physics are taught by folks from the Applied Physics Lab, a big R&D outfit for the government in Laurel, MD, not on the main campus in Baltimore.

Lastly, from your description I understand that you will be working on an M.S. with a possible concentration in materials and condensed matter. Not to nitpick, but I wouldn't call this graduate school since you won't be doing research and defending a thesis.

This sort of non-research MS will allow Sal to continue to do what he does best:

1) pretend to be a scientist
2) quote-mine
3) avoid critical thinking at all costs

If in the future he pretends to be in an actual research program, he should be slapped around appropriately.

Date: 2007/09/02 12:12:36, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Sep. 02 2007,11:54)
Reasoning could go. Murder is wrong. Abortion is making certain that another potential human being does not come into existence. However a handfull of cells is not a human being. Preventing a handfull of cells from becoming a human being is different from lawlessly ending the life of a human being. Hence, abortion is not murder.

This goes back to one of the original questions posed by Louis.

How do you distinguish between two faith-based claims?

If my faith tells me that abortion is a necessary medical procedure, and your faith tells you that it is murder, what authority do we turn to in order to resolve this disagreement?


Date: 2007/09/02 13:51:28, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Richardthughes @ Sep. 02 2007,13:48)
Not that anyone at UD is brilliant. Thankfully.

I'd like to personally thank each and everyone of them for being stupid. They should be thankful, as am I, that there's an evolutionary niche for humour.

And I am exceedingly thankful, along with Recip. Bill, that they are providing all of this entertainment on our birthday. Best present ever!

Date: 2007/09/02 17:29:14, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (skeptic @ Sep. 02 2007,17:01)
Erasmus, this nonsense says that murder is wrong based upon faith and then extrapolates that out to societal norms that agree that murder is wrong theoretically resulting in a more humane culture.  Is that nonsense achieving something constructive?

Sure, we can agree that murder is wrong (although there is an evolutionary explanation that makes more sense than your faith-based one).

But back up a bit for another critical definition that makes your abortion example just another case of special pleading for your faith, and another case of ignoring the question about how can two faith-based claims be adjudicated.

What is murder? Taking the life of a human being (I presume we can agree on that). What is a human being? A cultured HeLa cell? An egg? A sperm? A fertilized egg? A blastocyst? A 3-week embryo? 6-week? I presume we don't agree on that. The point is that we need to agree on a definition of a human being, and that is a grey area, rather than the black-and-white delineation that faith requires.

And faith alone won't get us any further. Faith alone gives us no knowledge, no information on this matter. Never has, and never will.

Date: 2007/09/03 07:38:28, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (J. O'Donnell @ Sep. 02 2007,21:37)
You know, once upon a time back in the day where I thought fighting creationists and those in the intelligent design community had a point; I thought these people were just misguided but were generally honest about what they believed.

But reading the ever increasingly ridiculous posts at UD and particularly how Dembski seems to have lost the plot since the Dover disaster, I can't really find their ridiculous antics funny, just very saddening. I like to think of UD as a clown train wreck, it's so comedic how they still peddle furiously through the air on their unicycles while juggling pies, but so tragic at the same time as they crash to the ground with nothing more than a sad squeak of their red button noses.

I don't think they have a shred of credibility or honesty left.

UD is clearly just an ego trip for Dr. Dr. Dembski, to buffer himself against the reality that he is a has-been, and ID is a dust-bin. There is an interesting comment on Telic Thoughts  
#  johnnyb Says:
September 2nd, 2007 at 10:35 pm |

I live in Oklahoma, and most of my friends are fundies or close to it, I go to a conservative Church, and so on and so forth. Of my friends, I haven't found a SINGLE ONE who knew who William Dembski was. My sister-in-law knew Behe and Darwin's Black Box, but that's about it.

Even here in fundie-land, there's hardly anyone who has heard of Intelligent Design or any of the ID crew.

And so, like Ann Coulter, the good doctor doctor must resort to ever more extreme antics to get attention. I predict that future months will bring ever more bizarre behavior at UD, as the sock puppets proliferate and the traffic dwindles.

Date: 2007/09/03 09:02:46, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Darth Robo @ Sep. 03 2007,08:05)
Happy Birthday!  Hope muchas drinks was involved.  


Who needs drinks when you have exciting entertainment options like

1) meltdown of moronity at UD
2) FtK resurrecting her blog

Best birthday evah!

Date: 2007/09/03 16:12:05, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
And even more bizarrely, Grandma Tard posts something for Dr. Dr. Dembski!

Have his posting privileges been revoked?

Date: 2007/09/03 17:39:40, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Welcome, ERV

Even though I will never be able to face cottage cheese again, I do appreciate your willingness to call out the liars and point out the lies.

As for Luskin, I think you got all of it right except for this statement: "Casey Luskin thinks..."

No evidence of that, really.

Date: 2007/09/04 06:40:52, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Latest and greatest update to the Baylor/Dembski/Marks love triangle page
Error 404 - Not Found

Date: 2007/09/04 07:46:38, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (J-Dog @ Sep. 04 2007,07:38)
Dembski = Einstein tells us all we need to know about the driving insatiable thirst for knowledge exhibited by your average UD poster.

It also tells us all we need to know about why Dr. Dr. Dembski maintains the otherwise embarrassing website that is rapidly becoming uncommonly denser.

That, and the need to sell books.

Date: 2007/09/04 14:18:22, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Sep. 04 2007,14:03)
FTK sees atheist conspiracies everywhere:

Just as in the aftermath of the Gonzalez case, the sciencebloggers are claiming that ID advocates will be crying 'persecution' or 'censorship', yet what else can this be called other than censorship? I don't know what other explanation would apply.

I think bork is right in that most people don't pay much attention to ID and it wouldn't seem that the science or engineering departments in most university would have all that many people who would be so adamant that ID shouldn't be considered at some level. So, it just really seems that this type of censorship must be coming from higher up.

Actually, I'm sympathetic to some of what FtK says in her tentative comment at UD. In fact, this may be the one case where even PZ sees a small problem with how Baylor handled this incident (I doubt that FtK will acknowledge this hint of common ground between her and her nemesis in Morris, however).
Quote (PZ Myers @ September 4, 2007 10:42 AM)
There is a teeny grain of truth to this story, though: I'm also a little troubled by the fact that the administration stepped in to dismiss a PI's grant and cut the knees out from under a post-doc, even if the terms of the position are awfully suspicious.

IF Dembski's account is accurate, then as a scientist working at a university, I am troubled too. Upper admins have no business dictating hiring and firing of postdocs who are funded with extramural grants. That is a pretty big IF, however, and so I am willing to wait until the whole story is revealed (if ever).

I don't think ID needs any more martyrs. But they sure seem to have a talent for that...

Date: 2007/09/04 16:25:16, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (J-Dog @ Sep. 04 2007,16:01)
Just had another thought...

The whole Dembksi / UD / ID saga is perfect for TV.

Great idea!

But I'm afraid it's already been done...

Date: 2007/09/05 17:11:20, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Richardthughes @ Sep. 05 2007,16:53)
Six days before the scheduled Aug. 9 meeting, Kelley entered Marks? Baylor webspace and, without his consent, removed all references to the Evolutionary Informatics Lab, according to a timeline Dembski sent to BP.
emphasis mine.

Create the controversy!

Also note (emphasis mine)  
This is a big story, perhaps the biggest story yet of academic suppression relating to ID, William Dembski, a research professor in philosophy at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, told Baptist Press.

He's beginning to seem seriously unhinged...

Date: 2007/09/06 06:17:59, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Sep. 05 2007,14:14)
That "FAQ" is beyond belief
There are no examples of half-developed feathers, eyes, skin, tubes (arteries, veins, intestines, etc.), or any of thousands of other vital organs. These type of changes have not been observed in nature.

I peeked at the FtK FAQ, but couldn't bring myself to read it all. It's sorta sad, really. All science so far...

As for the half-tube argument, that is a lifted quote from her old pal, Walt Brown. The last time she brought it out of mothballs I reminded her that she has about a million of them in each kidney. They're called nephrons...

Maybe she feels bad enough about their stunted little lives that she should change her name to For the kidneys...

Date: 2007/09/06 06:30:16, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Baylor is in the news at the Chronicle of Higher Ed again, although this time it may not be relevant to ID martyrdom. Sounds interesting anyway.

"Controversial Book About Baylor U., Rejected by Its Press, Finds Another Publisher" is available online at this site

Here's the money quote - "It's about Christian higher education," he said of the book, "and the experiment that Baylor is going through to see if there can be a Christian research university."

Date: 2007/09/06 09:15:26, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Well, at least one designed function of Dr. Dr. Dembski's blog seems to be working well.  From FtK's blog  
I just ordered a copy of Denyse O'Leary's latest book, The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist's Case for the Existence of the Soul.

Unfortunately Dr. Dr. D probably won't get a nickel from this sale. Hope his new book comes out soon!

Date: 2007/09/06 11:49:05, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (J-Dog @ Sep. 06 2007,11:15)
Quote (Altabin @ Sep. 06 2007,11:04)
I want to know how it's going to deal with the "condom culture."

#1.  Buy more.
#2.  Keep testing

Definitely. Science has a lot to offer for the condom culture. By sheer coincidence, my brother works at Family Health International, a place in the Research Triangle that operates, among other things, a condom testing lab. He promised me a tour the next time I visited Carrboro. And the company is mentioned in this interesting article from Reuters, indicating that the condom culture is global...

Date: 2007/09/06 18:53:02, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (blipey @ Sep. 06 2007,16:21)
I've been thinking about Ftk's reticence to answer questions and that brought me to this question:

Has anyone ever had Ftk answer a question in her own words?  Has she ever taken the time to explain anything (other than a religious notion) with sentences that were completely her own?

I know that she's often wondered at the importance of such a thing and I've tried to tell her on at least 5 separate occasions why being able to discuss a topic in your own terms is important.

I'd be very interested in seeing any instance of her actually doing this.  Anyone?

Yeah, she actually tried to do that a couple of times when I was attempting to engage her on her blog. It was like pulling teeth to keep her on topic, and I had to ask the same question multiple times. Sometimes I would wait days or weeks and then ask again. But, to her credit, she did attempt an answer once or twice. Bear in mind that I asked her questions that she wouldn't be able to google the answers for... They certainly weren't questions that Walt Brown had ever considered.

Regardless of the answer she gave, when she heard my answer to the same questions, she would always revert to form ("Well, that's just microevolution, and since you haven't shown me how a virus can evolve into a clam, I won't change my opinion."). So despite my hopes that she might have a revelation if I succeeded in making her think about something and answer in her own words and thoughts, her opinions remained impenetrable.

If you want to wade through all the comments, one of those instances is found here.

Date: 2007/09/07 05:58:02, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (bystander @ Sep. 06 2007,21:35)
It shows how after all of those years in evo debates her faith in her God is so weak that she is scared to do any real investigation.

So I suppose it helps our case. Anybody genuinely look for answers will quickly see that she has nothing.

It depends on what they are looking for.

Most of the problem doesn't come from people who are looking for "answers". It comes from people who are seeking reinforcement for beliefs that they can't give up, because they are convinced that if they do give them up, they will burn in hell.

Unfortunately, they can get reinforcement for those beliefs from FtK's blog and FAQ.

Date: 2007/09/07 06:21:16, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
I suspect that Reciprocating Bill will have a new member of the Banned to add to his list soon.

Semiotic007 retorts re the DI's press release on the Baylor/Marks flap
I hold Bob Marks in high esteem, and would like very much to know what happened at Baylor. If, in fact, the school infringed on his academic freedom, I would act in his behalf. But this ?press release? is simply a slap in the face of anyone who wants to know the truth.

Date: 2007/09/07 08:36:28, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Sep. 07 2007,07:33)
Semiotic 007:
When I first saw that Bill Dembski was an "external affiliate" of the lab, I immediately recognized that as problematic. Something Bill does not mention in his complaints is that when you enter the tenure track at a school, you more or less agree that you will be persona non grata if you are denied tenure...

Watch your step. I was never tenure track - I had a 6-year contract. Marks's actions with EIL are consistent with other research initiatives of his. Nothing is being hidden, and if your concerns had merit, the Baylor administration would by now have jumped on them.

What?! "Watch your step?!" *sputter*

Shit, I think I damaged either the quicktwitch nixtrafuge or the low impact abusifier when I documented the operation of the Nixplanatory Filter. Sumpin's not right.

That's very odd.

Here the good doctor doctor seems to be defending Baylor, implying that semiotic's concerns have no merit, because if they did, the Baylor admins would have addressed them. Elsewhere he seems to be attacking Baylor admins, and he is certainly allowing his minions free rein in blasting them as atheists and worse.

Of course, it is not clear which of semiotics "concerns" are being addressed here. His concerns about the treatment of Marks, which are shared by Dembski?  Or his concerns about the possibility that the lab website was shuttered because Dembski was affiliated with it, which, if true, DDD will never accept on his blog? Nevertheless, if we are to believe the previously posted timeline of cafeteria banning and other nefarious deeds, the Baylor administration certainly did "jump on them" quite a while back...

Date: 2007/09/07 10:37:17, Link
Author: Albatrossity2

Or not!


Date: 2007/09/07 13:17:28, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Seekandfind wastes no time in proving that his nose is certainly brown enough to allow him to post at UD.

In addition, he engages in some of that good ol' time religious persecution complex.
Thanks Dr. Dembski,

Now here?s my personal opinion on why this is happening? and I could be wrong but I have seen this occur time and again in other schools that I believe TIME might prove me right.

1) There are faculty members out there who are not happy with this kind of work because if the results turn out to somehow refute the Neo_darwinian worldview, it would affect years of research on which many have spent a lot of effort.

2) There just might be organizations who are FUNDING research at other departments at the university who actually OBJECT to the work being done at the EIL. There could be an implied threat to withhold further funding of these work if the EIL were to be allowed to continue in its current form. Otherwise, why the sudden and abrupt change of heart ?

No, I cannot prove it, but I won?t be surprise if news like these were to come out later.

Date: 2007/09/09 11:17:26, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Hermagoras @ Sep. 09 2007,10:24)
Accepting the format of the rejected article?  Wow.  Must be an interesting look, that journal.  My library doesn't get Cell Cycle.

FWIW, the author doesn't list the article (or any publications since 2002) on his department web page.

Michael Y. Sherman has a good publication track record, according to the Web of Science. He is listed as an author on 47 peer-reviewed articles, including 2 in 2007. Citations (excluding self-citations) are a respectable 1577. His pubs  are mostly in middle-of-the-road but solid biochemistry journals (e.g. FASEB Journal, J. Biol. Chem. Mol. Cell. Biochem.). He had a PNAS article in 2005. Most of the recent stuff seems to be about heat-shock proteins, although one of his earlier papers (1982) addressed chemotaxis and the bacterial flagellar proteins.

Our library doesn't get Cell Cycle either, so I guess I will put in an interlibrary loan request for that article.

Is front-loading going to be a new paradigm for the ID folks?  That may be a dangerous path to take, since it actually could be a testable hypothesis.

Date: 2007/09/09 13:52:27, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
The "peer review" guidelines for Cell Cycle seem fairly standard.  
Each contribution is typically vetted by at least two expert reviewers who are either members of the Editorial Board or are recruited by Board members. Expedited reviews may be possible for papers that are submitted along with reviews from another journal as described above under "Editorial Policy."
etc. And the editorial board has some heavy hitters on it, including at least one person who was a grad school colleague of mine. That doesn't mean that peer review standards are extremely strict there, but I don't think DT will have to retract his assertion yet.

We obviously don't know if Sherman's paper was submitted elsewhere and rejected, so the exact peer review process for this paper is going to remain a mystery. Sherman does have another paper in this journal, and it is abstracted in the Web o'Science, which implies that it is at least minimally acceptable as a peer-reviewed journal.

Without reading the paper, I'd guess that he never mentions the words ID at all, and I suspect that he might be amused to hear that it was being touted as a godsend for their moribund research efforts...

And, as RB says, this is a theoretical paper, with no experimental results, which is pretty standard ID fare anyway. I do remain interested in the possibility that the IDists will embrace front-loading as a prediction of ID, since it is, as noted before, possible to test it experimentally. That would be a first! And it would really be a first if the super-duper-secret labs of the DI would be the first to test it... I won't hold my breath.

Date: 2007/09/09 15:11:09, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Sep. 09 2007,14:38)
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Sep. 09 2007,14:52)
The "peer review" guidelines for Cell Cycle seem fairly standard.            
Each contribution is typically vetted by at least two expert reviewers who are either members of the Editorial Board or are recruited by Board members. Expedited reviews may be possible for papers that are submitted along with reviews from another journal as described above under "Editorial Policy."

FWIW, this is the general Landes BioScience editorial policy.  However, each journal reports variations. Two others (of their 13) report policies similar, but not identical, to that of Cell Cycle

Yeah, but that page is linked from the Cell Cycle guidelines for authors page. So we can fairly safely assume that it  is pertinent for submissions to Cell Cycle.

Frankly, I have not previously heard of this sort of policy (send us your rejected Science or Nature paper, along with the reviews, and we might publish it immediately). Since you may not get reviews from those top-tier journals (they often just look at the paper and judge that it is not "hot" enough for them), it is an interesting policy.  I am working on a paper for submission to Nature right now; fortunately the subject matter iis not appropriate for Cell Cycle, or I'd be sorely tempted to try this if it gets rejected!

Date: 2007/09/09 17:13:14, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
That Waco Trib article is pretty funny.  
“Baylor University has proven yet again that academic freedom has been thrown off campus and academic persecution is the norm,” spokesman Casey Luskin said. “It’s simply unconscionable that a major university would so trample a scientist’s right to freedom of scientific inquiry.”

Barry said that “this is a sweeping statement in which they’re trying to brush the entire university community, and I just don’t know on what grounds they make that claim.”

For Casey to tar someone else with the brush of "unconscionable" was pretty much all my irony meter could handle. I'm going to have to go home and have a beer to cool it off...

Date: 2007/09/10 06:08:16, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Sep. 09 2007,23:12)
I'd think that with front loading, one would expect a much higher quantity of apparent horizontal transfer than would be expected without it.

Even if you grant the front-loading hypothesis in-principle testability, it still doesn't clear up any way to test such a proposition.  The predictions that the article seems to give (haven't read it, just saw this) aren't necessarily incongruent with the null hypothesis.  It will remain a slippery slope argument I think.  

Unless they want to invoke a young-earth and claim that there is not enough time for horizontal transfer to explain whatever it is they claim is evidence for frontloading, that is.   For, given an old earth, and common descent (including what we know about horizontal transfer in many taxa) they don't have a null hypothesis.  It encompasses the entire range of life on earth with DNA so this will be more hand-waving.

Unless they know something about Teh Designer that we don't, that is...  perhaps they know just how he frontloaded it?  Is it in genesis?

Good point. What exactly is the argument predicting that teh Designer would front-load genomes, other than a young-earth viewpoint?

The OBSERVATION of possible front-loading has certainly been seized upon by IDiots as being consistent with their inferences, but that means nothing. Every observation is consistent with those vague inferences. If we found an organism whose genetic code consisted of cheesy-poofs, it would be consistent... Who knows how the designer works, or thinks?  So how is it possible to predict anything?

Seems to me that they would have a hard time explicating any cogent argument whereby their notion (an unknown designer acting by unknown mechanisms at an unknown time and place) leads to an explicit prediction of front-loading. This is yet another YEC-derived claim.

Date: 2007/09/10 09:07:22, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
FtK has worked herself into a snit over PZ's biology course that will include a discussion of neocreationism (aka ID).

Of course, she conveniently forgets the difference between a public high school class and a university class, the difference between teaching ID as science and using it as an historical example (sort of like teaching about phlogiston in a chemistry class), as well as the fact that PZ will "teaching the controversy", which is, as I recall, the latest strategy of the neocretins.

Even more amusingly, in comment #40 on this thread at Pharyngula, she emits this classic sig-worthy bleat  
Although I am ~completely~ against bringing up lawsuits due to these little squeemishes over what can and cannot be considered science, I couldn't think of a person more deserving of being the target of one than PZ.

Date: 2007/09/10 14:09:34, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
I just got the PDF version of Michael Sherman's opus re the "Universal Genome", touted by DaveTard as being in support of front-loading. If anyone wants a copy, PM me and I'll get it to you. It does seem that this went through some sort of review process (submitted 4/5/07, accepted 6/6/07), but a quick read does also indicate that the reviewers weren't paying much attention. There are many instances of appalling English grammar, typos, etc.

I also have a new avatar, designed by my son. It is supposed to be a "Dire Penguin", but shrinking it down doesn't let you appreciate all of its intelligently designed features. Go here if you want to look at the full version.

Date: 2007/09/11 15:09:37, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
More tard from the Genetic Entropy discussion. Bornagain77, whose neurological entropy must be approaching staggering levels, opines  
I would like to comment, since I support the “strong” ID position of later implementation of information, that the front loaded position, while somewhat tenable, is by no means set in stone for the ID theory.

By no means, indeed! If, in fact, it turns out to be inviable, then they can have another bogus "strong" prediction that is just as consistent with the think-poof model that is ID today. I'm thinking of something more sexy than Genetic Entropy, perhaps, say, Genomic Transubstantiation. Or perhaps Metabolomic Infundibular Liquefaction...

Date: 2007/09/12 10:04:22, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (stevestory @ Sep. 12 2007,08:40)
"You don't have to teach both sides of a debate if one side is a load of crap."

Best line from Casey's whining  
The “rant” is actually a letter to the editor, and the person they call the "IDiot" who wrote it is me.

boo fricking hoo

Date: 2007/09/12 15:07:54, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Richardthughes @ Sep. 12 2007,14:39)
Whoa - budget look UD:

Interesting new look for UD; I'll miss the ol' bac flag, or black fag, or black flag, or whatever that thing was.

More interestingly, the new format does not seem to include information about the author of an opening post. We'll have to use the nixplanatory filter to find out if the author of a given piece of tripe was Dr. Dr. D., Grandma Tard, DT, or super-undercover grad student Sal.

Date: 2007/09/12 16:02:49, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Richardthughes @ Sep. 12 2007,14:39)
Whoa - budget look UD:

Whoa, again. UD is back to normal, we can see that flag and the authors of the opening posts.

I think that they were just messing with our minds.  Or else they will accuse Wesley of misdirecting their electrons again.

Date: 2007/09/15 07:25:57, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
If FtK reads anything except EN&V or the WhirledNutDaily, ID would predict that she will blog about this article in today's Washington Post.

Date: 2007/09/15 12:34:32, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (djmullen @ Sep. 15 2007,10:56)
At this juncture, it looks like the only thing that can save Dembski's career is that almost nobody ever reads his blog any more.

Or even cares about his sorry snit. Anecdotal evidence - I am at a book festival in Columbus OH, where Elizabeth is reading and I am hobnobbing with Ohio folks and writers. During one of the sessions this morning I happened to sit down next to a woman who teaches at Baylor. After a polite period of time exchanging pleasantries about the joys of teaching at Big 12 institutions, I asked the question that was foremost on my mind - "Have you heard anything about the controversy involving the Baylor administration shutting down an intelligent design website that one of their engineering faculty members set up?"  Her response - "Nope. Tell me about it!"

Sic transit gloria mundi, WAD.

Date: 2007/09/17 06:18:49, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (keiths @ Sep. 17 2007,01:50)
Another stylistic gem from Denyse:
This is all particularly interesting because Neuhaus is not especially one of the ID think tank Discovery Institute fans.

A challenge to readers:  in standard English, is it possible to express Denyse's meaning any more awkwardly?

In order to do that, one would have to understand the meaning of that sentence. And that would mean that one would have to think like she does.

No thanks.

Date: 2007/09/17 12:44:45, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (JohnW @ Sep. 17 2007,11:09)
I suspect it's the much less complicated argumentum ad making shit up.

That would be argumentum ad rectum, wouldn't it?

Date: 2007/09/17 19:42:01, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Sep. 17 2007,19:36)
Tho you still get plenty of IDers earnestly telling us that ID makes no statements about who or what the Disembodied Telic Entity is, and that it all has nothing to do with Jesus, as tho it's still 2004 and Dover never happened. They evidently still expect to convince people with this. Kind of cute, really.

Yeah, there's one right now on ERV, called Trinity Member, who just tried that little ploy on this comment thread.

I'm not convinced it's cute at all... But it is still quite common

Date: 2007/09/18 08:11:41, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (supersport @ Sep. 18 2007,08:03)
the evidence of YEC is the simple fact that lifeforms could not have built up materialistically over time.  There is no physical way (as evidence of this thread that mutations can't do it.)  Therefore, life must have appeared instantly by way of mental processes.

Sure. That makes perfect sense to me...

Do these guys ever listen to themselves? Basically he is saying that X is impossible, so therefore the equally impossible Y is the only possible answer...

Date: 2007/09/18 08:25:50, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (supersport @ Sep. 18 2007,08:17)
no I actually gave you a couple reasons, did you actually read my post?

Yeah, I read it. But even upon re-reading it, I remain convinced that you gave me lots of opinions, and no reasons. Nevertheless, I'm willing to overlook it this time.

Please give me a reason why I should accept this opinion  
Therefore, life must have appeared instantly by way of mental processes.

Please make this some sort of positive evidence from the scientific, peer-reviewed literature, rather than negative evidence such as a criticism of evolutionary theory.


Date: 2007/09/18 08:43:43, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (supersport @ Sep. 18 2007,08:41)
old have NOT proven these bacteria have been around for millions of years....nor have proven there is no degeneration.

Nor have you proven that mental processes poofed life into existence.

So get busy.


Date: 2007/09/18 14:03:31, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
I see that the category 3 shitstorm has left the building.

So, sport, when you return, please don't continue to ignore this query, which seems to have disappeared under the deluge of geological claims and counterclaims.

Please give me a reason why I should accept this opinion  

Therefore, life must have appeared instantly by way of mental processes.

Please make this some sort of positive evidence from the scientific, peer-reviewed literature, rather than negative evidence such as a criticism of evolutionary theory.

I suspect that if you can actually do this, you will quiet many of your critics here!

Date: 2007/09/18 15:00:16, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
To silence the whining about "nobody has answered the challenge in my opening post", I can pull an old trick from the ID crowd's quiver, i.e. Go Read A Book.  But in this case it will actually answer the challenge.

Endless Forms Most beautiful, by Sean Carroll, has several examples of this. One of them is a mutation in the regulatory sequence of a gene that give more pigmentation to a section of a fruit fly wing. Since fruit flies use their wings in mating displays, a change in the pigmentation can have profound effects on mating success. But Carroll describes a phylogenetic tree showing how this mutation occurred, when it occurred, and the resulting speciation events that occurred. So here is an example of what sporty wanted    
ONE mutation ever documented in the history of science that has created a new, beneficial, selectable morphological addition to an existing body part.    .    .    .    (a mutation that alters physical, outward appearance in a beneficial way. )

Now it's your turn, sport. Support this assertion - life must have appeared instantly by way of mental processes.

Please make this some sort of positive evidence from the scientific, peer-reviewed literature, rather than negative evidence such as a criticism of evolutionary theory.

Your previously cited article from Discover magazine does not do this, BTW. It does represent some serious goalpost shifting; I particularly liked the slippage of "life" to a "spine on a flea". Oh, and another thing, Daphnia are not really fleas. Oh, and another thing, the spine appeared in response to predation, which is not the same thing as "mental processes".

So, read that book by Sean Carroll; it will be good for you. But don't forget to come back here and defend the goalposts you set up originally. Give us an example of positive, scientific evidence for mental processes generating life.

thanks in advance.

Date: 2007/09/18 15:32:27, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
I don't happen to have the book right now; it is on extended loan. Sorry, perhaps FtK, who noted your work approvingly over on her blog, can loan you her copy. I suspect that it is still in the original shrink-wrap...

As for this statement    
I was looking for something that would make the animal more physically selectable because of fitness, not more attractive to the opposite sex.  Attractiveness is a subjective thing.

It definitely makes the case that you are talking out your ass. Go look up "fitness" in the evolutionary sense. Here are some page numbers

p. 639 in Klug and Cummings, Concepts in Genetics, 7th edition

p. 555 in Griffiths, Gelbart, Miller & Lewontin, Modern Genetic Analysis, 1st edition

whereupon you will learn that Drosophila fitness is intimately related to selection and "attractiveness". Unfortunately, even though you thought you might have to shift that goalpost, you really didn't move it an inch.

Now, about those mental processes generating life instantly - I'm really anxious to hear about that.

thanks again in advance for continuing to ignore this question.

Date: 2007/09/18 15:39:03, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (supersport @ Sep. 18 2007,15:29)
"Oh, and another thing, the spine appeared in response to predation, which is not the same thing as "mental processes".

  How is it that the environment (predators in this case) can somehow influence a flea to create a new spine without the flea (or his parent) sensing the predator?  What do you .think does this sensing?

Fish do this all the time: upon an environmental chnage many fish can change colors on a dime.  Cichlids are notorious for this.  How does this happen without some sort of sensory device to not only ackowledge the new environment, but also to signal the necessary morphological changes?

Crikey, you are a serious basket case. Does it make sense to you that mental processes can be involved, but are NOT SUFFICIENT to make things happen? Does it make sense to you that color-changing in fish involves neurological processing, but is NOT sufficient? Do you think that the mind, by itself (i.e. without the fish, or its chromatophores, or the rest of its "materialistic" body) can change color?

You claimed that mental processes generate life instantly. Where is the evidence for that? Put up, or shut up.

Thanks again for ignoring this question.

Date: 2007/09/18 16:05:21, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (supersport @ Sep. 18 2007,16:01)
it's the "expression" of the same gene, not a change in sequence that is responsible for the change in phenotype:

"The Carroll lab has not unraveled the entire story, but they have shown that changes in the expression of a gene (rather than its protein coding sequence) can lead to novel phenotypes."

Uh, if you ever manage to read past Genesis, you would understand that the change in sequence occurred in a regulatory region of the DNA. This is still a change in sequence. It is still a change in phenotype. It is still an excellent example of what you asked for.

Now please give us that scientific evidence for mental processes generating life instantly.

thanks again for ignoring this question.

Date: 2007/09/18 16:13:50, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (supersport @ Sep. 18 2007,16:08)
So where did lungs come from?

Clearly, they came from those mental processes generating things that we are all so anxious to hear the scientific evidence for.

Assertion is not argument.

You are not arguing.

So I think I will stop listening; I have students to indoctrinate and materialist papers to publish.

Please PM me whenever you get around to presenting that evidence for mental processes generating life instantly. Not that I would ever believe that you would recognize a mental process yourself...

Date: 2007/09/18 18:31:09, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Well, the boy sure can google and quote articles from the net. Too bad he can't read them and understand them.  But it is entertaining, if you like to watch verbal diarrhea.

I am sure it will be even more entertaining if he ever gets around to giving us those peer-reviewed articles about how mental processes can generate life instantly. I tried to find them in Web of Science, but no luck. Maybe tomorrow he provide some citations.

Date: 2007/09/19 15:36:43, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (blipey @ Sep. 19 2007,15:25)
I thought this was about Evolution?

The best part of the schedule for the "Intelligent Design in Business Practice" shindig is the "Texas Premiere" of a film produced by the Acton institute. The film (The Call of the Entrepreneur) was released in May 2007...

Based on the description of the film, and the reputation of the state of Tejas as an entrepreneurial Eden (think Enron, or Harken Energy), one would have thought that this film would have been viewed in the state prior to this. Not exactly a box-office smash, I'd guess. If only it starred Ben Stein...

Date: 2007/09/19 15:46:13, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
This comment will definitely be a test of the "DaveTard is asleep at the wheel" hypothesis.  
I don’t understand this:

“At Baylor, a Christian institution, [ID] should be pretty unremarkable stuff. … [Friendliness to Intelligent Design] is completely unacceptable in today’s university system — even at a Christian institution.”

Given the often-repeated claim that ID is not a religious belief, is based on science instead of religion, and does not start from religious premises, why would Walt Ruloff - or anyone - expect ID to receive more support from a Christian institution than from anywhere else?

If DT is not in a coma, or frantically working to recover the lost templates for UD, this commenter will be banned before he can sin again.

Date: 2007/09/19 16:51:26, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Mr Sport

Not to detract from the red-herringness of the discussion about your house, but you seem to have left this question dangling.

You claimed that mental processes can generate life instantly. I asked for some scientific proof (e.g. a peer-reviewed publication or two). So far, you have ignored this completely.

So I'm asking again, and please recall that I did make a good faith effort to answer the question in your O.P.

If mental processes can generate life, surely your mental processes can motivate your fingers to the keyboard and give me the answer to the question above.

Thanks again in advance for ignoring this question.

Date: 2007/09/20 06:47:26, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (supersport @ Sep. 19 2007,23:02)
well you guys sure play dumb good.  This board is no challenge.

Yeah, some of us play dumb. Took a while to learn. But your dumbness is innate, I fear.

Oh, BTW, about that question I asked. I think that the number of times I have asked it (and you have ignored it) is now up to double figures. Might be a record; I suspect Afdave is the current record holder, with FtK a close second. But I'll try it again, just to see how long you can play deaf and dumb.

What scientific evidence (peer-reviewed publication) can you provide for your assertion that mental processes generate life instantly?

Thanks again for not playing.

Date: 2007/09/20 08:58:06, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
And here's another hoot from the same thread. Janice (who definitely is a tard) sez      
And I note that many hours have passed, yet so far Rob has neither proferred an apology for expressing himself in a manner that could lead to misunderstandings regarding his meaning nor rephrased his question. So my guess is that the call was a good one.

If expressing yourself "in a manner that could lead to misunderstandings" is an offense that required an apology, the whole blog, and particularly Grandma Tard's tortured-grammar OPs, would require an apology all the time.

I don't see that happening.

Date: 2007/09/20 10:22:54, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
This guy is a troll with a capital T. Other than one hilarious quote (in response to my answering the question in his OP, by the way) now immortalized on oldman's sig line, he has produced nothing of substance.

I propose that we stop engaging him. I suspect that he only wants attention, and we need to stop giving it to him. Let's see how shrill he gets if he is only talking to himself; I predict he will soon get into the range that only dogs can hear...

Date: 2007/09/20 14:04:55, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (J-Dog @ Sep. 20 2007,13:54)
Since we have not heard anything from the UD camp, I thought I make make things easier for them when Dr. Dr. Dembski pulls out of his funk, steps down from the ledge and tries to explain his total pantsing at the OK Corral*:  

                      for Getting Pwned

10.) All part of the Evil Darwinist Conspiracy out to get him
9.) Satan out to get him
8.) He was set-up by Satan-worshipping Darwinist Conspirators(aka Trinity Baptist Elders)
7.) Off his game because he was worried about OJ
6.) His Mom didn't love him.
5.) OK cheerleaders threated to give him a wedgie, right before he took the stage.
4.) Intelligent design? Oh Snap - I thought you meant Unintelligent Design!
3.) Concerned that Ohio National Guard would start shooting again.
2.) Hawt Co-Ed in front row used a mysterious force and a push-up bra to distract him.
1.) And the #1 Excuse for getting Pwned - THE DESIGNER DESIGNED IT THAT WAY!

*OK Corral line stolen borrowed form Factician? or some other fine ATBC blogger

Well, that Ohio National Guard line certainly dates you...

I think you forgot one - He was hoping that a rumble would break out between the Trinity Baptist folks and the pro-science crowd, resulting in a tasering and more publicity on YouTube. He wants to be at least as famous as John Kerry!

Date: 2007/09/21 07:27:41, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Sep. 21 2007,07:00)
Did somebody hear a noise?

Nope. i didn't hear a thing.

Date: 2007/09/21 10:18:39, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Richardthughes @ Sep. 21 2007,09:57)

That is a great thread. And since it was deleted from UD, it contains information on a few more bannings that Recip. Bill needs to add to the database.    
Chill out man.

Even if ID gets pushed into the realm of philosophy perhaps it can take Darwinism with it.

The loudspeaker in the ceiling responds: Qualiatative is no longer with us. Who is next?

Comment by Qualiatative — January 30, 2006 @ 10:16 pm

Date: 2007/09/21 11:45:36, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (J-Dog @ Sep. 21 2007,10:54)
How about a BIG hand for Albatrossity's fisking of a Creo Troll over at ERV's blog?  The Troll is like a smarter afdave or superspoilsport, and Albatrossity picks him apart point by point.  Ah, good times.  

Hey, we gotta do something while we're wainting for Dr. Dr. Bill to defend himself against the art majors in OK



Thanks, J-dog. But the best part about that thread is that this creobot is also getting his biblical ass kicked by a couple of other people who seem to know more about his favorite book than he does. When you are simultaneously losing arguments about science AND theology, you know that you are an IDer... To his credit (and unlike afdave or stuporsport) he does admit he doesn't know much about the science. I can't say I'm optimistic that he can be turned around (especially after reading his blog), but at least he doesn't claim to be an expert in everything like those bozos.

Re Dembski's long-awaited counter-attack against the art majors, my hypothesis is that he and DT are in the super-duper secret labs, working on a flash animation featuring ERV, an art major who looks like Frank Zappa, Judge Jones, President Lilley, Bob Marks, Sal Cordova, and the Trinity Baptist Elders kneeling down and praying for Dembski. Accompanied by a Ben Stein voice-over. Or not. Maybe some cool reggae music to appeal to the "kids".

Date: 2007/09/21 17:12:20, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
If ID was creationism

It would wear a cheap tuxedo, employ a lot of lawyers, and emit a lot of gas.

Oh, I guess I missed the memo.

Never mind.

Date: 2007/09/22 21:19:56, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ Sep. 22 2007,19:15)
Quote (blipey @ Sep. 22 2007,16:20)
Hey Ftk,

This might be a great time for you to substantiate that my claim of question dodging is untrue.  Please take the requisite 3 seconds to show an example of supersport answering a question.  Examples of JoeG doing the same would be great as well (on his thread, of course).

You have made this claim that I am wrong.  In your new "show the evidence mode" I guess you'll now be showing me the proof?

Blipster, just because you don't like or agree with a person's answer doesn't mean they didn't give one.

And, dude, I am all about substantiation this time around.  Here are just some of his answers...

Here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here

Baloney. Answers which are just opinions, unsupported by facts, are NOT answers, even "this time around". Click on those 9 links and you find that sporty's answers were, in reality

#1- a bald-faced assertion unsupported by evidence
#2 - answering a question by posing another question, which was not an answer
#3 - an opinion, later shown to be complete bs
#4 - a busted link, perhaps you copied the URL wrong
#5 - an opinion that a dinosaur fossil is 6.8 thousand years old, unsupported by evidence
#6 - an opinion, later debunked
#7 - a quotemine of an article, which was shown not to back up his assertion at all
#8 - same bs as #7, repeated for comic effect?
#9 - a bunch of bs which avoided an actual answer

Furthermore, he avoided ever backing up his claim that mental processes can generate life instantly, even though he was asked about this at least 9 or 10 times.

Sounds like your kind of guy.

Welcome back.

Date: 2007/09/23 17:30:27, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Joy @ Sep. 23 2007,17:17)
Now, I ask you... Why in the world would I be disposed to take a new commenter to our blog at face value with this public sideshow going on? [Oy!] ...and you call US "idiots."

JAM was banned from TT for bad behavior once over a year ago, and every time since then for deception. As soon as we had confirmation that a new pseud was him, he was locked back out. What his discussion as the new pseud was to that point on any thread is completely irrelevant - we do not allow banned pseuds to come back as different pseuds.

If/when a commenter's behavior becomes frequently disruptive, off-topic or obsessive to the point of creepy, they're outta there. Among the few who have been banned from TT are both critics and ID supporters. You yourselves apparently banned someone [pseud: "Supersport"] just yesterday for being a troublemaker. If "Supersport" signs in with three or four new pseuds (and you catch him via his computer address info) in the next couple of months, would you count those in your total of "people" banned, or count him and all his pseuds as a single ban?

Point being that one person's personality clash with a commenter isn't enough to get someone banned at TT, and one person's forgiveness doesn't get a banned commenter back into the fold once he's gone. This is completely reasonable. Whether it seems reasonable or not to posters here seeking new and better 'creationists' to play with is not a consideration.

Good luck with your recruiting efforts. You'll need it.

"Bad behavior" is pretty generic. "Personality clash" is also pretty vague.

Do you have any actual examples of "bad behavior" on the part of JAM?

As for the difficulties in recruiting "new and better "creationists" here, it is admittedly very difficult. But maybe that is because creationists these days are neither new nor better...

Date: 2007/09/24 06:12:40, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Sep. 24 2007,04:52)
Throw all domesticated dogs back into the wild and watch as all these breeds go away - to be replaced by mutt dogs which will gradually lose many of their unique, bred-for characteristics and more and more closely resemble the wolf from which they came.

The fact that dogs under artificial selection have one set of characters, and another set of characters when they are feral and subject to a different kind of selective pressure, is not a problem for evolutionary theory. It is, in fact, a prediction of that theory.

Do you have any testable predictions from your theory (whatever it is at the moment) that would lead to a different outcome than that predicted by evolutionary theory?

Date: 2007/09/24 06:23:17, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ Sep. 23 2007,17:14)
Personally, I thought SS was asking some very good questions.  His OP is something that I wonder about all the time, and nobody seriously addressed the question.


This is an example of why threads dominated by you and your ilk would be worthless. You conveniently ignore facts. In fact, I did address sporty's OP. He then showed his complete ignorance of the definitions of the words needed to understand it (e.g. "fitness").

Additionally, in my reply I asked him to provide, in return, some evidence for a particularly egregious claim that he made. In the course of subsequent posts, I asked again and again and again. He never responded. He is apparently not interested in gaining understanding; he is interested only in generating noise. There is enough noise on the internet already.

These traits (ignoring, misunderstanding or not having the vocabulary to argue cogently about a reply to a question, AND galloping off on a new topic without answering questions about the old one) are a hallmark of the MO of you, afdave, and supersport. Until all of you can promise to cease and desist those pathetic behaviors, there is no reason to believe that you are capable of honest discussion of any single issue, much less several.

Date: 2007/09/24 11:18:22, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Thought Provoker @ Sep. 24 2007,11:13)

I suggest the burdon of proof in this situation is yours.

Guilty until proven innocent, eh?

I think not. If JAM doesn't think that he misbehaved, how can he find the evidence that others feel is proof of this misbehavior?

It makes a lot more sense for the accusers to provide the evidence, since they are the ones who judged JAM to be unworthy of posting at their blog. They made the charge; they need to back it up with proof. And, in my view, the longer they go on giving excuses for not doing that, the weaker their case gets.

Date: 2007/09/24 11:47:29, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Woohoo!  Wave three of the Baylor "flog the controversy" flapdoodle, an opinion column in the Waco Trib by a guest columnist who is (what else?) an engineer...

Fact check - he rants and raves about the shutdown of a website for a lab run by someone named "Gary Marks". Perhaps this is yet another incident of persecution of poor IDers, or perhaps he can't spell "Bob".

They are asleep at the switch there at UD if I managed to find this before they did...

Date: 2007/09/24 13:02:23, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
[Interesting perspective, TP. But I don't think that this is "shield bashing", as you describe it. This is a simple lack of evidence, rather than any attempt to frame anything. I'll try to be a little clearer.

JAM maintains that he got banned for posting comments that included arguing for cogent hypotheses and testing of those hypotheses. TT admins maintain that he got banned because of despicable behaviors. Unless arguing for testable hypotheses is despicable, one of those is wrong.

JAM could undoubtedly link to a message where he said what he says he said. That would be pointless. It would then become incumbent on the TT admins to point out the messages that they were concerned about. Which is what I, and others, are asking them to do now. Why not bypass the intermediate step?

As for this statement    
Now, if I were to simply accuse SteveStory of being rude to me as the reason I quit, would it become Steve's burden to prove otherwise.

No. The burden of proof rests with the accuser (you). As it does in this case. Show the evidence, and let the jury make up their minds.

You seem to be arguing for a situation where the persons making the accusation (TT admins) don't have to prove it. I won't even speculate why you would do that.  While we wait for the TT folks to step up to the plate (or not), maybe you can expound on that interesting behavior.

Date: 2007/09/24 14:20:43, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Thought Provoker @ Sep. 24 2007,14:16)
As it is, it looks like the shield bashing games will continue.  After the Bar Closes will be smug in their presumption that ID proponents are arrogant and unreasonable.  Meanwhile, Telic Thoughts will be smug in their presumption that ID critics are arrogant and unreasonable.

Everyone can continue to be comfortable with their stereotypes confirmed.

Oh well, I tried.

Self-fulfilling prophecy. If you act arrogant ("I don't need to back up that accusation!"), and then get deemed arrogant, whose fault is it, anyway?

And actually, we weren't asking you to try. Speaking for myself only, I am pretty sure that I was asking the TT admins to back up an assertion. I don't think you are arrogant, but I gotta admit I wonder why you would stick up for some folks who do seem to be...

Date: 2007/09/24 16:13:29, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
It is a double-edged sword.  Jam is accusing TT of being intolerant without backing up his accusation.  You are DEMANDING an explanation.

Which side is arrogant?

I don't care if I get an explanation or not, so I am pretty sure that my DEMAND is something that exists only in your mind.

In my world discussions are enhanced, and thoughts are even provoked, by providing evidence. This happens faster if evidence is provided without DEMANDS, but it can still happen if someone (like me, or k.e, or a number of others on this board) asks for it (politely, at first). If it is available, then it is helpful for the rest of us to see it, and then make whatever conclusions that seem to be warranted by the evidence.

So let's go back to my previous message, with the hypothetical scenario played out as you want it to be.

1) JAM provides a link to a post which looks reasonable.

2) The TT admins, if they want the evidence to speak for itself, would then provide a link to the post(s) which they found so offensive.

3) Evidence in hand, the jaded and biased and horribly arrogant crowd at AtBC can conclude whatever they can conclude from the evidence.

As I said before, why not skip the first step, since it is obvious to all (except perhaps you) that we must proceed to step 2 regardless of what happens in step one? But if the TT admins deem this to be arrogance, or an unjustified waste of their time, we are reduced to making a conclusion without all the evidence. I don't like to do that.

Do you?

Date: 2007/09/25 06:16:01, Link
Author: Albatrossity2

Claiming that it is lame is one thing, and you are good at that. Providing evidence against it is another, and I note that you conveniently left that stuff out of your post. As I recall, you have a copy of Carroll's book, where my "lame piece of evidence" is found.

So let's check the goalposts before we start. Sporty asked    
I challenge evolutionists to show me ONE mutation ever documented in the history of science that has created a new, beneficial, selectable morphological addition to an existing body part.    .    .    .    (a mutation that alters physical, outward appearance in a beneficial way. )

I responded    
Endless Forms Most beautiful, by Sean Carroll, has several examples of this. One of them is a mutation in the regulatory sequence of a gene that give more pigmentation to a section of a fruit fly wing. Since fruit flies use their wings in mating displays, a change in the pigmentation can have profound effects on mating success. But Carroll describes a phylogenetic tree showing how this mutation occurred, when it occurred, and the resulting speciation events that occurred.

So, in your new incarnation that requires you to back up assertions, or retract them, please show me how that example does not address sporty's question. Thanks in advance.

As for this characterization  
immediately turns the tables from defense to offense by slamming back a question and harping on it indefinitely because he knows that the question he is asking cannot be supported with empirical evidence any more than the one he is trying to answer, as if somehow that makes his answer more believeable.

interested readers might note two things. Firstly, I had been asking that question for some time previously, and he had never answered it. Honest discussions require that questions get addressed; dishonest discussants require constant reminders of that. Secondly, as noted above, I answered his question with evidence-based material. I suspect that for most folks, compared to a non-answer, that evidence-based answers are "more believable." Apparently not for you, however.

Anyway, sorry to stay in character, but I really would like to know how my answer to sporty's OP is lame. If that is just your opinion, and you can't back it up with facts or other evidence, you haven't kept up your end of the bargain.

Date: 2007/09/25 09:31:22, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ Sep. 25 2007,09:19)
Off Topic:

Dave, hey, I was planning to scoot out of work early today and come up to KSU to listen to Miller's lecture on MN, but I'm just too busy to take off early.  

Why the heck didn't they schedule it for the evening?  Don't you have some pull around there?  Get them to schedule this stuff in the evening so I don't have to take off work....

As for your last post, it'll have to wait...yes, yes, evasion, blah, blah, blah...whatever.


Too bad you can't make it, but I've got no clout with our geology department. Or anyone else, for that matter...

For the onlookers, this talk  
What's All the Fuss About Methodological Naturalism?: Dr. Keith B. Miller, Department of Geology, Kansas State University. Tuesday, September 25, 2007, 4:00pm, Thompson Hall 213. Sponsored by the Department of Geology

should be quite good. Keith is an evangelical Christian. He is also a scientist, and an excellent teacher. According to the Geology Dept. website,  
He frequently teaches service courses for the department, including a section of Natural Disasters, and has originated a course on dinosaurs. His research interests are in terrigenous rocks and paleosols. He is also particularly interested in issues in science education and fundamentalist opposition to evolution, and served as editor for a book on the subject.

Too bad you have to miss it, FtK; I suspect that you and your kids would enjoy the talk, and you might even learn something (scientific) about dinosaurs

Date: 2007/09/25 11:51:21, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
A review of Behe's book here has encouraged some of the UDers like bornagain and Joe G to come out of their basements and comment on a thread where their hero can't ban the naysayers.

Could be fun. So far they have ignored my only comment, however.

Date: 2007/09/25 13:52:21, Link
Author: Albatrossity2

I particularly like the fact that you left all of joe's misspelled words and wandering grammar intact!

ID predicts that he will pounce on you for misspelling those words...

Meanwhile, on the Baylor University news front, here is a news release from Baylor announcing a new NSF award to three members of their engineering faculty. One of them is Bob Marks, who apparently has been able to move on, despite his disappointment about the persecution and the loss of his broom-closeted postdoctoral fellow.

Date: 2007/09/26 07:54:43, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (silverspoon @ Sep. 26 2007,07:52)
So, in your new incarnation that requires you to back up assertions, or retract them, please show me how that example does not address sporty's question. Thanks in advance.

Did this ever get an answer from Ftk?

Consider this a bump incase Ftk simply forgot to back up, or retract.

No answer yet.  But I understand that she has been busy...

Date: 2007/09/26 08:11:29, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ Sep. 26 2007,08:01)

If Behe et. al. were not on to something big here (like a scientific revolution!), there wouldn't be umpteen blogs, forums, lectures, conferences being set up by scientists to take them down.  If it was trash, it would be ignored altogether.  It's also *very* telling that the GRAND majority of those scientists fighting it tooth and nail are hard core materialists.


When you write      
If it was trash, it would be ignored altogether.

you are partially correct. If it was ONLY trash, it would be possible to ignore it. But it is trash that some folks want to have taught to our kids. I hope we can agree that would be a bad thing. Trash belongs in the landfill, or on the internet, but not in the schools.

And when you write      
It's also *very* telling that the GRAND majority of those scientists fighting it tooth and nail are hard core materialists.

i have to think that you didn't hear anything that Keith Miller said yesterday in his seminar at KSU. If "materialists" = atheists in your taxonomy, you have to know that you are wrong. If "materialists" = those who use methodological naturalism in the pursuit of knowledge, you are right. Science is limited to methodological naturalism. You are certainly free to invoke the supernatural as an explanation, but if you want to call it science, the onus is on you to show us poor limited scientists how to detect and study it.

What, exactly, is a "materialist", in your opinion? And why do you use it as a pejorative? Is it a bad thing?

Date: 2007/09/26 09:19:30, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ Sep. 26 2007,08:51)
Dave:  I have plenty to say in regard to your last post, but I'm going to save that for a post at my blog.  I'm trying to get started on it, but I doubt I'll have it completed until this weekend.

Good to hear that. I do hope that your blog post addresses these questions    
What, exactly, is a "materialist", in your opinion? And why do you use it as a pejorative? Is it a bad thing?

Alternatively, since those questions just are asking about your opinions for the most part, you could answer them here in a brief note. These answers shouldn't require much in the way of research.

Date: 2007/09/26 10:29:41, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ Sep. 26 2007,09:54)
Materialist = believes that matter is all that exists.  No designer - no design - no specific purpose (notice that I'm not saying that they believe there is NO purpose at all)...just what is *is*, and *initially* all that we observe in nature today was due to an accident.

Is materialism "bad"?

No, and I think it can actually push science forward in many instances, but it provides only one view in regard to the subject of origins and other areas of science.  Just as it gives science a shove in some instances, it can also keep it from moving ahead by dogmatically refusing to consider anything that does not fit tight within a materialist frame of mind.  So we may be stuck with theories that are incorrect because we cannot consider the evidence that might point to a more truthful or accurate explanation.

I WANT **BOTH** VIEWPOINTS TO BE OPEN FOR CONSIDERATION.   I've NEVER supported the notion that the materialist view should be reliquished in any way.

Checks and balances...

Interesting perspective. And I'm not sure that this definition wouldn't also be a definition for atheism, in your mind. What's the difference?

Regardless of that answer, let's get specific. Have you, or anyone, polled scientists on this specific question (e.g., "Do you believe that matter is all that exists?")?  If not, then perhaps you need to reconsider that bald-faced assertion that the "grand majority" of scientists believe it. I know a lot of scientists (there are 50-100 in my department alone, depending on how you count graduate students and post-docs), and if I count them off in my head, I don't think your assumption is accurate. Data to support this assertion, please?

And, as you undoubtedly understand from attending Miller's talk yesterday, science moves ahead by seeking natural explanations for the world we can observe. If you are seeking supernatural explanations, you are not doing science. Science cannot address the supernatural. In fact,  supernatural actions or explanations make it impossible to DO science. You may be doing something else that is valuable and rewarding, but it is not science. Do you want science to stop?  That is the inevitable outcome, as you heard yesterday, of invoking supernatural explanations for the things we observe on a daily basis.

So when you say        
it can also keep it from moving ahead by dogmatically refusing to consider anything that does not fit tight within a materialist frame of mind.
you are confusing methodological naturalism (the limited way that we do science) with philosophical naturalism (your definition of materialism, above).

If you think that these are the same, you are wrong. If you think that methodological naturalism needs to include seeking evidence for the supernatural, then the onus is on you to provide science with the tools and methods to do that.

How do we do experiments that provide evidence for (or against) the supernatural (e.g., a creator deity)? Please be specific. And please, please, please remember that observations and inferences are NOT experiments.

Date: 2007/09/26 13:34:57, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Richardthughes @ Sep. 26 2007,12:12)


I wonder if Daniel can give us his interpretation of the data in this article, pointing out the evolutionary relationship of a bacterial protein (FtsZ) and tubulin.

Are bacteria conscious?  What are they thinking? Probably something like "I have all of these really cool genes. Why am I living in this pile of stinking crap?"

Date: 2007/09/26 17:25:32, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
In case you may have felt that seismic tremble in the Tard Force, here is a possible explanation. Supersport has blundered into FtK's blog.

Methodological naturalists, beware. Resistance is futile.

Date: 2007/09/27 06:16:30, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
More evidence of discrimination against beliefs (or non-beliefs) by Baylor.

I doubt that this one will be mentioned at UD, however.

Date: 2007/09/27 06:26:00, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
The NY Times has a run at the controversy (how dishonest were the makers of "Expelled" when they approached scientists about filming interviews?). PZ gets his name in the paper; Ben Stein gets more free publicity for his wacko beliefs.

Date: 2007/09/27 08:15:40, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Jkrebs @ Sep. 27 2007,07:00)
ftk writes,

Dave, Bill and Jack:

You've made very good points...many of which I agree with, but there are several things that you refuse to take into consideration, and I'm going to post a fairly lengthy post at my blog in this regard soon.  I'll try to address the main ideas of what you've put forth in this particular discussion.

I am quite interested in this view that "it was either designed or it was an accident," and I'm glad to hear that we made some very good points.  I would be interested in hearing a clear exposition of what points she does agree with, because finding some common ground is always useful in discussions.  

On the other hand, I don't know how ftk knows that there are things we "refuse[d] to take into consideration" as opposed to things we disagree with and/or things we didn't address because we were just making short posts on just one aspect of the situation.  I may very well have taken things into consideration that ftk thinks I am refusing to consider.

So my suggestion to ftk is that she also spell out clearly what other factors in this issue she thinks are relevant, and give her reasons why considering them might affect one's position on the "either it's designed or an accident" argument.

What we undoubtedly "refuse to take into consideration" is her belief that science=atheism, which seems unshakeable. She will deny it of course, but if you look at that definition of "materialist" that she posted, it is indistinguishable from a definition of atheism. And she thinks that a "grand majority" of scientists are materialists, which equals atheist, thus we must be philosophically opposed to the inclusion of her theistic views as an alternative perspective.

What is sad about this situation is that we both attended Keith Miller's talk here at KSU earlier in the week, and his very first point was that methodological naturalism is NOT philosophical naturalism. Science is a method. It can be accomplished by individuals with a wide variety of personal philosophies.

Apparently that went right over her head; I predict that her blog post will again conflate the two.

Date: 2007/09/27 08:32:17, Link
Author: Albatrossity2

You're right, it's not funny. I think I used the word "sad". Particularly since you say you "love science".

Look at what you said.

1) grand majority of scientists are "materialists"

2) your definition of materialism is indistinguishable from a definition of atheism

conclusion - you think that a grand majority of scientists are atheists.

And because you confuse philosophy with method, you believe that those who use methodological naturalism (aka scientists) have atheistic perspectives which makes them immune to consideration of your theistic notions in the course of doing, or teaching, science.

From reading your stuff over these last few months, I am pretty certain that is how you perceive it.

Show me where I'm wrong, please.


Date: 2007/09/27 19:05:04, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (notta_skeptic @ Sep. 27 2007,18:37)
Quote (stevestory @ Sep. 27 2007,19:18)
Quote (blipey @ Sep. 27 2007,18:21)
Larry FreeFromFeta already posts there.  Some of the best legal advice in the world at Reasonable Kansans.

A blog with FtK, Supersport, and Larry Farfromsane? Wow. It's like ScienceBlogs in Bizarro World.

geez - add in afdave and john davidson, and you'd have a veritable black hole of tard.

For the cherry on the top, you would have to add Bornagain77. He would be right at home there...

Date: 2007/09/28 08:26:26, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Serious tard alert!

The ever-reliable bornagain77  
Though, on this site, I don’t necessarily like to veer off of hard scientific evidence to talk about my personal faith I have to respond to your comment:

IF, and its a BIG IF, there really is some kind of intelligent designer that has written the most complex language imaginable (DNA) then a simplistic religion certainly cannot come anywhere near explaining it.

Brother, I don’t see anything simplistic about God Almighty coming into this world, after creating it, to die on a cross so as to defeat the power of in our lives…NO SIR!!!! I do not see anything simplistic in that religion at all… If you can wrap your mind around it and understand it fully please do share your insights because I have tried, and frankly, I find relativity and quantum mechanics easier to understand!!!!

The odds that BA77 has a clue about relativity and quantum mechanics are vanishingly small. But I suspect that he does know quite a lot about his religion...

Date: 2007/09/28 11:24:13, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Well, if Bill is gonna disappoint us this week, at least one of the UD minions is good for more than the usual laughs.

Bornagain77, out of his element on a forum where Dave can't rescue him and allow him to declare victory, gets spanked.

Date: 2007/09/28 13:32:06, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Sep. 28 2007,13:26)
Those images look like they're scanned from a newspaper.

Another hypothesis is that they were shot in a low light situation, without a flash, at a high film speed.

I've got plenty of pictures of meetings and panel discussions that look a lot like that!

Date: 2007/09/28 14:43:42, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (C Gieschen @ Sep. 28 2007,14:15)
Why does one have to believe in your version of origins in order to do operational science?

I'll leave the other canards in your post for others to handle. This one, however, is easy.

One doesn't have to believe in "our" version of origins; many other scientific versions are certainly potentially useful for operational science. But your version of origins, lacking a mechanism that operates with natural causes and effects, allows for no testable hypotheses. Any result can be explained, all results are equally probable.

Date: 2007/09/29 12:49:34, Link
Author: Albatrossity2

Date: 2007/09/29 12:57:22, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Not-so-surprising news from FtK
If you find that my posts are a bit sparse for the next month or so, you can pop over to Young Cosmos where I'll be guest blogging for a time.

With Salvador leaving public debate to continue his education at John Hopkins, they are minus a blogger, so I've been asked to particate for a while.

No doubt Sal's moderation policy, which resulted in him posting messages to himself since everybody else was banned, will continue as part of FtK's "partication".

Date: 2007/09/30 06:04:00, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ Sep. 29 2007,23:48)
I don't condone the lifestyle, but I certainly wouldn't turn my back on someone or hate them just because I don't agree with their choices.
(my bolding).

That says it all, really. It's a choice, y'know.

Evidence, please? Did you choose to become heterosexual?

Date: 2007/09/30 14:07:07, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ Sep. 30 2007,08:10)
So, although we do not know whether there is in fact a "gay gene", I would not doubt it.  But, I've also seen in some cases that homosexual tendancies can be altered through therapy, yet in others it can't.  

So, bottom line...yes, I think there may be a genetic factor involved, but I also strongly believe that some choose the lifestyle due to circumstances in life.

I think we all do understand that you "strongly believe" this stuff.  But that's not the point. You also apparently strongly believe that the earth is either 6000 or 4.5 billion years old.

The point is that there is absolutely NO evidence that sexuality is a choice. As someone else pointed out, what kind of idiot would choose to be marginalized, hated, and denied the rights that they would have if they just made some other "choice"?

So I'll ask again, and no, anecdotes about "therapy" are not evidence. Use your noggin. At what age did you make this choice?  What factors were important in your decision? How do you explain homosexuality on other animals; do they make this "choice" as well? Do they have free will?

If you can't answer those questions, it is highly likely that none of the rest of humanity can do that either.

Date: 2007/09/30 14:22:02, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ Sep. 29 2007,22:07)
That's the biggest gripe I had with Miller's speech the other day.  He lamblasted the "fundamentalists" for trying to use science to support their religious beliefs, yet not ONE mention of the antics from the "New Atheists" or whatever they want to be called.  


Think about this for at least a nanosecond.

Fundamentalist Christians are trying to subvert science by inserting a tenet of their faith into science education. Scientists will naturally, regardless of their religious views, fight back.

So IF fundamentalist Christians were not trying to subvert science, do you really think that scientists would care what fundamentalists do in the privacy of their church basements?

I'll answer that for you, as a scientist.


So if the fundamentalists would keep their noses out of my business, I could afford to ignore them, and vice versa. If they insist on trying to insert their idiosyncratic magical beliefs into a fact-based enterprise such as science, they become dangerous and need to be confronted.
Quote (Ftk @ Sep. 29 2007,22:07)
They USE science as their basis for atheism (which is a faith belief regardless of what any of you will admit).

You just can't stay away from this one, can you? One more time. Science is NOT a basis for atheism; science is NOT atheism. Scientists can follow any religious faith that they desire, and still do science quite well.

Methodological naturalism is NOT philosophical naturalism, not matter how fervently you and others wish to believe that.

As for that other load of crap about "The rights of religious people have all but been completely striped (sic) from the schools", that is not true. Religious beliefs have no place in schools, and you would be the first to agree if your kids had to be educated in a public school in Saudi Arabia. Teaching science as methodological naturalism is NOT teaching religion, it is teaching science. Why can't you see that?

Date: 2007/09/30 15:56:57, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ Sep. 30 2007,15:18)

Are you telling me that you believe that homosexual behavior is never engaged in unless a person is genetically attracted to the same sex?

Nope. Remove those words from my mouth. Read my lips.

I'm telling you that there is NO EVIDENCE that homosexuality (which is not the same as experimenting transiently in your youth or at a party or wherever) is a choice. I think you were the one who said that the "homosexual lifestyle" was a "choice" that you disagreed with. If you think that this "lifestyle" is a choice (and agree that a lifestyle implies more than temporary twiddling), where's the evidence?

Now that the goalposts have returned to their original position, I hope you can answer my previous questions.

At what age did you make this choice?  What factors were important in your decision? How do you explain homosexuality in other animals; do they make this "choice" as well? Do they have free will?


Date: 2007/09/30 17:35:29, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ Sep. 30 2007,16:18)
Dave, what I'm saying is that we may initially grow up with feelings one way or the other, but that "temporary twiddling" or other social situations may lead to questioning preferences over time depending on how intense that "twiddling" gets.   Or, some may not be as choosy when it comes to just a casual fling.  You'll notice that many actors/actresses are known for flipping back and forth.  It just depends on the acceptance of these behaviors.  Personally, I think casual sex of any kind is harmful to establishing long lasting relationships...which leads to the breakdown of the family and children drifting from one home to the next on a  regular basis.

You need to remember that I firmly stated that I believe for some people, they are attracted to the same sex at a very young age...this could very well be due to a genetic factor...or, it could be and environmental factor in some instances.  There are no absolutes here.

This is serious goalpost moving.

And again, you ignore the call for evidence supporting any of your opinions. I don't really care if you BELIEVE any of this stuff. I am asking you to support your opinions with evidence and logic.

Did you make a conscious choice to be heterosexual? Did Ted Haggard make a conscious choice to be homosexual? If you did, what were the parameters that seemed important to you in making this important decision?  If it is a choice, how do you explain the presence of homosexuality in other animals?  Do they make the same choices?  Do they have free will?

Please think about these questions, and maybe even answer them if you can. And please think about the possibility that you are wrong about this if you can't support them with anything other than anecdotes about movie stars.

Date: 2007/09/30 20:31:08, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ Sep. 30 2007,19:10)
Just WOW!  This is pretty much exactly what I'm getting at.  As long as those of you who loathe Christianity (and that's becoming more apparent from you, Dave, as the days go by) see that we keep our beliefs hidden in the basement rather than considering it as a method in which we seek knowledge (or truth), then you'll allow it (though only if it's confined to our basements).  But, as  soon as we contemplate what we know about history, archeology, science and other method of knowledge which support our beliefs, then you're on the war path.

Christians are not trying to "subvert" science.  In fact you can keep your freaking science class free from open inquiry and consideration of the vast complexity of nature for all I care anymore.

More words being put in my mouth, FtK.

Here's the facts. Write them down.

I loathe liars. Science cannot advance if deliberate deception is passed off as science. Lies certainly do subvert science. If you can't figure that out, it is only because you are clueless about how science works, as you have demonstrated innumerable times before.

If Christians are liars, I loathe them. If atheists are liars, I loathe them. What's the common thread here? I think you can figure it out.

ID is being promoted by liars. That can be proven, if you care to hear about the evidence. But I suspect that you don't care, because you believe the lies.

Date: 2007/10/01 06:14:25, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ Sep. 30 2007,21:33)
If you *really* believe that Behe, Dembski, and people like myself who promote ID are liars, then I don't really see any point in discussing these issue with you further.  We'll have to find some other topics to explore.

Get over the basement thing; it was a figure of speech.

And yes, I think that the evidence is very clear that Behe, Dembski, Wells, Nelson, et al. are lying about lots of things. In Behe's case, that was PROVEN in court at Dover. I don't care when they lie about their theology (e.g. Wells' notions about Moonieism): I do care about it when they lie about science. And when they lie about how science can be done (e.g. telling us that we can detect the supernatural but conveniently forgetting to tell us how to do that), I care a lot more. As someone pointed out, if it is so simple, why don't they just do it and go collect their Nobels?

I think that you find it "impossible to believe" that all of us consider them to be liars not just because you believe the lies, but because you WANT to believe the lies. Open-minded, indeed.

Open your eyes.

Date: 2007/10/01 06:27:07, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
This comment is either from a freshly designed tard, or else Bornagain77 has a new handle to help disguise the embarrassment he suffered on the California Lit Review site.

Date: 2007/10/01 08:18:22, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ Oct. 01 2007,08:04)
 The only thing that was "PROVEN" in the Denver court is that Darwinists & their media spin a fine story.  Their interpretation is biased beyond belief.

I think it was also proven that when Behe asserted, as an expert on the subject, that the evolution of the human immune system was mysterious and not well-studied, he was wrong. When a pile of papers and books on that very subject was placed in front of him, and he admitted that he had not read them, he was PROVEN wrong about the human immune system.

As Wes noted, if you claim to be an expert, and then expound nonsense on that subject, you are obviously lying about one thing, or the other. Or both.

Open your eyes.

Date: 2007/10/01 11:49:31, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
More persecution complex whining on this topic appeared today, courtesy of ace whiner Casey Luskin.

Date: 2007/10/01 13:57:54, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
From the same thread that resulted in timothee's banning, we find this excellent idea from allanius (who should, in the interest of truth-in-advertising, just drop the "i" from his moniker)  
It would be nice if a generous benefactor could be found for an ID journal, perhaps along the lines of “First Things,” where the type of information and argument seen here could be shared with a thirsy public.

...Design is the new naughty boy in science, and it seems that now is the time to play.

Good idea. Do you think DT will tell him and the other naughty boys about PCID? I'm betting a bottle of scotch that he won't mention it...

Date: 2007/10/02 06:17:35, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
[quote=Ftk,Oct. 01 2007,19:56]From here.
...Behe said that current studies do not provide evidence that the immune system has been explained by evolutionary mechanisms, so he was certain that this older material piled up in front of him did not contain anything that would explain it either. In the trial, he referenced the most current 2005 standard view of the immune system and he discussed this in depth with Ken Miller during the trial, but this information was not referenced in the Jones decision. He said the 2005 article on the immune system used words like “may have”, “appears to be”, “probably”, “might have”, etc. etc. It was speculative information, and if that were true in 2005, then obviously earlier papers wouldn’t have added anything more pertinent to the discussion. The papers in question do not address how random processes explain evolution of the immune system... they simply assume that they do.


All this proves is that Behe is still not being truthful about ID, IC, or the Dover trial. You can read the transcript for yourself. Behe's quibbling about whether he used the words "not good enough", or if he just failed to disagree with Rothschild's question using the words, is a red herring. He clearly believes, and has written, that these papers, or even any future papers, are "not good enough."

If we just stick to the discussion of the immune system, here is an excellent summary of what happened there, from Judge Jones' decision (my bolding)      
The immune system is the third system to which Professor Behe has applied the definition of irreducible complexity. Although in Darwin's Black Box, Professor Behe wrote that not only were there no natural explanations for the immune system at the time, but that natural explanations were impossible regarding its origin. (P-647 at 139; 2:26-27 (Miller)). However, Dr. Miller presented peer-reviewed studies refuting Professor Behe's claim that the immune system was irreducibly complex. Between 1996 and 2002, various studies confirmed each element of the evolutionary hypothesis explaining the origin of the immune system. (2:31 (Miller)). In fact, on cross-examination, Professor Behe was questioned concerning his 1996 claim that science would never find an evolutionary explanation for the immune system. He was presented with fifty-eight peer-reviewed publications, nine books, and several immunology textbook chapters about the evolution of the immune system; however, he simply insisted that this was still not sufficient evidence of evolution, and that it was not "good enough." (23:19 (Behe)).

We find that such evidence demonstrates that the ID argument is dependent upon setting a scientifically unreasonable burden of proof for the theory of evolution. As a further example, the test for ID proposed by both Professors Behe and Minnich is to grow the bacterial flagellum in the laboratory; however, no-one inside or outside of the IDM, including those who propose the test, has conducted it. (P-718; 18:125-27 (Behe); 22:102-06 (Behe)). Professor Behe conceded that the proposed test could not approximate real world conditions and even if it could, Professor Minnich admitted that it would merely be a test of evolution, not design. (22:107-10 (Behe); 2:15 (Miller); 38:82 (Minnich)).

We therefore find that Professor Behe's claim for irreducible complexity has been refuted in peer-reviewed research papers and has been rejected by the scientific community at large. (17:45-46 (Padian); 3:99 (Miller)). Additionally, even if irreducible complexity had not been rejected, it still does not support ID as it is merely a test for evolution, not design. (2:15, 2:35-40 (Miller); 28:63-66 (Fuller)).

Date: 2007/10/02 06:34:40, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Uh-oh. DaveScot is not gonna like this development at Baylor.

Date: 2007/10/02 06:46:28, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Oct. 02 2007,03:09)
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Oct. 02 2007,02:41)
As almost everything that has ever lived is extinct what does that say about the ability of this "designer" to plan?

Why bother to front-load if the organism is going extinct anyway?

Every living thing dies.  Everything.

It would sure seem that natural selection would have overcome that little hiccup by now doesn't it?

That is the most ridiculous thing you have written so far (and that covers a lot of ridiculousness).

Besides missing the point that the discussion was about extinction of species, and not the death of organisms, this statement implies an inability to think about the consequences/predictions of one's hypotheses, as well as ignorance of well-known thermodynamic laws governing ecosystem functions.

Think about this for a nanosecond. If natural selection, or any process not involving miracles, was able to produce organisms that overcame death, how long would it take for them to consume all the resources on this planet? And then what? Without death, there is no life as we know it; death provides resources for not just the consumers, but the producers as well.

Death is not just a "little hiccup". If you think that immortality is something that can be achieved by natural selection, or even if you think it is a good thing, then you are not thinking at all. You are taking your theological constructs (the immortal soul) and trying to shoehorn reality into that construct. Sorry, but reality is gonna win this one.

Date: 2007/10/02 07:48:33, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ Oct. 01 2007,19:56)
The papers in question do not address how random processes explain evolution of the immune system... they simply assume that they do.

Sorry, I forgot to address this egregious statement.

What's wrong with this statement, FtK?  Do you recognize it as a strawman? Do any scientists assume that "random processes explain evolution of the immune system"? Do you still not understand the role of random processes in evolution?  

By making this statement, Behe is again demonstrating that he is either ignorant about the theory of evolution (a subject about which he has written two books), or he is misrepresenting it willfully. Unlike most dichotomies, this is not a false one. Which explanation do you prefer, FtK?

Date: 2007/10/02 09:32:47, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ Oct. 02 2007,08:19)
LOL...I rest my case.  Blind....twisting, spinning, and moving goalposts continuously.  If someone from my side is talking about one thing, your side will look right past that issue and conflate it with another.

I'm wasting time here....I can't believe there could possibly be even one inquisitive open minded lurker out there who has not been repulsed and turned away by the way you people twist, spin and carry on.

Dave, you need to be honest with yourself and try to separate your disgust with Christianity from your concerns about science.  If you can get past the former, you'll realize that science has nothing to fear from ID.  

Nothing whatsoever.

Oh, and before I leave, perhaps you could point out to the readers the peer reviewed papers that address specifically how random processes explain the evolution of the immune speculation, no assumptions, no "might have", "we suspect", "it could be that", etc., etc., etc..  

Provide for us the exact evolutionary pathways in which the immune system evolved, and tell us why these conclusions are unquestionable and above reproach.


In what way is this a response to anything I posted?

If Behe is NOT lying, then I would presume that you would be able to provide evidence that counters my arguments. Can you help me understand why Behe is not lying either about his expertise re evolutionary theory, or about his misrepresentation of such? Can you expand on your claim that a discussion about Behe lying about science is suddenly a case of goalpost moving when I pointed out a perfectly clear example of Behe lying about science?

No?  I thought not.

Responding with evidence is is not your strategy; you leave as you came in, with nothing on your agenda besides strawmen ("Oh, and before I leave, perhaps you could point out to the readers the peer reviewed papers that address specifically how random processes explain the evolution of the immune system") and irrelevant personal attacks on those who you feel are "disgusted with Christianity".

As noted before, my disgust is limited to those who lie about science. The fact that Behe is a Christian is as irrelevant as the fact that he is a white male, or a biochemist, or the fact that he is balding. I get along fine with lots of Christians, lots of white males, lots of biochemists, and lots of folks who are balding. Sometimes they are even all four at once.

Apparently I don't play well with those who lie about science. But I am certainly not about to apologize for it.

Date: 2007/10/02 11:09:04, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ Oct. 02 2007,10:00)
?????????????? It's like trying to talk to someone who doesn't speak your own language!

Dave, can you not see from our conversation that what you are accusing Behe of is not what he was talking about at the trial?

Please, *please* re-read our *entire* conversation again.  I'm not sure how I can be any clearer.  I do not see where Behe has lied, so you'll have to specifically point it out to me.  

If you can point to the information from that "stack of books" that provides empirical evidence that has been tested and found conclusive in regard to the evolutionary pathways that are responsible for the evolution of the immune system, please do so.  

That was his point!  We cannot assume that something is correct if it is merely based on "might have", "could be", "we suspect" *speculative* information.  Those books and papers did not provide conclusive evidence that we understand the evolutionary pathways of the immune system!  Even the 2005 paper stated that what is being explored in this regard is speculative, so how on earth would those older papers have provided anything other than further research on the subject rather than conclusions based on unquestionable empirical data.

There was absolutely no need to "lie", the evidence is not there, and that is exactly what he said.


I did read it. I do understand that Behe has a quibble about being misquoted re what he said at the trial. But, as I said before (did you read that?), that is a red herring. Do you seriously believe that Behe thinks that the evidence supporting our current hypotheses about the evolution of the immune system is adequate?  Or do you think he would say something like "No, that's not enough".  If the latter, does his quibbling about the exact sentences he uttered at Dover matter to anyone except those who wish to be distracted from the real issues?

So let's review. In Behe's words (not your paraphrasing), what did he say in DBB? From the previously quoted decision in the case, with citations (I don't have DBB here at work, so I hope that this is sufficient).      
Professor Behe wrote that not only were there no natural explanations for the immune system at the time, but that natural explanations were impossible regarding its origin. (P-647 at 139; 2:26-27 (Miller))

Note that this is NOT the same thing as saying that he desired "empirical evidence that has been tested and found conclusive" (your words).

So those are the goalposts.  Behe wrote something in 1996, and reiterated it on the stand in 2005, to wit, "There are no natural explanations for the evolution of the immune system; it is irreducibly complex."

That is demonstrably wrong. Without going into the thousands (not just 58) of peer-reviewed papers that document that, you are just going to have to take my word for it, and the word of the authors of those papers, and the word of the rest of the scientific community, and the word of Judge Jones. There are natural explanations for the evolution of the immune system. They are, like all scientific explanations, tentative (not conclusive). To demand otherwise, as you seem to be doing, is not scientific. And it is hypocritical, since ID/creationism cannot prove their case with any level of detail, or with even one testable hypothesis.

So how did Behe lie? He was on the stand as an expert witness. He wrote two books about evolution. By his very presence there he was claiming to be an expert on evolution. Yet he claimed that there was "no natural explanation" in a pile of papers that he admitted he had not read. One of those things is false. Either he is not an expert, or he is deliberately misleading people when he says that there is "no natural explanation". Since he is still saying it to this day, one would have to assume he still believes it (at least for the purpose of selling books).

So if you think that the "evidence is not there", you are incorrect, as is Behe. If you think that the evidence needs to be conclusive, you are not being scientific. When Behe does it, he is lying about science; he should know better. And to demand a higher level of proof for one theory, while engaging in hand-waving about the lack of mechanistic details in your own pet theory, is hypocrisy.

hope this helps.

Date: 2007/10/02 11:19:14, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Well, good for Dr. Dr. Dembski. I think that is a reasonable approximation of an apology, and his actions should be commended, regardless of whether they were motivated by his lawyers or his conscience.

But I can't forgive him for closing the comments! My god, I cannot even imagine what PaV, or Bornagain77, or any of the other loonies might have said if they only had a chance! Of course, I never can imagine it. They seem to be wired somewhat differently than I am...

Maybe we should encourage FtK to post a link to the apology on her blog, or on Young Cosmos, so that the commenters can run free.

Date: 2007/10/02 13:30:31, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ Oct. 02 2007,13:10)
Quote (blipey @ Oct. 02 2007,11:59)
Nope.  That's a pretty good question.  In fact, it cuts right to the point of this discussion.


Please continue to ignore this very simple question.'s really quite simple.  If scientists are still trying to figure out how the immune system evolved and trying to determine the evolutionary pathways involved, then that would mean that articles from the past do not provide us with that information either.  If they did, the current speculation would not be necessary.

I would like to note that conversations like this are what lead me to question the Darwinist take on many issues that I may not have the scientific expertise to *completely* understand.  You might remember our previous conversation about my *BS detector*.  I also realize that Darwinists come at many of these issues from very, very strange angles.

Also, blipe, you might consider what the general public thinks when they hear about this silly "stack of books" antic.  Obviously, this was staged as court room theatre in an attempt to run with it to the media.  The books were there and ready to be rolled out.  Now, everyone knows that Behe would not have read every single ancient document in regard to the speculation as to how the immune system evolved.  But, obviously, he has read more than just the most current papers on the topic.  He's been discussing the issue for years.

No doubt he had read several of the articles found in that stack, but like everyone else in that courtroom and probably every scientist in the country, he would not have read all of it, and it *certainly* wouldn't be necessary to support his case.  

The whole episode was very sophomoric...


Let's try again.

Goalpost 1 - Behe saying that there are NO NATURAL EXPLANATIONS for the evolution of the immune system is a case of lying about science.

Goalpost 2 (to be ignored) - FtK saying that scientists don't have a conclusive explanation for the evolution of the immune system, and that is what Behe really meant. This goalpost resettling ignores the fact that ALL science is tentative, that Behe alleges that he is a scientist, and that if he really was saying that, he would be just as guilty of lying about science as he was if we concentrate solely on goalpost 1.

Now, if the assertion is that Behe lied when he made the assertion found above in goalpost 1, what is the evidence?

1) a large pile of books and reprints, representing a small fraction of the available peer-reviewed evidence, and containing natural explanations for the evolution of the immune system, that he ignored.

2) the consensus of the scientific community that there are indeed natural (albeit tentative) explanations for the evolution of the immune system.

3) a court finding, by a judge who is not a scientist but who can at least weigh the evidence on both sides, that there are indeed natural explanations for the evolution of the immune system.

In the absence of further evidence, and so far, FtK, you have presented none, this case is pretty solid. Either Behe lied about being an expert when he hadn't read a lot of the relevant papers, or he misled (lied to) the public and the judge when he maintained that those papers did not contain natural explanations for the evolution of the immune system.

And if you want to go to goalpost 2, he lied about the nature of scientific conclusions, which is inexcusable for anyone who calls themselves a scientist.

Note that none of this depends on Behe being a Christian, an atheist, or a Zoroastrian. None of it is ad hominem; it is based on facts that are readily available to anyone who wishes to examine them.

Note that concentrating on the "sophomoric" or "court room theatre" aspects of the case does not change the facts of the case, nor does it provide evidence that goes counter to the conclusions above.

Where is the evidence, FtK? Have you read those papers? if not, take a look at the list and I'd be happy to send some reprints your way, just in case they are not available at your public library.

Date: 2007/10/02 14:02:11, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ Oct. 02 2007,13:48)
Dave you quoted Miller refering to what Behe said:


Professor Behe wrote that not only were there no natural explanations for the immune system at the time, but that natural explanations were impossible regarding its origin. (P-647 at 139; 2:26-27 (Miller))

I've come to the point where I no longer take at face value everything that Miller writes or says.  I have caught him relaying so many inaccurate statements that it's very hard to take him seriously without doing indepth research to be sure he is quoting or relaying information accurately.

I don't have a copy of DBB here; I loaned it to my sister. But here is some information that may be relevant. From page 139 of Darwin's Black Box, as quoted by Walczak during the direct examination of Miller in the Dover trial.    
As scientists, we yearn to understand how this magnificent mechanism came to be, but the complexity of the system dooms all Darwinian explanations to frustration.

I am unable to find anywhere in that transcript where Behe denies saying that, so I assume it is an accurate quote. Seems pretty straightforward to me. If you, or somebody else reading this, has a copy of DBB, maybe we can learn more.

Date: 2007/10/02 14:09:38, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (blipey @ Oct. 02 2007,14:07)
Come on, Albatrosity.  The term "frustration" is perfect for question dodging.

You're quite right. I was sort of focusing on the verb "dooms".

Masters of the weasel words, they are. That is exactly why they need to be put under oath whenever possible.

Date: 2007/10/02 14:20:44, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
Quote (Ftk @ Oct. 02 2007,14:14)
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Oct. 02 2007,14:09)
Quote (blipey @ Oct. 02 2007,14:07)
Come on, Albatrosity.  The term "frustration" is perfect for question dodging.

You're quite right. I was sort of focusing on the verb "dooms".

Masters of the weasel words, they are. That is exactly why they need to be put under oath whenever possible.

Or perhaps they are just honest, and you cannot bear to come to that realization.


Where's the evidence?

And why do they always lose when they are dragged into court?

Food for thought, at least...

Date: 2007/10/02 14:33:16, Link
Author: Albatrossity2
A bit more research (thank ebola for that Dover transcript on line!) turned up this.

Under oath, Behe said    
There is no experimental evidence to show that natural selection could have produced the immune system.

Link here.
And then he goes on to say lots of othe